My Two Cents on Revolvers and Gunfighting (Part 2)

Parsing the words of famed Old West lawman and OK Corral gunfighter Wyatt Earp.

Story and Photo by Paul Pawela

In the April 2021 issue of American Shooting Journal, we talked about renowned gunfighters of yesteryear, how they used revolvers in gunfights, and how those hard fought lessons are still applicable to this day. We looked in-depth at the life of James Butler Hickok, better known as Wild Bill, and his famous exploits in gunfighting.

This issue, in continuation of our exploration of famous gunfighters and their lifesaving endeavors, we will cover perhaps one of the most well-known gunfighters ever, Wyatt Earp. Wyatt Earp is widely regarded as one of the most famous lawmen and gunfighters of the Old West.

He is best known for being one of the last men standing at the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881. In that gunfight, Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and his best friend and fellow gunfighter Doc Holliday confronted five desperados known as Cowboys. They were all confined in a small alleyway no wider than 15 feet and no more than 10 feet away from each other.

Two Cowboys broke and ran away, while the other three ended up in Boot Hill Cemetery, forever immortalized in the most epic gunfight in American history. Three lawmen were wounded in the fight, two with serious injuries, while the hero of the day, Earp, remained unscathed despite 30 rounds total fired at close range. This shootout was not Earp’s first, nor would it be his last.

EARP’S GUNFIGHTS HAVE as much relevance today as they did in his time, and his gunfighting advice has been well documented. Here, we will take a look at some of Earp’s quotes, followed by a modern translation provided by me.

EARP: “I was a fair hand with pistol, rifle or shotgun.” Translation: Wyatt Earp knew how to fight, as most did at that time, with fists, knives and guns. Men of that era were proficient in all aspects of fighting.

EARP: “I learned more about gunfighting from Tom Speer’s cronies during the summer of ’71 than I had dreamed was in the book. Those old-timers took their gun play seriously, which was natural under the conditions in which they lived. Shooting, to them, was considerably more than aiming at a mark and pulling a trigger. Models of weapons, methods of wearing them, means of getting them into action and operating them, all to the one end of combining high speed with absolute accuracy, contributed to the frontiersman’s shooting skill.” Translation: Take shooting seriously when practicing. Don’t go to the range simply to shoot small holes in the target; practice as if your life depends on it!

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Real life Gunfights are usually ugly but Hollywood makes it glamorous.

EARP: “Jack Gallagher’s advice summed up about all the others had to say. It was to wear my weapons in the position most convenient for me – in my case, as far as pistols were concerned, in the regulation open holsters; one on each hip if I was carrying two, hung rather low, as my arms were long …
Some men wore their guns belted high on the waist; others carried one gun directly in front of the stomach, usually inside, but sometimes outside the waistband, and another gun in a holster slung just in front of and below the left shoulder …
Style was a matter of individual preference.” Translation: What has changed in modern times? Absolutely nothing!

EARP: “When mounted on a horse, and ‘armed to the teeth,’ as the fiction writer would have it, a man’s rifle was slung in a boot just ahead of his right stirrup, his shotgun carried on the left by a thong looped over the saddle horn. With the adoption generally of breech-loading weapons, a rider who was equipped with two pistols, a rifle and a shotgun customarily had one of the belts to which his pistol holsters were attached filled with pistol ammunition, the other with rifle cartridges, while a heavier, wider belt filled with shotgun shells was looped around the saddle horn underneath the thong which held that weapon.
He was a riding arsenal, but there might well be times when he would need all the munitions he could carry.”
Translation: Today we travel in modern automobiles instead of horses, so why are our vehicles not mobile arsenals? We should have at our disposal portable weapons like AR pistols, modern shotguns like the Mossberg Shockwave or the Remington Tac-14, as well as plenty of ammo for each weapon system. We should also carry medical kits and fixed blades. If traveling in a vehicle, there should be a way to secure all weapons systems if need be.

EARP: “When I stress the fact that I learned to take my time in a gunfight, I do not wish to be misunderstood, for the time to be taken was only an infinitesimal fraction of a second that meant the difference between deadly accuracy with a six-gun and a miss.”
Translation: The first shot/hit is the most important; you will see that again repeatedly.

EARP: “That two-gun business is another matter that can stand some of the light of truthfulness before the last of the old-time gunfighters has gone on. They wore two guns, most of the six-gun toters did, and when the time came for action, went after them with both hands simultaneously. But they didn’t shoot them that way.
Primarily, the two guns were to make the threat of something in reserve; they were useful as a display of force when a lone man [was] stacked up against a crowd. Some men could shoot equally well with either hand, and in a gun play might alternate with their fire; others exhausted the loads from the gun in the right hand, or left, as the case might be; then shifted the reserve weapon to the natural shooting hand if that was necessary and possible.”
Translation: To this day, anyone who carries a gun should carry a backup for several reasons. First, if for whatever reason the primary gun does not go bang, you can default to the backup weapon.
Second, if you’re in a close contact confrontation and the gun is knocked out of your hand, go to the backup.
Third, if you are in big trouble and outnumbered but accompanied by an unarmed friend or family member, give them your backup so they can back you up!

