Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Commentary - It’s Your Gunfight . . .


During the NRA BP Instructor course this past weekend there were discussions on breaks and over lunch about guns, holster, story examples, the 21ft / 2 second “rule”, gun fights and any number of other topics. Gun fights have been the focus of a couple FB groups and blog posts that I’ve read over the past few days as well. I want to put my own slant on this particular topic.

As I teach the Personal Protection courses that the NRA offers – or my own flavor of Defensive pistol courses – I will virtually always roll through a couple of topics. They are part lore, and part fact – yet they still offer a sense of urgency to the topic - losing a gunfight may well mean a meeting with St. Peter well before what you consider “your time”.

There is the “Rule of 3” . . . most gunfights are finished in 3 rounds or less, in 3 seconds or less and at a distance of 3 meters or less. Numerous stats are sited and quoted regarding this rule but I am comfortable enough with current stats to agree that most gun fights using handguns are going to be at very personal distances.

The next thing everyone “knows” is that you need to be able to draw and get rounds on your threat in 2 seconds . . . i.e. the Tueller Drill. I usually encourage folks to dig up the original article and read it for context. Then read Dennis Tueller’s updated thoughts. Whether you have 2 seconds or less, the bottom line for a defensive shooter to keep in mind is that you have next to no time to defend your life – your ability to react quickly and properly is the difference between life and death.

Of course there are always discussions on course breaks about the best carry weapon . . . revolver, Glock, 1911 in“God’s own caliber” . . . each shared with passion and each ably defended. (Glock 17 BTW, with a spare magazine! ) This is an interesting discussion for the person new to the carry world; especially if there are some students who consistently carry on a daily basis.

The whole concept of “shooting until the threat stops” is always kicked around. It runs the full gamut of thought on what “the threat stops” means.

We usually touch on what your chances actually are for being involved in a gun fight. The reality is that it’s ridiculously small . . . and yet, as has been said recently . . . “The only thing that stops a bad man with a gun, is a good guy with a gun!”

So how do all these little “rules” and sayings and words of wisdom affect you, YOUR gun fight . . . .?

They don’t.

It’s your gun fight. Period. The outcome will depend on your skills, your willingness to engage someone trying to put you in a ZipLoc, your mindset, your will to survive. You can give yourself an edge in a number of ways . . .

  • Train daily, even if it’s only dry fire.
  • Integrate “Levels of Awareness” or Cooper’s “Color Code” into your life.
  • Become as physically fit as you can.
  • Run scenarios in your head

. . . as well as a host of other things that we can all bring to mind.

But, at the end of the day . . . regardless of the situation, its location, the number of attackers . . . it’s YOUR gunfight.

And, it’s YOUR responsibility to train for it every chance you get!


  1. I'm gratified to read your approach to the issue because you are absolutely correct.

  2. Excellent points, and worth thinking about (and PRACTICING) every day...

  3. Nice one, people who are really concerned about the safety and security of yourself and people around you must take help from self defense companies. You can also take help from the MA Gun License to get the guns for safety and security of your loved ones but remember one thing it needs great caution and care.