My main question is, with the rise of multiple attackers being the norm, is the snubby still a viable tool for these ever increasing challenges?
I hope this note finds you well.
Thank you for the great question.
If I may restate and paraphrase it, you’re asking: “Do I believe that the snubby possess a sufficient round count to be practical against multiple attackers?”
I would say the answer is (in order): No, Maybe and Yes.
Answer 1: No – I don’t know if the snub is or isn’t enough gun for some/most/all multiple attacker assaults because I don’t know the; Who, What, When, Where, How, How many, How willing, What tactics, etc. of the all the parties involved. But if I have to assume the worst case scenario – An unskilled neophyte vs. a skilled, motivated gang then I would have to say “No.”
Answer 2: Maybe – If I know something of the defender and something about the bad guy(s) I might be able to say “Maybe.”
Since everyone loves *antidotal* stories let me give you two to support (not prove) the point:
Officer X is moving his prisoner out of the housing area to the PD car. He is armed with one six-shot revolver. Friends of the bad guy show up and surround Officer X. Seventeen by some estimates. The “leader” of this ad hock gang steps in Officer X’s way and informs him that a) He (Officer X) “Ain’t taking the guy anywhere.” and b) They have more guys than he has rounds in his gun.
What would you do? You have zero seconds. Times up. Well Officer X draws his gun, points it in the bigmouth and tells him “Yea, and the first five are for you.” Now what you need to know about Officer X is he is a shooter. A man 100% committed to shooting bad guy(s) the instant he know there isn’t another option. There is absolutely no “maybe” in anything Officer X says or does. Two seconds after the gun came out Officer X just walked his prisoner on by. Now what won the fight, the round count or the man? Now let me ask you a trick question, lets say all 17 pulled guns on Officer X. What would he have done? What would you have done? You have zero seconds. Times up. Officer X would have shot that one guy in the face. Five times. Just like he said he would. Officer X’s secret (I believe) is that he knows that you DON’T fight 3 or 5 or 15 or what ever number of guys. You can’t. You fight ONE guy, one at a time. You may end up in 3 or 5 or X number of fights in a very short time period but you do NOT fight multiple guys a once.
Second event – Officer Z is in the car doing paperwork. He has a six-shot revolver in his waist band and a vest under his uniform. Four gang bangers come up on each corner of the car. By available accounts there was one pistol per bad guy. The first bad guy to get to the car sticks his gun in the open window and starts pulling the trigger. As the bad guy’s hand is coming into the window Officer Z sees what’s coming and shoves his gun out the window, forearm passing forearm and starts pulling his trigger. So how do you think this is going to finish up – One guy with six-rounds vs. four guys with six to sixty (?) rounds? You have zero seconds. Times up. Let’s pause to ask you a question. BEFORE Officer Z started pulling the trigger how many bad guys was he facing? Four? One? You tell me. 1/100 of a second after he started pulling the trigger, how many bad guys was he facing? I’ll tell you. ZERO. They came in for an ambush. They screwed off at Mach-3 when it became a gunfight, and they didn’t sign up for no gunfight. So …
Since I know something about both Officers X and Z (I worked with both of them years ago) I can say that for them a low round count weapon can be a viable weapon against multiple attackers … sometimes.
Answer 3: But if you are asked me (Michael de Bethencourt) if I think the snub is enough gun for multiple attackers (define “multiple”) coming against me (Alone, with neither friends nor family in tow) I would say (drum roll please ….) “It’s a nonsense question. Right up there with “Do you still beat your wife?”
Here’ are my thoughts, valid only for me but I’ll share them anyway.
1 – No one can win a gunfight against multiple shooters so I pre-reject the concept of facing multiple shooters. Faced with multiple attackers, I plan to pick the one guy that I am reasonable certain I can stop (We don’t kill – we shoot to stop, right? … rrrright) and I make it VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE FOR HIM to try and kill me. If the gun goes dry I use my knife. If the knife breaks off I use my teeth. I have only one rule – Start one job and see it through – The universe will have to offer someone else the leftovers. Multi tasking doesn’t work in business or in gunfighting.
2 – Cull the herd, divide and conquer, call it what you will. In a real fight … most of the time … groups are only tough because they are anonymous. If you survive the gunfight with the one (1) guy God himself assigned to you then look around. IF there are still bag guys and IF they are still trying to kill you and IF you’re are still alive go back for “seconds.” But that is a lot of “IF’s.”
3 – Any gun you actually have-when-you-need it (even the lowly, low round count 2-inch snub) beats the entire collection of high round count guns you don’t have when you need them. So … since I carry a 2-inch snub year round, and IF I could not take Andy Stanford/Ed Lovettes’ advice to Evade, Avoid or Escape, and am forced into the fight with it (my snub) it would have to be a “viable” gun because it is the gun I will be using.
My advice on self-defense handguns comes down to this: Pick out that “minimum” gun you are absolutely certain you will be carrying when it is absolutely impractical and uncomfortable to carry any other make/model/style gun. Train with it like you will be facing three attackers. Learn to draw quickly, hit what you are aiming at quickly, learn to shoot on the move and learn to reload quickly with the spare ammo and the ammo carrier you actually carry. Train hard – its fun to do so it anyway. Then if you have to face one guy followed by one guy followed by one guy all one-after-the-other then you might just pull it off.
Anyway, that’s my plan.
Of course … I could be wrong.
Thank you again for the great question.