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View Full Version : Is Duane Thomas a knowledgable gunwriter?


threegun
March 6, 2006, 01:35 PM
Is Duane Thomas a competent gunwriter? Does he know his stuff about combat tactics?

Hard Ball
March 6, 2006, 01:47 PM
I Would Rate Him As About Average.

trigger happy
March 6, 2006, 02:40 PM
he's my favorite gunrag writer :)

Mannlicher
March 6, 2006, 06:57 PM
He has a lot of real world experience, and has written articles for many years. I bet he knows more than most of us.

Jeff22
March 6, 2006, 07:29 PM
Duane Thomas used to write LOTS more articles,10 or 12 years ago, and then was dormant for a while, although I've seen his byline in "Handguns" Magazine a few times recently.

About 10 years ago or so he wrote a book called THE TRUTH ABOUT HANDGUNS that had some interesting observations.

threegun
March 7, 2006, 06:30 AM
On another chat site with some extremely smart and competent gun guru's a question was asked something like (are shooting schools needed). I responded by saying that if one could afford school go for it however it was not needed to become proficient in the art of defensive shooting. I added that one could be better served shooting Action Pistol, IDPA, IPSC, Threegun matches provided they also learn the proper tactics through books, friends who have attended a formal course, video's, these websites, ect. Match shooting gets you as close to the stress level one can be expected to feel during a gunfight as possible, I added. I was lambasted by these guys and called everything in the book. Many asked for my credentials to be saying such things while posting their laundry list of schooling. Finally I had enough and forced moderators to ban me. Then I read Duane Thomas's article, the one in the April/May issue of Handguns titled "Are you ready for a gunfight?". In this article he agrees that people who shoot competitively are more prepared for a gunfight than people who simply attend gun schools. He repeated almost word for word my postings. That is why I wanted to know if Duane knows his stuff. I found it odd that so many very smart guys failed to see the value of competition. Anyway I feel better knowing that I was vindicated. I just hope some of them (yes you G.M. and D.A.) read this article and understand that my attack was uncalled for.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 7, 2006, 11:29 AM
Folks can go to Glock Talk and read the debate in their tactics forum.

One point is that there are courses and courses, exercises and exercises. Matches are great and most of the high level folks do them. However, there is universal agreement in civilian training, police and military circels that students of the art need some serious FOF.

The level of pressure in those far exceeds any match.

No IDPA or IPSC match has opponents that shoot back from 360 degrees. No match leaves you with significant bruises and bleeding. You don't see serious stress reactions in an IDPA match.

I'm not putting down matches but I don't buy the match stress level being close to a real fight.

Even in FOF, you know it's not real but you can get hurt some.

Never in an IDPA match, have I had to shoot a charging bad guy with a ball bat at 3 feet and then get shot in the back by his girl friend, who I then shot at retention. It was ruled that I was killed but I went for it to the end.

In an IDPA match, you don't stand on line in the Stop and Go and the dude in front of you shoots the clerk and you engage him and then his secret backup starts shooting at you.

You learn alot from those. Matches also don't have serious room negotiation with opponents.

I could go on.

Matches are great fun and have some utility in training. There is more. The IDPA journal has made this point repeatedly.

I'm doing a regional match in a month and will do some local matches before. However, I'm doing a class with Givens for more skill development.

I suggest a regimen of both, if one can afford it. However, if I had some decent guns, before I bought another expensive one, I would take a good tactical course.

James K
March 7, 2006, 01:29 PM
I am not sure it is relevant, but I once knew a pro football player, a big guy and very athletic. Used to pound quarterbacks into something that looked like hamburger. Got the hell beaten out of him in a street fight with two guys who didn't together outweigh him.

There is a difference between games and the real world and there is no one to throw a flag in the real world.

Jim

threegun
March 7, 2006, 02:46 PM
Glenn, You once told me that the 25acp was adequate for the everyday concealed weapon carrier for most situations. The senarios you describe are excellent training and every LE officer should attend it. Not needed for the average concealed carrier however.

FOF training is not real either. Unless that man charging you with a stick is going to crack you skull open full force if you miss, the training won't rise to the level of a life and death struggle. Plus many FOF schools require that basic and intermediate courses be taken first.

The level of pressure in those far exceeds any match.

