Monday, April 17, 2017

Fight the derp!

I have a t-shirt, black with red lettering saying "D.A.R.E"! It looks familiar, except in small letters it says "Derp Abuse Resistance Education". It was a limited edition at SKD Tactical, a Todd L Green memorial of sorts, raising money for Tod's Rampage For The Cure. I wore it at MAG40 last summer, and at the Langdon Tactical class.

Holster Derp

You still see people using Serpa holsters, or imitations. I have a couple myself. I bought them because they're reasonably priced, and retention seemed like a Good Idea.

Then I learned that there were reports of the locking mechanism getting jammed. "Well", I says to myself says I, "I've heard Internet rumors about this problem but not met anyone who saw it happen, and I'm not planning on wearing these things on a deployment or rolling around in the dirt while wearing them..."

Well, apparently it doesn't take rolling around in a bear pit to jam the mechanism, and I've now read too many eye-witness accounts of having to retrieve a gun from one of these with a pair of tin snips to want to risk it.

Plus, there's the whole "Using your trigger finger to activate the release" thing.

Now, when I first heard these particular concerns raised I did some "dry practice" draws, and concluded that the Serpa locking mechanism positioned my trigger finger along the frame of my Combat Commander where it belongs.

Trouble is, well, here's a video:

Note that Mr. "Only a fool can't use a Serpa safely" has his trigger finger inside the trigger guard pretty much during the whole draw stroke.

So in last week's Weekend Knowledge Dump Greg Ellifritz linked to a post Why NOT SERPA | Stuff From Hsoi which included a video of a Serpa jamming up hard during a self-defense training session. (Which also links to a Facebook post that includes the video I just embedded.)

Holster Non-Derp

Last week I found myself trying to explain why you really do need to expect to spend more than a Jackson* on a holster. All too often we see someone dropping five hundred or more on a pistol, just to carry it in what Tamara calls a "sausage sack"; a soft nylon holster that collapses on the draw and that might, even if it covers the trigger guard, might not do a good job of protecting it.

Fortunately, Kathy Jackson (smooth segue, huh?) has just completed a six-part series on holsters:
Her Bottom Line: A good holster
  1. Protects the trigger, 
  2. Holds the gun securely, and 
  3. Allows the user to access the gun when they need it. 

Ammo Derp

Speaking of Greg Ellifritz, in the same Knowledge Dump I referenced above he links to a poll of the Best Self-Defense Ammo...

The Best Self-Defense Ammo, Voted by You, and One Takes Home 45% of the Vote

Contemplate this. (Did you say that in James Earl Jones' voice, and continue with "...on the Tree of Woe?" 'Cuz I did while typing it...)

Anyway. They crowd sourced what everyone thinks is the best self-defense ammo!

There are decent loads on this list.There are loads on this list that have been off the market for over two decades. There are loads on this list that were hot stuff three decades ago but are now, shall we say, passé. And there are loads on this list that are pure derp.

If one has questions about what round to carry, the standard advice is to carry whatever the local constabulary carries. If one still has questions, the best bet is to start your research with the "sticky" threads on this page: Ammunition -- Note that a couple of those stickied threads have to do with ballistic gelatin testing and wound ballistics. Minimal research will tell you that one does not simply walk into one's local Safeway and buy ballistics gelatin (do we need a Boromir meme for that...?) so when that YouTube celebrity says he was using clear Knox gelatin for his test, well...


You get what you pay for. The $500 (new) gun is better than the $300 (new) gun, and the $1000 (new) gun is better than the $500 (new) gun. (Granted, there may be exceptions, including lucking into a Steal of a Deal.)

Mind you, the qualitative difference between the three Franklin gun and the five Franklin gun may be greater than between the five and the ten. All other things being equal, an all-metal gun is almost certainly going to cost more than a polymer gun of equivalent size and quality. Do your research, and determine what you are giving up by going with, say, the Kel-Tec P3AT versus the Ruger LCP, S&W Bodyguard, or Glock 42.

Ideally, read those ammunition threads I just linked to and buy a 9mm instead of a .380...


"Derp Abuse Resistance Education"...

Since I mentioned, one of the members has put together what is shaping up to be a pretty useful tool, which he calls the Firearms Training Hub. Looking for a specific type of class? Or classes in a specific area? Here you go. Mind you, the trainers have to let him know that they're available to include, so it is not necessarily 100% as to what is scheduled where, but it's certainly a good place to start.


I've written a few posts on the subject of derp, using the tag Derpitude

And a few tagged Training as well.

*AKA an "Irony". If that puzzles you, research Andrew Jackson's relationship with the US Bank, and extrapolate to the concept of the Federal Reserve. One must assume that Andy J would be fine with having someone else's face on the $20, although how he would feel about being replaced by Harriet Tubman I refuse to speculate.

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