Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Pistol Or Rifle?

If you ask someone whether they would rather fight with a rifle or a handgun most people will answer, “The Rifle!” High-velocity rifle rounds stop threats quicker than pistol rounds. Rifles have large capacity magazines. Rifles are more accurate than pistols, providing the capability to engage threats at extended distances. And there’s the psychological effects of a rifles. I’ve seen people that had pistols pointed at them who didn’t really care, but people tend to give rifles a lot of respect.

But there are times when the handgun has the advantage. Pistols are easy to carry, which means it be your only option when sudden violence erupts. Or maybe I begin fighting with the rifle when it runs empty or malfunctions, forcing a transition to my pistol.

At close distances, where most fights occur, drawing your pistol is quicker than presenting the rifle, even when the rifle is hanging on front of your body on a tactical sling. The rifle is heavier than the pistol, requiring more energy to get it on target, which equates to more time. Time and distance are the determining factors. With more distance, which usually means more time, it may be better to use the rifle.

The environment is a factor. A narrow hallway inside a mobile home, working up a skinny set of stairs, or inside a vehicle may be too confined for a rifle. The pistol permits more flexibility in movement and positioning in tight quarters over a rifle, even a short-barrel rifle. Shooting and moving is easier with the pistol. The rifle is making contact with your body at 4 points – the pocket of your shoulder, the cheek on the stock, and both hands are holding it. Movement in your body is transferred to the rifle. With the pistol the number of contact points are reduced, and the arms can compensate for movement in the body. This stability with the pistol provides more sight pictures, which translates to more hits. Any time you use a pistol to gain tactical advantages remember you stepping down in stopping power. A decline in stopping power requires increased concentration on accuracy.

Your advantage in a fight is the ability to choose the proper response, and select the best weapon for job. Take the time to develop the mental and physical skills necessary to blend the pistol, rifle, your mind and body into one package. That way having options is an advantage. In a fight fractions of a second are the difference between life and death. There is no time for hesitation or delay. You have to know what to do. When your time comes, choose the best weapon for the job and apply your skills to solve the problem as efficiently as possible.


September 19, 2010 - Posted by | AR-15, Auto Pistol

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