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Go forth and be clueful

And interesting survey of 100 Rangemaster certified instructors and what and how they carry.

20 Responses to “Go forth and be clueful”

  1. Lyle Says:

    Good stuff there, but a couple of those bar graphs don’t display any headings, making them worthless (on my tablet at least).

  2. Joe Says:

    They don’t go to the range very often

  3. GomeznSA Says:

    Nice to see that many (me at least) of us mere mortals stack up pretty well against the ‘experts’ 😉 at least statistically.

  4. Flight-ER-Doc Says:

    Nobody carries a .45?


  5. Tim Says:

    What? NOBODY carries ‘field notes’?!?

    For writin’ down chicks’ phone numbuhs, n’whatnot?……

  6. Jim S Says:


    Actually, 5% of those surveyed carry a .45acp. The pie chart does make it look like those people carry a .38 super though…

  7. cryptical Says:

    5% carry .45, it’s hard to see because you have to scroll the results down on that chart.

  8. Mike Says:

    Good stuff.

  9. JTC Says:

    100% carry concealed and chambered. Good.

  10. bogie Says:

    I find it interesting that 1/3 of 100 respondents have had to draw their weapon for a defensive encounter. Unless they are counting being in the armed forces that sounds like a rather high number to me. Maybe law enforcement might be that high, but not everyday people that happen to be range instructors.

  11. Will Says:


    I’ve had several incidences in the past 30 years where my opponents clearly concluded I was armed and decided to bail. I avoid crazy people, places, and times more than most, and these were close runs. That 1/3 number doesn’t surprise me.

  12. JTC Says:


    If you’re saying you have drawn/displayed your concealed weapon several times in 30 years even though you practice pre-emptive situational awareness…I would love to see you expand on the details of some of those.

    100% of the guys in this piece also carry concealed and they say the same thing…huh. I applauded the lack of open carriers among this experienced group, but based on their reported incidents and yours, I may have to rethink the usefulness of that method. IOW, if drawing or exposing your tool of last deadly defense resort worked to avoid violent escalation, then it follows that constant exposure in an open rig would have the same or similar effect without the very serious danger presented to everyone in the vicinity every time you put your hands on that thing, as touching it is the way, the only way, that thing is going to go bang.

    Forty-plus years buying selling trading loaning and toting firearms, precious metals and other risk items…and never drew down once. Am I just lucky? Partly, but there’s more to it. I submit that there is no way in hell that 33% in any way represents the true percentage of all careful carriers pulling their piece in anger.

    Huh. Love to see input from those around here on this.

  13. Lyle Says:

    @JTC; Saying that “my opponents clearly concluded I was armed” is not the same as saying “I drew my pistol on them”.

    Words mean things, and not only that but they don’t mean what they don’t say– “Don’t infer something that wasn’t said” as I often have to tell my wife and others.

    I’ve drawn my pistol to defend a neighbor’s livestock against dogs. Where does that fit in? Then there are encounters with dangerous wildlife, where a gun may be drawn “just in case” although nothing happened. Don’t forget that “defense” was not clearly defined in the survey.

    I assert that people with ill intent have avoided me just because of my confidence, partly due to the fact that I was carrying a gun, though they had no clue one way or the other. Same with agressive dogs; they just don’t scare me and they’re accustomed to people being afraid, so I freak them out and they either bolt or cool their shit. How does that kind of stuff fit into the statistics? Answer; it doesn’t.

  14. JTC Says:

    Lyle, “How does that kind of stuff fit into the statistics? Answer; it doesn’t.”

    Correct. I’d wager that about 0% percent of the 33% mentioned were at all related to having a gun in hand while being approached by wild/aggressive dogs (of the four-legged variety) or other critters; if it did I would have to change my to story as I have traipsed the woods many times at the ready.

    Of course it is your deportment and swagger which is taken for alpha behavior among God’s instinct-driven creatures that keeps them at bay, though some do seem to sense the danger of that boomstick you’re toting and to some degree that works with human predatory types too…that was my meaning about the deterrent effect of OC. But as they all self-identified as concealed carriers that is not what those guys in the story meant and probably not Will either, and it is disingenuous draw that parallel…words do have meaning and if you want to avoid inference then one should avoid implication; sometimes the words unsaid are more powerful or misleading than the ones that are.

    I would also note that you do not mention ever drawing your weapon on actual you know, people, and a 0% rate of that is the actual norm among concealed carriers. Those that have drawn down are outliers, those that have drawn down more than once are highly likely to share certain characteristics with the ex-cop who I fired as manager of my business after his second incident of that…I came to believe he was looking for an opportunity -an opportunity denied him as a cop-to put one between somebody’s eyes. Those individuals do exist among gunnies; they are arguably more dangerous than the purported bad guys, and a propensity to pull that gun puts everyone in the vicinity in danger, that of course was one of the points I made above.

