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Thread: Carry Smart

  1. #1
    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    I often research and read “tactical mind” articles from various gun magazines and online sites. The articles talk about where to sit when at Starbucks, being aware of your surroundings, etc.

    My significant other and I were walking home the other night. We usually go for a walk around the block a few times, stop at Starbucks and grab a drip coffee, then walk home. Sometimes we sit at Starbucks and talk about how our day went (even though we are at the hip all day, every day). As we were walking out of Starbucks I was going over where we chose to sit that evening, what I was doing when I was standing in line waiting to order. I had a realization; in that very moment I realized that I was carrying my coffee in my right hand. I am right handed, so naturally I tend to pick things up and carry items in my right hand.

    I then considered a scenario where we were under attack and I had to draw my sidearm. I thought about the delay that would be inherent in not only processing and responding to an attack but the fumbling around I might do with a cup of coffee in my strong hand.

    I have been making a conscious effort to stop carrying items with my strong hand. I realize just how often I carry single items with my right hand while my left hand is empty. In every article I have read(e), the articles never discussed keeping your strong hand free of items as much as possible.

    What is the point to this post—I think that we all need to not only be aware of our surroundings but also be aware that carrying items with our strong hand compromises our ability to efficiently get our sidearm in the green when we need it most.

    Just my .02






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    Good point. I have the same approach, and it affects everything I do (in a positive way) from what pocket I put my wallet, phone and keys in, to what hand I use to pick things up at the store, or anywhere in public, for that matter.

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    Regular Member GreatWhiteLlama's Avatar
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    Sylvia Plath wrote:
    I then considered a scenario where we were under attack and I had to draw my sidearm. I thought about the delay that would be inherent in not only processing and responding to an attack but the fumbling around I might do with a cup of coffee in my strong hand.
    Wow, you must REALLY enjoy your coffee. If I found myself in a life or death situation, I'm fairly certain I would be able to sacrifice my coffee to save my life. Sure, I may hold a moment of silence out of respect for the untimely demise of 'joe', but it would not last long.

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    Regular Member OrangeIsTrouble's Avatar
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    gogo is going to love this thread.


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    Reminds me of a scene from an older movie, where a guy was carrying a bag of groceries from the store to his car. He was attacked by a guy with a knife, and was damned sure to not drop his groceries during the entire confrontation.

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    Regular Member skiingislife725's Avatar
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    I remember coming across this tip in an instructional vid. Their point was to make sure to consciously think about dropping whatever it is in your hand during day-to-day activities so that if you had to, the action would be ingrained. Would you be faster if you never carried anything in your strong hand? Yep. How much? Probably not very much. But it is a good thing to think about every now and then so that the reaction isn't to grip on tighter to what is in that hand and instead flinch to grip your gun or protect yourself from a blow.

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    A hot cup of coffee is, in itself, an effective weapon....

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    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    oneeyeross wrote:
    A hot cup of coffee is, in itself, an effective weapon....
    Exactly. Throw whatever you're carrying at your assailant, don't just drop it. It may distract them for a moment, and if it's something like a cup of hot coffee if may be a weapon in itself.

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    Regular Member killchain's Avatar
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    oneeyeross wrote:
    A hot cup of coffee is, in itself, an effective weapon....
    Indeed. And if it comes to it, you can wash your pants and socks later.
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -John Stuart Mill

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    Regular Member killchain's Avatar
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    Sylvia Plath wrote:
    I often research and read “tactical mind” articles from various gun magazines and online sites. The articles talk about where to sit when at Starbucks, being aware of your surroundings, etc.

    My significant other and I were walking home the other night. We usually go for a walk around the block a few times, stop at Starbucks and grab a drip coffee, then walk home. Sometimes we sit at Starbucks and talk about how our day went (even though we are at the hip all day, every day). As we were walking out of Starbucks I was going over where we chose to sit that evening, what I was doing when I was standing in line waiting to order. I had a realization; in that very moment I realized that I was carrying my coffee in my right hand. I am right handed, so naturally I tend to pick things up and carry items in my right hand.

    I then considered a scenario where we were under attack and I had to draw my sidearm. I thought about the delay that would be inherent in not only processing and responding to an attack but the fumbling around I might do with a cup of coffee in my strong hand.

    I have been making a conscious effort to stop carrying items with my strong hand. I realize just how often I carry single items with my right hand while my left hand is empty. In every article I have read(e), the articles never discussed keeping your strong hand free of items as much as possible.

