Elmer Keith and The Golden Years of Gunwriting

Fair Use Keith Elmer Image (WP:NFCC#4)

This past weekend, I played an event in southern Wyoming and then headed to Idaho on assignment for American Rifleman. Of course, I made time to be sure to visit Salmon, ID. Now, you old-timers reading this will know exactly why I was compelled to visit Salmon. It was the home and final resting place of Elmer Keith, one of the great gun writers of years past.

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‘Guns and Self-Defense:’ A Study of Real-Life Personal Protection

Sheriff Jim Wilson on the range Gunsite Academy

“Guns and Self-Defense” is a new book by Robert A. Waters and Sim Waters. The authors describe 23 cases involving ordinary citizens who have used their defensive firearms to survive criminal attacks. As the authors point out, these self-defense success stories are rarely covered by the national media because they don’t fit the prevailing media bias.

Besides reading 23 stories in which the bad guys lose, defensive shooters can pick up some pointers by carefully studying each narrative. One of the learning points that immediately caught my attention was the number of home invasion cases where the victims had to run to other parts of the house to retrieve their firearm. Several of these folks were seriously injured before they could arm themselves and fight back. It makes a good case for keeping the firearm on your person while at home or possibly having a gun stashed in every room. Because the home invasion is usually quite dynamic and very violent, the citizen may not have time to wander off into another room and collect that defensive firearm.

On the other hand, there are several cases of citizens being alert enough to suspect trouble and take appropriate action while there was still time. These examples make it clear that whether we are in our homes, places of business, or out on the street, being alert is a crucial factor in surviving a criminal attack. 

I also found it interesting to read about one of the attacks being survived by the proper deployment of a .410-bore revolver. These guns have become relatively popular, and I have been curious about their use in defeating a criminal attack. 

Another undeniable fact is that the attack can occur anywhere, at home, at work, or on the street. One victim had pulled into her own driveway, getting home after work, when confronted. Because she was alert to suspicious activity around her, she prevailed and survived.

Robert A. Waters is the author of five books that cover citizen’s use of defensive firearms to defeat criminals. This is the first book; however, that includes his son, Sim Waters, as co-author. “Guns and Self-Defense” can be ordered from Amazon or www.robertwaters.net. I have found that Waters’ books are fascinating reading as well as being useful study guides for the armed citizen. I will be using some of these incidents as training illustrations in a team-tactics class that I am sponsoring at Gunsite Academy in spring 2020.

This article originally appeared in Shooting Illustrated.

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The Benefits of Force-on-Force Training

Without a doubt, most people get their defensive training on a standard shooting range, what we often call a “square range.” You are told when to load, when to make ready, when to shoot and when to quit shooting. In most cases, the student is even told how many rounds to fire in the particular drill. Besides, the student is standing there, knowing that he is going to draw and shoot. He even knows which target he is going to shoot at.

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Self-Defense & Communication: Be Careful What You Say


While keeping up with a recent murder trial, I noticed that the prosecution introduced into evidence a number of the defendant’s texts and emails, along with a fair amount of overwhelming physical evidence. In this case, the defendant was found guilty and sentenced to a lengthy prison term.

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