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Monday Morning Gomez: Weapon Retention & “Shooting the Bad Guy off the Gun”

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Today's Monday Morning Gomez features Paul addressing the myth that you might somehow be able to “shoot the bad guy off your gun” in a weapon retention situation.

Shooting the Bad Guy Off Your Gun

Paul Gomez

Today we’re going to talk about some issues relating to weapon retention, particularly the idea that you would be able to ‘shoot the bad guy off your gun' and the value of the “flagged thumb” when shooting from a retention position. Again and again you'll hear it said that, ‘If a bad guy has gotten a hold of your pistol and you pull the trigger, the violence of the gun fire and the slide moving is somehow going to tear the bad guy's hand off of the gun.'

That’s complete nonsense. The slide has no momentum until it’s unlocked. The idea that pulling the trigger while someone is holding on to the slide is somehow going to do anything other than cause your gun to fire a single time and fail to cycle is complete nonsense. I’m going to demonstrate how useless such an attempt is. Then we’re going to fire from retention position. We’ll talk about some of the details of firing from a retention position, what it gives us, and how it's accomplished.

In the picture above you can see me firing the gun while holding on to the slide. Pay attention to the slide's movement to see exactly how “powerful” it is; the result is a failure to extract. That's it. I'm not holding the slide with a death grip, in fact I'm holding it with less pressure than a handshake.

Gomez - Shooting the Gun off the Bad Guy 1

There’s just nothing going on there until the action unlocks. That's when the slide begins to gain momentum.  Unless the person holding the gun is hit by the projectile, he’s not going to let go of it. I've talked before about the importance of maintaining the “flag thumb” and what that gives us. This is what it will look like from a retention position where I'm literally tied up with an opponent. If we're rolling around, tied up and I'm bringing the gun into play, it's going to get jammed if I extend the gun. I'm just going to get choked and we're going to fight over the gun. I want to keep the gun in contact with my body as far from him as possible so as to utilize it while not pointing it at myself.

Gomez - Shooting the Gun off the Bad Guy 4What this is going to look like guys, from here retention position- where I’m literally tied up with this guy. We’re literally rolling around, we’re tied up and I’m bringing the gun into play. If I extend the gun its going to get jammed, I’m just going to get choked, we’re going to fight over the gun. If I keep the gun in contact with my body as far from him as possible, and be able to utilize the gun while not pointing it at myself. If I’m in some sort of retention position, my flagged thumb (you can see it over the top of the slide) both provides offset to allow to gun to function and a tactile index for where the muzzle is located. From this position I can fire all day long and have no issues.

If, however, I drop the thumb and curl it down (as many people do when gripping the pistol) the tendency will be to roll the pistol into the body. This effectively makes it less likely to function because the slide is more likely to impact your body. That makes the gun less likely to function and risks creating a single shot pistol.

Gomez - Shooting the Gun off the Bad Guy 5Note: the target Paul is using can be found here.


Photo credits unknown – used here with respect.

Any inaccuracies in translating the raw video to “article-like” format are mine alone. DR

The late Paul Gomez 2Though the GTI YouTube channel has not been updated in years it is well worth reviewing (there's a reason it's called Gun Training for Thinkers). You can do that here. To continue in the tradition of thinking and learning the late Paul Gomez espoused (and to help support his children) you should consider checking out Paul-E-Palooza. 2015's event will the 3rd iteration of the memorial training benefit; it will be held near Garrettsville, OH August 15th and 16th. You can rest assured any money spent to get there and participate will be well worth the expense – instructors and attendees alike will be a wish list of industry professionals. You can read an AAR of last year's Paul-E-Palooza right here. You can keep any on this year's Paul-e-Palooze here:

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