This morning after I took R to work, as I was pulling into the controlled parking area of our condo, a rather suspicious guy (we live downtown in a homeless drug addicted area) quickly walks out from between a couple of parked cars, right towards me window, asking “How you gonna pay your fare? How you gonna pay your fare?”. My first reaction, when he was about 7-8 feet from my cars was to yell “Get Back Get Back!”. He slowed down but kept asking “How you gonna pay your fare?”. Two more steps and I dropped “Stay Back MFer!”, he paused, I swiped my card, the gate lifted, I drove in. As I drove in I started thinking, I haven’t practiced while sitting in my car with my seat belt on. I doubt I would have been able to draw fast enough to help in this situation. Maybe a second too late but I need to figure out how to do this. So, do I go for a holster mounted somewhere in the car, carry in a different position, undo my seat belt when pulling into areas where I can’t just drive away? Kinda has me a bit concerned after this potential close call opened my eyes.
I unbuckle when extending my arm out the window.
I also make sure my shirt is untucked enough so I have clear access.
However, a second holster near the console or under the dashboard looks appealing right now after reading your post.
Sounds more crazy than violent. I would have answered “master card” .
Spent some time '79-80 homeless, ending up in San Francisco with loads of older nuts and young down and outers. As I said before, look through, not at, and let them know you’re nuttier than they are.
“This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco”…memorable line from an ex con who gave me $20 when we panhandled each other. I asked for a quarter…he gave me a lesson…and a twenty.
I keep my gun on the passenger seat at times, under a towel, console at times, door storage area if getting gas in shakeytown and not carrying, leaving door ajar and staying real observant. Seat under towel is quickest.
The one problem I see with on the seat is if you have to make a sudden stop. For instance a sketchy person steps in front of you to impede your progress. You could suddenly be disarmed!
@Mike164 I have actually practiced drawing with the seat belt on. It is awkward but with some shifting and arching I can do it. But being left handed it is not ideal for threats from the driver side.
I think @mattm ‘s assessment in this case is correct. In situations like this where you can’t just drive away and there is no clear and imminent threat I have used humor and/or confusing responses/questions. Any time we can interrupt someone’s OODA loop it can buy more time for us to come up with a strategy.
One final note. Sometimes drawing isn’t always the best option. If they catch us with our window down or break it, driving away from/into them or fighting them off with both hands may be a better options instead of letting them get hands on us while trying to draw.
Hence, the towel. Towels pretty much stay put I have found…plus, you can wipe down the blood, or the sweat afterwards, depending on how far things escalate after a corny response
I just remember a couple of panic stops when someone pulled out in front of me or stopped to keep from hitting a squirrel and everything went flying. Guess if you tucked the towel into the seat it could resist the mass of the gun.
I made a small divider for the consol in my truck. I pull out my IWB holster and clip it to the divider. It allows me to reach out and draw it back to me cleanly and easily. Took me about 15 mins to make and less to install. I practice with it and it is almost as easy as drawing from a standing position. I used to keep it in the waistband with my shirt moved out of the way, but after trying to draw a few dozen times, I couldn’t get comfortable with the draw speed from that position.
Glad it ended there. I use a Gum Creek Customs holster in my car which mounts right under the steering wheel and gives me quick access to my gun if I need it.
I’ve seen ads specifically for holsters to be mounted in cars. Several types. Or consider a backup gun in an ankle holster. Easy to reach when seated in a car.
I don’t stop for squirrels. They can actually avoid your tires better if you maintain course and speed.
I hate it when the people in front of me decide that a squirrel’s life is worth getting rear ended over:/
I’m very glad that you are safe @Mike164.
I use the Wilderness Tactical Safepacker. It would have been just what you needed today.
I have owned the same one for over 15 years now. I cannot recommend it enough.
In our “Response to Real World Encounters” course, we practice in vehicle defensive shooting as well as how best to evac out of a vehicle and escape or engage a threat.
In your situation, keep the window up and retreat with your vehicle by reversing out of there. Report it to LE. Best practices: if you are OWB or IWB, have your shirt tucked in on your holster side, allowing easy access to your firearm while buckled in, in advance of even starting your vehicle. Having to try and whip your shirt up while buckled could cost you valuable seconds.
It is critical to train with a SIRT/non-live ammo firearm, within your vehicle. There are very specific techniques for effective and efficient engagement as well as SAFETY for you and any passengers. Start with professional paid training and then practice what you’ve learned.
Seems like there are two points of view when it comes to letting the car hold your gun for you:
- Great idea!
- Worst idea ever!
I lean strongly toward the second position. If access to your regular carry seems impractical from a car seat, I would think either there are some techniques you don’t know about yet or your choice of carry position/method is not well suited to one of your recurring activities. I worked out how to access my EDC from a car seat, and find it not complicated at all. But there are sacks of off-body options to sort through if you prefer Door #1.
For the interaction, I second
A third point is don’t get stuck on your original objective — decide whether a plan change makes more sense. If the guy is a danger and you have to open the window to operate the gate, you’ve probably increased your vulnerability by trying to continue straight ahead. Can a person in a vehicle “scrape off” a pedestrian at an unstaffed gate? If the guy trails through the gate while you have it open, are you in a better or worse security position? Are others in your gated facility at risk if you let the guy draft through the gate with you?
Looking back on unusual experiences (at least the ones that don’t kill you) is a great way to examine overlooked vulnerabilities and see if there’s a better path.
There is no one fits all answer . I’m a big guy driving a '79 Ford F-100 with a bench seat . I carry a Colt Defender in .45 , IWB on right hip . I conceal under a light coat . I get in , fasten the seat belt under the coat ( coat still loosely draped over the gun ) and the holster resting just behind the belt release latch . I can unlatch the belt without revealing the gun and draw the gun from under the coat with the belt latched . Concealed till needed and I don’t have to think where it is .
For a couple years, I worked in a soft-clothes role doing car surveillances on known property or violent crime suspects–most of whom lived in very shady neighborhoods. For me, when seated in a vehicle, the easiest and cleanest draw is from a vertical shoulder holster, like the old one-size fits-most Bianchi X-15. The “Medium” size fits Commander-to-Government-size autopistols and 4" revolvers. Less often, I use a horizontal shoulder rig by Galco for my Glock 23.
Drawing from a hip holster while seated in a vehicle is awkward at best, and must be practiced/drilled with safe/empty sidearm to develop the motion in your specific vehicle. To me it is distant third choice to the above modes. I switched vehicles daily while doing that surveillance work, and the shoulder rigs were far more adaptable to those changing ‘environments’. KISS–Keep It Super Simple.
I still am in the habit of unbuckling entering parking lots, etc.
Regarding vehicle mounted holsters, check with your state. They may not be covered under your CCW.
Great situational awareness. If one feels a threat my opinion is to stage all your options ready for use. I keep bear spray in my door panel compartment, I have my pistol, I have the windows etc… unbuckle the seat belt for mobility. Dont panic but stay on high alert. Chose the best least lethal option that will guarantee safety as you feel the need.
I started carrying a large canister of bear spray in all my vehicles. Plus a small hand held 3oz bottle. Only time I have set it off was on accident while sleeping in the back of the truck camper and rolled over on top the can and somehow set it off. Damn. At least now I know it is a potential less lethal option, and perhaps especially useful if a crowd surrounds your car. I would never even go where that was a possibility, but the option is there.
I always carry left (9 o’clock) and practice cross drawing. Never mind drawing, just carrying right hangs a driver up in a seat belt.