This is something I’ve been working on for a while now, and it’s ever-expanding. The problem with standards is that I will be basing it off of my own (and nearby shooters’) ability to perform, and if that is not representative of my target audience, than I’ve created a standard that is either too easy, too hard, or just irrelevant. Suffice to say, I’m very conscious of my own biases and am trying to keep them in check.
If a set of standards is so difficult to make, why even try? What is my goal in this endeavor? It was originally “All these cool instructors and companies have their own standards they put out, and I want to be a cool kid too!” but all the other people I was trying to emulate already had cool, tough-to-beat standards. What could I do that they hadn’t already done? And if I came up with something, would it even be useful? Then I started to wonder what a PGM would actually need to be competent in an everyday, public-setting CCW scenario.
So, falling back on what I’ve learned in the last decade of reading about real CCW-ers saving themselves and others, and the takeaways from those kinds of scenarios, I started working on something. If I wanted something that was applicable to real people in real life instead of trying to look good on The Gram, that isn’t out look super cool or flashy but based in the real world, what does a real-life encounter even look like?
Luckily, we have resources in this regard that we haven’t in years past. One absolutely excellent source is Active Self Protection (I’m not the only one who thinks so either). John Correia (the host) does at least one security/badge/dash camera video of real life self defense encounters every single day. They are presented at the beginning and then analyzed afterwards. Not everyone agrees with John’s opinions with how the scenarios should have been dealt with (I think he’s spot-on almost all the time), but the sheer amount of real life one can witness on a daily basis alone can’t be underestimated. There are other sources for this kind of information, like Donut Operator’s LEO Recap and the NRA’s Armed Citizen column in their monthly magazines, among a lot of others others, so there is no shortage of material to delve into.
It would be wrong to not give a decent amount of credit to John Daub, who inspired me to stop procrastinating and get around to doing the dang thing! He’s been working on a similar project for a while. He’s also much more qualified than I am, so be sure to look into his stuff as well. Hit up KRtraining.com and about 2/3’s of the way down the page is a link to download the free e-book “Drills, Qualifications, Standards, and Tests”. It’s free and it contains Daub’s Minimum Competency Assessment v3, which is a way to do what I’m doing here but in a different format. I fully recommend looking at what he’s put together.
These standards will not be a way to rank yourself against others as a sort of competition, but more of a check-the-box. I know that sounds awful, because checking a box usually is, but I don’t think that’s an inherent property of a pass/fail standard. Real life doesn’t care about your USPSA class or your placing in the most recent club-level match. Lions don’t eat the slowest gazelle, they eat the ones that aren’t fast enough. If all the gazelles are fast enough, the lion starves.
So your homework, dear Reader, is to do a little critical thinking. Find some time that you have to yourself that you’d be listening to the radio or a podcast for half an hour or so and just think out loud about what type and level of skill you need to have to win 90% of the self-defense encounters you’re likely to actually have.
Do you need to carry 17+1 w/ 3 reloads?
Do you need to be able to hit a sub-second draw?
Would you be better suited with the ability to stack 20 rounds on a B8 @ 25 yards, or a 1.5s Bill Drill?
What else do you think you need, where are you lacking, and what do you do just for fun at the range? I have some answers for myself, but it ultimately comes down to you and your individual situation.
As you can tell from the title at the top of the page, this is only the beginning of a series. I will start it out with CCW-standards, but we will expand on it from there. I hope you guys find it interesting.
Stay tuned, stay sharp, and we’ll see you next Friday.