One of the questions we get most often asked in classes is “What do I do with my gun when I am in the bathroom?”
The other day I found myself using a fairly secluded restroom and, remembering this, took some quick pictures to illustrate what you should (and shouldn’t) do. So, if we can get through this without giggling, let’s talk about what to do with our guns when nature calls.
DO use the stall instead of a urinal (yes ladies, I know you don’t have a choice).
Using a urinal puts you with your back to the door, facing the wall, with your gun hand occupied. It’s very easy for someone to come up behind you and slam you into the wall. On the other hand, the stall door, while not exactly Fort Knox, slows down an attacker long enough for you to react.
DO keep the gun under control. There are some different options available, depending on how you are dressed.
If you keep your knees apart, tension on the belt will keep your gun and holster from falling to the ground. The heavier your gun, the less likely this is to work.
Sometimes the stall will have a handy shelf or other spot, such as this toilet paper dispenser, you can set your gun on. Before doing so, make sure it’s a flat surface. Many of these items have curved tops and the last thing you want is your gun clattering to the floor. If you have to “balance” your gun on the object, it’s not going to work.
I prefer taking the gun out of the holster and setting it in the crotch of my pants. It’s still immediately accessible and I’m not going to forget it’s there.
DON’T put your gun anywhere it can be grabbed, forgotten, or worse.
Stashing your gun behind you on the toilet might seem like a good idea, but once it’s there and you start to take care of business, it’s out of sight and difficult to reach. Being out of sight increases your chances of forgetting it.
Here in Minnesota, forgetting a gun in a bathroom isn’t just embarrassing, it’s potentially a crime. Minn. Stat. 609.378 makes it a Gross Misdemeanor to “leave a loaded firearm in a location where the person knows that a child under 18 is likely to gain access.” There have been cases of permit-holders being charged under this statute after leaving guns in bathrooms.
Placing your gun on the floor is also a bad move. Don’t forget you may not be alone in the bathroom and the guy in the next stall will be able to see your gun. He might either grab it and take off or whip out his trusty cell phone and call 911, creating an unplanned police encounter.
Please, please, please never do this: hang your gun on the hook on the stall door. I did it here with a triple-checked unloaded gun for demonstration purposes, and it still made me very uncomfortable.
Aside from having your gun out of reach while you are doing your thing, it’s not a stretch to see how this could result in an accidental discharge when the hook hits the trigger as you try to retrieve your gun. Worse, the recoil from that accidental discharge could result in another discharge. A local gun show promoter was seriously injured in just this fashion.
Use the hook for its intended purpose: hanging up your concealment garment.
Going armed means your gun is with you and accessible all the time. Public restrooms have been the scenes of violent crime. It makes sense, if you are carrying a pistol, to keep it handy, even in the bathroom.
Remember when you were sixteen (maybe older) and got your first driver’s license? What kind of a driver were you?
Chances are, you stepped on the brake (and gas) a little harder than you needed to, probably held the steering wheel a little tight, and probably had your fair share of “near misses” or even accidents.
Now that you’ve been driving for a while, you do a lot of it intuitively. You don’t really think about stepping on the brake when you need to – you just do it. You manipulate the gas pedal and steering wheel of your car without much thought, as you’ve grown comfortable doing it every day. For most of us, our car is an extension of ourselves, and we know just how to make it do what we want it to do.
For those of us who keep and carry guns, does the same level of skill apply? All too often, when we talk to people about training, we get this response:
“I don’t need any more training, I have a permit to carry.”
Relying on just your carry permit for adequate training is like driving a car when you you’ve just got your license. For any skill to become proficient, you have to practice, and you have to practice correctly.
You get good at driving because you drive every day…and you’re only going to become a better shooter through practice and training.
One other thing about those sixteen year old drivers – most of them think that they’re good drivers and they are unlikely to have accidents. Statistics, of course, show just the opposite. But if you asked your average sixteen year old if they were a good driver, they’d probably say they were.
