Handgun Zen

This shooting style is downright intriguing and I think when the weather warms up I’m going to do some serious work on it.

The Center Axis Relock Shooting System
C.A.R. is not just a stance or shooting position, not just a type of grip, not just about a reload technique, not just about the natural point of aim, not only about weapons retention, and not about just sight picture, etc. It is a simple, flexible mixture of all of these things blended and more. It is a total, integrated combat tactical SYSTEM with key elements that primarily (not solely) law enforcement and military operators follow. It intentionally BLENDS its techniques with pistol, rifle, and shotgun combinations and existing techniques to improve the speed and accuracy of target hits.


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18 Responses to Handgun Zen

  1. J says:

    I’ve done this with Todd Rassa in his Extreme Close Quarters class.
    Handgun and Carbine,Excellent!
    I don’t know if he is CAR system Certified but he understands the method and how and when to deploy it.
    Highly Recomended

    • Wirecutter says:

      I’ve already been dry practicing. It’s going to take some getting used to but will be very effective once you get it down.
      My normal stance is a “relaxed Chapman” with a stiff strong arm and it’s a hard habit to break.

      • =TW= says:

        My elbows don’t lock so Chapman is out.
        Never cottoned to isosceles- move the support-side foot back a little and you automatically achieve a type of Weaver.
        The pros make it look easy.

  2. =T. Wrangler= says:

    Why I like watching women’s tennis: Speed, power, precision.
    Does this apply to defensive shooting?
    Maybe. Notice the occasional chickenshit shot that wins the match.

    (Also, I got nothing against short skirts and nice legs on healthy young ladies.)

  3. Gadget says:

    I attended a 1 day CAR class when Castle came to our area and put on his class. On the surface, this looks cool and all, but if you’re wearing armor it’s not a good idea. It opens up your entire side to the threat and if you take a round to the torso, the round can get both lungs and your heart. If you’re squared up, a single round isn’t likely to get more than one of these. In the high position, your hands and pistol block a significant part of your field of view. In the low position, your weak side upper arm is entirely too close to the muzzle and I really wouldn’t want to chance shooting myself in a gunfight. It seemed that it was primarily developed to allow a soldier to clear rooms with a long battle rifle like an FAL/L1A1 by tucking the rifle in. If you couldn’t tell, I’m not a fan of this system.

    • Andy says:

      This is the first I have ever seen or heard of this technique. However, I do understand the risk of a side shot to the torso. But I’m thinking this is a good tool for a middle of the night armed response to an uninvited visitor. In that instance, I’m not putting on armor and I’ll seriously doubt anyone else would either. In a MOUT scenario is where I can see it being best employed, especially for the officer that is only issued an M9 or M17. I cannot see this being used with a long arm is this style as with the pistol. We did “shorten” our M16s though by riding the stock on top of our shoulders and canting the rifle out for aiming similarly to when we fired in MOPP4. This allowed us to easily maneuver with fill size rifles with an effective footprint of less than an M4. Say a homeowner doesn’t own a AR style? This buttstock on the shoulder technique is easily used with any rifle with a pistol grip, AK, FN/FAL, etc., and I am sure it could be very easily modified for use with long arms with a conventional stock.
      Nevertheless, as I said, I can see the use of the CAR system for those nocturnal in home encounters and I think I will give it some practice and see what happens. Seriously, what is the worst that can happen? I learn something new.

      • Whynot says:

        We did the same with shotguns. Lay the butt stock flat on top of your shoulder. By riding the recoil, a pump is as fast as a semi-auto (sometimes faster) and small stature people could run a 12-gauge without problems.

    • Mike Discher says:

      Having attended the 1 week user class as well as the subsequent instructor class, I heartily disagree with your observations. If done properly, virtually none of your claims seem to be valid. I/we have taught patrol and tactical officers in full “battle-rattle” and 90% felt the CQB aspects of CAR to be viable. I even taught a “short version” of CAR to troopers in Iraq (2007/2008) who found it actually worked very well while in full gear and SAPI plates. I wasn’t aware that Paul did a “one day class” but it surly couldn’t have actually taught the technique properly.

  4. JeremyR says:

    Basically what I have used for years. Don’t know when I started doing it, but man did I get strange looks at the pistol range when I was in the military. Most of them use a Weaver of Isosceles.

  5. Winston Smith says:

    I took Paul’s CAR course when he first took it on the road. Before the live fire work, he kept emphasizing that hot brass WILL NOT go down your collar so quit thinking about it. Guess where my first round went. Only round of the day for anyone tho.

    Fun course, and his CAR has a lot of applications. Not the end all, but very good tools to add to the box. Paul was a TREEmendous personality and I learned a lot about how real elite operators conduct themselves (if you didn’t know, he was SAS, Queen’s/royal family guards–I could listen to him for hours talking about how that all worked).
    RIP Paul.

  6. BiblicalViolence says:

    Let’s get this out of the way: I’ve been a reader here for years, rare commenter and hate interweb drama. So….
    This looks like a gimmick. Shooting from retention is just stop gap. At some point, you’ll need to aim (carefully) and complete the real world Istanbul Drill.The point is: fight your way OUT from retention, this seems to stylize it into a money maker.
    If close contact, tight retention is the focus, check out Force On Force courses. When someone is legitimately trying to shoot/stab you with trainer weapons, you learn REAL quick the overly complicated mall ninja junk will get you killed.
    The last of this video isn’t pretty. Isn’t super operator sleek and sexy. It’s reactive gunfighting/survival.

    • Mike Discher says:

      Everyone is welcomed to their opinions. Having used and taught C.A.R. I can say it is a very good tool. I’m no “One School Wonder” and I realize there is no one way to do things. If one were to actually learn this technique as opposed to just reading an article or watching a video, I suspect some negative opinions would change.

  7. Nemo says:

    Saw this in the John Wick flics and was wondering where it came from. Could be useful in CQB, but as Gadget points out above and not having experimented with it myself, it seems it could reduce visual field, which may not be a good thing.

  8. Sanders says:

    Interesting variation of point shooting techniques. I’ve always practiced my own version just for inside cramped areas like hallways and vehicles.

    It’s nice to see someone put a way to teach it out there. It makes no sense to put your weapon out in front of you in close quarters where someone can grab or deflect it.

  9. Elmo says:

    Interesting, the one gal uses her middle finger on the trigger.

  10. Sabre22 says:

    I looked this up last week it does look intriguing

  11. Chris Watson says:

    I was in Paul’s 2007 Instructor class and can say that he will be missed. :'(

    • Mike Discher says:

      Then I’m sure you remember all the lessons on Brit history and the inspiring pre-class music!

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