    What is the point to this post—I think that we all need to not only be aware of our surroundings but also be aware that carrying items with our strong hand compromises our ability to efficiently get our sidearm in the green when we need it most.

    Just my .02





    You should pick up a copy of the audio book "The Bulletproof Mind" by Col. David Grossman. Good situational awareness lecture.
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -John Stuart Mill

  11. #11
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Sylvia it is good to evaluate many different aspects on how we can become more efficient if we had to respond.

    I put more weight in knowing the area in which I am and what offers protection and concealment along with a backstop if you were to take a shot at a certain point in the store if you miss what will it hit to an escape route.

    Anything in my strong had either use it as a weapon or drop it and get yours there will be little time. If you have that item in your other hand then drop it and get busy.

    There maybe times even though the perp is armed you may be in the advantage to jump them right there and stop the threat before you can draw, shoot and they drop.
    Throwing that cup of coffee in some close encounters and then jumping them or then shooting could put you in the advantage, are you more accurate throwing strong or weak hand?

    The issue that you have brought to light along with another on this thread is that we must break away from normal reactions that preventing from being damaged or broken.
    These items could cost us valuable time or worst our lives, be it a cup of coffee or that brand new car you just bought, if it is not helping you win the fight then it is of no consequence.

    Thanks for bringing this up as I am curious as to others view points on this issue as well.
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    Sylvia Plath wrote:
    I often research and read “tactical mind” articles from various gun magazines and online sites. The articles talk about where to sit when at Starbucks, being aware of your surroundings, etc.

    My significant other and I were walking home the other night. We usually go for a walk around the block a few times, stop at Starbucks and grab a drip coffee, then walk home. Sometimes we sit at Starbucks and talk about how our day went (even though we are at the hip all day, every day). As we were walking out of Starbucks I was going over where we chose to sit that evening, what I was doing when I was standing in line waiting to order. I had a realization; in that very moment I realized that I was carrying my coffee in my right hand. I am right handed, so naturally I tend to pick things up and carry items in my right hand.

    I then considered a scenario where we were under attack and I had to draw my sidearm. I thought about the delay that would be inherent in not only processing and responding to an attack but the fumbling around I might do with a cup of coffee in my strong hand.

    I have been making a conscious effort to stop carrying items with my strong hand. I realize just how often I carry single items with my right hand while my left hand is empty. In every article I have read(e), the articles never discussed keeping your strong hand free of items as much as possible.

    What is the point to this post—I think that we all need to not only be aware of our surroundings but also be aware that carrying items with our strong hand compromises our ability to efficiently get our sidearm in the green when we need it most.

    Just my .02





    This has been on my mind lately as well. When I come home from the grocery store and have both hands full, I have been practicing making a mental note to drop everything if I am agressively approached. I play the "What would I do in thus and such a situation" game. I also am beginning to train myself in watching other people's body language and especially watching their hands, when I am out inpublic. Not in an aprehensive way, or a frightened way, because I am not, but just in an observing way. It has finally dawned on me that 90% of self defense is being mentally observant and prepared. The gun and the skill that goes with it is the other 10%. And that's my 2 cents worth.
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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    I always shuffle things around that I'm carrying, so I can readily dump whatever I have in my strong hand to access my weapon.

    There are small changes that everyone makes when they start carrying, that is just one of them.

    I will do my best to keep my strong hand free, but when I do carry stuff, I make an extra effort to make sure that the stuff I carry will 'come free' with a natural drawing motion, Ie straighten hand, pull hand up, go to pistol.. In transitioning to the pistol, everything in the strong hand drops.


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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Poosharker wrote:
    gogo is going to love this thread.

    Hehe...

    Yes, because since I was a teenager I have been taught and trained to think in a manner to be aware of my surroundings.

    I enter a building, I look for a couple of things.

    Where are the exits. (What if the power goes out or there is a fire)

    Is there anybody or anything unusual happening? (I would rather avoid a bad situation or bad person)

    When I sit at a restaurant, I do a couple of things.

    I sit facing the front of the establishment. (I would like to see if a bad guy enters)

    I sit on the outside of the booth, never the inside seat. (Quicker to find cover)

    When I am in line at the store, I do a couple of things.

    I position myself strong side away from the door. (Gives me the advantage to size up those who enter first)

    I am aware of those behind me on my strong side. (Use shadows, reflections and noise to notice a change in circumstances behind me)

    When I get out of the car, I do a couple of things.

