Lancer Systems L5AWM Magazines!


At CQT, we really like the Lancer Systems Magazines. A lot of us run them, including Paul, who is gonna' give you a nice walk through about the L5AWM magazines. 

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Running the Gun


So, how will your defensive pistol be employed? You will probably be out and about, minding your own bidness, deep in WHITE, and BAM! You find yourself confronted by a predator(s). Things start moving way too fast. You wish you could have the last four seconds back. Too late. They're gone and no one cares. The totality of the circumstances lead you to believe that you are about to die. You are literally two heart beats from panic. You are barely holding on emotionally. You palm heel the adversary in the chin to gain a little distance. You step off to the side to put the adversary in front of a safe backstop, and to hopefully, get out of his line of sight. You draw your Blaster 2000, put the front site at the top of his nose, centered between his eyes and mash the trigger. Beyond a "click", nothing happens. He re-acquires you, and looks really mad...

Hopefully, you carefully selected your minimum acceptable caliber, quality defensive ammunition, and selected a pistol that is just big enough so that you can control it. You carry the gun in a quality holster that allows you to re-holster one handed. Now you need to learn how to "run" it.

The gun will inevitably encounter "stoppages." A "stoppage" is when the pistol stops working. Maybe you shot the gun empty? Maybe something broke?  If so, you are probably screwed. Buying quality guns is about the only thing you can do to prevent this. Additionally, I would suggest that you take your gun to a qualified 'smith, annually, for a detailed disassembly, cleaning, and worn parts replacement. Be sure to test fire it when you get it back to make sure he/she put it together right. Beyond that, there are a few things we can do to ensure that first round goes "bang."

 Maybe the ammunition was out of spec'? I have seen ammunition from reputable manufacturers come out of a new box that were messed up. This is very rare, QC is taken very seriously by most ammunition manufacturers, but sometimes things happen. I've seen cases get stuck in chambers. Possibly from a hot powder charge. I've seen case heads separate. If you buy quality ammunition the chances of you experiencing these events is rare. I advocate taking every cartridge that you plan on carrying and placing it into the chamber of your barrel (yes, the gun is dissembled). If a cartridge doesn't fit, discard it appropriately. This check will hopefully identify a cartridge that is out of spec'. If it seats unusually deep, or high, get rid of it.

Maybe the gun malfunctioned? I've seen a revolver lock up rock solid from a few grains of powder. Keep that in mind when spouting off about the reliability of revolvers. Yes it is rare, but if THAT happens, your revolver is just a poor but expensive club.  I can fix just about any stoppage of a semi auto pistol in just a few seconds, and as we should agree by now that pistol ammunition are poor fight stoppers, the large capacity of most pistols is an important consideration.

Why do pistols malfunction? Maybe the magazine wasn't seated? Maybe the magazine is worn out. If you start having problems with a specific magazine (label all of them so you can keep track), get rid of it and replace it (quality manufacturer, please).

Maybe your technique sucks and you "steal" energy that the gun needs to function. This is a big deal, and I see it frequently. You need to hold the gun firmly. The gun needs you to hold it firmly so the operating spring and the various bits and parts can function properly. If you "limp wrist" it, you steal recoil energy that it needs.

Keep your gun clean. I will not get into the weeds about durability/functionality tests. Most "main stream" defensive pistols can sustain a stunning round count with minimal maintenance or lube. HOWEVER, any mechanical device will work better when clean and lubricated. Keep your gun clean. Every time you shoot it, it gets cleaned. Odds are, the gun doesn't really "need" it.  But, it increases your "intimacy" with your gun (something I am convinced most civilians, and even law enforcement officers lack) and it gives you an opportunity to check the gun to potentially identify any issues. Read the freakin' owners manual! Clean your gun as recommended in the  freakin' owners manual!

While you have your pistol disassembled, ensure that the bore of your gun is absolutely bone dry, free from any lubrication. Yes, clean it appropriately, but once the gun is "going back in service" ensure that the bore is clean and dry. Oil kills ammunition. Similarly, ensure that the firing pin and firing pin port and channel is also clear from lubrication. Over time, oil will travel down the firing pin, drip on to the primer, eat through any sealant and kill the primer. I will also advocate shooting off your carry ammunition. I'd prefer you do this every six months, but I can live with annually, if you are cheap. If you are "switched on," switch out your WML batteries every six months. If you are really switched on, switch out the battery of your MRDS every six months. 

