THE CLAUDE WERNER TEST

S&W M&P 2.0 METAL in a Keepers Kydex AIWB rig, plus a 17 round spare magazine in a Bawidaman Uber horizontal carrier and a J-frame on the ankle. That’s 40 rounds on ready…but at what concealment price?

My dear friend, Claude Werner, AKA, “The Tactical Professor,” had a term attributed to him called the, “Werner Test.” Claude probably didn’t mean for it to end up as eponymous reference, but thanks to the internet, here we are.

From my buddy Darryl Bolke: “The Werner Test is for firearms training folks to get a job for six months at a place like Target, Home Depot, etc. where you wear a issued set of clothes that means a thin tucked in shirt and pants not made for concealment and work amongst several hundred people daily for three months in a job like that where you are often on your knees stocking shelves or climbing on things while the public and other employees are watching with guaranteed termination and never get made.”

Claude was speaking about the real life dilemma of concealing a capable handgun, and ancillary support equipment in actual clothes, not the, “tactical hobo,” or, “tactical carpenter,” look that so many in the culture wear. He was talking about real people, who work real jobs, where being discovered as a concealed pistol carrier could result in loss of employment, or worse. So from here on out, for the purposes of the article, this is the meaning of the, “Werner Test.” Effectively concealing a means with which to defend yourself where you must conform to uniform standards, or if an untucked shirt tail, concealment garment, or suspicious bulges are a no-go. If you want to think about it in real nerd terms, he’s talking about being a complete James (or Jane) Bond where it would be absolutely inconceivable to the casual onlooker or even trained eye that one was carrying a pistol? Still think that’s you? Think again…it might not be! The true impetus for this idea from Claude was about the unrealistic expectation that many firearms trainers have that, “regular people,” (i.e. CIVILIAN DEFENDERS) like them, have the capability to wear a full size pistol, complete with light and optic, two spare mags, and a variety of support gear. Fact is, many people TRAIN that way, and then upon completion of the class, they doff that gear set, only to put it on again, the next time they train. The J frames, Ruger LCP’s, SIG P365’s and Glock 43/43X/48 that they ACTUALLY carry and wear everyday, well those sit in the center console of their truck until the training class is over. Thus, many firearms instructors have no real idea about WHAT IT TRULY TAKES to conceal and fight from the clothing and gear set that REAL people wear under REAL daily life.

A FEW STORIES TO ILLUSTRATE MY POINT

Back in the armored truck days, the holidays are always a bit different. More deliveries, more trips through the mall, more danger. As such, it wasn’t odd for the company to add an additional security person to the route to strictly, “ride shotgun.” The term is used these days thoughtlessly, but it once referred to the passenger on the stage coach who actually sat on the box containing the valuables the stage transported, and their sole job (other than to take over driving duties in the event of the driver being incapacitated) was to use a shotgun to repel any marauders or unauthorized boarders. One such holiday season, I was the shotgun rider for the mall route in Northern Washington State and the guy I was working with was frankly a doofus. He was later arrested for and incarcerated (wait for it…) robbing an armored truck (not the one I was on), but that’s another story. As licensed armed guards by the state, we were authorized to open carry pistols in a duty type rig, as well as open carry long guns as needed. This particular guy, who mind you had poor physical fitness, intense body odor, and less than adequate marksmanship skills, of course carried five guns total; four concealed about his person and one on his hip. On one such foray into the mall around Christmas, he was essentially speed walking through the mall corridor, and inadvertently whacked one of his ankles into his other ankle, which caused the nylon POS ankle rig he was carrying to lose his AMT Backup .380 ACP and send it hurling down the tiled floor of the mall about twenty feet ahead of him. I was following him about five yards back, and saw it happen. He scurried ahead and crouched down to pick up the small gray pistol and put it into the messenger bag he was carrying the deposits in. Interestingly, although this was in the pre-cellphone era, and the mall was brimming with people, nobody noticed! People were busy shopping, walking from place to place, and although somehow that little AMT skidded between the feet of about four different people before it came to rest, NOBODY saw it.

I am a fan of ankle holsters, and I’ve used one since 1996. But if you’re going to go this route, but a quality rig from Galco, like this Ankle Glove, or from THE WILDERNESS and you’ll avoid having your gun fly across the mall floor, and you’ll also manage to keep it concealed from anyone else, as long as your trouser legs keep it covered.

