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Seppo Vesala
10-16-2003, 04:18 AM
Review: Combat pistol

Producer: LOTI group, 2003

Instructor: John Shaw

This film shows some basic practice drills on a handgun. The video was made by filming (shooting?) a shooting class, mainly the parts where John Shaw instucts the class on a new technique or drill. This instruction would be fine by itself when supported by hands-on training, but a film like this would require far more detailed instruction. There is some good looking shooting, though. In the film, Shaw (and other Mid-South institute instructors) talk to the trainee class. Thatīs fine in a normal trainig situation, but the film suffers from this. During the whole training section, Shaw addresses the camera directly only once. There is also some pieces of interview of John Shaw interlocked with the instruction. This interview is propably intended to fill in the gaps in the instruction, but the sound is so mushy that sometimes it is hard to hear what Shaw is saying.

The film seems more like a commercial for Mid-South institute than a real instructional film. There is a long part where Shaw introduces his training facilities (which seem pretty impressive) and training programs, and there are testimonials of the effectiveness of his training classes. I donīt know about the rest of you, but I find it a bit annoying. Itīs understandable that Shaw wants to advertise his institute, but I donīt want to pay to see these advertisements. The best kind of advertising would be an exellent instuctional film, anyway.

There is an interesting piece of statistics mentioned in the film that stresses the importance of the first shot: According to statistics gathered in the 80īs, of the police officers involved in a shooting, of those who hit their adversary on the first shot, 95% survived the gunfight. Of those who missed the first shot, 48% died as a result.

The picture quality of the film is ok, but the camera is sometimes zooming in to a detail, when you would be better served with a full view of the instructor, and you donīt necessarily get as good a picture of the technique that you could have otherwise. The sound is good for the most part, but there are times where it is somewhat mushy, and there are parts where two soundtracs are overlapping (like instructorīs speech and music, or Shawīs interview overlapping with another instrutorīs speech).

To sum it up, I was somewhat disappointed with this film. There are some good points made, but you have a hard time grasping them because the instruction is not directed to viewer, and it is not detailed enough for home use. If this film were made differently and the the requirements of a instructional film were taken into account, it would have been much better. Some of the extras, however, are of better quality.

Run time: 40 minutes (+ extras)

Format: DVD (no area code), also available on VHS

DVD extras:
- Selecting a gun (7 minutes): The basics of selecting a gun (reliability, accuracy, corrosion resistance, grip size, and so on). Pretty ok, but in some instances the person shooting a gun is gripping it incorrectly (low grip, with thumbs low). If this film is intended for beginners (as it may well be), they may get bad habits from this.
- Safety/operating systems (9 minutes): Covers the six basic safety/operating systems found on handguns. Evaluates pros and cons.
- Cartridges (6 minutes): Compares 9 mm, .40 S&W, 10 mm and .45 ACP cartridges. Tells pros and cons of each caliber. The down side is that they use clay to demonstrate the effects of each cartridge.
- Recoil control, by Tom Campbell (9 minutes): Exellent instruction that shows how important hand placement is in controlling recoil. Campbell demonstrates wrong techniques, and then shows the right technique. So you donīt have to take his word on which technique to use, you can see it yourself. Campbell seems to be an excellent instructor, which is emphasized by the fact that this 9 minute long film was taken on one shot.
- Site shooting, by J. Michael Plaxco (6 minutes): Plaxco demonstrates that no matter how the gun is aligned (turned 90 degrees to the side, or upside down), the bullet will hit where the sights are. Next he shows how to aim with a mirror, and ends up with a demonstration of recoil control. There is some enternainment value, but no instruction whatsoever.

Some of the extras seem somewhat older than the feature film (no credits available on extras).

Seppo Vesala
10-30-2003, 12:24 AM
I have a copy of a video under the same name which sounds almost identical that was made in the early 90s. I wonder if they revamped and repackaged the old video?

If your film is made by LOTI group and it features John Shaw, itīs very likely that isīt the same film. I doubt very much they would make two films with the same name.

In at least one LOTI video, in the credits the year was "glued on", on top of another figure. I couldnīt read the original year, but it was clear that there was something "under" the new copyright year. And on another film (Guerilla driving), the copyright was from the ī90s, but the footage they used was clearly from the ī80s. So that film probably is a revamped version.

Paul Gomez
10-30-2003, 05:56 AM
Yeah, the Loti group DVDs to date are all repackaging of the old videos. The Combat Pistol, MP-5 & Shotgun, Guerilla Driving, etc are all the old videos released on DVD. I don't know of any Loti stuff that has premiered on DVD yet.