Don’t shoot your gun like a sixteen year old drives. Get some training, and keep practicing. Shooting is a perishable skill that must be continually refreshed.
See you on the range!
We’re just a few weeks away from our first Defensive Handgun class of the season, and we wanted to offer some advice to new (and returning) students, based on our experience.
WHAT GUN TO BRING
First Rule of a Gunfight: Bring a Gun. The same applies to QSI courses.
We strongly recommend bringing the same gun you are carrying or intend to carry for self-defense. Your gun should be in good working order and chambered in a reasonable defensive caliber.
Before class, it’s a good idea to disassemble your gun, clean it, and put a light coat of oil on the moving parts. Don’t apply too much; a light coat is all you need. We see a lot of guns fail in classes due to too much (or too little) lubrication.
Bringing a spare gun, if you have one, is a good idea.
CARRYING YOUR GUN
There are two ways to bring your gun to a class: LOADED and in a holster, or UNLOADED and in a case.
If you have a Permit-to-Carry, the obvious way to bring your gun to class is loaded and in the holster. If you aren’t carrying your gun, then please bring it unloaded in a case. Please do not handle your gun without talking to an Instructor first. We’ll arrange for everyone to line up on the firing line and get their guns into the proper configuration for the class.
QSI runs a “hot” range. This means your gun will be loaded and in the holster for the duration of the course. We do this so our students can get used to carrying, maintain control of their guns, and because carrying an empty gun is frankly just silly.
MAGAZINES and AMMO
You can load your magazines before the class – go ahead and load them fully.
A speedloader, such as a LULA, can be helpful for reloading magazines. Bring at least three magazines, more if you have them. You will also need a magazine pouch to carry them in. QSI has loaners if you need, just let us know beforehand.
Bring 350 rounds of reliable ammo. Use only ammo you trust; it only takes one bad round to put your gun out of commission.
Our preference is the strong-side hip or appendix holster. If you wish to bring a shoulder holster or other holster to class, please let us know beforehand. Some “one-way” holster designs, while effective for concealment, can be difficult to use in a class because reholstering may be difficult. We’re happy to work with you.
Avoid any and all nylon holsters. They are unsuitable for serious use.
If you don’t have a decent holster for your gun, let us know, again, loaners are available.
FOOD AND DRINK
Bring plenty of drinking water. We will provide some for the class. Regardless of the weather, outdoor activities can result in dehydration. Bring some snacks to keep your energy up. Ahlman’s has some drinks and snacks in the shop.
We ask that everyone bring a lunch so we can eat at the range. This helps keep the class on schedule.
SAFETY EQUIPMENT and CLOTHING
We recommend investing in a set of electronic hearing protection. You can get these for under $50 if you shop around. Electronic ear protection uses noise-cancelling technology which allows you to hear the range commands from the instructors.
Eye protection should cover the eyes on the front and sides. Prescription eyewear is fine for this. Sunglasses are recommended.
A baseball cap, or other brimmed hat, is needed to keep hot brass from lodging behind your shooting glasses or going down your shirt. Avoid low-cut shirts for the same reason.
Long-sleeve shirts and pants are recommended, but not required. Keep in mind you may be lying, rolling, or sitting on the ground during the class.
Some students prefer to wear gloves, as handling their gun can be hard on the hands. If you bring gloves, make sure you can operate your gun while wearing them.
Dress for the weather; bring a jacket and rain gear. You never know what the weather will do. We run classes rain or shine, so be prepared. Footwear should be closed-toe and provide good ankle support.
Sunscreen and insect repellent are a must. You’re going to be outdoors, after all.
A notebook and pen for note-taking can be useful.
We love our students and are dedicated to their success! See you on the range!