EARP: “In the days of which I am talking … when a man went after his guns, he did so with a single, serious purpose. Where pistols were concerned, there was no such thing as a bluff, and when a gunfighter reached for his .45s every faculty he owned was keyed to shooting as speedily and as accurately as possible, to making his first shot the last one of the fight. Under such conditions he just had to think of his gun solely as something with which to kill another before he himself could be killed.” Translation: Always take the gun seriously! Be ready, as one day you may have to use it in a gunfight, and you must be mentally prepared for that. Remember that the goal is not to be fancy; it is to use the minimum amount of rounds necessary to end the threat and walk away alive!

Editor’s note: Paul Pawela is a nationally recognized firearms and self-defense expert.

Self-Defense Guns for the First Time Gun Owner

Yes, options are almost limitless and hardcore gun enthusiasts will have their own takes, but what are some of the simplest, most foolproof weapons for newbies looking to protect themselves and/or their family?

Story by Jim Dickson

Good self-defense weapon options range from revolvers to semiauto handguns, shotguns to carbines, but author Jim Dickson believes the Ruger Redhawk in .45 Auto to be “the best choice for a family defense weapon.” (STURM RUGER INC.)
In these troubled times, many people are buying guns for the first time in their life, but the needs of the casual gun owner are different from the experienced shooter. They need the simplest and most foolproof weapon, not the most advanced expert’s weapon. Most first-time gun buyers are probably doing so to defend themselves and their family, and if they end up using it, they will be under extreme stress with all the attendant opportunities for the inexperienced to screw up. Of course, the answer to this is training and practice.

The World War II Army surplus M1 carbine is one of the easiest modern battle rifles to master and hit with. (JIM DICKSON)
After all, there are only three ways to learn to shoot. Shooting, shooting and more shooting. Unfortunately, there is an ammo shortage at this time and most of these first-time buyers are not inclined to spend a lot of money on practice ammo anyway. That’s just the reality of the situation and what we have to deal with. Still, becoming familiar with the new gun is crucial and keeping that as easy as possible is more important for the casual shooter than the dedicated shooter. Hence, we will look at the best possible choices in this light. The guns should be simple to use and easy to hit with, and should also have the least recoil possible so the new shooter does not get a flinch.

The Stevens 311A is an economical American-made 12-gauge double that is common on the used gun market. It makes a nearly foolproof defensive longarm. There is nothing to do but push the safety off and pull the trigger. (JIM DICKSON)
THE CLASSIC HOMEOWNER defense firearm is the handgun, and rightly so. For gunfighting inside a home or building, the pistol is king. It is fast and can be held near the side of the body when going through doorways or past furniture, where an assailant might spring out and grab the barrel of a shotgun or rifle and wrestle it out of your hands. Just don’t hold it so close to your body that the gas escaping from the barrel/cylinder gap on a revolver burns you when you fire. People who advise a pump shotgun for this duty are showing their lack of personal experience in this sort of fighting. A pump shotgun does not have room for the buckshot to spread enough to matter indoors, so you are looking at a manually operated five- or eight-shot repeater that can malfunction if the pump action is not cycled properly under stress. I have seen a perfectly good shotgun fail to fire under these conditions enough times in the hands of poorly trained shooters to wonder why no other gun writers address this problem. Training and sufficient practice at cycling the action and dry firing will overcome this, but it is still an outdoor weapon best used at the 25- to 50-yard range.
The simplest type of pistol is the double-action revolver. Just point it and pull the trigger. ere is nothing else you have to remember to do under stress. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. There is nothing to forget, like taking off the safety on an automatic pistol or cocking a single-action revolver. But not every double-action revolver will do. While a lightweight steel-frame .38 may feel good at the gun store, it may also have a rather sharp kick that will discourage practice and may cause the shooter to flinch. Aluminum-frame .38s are bad and some of the space-age alloy revolvers are so light that a policeman at a shooting school suffered a broken bone in his hand with one of these during his first shot. Now that’s serious recoil! e universal opinion of those experienced with these abominations is that if you use one, you will only get one shot off in a gunfight because that shot is going to damage your hand. e worst part is that the .38 is not and never can be a reliable man stopper, and if you have a big drug-crazed intruder in your bedroom at 3 a.m., you definitely want the best man stopper. That means a .45-caliber gun.