I have had FOF training in martial arts and it was great. It didn't make my knees knock as bad as the actual tournament that we were preparing for though. I have to respectfully disagree in the order you have FOF and competition. Duane Thomas has my back on this one and he has attended both.

I suggest a regimen of both, if one can afford it.

We agree here 100 percent. Just don't discount that guy who couldn't afford it but has learned the curriculum taught by most of those schools. FOF is a great bonus but one weekend of it won't help much a couple of years later.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 7, 2006, 03:41 PM
Whatever, threegun - if you want to replay the past arguments - enjoy - they are all on Glocktalk to be read. Look, dear reader for Glock'n'himer.

Duane having your back - fine. Chose him - I'll chose Yeager, Farnham, Givens, Rehn, the entire NTI, Stanford, Moses, Gonzalez, Gomez and others on the utility of FOF training. I would repeat also that the IDPA organizational folks don't regard matches as really tactical training.

As far as the scenarios described not being relevant to a civilian - huh? Being a convenience store robbery or a guy attacking you a bat?

Never happens in real life.

threegun
March 7, 2006, 04:44 PM
Being a convenience store robbery or a guy attacking you a bat?


Sure they happen very rarely. About as rare as the need of said civilian for something larger than a 25 according to you guys. Besides FOF courses taken once in a lifetime are about as useful as tactics learned but not practiced.

Duane having your back - fine. Chose him - I'll chose Yeager, Farnham, Givens, Rehn, the entire NTI, Stanford, Moses, Gonzalez, Gomez and others on the utility of FOF training.

All awesome teachers but they have a financial bias in promoting training. Duane and others (friends) who have no vested interest one way or another and who have attended both disagree. My personal expierience with the only FOF training I have had (karate)vs pistol competition and I felt the stress more in the competition. Thats why I agree with Duane. Are we right......don't know. I can tell you that guys that have taken both say that I would do very well in anything they have attended. In fact I beat most in competition. We have disgused tactics as well. I have given and taken information that helped both parties.

Sometimes you have to consider the bias of a source. In this case those you mentioned make a living by you attending their schools. The good thing is all professional training is great. Competition is great (greater to me). There are no losers in either group. Who's right? If someone isn't willing to learn proper tactics on their own, then the school is best. For those who already understand tactics, competition is the best tool to keep them sharp (in my opinion).

threegun
March 7, 2006, 04:47 PM
Being a convenience store robbery or a guy attacking you a bat?


Sure they happen very rarely. About as rare as the need of said civilian for something larger than a 25 according to you guys. Besides FOF courses taken once in a lifetime are about as useful as tactics learned but not practiced.

Duane having your back - fine. Chose him - I'll chose Yeager, Farnham, Givens, Rehn, the entire NTI, Stanford, Moses, Gonzalez, Gomez and others on the utility of FOF training.

All awesome teachers but they have a financial bias in promoting training. Duane and others (friends) who have no vested interest one way or another and who have attended both disagree. My personal expierience with the only FOF training I have had (karate)vs pistol competition and I felt the stress more in the competition. Thats why I agree with Duane. Are we right......don't know. I can tell you that guys that have taken both say that I would do very well in anything they have attended. In fact I beat most in competition. We have disgused tactics as well. I have given and taken information that helped both parties.

Sometimes you have to consider the bias of a source. In this case those you mentioned make a living by you attending their schools. The good thing is all professional training is great. Competition is great (greater to me). There are no losers in either group. Who's right? If someone isn't willing to learn proper tactics on their own, then the school is best. For those who already understand tactics, competition is the best tool to keep them sharp (in my opinion).

threegun
March 7, 2006, 04:55 PM
Being a convenience store robbery or a guy attacking you a bat?


Sure they happen very rarely. About as rare as the need of said civilian for something larger than a 25 according to you guys. Besides FOF courses taken once in a lifetime are about as useful as tactics learned but not practiced.

Duane having your back - fine. Chose him - I'll chose Yeager, Farnham, Givens, Rehn, the entire NTI, Stanford, Moses, Gonzalez, Gomez and others on the utility of FOF training.

