Monday, June 15, 2009

Five for sure

Some years ago I was working a client and we were jogging down South Beach in Miami one fine morning and we were chatting back and forth about my line of work when he stopped and said "why aren't you carrying a gun?" I replied that I was in fact carrying a snub nose .38 (see above), a full set up reloads and a Benchmade folding knife. Given the fact that all I had on was tennis shoes and black swimming trunks with my t-shirt tied around my waist I could see he had doubts. So we trotted around the back of a store and I showed him that I was wearing thunder wear ala a crotch holster. He laughed and appreciated my thoroughness as well as my preparedness.

When I was at the ripe old age of 22 I attended a three day shooting seminar with one day being covered by Bert Duvernay who was then director Smith & Wesson shooting Academy. As we all gathered on the range and belted on guns and magazine pouches I noticed the instructor had something different than the rest of us. A very small gun, precisely a snub nose Smith in a kydex belt holster. As embarrassed as I am to say this I snickered because after all I was belting on my Colt Combat Elite 1911 (I'm still shaking my head as I write this embarrassed at my ignorance) and lets be honest I "knew" a thing or two about guns. After all I had been shooting pistols since I was 12, a member of the NRA for the same amount of time and had an annual subscription to Guns and Ammo. And someone actually had certified me as a PPS (Personal Protection Specialist), so that meant I knew everything. Right?

But this Bert guy was a crafty fellow. After we ran some holster and el presidente drills (three targets two shots each) and were filling pretty good about ourselves (a whole seven yards). Burt said to the effect "Big guns are great. We all have 'em and they work great when we are wearing a jacket but what do we do if a client is at the beach or its t-shirt weather in general. Your 1911s, SiG 228s and H&K USPs are gonna get left somewhere else. Or you can carry a smaller gun, more concealed.

Then as if on cue someone said "yeah but they aren't as accurate." (this was not me). Bert with out skipping a beat turned, drew and quickly and I mean q-u-i-c-k-l-y fired a Smith 442 from ranges of seven to fifteen yards five shots on three targets.


He snapped in a quick reload and went in reverse order of One-Two-Two from fifteen to seven yards.

Re-holstered his Snub Nose and said "They aren't as accurate...or (graciously) we aren't as accurate. Because by "we" Bert didn't mean himself. He had in every case made double taps on each target that easily went into an index card, or even a poker card.

Now granted I'm sure Bert has worn out some guns in his life from all that drilling, but that was the proof in the pudding of how and why he could do that.

But there was another instance in my life where a snubnose left a lasting impression. I was all of about 19 and was attending a June wedding reception in St. Louis' trendy Central West End with a former girl friend. Sparing you the boring details there was also at the reception an Army Special Forces Sergeant in attendance and he and I were chatting it up when we decided to catch a smoke outside. It was around sundown and we began walking down the street talking. When we were approached by an individual asking for a light. He then produced a small Beretta Jetfire in .25acp and asked for our wallets. Now why he thought it was a good idea to do this I don't know because the good Sergeant was built like a brick shit house to start with (I was built like a skinny 19 year old). But attempt to mug us he did.

Now the Sarge was talking slow and easy to this miscreant and opened up his sport coat to reach for his wallet and instead quicker than I have seen since drew a snubnose .38 (bodyguard model to be exact) and slammed the barrel against this guy's forehead. Asking for the gun which he handed over....and then he asked for the man's wallet. Mugging the mugger. He then pushed the man backwards with the gun leaving...I kid you not....a circular indentation on the man's head.

To my own credit I stood there like a slack jawed fool.

The Sergeant then uttered some words of wisdom I have never forgotten. Shoving the small Smith back into his waistband he said "Some people think the snubnose .38 is too small, but I completely disagree."


James R. Rummel said...

Good post.


Kyle The Opinionated said...

I have found myself carrying a little Model 60 Smith and Wesson quite a bit these days, especially as things have begun to heat up for the summer.

I don't feel like I'm terribly outgunned.

Excellent post. I'll look forward to reading more on your blog.

Bradley said...

its hard to miss when the barrel makes contact with the head. :D good story, and one of the reason why when i did carry daily, I now live/work in Germany so thats not an option, i brought along an old Ruger Police Service-Six. Its a great gun, and with 357mags its a man stopper as long as i do my part.

Anonymous said...

I pack a old model 38 Bodyguard, and have for the last 20 years, and it has served me well. Great Post!

Anonymous said...

Revolvers are certainly too-often overlooked. Some more great "pocket carry" options, including the Ruger LCR:

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