On July 29, 2017, KR Training ran another session of the Defensive Pistol Small Gun class. This class focuses on skills specific to subcompact semiauto pistols (Glock 42/43 sized), and snubnose revolvers. It’s more than a repeat of the material in Defensive Pistol Skills 1, shot with smaller guns, although there is some overlap in course content.
It includes work drawing from a seated position and shooting from a vehicle, as shown in this video of student runs. More about the class can be found in my USCCA article “Is A Small Gun Enough?”
As part of the course, students shoot the Three Seconds or Less test (3SL) with both their small gun and larger (belt holster carried) primary gun. I collect this data to track the typical performance loss/gain students see when switching from larger to smaller guns.
Data from this year’s two sessions:
Small Guns: one SA (Sig 938), 5 DAO (Kahr, R9, snub revolvers), 10 striker fired (Shield, Glock)
Large Guns: all 16 were striker fired guns (Glock, M&P, Walther)
Average small gun score: 75/100
Average large gun score: 83/100
Performance gain from shooting the larger gun: 8%
Students passing the 3SL test with 70% or higher score using their small gun: 10 of 16.
Students passing the 3SL test with 70% or higher score using their primary gun: 13 of 16.
Students passing the 3SL test at the 90% level (desired) using their small gun: 1 of 16.
Students passing the 3SL test at the 90% level using their primary gun: 7 of 16.
The biggest problem for most students was draw time, particularly those using pocket holsters. Many in the July session chose to run the class using an IWB belt holster for their small gun, as that was their method of summer carry.
Historical average of the entire data set of 48 shooters:
Small Gun score: 78/100
Larger gun score: 86/100
So this year’s class numbers were right in line with historical average of 8% gain.
Observations: Despite my efforts to promote it to that target market, very few low skilled shooters choose to take this course. A goal for next year is to change the marketing of the course to try to attract more students from the “I passed the carry permit course, but never practice with the little gun I stick in my pocket or carry in my car.” That will likely include allowing people to run all drills from a ready position as an alternative to pocket or holster work.
Those that attend are typically those that carry daily and have taken 16 or more hours of training with their larger gun. What the data shows is that for shooters that have reached a reasonable level of skill: 80 points or better on the Three Seconds or Less test, transitioning to the smaller gun, for shots 7 yards and closer, is not a major problem, but most are still not at the level we’d like to see (90% or better on the 3SL test).