You cleaned your gun. You ensured the bore and firing pin, port and channel are dry. You "Administratively Load" your pistol. You watched the top round of the magazine feed into the chamber. You check the magazine and "yep!" it's one round short (the top round of the magazine was loaded). But, you doubt it (maybe it was taken by aliens?), so you "press check" the chamber. Pull the slide back 1/2", visually AND physically check that the round has fed into the chamber. Then you make sure the slide is fully back into battery.

There are two main philosophies about clearing weapon stoppages. One is the "Route Memorization" approach. This modality requires the shooter proceed down an "algorithm." This approach is useful in that it will eventually result in the gun being placed in a configuration to fire, with minimal cognitive thought. The second approach is the "Diagnostic" approach. This requires a fairly in-depth understanding of how the gun functions. The shooter, upon noticing a stoppage, literally diagnoses the stoppage and applies the appropriate resolution. The Diagnostic Approach is the most efficient. The Diagnostic Approach will either result in Immediate Action, Remedial Action, or an Emergency Reload being applied.

The Diagnostic Approach is superior. Once mastered, the shooter should be able to identify the problem and apply the proper solution by feel alone. Either way, please for the love of John M. Browning, check the status of your gun after each string of fire! The first, oh I don't know, 30 times I saw people working a scenario with their pistol dead, was because it suffered a stoppage they didn't know about. I was stunned. I am no longer stunned, but I am starting to loose my faith in humanity. Check your guns status after every string!

Immediate Action

As the name implies, Immediate Action (IA) is action you should immediately take should the gun go "click" instead of "bang." If it's the very first round, you may have forgotten to load it, the round is "dead" (bad from the factory or you left too much oil on or around the bolt face or firing pin and over time, because you never rotated your carry ammunition, lubricant got into and killed the primer, or something broke).

If the stoppage occurred during a string of fire, it could be the result of you "limp wristing" your grip which steals energy from the gun that it needs to function. Maybe the cartridge was out of spec' and didn't provide enough energy for the pistol to function. Maybe the extractor slipped off the case rim because of a weak extractor spring or because the case swelled inside the chamber. Maybe the magazine came out of spec'? Maybe the magazine wasn't seated? Who knows.

Immediately begin to pull the gun back to Position 3,  (about 8" in front of and centered on your sternum),  while rotating the magazine towards your mid-line, (while indexing your trigger finger), and slap the snot out of the magazine one time with the palm/heel of your non-dominant hand. Now, that you are in pos' 3, get or keep the ejection port orientated downward ("gravity assist") and roll your non-dominant hand onto the rear of the slide. Push the gun forward with your dominant hand, while pulling the slide vigorously to the rear with your non-dominant hand, allowing the slide to literally "rip" out of your non-dominant hand. Reacquire your grip and the threat and evaluate the situation. IA should be accomplished in less than two seconds. IA will resolve most stoppages.

A few words about slapping the snot out of your pistol magazines (NEVER slap your carbine magazine!): Some pundits opine that this step is unnecessary. I think that in most situations, this position is correct. HOWEVER, I have seen instances where the magazine release had been activated (usually during a physical confrontation) and since the magazine was swollen with ammunition, did not fall free. The gun fires the round that was in the chamber, but since the magazine had slipped down the magazine well, the next round was missed by the bolt as it cycled. Slapping the base of the magazine takes very little time and I think it is still a viable and important procedure.

Remedial Action

Remedial Action (RA) is applied if/when IA fails. Starting from position 4 (firing position), lock the slide to the rear as you bring the gun to pos 3. Remove the magazine, stowing it if you have time, rack the slide as in IA two to three times. Acquire and insert a fresh magazine, rack the slide, reacquire your grip and the threat and evaluate the situation. RA should be performed in less than five seconds.

RA will clear double feeds and possibly a stuck casing. Locking the slide to the rear will take the pressure off the top cartridge that is part way up the feed ramp, being "pinched" between the bolt face and the base of the case that remains in the chamber. If you use magazines fitted with extended bases, you may have enough purchase to rip the magazine free without locking the slide to the rear. Please don't forget to activate your magazine release while yanking on the magazine.

