5 Handling Tips for a Home-Defense Shotgun

This article ran originally in the December 2016 issue of Shooting Illustrated as “Managing the Defensive Shotgun.”

There is no doubt that the shotgun is an excellent defensive tool, generally stopping close-range fights with a certainty no handgun ever possessed. Moreover, in the hands of a determined individual, the presence of a shotgun has often kept fights from starting in the first place. Here are a few tips, in no particular order, that will help individuals make their shotgun an even more effective defensive tool. Continue reading

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Concealed-Carry for Beginners: Tips for Continued Training

1911 .45 ACP with training wheels, Concealed-Carry for Beginners, Sheriff Jim Wilson

Many new gun owners seem to be a bit confused about the role that classes designed to facilitate the issuing of concealed-carry licenses play in this whole business of personal defense. The purpose of these classes is to make the applicant aware of state laws regarding the use of deadly force and when and where a person can carry their defensive firearm. The shooting portion of the class, if there is one, is to determine if the applicant is safe enough with a firearm to carry it. Continue reading

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The First Rule of Gunfighting: Get Training

Training on one of the many ranges at Gunsite in Paulden, Az.


I have to take exception to the oft-quoted bromide, “the first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun.”  That really only works if a person already knows how to run a handgun. It also implies, especially to the newbie, that merely having a gun will stop a criminal attack from occurring. Now, I am an optimist, but that is just a bit more optimism than I can handle. The simple fact is that, before we can learn to successfully fight with a handgun, we must first learn how to successfully shoot a handgun, because that may ultimately be what it takes to stop a criminal attack.
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This Is Why You Always Need an Exit Plan

We’ve all heard the story of how Wild Bill Hickok died in that Deadwood saloon. One of the players in a poker game wouldn’t change places with Hickok so that he could sit with his back to the wall. Subsequently, Jack McCall took advantage of this and shot Hickok in the back of the head.

Having your back to the wall in a public place is not really a bad idea at all. Another strategy that is equally important is to position yourself close to an exit. When trouble starts, being close to an exit, especially if you cannot be armed, is always an excellent idea. Continue reading

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