The semiauto M1927-A1 Thompson is the other easy-to-master-and-hit-with modern fighting rifle. It is shown here with the famous Thompson 50-round drum magazine. (AUTO-ORDNANCE)
BEFORE THE M1911 pistol was adopted by the U.S. Army, the Thompson LaGuardia Commission did the finest report on handgun stopping power ever done before or since. They found that nothing less than a .45-caliber 230-grain bullet at 800 to 900 feet per second can be depended upon to stop a man with one hit to the vitals. This resulted in the .45 ACP round, which the Army stated has more stopping power than the .30-06 in a World War II manual. While the M1911 pistol is the greatest gunfighting pistol ever made, it is also rather difficult for beginners to master, requiring a lot of firing practice. Plus it requires disassembly and reassembly for cleaning. Its cartridge is the automatic pistol version of the earlier .45 Colt revolver round first adopted by the Army in 1873. Neither round needs expanding bullets to stop the biggest man or beast in North America. That’s important because expanding bullets do not always expand and they lack penetration on cover your enemy may try to hide behind. The .45 Colt round in the Ruger Redhawk 4-inch-barrel double- action revolver is the best choice for a family defense weapon. Its size and weight may put people off at first, but that and its rubber grips soak up almost all of the recoil, making this an extremely pleasant gun to shoot. If some members of the family find it too heavy, simply employ a two-hand hold. It points well and has one of the finest double-action trigger pulls ever put on a production revolver. I counsel the user not to cock the first shot and then go to double-action. This is very disruptive to accuracy on the second and third shots, plus a cocked revolver is more likely to be accidentally fired under stress. This is a gun that can be fired just as accurately double-action as it can single-action with practice. It is extremely easy to master and most anyone can quickly learn to be effective with it at inside-the-house ranges. It has the added advantage of stainless steel construction, which may be important as the casual owner may neglect proper maintenance.

FOR A SHOTGUN, the side-by-side double 12-gauge is best. Load it with a pair of shotshells featuring nine 00 buckshot pellets in front of 3 drams of powder. This is the load favored by many police departments for its lower recoil. You don’t need magnum loads for this. There is little to go wrong with a double. It points well and all you have to do is take the safety off and pull the trigger. It does have a kick, and this can be reduced by adding a sorbothane recoil pad, such as the one made by Kick-Eez. For indoor use, a gunsmith can cut the barrels back to 20 inches. As previously stated, though, a shotgun is best used at longer ranges where its pattern can spread enough to be useful, and for this you do not need short barrels. The new shooter is to be cautioned to lean into the gun and not lean back to center the gun’s weight over their center of gravity. Any push back from recoil at all and you will then topple over. You’ll want to say the gun’s kick knocked you down, but it was you being off balance that set you up for the fall.

FOR RIFLES, THERE is no substitute for the semiauto with a high-capacity magazine, and that means you will need to practice and also learn how to take it apart and put it back together again for cleaning. Rifles with any real recoil may present a problem with the shooter developing a flinch, so they are to be avoided by the casual user. The gun must be steady and easy to hit with. Not many guns are and they depend on the shooter’s skill for their effectiveness. There are two exceptions, though. The G.I. Issue M1 carbine and the Auto-Ordnance M1927-A1 semiauto Thompson. These are two of the steadiest, best-pointing and easiest-to-hit-with rifles ever made. They have very little recoil and are fun to shoot. The WWII Army-issue M1 carbine is only 5½ pounds and 3 feet long. It’s like shooting a big .22 and any member of the family old enough to shoot should be able to handle it easily. Its ammunition is compact and light as well, and the Army provided both 15- and 30-shot magazines with it. Plenty of firepower.
The military-issue gun’s reliability exceeds that of the M1 Garand and far exceeds that of the current M16 and M4. This applies only to the Army-issue guns. Many of the commercial copies that claim to meet the Mil-Specs do not, resulting in guns that are unreliable and cannot be fixed. Some, like a recent example I had, are unsafe to fire. Therefore, I can only recommend the war surplus guns (see sidebar).
At the time of this writing, Royal Tiger Imports ( has imported a quantity of original WWII M1 carbines in good to excellent condition (see American Shooting Journal, October 2020). You can get magazines and all the accessories for the M1 carbine from Numrich Gun Parts Corp ( The best manual available is The M1 Carbine Owner’s Guide by Larry Ruth. The book features assembly, disassembly, operating and maintenance information, and more. Get it from your local bookseller, or directly from the author by writing to: Larry L. Ruth, 2316 Smith Hill Road, Walworth, NY 14568. Cost is $27 including shipping.

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THE OTHER RIFLE that offers all the ease of hitting possible is the semiauto version of the famed Thompson submachinegun, the M1927-A1 Thompson from Auto-Ordnance (
Legally a semiauto rifle and not a submachinegun, it has a 16.5-inch barrel instead of the 10-inch barrel of the fully automatic versions. Otherwise, all the intimidating appearance of the famed Thompson submachinegun is still there.
The twin pistol grips, inclined at the same angle as the legendary Luger pistol, offer fast precise pointing, while its 12.5-pound weight gives it the steadiness that only a heavy rifle can have. There is also an aluminum receiver version at 9.5 pounds, but it is not quite so steady for offhand shooting and that is the way you end up firing in most any emergency situation. It is extremely accurate and fires the manstopping .45 ACP cartridge. Thirty-round box magazines, as well as 50- and 100-round drum magazines, are available. I would stick to the 50-round drums, as the 100-round drums effectively double the weight of the weapon and are quite a bit bulkier. At 39 inches overall, it is still a very compact gun.