An additional word or two about RA. Some trainers will have the shooter start with a pistol that has a double feed already in place in their gun. I use this method as well to teach shooters how to clear it (RA). However, this is not how the stoppage will present itself to the shooter in the real world. I have yet to discover a way to cause a pistol to spontaneously double feed. The closest thing I can come up with is two dummy rounds loaded in a magazine back to back. Subsequently, the first dummy round should result in IA. This will fail as the second dummy round, obviously won't fire. This second Fail to Fire, should result in RA being applied, as we use RA when IA fails. I guess it is prudent to practice using both methods, but I would place emphasis on the double dummy round method.

Emergency Reload

Running your gun to empty, although sometimes necessary, is tactically unsound. If everything about your system is in spec', the slide should lock to the rear once the last round was fired. You should note this. If not, following the Route Memorization modality, will eventually result in you reloading your gun.

If you note your gun is empty (slide locked to the rear), Drop the magazine as you move to pos' 3. If you keep the magazine well oriented vertically, the magazine should fall free. However, I advocate dragging the support hand against the magazine as the magazine release is being activated to ensure a positive withdraw. Make no attempt to retain this empty magazine. It is worthless. You are in an ammunition management emergency. It's an emergency as there is an adversary in front of you that needs to be shot and your gun is empty.

As the gun arrives in pos' 3, tilt the magazine well towards your mid line, as your support hand acquires your "Emergency Reload" magazine. Your magazines should probably be stowed on the opposite side of your gun, bullets pointing forward. The front magazine is the "Emergency Magazine" as it is just a smidgen easier to get to. The next magazine is the "Tactical Reload Magazine" (more on this in a moment).

The index finger of your non-dominant hand is along the front of the magazine. Pull the magazine from the pouch, and bring it into the magazine well. A very efficient method for the next phase is to rest your dominant thumb just above the slide release. When you vigorously seat the magazine into the gun (beveled magazine wells facilitate this, but can increase the pistols foot print), the gun will shift in your hand, causing the slide release to function, releasing the slide and loading the gun.

Some slides will release when the magazine is forcefully seated, but this is unreliable. Using a thumb (dominant or non-dominant) to deliberately articulate the slide release can be problematic. Aftermarket extended slide releases are available for just about every modern pistol, and many shooters swear by them. Racking the slide as in IA, will almost always work, but takes a little time. This method also directs more force into the chambering process, perhaps increasing the reliability of extremely dirty guns.

An Emergency Reload (ER) should be done in under three seconds

Tactical Reload

I do not think most people are capable of reliably counting the number of rounds they fire in a dust up. I DO think it is reasonable to keep track of "about where" you are in the magazine. "I am about 1/2 way through this magazine." "I am about 3/4 through this magazine! I got to start thinking about doing a Tactical Reload (TR)!" The idea is to keep your gun fully loaded in case things suddenly get weird.  We keep the partial magazine in case things get really weird. 

Internet experts will say a TR should be done during a "lull" in a gunfight. I am not quite sure what a "lull" in a gunfight really is. I think it is safe to say that a TR is an "elective" procedure. Meaning that the situation doesn't force you to do it, you decide when/where to perform it. One situation where I am kind of set on doing a TR is before leaving a piece of ballistic protection or concealment. That way, if once I am moving, and a threat presents itself, I have a fully loaded gun to use to resolve the problem.

You finally calmed down enough to start thinking again. You know you fired some rounds, but don't really know how many. You got behind ballistic protection. You decided to TR your gun. Conduct a 360 degree scan of the area. Acquire your most hard to get to magazine, as you bring the gun to pos' 3. Slide your index finger from the front of the magazine to the side so that you are now holding the magazine between your index and middle fingers (non-dominant hand). Eject the magazine into your palm, pinching it between your thumb and index finger. Move the fresh magazine into the magazine well and seat it. Stowe the "dirty" magazine in the now empty TR magazine pouch. Re-scan the area. You should be able to get this done in 10 seconds or less.

I have no doubt that some of you slaves to dogma are screaming words to the effect of "WRONG! YOU IDIOT! NEVER, EVER put partial magazines in pouches with/near your full magazines!!" If you are rocking a rack with 5+ magazines, I would agree. That's why we have dump pouches. We are talking a CPL or low vis' application. We don't have a dump pouch, and I am asking you to keep track of three, T H R E E (3)  magazines. Just breathe a little. It'll work out.

I advocate using the same pouches we train with because we trained with them. You won't be surprised by a missing pocket, or a buttoned pocket or whatever. You have a pouch because you had a spare magazine(s). It makes total sense to just keep using it. The only time I am "OK" with using a pocket to stowe a magazine is during RA.