All awesome teachers but they have a financial bias in promoting training. Duane and others (friends) who have no vested interest one way or another and who have attended both disagree. My personal expierience with the only FOF training I have had (karate)vs pistol competition and I felt the stress more in the competition. Thats why I agree with Duane. Are we right......don't know. I can tell you that guys that have taken both say that I would do very well in anything they have attended. In fact I beat most in competition. We have disgused tactics as well. I have given and taken information that helped both parties.

Sometimes you have to consider the bias of a source. In this case those you mentioned make a living by you attending their schools. The good thing is all professional training is great. Competition is great (greater to me). There are no losers in either group. Who's right? If someone isn't willing to learn proper tactics on their own, then the school is best. For those who already understand tactics, competition is the best tool to keep them sharp (in my opinion).

threegun
March 7, 2006, 05:08 PM
Being a convenience store robbery or a guy attacking you a bat?


Sure they happen very rarely. About as rare as the need of said civilian for something larger than a 25 according to you guys. Besides FOF courses taken once in a lifetime are about as useful as tactics learned but not practiced.

Duane having your back - fine. Chose him - I'll chose Yeager, Farnham, Givens, Rehn, the entire NTI, Stanford, Moses, Gonzalez, Gomez and others on the utility of FOF training.

All awesome teachers but they have a financial bias in promoting training. Duane and others (friends) who have no vested interest one way or another and who have attended both disagree. My personal expierience with the only FOF training I have had (karate)vs pistol competition and I felt the stress more in the competition. Thats why I agree with Duane. Are we right......don't know. I can tell you that guys that have taken both say that I would do very well in anything they have attended. In fact I beat most in competition. We have disgused tactics as well. I have given and taken information that helped both parties.

Sometimes you have to consider the bias of a source. In this case those you mentioned make a living by you attending their schools. The good thing is all professional training is great. Competition is great (greater to me). There are no losers in either group. Who's right? If someone isn't willing to learn proper tactics on their own, then the school is best. For those who already understand tactics, competition is the best tool to keep them sharp (in my opinion).

threegun
March 7, 2006, 05:29 PM
sorry about the duplicates. The stupid computer never said it had posted the darned thing.

treeprof
March 7, 2006, 06:55 PM
I don't esp. care for Thomas, but I believe the general point of his article was that the progressive steps from 1) no practice to 2) range practice to 3) formal training to 4) competitive shooting to 5) real gunfights built upon one another, not that one stage in the progression was superior to the other on its own.

Sarge
March 7, 2006, 06:57 PM
I am not sure it is relevant, but I once knew a pro football player, a big guy and very athletic. Used to pound quarterbacks into something that looked like hamburger. Got the hell beaten out of him in a street fight with two guys who didn't together outweigh him.

There is a difference between games and the real world and there is no one to throw a flag in the real world.
Jim

Roger that- particularly the last line.

Thomas is evidently an excellent shot. I read an article by him a few years ago where he advocated 'gamesman' matches as decent preparation for an armed encounter. He shot them with his Sig 226, and the leather he carried it in daily. Makes sense.

He ain't Skeeter, Long Bill, Charley Askins, Jeff Cooper, or Jim Wilson though. People who pack a gun regularly in harms way, usually take a more pragmatic approach to the problem. You will find them less concerned with tenths of a second or "Comstock Count" than with situational awareness, and the ability to commit to shoot when the situation calls for it.

I have worked with several such men over the past 30 years, and known a few more. I can't see any of them writing the kind of stuff that Thomas writes.

My advice to anyone perusing the work of any gunwriter, is simple. If what they advocate is uncomplicated, requires common sense, and does not require special equipment- pay attention. If they have survived for a long time in unfriendly environs with a gun on their belt- pay more attention. Then if wwhat they write appeals to you, try it in a safe environment- and see if it allows you to operate safer/faster/easier with your gun and equipment. By then you might be about ready to decide whether to give it a try 'for real.'

Under stress, you will do what is second nature. If training or tactical theory is to benefit you, it will have to become ingrained into your subconscious, to be available when needed.

David Armstrong
March 7, 2006, 07:45 PM
Finally I had enough and forced moderators to ban me.
I think that pretty much says it all. If you'd had enough all you had to do was quit posting. That you would now jump up and say something like you forced the moderators to ban you is just one more of those wild claims you tend to toss around. As for the facts, Glenn has pretty well coverd the high points so I won't repeat them, other than to suggest that finding one mid-level gun writer who agrees with you really doesn't do much about the fact that most knowledgable writers, trainers, and practitioners disagree.

