Sometimes, we post something and wonder, “Should I? Will it offend many people?” In the case of this post, it’s quite likely that some readers will, let’s say, be upset with me. Nevertheless, however, I like to believe that the truth should always prevail. This is a candid post, full of frankness, which will push some people away and, hopefully, improve the lives of many others. “7 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Dying in a Gunfight” is not a text for everyone. If you are very sensitive or easily offended, please do not read it.
Let’s start from the beginning. Recently, one of my grandfathers passed away at the age of 104. He never exercised, was a smoker of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes for his whole life, and I never had the opportunity to see him without a glass of cachaca. Without the slightest idea of what carbohydrates, proteins, and fats were, he spent his entire life eating whatever he desired. He never got sick. He entered a hospital only once in 104 years, in the week of his death.
Is my late grandfather’s case enough to justify a reckless life with the abuse of substances known to be harmful, or is it very likely that any other citizen would not have reached the age of 40 living this way?
Well, in combat shooting, it’s somewhat similar. You’ll find many people with a rich background and combat stories justifying, on occasion, techniques and tactics that are equivalent to my grandfather’s cigarette: it worked for him, but it shouldn’t be recommended to anyone, as it would likely shorten the apprentice’s life.
This text is, therefore, not for exceptional highlanders who can (or think they can) do extraordinary things against all odds. On the other hand, it was developed for those who want to use the knowledge we have developed so far to increase their chances of survival in a scenario that will probably be the worst moment of their lives.
Let’s move on! 7 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Dying in a Gunfight:
- Carrying your firearm with an empty chamber
Although this habit has become a meme on the internet, and you often hear phrases like, “carrying without a round in the chamber is like trying to put on a seatbelt only during a car crash,” many people still carry their pistols in Condition 3.
This is usually due to a lack of knowledge about firearm engineering or insufficient firearms training. Going back to my grandfather’s analogy, of course, many people can draw, load, and fire a pistol in Condition 3. But why complicate things when you can make it easier?
- Carrying revolvers
It’s not cool to be old school in combat. Maybe you’ve heard me say this before. Revolvers are fascinating, and I have several of them myself. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), however, they are outdated as combat weapons.
- Not strengthening your combat mindset daily
No equipment or training can replace your lack of courage or willingness to engage in combat. We discussed this earlier in the following articles:
- Not carrying weapons
Okay, you need to help me help you. What do you expect? To do a backflip, disarm your enemy, and shoot him with his own weapon?
Jokes aside, everyone knows you need a weapon; that’s not news. But many of these same people end up carrying their weapons only occasionally when they deem it necessary while neglecting a series of other moments.
If something can go wrong, it will go wrong, at the worst possible time and in the worst possible way. If you’re not always prepared, you’ve never been.
- Not taking courses or not training continuously
Weapons are not amulets, my friend. You need to learn something new every day and keep training constantly. Remember: we train for the toughest day of our lives; you didn’t want the process to be easy, did you?
- Being out of shape
Not being in shape doesn’t just fail to help you in combat; it also doesn’t help you in any way. No one benefits from neglecting their physical abilities, and it’s ridiculous that this is still a topic of discussion.
It’s clear that we all have limitations of some kind: genetic, age, health, schedule, and so on. You don’t need to have a Vo2Max of 65 mL/Kg/min at the age of 70, but there’s nothing stopping you from staying in the best possible shape and striving to improve every day. I’ve never seen anyone regret being in good physical condition.
- Not changing your carry ammunition
Take a look at your magazine. How are your rounds?
If the answer is anything other than “perfect,” it’s time to change them. It’s true; even ammunition that has been in your magazine for years may work perfectly. I’ve personally fired ammunition that was over 100 years old. But you must agree that there’s no need to rely on luck, is there? The condition of the ammunition is responsible not only for the firearm’s operation but also for the quality of external and terminal ballistics. Think about it.
Bonus: Not carrying an extra magazine with you
How many rounds should you carry with you? As many as you can smartly carry. Here are the reasons:
(a) You are likely to miss a significant portion of the shots you fire in combat. (b) It’s reasonable to assume that many of your shots may not be aimed to hit the target but rather to gain a tactical advantage in combat. (c) Everyone who deserves to be shot once deserves to be shot again.
All of this costs ammunition, folks. Be prepared.