So how do you practice these drills? Every one of these drills can be practiced dry with snap caps or dummy rounds. A shot timer is a very worth while investment. It is wise to keep a log and track your performance. It is also wise to video yourself conducting drills. This allows you to look for "friction points" in your technique.

Try to get to a point where you can draw and fire an accurate shot in one second or less. This is tough, but doable. Load a dummy round in your magazine. When the gun goes "Click" on the empty chamber, you respond with IA. You can practice this live by randomly placing single dummy rounds among your live ammunition in your magazines. This way, failures will occur randomly, just like in real life. Remember, IA should take no more than two seconds.  

Two dummy rounds back to back either live or dry should "stimulate" you to perform RA. The first dummy round "stimulated" you to perform IA. The second dummy round results in another "failure" (IA "failed") which should result in you preforming RA. You have no more than five seconds.

A Base Line Drill can be used to exercise these drills. Start with a 5 1/2" target at 20'. Load two magazines with six rounds total, unevenly. Ideally, have a buddy load them for you. At the timers tone, draw and fire the six rounds. The gun will run out of ammunition at a random moment, conduct an ER. This should take no more than six seconds. Add a TR at the end for a total time of 16 seconds.

Load again, this time with one dummy round in one of the magazines. This should "stimulate" you to conduct an IA. If training IA, add two seconds to the "par" time.

If you only carry two magazines, try loading two dummy rounds back to back in the first magazine. This should result in IA (will fail) then RA. 13 second par time.

Some trainers advocate using fired brass in lieu of dummy rounds. I've used this method myself from time to time, but I have concerns and reservations. First, be sure you are using brass that came from your gun.  The brass, once fired, is "out of spec'." I don't think damage to your gun will result from using fired brass (from your gun/caliber), but why risk it? My reservation however, is that although the gun will have a stoppage, it will likely be in a format that is unlikely to occur with live ammunition. Who in their right mind would load fired brass in their magazines for carry? This approach forces the gun to function in a way that it was not designed to function. The resulting stoppages can be useful in teaching the Diagnostic Approach of clearing stoppages, because you will very likely have some bizarre stoppages to reduce. 

Anyhoo, these skills and drills will give you a solid understanding how to "Run your Gun." Practice them until you are "Unconsciously Competent." Until you can't get them wrong. Once there, keep practicing! Your goal is to expend as little brain power as possible clearing any stoppage, so that your higher brain functions are available to work the tactical problem.

Now, go Run the Gun!


The Mission Drives the Gear


OK, so you've decided to take responsibility for your own safety. You have seriously reflected upon the idea, that if you are subjected to an illegal Deadly Physical Force attack, you have the moral courage to take actions to stop the adversary even though these actions could result in the adversary's death. You've selected a caliber (hopefully 9mm or better) and quality purpose built defensive ammunition. You sampled several pistols and have settled on one that is big enough for you to handle and small enough to conceal. Now what?

Define your "Mission."

Yes, I have a lot of time in the military and law enforcement. Yes, I use that knowledge, training and experience as I go through life. I fully understand the the LE world is different from the Mil, and is different from the Civ. Got it. But we can learn from them all. The military is really good at breaking big jobs into smaller tasks. They excel at breaking down a given mission into phases and different tasks. These skills are important so that you don't waste time and effort on something that has no bearing on the overall mission.

What is your "mission?" For the purpose of his article, let's say our mission is to "carry a reliable, ballistically relevant pistol, concealed, everywhere I am lawfully permitted to do so (in compliance with my CPL), with the intent to be able to defend myself against and survive an unlawful Deadly Physical Force attack."

"Ballistically relevant" defensive pistol ammunition must be able to penetrate 12-18" of properly calibrated ballistic gelatin AFTER having passed through heavy clothing. Nothing smaller/weaker than 9 mm parabellum can do this reliably. The bigger the cartridge, the bigger the gun and the harder it is to conceal. The more powerful the cartridge, the harder it is to control. ALL bullets are poor stoppers of determined (and/or nutty and/or intoxicated) human beings. You should plan on having to fire multiple shots very quickly and accurately at a small, moving target (brain, heart or spine) while the adversary is trying to do the same to you.

