Friday, May 20, 2016

Remembering Bill Jordan: Border Patrolman, Marine combat veteran, Gun professional

Bill Jordan was a rough and tumble law man and Marine from a bygone era. One of the things Bill is known for is his lightning fast speed with a revolver. Massad Ayoob tells a story about he and Bill.
“I got to see both (his speed and combat savvy) up close and personal about 40 years ago when he picked me as his “victim demonstration partner” in one of his trademark exhibitions. His hand well clear of the K-Frame S&W in the Border Patrol holster he designed, he had me hold a Colt SAA cocked on a primer blank and with my finger on the trigger, with instructions to fire as soon as I saw his hand move. Once, twice, I did just that—and his double action flashed from its holster and “shot” me each time just before my own shot went off. He granted me a third chance, and I was watching his still holstered K-Frame when a shot exploded on my right: he had taken advantage of my tunnel vision to draw his bobbed-hammer Airweight Chief from his hip pocket and pop me with a primer blank, using his other hand!”
Bill tells a little about some of the advice he received and how it changed him.
“I consider myself fortunate in having known one of the greatest peace officers this country has produced—Captain John Hughes of the Texas Rangers… Like most old timers, he was reluctant to talk of personal experiences but occasionally passed out advice well worth heeding. One such gem that I have always remembered and will pass on was: ‘If you get in a gunfight, don’t let yourself feel rushed. Take your time, fast.’”
I like that, take your time, fast.
The Border Patrol holster Bill created has been replaced in police circles by more secure designs, and the classic .357 Combat Magnum he inspired has long since given way to modern autos. The .41 Magnum he and Elmer Keith inspired is still with us. The Jordan Trooper stocks are still made by Herrett’s, and both are still prized by the revolver community. Much of Bill’s life-saving advice remains absolutely, timelessly valid.
He said, “And above all, take all the time necessary but don’t dawdle. Remember, ‘speed’s fine, but accuracy’s final’—if you are given time to display it!”
He wrote of the moment of truth: “You are struck with the realization that your opposition is a man who is trying to kill you and that in the next instant the world might have to find someone else to revolve about. His bullet may end life for you!” It is one of the many legacies this great man left to the armed citizen and the law enforcement officer alike. Still published by Massad Ayoob’s publishing company “Police Bookshelf”, Bill Jordan’s “No Second Place Winner” remains a must-read classic for any who keep or carry handguns for self-defense.
I honor Bill Jordan on his birthday.
Semper Paratus
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