Don’t Fumble on the One Yard Line
It’s Super Bowl weekend. And everyone is watching football. (And eating pizza, and drinking beer, and ROFLMAO at the commercials, as well.) The players will, however, be taking this very seriously. It’s time to put it all on the line. And the last thing anyone wants to do is to fumble the football on the one yard line.
Most of you know that Mrs. Stoneman and I are living the dream in a 30 foot travel trailer which we purchased last October. RV living is a little different than living in a regular house. There are 3 systems of power – propane/DC voltage/AC voltage. Some things in the trailer use one or two sources of power, and our refrigerator uses all three. Some widows push out, some push up, and some don’t open at all. Then there are the light switches and the faucets. We have never figured these out. Each light fixture has two lights and two switches. And, because there seems to be no uniformity, we are constantly flipping the wrong one. And each of the faucet sets are different. The Hot and Cold handles all turn different directions to start the flow. Some clockwise, some counterclockwise – no uniformity, and we’re too old to remember.
I even marked what passes for a deadbolt on the door. (I didn’t feel too bad about that one, you can see that the “screen” door handle came from the factory marked, even though you can’t move it up – only down.)
What about your handguns? Are they uniform? I doubt it. And within those variables lies the opportunity to fumble on the one yard line. When you really need to use it, you will not want to be looking for the instructions.
Here are a couple of revolvers. The “cowboy gun” is a single action revolver. You have to pull the hammer back each time to cock it and prepare it to fire. But the “snub nose” revolver is double action. Just pull the trigger to make it go bang. And while the cylinder of the snubbie will rotate outwards to facilitate loading, the six-shooter has to be unloaded/reloaded one cartridge at a time through a loading gate on the right side of the gun.
What about the reloads for that snubbie? Speed loaders or loading strips? In either case, you must have them on the right side or in the right hand pocket. And if there is anything else in that pocket, it might cause a fumble on the one yard line.
Ever fumble a safety? I don’t like safeties on a gun. Too many things to do if I need to use it. And look at these guns. The Ruger at the top has a safety which you need to move up to fire, while the Smith & Wesson’s safety needs to be flipped down. (Remember, Red Is Dead. If you can see the red, the gun is ready to fire. I put the red dot on the S&W so that Mrs. Stoneman could be sure it was on safe. She likes safeties.)
And these two, although both S&W M&P’s, are different. One has a safety and one doesn’t. (Again, Mrs. Stoneman likes safeties, and the M&P 22 is the handgun she uses for home defense. Otherwise, I would simply remove it and buy the appropriate covers for the holes it would leave in the frame.)
How do you carry that handgun? Fanny pack? (Some zip open, some rip open with velcro.) Outside the waistband with a retaining strap? (Upper right.) Outside the waist band without a retaining strap? Inside the waistband? (Left side.) Outside the waistband with a Blackhawk Serpa holster which only releases the gun if you push the locking button on the front? (Lower right.)
And WHERE do you carry? Left side? Right side? Appendix? Small of the back? 3 o’clock? (on the hip) 5 o’clock? (behind the hip) Is your head starting to spin?
“Practice like you play” is the only way to insure that you will not fumble on the one yard line. Carry the same gun in the same holster at the same location every day. You will not want to wonder where your gun is when you need it. You will not to fuss with how it comes out of the holster when you need it. You will not want to try to find the reloads when you need them and try to remember how to get those fresh cartridges into the handgun. And you certainly won’t want to forget to disengage the safety, if you have one.
Establish a uniform way to carry, and practice, practice, practice. Don’t fumble on the one yard line.