Another time on the armored truck service, a gent came into the office inquiring about work. He looked like a typical PNW’er, dressed for the times of the peri-Grunge era. Military shorts, crew neck sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off, and he looked like he was about 15 pounds from being in really good physical shape. He was an affable guy, and we were talking outside after the route. We started talking about guns, and he lifted his sweatshirt up to show us that he had a 4” .44 Magnum revolver and a full size Taurus PT92 9mm on his belt! Completely concealed! He surprised all of us, and turned out to be a great employee. Although he would’ve qualified for the tactical hobo look by today’s standards, he didn’t look out of place at all, given the casual dress mode of the 90’s in the Seattle area!

A gang of tactical tradesmen…to the casual observer, we look like middle aged outdoorsmen, or at worst, highly underpaid Duluth Trading Company Models. But we all have on primary full-size pistols, and probably second guns too, in addition to spare ammo, lights, medical gear, less lethal and blades. From left to right is Rick Remington, myself, Spencer Keepers and John Correia from ASP. Bottom line, if you have a calibrated eye, you might see the tells…

I found myself a few years ago, sitting in my personal truck eating, as I tend to do, especially when I’m on the road. Not the safest practice, I know, but I was hungry, didn’t want to sit inside and eat, and so I sat in my truck enjoying my lunch and listening to a podcast. I saw a fellow who was an employee from a nearby gunshop heading into the Subway to get food presumably. What immediately stuck out to me wasn’t the fact that he was wearing a SERPA holster, it was that he was wearing a SERPA holster WITH 1 7/8″ J-frame in it. WHAT SIR? You’re working in a gunshop, where open carry is apparently now the L’ordre du jour amongst everyone who works in gunshops currently, BUT you’re carrying one of the most common, popular and ingeniously designed concealment pieces EVER? WHY? Why not just carry a Keltec P32 in a belt holster, made by FOBUS? Silly…so this man works in an environment where he can literally carry anything he wants, even a shoulder holster if he was so inclined, yet he chooses a gun that is actually ridiculously easy to conceal? Doesn’t compute to me, but he made his own choice. If I was in that exact position, I would’ve dropped that revolver into a pocket holster in the size 70″ waist pants he was wearing. You read that right…

If you MUST open carry, and you insist it is a, “smaller than fighting size semiautomatic,” this Shadow Systems CR920 wouldn’t be an awful choice. Meaning I wouldn’t judge you for carrying it…however I would still judge you for open carrying! Unless you’re a farmer or a professional cowboy or outdoorsman, I just can’t see a benefit. More on this gun later.

One last story…I had a patient recently that was older, retired, and had the tactical hobo uniform on and in full-effect. I thought about asking him if John Farnam knew he had been raiding his closet but I erred on the side of caution and elected not to. As the patient sat down, and I reclined the treatment chair, I noticed a SIG 938 in a leather pancake holster. Again, like the former story, a SMALL gun, made for concealment, in a holster that is no doubt comfortable but also HUGE. And with some judicious guidance of the cover garment, it wouldn’t have been an issue to simply conceal ANY pistol that he had on his hip, from my view. Even in the exam chair. I asked him about it and he was shocked that I noticed. I told him he didn’t have anything to fear…and that my office was always going to be gun-friendly.

Back to the Werner test. “Non-Permissive Environments,” means different things to different people. And since we are ultimately talking about the armed civilian defender ultimately suffering some kind of loss due to being discovered as a concealed pistol carrier, let’s think from that perspective. What CAN we do to prevent that? Many people who DO NOT think of this problem (and inevitably, dress like a tactical hobo with their Keen work boots, four concealment vests, M64 Field Jacket and 5.11 ballcap) will say pedantic things like, “Just dress around the gun!” OK…but what if you cannot dress like a hobo and you have to wear scrubs? You’d stick out like a sore thumb if you wore a tactical safari vest with your scrubs and slip on clogs (as they yell out, “YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME IN CLOGS!”) or if you’re stuck wearing a company uniform of some sort. Even in a semi-fitted suit, you’re going to have issues concealing a gun…and then what if you need to take your jacket off? Pocket holsters work with suits sometimes, sans jacket, but if the gun is too large, it’s going to be painfully obvious.