Saturday October 7, 2017 – Saturday October 7, 2017
9525 West 230th Street
This course is designed to build the skills of QSI Defensive Rifle graduates. The QSI Defensive Rifle or equivalent is a required prerequisite. If you have questions about prerequisites, please feel free to contact us.
Topics covered include:
• Rifle to Pistol Transitions
• Check Drills, Emergency Reloads and Clearing Stoppages
• Alternative Sighting Methods (for when your optics fail)
• Movement Drills
• Using Cover & Alternate Shooting Positions
• Barricade Drills
• Shooting, Reloading, & Clearing Malfunctions while Wounded
For this class, you will need:
• Rifles, Pistol-Caliber Carbines, and AR15 pistols are all welcomed in this class.
• Rifle sling – single point or two point design is fine. If you have questions about slings, please ask us.
• 400 rounds of ammo
• 3 or more spare magazines
• Magazine carrier preferred (Plate carriers, chest rigs, battle belts, tactical vests, belt mounted, battle/sling bags, etc. all welcome)
• Ear Protection, electronic preferred (as it is much easier to hear instructors while on the firing line)
• Eye Protection
• Baseball cap or other brimmed hat (keeps hot brass out of your hair)
Saturday August 5, 2017 – Saturday August 5, 2017
9525 West 230th Street
You carry a gun for self-defense, chances are you also have friends and family who do as well. This course is designed to teach two-person tactics for self-defense so you and your partner can work as a team.
Skills taught will include:
This class will feature dynamic scenario based shooting exercises and is meant for experienced shooters. QSI Advanced Handgun or equivalent is a required prerequisite. If you have questions about prerequisites, please feel free to contact us.
You do not need a partner to take this class. Qualified individuals are welcome to register and will be partnered up on class day.
We spent Monday at the SHOT Media Day at the range. There were several manufacturers on hand to let us test drive their products.
Suppressed firearms were in abundance. Suppressors are legal in 39 states, and the market is opening up more and more to citizens who are not in the military or law enforcement. Unfortunately, one of the states which does not recognize our right to own suppressors is Minnesota, so this was one of few opportunities we get to shoot suppressed guns.
The most interesting “new” guns were from Smith and Wesson. They are releasing improved versions of the K Frame .357 and L. frame .44 magnums. The .357 was pleasant to shoot, the .44 not so much. Their new 9mm revolver was also a big hit. It was accurate, controllable, and used moon clips.
We also checked out three .380s. Personall, Erik has a hard time getting excited about these, but we can’t deny there is a market for them. The Glock 41 is exactly what we would expect from Glock. It was the largest .380 we looked at. It has the same trigger and sights we would expect from a Glock, and is only slightly smaller than a S&W Shield.
Speaking of S&W, the Bodyguard .380 was a real suprirse. It was very accurate and had better sights than expected. The one downside was the trigger – long double-action style pull for each shot. It reminded us of a revolver trigger. This was our favorite .380 of the three.
Bringing up the rear was the Beretta Pico. We don’t have a lot of nice things to say about this one. Gritty, long trigger, small sights, and too small. It’s better than nothing.
We’ll have more SHOT updates soon – stay tuned!!
Today, the QSI crew will be heading out to the SHOT Show day at the range. We’re looking forward to getting some hands on time with some of the new guns that will be hitting the market.
We’re joined by our good friend the Short Barrel Shepherd, who will also be posting updates to his blog.
Watch this space for daily updates from SHOT!
We get a lot of questions about Utah Permit to Carry certification.
Utah requires certifying instructors to travel to Utah for qualification, and we don’t have any plans to do that soon.
Don’t worry, though, our NRA certification covers the sunny state of Florida, which gives you the same reciprocity as a Utah permit!
Plus it’s good for 7 years (as opposed to Utah’s 5).
Our next Permit to Carry Class is on February 23.
The QSI crew will be again attending the annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trades (SHOT) Show the week of January 14-17 in sunny Las Vegas.
If there’s anything you want us to check out, be sure to let us know!