I have never really thought of using a handgun as a blunt force weapon; Michael Janich, a writer for Personal & Home Defense Magazine, clearly has however. In the article “Blunt Force Alternatives” he discusses methods you can use to subdue an attacker without necessarily firing your weapon. While not the purpose of carrying a firearm, some situations as he points out, just don’t present many opportunities to safely get a shot off before being attacked.
One line from the article really explains the entire topic: “Punching someone in the head with a pound or more of solid metal definitely qualifies as stopping power and in some cases may produce a more immediate effect than a gunshot.”
Michael’s list of “pistol-hitting basics” include the following:
- 1) Muzzle Discipline – Always keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction. Aggressive handling of your firearm may cause you to squeeze the trigger accidently. “If you can’t hit in a way that ensures the muzzle stays pointed in a safe direction throughout the entire path of the strike, don’t hit.”
- 2) Don’t Damage Your Gun – Strike your attacker with a part of your weapon that wont be damaged easily, such as the muzzle or frame. You should be able to strike your attacker “without adversely affecting the mechanical function of your gun.”
- 3) Trigger-Finger Discipline – Going along with number 1, Michael says that during a struggle, “you will naturally want to grip the gun convulsively and the chances of inadvertently squeezing the trigger are high.” He recommends wrapping all four fingers around the grip under the trigger guard, safely away from the trigger.
In the rest of the article he goes on to explain various stances to take up for defense but I didn’t really learn a whole lot from reading about what he described. What I did pick up on though was his description of how to better punch with a handgun. Rather than swinging your arm like a traditional punch, he explains that you should think of it more like “poking” the attacker. It helps control the muzzle’s direction as well as keeping all the weight directly behind the point of impact.
I may not have considered using a pistol as a blunt force weapon before, but I certainly will now. Perhaps I can even incorporate some pistol/hand combat into my training. After all, learning new skills and maintaining them is key to achieving complete proficiency with your firearms.