Sunday, January 27, 2013

Something actually relating to ammo--sort of...

A good friend of mine has a multifaceted business that, among other things, offers training to security guards.   As a firearms instructor, I've helped him out with many of the programs dealing with armed security.  It's amazing how many people, after having been told what to bring, pay the money for the course and still show up without the right equipment.  As he started to plan out the summer program, he asked me to write a short article for his website dealing with equipment for the beginning armed guard.  I figured I'd post it here, too.

So, you're going to be an armed security guard, huh? Are you ready...I mean really ready?

The first thing you need is a handgun. If you're going already working for an agency and they have a policy, that might determine your choice of what to get, but if not you have to make that choice yourself. Will it be a pistol or revolver? What brand? What caliber? The next question is “Will it fit my hand?” More than one student has had issues with handgun fit and a bad fit might cause an inability to complete the class. Next comes holster, belt and ammo carrier choice. Once again, this choice may be taken away from you or limited by an employer and you'll have to work around that.

For the purpose of this essay, we'll figure that you're going to be using a 9MM auto pistol, you're right handed and will be attired in a formal uniform of some type, using a duty belt. All the equipment choices will be up to you.

To build a solid foundation for the duty belt your pants and trouser belt must fit properly. That means they must be snug. If they're too tight you'll never be comfortable and that will be a problem; if too loose, nothing will be right and your pants will be getting dragged down, pulling out your shirt all day long—trust me, I know. I'd suggest a trouser belt that is at least 1½ inches wide. The choice is yours as to leather or synthetic, but buy a belt that's meant for duty, not a department store variety that has no substance to it.

Your duty belt should also be a quality product. They're available from many sources and range from inexpensive to high-cost. It must have a degree of rigidity and be able to support all the equipment you'll be carrying. Get four good keepers—actually, buy a bunch because you'll lose a few over a short time.

Next comes the holster. Single most important feature is that you must not be able to get your finger inside the trigger guard while the pistol is in the holster. Closely related to that is the magazine release. You need to be able to hit the magazine release while the pistol is in the holster. That's necessary for safe unloading. Holsters are available in all levels of security. There should be at least one thing other than friction holding the pistol in. It might be a security level 1, 2 or 3 holster; but whatever you chose, you must be able to master the manipulation of the safety measures. Depending on the direction of the break of the holster, you may need to have it slightly forward or slightly rearward of your hip.

Following that comes the magazine carrier. In a uniform, you should carry 2 spare magazines. Be sure that they fit your pistol. Some of the one size fits all are pretty good; others, not so good so try them. I'd suggest getting a design that can be worn either vertically or horizontally so you can try both ways and see which works better for you. The carrier can be worn either gun side or opposite, but in a way so that you can quickly access your spare magazines.

When you put the duty belt on, it should be snug to the trouser belt which, as already noted, should be snug around your waist. One keeper should be directly in front of the holster, one directly behind it. One should be on the the opposite side forward of the hip and one to the rear of the hip. These can be moved around depending on what other equipment you will be carrying on the belt.

If you are forced by policy or economics to go with a revolver—which is not really a problem, the trigger finger issue still applies to the holster. For ammo carriers, I recommend two or three speed loaders of a type that you can easily master. Along with them would be appropriate carriers for them which will be all worn in a vertical manner, generally on the same side as the revolver, though it's a matter of preference and training; both work.
Those are the basics, there's much more to learn; but if you're coming to an armed security guard training course, come prepared. It will allow us as instructors to make you successful more quickly and more safely than if you come with improper in inadequate equipment.

No comments:

Post a Comment