T Nation

The Tactical Life


Nothing wrong with your group , brother. Good shooting. You mentioned the pelvic area and at one time, we were training to shoot through the hips after the insurgents started wearing body armor. The problem is when you are being shot at, especially close range, the hip area is about the last thing on your mind, since you are just trying to stay alive and you will shoot them anywhere you can.

those carrying suicide vests are another issue, since shooting through the hips will not stop a detonation and with a dead man switch , totally useless, including a brain shot. IMHO long range (25 to 75 yards) pistol shots should be trained, because if you arrive on the scene of an active shooter and he is down the street shooting into a crowded playground, you must fire, just to break his mindset and get him to turn on you , if nothing else.


Motivational Monday:

"If whining and crying were part of the solution, the world would be perfect"



Did a double take on the shadow of your head and the torso shot pattern…:slight_smile:
Nice grouping.


Thanks Brother. Kind of you. I would describe my shooting as “acceptable” overall. Still got a ways to go.

Regarding the trouble with shooting at the pelvic area, I’d considered that after I first came across the concept. It makes sense, on paper, to aim at a larger, less mobile target (hips) than a smaller more mobile one (head). That said, you tend to hit where you’re looking and it’s hard to imagine staring at a guy’s crotch in a gunfight Haha… So I guess it’s time to dial in 25m headshots.

If a suicide vest is in play, well, that’s a whole other issue.


Thanks man. To be fair, it’s s a bit of a trick of the light. My head’s big, but maybe not quite THAT big. You could mostly cover the torso group with your hand. So, as I said to Idaho, acceptable. Cheers.


I’ve bumped back up the thread a ways and can’t seem to find where the conversation was happening about concealed carry pistols with pros and cons.

The wife wants a new hunting rifle and I told her if we’re buying her a new rifle then I get to pick out a pistol…and she was just like, “Ok!” haha

Looking for something that I can afford to put rounds through without breaking the bank, while also being something that if I choose to get a concealed carry permit, would work well there. This seems to be the thread to ask these types of questions on.

Thanks boyos.


Thought for the day: After the Pittsburgh shooting, some thoughts to consider. As PatMac says, “you are the agent in charge of your family’s protection” , then discuss the issue of an active shooter and make a simple plan. Another view:

A framework for a plan

Establish a leader who makes the decisions in an emergency. Everyone knows to follow the leader (Dad, mom, etc.)

Run like hell. It’s extremely hard to hit a moving target, snipers train hours to do this with skill. For someone nervous, or who’s an amateur, it will be very hard to hit a moving target, especially under stressful conditions. You need to create as much distance as possible between you and the shooter. The effective range of most handguns is 25 meters, and an assault style rifle is around 5-600M.

Hide only as a last resort, and with the idea that you will eventually need to move (there’s exceptions of course, this is up to the leader to decide). If it’s a single shooter, listen for lulls in fire, this could indicate a weapon jamming or the shooter is reloading. Either one creates an opportunity to run and distance yourself from the shooter and escape with your life.

There could also be a scenario where you are forced to fight your way out of a situation. If this is the case then use cover if possible. Cover actually stops bullets and is stuff like concrete, large planter beds and brick. I saw many people mistaking concealment (hiding behind tables, glass and curtains) for cover in Paris and they got shot, they died because concealment doesn’t stop a bullet, cover does.

Have a communications plan (who is going to call or contact who. Police officer, a parent, etc.) and a rally point in case people are separated or by themselves. A rally point should be simple, Grand Central Station, Entrance of the Empire State Building, a friends home, etc.


You’re in Florida right? Check out Kel Tec. They get a bad rap from some guys, but they’re very reliable in my experience. Plus they’re made in your home state. Kel Tec makes a single stack compact 9 if you care about shooting costs. 380s are weaker and way more expensive than 9 if you don’t hand load.

The ruger single stack plastic pistols are really easy to conceal and carry as well. But watch out for recalls.