    I park near the exits not the entrance if they have both. I park near the cart corral so I have less to walk to return the cart. I park near a parking lot light (usually near the cart corrals) I keep in mind where an emergency exit from the building is in proximity to my car.

    I put my keys in my belt. (LEO do this, it is quick access)

    I start my recorder. (I am getting better at doing this, but it is not 100% habit)

    I look up and survey the parking lot and the path to the door.

    When returning I carry things in my off hand and am hyper sensitive of my surroundings until my hands are free.



    I am sure there are a few other things that I do...but they are such habit, as with all of these items (I have been doing most of them for well over 2 decades).

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    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    Dual weapons! (and keep practicing weak side)

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    I continue to use my strong hand for whatever, though I do keep it as free as possible. My view is that whatever I'm holding isn't as important as my life or that of those around me. As with any draw situation you need to open your hand as you reach for your sidearm. If I happen to be holding something, I"m not going to fumble around with it, I'm going to drop it as I reach for my sidearm. I don't think there would be much of any kind of delay.

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    All this and go a little further, back into parking spots so that when you pull up you can visually see the area you are going to park in, and when you leave, if you have to leave in a hurry, you are not backing out, and you are able to keep a eye on things as you walk up and it makes you turn back around to see if anyone is comming up on you.At your house door, dont give anyone a place to hide, if you have windows near the door, put up a reflective tint so you have a mirror to see if someone is approaching while you are unlocking your door. Be carefull with baracades, sometimes what is meant to keep people out can keep you in. In lite of the recent stun gun robberies, it has happened while women are gathering their groceries from their car, so they probably had their heads stuck inside a vehicle, not to mention some people live in their carefree world where nothing could ever happen, and then when it does they are surprised. Always be on alert...
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    Being a Correctional Officer for over 23 years, I have become almost cynical in my approach to situational awareness. I observe "Everything", I have become adept at "reading" people and being able to size up a situation in a fraction of a second, just by noticing minute nuances that people give off. As mentioned in this post,I always look for an "out", I always look for the BG's, I always check, then recheck everything. In my carrier I have saved my life by being able to react in just that split second that it takes to close a door, turn a key, make a radio call. My friends and family think I am paranoid, I am cautious, I am prepared, I am not a sheeple, I am a Sheep Dog, ... Wolves Beware !
    I am a Sheep Dog, ... Wolves Beware !

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    Regular Member Leatherneck's Avatar
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    I've always just been ready to drop or throw whatever I'm holding.
    One change I made is while walking my dog. He gets excited and pulls on his leash, so I have to use my strong hand to keep him in line. That changes when I'm carrying.
    Another change is while carrying my daughter. (She's 8 but still likes to be carried.) When I'm carrying, she's on my off side. Unfortunately for her, I can't carry her as long, but it's a small price to pay.
    Good topic and good comments!

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Some one said Sheep Dog how about Tweety on Patrol


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    • I am not your Mommy or Daddy and do not sugar coat it but I will tell you simply as how I see it, it is up to you on how you will or will not use it.
    • IANAL, all information I present is for your review, do your own homework.

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    Regular Member MAndrew's Avatar
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    Long ago I developed the habit of carrying items in my left hand so that I'm not fumbling around to make a hand shake. Now that I'm armed it makes even more sense.

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    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    In my case, my right wrist was broken for a couple of years before it was properly diagnosed (The break wasn't showing up on X-rays). Using that hand became so painful that, except for writing, I started doing most things with my left hand. The wrist was partially fused in 1996 when the bone started dying, and I had the rest of the mutilated cartilage removed in 2003. Now, except for felt recoil, my wrist is fine. But I still do a lot of things with my left hand. As a matter of fact, my right front pocket stays nearly empty. Also, I've begun, more and more, to carry things mostly with my left hand, leaving my right one free.
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    SA aside, sometimes I prefer to carry an item or my coffee strong hand if only to occupy that hand with something as opposed to having it dangling around my sidearm. It may serve to "disarm" those with alarmist tendencies. YMMV.

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    In the police academy, for at least the first few weeks, the instructors would actually slap anything you were carrying in your "strong hand" out of it...Books, lunch, etc. Gets the point through.
    "There is NO timer in a gunfight, but there IS another guy with a gun, and he's probably in a hurry!"- from someone who bothered to go and check

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