Now I fully understand that most people are so blissfully unaware and in their phones that you could actually be wearing six inch platform shoes with goldfish swimming in them, and have bright blue hair, and unless you were ablaze, nobody would notice. I’m not worried about getting made by those people. I would be more worried about the people that see you routinely…in my profession, everyone seems to be on an endless loop of fad diets, gastric bypass and massive weight loss. So everyone else is very cognizant of even a bit of an overall change in someone’s appearance. That can be a problem. Also, scrubs can be deceiving. I’ve seen people who look like they’ve been spray-painted on them, and not in a flattering way, all of the way to people who look like they were just turned loose of the local drunk tank with scrubs four sizes too large. But professional, pressed scrubs are difficult to hide guns under since they’re relatively form fitting, usually lack belt loops and don’t have extra material to drape over the gun. If you’re an athletic person or you are particularly fit, when you’re in scrubs, people are going to know that. If you’re shaped like a potato, people are going to know that too. I can’t speak from direct experience but I imagine the same is true for many places that wear uniforms. I have had the unique experience of working as a pizza delivery driver in the early 90’s, as well as working at a taco restaurant and both places required a polo shirt, tucked or untucked. With an untucked shirt, it was not difficult to carry discreetly, a five shot J frame in an Uncle Mike’s faux suede clip on holster in the appendix position. If someone was going to make you wearing that rig, they’d have to touch you awfully close to your genitals. And in the two times that has happened to me in my entire life, I’ve plainly said, “You just touched my penis,” which makes it just awkward enough that people quickly forget anything having to do with the event and move onto a less taboo conversation, or more apropos, leave the room completely. “Managing Unknown Contacts,” isn’t just being witty with bad guys in parking lots y’all.

So the Werner Test is a good thing to consider. To be honest, I’ve worked in professional environments, both rural and urban, where I can get away with wearing a scrub shirt and some sort of khaki or chino pants, and still maintain a professional appearance AND could carry a full size gun, and all the accoutrements. I’ve also worked in places where I could carry a J frame in Thunderwear (looking at you Mark Luell) and that was IT. Getting made would’ve been too easy. I’m honestly jealous of the people who can wear whatever they want, and wear whatever kind of gun they want, in a variety of conditions. But when I think more about what me, and the average civilian defender is liable to face, it’s an ambush type robbery for either money, or controlled substances/prescription pads that my office has. So while I’d love to have a twenty shot nine millimeter that would allow me to launch off a tremendous volley of aimed fire, possibly against multiple attackers, is the gun truly the limiting reagent in that scenario? Have many parking lot robberies been lost because people ran out of ammo? Have many bad guys continued to press the fight after they experience an explosive counter attack, regardless of what the rounds were? These are all questions that are highly individualized, and require dedicated thought on your part. I can’t tell you what to do, I can only describe to you what someone like me would do in my unique corner of the world. I don’t know what your gunfight is going to look like, and none of us are fortune tellers!

Lots of my intelligent friends are using guns like this Smith 43C or the LCR counterpart in .22LR loaded with Federal Punch for their NPE gun. Even though I have firsthand experience dealing with dozens of .22LR wounds, many of which were fatal, I still have some trepidation about going this light for a gun I’m betting all the chips on. It could be used, sure. I’m not 100% sold on it though yet, although it has proven reliable in my experience, as well as accurate and very controllable.

ACTIONABLE INTEL…preventing the ULTIMATE loss

Cecil Burch, Darryl Bolke and Chuck Haggard teach a brilliant, multi-day seminar called, “Counter Robbery and NPE,” which deals specifically with the eventuality of facing an armed attack in the form of violence most commonly experienced by normal people, the street or parking lot robbery. They cover accessibility, the concealed/covert draw, pocket carry accessibility, and in addition to the live fire range exercises, they also go through simulation drills with blue guns/training guns to illustrate the utility. Many people go out in the world, who take training courses, which is great, with a full-sized pistol, big holster that is easily accessible and compatible with range (i.e. weather appropriate clothing) and then when they actually carry in-real-life, they strap on a micro-9 or drop a .380 or J-frame in their pocket, and thoughtlessly think that the same skills they’re on the path to mastery with on the big gun, translate to the little guns. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Using the small guns in the 5-7 yard envelope of violent social interaction is an application that only a few trainers in the community deal with directly; and the Counter Robbery/NPE course is one of them. All of the aforementioned trainers, Cecil, Chuck and DB talk about this engagement space problem in their other training, so it all meshes together nicely and fits into the grand scheme of overall response, coupled with the primacy of putting early-warning and pre-loaded responses into play, quickly when the violent stimulus arrives. Using enough force, soon enough, can often prevent having to use more force in the immediate future. This is why there are so many defensive gun uses (DGU’s) that end immediately, once the bad guy realizes that they are now on the receiving end of a counter ambush…they quickly break contact and go find someone else to victimize, or just leave the area completely. You win 100% of every fight you can avoid, and if a prepared and legally warranted display of a firearm is what ends the confrontation, then all the better.

