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.