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Firearms and Defensive Tactics That Actually Matter

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If you’re just kicking off your EP career, you might find yourself staring down a long list of firearms and defensive tactics that probably don’t make a lot of sense. And if you try to research some, all you’ll be met with are flashy ads for training courses and technical jargon.

So how do you find firearms and defensive tactics that can make a difference in your career? Well, as with most things, it starts with knowing where to look.

Today, we’ll help you identify the tactics that will allow you to defend yourself and your principal in high-risk situations. We’ll also share the most common mistakes that rookies make during firearms training. So let’s get into it.

Learning How to Respond to Risk Situations

The majority of what you’ll do as an EP agent is determining risk factors and creating emergency response plans. So before you even think about picking up a firearm, you first need to start learning about planning risk responses.

Basically, you’ll need to think about all the ways you can reduce or eliminate any threats before they even get a chance to occur. You can do that by doing your due diligence, and doing your research before a mission. That research is one of the cornerstones of any advance work, and without employing your detective skills, all other firearms and defensive tactics won’t mean much.

Managing Incidents

Managing incidents kind of goes hand-in-hand with creating an emergency response plan because most of it comes down to prep work. You need to prepare yourself for any possible incidents that might come up by identifying potential threats. One way to do that is through monitoring and reporting.

You should also assess the identified incidents, and take all the necessary steps for mitigating risk. From that point, your job is to investigate, contain, and resolve, which brings us to weapon retention.

While it’s essential to be able to demonstrate ‘Hard Skills’ in the CPP Field to be able to protect a client under direct threat, much of the focus should be on ‘Soft Skills’ to ensure client satisfaction.

In a ten-day tasking, even a 1-hour physical incident will leave 239 hours to provide client customer service, logistics management, brand representation, etc. The focus needs to be relevant to the Risk, Threat, and Vulnerability Assessment.

Firearms, Batons, Handcuffs, etc., are all tools of our trade and must be used appropriately, like all tools in all trades. In many cases, particularly outside hostile/conflict environments, the use of weapons by traveling CP Agents will be prohibited. Thus, core skills like conducting strong RTVA’s, solid Advances, resourcing your team appropriately, and maintaining situational awareness will eliminate the need for stronger tools.

Josh Reeve, Chief Security Officer, Empire Protection

Weapon Retention

Weapon retention is arguably one of the most important firearms and defensive tactics, especially when it comes to close-quarters fights. There is absolutely nothing worse than losing your weapon mid-incident, and it could cost someone their life. It will limit your ability to defend yourself and your principal, and there’s a much higher risk of someone using your weapon against you.

One of the easiest weapon retention techniques involves grabbing the top of your muzzle with your off-hand while you’re drawing. By taking your own gun, the potential attacker will find it almost impossible to get a grip on your weapon. Also, this tactic allows you to use both arms, and move your weapon toward the attacker, which in turn, will give you more power.

But keep in mind that you will only be able to shoot once while holding your gun this way. That’s why it’s best to back up this tactic with some hand-to-hand combat. For example, if the shot hasn’t incapacitated the attacker, you can deliver multiple blows with your elbows.

Weapon Disarming

There are a ton of weapon disarming techniques and countless courses that will teach you how to do it. But if you’re working on a tight budget, you can even check out an instructional video on YouTube on disarming.

The most important thing to know about weapon disarming is that you can use different techniques depending on what you’re trying to achieve. If you work hard enough, you might get on Victor Marx’s level one day, and learn how to disarm someone in a split second.

Firearms and Defensive Tactics

Maintaining Your Weapon

Maintaining your weapon is one of the most important parts of ownership. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a handgun or rifle, you need to clean and maintain it on a regular basis or you’re just asking for trouble.

With that said, there are countless different types of weapons out there, which is why it’s key that you always start by reading the manual. Even though it’s a tiresome thing, it’s what makes the difference between life and death.

Also, and this kind of goes without saying, while maintaining your weapon, make sure to unload it first. We also want to stress that it’s always better to use the proper cleaning and maintenance supplies. Rubbing a bit of baking soda and vinegar might work on faucets, but it’s not going to do anything for your firearm.

If you’re not using your firearm on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to switch out the magazine every four to six months. What’s more, you should go to a gun range every few weeks to ensure that everything is working the way it should.

Common Mistakes in Firearms Training

As we said earlier when it comes to firearms and defensive tactics, everyone seems to have an opinion. That’s why you’ll find a ton of misinformation online, but we’re here to debunk it all.

1. Attending an Over-Crowded Course

Having one teacher working with 30 students might have worked when you were in kindergarten, but it’s not going to cut it in firearms training. When you’re choosing where to go, find a place that offers individual practice. 

2. Choosing the Wrong Tools

Anyone who tells you that there’s such a thing as the “perfect handgun or rifle” is just flat out lying to you. There is no such thing as the ultimate weapon or greatest caliber because, again, it’s all going to depend on your needs. Other determining factors include:

  • Previous experience
  • Hand size
  • Body size
  • Professional goals

3. Not Doing Dry-Fire Drills

Dry-fire training can save you a lot of time and money, all while sharpening your shooting skills. You can do it from the comfort of your own home, and you can even track accuracy issues. Also, you can practice drawing your weapon in addition to shooting.

4. Training Only in Pristine Conditions

The last issue we often see is that people only train in pristine conditions, which can’t ever simulate actual incidents. One way to remedy that is by doing force-on-force training, which is not only useful but can be pretty fun. If you want to try it, you should pick up airsoft, which will teach you how to properly respond if someone’s shooting at you.

To Sum Up

If you want to hone your craft, you should have these firearms and defensive tactics under your belt. But keep in mind that using firearms is usually the smallest part of the job.

The thing that separates the good EP agents from the brilliant ones is that the latter have both their soft and hard skills down to a pat. They’re resourceful, excellent drivers, social, and can make the tough decisions when it’s crunch time.

If you want to take your knowledge and skills to the next level, sign up for our newsletter. We’ll give you all the helpful tips and techniques that you need to be successful in the EP industry.

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