"Pistol." If you can't get all your fingers on the grip with your dominant hand, the gun is probably too small. You need to have as much of your hand(s) on the gun as possible in order to control it. Revolvers DO allow the fastest resolution to a dead primer in that you simply pull the trigger again. HOWEVER, the "foot print" of the revolver is the same for a comparably sized semi-auto pistol. Semi-auto pistols are far faster to reload and revolvers have dismal ammunition capacities. Simpler to use? Yes. But if you don't care enough to learn how to run your semi-auto well, I suggest you reflect upon your desire to defend yourself with a gun.

You must have enough hand strength to manipulate your pistol. A smaller platform will usually have a stiffer operating spring. If your hands and arms are weak, fix them. In order to prove reliability, you really should shoot your defensive ammunition in your gun at least 500 times, preferably 1000 times to prove it functions reliably. Any more than 3-5 stoppages is cause for alarm. I know that is expensive. Sorry.

Night Sights? I've evolved over time on this topic. I now believe that if it is so dark that you cannot see your sights, it is probably too dark to positively identify who/what you are shooting at and you probably shouldn't shoot. This implies consideration of a light. Weapon Mounted Lights are the standard. At least 200 lumens for a civilian gun. BUT WMLs dramatically increase the foot print of the pistol, making it a little more challenging to conceal. Handheld light as part of your Every Day Carry? Sure. But shooting with a hand held light is fraught with issues-the reason WMLs are a thing to begin with. Lasers can be problematic. If you don't train frequently and properly, they can make you much, much slower. Mini Red Dot Sites? Take a while to get used to, can make you slower at close range if you don't train properly, and you must have Back Up Iron Sites.

"Concealed" holster selection and position is a big deal. Inside the Waist Band (IWB) is the most effective means of concealing a gun. Ankle holsters may suffice for a back up gun but are too slow to get to in a hurry. Shoulder holsters can be very problematic. I discourage off body carry (purse) as the gun is too easily left or taken out of your control.

 Imagine that your pubic bone is 12 o'clock and your tail bone is 6 o'clock. For most, a 1 o'clock "Appendix Carry" (IWB))  carry is the fastest and most effective as long as you don't have a giant beer blister.

Seasonally, I will transition to a 3 0'clock holster once the weather turns cold as my coat will conceal the gun. If I use an Outside the Waist Band (OWB) holster, it will be equipped with a retention device to prevent a grab/take away. Truth be told, retention is there just to give you enough time to realize that someone is trying to take your gun away from you so that you can respond appropriately. IWB holsters put "all their eggs" in the concealment concept to avoid detection and a potential grab/take away attempt. I prefer a holster that is secure by my pants belt as opposed to a paddle. The paddle is just a bit weaker.

I prefer the OWB  at 3 o'clock method as it is more comfortable than appendix. But I understand that carrying a gun should be comforting, not necessarily comfortable. I use the discomfort of the holster to keep myself in "Condition Yellow."

Pocket Holsters/"De-profilers"? Some times a pocket holster is all that will work. However, this is severely limiting pistol size. For my size, a Glock 43 is as about as small as I am prepared to go.

Leather holsters will usually require some time to break in. They tend to retain moisture and may lead to corrosion. Kydex is the new standard and are generally superior. Always keep in mind that your holster should allow you to re-holster one handed. You other hand may be occupied with say, your phone, a loved one, or it may be occupied trying to plug a bullet hole somewhere in your body. Also keep in mind that when that moment arrives that requires you to draw and go to work, you could be in a weird position. Like on the ground curled in a ball as you are being kicked to death. Can you make the draw form this position?

Your spare magazine (at least one) should be on the "opposite corner" of your body from your gun. Buy purpose built pouches. If you want a hand held light, it too should be stowed near your magazines.

Stowe your ID and CPL AWAY FROM YOUR GUN! Like totally away from your gun. If you have to show your ID and CPL, your hand should go nowhere near your gun. If your gun is at 3 o'clock waist line, your ID and CPL should be in a left breast pocket. That's what I mean by "nowhere near."

"Defend myself" means fighting. You have to be able to put bullets where they need to go, quickly and repeatedly. Potentially against multiple adversaries. Usually at fairly close range. You need to keep your wits ("Combat Stress Inoculation") and be determined to see it through (Mindset). You need to keep your gun loaded (Emergency and Tactical Reloads) and you need to be able to clear any stoppages.

"Survive." It makes total sense to have a legal defense plan in place before the event. It makes total sense to get tactical medical training and to carry some basic stuff to stop bleeding and plug holes. If you live long enough to realize you've been shot, your odds of survival are about 90%. But preventing yourself from bleeding out or suffocating makes sense.

