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My Magazine Swapping Error

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Motomom34, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    I went to the range on Sunday. I was practicing with my pistol and had an old Navy guy instructing me. I was working on defense. An error in my ways was discovered. I have always been told/taught by Dad and my Uncles, the gun is not up unless you are shooting it. I know some people insist the barrel is always pointed into the sky unless shooting but in my family it was barrel down at the ground unless on target.

    During my instruction Sunday when I was swapping out the magazines on my pistol, instinct took over. My pistol pointed down and so did my eyes. My instructor was yelling, “Eyes up! The threat is not on the ground it is in front of you.” Past training kept kicking in; my eyes kept lowering as did my pistol when I was swapping out magazines. He showed me how to keep my eyes moving and pistol up, eject the spent magazine and place in a new one. He kept driving home; the threat will be out in front not in the dirt. I am now working on keeping my stance, swapping magazines at chest high.

    I always practice safety but never practiced with an imaginary threat in front of me. Just thought I would share because it is something I never considered. My movements when shooting have always been one way but taught for a certain purpose.
  2. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

    Thank you @Motomom34 for sharing. When we go practice, we have done it the same way you were taught by your folks. Good stuff there.
    Mindgrinder and Motomom34 like this.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Well done Moto with getting a trainer and working on your defense with a firearm..... [winkthumb]
    Someone that is impartial and well trained, will always catch things you are doing wrong, that feel natural or are instinctive based on your past training. Getting used to having a threat in front of you can be a challenge, when moving from a hunter safety mentality, to a defensive/offensive posture. Keep your head & eyes up... and continue to practice magazine exchanges and engagement techniques such as target acquisition....in time, you will have that as your instinctive posture and actions when encountering a threat. Again, well done!!
  4. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Weapon up, eyes and weapon sweeping for a target to engage. In real world situations; every partial second counts. Also, as many of the best range positions offer too much; minimize what you offer as a target.
    GOG, Dunerunner and Motomom34 like this.
  5. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    One other thing that my instructor showed was his shooting/under attack stance. It seemed like he shrunk. I do not know how to describe it but his knees bent some and his body seemed to turn, within a second his body became a smaller target yet he was sure footed and in control.
    GOG, Dunerunner and Ganado like this.
  6. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I dont seem to be able to master that oneMM, how in the heck do they make themselves smaller?
    Motomom34 likes this.
  7. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    Old armed combat saying I learned from my sainted daddy..."don't get scared, get small". ;)
    GOG, Dunerunner, Ganado and 1 other person like this.
  8. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    Knees slightly bent, waist slightly bent, weak side leg slightly forward, strong side leg slightly back, modified Weaver stance.

    Edit: and most importantly, MOVE!!!!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Thanks @chimo they have tried to teach me this, I seem to be a klutz at this still :D
  10. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    Repetition, repetition, repetition. Practice doing it right, slowly in parts and slowly throughout the entire cycle of move, draw, fire. Speed will come with practice, the important thing is building the muscle memory...that is what saves your butt when the stress of a real situation causes your brain to turn to mush. That's why we train how we fight...because under stress we revert to training. Practice, practice, practice, incorporating variables into the environment once you become comfortable with the basic move, draw fire cycle. I call it training for Murphy, cuz Murphy will surely be there when you least want him around.

    I highly recommend USPSA and IDPA for pistol work. I prefer USPSA because I don't give a crap about score, I'm there for the practice... and am not limited by some of the silly rules in IDPA (like only changing mags behind cover and only drawing from concealment..though there is value in practicing both).

    FYI, I'm a klutz myself. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  11. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    and I am going to add what I consider the most important thing...have faith in God, the deity of your choice or even just in plain old fate...if your number is up, your number is up, and nothing will change that. Concentrate on what you are doing, not on what might happen if you fail.
  12. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    [worthless]well maybe not worthless. but a video would be interesting for sure.
  13. Lone Gunman

    Lone Gunman Draw Varmint!

    OK! The pistol's muzzle should NOT be up unless you're aiming and about to tap the trigger. If, perchance, the pistol is out of the holster then the best place for that muzzle to be pointed is (1) AT THE TARGET; or, if you're waiting to acquire a target then, (2) DOWNWARD at a 45º angle and toward the ground in front of you. 'Why'? Because all the way up and looking over the front sight is going to partially obscure your overall field-of-view.

    Obviously, you haven't been taught how to vertically index a pistol's muzzle. It's down to look, and up to aim. When this technique is done properly you will be indexing the muzzle against the target's vertical body centerline as you begin to raise the pistol. This is a highly desirable method to use because it takes all of the right/left, 'horizontal slop' out of the aiming process.

    I do a lot of this sort of thing; and I'm not one to move my head round and round while looking for a target. I use my eyes and my peripheral vision, instead. First I index my entire body towards the primary target; and I do it in such a way as to prevent myself from being knocked off my feet if someone might run into me. If I'm vested then I'll front the target, and shoot from a, 'Reverse Chapman Stance' - Which, in recent years, I've modified to include Robert Vogel's recommended grip. If I'm not vested then I'll slightly, 'fade' my strong shoulder to the rear by taking a small step forward with my support foot; but, again, I use the, 'Reverse Chapman' (or Middlebrooks, 'FistFire') stance. The knees should, also, be slightly bent.