WHICHEVER GUN YOU choose, get plenty of spare magazines with their pouches, as well as plenty of ammo. In combat you want all your ammo in loaded magazines, as anyone who has ever tried to reload magazines while someone was shooting at him will tell you.
A complete cleaning kit is also necessary with any gun. Firearms must be cleaned after every use and semiautomatics must be field-stripped to do this. Don’t just do this once. Practice it until it becomes second nature. After handling, all guns must be wiped down with an oily rag, as fingerprints cause rust. Guns that have to be cleaned from the muzzle, like both of the rifles in this article, need a cleaning rod guide lest the cleaning rod damage the rifling at the muzzle and impair the accuracy of the gun. These can be had from J. Dewey Mfg. Co. Inc. (, among others.
Another note for first-time gun owners is to always use hearing protection when practicing. is can be the cheap foam ear plugs or regular shooter’s earmuffs. Both work fine and will prevent hearing loss. The most important rule of gun safety is to always have the muzzle pointed where it can’t hurt anyone if it fires. Do not put all your faith in mechanical safeties, as anything man made can fail. Check every gun to see if it is loaded when you first pick it up by looking into the chamber and being sure there are no cartridges in the magazine that is in the gun. Treat guns with respect, but don’t be afraid of them.
Remember that there are only three ways to learn to shoot. Say them again with me: Shooting, shooting and more shooting. It is practice more than natural talent that separates the exhibition shooter from the rank and file. Shell out the money for the ammo and practice like your life depends on it, for one day your life and the lives of your loved ones may depend on your skill at arms. It has been that way since the world began.

Car Jacking – Where are you packing your heat?

On the hip, in a case, or on the seat next to the driver, where are you packing for easy access?

Car jacking happens almost everywhere and one of the question that comes up is where are you packing your firearm for easy access. Here’s a conversation excerpt from 1911 Forum on the subject.

mikesheating: my question to you is, if work has me driving all day, should I do as normal and keep my EDC on my right hip, or would a pistol be better used in a briefcase on the seat next to me? My thoughts on this are
1) I could keep a second full size duty pistol in the open top briefcase along with as many mags as I feel are needed. Of course I’d still have my normal CCW on my hip.
2) If I start seeing condition orange ( I could have my hand in the briefcase, on the pistol, free from the holster, without brandishing it.
3) I could even shoot through the briefcase, “please don’t murder me, take my briefcase, BANG!” and never see it coming. As far as they know I’m following orders up till the first shot.
4) I could load out a little heaver with a second bigger pistol with more mags ready to go.
Or am I over thinking this? should keep to my normal EDC, on the hip. These things happen fast and as soon as a gun is seen by ether party, the fight is going to be on. So it’s a little slower to draw from concealment seated in a car.

boatdoc: many of my friends are appendix carrying for access while driving seems to me that an extra gun could be placed in an ankle holster( a revolver maybe?) for your protection. A purse or briefcase might give the perps a gun they did not have why isn’t the media covering this. I used to live in Chicago and it wa s very safe and the cops were very tough( maybe that is why crimes wa s low back in the ’80s?)

the agenda today seems to viilfy cops for doing their jobs and praise thugs when they commit crimes and hide the ghettto thugs crimes as well(chicago is th e prime example with all the weekend shootings going on and very few are reported int he mainstream media)–it is Obamas and loonbergs agenda against us as well. They ignore the criminals and go after us– brilliant!

lhawkins: +1 for appendix carry for vehicle. Also, I mounted a plastic coated magnet on the side of the console (designed for firearms). Holds the gun nicely. It will even hold a gun through a pocket hoslter.

FYI, some states have goofy laws with respect to how the gun is carried in vehicle even with a CHL. Ohio did, but rescinded most of them. You may want to know the laws in the states you travel. It would be silly to be a felon just because you put the firearm on the seat instead of your holster.

monadh: When I’m in my car, I always have two pistols. I generally carry a Springfield 1911 wherever I go, so that is in the holster on my hip. The second is a CZ 9mm of some sort, usually my CZ 75 PCR with a 16 round magazine, 1 chambered for a total of 17 rounds, in an unzipped pistol blanket right next to me. I am too large to gracefully pull a pistol out of the holster, and I can deploy the other pistol much faster.

I also always carry two extra magazines for each. The 1911 has one mag with hollowpoints and one with ball ammo. The CZ has two extra mags of 147 gr subsonic hollowpoints.

Plantar5: I know 2 people who were carjacked at gunpoint.
One gave up his car, as would I or suggest, it’s just a car.
The other was a LE detective who shot and killed one and paralyzed the other.
Now he is involved in a civil matter, that even probably will be cleared, you can draw your own conclusions.

azguy1911: Obviously keep your doors locked as that gives you some protection and extra time and I keep mine between the seat and console while in the car, easily accessible there.

WobbleZone: In my truck, tucked into the tight space between driver’s seat and middle seat, canted, butt up. Instant access. Dan Wesson CCO or Glock 20.

evets5321: I hope you never get car jacked and especially not shoot thru your brief case, ’cause the attorneys will find this post and say that you PLANNED it….sticks and stone may break my bones but my words will get life in jail. Just do what you need to do and don’t talk about it. IMHO

MegaGlide: Just MHO, of course, but if you are worried about carjacking, you need to have a gun on your person, not on the seat, etc. You get distracted, door flies open and you are dragged from car, you don’t have a gun.