I once walked out the back door of a dental office to see a large black bear within ten feet of me, eating out of the biohazard container. Not what I was expecting to see! When I got home that night, I loaded up my .45-70 and put it in my truck and carried it to/from my parking spot into the office, and left it, at my desk, without anyone on the staff (or probably 99% of the patients) giving a damn if they had seen the rifle. Most casual onlookers would be more curious about what it was, what kind of rounds I had loaded in it, and where they could buy one! I’ve worked in other places where identical behavior, EVEN IN THE PRESENCE OF MAN-EATING BEARS, would result in a SWAT team response, helicopters, news crews, the whole bit. So in one setting, THE WERNER TEST MUST be passed with flying colors, 100%, everyday. In the other, it was the norm for the staff, patients, and townspeople to go about armed. So the WERNER TEST was a complete non-issue, except in explicitly posted, federally regulated locations.

Going full tilt carry, and going as concealable as possible are both feasible options. What you do, depends on you, and what you are willing to lose. It could be your job, your freedom, or your life. Pre-planning, and formulating an intelligent response is important for the well-equipped civilian defender to consider. The game is mostly mental, with a touch of equipment involved. Rehearse accordingly.

Thank you for reading! Please like, subscribe to my feed, and share on your social media pages if you found something interesting or helpful! Thanks! -Dr. House

Another common choice for the NPE gun, these are used to great effect by badasses I know like Chuck Haggard, Greg Ellifritz, Rhett Neumeyer and others. Easy to hide, easy to shoot, and oddly, EERILY accurate. With some well penetrating .380 ammo, it is a decent choice for an NPE gun.

THE FIFTY STATE LEGAL DEFENSIVE RIFLE

Let’s just say that hypothetically you’ve found yourself living in an area due to life’s circumstances, that is run by law makers who don’t give a damn about US Constitutional Law. If you had nothing in the way of defensive long arms, what would you do? Semi-automatic defensive rifles are obviously the best choice for most people, but if you’re in a state where semi-autos aren’t on the menu, what other options do you have? In one such state, new gun buyers are finding that their options are limited to lever action, pump action or bolt guns. Not optimal, but also not the worst. Infringement on freedom is garbage, and we are all hopeful that every state with a ridiculous, “Assault Weapons Ban,” that does absolutely NOTHING to stop any violent crime, will soon fold and involute under the force of the Supreme Court of the United States. Enough for politics…

I am a fan of lever actions. Whether in the futuristic, steampunk guise of, “Firefly,” or in western film classics like, “Rio Bravo,” or modern tales like, “Yellowstone,” or, “Longmire,” the silhouette of a lever gun is unmistakable. Many of us grew up with Red Ryder BB guns, which were also lever action, and that nostalgia sticks with us through adulthood, and persists! Don’t discount the utility of a good lever action though…Colonel Jeff Cooper himself advocated for law enforcement use of the lever gun well into his twilight years (the so-called BROOKLYN SPECIAL) and many of the mainstream trainers you know (Clint Smith, James Yeager, Lee Weems, Randy Cain, Darryl Bolke and others) have either advocated, demonstrated or taught a curriculum specific to manually operated guns for areas where people are subject to gun control laws. They’ve worked for about 160 years now, and they still work today.

WHAT THEY DON’T DO WELL…

CAPACITY: Lever guns are a lot like revolvers in practical use…there are easier ways to operate. Like Tom Givens says, “I don’t carry a semi-automatic pistol so I can shoot more; I carry one so I can reload less.” A good lever gun in a 20” barrel can carry 10 rounds. Some can hold more (especially rimfire variants) and some like the mighty .45-70 hold far fewer. In a civilian defender emergency (e.g. repelling home invaders) scenario, a situation requiring more than 10 rounds would be unlikely. But, if you’re attacked by a team of 11 home invaders, make it interesting for the first ten through the door…so capacity COULD be an issue.

