Bad Practice: Dual Wielding

Chances are you already know that trying to shoot two long guns at once is a bad idea... we tackle the topic from a rational perspective in "Dual Wielding".

March 9, 2019 3:16 PM
ISG Team


Well, ISG, we're back. This time, with an article that we never thought it'd be necessary to write.

Before we get to the meat and potatoes of why trying to shoot too long arms at once is absurd, we should admit that "bad practice" was never meant to be a series.

Our general policy is 'focus on the good'. With experience, you tend to start noticing bad practice on your own, and that's *far* more powerful than simply being told by some random internet guys that what you're doing is wrong. Also, the internet is so awash with weird, outlandish, and just plain stupid gun handling that it could be a full time job... so we try and stay out of it.

But along came "level-three Army combatives instructor", Shane Jordan of "Wyatt West Tactical" with some techniques so bad that we thought they were satire.

When we thought this was satire, we loved it. It seemed like a perfect commentary on the chicanery of internet gun culture, but then Shane, the owner I guess you could say, of Wyatt West Tactical, contacted us to let us know that he was indeed serious and asked us if we could explain why it was wrong.

Our hat is off to him for putting himself out there like that and standing up to us fossils who still don't believe dual wielding long arms is practical.

So first, let's have a look at... well... whatever this is.

Dual Wielding Rifles

Let's hear from Shane in his own words:

(The Grand Vision) is to be able to switch guns on the move. I want to switch from an AR-15, to a tactical shotgun, to a handgun very quickly!! I also want to be able to get past almost any obstacle with my weapons on my back and completely out of my way. I want to be able to have the option of sprinting with both arms by my side.
When you play a first person shooter game your character switches guns from long range to close range weapons very quickly like in Call of Duty for instance...Video game characters got skills can we match them?

Besides not having the decency to turn his camera sideways while filming, we've got a video game-inspired back mounted sheath with the singular function of allowing you to carry an extra shotgun at the cost of a backpack. We also don't believe that he became a level 3 combatives instructor in 3 years, but whatevs. What's a little stolen valor between tropes?

The upside to this technique is it comes with a bungee system that helps support both of the long guns (patent pending, guys, it's too late), so you can fire them at the same time.

And here we thought it was just for a video game fast transition between firearms! The only problem we see is he hasn't yet found a way to get a third arm for the handgun, so we can tri-wield.

Keep working, Shane!

Roast aside, we're not sure what situation you're preparing for, but within our framework of Understanding Emergencies, and given the fact even need a single long arm is pretty rare, we'd much rather have a backpack full of supplies. Secondarily, there's not much use in transitioning from a high capacity rifle to a low capacity shotgun that we're aware of. In our view, this diminishes the reality that most rifle fights go well beyond the range at which your shotgun would be effective. When they are under 25 yards or so, you have very little time to fool around with transitioning weapons - especially if you're on your own... and that's before discussing why this is a poor idea from a physiological perspective.

Why it's wrong

Note the points of contact: firing grip, support side grip, shoulder pocket, cheek weld. These are all critical to the long arm's accuracy.

One of the most necessary ingredients of marksmanship is consistency. Coupled with good tactics and the ability to maneuver, marksmanship helps us to ensure when we close the distance with our enemy, we don't find ourselves dosed with lead by hitting what we're aiming at first.

One of the chief benefits of the rifle is that we have 4 physical points of contact that increase our consistency:

  • Our firing grip.
  • Our grip on the weapons fore-end that adjusts for fine variations in aiming.
  • The seating of the rifle in the shoulder pocket; the torso is used for 'gross' motor adjustments to aiming.
  • Our cheek's index on the rifle that ensures we're able to quickly and consistently acquire our sights.

Of these, the final point is the one that is given the least play, and deserves a bit more credit.

Finding your target through the sights quickly is a strong indicator that you've mastered many of the physiological tasks that come with marksmanship:

Finding your target through the sights quickly is a strong indicator that you've mastered many of the physiological tasks that come with marksmanship. Your body is able to align itself in a consistent manner that minimizes time spent trying to track your sights once you've brought the weapon to bear.

That comes with discipline and practice and is the result of some biological coordination that shows you've put in work. Think of it like sitting down in a chair:

Have you seen someone who just flops with no real effort made to coordinate their effort? How about someone who's careful and graceful about how they lower their body?

Which one has better physical conditioning and proprioception?

Us too, kid. Us too.

When we sit down, we typically have a goal in mind. We're going to have dinner or read a book. Maybe we're going to write an article about weird stuff on the internet. When you do that, the end goal isn't sitting - it's the task that comes next.

What Shane is doing here is the equivalent of flopping into the chair because it's the fastest way to sit. He's emphasizing the process over the end result. It wrecks his posture for the more important aspect of drawing the weapon: the next task of firing accurately.

So of our main tasks in a fight (maneuver, shooting, communication), he has managed to handicap two, and the only thing he's communicating is that he has no clue what's going on.

In addition, he's managed to diminish 3 of the 4 main advantages of the long arm's points of contact, and he's effectively destroyed his ability to maneuver transitional spaces or administrative tasks which might require things like entering a building or room, moving people out of the way, fending, reloading, clearing a malfunction in your weapon, or opening a car door. He's done so with no clear scenario apart from offering the following:

So I can pin you down and pull out my secondary weapon, when close. Like if i'm coming strait at you. I can come around a corner with 2 weapons drowned. Also I can hit the lock on your door when clearing a building quicker, and hit 2 corner at ones.

What we want is the greatest possible amount of control over the firearm as possible in every given way. Techniques that compromise that must be assessed for soundness... for example, holding a flashlight in your offhand while holding a pistol compromises your ability to fire as accurately as you otherwise might... but it allows you to see. Fair trade.

What we've got here isn't a fair trade.

The Internet is a Hive of Scum and Villainy

Most people can look at this and laugh. We're not above a good natured ribbing ourselves, but what's important here, what we hope to *not* lose sight of, is:

Every person who posts a gun video of any sort is going to be handing information to people who don't think you should have guns, or handing information to people who don't know what to do with their guns. The mockery and trash talk might be funny, but at the end of the day it doesn't describe why something is stupid.

That's important from a cultural perspective; if we can't explain why something makes sense, we aren't any better than the guys speculating based on video games.

The only reasons we chimed in on this are because:

  • Shane asked for our feedback
  • There are some teachable moments
  • We thought it was satire (and it's so ridiculous we're still not convinced it's not some next level trolling)

So after a light roasting we hope that we've made a convincing argument that:

  1. More points of contact are better than fewer
  2. Running 1 gun efficiently is more effective than running 2 guns half-assed
  3. Every time you move, it should be deliberate, efficient, and with your eye on an end goal, not just a race to some spasm of irrational pageantry.


As we told Shane, this is the weirdest of the weird and we can't imagine it getting you anything short of killdest of the killed. Still, whether or not we reach the proprietor of this technique, we've tried to explain the intellectual framework for why this is stupid, rather than just claiming we know better without being able to follow through with reasoning.

We say it all the time: The pageantry going on in gun culture is totally, completely, off the charts ridiculous and eventually they'll look back at the grunt style Jeep/AR guys and roll their eyes at how stupid they were. But for now, we've gotta endure, shine some intellectual light on the subject for the guys who, for whatever reason, take life and death pursuits seriously. And if this is a this guy joking hard on anyone who takes it seriously, all we can say is:

Until next time,

ISG Team

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