Fighting From A Vehicle — Recap Of Atlanta Car Thug And Reviewing What We Need To Do


Kevin Michalowski of United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) introduces a very familiar concept for Concealed Nation readers: fighting from inside a vehicle.

If you recall, we did an article discussing an incident that was captured on dashcam. A driver captured an armed thug stepping out of a vehicle at a red light and threatening him with a brandished pistol.

Thankfully, the driver got away without incident. It could have gone much worse.

In this episode of Into The Fray, Kevin Michalowski discusses the realities we’re faced with when fighting from a vehicle. In short: it’s bad.

Bullets striking the front windshield may actually be deflected down, giving a lot better of a chance of a critical hit on the defender. He briefly mentions that a concealed carrier is going to have to make a decision — take your chances being a sitting duck or get out of the vehicle.

In almost any case where you feel your life is physically threatened and you are in grave danger, it’s always best to nip it in the bud and use decisive defensive force.

Giving the initiative over to an attacker only means we have fewer critical moments to react. This is a criminal’s best case scenario and a worst case scenario for the concealed carrier.

Michalowski appears to advocate for dismounting from the vehicle prior to engaging a known armed adversary. This is echoed by a lot of other firearms professionals and instructors.

What About The Safety Belt?

There’s a bit more detail given in a SIG SAUER instructional video about drawing a gun from inside a vehicle.

One of the biggest considerations: your seat belt.

Most states — like Georgia — require you to wear your safety belt while operating a vehicle. This means that in addition to the heightened adrenaline of dealing with a life or death scenario, you’re also worried about getting unbuckled from your vehicle.

One exercise we can all practice is properly dismounting to engage a target.

SIDENOTE: Check out an article we wrote on using an airsoft gun to practice complicated techniques that you can’t do at most conventional ranges.

Dismounting Vehicle Exercise

  • Scan
  • Assess target
  • Unbuckle safety belt
  • Open driver’s side door
  • Draw pistol from holster and bring to the ready position on target
  • Exit vehicle, staying low to driver’s side door (this door will not stop bullets)
  • Move to the rear of the vehicle, using the driver’s side door as very limited concealment
  • Scan and assess for threat

This exercise requires zero rounds to be fired and should be done in a controlled, safe environment away from bystanders. Using an airsoft replica of your everyday carry handgun can help you judge the basic mechanics of how you will deal with transitioning out of a vehicle.

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About the Author

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 26 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his Sig Sauer SP2022 in a Dara Holsters Appendix IWB holster.

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