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Lessons Learned from a Local Shooting

I received an email today from Rangemaster telling the story of a recent shooting involving one of their students:

After Action Report, Student Incident #48 Lilburn, GA, suburb of
Friday, 27 Feb 2009
B—– was at home, working, shortly after 5:00pm. Heard his doorbell
ring,ignored it. Heard someone knock on front door, ignored it and
continued working. Heard pounding on front door, armed himself and
went to investigate.
As he approached foyer, front door was kicked in and two adult male
subjects entered the home. B—– fired 7 rds from a Glock 38 at
BG#1, all 7 rds hit, subject down and DRT. As this was happening,
BG#2 turned and fled.
Police were called, they and DA office responded. B—– found to be
justified, no action taken. Police unable to find BG#2, however, BG’s
left a car on the scene. Police believe this was 5th-6th burglary of
the day for these two. Guns, TV’s, etc from several burglaries were
found in the BG’s car.
B—- checked in 3 days later. He is fine. Credits training with
getting him through this unhurt, successful in stopping the BG’s, and
mentally OK afterward.
Saturday, February 28, 2009

First off, great job by the homeowner. Scoring 7/7 hits under stress is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

Two things I’d like to point out.

The world is not revolver-friendly.

(Credit to Unix-Jedi for the pithy motto.)

Seven shots fired with seven hits. It is reasonable to assume that, since the homeowner has been cleared of any wrongdoing, he did not shoot the bad guy once, then fire six rounds into his crumpled body. If the homeowner had been armed with a five or six-shot revolver, he presumably would have gone “click, click” for the last two shots which may or may not have been needed to stop the first guy. Assuming the first guy stopped afer five or six rounds, the homeowner would still be out of shooty goodness to bestow on the second bad guy. As it was, the Glock 38′s capacity of 8 + 1 left the homeowner with all of two rounds after part one of the fight. I’m not going to say that you’re unarmed if you carry a revolver or a single-stack pistol, but you need to be acutely aware of your limited ammunition. The email says the homeowner armed himself… I wonder if he thought to stick a magazine in his pocket?

Handguns Suck for Self-Defense.

The only reason we keep handguns around is because they are portable and concealable. Note that the Glock 38 is a .45 GAP handgun, and yet it took seven rounds to stop the bad guy. I’ve been subjected to rants from Rangemaster instructors at classes that the 9mm cartrige is the bare minimum adequate handgun round for self defense. What they should have been saying is that handguns in general are barely adequate for self-defense compared to, say, a shotgun or rifle. I have no problem with the homeowner in this case, but I’d like to call Rangemaster out on their silly distaste for any caliber not begining with 4. Had this shooting taken place with seven rounds of 9mm or even, gasp, .380, we undoubtedly would have heard a sermon about the puny Europellet. The lack of commentary about the number of rounds from a mighty .45 should give you pause when listening to caliber preaching.

9 Responses to “Lessons Learned from a Local Shooting”

  1. [...] The world is not revolver friendly Posted on March 3, 2009 by Caleb Seven rounds, seven hits on a badguy. [...]

  2. Roadkill says:

    I personally like my revolvers as house guns. Especially when answering the door. If I get rushed, a revolver will not go out of battery while jammed into a bad guy’s gut. Also, I’m going to be doing my damnedest to fall back and get to something in the evil and black and rifle category.

  3. N.U.G.U.N. says:

    Might I just add for considering, had the user been using .357 Magnum loads, it might not have needed 7. The six rounds or less might have been sufficient. That said, .38 SPL probably would of needed an 8th round.


  4. Mikee says:

    I am impressed that the defender in this instance was able to stop himself from emptying the magazine. This detail might have been in his favor, if the prosecutor was feeling malicious. The defense could say, “He stopped shooting as soon as the threat was stopped – he even had 2 shots left in his gun, and let the second guy run away!”

    I hope this never happens to me.

  5. pdb says:

    Might I just add for considering, had the user been using .357 Magnum loads, it might not have needed 7. The six rounds or less might have been sufficient. That said, .38 SPL probably would of needed an 8th round.

    So… a 125gr bullet at 1400fps is significantly more effective than a 125gr bullet at 1200fps? Seriously?

    Please think about what you’re saying before you comment, thanks.

  6. We have long guns ready bedside, but in the living room, the GP100 is all that’s easily available. It was really meant to be something to scare someone who climbs up the balcony and goes through the sliding door while we’re home, but you can’t scare people through the front door. Maybe it’s time the backup 12ga moved to a spot more accessible in the main living area. The idea of the GP100 clicking empty while the second guy tries to decide if he’s going to fight or flee is sickening.

    Nastiness like this makes me want to keep my WASR (prosecutorial wet dream) ready with 30 rounds in the mag.

    Nastiness like this seems to be on the rise…

  7. pdb says:

    The lack of commentary about the number of rounds from a mighty .45 should give you pause when listening to caliber preaching.

    Well, Obviously this is because the guy used a .45 GAP. If he had been throwing a 230gr slug at 850fps like God intended, the bad guy would have disappeared in a shower of sparks with one hit!

  8. BBB says:

    another argument for [minimum] dual high-quality deadbolts in all doors, paired with solid core wood or steel frames. Even if upgraded hardware doesn’t keep the bg’s out, anything the slows them down, gives you a larger response time. Perhaps enough response time to get a proper long gun that will outgun all the handgun calibers aforementioned.

    Talking about the guns side of things is fun, but don’t forget that your castle should be a castle. Don’t spend all the kings gold on swords when the walls are made of straw.

  9. “125gr bullet at 1200fps? Seriously?”

    wat? I want to know where I can get .38 Special factory ammo loaded that hot.

    .38 +P with the 125-grain jacketed bullets is typically loaded to do around 950 out of a 4″ revolver, if you believe the (often rather optimistic) specs stated by the manufacturers. I don’t know whether they’d move out of a lever-action rifle’s 20″ barrel at 1200. I rather doubt it. Factory .38 ammo tends to be loaded with small charges of fast-burning powder. I know 9mm subsonic ammo with 147-grain bullets usually loses around 50 f.p.s. going from a pistol to a 16″ carbine due to bore friction after the fast-burning powder charge finishes combustion.

    The .357 with fullpower ammo and expanding bullets has always had a reputation for destroying a lot of tissue and for “turning off the switch.” 125 grain JHPs at 1400-1450 are highly destructive, though the muzzle flash and blast are also normally pretty memorable, and some ammo is hotter than that. Some production lots of the old Remington UMC yellow-box L357M1B 125gr JHP would do 1600+ out of a 4″ barrel. The primers would be pretty flat-looking but I never heard of it damaging a steel-framed revolver. It’s not going to “remove meat and bone” like a 12 gauge with buckshot will, but it’s got some snap to it and I bet it’ll leave a mark that won’t buff out.

    Also, if I may remove my tongue from my cheek for a moment, the Georgia homeowner did all the right things once the fight was on. It’s a clear case of self-defense, he’s not being charged. He watched his front sight, he got the hits, he stopped the bad guys, no one got hurt who didn’t deserve to.

    But if I hear glass breaking at two in the morning, I’m not going to reach for a handgun of any kind. The Remington 870 is coming out from under the bed, where it resides with the mag tube full of Estate Cartridge #4 buck and a cheap nylon bandoleer just in case what’s in the mag isn’t enough. I’m glad the homeowner survived but I wonder why he didn’t grab a long gun instead.

    “The world is not revolver-friendly.” Indeed. The world isn’t handgun-friendly. I enjoy shooting handguns, I love my CZ75, I love wheel guns, but a handgun is a last-ditch emergency weapon for fighting your way to a long gun.