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You Can’t Be Completely Safe: Check 360 vs Inbred Range Theater

Inbred Range Theatrics and Range Artificialities

Dave Spaulding of Handgun Combatives recently took a few minutes to talk about scanning — really scanning, like you should do in a fight, vs. doing one of those moves Pat McNamara refers to as “range theatrics.” He also addresses one of the greatest problems presented by shooting on the range: range artificialities. Range safety does run the risk of setting you up for failure in a gunfight.

Spaulding says, “…the scan is to look for additional threats.” He is absolutely correct. We would expand up on that by saying you're breaking out of the physiological responses resulting from a fight, reestablishing situational awareness and looking for anything that might require a response. That response, of course, will vary depending upon what you see — responding LEOs, your bad guy's pissed off identical twin brother, some dude in a man-dress with a wire-up chest rig or whatever the case might be.

You Can't Be Completely Safe

Says Spaulding,

“You know what, I have never found a safe way to gunfight. There's gonna always be some degree of risk to do this realistically. It would be like a boxing match. If you had a boxing match that was totally safe, no one would would ever get hit. What you try to do is enhance the safety by putting on gloves and restricting strike zones and things like that, but you know what? Somebody's prob'ly gonna get a bloody nose, which is an acceptable risk in the boxing match.

Well, the same thing in gunfighting. If we're teaching you to gunfight, and the only way we teach you to look is here [demonstrates a limited look at previously controlled battlespace], we're setting you up for failure, because you don't have eyes in the back of your head.”

He suggests an option to this he refers to as “Check 360,” not as a general term but using that phrase as a specific TTP. He begins explaining this tactic at 4:58, and posits that “Check 360” is a technique someone in a defensive shooting situation should use immediately upon receiving surety that the immediate and initial gunfight is over. He suggests bring the weapon in tight to the body, immediately above the holster, with a flagged thumb and the elbow tucked back behind and the support hand up in a defensive position, followed by a movement into a fighting position that provides a muscle-memory link to the drawstroke — you'll need to watch the video to understand completely.

Fortuitously, we have it right here. You'll find that PatMac video in its entirety below that.


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Check 360 vs Inbred Range Theater

 


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