Get to a range that rents a variety of pistols and try as many as you can. At the very least test fit/handle as many as you can. This way you can determine which feels best to you.

As for a caliber(s), for self-defense 9mm/.38spl is a reasonable floor. 9mm is very affordable and available for practice ammo (<$.20/round for Blazer Brass) and has an excellent selection of defense ammo.

Stick with major brand names (Glock, Sig, S&W, etc…) and you won’t need to worry about quality. Buy new to avoid any home-grown gun plumber modifications.

If you’re not concerned about really concealable, look at ‘compact’ sizes (i.e. Glock 19). They are more comfortable to shoot. I can carry full sized pistols in a IWB holster without worrying too much about my shirt and I am not a sumo wrestler.


2nd the 9mm. Among defensive calibers, it is the most common and least expensive to practice with. If you’re not a great shooter (which I’m not) it has significantly less recoil than other calibers, assuming you’re firing out of guns with similar weight and form factor.

If you use modern defensive hollow-point ammo to carry, which you should, the round is perfectly effective as well. You won’t be under-powered at all in most situations and you’ll probably have a few extra rounds over a similar gun in .40 or .45 or .357 sig. I use Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P. If you buy in bulk you can find it close to $0.50 per round, or at least you could the last time I bought 500 rounds.

.380 is better than nothing, but it is worth noting that it doesn’t meet the FBI performance tests whereas 9mm and up does. Where I live even 9mm might be a bit under-powered if someone’s wearing very heavy winter clothes. .380 range ammo is usually pricier than 9mm as well.


Wyoming…close haha I’ll check out Kel Tec though.

Unfortunately I don’t have this opportunity as I’m in the middle of nowhere WY, ha. But 9mm was my gut instinct from my moderate amount of research and then S & W or Glock have always been my “If I get one…” brands.

I’m an effective shooter in static situations, I like the cost effectiveness of a 9mm because I want to be able to really put a lot of rounds down range and get to be truly proficient at handling and firing a smaller pistol (at the moment I own a.357 w/ a 6" barrel and a Desert Eagle .50, ha)

Appreciate the responses! 9mm was what my gut has been telling me for cost effectiveness and training purposes. Will probably be looking at one of those in the near future, whether it is Glock, Sig, or Smith and Wesson is yet to be determined.


This idea of getting and all-arounder and my ability to shoot decent with it led me to the Glock 19. It is carryable in theory and plenty of people do. I wasn’t one of them. It was like lugging a brick around inside my pants. I still have it, will never sell it but I went with a SW Shield in 9mm for my carry gun. I actually carry that gun, so it was a good buy.


Second the S&W Shield. I actually carry it, opposed to my much bigger Beretta. I love the Beretta, but would often not carry because of the size and weight.


I hate compacts. As I’m Canadian, it’s a non-issue, but I’ve got big mitts and I’ve never enjoyed shooting one. So I have no opinion on ‘which compact’.

Caliber wise, I’d say you’re better armed with a 9mm you can afford to shoot on the regular than you are with a .45 acp or .357 you shoot less. IMO the practical difference between 9mm and .40 has been blown out of proportion.

If you put rounds where they need to go 9mm is an effective pistol caliber (as pistol calibers go). If you can afford to shoot more, you are more likely to put them where they need to go. Ergo, 9mm makes sense to me.


I would add HK to your list of pistols to try. After shooting many and buying and later selling a few I settled on the HK P2000. I much prefer a hammer fired gun to striker fired for the comfort factor of being able to keep my thumb on the hammer while holstering. This is a personal thing, all of the mechanical safeties in the world won’t save you form a negligent discharge.

Like Batman, I have large hands and can’t shoot the any of the tiny sub compact pistols very well. Shooting is more important than just fondling in the gunstore because what feels good in the hand may not be what you shoot well. My P2000 came with S, M, L, and XL backstraps, and though the L felt perfect, I actually shoot better with the XL backstrap.

