Friday, June 19, 2009

Learning Curve

The adventure of learning the snubby continues. Before I even picked up the gun from the dealer, I got a copy of Ed Lovette's book, "The Snubby Revolver: The ECQ, Backup, and Concealed Carry Standard" as a general reference. The book was invaluable in preparing me to approach this new tool from an informed perspective.

I got a Hogue Monogrip for the gun, and keep swapping between it and the factory grips. There's no question the Monogrip is easier to shoot, but the factory grips are much easier to conceal. Even tucked in a jeans pocket, the gun just disappears. I'm thinking I'll start out shooting the Monogrip and then switch back to the factory grips as I become more proficient.

I still can't seem to find a hold that feels natural and secure. I shoot high-thumb on semiautos, and obviously that can't work on a wheelgun. At least my hands are small enough to keep my thumbs away from the cylinder gap when habit takes over.

Experimenting around the house with an empty gun and an Ace bandage, I've found the alternative carry positions possible with little guns aren't as impractical as they seemed. With the right pants, ankle carry is perfectly doable using Massad Ayoob's big-drop-step-off-the-X draw. That method works so well that I wonder why anyone still says you have to take a knee or stand on one leg like a flamingo to draw a gun on your ankle. I don't wear dresses or skirts unless absolutely unavoidable, but discovered I could do a thigh rig if I had to. Worn not too far above the knee, it's acceptably comfortable and accessible, and sure beats not having a gun at all.

Several people have suggested Crimson Trace Lasergrips, either for defensive use or as a training aid. I have Lasergrips to fit my Hi-Powers and shelved them after using them for something over a year. Strange as it sounds, I found they slowed my shooting. I try to train for unconscious competence and anything that disrupts conditioned behavior chains tends to slow them down by breaking the pattern. I have a multi-caliber laser boresighter that is placed in the chamber, and will see if I can get a .38 Special adapter for it.

The trigger job smoothed things out beautifully while not significantly lightening the pull, so repeated dry practice is like physical therapy for my damaged trigger finger.

All in all, with the snubby, the journey is proving as valuable as the destination.


parabarbarian said...

Congratulations on getting a snubby. I've been carrying one for nearly 30 years. Easily the most concealable of all the handguns I've tried. Both of my snubbies are Smiths so the following may not apply but Houge makes a bantam grip for the J frames. I like them much better than the Uncle Mikes grips. Can't comment on the Crimson Trace grips yet. I put them on a model 442 but haven't had a chance to put them thru their paces yet.

Amatuer Gun Guru said...

I don't have my snubby yet but I am going to trade my Kahr PM40 in for one. Drives me nuts. Its too heavy and it still holes the same amount of ammo. I would think that a little rubber decal grip or some rubber type marine deck tread would make it a little easier to hold on to the gun.