Sunday, August 15, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice Part II

Last week, after I had an abysmal day at the range, I put up a post about practice.

Friday, my friend Tara (aka GunDiva II) and I went to the range for some of that desperately needed practice. 

She has a little five-shot revolver that she now carries in her purse and we decided that she needed practice drawing and firing from her purse.  While I'm a big proponent of strapping your gun to your side, so that you always have control over it, there are a lot of women who are much more comfortable carrying in their purse.  That's fine as long as you spend the time learning how to draw and fire from your purse, just like you do learning to draw and fire from a holster.  You can't buy a gun (or take the one your well-meaning significant other gives you), throw it in your purse and expect to be able to find and use it when the feces hits the air circulating device.

The first thing we did was take a look at how she normally carries her purse.  She carries it over her left shoulder, hanging straight down.  She's a right-handed shooter, so in order for her to draw from her purse, she had to perform a cross draw.  Luckily, the zipper on her purse had two pulls, so we arranged them so that one pull was secured to her strap and only the other pull would work to open her purse.

Once we had it arranged the way we thought we wanted it, she practiced holding her front strap with her right hand, while pulling open the zipper with her left.  With her left hand out of the way, and her purse open, she then slipped her right hand into her purse and grasped her gun.  She was careful to never cross herself with the muzzle of the gun while she drew from her purse.

Now this is where attitude comes in.  Without even realizing it, the moment her hand closed over her gun, her whole demeanor changed.  She took a step forward as she presented her gun and continued to move forward as she squeezed off all five rounds.  No matter how big you are; if you're a predator hunting what looks like easy prey and that prey attacks back, you're going to re-think your choice.

Over and over, Tara practiced presenting from her purse and dry-firing at the target until she felt comfortable to go live.  Her first run-through from beginning to end took less than three seconds.  That's three seconds to secure and unzip her purse, get a good grip on the gun, present and squeeze off all five rounds while moving forward.  Were all five rounds in a nice half-inch circle?  Nope.  Were all five rounds in center mass?  You betcha.

Next week when we go to the range, I'll be sure to take my video camera.  Until then, keep on practicing.


Mrs. Mom said...

Like you, Diva, I am not a fan of purse carry. Which stems from the fact that I don't own a purse, won't own a purse, and therefore must carry strapped up under my boobages ;)

I'm looking forward to seeing the vid from the next range trip on purse carry, since so many women DO carry there. It's a skill set I know nothing about. But, I might just better learn, since Dear Husband is convincing me a Husband and Wife NRA training team is a valuable idea ;)

Daddy Hawk said...

Seems to me that a rightie should conceal carry a purse gun on the right shoulder with an eye towards purse design that does not involve zippers unless accompanied by a quick unzip feature such as the one incorporated into the fanny pack holster I have/had (can't remember if I still have it right now). Two zippers meet at the top right corner there there is a leather pull ring. Pull down and to the left unzipping both zippers simultaneously presenting concealed gun to the right hand.

Right should purse carry would also give you the option to dive right into the purse one handed and fire through the purse (especially when carrying the 5 shot revolver) since we've established that this is a life or death self defense situation which is more important than any fashion accessory.

But, the point of the post is well made. Practice what you plan to do in real life whatever form it takes.

GunDiva said...

Mrs Mom - I only recently started carrying a purse and that's only so I have a place to store Eloise.

K - if it was me carrying the purse, I'd have it either on my right shoulder or across my chest, left to right so that my right hand had access. The leather pull tab that you're talking about is what gave us the idea to set up the pulls on her purse the way we did, since her purse is just a purse and not one designed for carry. I was worried about it at first, but she's a great gun handler and comfortable with her set up.

Anonymous said...

Purses get left behind, or placed off to the side no matter how much women claim they don't. Add to that your typical purse snatch is over in about 66 one hundredths of a second. If you choose to carry that way at least make sure the strap is OVER your neck and not dangling on a shoulder.