Shawn Dodson
March 7, 2006, 10:03 PM
I thought Thomas was okay until I caught him plagiarizing Ayoob, word for word, in the early 90s, in a Handguns magazine article.

Does Thomas "know his stuff about combat tactics?" You be the judge: http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/tools_of_tactics.pdf

FOF training is not real either. Unless that man charging you with a stick is going to crack you skull open full force if you miss, the training won't rise to the level of a life and death struggle. The primary purpose of FoF training is to develop experience-based "been there, done that" decision-making skills: to mentally, emotionally and psychologically program the mind for success. Hence training scenarios must present realistic behavioral threat cues, under highly stressful, realistic conditions so the student can learn how to recognize threat indicators, interpret them, and apply appropriate tactics. They must be tightly scripted to force the student out of his comfort zone - compelling him to make decisions under extreme psychological and emotional duress - and to ensure that the student's reactions are the only variable. Under these conditions it's not unusual for students to mentally freeze or to make "stupid" decisions with deadly consequences.

threegun
March 8, 2006, 06:56 AM
Shawn,

The primary purpose of FoF training is to develop experience-based "been there, done that" decision-making skills: to mentally, emotionally and psychologically program the mind for success. Hence training scenarios must present realistic behavioral threat cues, under highly stressful, realistic conditions so the student can learn how to recognize threat indicators, interpret them, and apply appropriate tactics. They must be tightly scripted to force the student out of his comfort zone - compelling him to make decisions under extreme psychological and emotional duress - and to ensure that the student's reactions are the only variable. Under these conditions it's not unusual for students to mentally freeze or to make "stupid" decisions with deadly consequences.

Can a weekend course once in your life make that much difference? I found that to gain a level of competence with any new tactic, repetition was a must. In my experience, I went from punching small groups in paper to shooting Police pistol combat matches. My groups opened way up at the same distances at first. The only difference was competition. Once I had PPC down pat I tried IPSC, again my nerves got the best of me and my shooting suffered. Now I shoot several different matches and while I always get nervous, I have learned to overcome it and shoot well. This is why I believe that Thomas is correct. FOF is great but it is difficult to get the expeirience enough to make it effective. I had FOF in karate and if I only had one session it would have been useless. We did it over and over for a reason.

David, No comment about the financial bias from those who push training as the "only" way to go? Glenn go running to you buddy LOL?
If you'd had enough all you had to do was quit posting.
And allow you to call me stupid for saying that the 25acp was less effective than the 45acp in stopping an attack.....no way. Somethings just cannot be tolerated. You won't get under my skin again however. I now understand your game, your front, your secrets.

Tree, I agree. When my post was blasted on glock talk, I clearly posted that proper fundamentals and tactics should be learned first. I was blasted because I believe that thunderranch is not needed to achieve them. Schooling are great but not necessary. Duane Thomas's article better explained my belief that competitors would fare better than the academician in an armed confrontation.

Shawn Dodson
March 8, 2006, 11:40 AM
Can a weekend course once in your life make that much difference? Yes. It could very well provide the Dr. Phil-like “lightbulb moment” that leads to a new understanding about the mechanics of interpersonal conflict.

Anyone who attends a training course with the expectation that he/she will emerge from it an expert is fooling himself/herself. A training course is simply an introduction to concepts and techniques. Training drills merely provide the opportunity to learn how to perform correctly, which must be further developed by the student after the course if he/she desires to increase proficiency.

I found that to gain a level of competence with any new tactic, repetition was a must. “New tactic?” All you’ve addressed is marksmanship.

I have no doubt that competing in shooting sports has the potential to make one a better shot, over a wide range of conditions that challenge one’s marksmanship abilities against paper and cardboard targets, in a safe, controlled environment. However marksmanship is only part of the equation.

Good FoF training will put you in the middle of an ambiguous, emotionally charged situation where you learn it is the bad guy who controls the fight, not you. More than once I’ve seen cocksure people suddenly find themselves in over their heads because their preconceived notions are inappropriate to the situation.

threegun
March 8, 2006, 01:28 PM
My point is, how do you practice FOF on your own? How can I develope the knowledge or experience at home? Most people can't afford a single weekend at thunder ranch much less the multiple trips that would be needed for the material in FOF to sink in.

