Using the Element of Surprise as a Personal-Defense Tool

As I have mentioned previously, personal defense does not allow for pre-emptive maneuvers. We cannot make the first aggressive strike against an attacker. We have to wait until they make some sort of overt act that places us in fear of losing our lives or suffering serious bodily injury. Unfortunately, this puts criminals at an advantage, and hopefully, our training and skill level will allow us to overcome this. The element of surprise can give us an edge that results in our winning the encounter. Continue reading

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Frank Hamer’s Sweetwater Fight: Lessons Learned

Frank Hamer was not afraid to wade into trouble, but occasionally learned a hard lesson doing so. Such was the case at Sweetwater, TX.

Frank Hamer was not afraid to wade into trouble, but occasionally learned a hard lesson doing so. Such was the case at Sweetwater, TX.

Texas Ranger Frank Hamer is best known for helping to end the careers of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. However, he was a lawman of one kind or another for many years and engaged in many shootings. His knowledge of personal defense was not academic, nor were all of his fights in the line of duty. We might look at just one of his many encounters and see what we can learn from it that will be beneficial to us in our own personal defense.

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Training for Close-Range Defense with Your Concealed Carry Gun


Photo: Gunsite Academy.

Those who come home from a defensive shooting school have a long list of things they are encouraged to practice with their concealed-carry gun. They are told to work on reloads, malfunction drills, multiple targets, shooting on the move and a number of other things. While this is true to a certain extent, the majority of practice ought to be on dealing with close-range deadly encounters. Continue reading

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Profile: Jelly Bryce—Oklahoma Gunfighter

(l.) Jelly Bryce had his own point-shooting method. Taken for dramatic effect for LIFE (and as we know, in clear violation of NRA safety rules) this image clearly demonstrated Bryce’s unique, deep crouch stance. He would fire when the gun came level with the target. (r.) A stroboscopic image of FBI agent Delf Bryce drawing his gun. In this demonstration, Bryce flips a poker chip, draws his gun and shoots the chip before it hits the ground. 

On a cold and foggy morning in 1933, a group of lawmen quietly surrounded a small frame house in Shawnee, Okla. Inside was one Wilbur Underhill, Jr., called the Tri-State Terror, wanted for eight murders, nine bank robberies and four escapes from various state penitentiaries. His most recent crime spree had started earlier in the year when he left the Kansas state pen without proper permission. To say that Underhill was armed and dangerous would have been a serious understatement. Continue reading

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