“Big Boy Rules” Bullshit

You hear about this shit from time-to-time. “Big Boy Rules”, where the four rules of gun safety are disregarded for the sake of making training more realistic.

Here’s the latest example:

Now I get the core concept of it, and I even understand some of it. I remember when I was commuting on the Boston Subway every day. I had a 1911 in a horizontal shoulder holster, and I was surrounded by people at all times, and I was traveling through shitty parts of Boston. Once the station I was at got shut down because somebody had been murdered on Boston Common in a gang-shooting, and the suspect may have fled into the station I was at.

The idea that I may have to shoot somebody while on a subway platform, or in a subway car was very much non-zero. Carrying in a shoulder-holster or any cross-draw position means you may cover somebody behind you or around you with the muzzle before your sights are on target. Carrying in a strong-side holster, in the crowded conditions you still may sweep somebody before your sights are on target. Even worse, there may be somebody behind your attacker.

One must mitigate risk as best as possible, but an attack will not happen in ideal circumstances. I won’t get into all the other what-ifs but I will say that training to avoid as many 4-rules infractions, and standing strong on “Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target” is the one factor you can control damn near 100% will all help make things come out as best as possible.

So back to the “Big Boys”, they take the above notation that square-range rules won’t exist when you need to defend your life, so they have you train where those rules are openly flaunted.

At a glance it makes some sense. But what if you think about it more. Yeah, there might be friendlies down-range, so putting a live person there adds the gravity of that. Yeah you might need to engage targets behind and beside you in an attack, so the standard firing line and single safe-direction rules on most ranges won’t apply. The list goes on.

But still how realistic is this “Big Boy” range. In the above video you’re still shooting stationary cardboard targets. You won’t be engaging cardboard, and you won’t be engaging stationary targets.

You’re still at a range where you KNOW you will be shooting, that won’t happen either. I carry damn near every day, and I’ve only shot at safe ranges. In the first drill above you’re getting shot buy some guy…and then you’re shooting the cardboard BEHIND him. Sorry, somebody puts a pill in me and THEY are getting shot, not any other target.

The list goes on as you drop bigger trump cards on their trump cards. In the end it seems like tacti-cool masturbation.

I am NOT a cool operator. I’m comfortable and confident with my guns, and I’m reasonably skilled, but compared to my friends who take lots of shooting classes and compete, I’m that dipshit on the range with the Sigma or Hi-Point who can’t mark paper, and holds his gun like a British actor in a crappy action movie.

Still no matter how deep down this “more realistic” rabbit hole, you don’t ever seem to get to anything really resembling a REAL gunfight unless you go to some elite school where you get to play Thunderdome where two men enter an arena and only one leaves.

It just doesn’t add up. You don’t actually get THAT much more realistic, but you run the risk of giving your shooting partner a third nostril.

I say stick to what everybody else is doing. Listen to stories told by people who have survived REAL gun fights. Most of them have never shot but in a standard square-range until they needed to kill another person in self-defense.

I’ll take that risk over the much bigger risk of killing a friendly during a scheduled training exercise.

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9 Responses to “Big Boy Rules” Bullshit

  1. bluesun says:

    If you want to be real, why are you wearing hearing protection?

  2. Echo Victor 76 says:

    you should hear what they were yelling at the guy. Here’s a translation.
    shoot the 2!
    shoot, you dummy!
    you missed!
    shoot the 3!
    shoot the 3, you dummy!
    you missed!
    42! shoot, shoot the 2!
    shoot you dummy!
    you missed!
    you killed the dog!

  3. Archer says:

    I’ll make it simple: If I’m at a class where having a REAL gun (i.e. one not CLEARLY marked as a “dummy”) shoved in my face is part of the curriculum – in the name of “realism” – the instructor had better accept that the right-and-proper response is to get his ass knocked unconscious and laid out on the floor.

    “Realistic” situation, realistic response.

    If you’re “training,” you use training weapons. The second you bring out a real weapon, it’s not “training” anymore.

    • Archer says:

      Addendum: If I knew ahead of time that such a “realistic” scenario was part of the expected curriculum, I would take training elsewhere. Consider the above the response to an idiot instructor who doesn’t follow his own rules, makes up the class as he goes, or goes off on “tacticool” tangents unrelated to the purpose of the class.

  4. Larry says:

    Yes, but that is Russia and Russian special forces (and military in general) have very different ideas about what acceptable risks are. Not just training casualties, but collateral damage in general. A Russian “hostage rescue” is more of a “kill the terrorists” exercise first and foremost, and “if any of the hostages happen to survive both the terrorists and our own friendly fire, that’s just frosting on the cake.” Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but not that big of one.

    • Geodkyt says:

      That’s not actually an exaggeration. In Russian hostage doctrine, hostages are considered dead — any hostages they “bring back to life” are net positives.

      Hell, in US military counterterrorism/hostage rescue, the standard* was “25% loss” when I was in ** — and the guys who had to do the missions were very proud of the fact that they had not (at that point, may have changed by now) ever approached anything close to the standard.

      * “Standard” means something different in the military when used as a quantifiable metric. It means “minimum acceptable performance”. You show me a unit that is proud they “meet the standard”, and I’ll show you a slack-assed unit with a bad commander and lazy NCOs.

      ** No, I wasn’t a Super Secret Squirrel. Infantry, especially light infantry (including Airborne and Air Assault), is a fairly cross-pollinated (maybe even incestuous) group at the midgrade & senior NCO/field grade and higher levels. At a certain point, EVERYONE has a buddy who is or was in one of those units, and when you hang out with your buddies, you hang out with their buddies.

      • Geodkyt says:

        Hmmm. . . on re-reading that, it sounds like they were proud they never got casualties DOWN to 25%. Other way around — they were proud they never approached 25% hostage loss. {grin}

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