PISTOL GUNFIGHTING Feed

Although the Glock (and its emulative systems) tend to be the dominant pistol in the market, I am aware that not everyone selects or prefers it. I recently had a consulting contract where the shooters were using the SIG P226 (don't ask). To prepare I brought out some old DAs I had in the safe and began working with them. Nothing had changed. My first police semi-auto was a SIG P-226 way back in 1988. I shot Distinguished Expert with it and carried it for years. Later when the 3rd generation S&W was selected by the agency I worked with, I used that. It was like a rough Beretta 92. I took that weapon to Gunsite in 1990 and not only shot the top score in the class but won the shoot off against an entire relay of LAPD SWAT with their 1911s and several LAPD HITS instructors with their 92Fs. One could say I know a few things about the trigger system. We will be examining the DA concept to answer the needs of those who use it, and... Read more →


Most students of personal combat today have some understanding of ground fighting and the mechanics of taking down an adversary. Its not a hard thing to learn, and anyone who has a little athletic ability and a partner to work some basic moves can develop some pretty serious skill sets in short order. Most shooters already have a disdain for physical combat of any sort, but bring up the notion of wrestling around on the ground with someone and you will probably be asked to leave. Ignorance is bliss and few people want their bliss upset. These blissful shooters may not like the idea of fighting on the ground, but ignoring the situation is as silly as pretending that knife assaults won’t happen either. Any gun guys who think they are so fast and alert that they can never be taken down to the ground, please send me an email. I have some Brazilian gents I’d like to introduce you to and I will bet you $1000 they will put you down before you can clear leather. I will begin... Read more →


I have little regard for tradition when it comes to winning a fight, or training to do so. Take traditional concealed carry. Much of the common held thought involves a strong side holster with off-side ammo pouches, carried on a heavy leather belt (or Nylon Tactical Belt) hidden under a photographer's vest. Such attire, while technically legal (the gun IS covered), is hiding nothing. Understand that there is definitely a tactical reason to hide the gun far and above the legal requirement to do so. The legal requirements are tactically uninteresting, we want to know the combat reasons why its important. Simply speaking, popular CCW attire marks you as gun carrier, and an adversary seeking to dominate an environment that you occupy will simply shoot you first. Consider a bank or other high profile location. Bad guys come in and look around. There, standing in the midst of a bunch of Gucci wearing latte swilling yuppies are you, bedecked in your Royal Robbins Tuxedo, Wilderness Black Tactical Belt, NRA Cap, and GSG9 boots, with that tell-tale Surefire lanyard dangling beneath... Read more →


The Beretta 92 burst onto the scene in the mid 1980s. It was the gun the 1911 crowd loved to hate. Cats and dogs were predicted to move in together when this was adopted by the US Military as the M9. The "crunchenticker", is what it was called by the Colt 45 devotees, and anyone that brought it to class was met with derision and ridicule by the staff at the prominent gun schools of the day. But nearly 30 years later it is still around. I prefer Glocks, and SIGs if working DA pistols, but a professional man-at-arms can do well with anything that is put in his hands. I never seriously carried the Beretta, but I bought one from the now defunct B&B sales in North Hollywood in direct preparation for a contract in Italy with Benelli.Along with learning Italian it seemed like the professional thing to do. I had carried a S&W 5906 for years so I was not unfamiliar with the system. I trained up with it and carried one just like it in 9x21 on... Read more →


There is something called "a fighter's understanding". The many variables, tempos, intervals of time and distance, and nuances of the fight can take a lifetime to understand fully. Those who have been involved in combative disciplines for a lifetime know all about these. But as a teacher, I have to spend time putting these understandings and these nuances into words so to pass along the knowledge. And as I was working with the Junior Staff on his epee work recently I found myself having to verbalize these, as Sir Richard Burton called them, "sentiments of the sword". The fencing school we attend has not come to terms with the differences of classical execution, and fighting, or in this case, competitive applications. The footwork is different, the parries are different and many of the methods of setting up the attack are different as well. I have seen it all before, in Karate, and in the world of the gun. To see this dynamic again, in a totally different world, makes me think that there is some sort of developmental gap that... Read more →


