Friday, September 23, 2016

Gunfighting Advice From Gunfighters

I had a serious talk with and ex-operator friend of mine. We got on the subject of a gunfight. He has been through several, though they were military oriented. I was asking him questions and I compiled a list of Things You Need To Know BEFORE You get In A Gunfight.

1. Ever hear the saying “He who hesitates is lost?” This is a reality in a gun fight. It’s hard to think of going as just an average guy/gal to a violent person with the flip of a switch. It is possible and needs to be dealt with now, before it is needed. Violence of action is something you need to be willing to commit to. This is the hesitation from the saying. This decision will determine the outcome of the fight.
2. Remain calm. It’s hard to know how you will react to lethal force before it actually happens. But like a violent mindset, comes a calm mindset. Calmness gives you room to reason and act even though it may be seconds. Tactical decisions will come easier
3. Wyatt Earp Had these tips for gunfighting:
“Hours upon hours of practice and wide experience in actualities supported their arguments over style. The most important lesson I learned from those proficient gunfighters was the winner of a gunplay usually was the man who took his time. The second was that, if I hoped to live long on the frontier, I would shun flashy trick-shooting—grandstand play—as I would poison.”
Basically, he was saying training and developing an accurate shot. Developing muscle memory.
4. The Army would teach “Shoot, Move, Communicate” for combat. This good advice for a gun fight. Always keep moving. Being able to shoot while moving is something not very many people have developed. If you want an advantage on your enemy, learn to move and shoot.
5. Heads up is important in anything that we do whether you’re mowing a lawn or in a gunfight. Sometimes people (including my kids) accuse me of being too “old school”. They say I need to embrace technology. I have a cell-phone and I actually text. I have an i-pad and even a Pintrest and Instagram account. But I also believe in moderation in all things. I don’t think there are very many people who have to be on an electronic device 24-7. Not even 22/7! Pull your head out of your phone and look around. Keeping your head on a swivel can not only keep you safer, but can actually keep you from getting into a gun fight in the first place. Situational awareness should be practiced always.
Wyatt had some other good gun fighting ideas.

“When I say 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 that split fraction of a second that means the difference between deadly accuracy with a sixgun and a miss. It is hard to make this clear to a man who has never been in a gunfight. Perhaps I can best describe such time taking as going into action with the greatest speed of which a man's muscles are capable, but mentally unflustered by an urge to hurry or the need for complicated nervous and muscular actions which trick-shooting involves. Mentally deliberate, but muscularly faster than thought, is what I mean.”
This is a way of saying to practice until you shoot by muscle memory. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

“In the days of which I am talking, among men whom I have in mind, when a man went after his guns, he did so with a single, serious purpose. There was no such thing as a bluff; when a gunfighter reached for his forty-five, every faculty he owned was keyed to shooting as speedily and as accurately as possible, to making his first shot the last of the fight. He just had to think of his gun solely as something with which to kill another before he himself could be killed. The possibility of intimidating an antagonist was remote, although the 'drop' was thoroughly respected, and few men in the West would draw against it. I have seen men so fast and so sure of themselves that they did go after their guns while men who intended to kill them had them covered, and what is more win out in the play. They were rare. It is safe to say, for all general purposes, that anything in gun fighting that smacked of show-off or bluff was left to braggarts who were ignorant or careless of their lives.”

This is a way of saying you can’t out draw a drawn gun. And also that to be a good gun fighter you learn the basics and become proficient and fast with them. The fundamentals won’t fail you.

“I have often been asked why five shots without reloading were all a top-notch gunfighter fired, when his guns were chambered for six cartridges. The answer is, merely, safety. To ensure against accidental discharge of the gun while in the holster, due to hair-trigger adjustment, the hammer rested upon an empty chamber. As widely as this was known and practiced, the number of cartridges a man carried in his six-gun may be taken as an indication of a man's rank with the gunfighters of the old school. Practiced gun-wielders had too much respect for their weapons to take unnecessary chances with them; it was only with tyros and would-bes that you heard of accidental discharges or didn't-know-it-was-loaded injuries in the country where carrying a Colt's was a man's prerogative."

I find it interesting that these men experienced with firearms held safety in such high regard. “Accidents” could hurt or kill and not only that, they wasted good ammo. It also speaks to a professionalism not found in criminals.

These are real ideas for winning a gunfight from real gunfighters.

Semper Paratus
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