In retrospect, there are many ways to quarterback this but what it comes down to is always remain alert and have a plan. All the tactics that you learned and practice comes into play lies in the planning for such contingency. What are your thoughts on this?

evets5321: I hope you never get car jacked and especially not shoot thru your brief case, ’cause the attorneys will find this post and say that you PLANNED it….sticks and stone may break my bones but my words will get life in jail. Just do what you need to do and don’t talk about it. IMHO

MegaGlide: Just MHO, of course, but if you are worried about carjacking, you need to have a gun on your person, not on the seat, etc. You get distracted, door flies open and you are dragged from car, you don’t have a gun.

In retrospect, there are many ways to quarterback this but what it comes down to is always remain alert and have a plan. All the tactics that you learned and practice comes into play lies in the planning for such contingency. What are your thoughts on this?

Self Defense Against a Knife Attack

Knife Defense techniques has been around since the early centuries. With the use of firearms for self defense, defending against a knife has taken a back seat. We have covered some knife defense basics here. However, in some countries like the United Kingdom their stats of knife attacks happens every 4 seconds back in 2008 ( this is more knife attacks per capita than U.S. gun attacks at the time.

Regardless, knife attacks do exist and here we will introduce functional knife defense that was design to be taught to the mass, learned in a few minutes, but needs to be honed. The more you practice the better you get. Sorry that’s the facts of life, just like shooting your guns.

There are many cases where a knife attack occurs, it can be from a distance (21 feet) where they come running madly at you with a blood curling cry. Or, you’re in a fist fight and the next you know you feel sharp pains on your body or arms. Another scenario as a law enforcement officer conducting a field interview, and the subject surprisingly lunges at you from 6 feet.
Commons sense states get your gun out and defend yourself, but timing is not about fairness. Attacks happens within a blink of an eye and you must respond.

Defensive Mindset
First rule of thumb is to always be alert and mindful of your environment. Your awareness is your number 1 defense mechanism, and it is a lifestyle to have this train of mind. Especially when you engage with people and have the sense to back off from an altercation. Use that verbal “judo” skill, not “karate” action verbs. Always de-escelate the conversation and seek your exit. (Run!)

Distances is important to be aware of, if you’re in close quarters (within 6 feet) your reaction time will be slower than the person initiating an attack. Or maybe you’re already in the scuffle but do not know that the assailant has drawn their knife. Best defense is distance, increase your distance between you and the assailant.

So the following guidelines is what’s called the 1% technique, this is the percent where the shit hits the fan. Its fight or flight syndrome, we can harness this feeling through training to know how to deal with it and use it to empower us to survive.

The video below highlights a two on one positioning for control, featuring Sal Mascoli video by GN Funkertactical.

You’ll noticed its all about crashing in (closing the gap quickly) and taking control of the knife arm.

Control – Intercept – Baseball Grip
Most reports of the knife attack are multiple stabbing to the lower portion of the torso. Though other attacks like slashes that you see in the movies exist, but not likely. Man when at their primal stage of fighting, especially with a knife, 90% of the time will stab, its emotional rage. So at this close quarter range you must intercept the knife hand.

  • Get closer to the attacker to minimize their knife hand movement
  • Form a cup with both hands and catch their knife hand
  • Once caught imagine holding a “Baseball Bat” and pull/maintain a downward pressure

Keynotes – the Control & Positioning
Already at close range use that to nullify the knife attacker movement. Making harder for them to get a good swing at you. Once you have the control position be sure that your arm is semi bent with a push/pull downward position. In this leverage position it will be hard for them to pull their hand out. While in this control position you commence with knee strikes and headbutts. So the name of the game is “positioning”, its highly paramount that you establish your positioning during this struggle. Target area for the strikes are:

  • Knee strikes – go for the thigh (front, side sciatic nerve), groin, lower abdomen
  • Head butts – go for the bridge of nose, below the nose, side of head (jaw), head ram to underneath the jaw if they’re acutely taller

Once you have applied these strikes be sure to look for that exit.(Run!) If you’re a law enforcement officer the principles still applies, once clear create (Run!) that distance between you and the attacker to draw your firearm.

From another outlook and approach to this deadly encounter if you’re with your loved one, have a look at Youtuber Master Wong. Be warned its serious chair quarterbacking and humorous.

Article by J Hines

Sources: Burton Richardson, Paulo “GN” Rubio of Funker Tactical Youtube, Sal Mascoli USMC, Master Wong

Gunfight Training

Sometimes a pre-cursor to a Gunfight involves Hand-to-Hand Jitsu just to get to Glock-Fu
Are we training correctly in preparation for that Gunfight?

Unfortunately, there are many assaults that takes place every day. Bad guys don’t discriminate man or woman. In the following video, the footage highlights a female protecting herself from an attack by a would be mugger.
At this point, the motive is unknown, but what does stand out is that the female successfully fends off the attack and stopping the attacker with her pistol.
Yes, we can go on stating that having the right to bear arms is a good thing. The purpose of this article is to challenge the idea of what is good gun training to prepare for an altercation. This article is not about using 1,000 Glock-Fu technique to protect yourself.