The hardest gap to traverse in the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) cycle is the stretch from D to A…or decision to action. There seems to be an innate second guess system built in that slows most people down. At a certain level, this is a good thing as it prevents over reaction. However, it is not that “second guess” matter that seems to retard the speed of our act. Rather it is the timing of the Decision, the selection of the correct action, and then the execution of that action. So we are looking at timing, choosing, and executing. Imagine this situation. A good guy sees the bad guy. He notices how he looks, his positioning in relation to everything, as well as his body language and anything that he is currently doing. The observation is inevitably tied to profiling. We almost do both simultaneously. So our good guy profiles him as a bad guy based on his appearance, demeanor, location, and all the other factors that are incoming as information. These two phases of observation and orientation (perhaps... Read more →


Undoubtedly an extremely controversial topic, we used to work it routinely. It involves the concept of shooting an adversary directly through an interior wall. As I recall, and this is back I think early 1990s...a SWAT guy was shot by a bad guy through the wall, which brought up the discusion. In police, and sadly I suspect in your world as well, a great deal of learning takes place once something bad happens. In any case...it was as if nobody had ever thought of that back then so of course, the experimentation was on. The hard part is that urban dwellings may as well be made of paper for all the protection they offer. In fact, if one was to look at it that way it would lead to clearer thinking with tactics. Some guys use that as an indictment of the "stack" tactic, but that is wrong in my opinion. the constraints of the interior environment do place certain limits on how one can move, and specially on how a team can move. Problem = How to keep a... Read more →


All fighting men recall Bruce Lee's famous line in Enter The Dragon. "Like a finger pointing at the moon". And then Lao gets a Di Nozzo right across the back of the head for focusing on the finger and missing the point. The American gun community is like Lao, Bruce Lee's wayward student. Some one told them to be wary of placing the finger on the trigger at the wrong time and like Lao, they missed to point and grew into a trigger-fearing mob of liability freaks wanting 20 pound trigger pulls. If only we could give them all the old Di Nozzo (see the show NCIS) across the melon. By fearing the trigger, they develop a fear of shooting, and then a fear of everything. One wonders if the look under the bed for errant triggers before they go to bed. I want to examine this finger-trigger fear and shed light on the matter. My focus is simple…to win my gunfight and to help my good guys win their gunfights. A department’s liability averse policy is not even of... Read more →


Clausewitz wrote about it as "The Fog Of War". SunTzu wrote about it as "not knowing yourself or the enemy". It is a lack of certainty. It comes from a lack of information about what is actually at hand. Without information, accurate decisions are very difficult to make. What happens is you get a bunch of educated guesses and then a tentative decision based on those guesses. That is why military planners spend more on gathering intell than on the weapons to exploit that intell. How does that play out for the individual operator? Quite simply, if one is denied the suitable intelligence to make a decision, no decision will tend to be made. And at such a time, unless there is an ingrained, and trained default response, the subject will likely freeze in place...as if he is on pause waiting for more information. One example is the shooting at the nightclub in Orlando by Mateen. Put aside the 4S issues of a midnight drink in a questionable hood for a moment and follow the discussion. Think of the circumstances... Read more →


Its funny that in this day and age, there are guys that still assume the knife guy or guys are unskilled buffoons that are too poor or too stupid to use guns. And it is astounding how many gun guys snicker at the soccer mom that fears the gun, but they themselves will turn into a pile of fecal fear when a knife is flashed. As well the myth, and it is just that, that a firearm will always trump the blade. All weapons are special niche weapons. Some of those niches are larger than others, but in its own world, each weapon rules the day. At ten feet, with a skilled and athletic gunfighter, the knife will not prevail. Make that gunfighter slow and overweight and the scale tips to the knife. Make the distance 21 feet (yes, I have seen the videos), and the fit, athletic skilled gunfighter wins every time. Change the battlefield and make it in an elevator, a bathroom stall, a confessional, or similar confined space and the knife has the advantage over the most... Read more →