Saturday, October 25, 2014

Retention Shooting Positions - Pistol

Retention shooting positions:

Before reading this, please refer to my posts on Shooting Stances and Ready Positions:

What is retention shooting:
            Retention is better described as “Shooting from Retention” and is found when you are shooting in more or less physical contact with a bad guy – i.e. fight to control your weapon, being bum rushed, etc.

Thoughts on the issue seem to range across the board mainly based on who you are trained by and what the trainer’s background is. The instructor who only carried a gun on a SWAT team or Military team doing what is most easily described as CQB – Close Quarters Battle – will give you a tactic designed for a team environment. An instructor who worked as an undercover operative (UC) in LE, MIL or Intel communities, will be a different tactic all together. Your tactic needs to be chosen for what you do. For a LE officer or Military member who works in both realms, you must be familiar with both techniques and know when to use which one. For ease of focus, this article is in reference to pistol retention shooting.

*Fairbairn Sykes*
WW2 era tactics where you shoot with your arm held in front of your hip at hip height. This was taught as point shooting, but has become mistakenly taught today as “retention shooting.” This is not retention shooting. If you can have your weapon un protected like it would be in this, you can bring the gun up to a both hands firing stance. Using the Fairbairn Sykes method will almost certainly get your gun taken away. Don’t waste time learning or practicing this. Be leery of someone teaching this as the way to do it as well.

CAR – Center Axis Relock:
            Generally regarded as foolish in most circles, even more so in groups where the instructors actually “DO” carry guns for a living. It has a bladed stance with a very compressed “modified weaver” style hold on the gun. For more reference on this see the following photo, then play that into real world situations. This is not a very effective method when you start to get realistic with things. Blocks way to much of your peripheral vision. Gives a “gangster” style sight picture, which fights every other bit of your training for no real advantage. This technique also puts you sideways, which is bad if you are wearing body armor, or need to move as you will move faster forwards or backwards not sideways. Plus, it doesn’t look cool which is half the battle (G.I. Joe guidelines – Looking Cool is half the battle, the other half is red and blue lasers). 

One handed retention:
            This method works with your most common shooting stances, as it comes from the draw portion of the gun presentation. It will work both from open carried – duty or tactical holsters, as well as the most common 3 or 9 o’clock concealed handgun. With some modification, you can work it with your AIWB concealed carry handgun as well. You already do practice part of this when you present your gun. If I am in a one handed retention fight, it is to protect my pistol. As such I will be twisting my gunside away from the threat and using my support arm to help block my head and body from the threat. 

Two Handed Retention:
            When your pistol is already out of the holster you can bring the pistol back to the “compressed ready position” where its held centerline of your body with muzzle oriented same direction as your moving. I prefer a slight muzzle up from this position, and can use my WML from here to illuminate rooms well. The advantage of the gun being held in close with both hands allows me to maintain control over the firearm as one’s center of strength his next to their chest, not at arms length. This position allows me to use my firearm if in a very close quarter engagement where moving to full extension with my arms is not possible. The gun in close to your body negates your shooting speed as well as accuracy.

Pick the best technique for what your using, and roll with it in the hopes you’ll never need it.

1 comment:

  1. compressed ready has sharp bends and is weak. a gun grab pressing right or left will hyper extend the bent wrist causes a grip failure. Both sides of the slide are exposed to be grabbed.