Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Boomsticks: Software upgrade.

There is an alarming notion popular in our culture that tends to equate possession with competence. The guy in the new 350Z who thinks that he can drive like Michael Schumacher, despite knowing nothing about heel-and-toe downshifts or trailing-throttle oversteer; the new YZF-R1 owner who, despite never having ridden anything more powerful than a Schwinn before, is eager to go out, get a knee down and scuff up his "chicken strips"; both are well-known recipes for disaster. They have their equivalent in the world of firearms, too: Just because you have Rob Leatham signature grips on your Springfield or a Jerry Miculek signature revolver from S&W doesn't necessarily mean you'll be filling the guys at the next IPSC match with terror. Likewise, just because your pistol comes highly recommended by Massad Ayoob or Clint Smith doesn't mean it can shoot its own way out of danger while you stand passively by and watch; the fact that LAPD SWAT or the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team uses the same type of gun you carry doesn't automatically make you a fearsome trigger-puller.

This is a time of year when most folks don't necessarily want to freeze off body parts at outdoor schools, but there are plenty of drills that can be practiced home and at indoor ranges, and several good books to help you broaden your understanding and skills. Try not to latch onto any one of them as Holy Scripture, but rather be willing to cherry-pick from them, and always be on the lookout for new ideas to broaden your skill set. Here's a few to get you started, in no particular order:

Guns, Bullets, and Gunfighting, by Jim Cirillo.
Shooting From Within, by J. Michael Plaxco.
The Book Of Two Guns: The Martial Art of the 1911 Pistol and AR Carbine, by Tiger McKee.
No Second Place Winner, by Bill Jordan.
Up To Speed: A Practical Guide to Handguns and How to Use Them, by John Mattera.

Stay warm, and have fun learning!


Anonymous said...

Suggestion: If you can find a copy, try "Triggernometry: A Gallery of Gunfighters : With Technical Notes on Leather Slapping As a Fine Art, Gathered from Many a Loose Holstered Expert over the Years" by Eugene Cunningham. It was written in the Twenties by a man who had known a few of the fast-and-nasty, and is well worth the time.

Also, look up "A Book of Five Rings" by Miyamoto Mushashi... the man not only was a stone badass (IIRC, over 160 duels with the two swords, most to the death, and not ONE cut), he was a SMART stone badass who thought about it. B5R is the standard 'must-read' for a LOT of martial artists... and I've always included gun-fu as a martial art.

Dave Paglia

Anonymous said...

The Cirillo book is excellent & well worth the read ... but I think the stories are way better if you can get them in person. He's still teaching occasionally, and a class from him is an absolute must if you can manage it.


Firehand said...

A few years ago Barnes & Noble republished Triggernometry, so it's a lot easier to find now than it used to be.

I pointed out to both my kids when they were learning to drive "Just because the vehicle can do something, doesn't mean YOU can". Happily, it seems to have taken.