I spend a heck of a lot more time operating a motor vehicle than I do a firearm. Carrying concealed while driving has become an intersectional (treat it as a 4-way stop…) activity for me, although it’s taken the PSTC’s PST 103: Advanced Defensive Handgun course to introduce me to the concepts and practice of safe vehicular gun use.
Here In My Car I Feel the Safest of All
Apparently there are entire, week-long courses on the topic of firearms and vehicles (I’m guessing “Guns & Roadses” wasn’t a top pick of course titles), so while a brief introduction might barely scratch the paint sealant on your Subaru, it is still exceedingly useful.
To provide the key prop of a car, the PSTC folks have a “drawn and quartered” police cruiser on casters which can be positioned thus to provide safe angles of operation while working these exercises.
Up to two students can practice drawing, aiming, and holstering a pistol using this rig. If everyone does their thing correctly, no one gets muzzled.
Who’s Gonna Drive You Home
Here we see our instructor getting set up to demonstrate the aforementioned manoeuvres from the driver side. To ensure a snag-free draw and return, care must be taken with not only one’s clothes, but also with the seat belt.
One has to be constantly aware of the direction of the muzzle while manipulating the firearm, and one discovers that the interior of even a relatively spacious full-size sedan becomes a pretty tight space.
I found it a bit tricky to wrangle a compact handgun (Glock G19 Gen5) in such close quarters from an IWB 3 o’clock carry position without muzzling myself out of and returning to the holster. A couple of students in the class did this from the appendix carry position which seems a bit hairy at first, but requires a bit more care and contorting.
I Am the Passenger, and I Ride and I Ride
And here’s the passenger side version:
Same constraints and practices apply as the driver side, but with a geometric flip. Getting into a firing position while seated requires a bit of mild twisting, which is interesting enough to try in class, and I’m sure would be one hella doozy in an actual emergency.
These targets are 7 yards away, with no object-enlarging rear view mirrors to get in the way. In a practice setting like this, one has the benefit of a safe backstop behind these targets. Out in the “real world,” however, one has to take into account all the other people and things that may surround or lay behind/beyond what one may be aiming at.
I can imagine this sort of thing becoming very complicated very quickly should the stuff hit the fan “out there.” Thus there lies the value in the five-day “deep dive” courses where you learn and train much more extensively.
Behind the Wheel of a Large Automobile
I would posit that practicing draws, etc. with a firearm on the driveway is not terribly advisable. I even question doing that with the most brightly colored plastic training prop, as I don’t have a heck of a lot of confidence in neighbors and passers-by to not freak out and call the police.
On the other hand, with Green Deck access, this is something that I’ll practice with the roll-around cars in the coming days.