Editor’s Note: This is the fifth entry in our 12-part Armed & Ready series from Richard Nance and Handguns magazine. The series covers a range of personal defense and CCW topics. See links below for the other entries:
- CCW Mistake That’ll Get You Killed
- Do You Carry Enough Gun?
- Carry Guns in Gun-Free Zones
- Bad Breath-Distance Gunfighting
- Don’t Aim in a Gunfight
- Why Does the 2nd Amendment Matter?
- Don’t Make a Cop Shoot You
- Hammer vs. Striker: Which Do You Need?
- Don’t Fight Blind
- Family Held Hostage: Do You Shoot?
- Why You Need an AR for Home Defense
You might think that all you need to defend yourself is your handgun, and then you are done. Right? Wrong. You need to know how to use it, and also how to retain it during a possible physical altercation.
“But if someone grabs it, I can just pull the trigger, right?” you might say. It’s not always that simple. What if the gun is pointed away from them, and in an unsafe direction due to them grabbing it? What if their grasp of it can cause it to not fire by having the slide slightly out of battery? Assuming you can just press the trigger is a mistake. But what can you do about it?
Weapon retention is critically important. Retaining control of your firearm is mission number one. So, to show you how you can achieve this during a physical altercation, we are going to use an airsoft version of the Springfield Armory XD-M pistol. These airsoft guns give you a safe means to not only practice shooting and gun handling in the comfort of your home, but also a great means to train on gun retention.
We’re going to look at what we need to do when facing off against an assailant who has grabbed our defensive handgun. We are going to consider rock-solid weapon retention techniques that can work against a threat grabbing our handgun with their right, left, or even both hands.
Steps to Survive
When you are faced with someone with their right hand on your firearm, you will want to distract them away from their grip on the firearm. My first step would be to strike their face with my free support hand. I would then strike the junction of their arm where their hand is on the gun, then turning my body away quickly to wrench the pistol from their hand.
As you turn away, you are now susceptible to them striking you. To address this, strike again with your support and step back and away from them. When you have this distance, you should tap your mag and rack the slide to ensure that the pistol is live and ready to go in case you need to fire to stop the threat. The procedures for a left-hand grab and a two-hand grab are variations on this process, and we cover all of them in the video at the top of the article.
Having a good quality gun is a key part of your self-defense regimen, but knowing how to employ it and retain it during an unexpected physical struggle is paramount. It’s not always as simple as just pulling the trigger. Be prepared and be ready for any circumstance. You won’t regret it.