    From what I’ve seen of your writings I don’t think you are one of those guys, but if you have pulled your gun on a person or persons I would like to hear the details of the encounter, as I asked of Will and any others who have been in that extremely rare circumstance.

  15. Will Says:

    @JTC; Saying that “my opponents clearly concluded I was armed” is not the same as saying “I drew my pistol on them”.

    I have never drawn, flashed, or even mentioned it in those cases.
    These situations resolved peacefully, entirely due to them concluding I was armed with a gun.
    In one, he confirmed this by yelling and pointing across an empty parking lot “that guy threatened me with a gun!” This drunk or drugged clown was trying to smash my truck’s window when I picked up a small bag off the floor and unzipped it. I was looking for my pepper spray. He ran back to the truck that was blocking me to the rear, and they left. This was in a constrained drive-thru, at midnight. They returned a few minutes later for food. Obviously, he associated people opening bags ending with a gun being stuck in his face.

  16. JTC Says:

    Will, not sure how your anecdote or Lyle’s alpha strut relate to the stats bogie brought up from the survey:

    “Have you ever had to draw your firearm in a defensive encounter? 64 yes 36 no.

    Have you ever had to discharge your firearm in a defensive encounter? 10 yes 90 no.”

    Not concluded, surmised or deduced but saw in your hand and in TEN CASES OUT OF A HUNDRED, heard and/or felt proof that you were armed with a gun.

    I don’t think these respondents were talking about being ready to dispatch a bad dog or even a thug surmising from them rummaging in a bag or console that they might have a gun, but actively responding to an active threat by pulling a gun out.

    That’s a mighty big difference and I for one seriously doubt the veracity of those particular responses.

  17. Will Says:

    Forgot about this thread.
    Damn glad picking up that bag triggered bad memories for that idiot. Turns out my pepper spray was defective. Acted like a perfume mister. Bad nozzle. I hadn’t tested it, which I did a day or so later.
    Couldn’t drive away, and was using a cane, due to back problems.
    The second thing I learned from that incident was don’t hang around after someone has been aggressive. It didn’t occur to me that they would return to the scene. (research on self-defense issues shows this is common)

    I was overdue to eat, so I got my food and parked across the lot. Summer, windows now open, so I heard him, and then see him standing outside the truck at the pickup window, pointing at me. I ate while driving away. Turns out that was the only fast food open that late in that neighborhood.

  18. JTC Says:

    Glad your story turned out OK Will…BTW don’t know where you are but in FL and quite a few other states SYG and castle doctrine apply to your vehicle; if someone attempts to violently trespass you are fully within your rights to use the deadly force that you should always have in the vehicle with you even if you don’t CC.

    And in that case you would have a true parallel WITH the guys whose 36% stats in that piece are for ACTUALLY DRAWING (PULL AND POINT) THEIR WEAPON AND 10% PERCENT DRAWING AND FIRING.

    Those percentages are so far out of whack with real world carriers (I’d wager .10 % for the draw and .01 % for the firing) as to call into question either the methodology of the survey itself, the truthfulness of the respondents, or a very non-representative sampling of carriers particularly prone to bad SA and prematurely resorting to last-resort deadly defense.


  19. Will Says:

    ISTR the figure of one out of twenty guns pointed in self-defense are fired, but don’t recall any of the details of that data. Not recent, and may pre-date most of the CCW state changes, so most encounters would have tended toward home and business locations, I think.

    The fast food incident was one of the few that I saw a real possibility of going to guns. I’ve been punched, bounced off a wall, etc, and in those cases, it didn’t even occur to me to resort to the gun, as the situation didn’t seem to be serious enough. I was in good condition for those, and not feeling trapped. Makes all the difference in the world. (Unfortunately, my small size encourages some idiots to be stupid. That’s reality.)
    I follow Ayoob’s dictum of being armed requires a greater level of responsibility, including avoiding using lessor levels of force as an excuse to resort to deadly force.

  20. JTC Says:

    “I follow Ayoob’s dictum of being armed requires a greater level of responsibility, including avoiding using lessor levels of force as an excuse to resort to deadly force.”

    Ayoob or any good trainer preaches as I said upthread; among good people deadly defense is your last-resort.

    Which was the whole point of my incredulity at the stats in this survey…out of 100 good people is it possible that 36 of them reached that point? And that 10 of them -TEN PERCENT!- were forced to make the final decision to shoot?

    Anything is possible but I’m betting Mas would say no way, and so do I.