The Mission drives the gear.



PRODUCT REVEW: What Optic Do I Put on My Rifle?!


Take a few minutes and have Jim, our Sales Supervisor, walk you through some options for your new rig! This is one video of a series, reviewing different types of optics available for your rifle, whether it be AR platform, long distance shooting or a CQB weapon.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact us and we will be sure to assist you!


WHY? What?


I love the word "why."  I also like to ask; "What?" (As if to ask for further explanation). They challenge people that rely on their status over their knowledge. It loosens your own brain, priming it to learn and evolve. Personally, I am very happy to have students ask me "Why?" Learning is about to occur. I take my job very seriously, and will not teach crap. I will generally teach several options for a given task, explain pros and cons and let the student ("Stud'") decide. I have ZERO interest in teaching you WHAT to think. I am very invested in teaching you HOW to think. Big difference.

So, as this is my first blog post, where to begin? 

Why are you here?

You have decided to take responsibility for your own safety? Good. No one else really cares about your safety more than you. Maybe your mom cares, perhaps your family really cares, but they are not with you 24/7. That leaves us back at you.

Law Enforcement is taking a beating lately. Guess what? They are human too. They make mistakes, but they also resort to deadly physical force much, much less frequently than what they are legally permitted to.  There is an agenda being followed today that results in LE being demonized. LE is NOT your enemy. If you disagree with how they police your area, ask yourself "Who directs the Police?". YOUR elected officials, that's who.

Ever see video of an Active Killer Event? San Bernardino? Virginia Tech? Dallas? Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) are RUNNING to the fight. If/when they learn  that you are in trouble, they will come. As fast as they can. They might even place themselves at tremendous risk doing so. BUT most will not willingly die for you. They are not required to. If you ever see a Law Enforcement Executive or politician say "Officers are payed to die if necessary," file his/her face under "Moron". Either way, once they are on the way to you, you are still on your own for several minutes.

Why do violent felons think it is acceptable to hurt other people? Don't care. By the time I become aware of them/him, (statistically most human predators are male) it's irrelevant. Prison turned them into monsters? No. They were sent to prison because they were monsters. They expect to live short violent lives. They expect to die violently.  80% practice with their (typically) illegal gun, usually on average 23 times a year. Gun laws have zero effect on them. 40% have combat experience (not necessarily military). They typically have no strong emotional attachments to anyone. They have no moral or ethical reservations against killing, and will do so with little provocation.

Why is adversary analysis important? Because it can indicate how they will fight. They act like what Animal Planet will call "Ambush Predators." They will generally do a careful target analysis before they attack. However, if they are desperate they will attack a target that under normal circumstances, they would let pass. They use surprise. They use speed. They use violence to overcome resistance. Why? Because they have been successful with these methods (Tactics Techniques and Procedures) in the past. Some predators function in packs. These can be extremely dangerous.

They picked YOU because experience has taught them that your persona indicates an easy target, or you appeared when they are desperate. You didn't detect them before the "Merge" and now you are at a profound psycho-physiological disadvantage. And no one cares.

What can you do to avoid being targeted? Avoid areas that draw predators. Travel in groups. Don't act like food. If you are a fat slob, stop eating so much junk and move around more. Maybe get into a habit of lifting heavy stuff repeatedly and/or running around your neighborhood. Do push ups and air squats during commercials. Why is fitness important? People that are fit make better and faster decisions. People that are fit will tend to tolerate and recover from injury faster. People that are fit tend to carry themselves with more confidence (they don't look like food). Finally, the typical predator will be younger than you and will be in much better physical shape. You have to be able to match him for at least a couple of minutes.

As mentioned above, a predator will attack a larger, stronger prey item (talking human predators now to be clear) if he is desperate. If you missed the ques that you have been targeted, and find yourself confronted, now what? You must break into his OODA Loop. You do this by an explosive, violent, precise counter attack. No, you cannot just shoot him, unless doing so is legal. But you must shock him psychologically. This will cause his brain to "reboot," giving you a couple of seconds. Remember he has been successful many, many times with his method. You must surprise him. You may very well be fighting for your life. Never forget that.

Just give him what he wants. Maybe he won't hurt you. No. He is a predator. He learned to prey on normal people. I do not trust his moral compass. Odds are, he doesn't even have one of those anyway. Look on YouTube or live leak at street crime attacks. Do those people really inspire you to trust them to not hurt you? He may very well decide to kill you. Maybe for nothing else but for "street cred." Maybe to prevent you from identifying him.

