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AAR: Secrets of the Concealed Carry Snub

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  • AAR: Secrets of the Concealed Carry Snub

    Secrets of the Concealed Carry Snub
    Instructor: Michael de Bethencourt http://snubtraining.com/
    Sun, Mar 27, 2011
    Bridgeport Shooting Range

    The class was a small one. Apparently, several people registered, but only myself and one other showed up. I paid for a group class, I got a semi-private for 8 hours.

    Yeah. Terrible. I know…somehow, I endured.

    I signed up for this class for several reasons. First, I had decided to put my dollars into training with every fighting weapon I have before buying any new guns (on the advice of a Jewish mother who said “What are you buying more stuff for when you don’t use the stuff you already have?”).

    Second, because while I have a J-frame, I really don’t like it all that much compared to a pistol. It’s heavy for it’s size, doesn’t hold enough ammo (I’m a capacity whore) and aside for the fact I got it cheap, and it’s a great club that happens to shoot bullets, I’m not enthralled with the little bugger – but other people are, and I needed to see what I was missing. They are one of the most popular self defense handguns around, and granted that doesn’t mean everyone is right…just that I should take my head out of my *** and look at things from another point of view. I may learn something.

    Third, the class was 5 minutes from my house.

    OK, the class…

    It was good. We worked in the classroom first with dry drills using snap caps, grip, manual of arms, reloading loose ammo under time pressure, speed strips and speed loaders. We also went over what gun-smithing was recommended for a self defense revolver.

    DOA was recommended over retaining Single Action capability. As statistics indicate the weapon is going to be used in a very close in fight, de Bethencourt feels you give up almost nothing with loosing the SA capability compared with the danger of having a single action capability then being accused of cocking the gun under a negligent discharge theory.

    I’m not sure how I feel about that…but I’m chewing on it.

    Eagle and Spegel stocks were shown and dam, that’s some nice woodwork. How to modify rubber grips was discussed to.

    Speedloaders were learned, HKS, Safariland and SL Variant were shown.
    SL Variant loaders are top of the line…but you will pay for them. However, its only your life, so you decide if it’s worth it.

    Various sighting methods were gone over, stressing how you don’t need perfection to be effective with a snub. You need to be on target, but if you are looking for that perfect sight picture, you may be too late.

    Then, range time.

    Drills were conducted at approximately 9 feet given that statistics indicated 50% of fights will be at 5’ or in, and of the remaining fights, 30% will be at 8’ or closer, with the remaining 20% under 20’.

    This is in marked contrast to my usual shooting practice, which is 3x5 or 4x6 index cards at 21’ or further, with any hit/nick on the card being a successful hit.

    Again, chewing on that...Practice for what happens most, and you will be prepared for most of what happens.

    Drawstroke and reloading were covered, both with loose ammo, speed strips & speed loaders – always under a time pressure. It was stressed to get back into the fight with 1 or 2 rounds in the gun and then reload again over dying with a full gun in your hand because you took too long to play with getting it loaded before you got back into the fight.

    A Snub revolver is a compromise weapon compared to a pistol. Accept it. Learn the limitations and how to make it shine…or get something else. Trying to make it something it isn’t will get you killed.

    Gear Used:
    S&W M-49 with white-out on the front sight (It’s not Redneck-Tech, it’s stolen office supplies used for training). Revolver performed without a hitch. It was more accurate than I believed it would be.

    Holster was a Comp-Tac Pro-Under-Cover. The kydex clip kept allowing the holster to come off my belt at annoying times. It was not secure enough. I would rather have belt loops. If it is easy to put on, it will be easy to take off…or fall off…or come out with the gun…

    Ammo was Remington UMC. It went bang when asked to and made holes as requested.

    Further observations:

    HeadHunter’s (Claude Werner/Director at Firearms Safety Training LLC) 1,000 days of dryfire challenge produces results. A little each day is a lot. It also has the effect of polishing the trigger of my S&W M49.

    Skill is what matters. Gear…that’s nice, but it’s all high priced, useless crap if you don’t make it work. And you can’t make it work unless you are willing to take a few minutes every day and practice.

    Pure shooting skill, as in marksmanship & 1 hole groups, is less important than being able to run the gun in terms of drawstroke, reloads under time stress, and fast shooting to get rounds on target where you need to get them in time to effect the incident.

    Yes, accuracy is critically important…but not if you aren’t shooting in time to save your life. Being put under time pressure and told to perform on command cut my time by 2/3 without increasing group size. My next purchase will be a shot timer.

    Dry drills with snap-caps are as important, or more important, than range time if you are serious about using a revolver for self defense.



    Overall – Thumbs Up. I would take the class again…and as Mr. de Bethencourt allows people to retake his classes free of charge, I will be doing so in the future.
    Last edited by Mitchell_in_CT; 03-30-2011, 12:59 PM.

  • #2
    That sounds like a cool class :-). What interests me about snubs is if any longer bbl can be carried without noticing in say a crossbreed supertuck. I read one article that was suggesting a 3" bbl on a J frame. I handled a Ruger LCR last weekend and found it intriguing.

    When I first got my ccw money was TIGHT and rather than get a J frame snub I opted for a Bulgarion Makarov instead. I know the class is oriented to snubs but it would be interesting to compare the two guns with a good instructor training you to do your best with each gun.

    The mak was a "make do until I get more money" but as I worked with it and studied the ballistics it really stands on it's own two feet as a viable alternative. It's bigger an heavier than most 380 pistols of equal capacity...but it gives you things in exchange for that I think. Mine will cut 3" groups at 25 yards with Hornady XTP ammo if I'm having a good day :-).

    There is a guy who has won the pistol nationals at camp Perry more than once "Jim Lenardson" who got rather bored with most target pistols.....shot so much so long that he did not even have to practice anymore basically (he shot a match at least once a week usually anyway) so for our informal "900" pistol matches he would use more and more challenging guns than target pistols....well with a chiefs special with the adj sights and a trigger job he could STILL outshoot most of the less skilled folks on the line.

    Bill
    Last edited by willbird; 04-01-2011, 11:24 AM.
    Just pay your dues, and be quiet :-)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by willbird View Post
      That sounds like a cool class :-). What interests me about snubs is if any longer bbl can be carried without noticing in say a crossbreed supertuck. I read one article that was suggesting a 3" bbl on a J frame. I handled a Ruger LCR last weekend and found it intriguing.

      Yes, they can. a 3 inch SP101 was a carry piece for a while.

      DeBethencourt's carry gun was a 3 inch M-12 DAO with a bobbed hammer and chamfered cylinders. It was liquid smooth and carried well.


      When I first got my ccw money was TIGHT and rather than get a J frame snub I opted for a Bulgarion Makarov instead. I know the class is oriented to snubs but it would be interesting to compare the two guns with a good instructor training you to do your best with each gun.

      Claude Werner is supposed to do a mousegun class for maximizing the potential of sub-service side guns, but I haven't looked into it.

      Comment

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