    I'm not going to get into an in-depth discussion about how to switch magazines in a semiautomatic pistol. Suffice it to say that different shooters use different techniques. When I'm, 'hot' I never actually look at the magazine while it's being transferred and inserted into the pistol. I let my proprioceptive reflexes do this for me. During most practice sessions I swap out my magazines while they are within the field of my peripheral vision. The pistol is at or slightly above my heart as one magazine comes out, and another one is inserted. I don't need to actually look at the replacement magazine in order to center it on the frame-well. I extend the index finger of my support hand, aim the centers of my wrists together IN MY MIND, and drive the replacement magazine home.

    Yes, your instructor is correct: Your eyes should be up! As for the threat being in front of you? Well, it may or may not be. In CQB pistol gunfighting I've developed certain, 'rules' to live by. These rules are more self-defense orientated than they are politically correct for civilians to use; but, I have noticed that police officers tend to rely heavily upon them: (1) I tend to draw first. (2) I concentrate more upon eliminating the threat rather than in looking for either, 'hard' or, 'soft' cover. (3) I, also, tend to fire pistol shots in groups of 2, or 3, or more. (4) I'm heavily practiced; and I prefer to, 'hide' behind my front sight; but, nevertheless, I still do, 'What If' scenarios as I go throughout the day; and, lately, I've begun to study the faces and body language of everyone who's moving around me.

    An interesting thing I've learned is that many people have a way of suddenly appearing; and you don't even immediately realize that they're there! Some people are so unobtrusive and gentle in their personal behaviors and mannerisms that they become almost transparent! (And, then, there are, 'the others'. You know, the ones that even a blind man couldn't miss!) ;) Staying in Jeff Cooper's, 'Condition Orange' has become an increasingly important thing for Americans to do, nowadays; but, even though we, all, like to think that we do (self included) it takes a lot of extra effort in order to remain constantly vigilant; but, hey, this is the way daily life is now going!

    Proper threat Analysis and prompt identification of those people and things that might hurt you is the new normal in today's America!
    Motomom34, Ganado, BTPost and 2 others like this.
  14. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I really learned to shoot from a cop I was dating in my early 20s. Eyes up was something he drilled into me before I picked up my first .22. Back then I could load a revolver (with a speedloader) as fast as someone could change out a magazine, without ever looking down. Now I'd probably dump the speedloader onto the ground and then drop the gun trying to gather up all the rounds rolling around at my feet lol.
    GOG, Motomom34 and Ganado like this.
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    This takes serious practice, because if your eyes are not moving off the "target" you will suffer target fixation and not see anything else. If you have backup, either you or the backup concentrates on the "target" and the other moves as needed to keep the rest of the area under observation.
    GOG, Motomom34, Ganado and 1 other person like this.
  16. Lone Gunman

    Lone Gunman Draw Varmint!

    Yeah, you're right! It does take a, (What?) 'seasoned mind' and a strong desire to locate any possible secondary target; and, thereafter, do it all again. Target fixation? Could be! I suppose that most people who are either caught by surprise, or being run through a first course in, 'pistol management' might react like that; but, then again, most people aren't what I would describe as, 'experienced CQB pistol gunfighters'. The principal reason, 'Why' I tend to rotate my torso and/or feet, rather than to simply move my head, is to allow myself to more easily and quickly index off of an upcoming target.

    In my experience the biggest mistake a CQB pistol gunfighter can make isn't to swivel his head, or not; (Which, admittedly, is very popular right now.) it's simply and straightforwardly not to expect another target to be present. I've learned to index my body and the pistol together in the same way that many Master-Class IDPA pistol shooters do when they're quickly indexing their targets. 'Head swiveling' looks mean, it appears to be correct; (Like the old Weaver stance!) but, in reality, I've found that it'll too often slow a, 'good man with a gun' down.
    Motomom34 and ghrit like this.
  17. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    Think of yourself like the turret of an old tank...your body, head and firearm should always be aligned. If someone wants to go swiveling their head around like a turkey, everything else best be swiveling with it.
    Lone Gunman and Motomom34 like this.
  18. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    Exactly! Because if you should pick up a threat, you'd best be in a position to engage that threat.

    I tried to find a vid that shows what we are discussing, but all I find are bad examples.... :cautious:
    Motomom34 likes this.
  19. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    As an old instructor of mine used to say "If you're not movin', you're dyin'"....
    GOG, Motomom34 and Yard Dart like this.
  20. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Stand in front of a mirror and you see a big target, turn at the waist and it gets smaller. With a rifle, bring your arms close to your ribs. Look in the mirror; anything you can do to minimize what you see is usually a good thing.
    Next after you believe you found the best position; go outside and see how quickly you can move from it. Move means run in any direction.Move means side step a charging attacker.
    Practice bringing your firearm to bear at the target or targets. Also, read the Tueller Drill and it isn't a joke.
    Tueller Drill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The gun isn't the weapon; it is a tool and you are the weapon.

    As the kill zone of an ambush is the worst place to be; yell like hell, run and attack the ambushers.
    Motomom34, Dunerunner and ditch witch like this.
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