DURABILITY: This one will ruffle some feathers because people LOVE their lever guns. Yes…I know you inherited it from your Grandad and he never had any issues with it, but trust me. If you put it on the range in a relatively rigorous volume of fire class, you will see some issues. Stoppages that tie up the gun severely enough that it won’t run without some love from a competent lever smith. Lever guns have lots of moving parts, several screws and they’re made from a design from a time where smokeless powder wasn’t around, and the metals (like metals are apt to do) expand with heat and that makes tight tolerance parts, tighter! So for large volume classes, where you may fire 250 rounds in an 8 hour course, you can have issues. It would probably be smart to bring a backup gun, so you can alternate between the two when one gets really hot or if you experience a break down that isn’t amenable to immediate action drills (i.e. running the lever again).

INDIVIDUALITY: Like shotguns and revolvers, each are their own individual, and may either be stand outs from their respective kind, or complete lemons, even among makes and manufacturers that are thought of as being normally high-quality. Also, due to variances in headspace, barrel concentricity, and crowns, accuracy can waver from phenomenal to horrid. I had a major manufacturer rifle that had a non-concentric bore which made it zero at 50 yards, about two feet right and three feet high off the bullseye. It would group nice, but I didn’t want to have a gun that was that cockeyed, so I contacted the manufacturer and they gladly replaced the barrel after confirming my diagnosis.

LOADING GATES: Two kinds of loading gates exist (all variants of the, “King’s Loading Gate” which was the original inventor of the side-loading gate back in the 1860’s) and they’re either effortless and you can thumb rounds into them with aplomb, even when you are lacking mechanical leverage (like when the gun is shouldered) OR the loading gate is so tight and sharp, that it takes pieces of your thumb with you when you load it. There are some aftermarket fixes for this issue, and there are a few great gunsmiths who still work on lever guns, but the real geniuses in that subset of gunsmiths are the SASS and CASS (Single Action Shooting Society and Cowboy Action Shooting Sports smiths) who make these guns run like butter and load nearly effortlessly.

AMMO PICKINESS: Rounds in the magazine tube of a lever gun have to be of a certain bullet profile to not only feed effectively, but also to not inadvertently cause a chain reaction of rounds going off in the magazine tube if the bullet noses of the rounds hit the primer of the round in front of it. Not good! Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons had this happen to him a few years back with a Henry Rifle, but I believe the etiology of the chain fire in his case was because of the follower impacting the primer of the first round in the tube. Either way, you don’t want to experience that! So in addition to finding ammo that your gun likes, and coincides with the point of aim/point of impact, you need to find one that is a profile that won’t cause a chain fire AND STILL feed into the chamber. Hornady’s Leverevolution rounds have worked in .45-70, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .45 Colt for me. For practice/training ammo, I go for flat nose rounds like the Keith wad cutter profile rounds.

WHAT THEY DO WELL

PROFILE: Long and lean…you can (and I have) set a lever gun in the space next to the center console of my truck and the passenger seat. At less than 2” thick down its entire length it hides well, and stays secure for the drive. I can’t easily do that with my AR’s.

NOSTALGIC AND NON-THREATENING APPEARANCE: Many people equate lever guns with movies, or simply as deer guns and don’t regard them the same way they’d look at an AR-15 or even a Mini-14. They just don’t seem that threatening. Marty Hayes of the ACLDN (Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network) has said that in some actual legal cases as well as mock trials, the appearance of a long gun that was used in lawful self-defense was brought into question. This is hypothetically less-so with traditional looking, archaic firearms designs like the lever gun. People look at them and think of their childhood, John Wayne or their grandparents.

POWER: Leverguns for defensive use, in common calibers like .30-30, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum .45 Colt and .45-70 have loadings in power levels that vary from low power cowboy rounds, all of the way up to hard cast flat nose rounds that can take any large game in North America. In rounds that are commonly used in revolvers, the longer barrel of the lever gun gives much more stabilization, as well as velocity to the projectile that results in sometimes awesome effects down range. Chuck Haggard and I have used .357 Magnum rounds in the 125 grain range that produced results that were indistinguishable from an AKM firing 123 grain rounds in blocks of Clear Ballistic Gelatin with four layers of denim on the front. BOTH rounds were recovered in the first half of the second block, with nearly identical wound tracks. I’ve also euthanized 150-200 pound pigs before with 158 and 125 grain .357 Magnum rounds with great effect. Bottom line…some Magnum revolver rounds (and .45 Colt) give even better performance out of longer barrels. You just have to figure out which you like, what feeds, and what shoots to the sights (or zeroed optic) on your gun.