9mm and .38 special +p are the smallest calibers I would consider. I also don’t think I would go much larger, as more powerful rounds become very unpleasant when fired out of smaller, lighter pistols.


Are compact pistols regulated separately from full-size in Canada?


Some pros and cons for review, dealing with a broad scope instead of specific training:


Carrying a concealed firearm is a great way to feel safe; however, if you are a person who does not have good judgement or restraint, then concealed carry may not be for you. Although this is a right granted to us, we still must exercise this right responsibly. There are things that you should always do with concealed carry, and on the other hand, there are things that you should always avoid. By doing both, you will be a responsible citizen when it comes to concealed carry.

Be aware

You should always be aware when you have a concealed firearm. With being aware, you are ensuring that you are alert, willing, and have a good attitude. When you are alert, you are ready for any trouble that may come. It also means that you are willing to survive, and you are ready to protect the lives of those around you. If you are alert and ready, then carrying a concealed firearm is for you.

Be Invisible

Although you cannot literally be invisible, you can keep from drawing attention to yourself. You should not broadcast that you have a concealed firearm, and you should dress in normal clothing. Being invisible also means that you stay away from places that are known for trouble. Don’t go anywhere with your firearm that you wouldn’t go without it. Drawing your weapon should be a last resort.

Understand Your Firearm

Knowing your firearm is of the utmost importance. You should make sure that you understand your firearm, your holster, and all other equipment that comes with your gun. By knowing your firearm, you will be able to operate safely if you have to engage the gun. It is important to practice all possible scenarios before you begin carrying your firearm with you.

Know the Laws, Know the laws, KNOW THE LAWS!

Ignorance of the law is no excuse when it comes to concealed carry. You should understand the gun laws wherever you go. Gun laws in one state may be drastically different from another state, and it is your responsibility to know these laws. Failure to know these laws can land you in jail and cause you to lose your gun rights.

Things You Should Not Do

Be Impulsive

Once you pull the trigger, you cannot call the bullet back; therefore, it is important to not act on impulsive. You must be able to control your aggression before carrying a concealed firearm. If you cannot control your temper, then carrying a concealed firearm is not for you.


No one needs to know that you are carrying a concealed firearm but you, so it is important that you do not let people know that you are carrying a gun. When people are unaware, then they cannot get the upper hand on you. It helps you maintain the element of surprise on potential attackers.

Be Complacent

You should never become complacent if you carry a concealed firearm. Complacency is the silent killer and can lead to lots of problems in a dangerous situation. You should always practice safety, and you should always ensure that your firearm is ready to be used if you need it. Keeping your firearm are ready means that it is cleaned, oiled and you’re trained to use it.

Carrying a firearm is a right that everyone should practice; however, if you are not willing to practice this right safely, then it may not be for you. There are things that you should do and things that you should not when it comes to concealed carry. Knowing all of these will keep you and those around you safe.


Thought for the day:

In the end, it’s not about how tight a group you can shoot on the range or if you can win the local shooting competition, it’s about whether or not you can hold yourself together during the most stressful event you’ll ever experience and take the actions needed to prevail—not just survive. A quote I’ve used many times sums it up: “Right now someone is training so that when they meet you, they beat you. Train hard and stay on guard.” Amen…


All extremely valid points, and ones that I’m still wrestling with, I have a fairly realistic view of myself (from a background in psychology) but understand there is a ‘real self’ and an ‘ideal self’ with the ideal self being ‘this is how I’d react in this situation, I’d be a hero, blah blah blah’ (arm chair quarterback) and the real self being how everything actually turns out. I haven’t pulled the trigger on a CC permit for this reason…I’m a realist, I’m not ex- armed forces, I’m not ex- LEO, I’m simply a guy that was raised around weapons, understands their uses (and hopefully their limitations), and feels that at the very least being proficient with them is a positive in the long run.


There’s a minimum allowable barrel length (just shy of 4.25"). More to the point though, there’s really no legal concealed carry, which is the only reason I can see for wanting a compact in the first place.