I know this for sure. FoF training that I have taken in karate would have been useless if it was only a one day session. Kinda like a boxer only getting one round of sparring.


The "new tactics" are practiced at home and at the range. Competition is for shooting under pressure. Occassionally, especially with the 1911, those tactics like jam clearing (LOL) are needed during the competition. I use my carry gun to shoot the competitions mostly. Sometimes I use a Glock 35 and carry a Glock 23. Pretty much the same thing.

Wyo Cowboy
March 8, 2006, 01:42 PM
Training, but no experiance isn't great.
Experiance, but no training isn't ideal either.

"Gunfighter" schooling can be wonderful training (been thru a couple). However, if all of the followup shooting is done occationally at a range where one is only allowed to shoot from a standing, ready position what's the point? Practice should include drawing from concealment under time pressure, engaging multipule targets, shoot/no shoot drills, non-standing positions, etc.

Going into a IDPA type setting without some sort of firearms training can be frustrating, or even extreamly dangerous for all considered. But compatition shooting can add an element of stress to the "practice" that is difficult to produce on your own.

Arguing that one is excessively superior to the other is pure ego and bias. Imagine an airline pilot flying a plane with only training but no experiance, or the reverse. Not a plane that I would like to be on. When I would sign off a student to take their final FAA ride I would tell them the old avaition truism... "now you will have a license to learn". They have gotten the training, now it was time to get experiance. Firearms training and competition shooting should be looked at the same way.

Shawn Dodson
March 8, 2006, 01:55 PM
My point is, how do you practice FOF on your own? How can I develope the knowledge or experience at home? Most people can't afford a single weekend at thunder ranch much less the multiple trips that would be needed for the material in FOF to sink in.A training partner, AirSoft, protective gear, and the book "Force-on-Force Gunfight Training" (http://www.suarezinternationalstore.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2) are starting points. From there, you're limited only by your imagination.

Depending on how deeply you want to understand FoF training, Ken Murray's book "Training at the Speed of Life," (http://www.armiger.net) is a splendid resource. It's not light reading, nor do I recommend it if you have only a casual interest in FoF training. Murray is co-inventor of Simunition FX Marking Cartridge system, and has extensive experience in FoF training. He goes so far as to suggest that projectile firing training weapons are not required to obtain great training value from FoF firearms training.

David Armstrong
March 8, 2006, 01:56 PM
David, No comment about the financial bias from those who push training as the "only" way to go?
I didn't think it was important to comment on something so silly, but if you want me to I will. First, nobody pushes training as the only way. Those with knowledge push certain types of training as being the best way. Second note also that many without a financial bias will push training also, which pretty much shoots your whole argument down. Third note that virtually all will suggest training, period. Not "train with me", just train. Hard to see any financial bias there.
And allow you to call me stupid for saying that the 25acp was less effective than the 45acp in stopping an attack.....no way.
I didn't call you stupid, you posted some comments on your own that I and many others called you on. You seem to be continuing that practice here, desperately seeking some sort of validation for beliefs that run counter to the facts. Still not sure what any of your ramblings have to do with the wild claim that you forced the moderators to ban you if all you wanted was to quit posting.

DVC9
March 8, 2006, 01:58 PM
Competition style shooting is fun, and in my opinion is a step up from bullseye training for a shooter concerned with defense.


Having said that, I would submit that the idea that competition shooting is superior or even equal to proper realistic tactical training is simply ludicrous. Further I strongly support the view expressed by Glenn Meyer.

In fact many well respected pistoleros have been noted as being adamently against "Gamesman" shooting because in there opinion it was counterproductive to good training. Among these as I recall were Bill Jordan, Chuck Taylor, and Charlie Askins.

3 -gun, I do in fact agree with you that not everyone can afford to take school based classes and therefore must find other methods. But do not delude yourself with whatever prowess you have developed for competition.
Good tactical skill courses teach "Gunfighting" plain and simple, they do not teach you how to be a "Match winner" in IDPA or IPSC, and certainly were not intended to.