Gun Training

Generally gun training for self-defense is about handgun familiarization and shooting the pistol at the range. Depending on where the training is taking place an advance version of furthering their gunfight skills will have them respond to scenarios. Which usually is drawing their pistol and firing at close range. Yes, it is true that most incidents reports involving gun defense states that these incidents occurs within a few feet during the initial contact.
Yes, it sounds like we’re quarterbacking this. In every training brain storm its all about quarterbacking the what ifs and should have done, etc…. Anyways, what we’re getting after is that there is that “close quarter moment” where you need to train the most.
In this video case its when the female was reaching for her pistol thats in her handbag as the attacker was closing in on her. Fortunately, in this incident she got the gun out just in time to defend herself. There are some that will tell you that they weren’t able to get their pistol out in time. So this is where we are addressing that “close call moment” when you need some hand-to-hand jitsu to prior to getting you gun out.

Challenge Conventional Thinking
We want to challenge the conventional thinking when we train for that gunfight. Again, we need to go beyond standing at the line then at the command we draw our pistol and blast away downrange at the target. This portion of close quarter training falls into empty hands/reflex training.
Lets think about this, how fast can you quickly assess a situation while on a daily outing, make a quick decision to either go for your weapon or use less lethal action based on the settings. LE trainer call this O.O.D.A. (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) its how we go through the process of reacting to a stimulus.
There are many self-defense schools that address this unique situation. Reacting to a stimulus will always be slower. There is no magic bullet to react faster than the attacker, but to keep training the scenario.

Training that really Matters

For this type of training this falls into extra hand-to-hand training. Put in the mat time thats needed, these blocks of training will take care of those close quarter moments that you can’t practice with a fully loaded pistol, try these block of training.
Role Play
3rd Base Umpire Drill
These drills needs to be played out to 20 seconds after initial contact of the drill. The benefits from this form of training is that the defender will be reacting to the attacker action. After 50 to 100 hours of practice against many different attackers (short, tall, slow, fast, strong, weak), the muscle memory and reflexes will be heightened to another level of awareness. Your crouching tiger and hidden dragon moves will progress to a competent level. Here’s the brief description of these two close-quarter training drills.

Role Play – Simple, you have an attacker and a defender. Face each other from 20 feet and start walking towards each other as if they’re out on the street.
The defender can have a pistol or a knife or anything. For this particular scenario, the defender does not have a weapon. (for now) They can stow their weapon in any way they would out in the street. As the drill progresses, you can simulate a hall way inside a building. Obviously, these settings will affect your Glock-Fu tactics.
Back to the drill, once the two combatants gets closer the attacker will initiate any form of attack at the defender.

You can mix this up with just having the BG initiates with verbal slangs to heat up the atmosphere. This keeps the defender from jumping the gun. The only time to react is when the BG actually attacks.
If you have extra people, have them involved so the defender doesn’t know who will attack. Being creative with the scenario is ideal.

3rd Base Umpire Drill
The defender will move his hands and arms in different motion mimicking a 3rd base coach. While the defender is doing this the BG attacks from 5 feet away. This drill gets the defender to react while they’re in odd awkward body position.

Check out these Cool Gun Safes Click HERE to Check it out.

A quick word on equipment, since this is for low budget, we suggest stick with small toy guns that are durable. If you need the training pistol that shoots pellets, then get some cheap pellet guns.
The only reason we didn’t mention simunitions is the budget. If your training facility can afford it, by all means go for it.
Red Man suit
Final Thoughts
These two types of force-on-force training is not the only drills out there. There will be scenarios like on a crowded dance floor where people are at touching distances vs out in the street where you may have more distances to read body language.
The best advices is to keep practicing for the worse case scenario where you’re caught off-guard and fight for it. Its better to take your licks while in training then to get hurt in a real life incident.

Contact Stick Fighting

Two men in fencing masks circle warily in the center of a gym. Each holds a three-foot long rattan stick in one hand. A sudden rush and both are engaged in a swirl of weapons. The air rings to the sound and smell of rattan sticks striking each other and the duller whomp of sticks striking legs, arms and bodies.
This melee is engaged at full speed and full power. Punches aren’t pulled. When the grueling two-minute bout is over, both combatants display an array of bumps, bruises and welts. The fighters embrace and depart the battlefield as friends. Neither has been declared the winner or the loser. The idea of winning or losing is not what its about. This is the Dog Brothers way.

Dog Brothers takes their extreme system to another level of realism by fighting with sticks. Their octane testosterone is “Higher Consciousness thru Harder Contact”. It’s is based off of mixture of different Kali from Guro Dan Inosantos Kali to Leo Gaje Pekiti Tirsia to Brazilian Jujutsu. Their take is learn whatever you want but here is where you test it out to see if your “Kung Fu” is good.


 The formulation was created by Eric “Top Dog” Knaus, Arlan “Salty Dog” Sanford and Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny who is the guiding force of the group. At the time back in the late 80’s there were full contact stick fighting tournaments around. However, these full contact stick combatants were fully suited with pads from head to toe which restricted movements and feeling.

Higher Consciousness Level
Dog Brothers took it to another level by only using a headgear and gloves with real rattan sticks. Didn’t matter what kind of headgear you wore, most opted for a fencing headgear. Really?, fencing headgear don’t have the proper safety cushion. DB approach was mobility and reality, with the lighter headgear it wasn’t really meant to protect you, but to remind you of the reality of getting hit on the head.