SAFETY: A traditional (not with the additional safety devices that silly states have enacted and forced some manufacturers to incorporate like Winchester Rossi and Marlin) lever gun is essentially a single action type trigger attached to a tube feed gun. The trigger does one thing, and that’s release the hammer which fires the round. The lever ejects the fired round and then allows the next round to load into the chamber. You can safely carry a round in the chamber with the hammer down on SOME modern lever actions. Thus, if you need the gun, you simply grab the gun, fully cock the hammer and fire. Of course, you can also carry in a, “cruiser ready,” condition with an empty chamber and a loaded magazine tube, and all that is needed to put the gun into action is rack the lever to load it. The corollary is also true; once you’re done shooting, you have to safely decock the hammer to the down/half-cock condition. Mishaps can be minimized if you are trained to do this safely (READ: the FOUR FIREARMS SAFETY RULES are always in play and full effect).

FUN: People are interesting creatures…we tend to do things more if they’re fun! I’ve used rifles in a professional capacity, and although it isn’t as high-tech or state of the art as self-loading rifles, they are so much fun! And fun, consistent practice lends itself to recent, realistic and relevant training. Shoot the same drills you’d do with your handgun, at the same distances you’d do with your pistol. Yes…some of us may have longer shots in their home. But longer than 25 yards? You SHOULD be doing some 25 yard work with your pistol, but most of it should be done within the bounds of the length of a car (16 feet). The rest, weak hand, multiple targets, the Parrot Drill, The, “TEST,” (or the SUPER TEST) are all in play and for the, “Urban Carbine,” as coined by Clint Smith, we are talking about using a long gun in a space envelope that is normally considered pistol distances.

Rossi 1892 .357 Magnum (made by Taurus). The 1892 action is strong…definitely strong enough to contain the pressures of the mighty .357 Magnum. I’ve had this gun for more than a decade and I originally bought it because the indoor range I shot at allowed long guns, but only if they were in pistol calibers. I added the rail, to be able to add an optic, and later the VersaCarry buttstock carrier. I also put the Skinner Aperture sight from Steve’s Guns that replaces the rotating safety which immobilizes the firing pin.
The Rossi comes with a nice brass front sight and a buckhorn rear sight. While that combo worked well, I’m just not a huge fan of buckhorn sights. They work fine, but I prefer an aperture or an optic on my lever guns. YMMV.
This is a SKINNER SIGHTS Scout type rail that mounts to the drilled and tapped holes that exist under the buckhorn sight. You secure the screws (with loctite) and let them cure, then attach (again with loctite) your optic so that it doesn’t come loose. With Magnum ammo, the rail and that optic will get hot!
VersaCarry ammunition carrier. This holds five rounds and is attached to the stock with Velcro. Some people like the lace-on butt cuffs, and while I like them and think they look useful, I can’t for the life of me get one that doesn’t rotate with even limited use. This one pictured here, doesn’t move. MILT SPARKS used to make a similar product for shotguns that had holes drilled for mounting onto a stock with screws, but I’d really like to see my friend Rob Leahy at Simply Rugged make something similar, maybe even in exotic or tooled hides in a variety of calibers. I have a label attached below the shell carrier, because I’m getting old and if I write things down, I won’t forget! I record the bullet weight and the distance that I have zeroed the optic for (that’s as far as the range lanes allow). Inside of 25 yards, with either .357’s or .38’s, the POA/POI is coincidental enough that I can hardly notice. Good enough for what I need it for. Some might ask about over penetration hazards with 158 grain ammunition…I personally feel that a bigger concern is missing the target! In actual situations, the ONLY safe backstop for a defensive encounter is the attacker. Instead of worrying about the penetration arc of missed rounds, or shooting all of the way through someone due to a peripheral hit, I would rather focus and work on putting the rounds into the upper thoracic area, or in the cranial ocular cavity. Rounds fired into attackers in real-world scenarios are often recovered in their clothing, or lodge themselves under the skin of the attacker on their backs or sometimes topple out of the suspect when they are moved to/from the gurney or backboard. EVEN IN rounds that penetrate in gelatin tests GREATER than the 18” the FBI prescribes. Bullets act differently in living tissue, whether human or another mammal than they do in a gelatin test medium.

Thank you for reading! Something a bit different…and while not comprehensive, it’s a start of an interesting project. If this piece proves popular, I will continue to write more about the research and testing I am doing in this area with lever guns. Like, share amongst your friends and on social media and subscribe to my feed if you want to hear more about the defensive use of manually actuated long guns! THANKS AGAIN! -DR. HOUSE