If you look at training courses offered by some of the larger companies, one of the most common courses you see is some sort of vehicle CQB class. I will be the first one to admit that I’ve taken some of these courses and they are typically higher-level shooting classes with a ton of movement and definitely teach you about cover versus concealment. There is nothing wrong with that but not many talk about the true realities of carrying in your vehicle and what that means if you find yourself in a self-defense situation. After some thinking on this topic, I decided to look at it for you guys from a different perspective than most. Let’s take a closer look at the realities of carrying in your car.
The Reality of Fighting Inside Your Vehicle
The training world for the gun community has fully embraced the idea of vehicle fighting courses and some do it extremely well. People like Will Petty of Centrifuge Training do an incredible job training our boys in blue on how to properly fight around police cruisers and take a different perspective on the topic. He does great work and that’s really not what we are talking about today. The companies that offer vehicle combat courses and teach people how to fight inside their vehicles are the ones that really rub me the wrong way.
Fighting A Losing Battle
I’ll just throw this idea out there, by the time you start firing shots out of your vehicle something has gone terribly wrong and you made a mistake. Shooting out of a windshield for self-defense is an absolute nightmare. Your first few shots out of the windshield will be deflected up from where you’re aiming making them potentially off target. Then when you put a nice open port hole through your windshield, you can finally make accurate shots. Those first few shots not only probably missed the target but now you have to worry about unaccounted rounds in the wild. It’s a complete worst-case scenario.
If we are looking at this realistically, if you’re pulling a firearm inside your vehicle, there’s a good chance you’re taking shots which is also a no-win situation. Most rounds coming into the windshield reflect down and depending on the bullet will automatically correct its path straight into where you’re sitting. Sure it looks cool shooting out of the windshield for your social media, but the truth is it’s the absolute worst-case scenario you can find yourself in.
So is it possible to win a fight inside your vehicle? The short answer is yes but it’s the absolute last place I would to be caught in a self-defense situation. So what’s the best route if you find yourself in a dangerous situation? Well, the biggest benefit of your vehicle is the fact it moves faster than you. Use this to your advantage and use your vehicle to either escape or as a weapon before getting into a gunfight through a car’s windshield. A wise man once said you win 100% of the gunfights you don’t get into and that’s very applicable when talking about vehicles.
Avoid, deflect, and get out of there above all else. If it’s something like you’re stuck in traffic, I would get out of the car and get some distance before I would try and engage inside the vehicle. I know I may be beating a dead horse here, but I see so many people especially younger carriers have this belief they are invincible and can win any fight. The ugly truth is that none of that is factual and it just ends up putting you in more danger. At the end of the day, it’s pretty simple, you need to get away from the situation by any means necessary before trying to fight while you’re inside your car.
I think it’s incredibly dangerous to have people believe they are at an advantage fighting from inside their car when in reality it couldn’t be further from the truth. Get out of there whether it’s driving away or even running away but don’t get caught in the car because it’s just a losing battle from there.
Carry Styles In A Vehicle
Another big part of carrying in your car is firearm placement and where you decide to keep the gun while you’re driving. The easiest way is just to keep it on your body where you normally carry it, but depending on where the gun sits, it can make drawing it rather tricky. I personally carry on my strong side hip and that’s probably the hardest position to draw from with a seat belt on. I’ve found it’s easiest to draw when you extend your legs out fully and twist your hips so your gun is straight with no obstructions when you pull it from the holster. Doing a practice draw from inside the car when you’re at home is a great way to practice without alarming anyone. It’s best to practice these skills in private before you have to do it in a stressful situation.
Appendix carry gives easier access but the overall placement is pretty bad when dealing with a seatbelt. You either have to have the seatbelt over the handgun which can cause serious injury if you’re ever in an accident or have the seatbelt behind your carry gun which works well except it makes getting out of your car slower since you have to make sure the seatbelt doesn’t get caught on your gun. I will concede one of the best carry methods for long road trips is with a shoulder holster. I know all my older readers are screaming with joy telling the younger readers I told you so, but it really does make drawing from a holster incredibly easy sitting down. There are always options, but it’s important to practice whatever method you use to become comfortable with your draw stroke.
There will always be trainers out there who offer courses that teach unique skills for self-defense but the concept of shooting out of a vehicle isn’t exactly a practical one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly fun and a rush to shoot out a car’s windshield but in terms of a useful skill, it’s extremely limited. Avoidance and movement are key rather than sitting inside your vehicle and shooting. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with taking courses like that, but keep in mind its usefulness is extremely limited.
Let me know what you guys think about the debate of firing out of the vehicle or avoiding it down in the comments below. If you have any questions on carrying concealed or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and I’ll see you next week!