Beginners just starting out usually opted for the fully clothed upper protection until they gained more confidence in their skills. The downside to it is that the suit restricted the combatant movements.

Gloves was the same, you can use a fully padded type or just a baseball batting glove to enable you to grip your stick. Last, no other protection on your body if you desire. The less protection the better for the truth of reality of contact stick fighting.

DB could have made this into a padded pillow fight but then it would lose its meaning. The danger and risk are necessary to the trans-formative nature of the experience.

Dog Brothers extremeness was quite popular in the mid 90’s that UFC approached DB to promote full contact stick fighting in the “UFC”. However, after viewing a demo fight UFC felt it was too extreme for the television viewers, so it was passed.

Their method of training has also crossed gaps into the gunfight world when you have to fight to get your pistol out as you see below.

Dog Brothers main thing is:
“No egos, no refs, no trophies, just man vs man”. “There isn’t any suing each other” and at the end of the day “we’re friends“.

Want to learn more about Dog Brothers martial arts? go here.

Check out these Cool Gun Safes Click HERE to Check it out.

Think Twice before Robbing this Store

What happens when you bring a fight to a gun store?

When two men entered the Dixie Gun and Pawn at 11 am to rob the place, it’s hard to tell what they were thinking. Were they aiming for a store next door? Did they really think they had a foolproof plan? Were they just bored and looking to spice up their lives?

They tried to wave guns, and one man even tried to pull a second handgun, but they neglected the thought that maybe, just maybe, the store clerk at the Dixie GUN and pawn might also be carrying a gun.

The man tried to pull a second gun was promptly shot dead by the worker behind the counter, while the other fled and has not been identified yet.

The shooting was excellent, and in this writer’s opinion, justified; But of course, that doesn’t excuse the callous disregard for life that has followed suit.

The comments of the video have ranged from simply insensitive (suggestions that the dead man’s body be photographed and turned into a cardboard standee to ward off other intruders) to outright racist (comments with phrases like “Then again, black guys aren’t known for being smart”).

While the man behind the counter should be praised for his calm under pressure and survival instinct, let’s not forget that even poor life choices don’t stop a person from being human. In this case, this was a life-or-death situation and life-or-death measures were taken, but it is still not acceptable to treat a death as callous humor, and it is never acceptable to make racist comments. This writer is apalled. In 2017, we should all be better than this.


@Jack_Mehoffer�before the shot, the criminal look at his fellow. Bad decision for him.

@raven11356�You’d think two black guys would avoid tempting fate by not robbing a gun shop named after the Confederate South. Then again, black guys aren’t known for being smart.

@Jack Tors�It’s not a “robbery suspect” that died on the floor – it’s an armed robber.
Lucky they have a camera in the shop…

@ValleyBlacksmith�Well stated. I wouldn’t be surprised if the newsy types used the word ‘allegedly’ somewhere in there description of the event. FFS it’s stone cold proven on video and they’ll give benefit of the doubt. I’m all for ‘innocent until proven guilty’, but I think this one was settled.

@stoma_rider�Less than 2 seconds and that gun store clerk assesed, drew and center massed that clown. That was homey’s last robbery.

@jeffbaustin�He doesn’t move an inch after gravity is finished. Dead as a door nail.

@PHILBAWDY�Ya a .45 packs one hell of a punch. Old man even held steady on the recoil. This is how it should be. Government wants to take guns away from these people so they can get robbed all the time and possibly killed. The government can shove it up their ass

You know he’s been waiting for years for that to happen.
Who robs a gun/pawn shop? That’s the worst target to choose.

by Sam Morstan

Sources: LiveLeak

What would you do?

Mugger wants valuables, gets shot instead

The mugger in the blue shirt made the worst mistake of his life when he pulled a gun on an off-duty cop. The cop drops the contents of his pockets, bends over, and backs away quickly. While the mugger stoops to pick up the goods, the officer draws his concealed carry pistol and puts multiple shots into the mugger’s chest at close range.

Would you have fought or just given up the jewelry?

Most people would probably agree that the mugger got what he deserved, so instead of quarterbacking this we’d like your opinion on this if you were there as the LEO or maybe just a private citizen licensed with a concealed carry weapon, what would you do?

Video Transcription

Quarterbacking with Active Self Protection
What do we learn here about fighting off a mugger?

1. There’s a well-worn joke that ATM stands for “Accessory To Mugging,” and it’s not far from the truth. The ATM is of course a likely place to be attacked because it is a transitional space. A mugger or armed robber can easily ambush you if your attention is engrossed in the machine or your phone, and they are built to allow for easy access and escape. When you’re at the ATM, be sure to be extra aware of what is going on around you. I even suggest standing with your back to the machine, or at least with your shoulders perpendicular to it so that you can constantly see what is happening around you!

Video Transcription:
[Intro music]

[John Correia] When the balloon goes up, you gotta be ready to do whatever it takes to protect yourself from an armed robber.

Hi everyone, this is John, with today’s Active Self Protection lesson. It comes today from Venazuela, and an awful lot of Active Self-Protection fans have sent me this one. Thanks one and all for that. It teaches us some incredible important lessons here; about situational awareness, particularly in transitional spaces; about valuables and how exposing your valuables can make you a more likely target; shows us the importance of distraction and of a smooth draw; and also the importance of marksmanship and multiple targets, as well as follow-up actions.