You must be better than him. Why? Because you are a normal human being and will be held responsible for your actions, and should you shoot, for every bullet you launch. You must be fast, accurate and precise. This will require significant practice under realistic conditions. Why are our Nations Special Operations Forces so capable? For many reasons, but a big one is, is that they have trained (and continue to train) so that they can perform basic skills to a very, very high standard, on demand, even though they are cold, wet and hungry. Even if they don't feel like it. They train until they can't get it wrong. Then they train more.  "Advanced skills" are simply well executed basic skills, "stacked" upon each other. There is no magic to this. It is simply the result of a lot of well planned practice and training. How much do you train? 

If you decide to carry a gun, it must be powerful enough to stop a human adversary. Bullets do not stop people effectively. Defensive ammunition must be able to penetrate 12-18" of properly calibrated ballistic gelatin after having passed through heavy clothing. This means premium quality defensive ammunition of at least 9 mm parabellum. .380ACP isn't enough. .22 LR or MAG isn't enough. 

The gun must be as big as you can conceal. Yes, you might have to modify the types of clothing you wear. Deal with it. Tiny guns in adequate calibers must still deal with considerable pressures. Subsequently, the operating spring will tend to be rather heavy. This can make it very difficult for weak handed people to manipulate. The next time you go to Meijer, go into the fitness equipment section and buy a spring hand grip strength thingey. Work your hand strength while you drive around in your car. Or, while watching TV. Instead of stuffing your pie hole with Cheetos, work your hand strength. Once you are strong enough to manipulate a smaller gun, you can sell your medium or full size pistol and buy a smaller one if you want. One of my favorite things about CQT, is that they have a broad selection of rental guns. You can rent an example and see if you like it. You can even buy a short, cheap lesson to learn a little about each gun. Make an informed purchase decision.

As noted above, bullets do not stop people effectively. You must be able to quickly and repeatedly hit structures that will rapidly stop a human. That means the brain, the heart or high up on the spine. Profound blood loss will stop a person but it takes time. Your adversary(s) may be nuts, intoxicated or very determined. You have to be able to stop them quickly, despite their mental state. The brain, heart and spine are small. About the size of a closed fist. That is the target size you must train to be able to hit. Small guns are hard to shoot well. No, technically you are not trying to kill him. You ARE trying to STOP him. Yes, he may die after being shot through the brain or heart, but you were only trying to stop his attack.

Aiming a gun at another human being and pulling the trigger is a really big deal psychologically  for normally developed human beings. It would be wise for you to reflect upon that at length and make your decision about this sort of thing now. Are you prepared to pull the trigger if you are legally and morally justified? You need to figure this out.

You should take classes. Why? Because one of the most dangerous mental states to be in is not knowing what you don't know. (Denial of the threat and your vulnerability is probably the worst). Your CPL class is simply not enough. Think of a CPL as a "Learners Permit." I have been teaching civilians for many, many years. Most have graduated from a CPL class, and almost all of them were disasters relative to weapon handling. It takes a tremendous amount of time to get skilled with a pistol. In fact, practice and training should NEVER end. Yes, training classes and ammunition are expensive. Instead of buying that $5, high empty-calorie count cup of whatever every morning on the way to work, throw that money into a box. Every quarter or so you will have enough money to buy ammunition and take a course.

What else are classes good for? Learning to manipulate your gun. Buy a few dummy rounds or "Snap Caps." The overwhelming majority of skills you learn in a class can be practiced with an empty gun and dummy rounds. I recently taught a "Skills and Drills" class. One drill was to draw from concealment and fire two rounds into a 3x5" card at 20' in less than two seconds. It's tough. Another drill is to draw from concealment and fire 10 rounds into a 5 1/2" circle at 30' in 10 seconds. That's tough too. These are worthy, useful goals. They can be practiced safely with an empty gun. Dummy rounds also allow you to practice clearing stoppages and reloads.

Take a class and then practice the skills you learned. Then you will be in a much better place to take the next step with additional training. Ultimately, you will take these skills to "Force on Force" training. Using training pistols that launch colored soap projectiles against another human being. The goal is that you have reached a point where you are "Unconsciously Competent" running your gun, so that your higher brain functions are free to deal with the scenario/situation.

Why are you still sitting there? Your adversary is preparing. Why aren't you?