As this one starts, we see the armed robber here in the blue shirt walk up here on this guy that we find out is an off-duty officer, because he wants his chains. The guy drops all of his stuff and says ‘hey, here, you want my stuff, great.’ walks around this other person and uses that to get his firearm out and get multiple shots on target, ending the threat and the life of the armed robber. As everybody else goes we see our good guy start taking up follow-up actions, looking around, seeing who else is a threat, seeing what’s going on with his original threat, is he moving, is he going to become a threat again; no, and so this one now thankfully is over.

I wanna back up and learn some significant lessons here. Number one is that he’s in a dangerous spot, an ATM, and now he’s been accosted by an armed robber. And don’t think you can always be aware of everything all the time, especially in busy places, but knowing what’s going on around you is important. Now you’ve got to deal with this guy at close range. I think this was incredibly wise. This guy just dropped his stuff, ‘hey, the armed robber said he wanted my chain and my wallet, great’ drop them on the floor here and give him something else to think about. Don’t just stand there and fight him when he’s strong, but when you are. Next, I think this one is gonna give us a little bit of heartburn for some people, you say ‘well he used this woman as a barricade’, no, he used her as concealment. He went around her to conceal his draw, I think that was really wise, because he got ahead of the badguy. Then we’re gonna see him bring up on target here, and all of his shots are going to be very quick, point-shooting at this kind of a distance, and we’re going to see him get multiple shots off quickly, at very close distance; one, two, three, four; and we see that fourth shot finally got him to go down, and everybody scatters, and now our badguy is done, but look at what our good guy is doing, he’s heads-up on another threat, great, love that. He didn’t get over-focused on his target, he was looking around to see what was going on around him, and now he’s going to go take appropriate follow-up action. So here we learned distraction techniques, we learned having your firearm on you, we learned drawing concealment and from cover if you possibly can, getting shots on target quickly, this guy did a great job of covering his ASP.

Source: Active Self Protection Youtube, John Correia

Surviving a Knife Attack

Knife attacks from the front can be scary, many knife attacks are psychologically personal. Ryan Hoover of Fit-to-Fit Krav Maga goes over some simple principles and tactics to defend against a frontal knife attack.

Surviving_Scary_Knife_Attacks_Krav_MagaFirst Method Re-Direct/Stun

  • Create a better angle
  • Redirect
  • Attack the aggressor, not the weapon

Basically, Ryan’s example is with a swift slap to the aggressor knife hand and instantly running diagonally to his left at a 45 degree angle. Ryan also shows upon removing or getting off line of the knife, he delivers a quick kick to the groin and runs off.

Second Method – Control
The second method is based off of the first in regards to creating a better angle and redirect. But what if the opportunities and dynamics of it all isn’t the same as in the first scenario, but wind up having to fight with this knife attacker. And, the struggle is now to control the knife to minimize any injuries.

Two on One
Two on one is a term taken from Greco-Roman wrestling, where you have control over an arm with both of yours. The ideal positioning is to stand on the outside of the aggressor, so that it’s easier to defend from than standing in front of the aggressor. When you’re in front you have to deal with all four of his weapons (2 hands, 2 feet).

Surviving_Knife_Attacks_Krav_MagaSo basically, Ryan demonstrates this 2 on 1 control as being more dominant than trying to grab the knife with one hand manipulating them into a wrist/joint locks. Upon hands on Ryan delivers a headbutt as this is the most economical in terms of motion and directness. Headbutt can be delivered to the aggressor chin or shoulder(secondary target). The takedowns is by hanging on to the aggressor arm while maintaining the position and control, then lowering your center gravity by getting semi squatting will result in going to the ground. Once you see the aggressor is going down, you can release do a quick kick and run away.

Just a note to our readers, our videos are for entertainment and educational purposes only.
For more information on Ryan Hoover at and Straight Blast Gym, Karl Tanswell Founder of STAB program

The Mini Thunder Hammer

There are many different types of impact weapons considered non-lethal used for self defense like kubotan, keychain, yawara stick, and mini Asp baton to name a few. Not too many people have heard of or think to carry a mini size hammer, otherwise known as the mini thunder hammer. With the added weight and design the mini thunder can be used to generate devastating impact.

Doug Marcaida a Filipino Martial Arts Expert consultant for various Government agencies on “Weapons of Opportunity”. In this segment Doug demonstrate techniques and strikes with the mini thunder. The area of the hammer that can be used to land a strike are:

  • face
  • butt end of the grip
  • eye
  • claw

The claw area can be used for joint and limb control tactics. What’s unique is that this demonstration isn’t performed in the one or three step kata type that most traditional martial artists uses.

The_Mini_Thunder_HammerThe technique is applied in a free flow type of drill known as “Hubbad” (not the full name, sorry) in the Filipino martial arts, the phrase means to tie and untie. The hubbad drill can be trained while using sticks, knives and empty hands at the close quarter range (within arms reach). The idea behind all this is to apply the technique and strikes while in motion during the block and counter exchange. Enjoy!

For more information on Doug Marcaida go here.