This is why we have IDPA today, because the founders of IPSC became so disenchanted with the "GAMESMANSHIP" that developed in IPSC that Consequently some of these same guys like Ken Hackathorn founded IDPA. They tried to keep IDPA as real as possible, yet as Mr. Meyer stated, these men unequivically profess that IDPA is NOT a substitute for Tactical training in firearms.
You have drawn a parallel with other Martial Arts (Karate), yet this only serves to disprove your argument and potentialy question the quality of your training in them for self defense.
I mean no disrespect and am not trying to provoke you (as I expect I have), but think about it. A black belt unto itself does not make a fighter, any of us that have studied, know that our mastery of the skill only came when we sought out training that sent our bodies home bruised not just our egos.

I have aknowledged your point concerning school tng being unavailable to all. I also agree with your observation that there are many forums such as books and other practitioners whom you may learn proper tactics from.
Where we start to disagree is that I believe that having studied from those forums and learned from them, the majority of your training should reflect those lessons learned. Indeed if you are a good pratitioner of Firearms Martial Arts, you will most likely handicap yourself in some ways in a practical shooting match. For example, most hot rocks competitors rarely use the same gear on the street they do in a match, most law enforcement competitors still chose NOT to use their duty gear as it slows them down fractionally, how often do You "Check Six" after a string in your match or for that matter even take the time to do a zone check. In a real shooting are you going to inadvertantly drop down behind inadequate cover, because a board fence or plastic bbl were considered cover in your competition environment??
Maybe YOU won't, but it has happened. That is why the so called "Surrender" position was abolished in many competitions, because in real life guys threw up their hands instead of drawing their guns. In other instances dead cops have been found with loose brass or speedloaders in their pockets, because thats how they trained.

Not all schools measure up nor do all the instructors. But for those that do a good job they are teaching something you will never get as a "Gamesman".

Understand, I do not really care whether I change Your mind or not.
But many others read this forum and they may be struggling with the idea of how to approach tng, and I don't want your foolhardyness to affect their decisions. You see, I have been a competitor in IPSC, IDPA,bullseye, hi-power and about every other discipline for pistols and rifles in the country, but it was intense tactical training that saved my life as a young man not competition. M

threegun
March 8, 2006, 05:05 PM
Dave, I don't want to argue with you anymore. I was attacked by you for saying that formal shooting school was great but not necessary. I also was attacked for considering competition to be a level higher than tactical schooling if the competition shooter has proper knowledge of tactics. Finally, I was attacked for saying that the 25acp was less effective than the 45acp in stopping an attack. It was well known that you are a master of words david. I was even warned not to try to argue with you, that it was a no win situation.

I know it is possible to learn proper tactics without formal training....I did it. I believe that competition shooting has made me better under pressure....my scores prove it. You disagree and thats fine. I am proof otherwise. You have attended many FoF and tactical training courses and I none.

You get me a free ticket to a course and if the instructor says you are better skilled, I will reimburse you the cost plus your ticket. No formal training so you have this sewed up.

threegun
March 8, 2006, 06:24 PM
DVC9, You assume that competition is my only training. You also assume that I use special equiptment while competing. Well I posted earlier that the only difference in firearms I use in competition is the occassional use of my Glock model 35 instead of my 23 (carry gun), hardly a difference. I use my work holster and mag pouch also. I also practice daily at work with dry firing, drawing, reloading, targeting (choosing several targets and simulate firing), moving to cover (while simulating firing), maintaining a proper shooting platform (while moving), knife defense/draw/fire, ect. My boss demands this daily if we wish to carry (from every employee). Been doing it for over a decade.

You have not provoked me nor do I see discussion of our differences in opinion as disrespectful. On the contrary, I want to correct anything that I might be doing wrong as it only makes me better/safer. My problem with David stems from the truely disrespectful way he treated me. Especially since he has 10,000 bones in his closet.

Capt Charlie
March 8, 2006, 06:42 PM
Ahem!...

I seem to recall that the distant beginnings of this thread surrounded the writing abilities of Duane Thomas?

I'm sure the original poster would be greatful to see it return there ;) .

BlueTrain
March 9, 2006, 07:20 AM
I see no reason to read and study what most gunwriters have to say on the subject, although it probably isn't a good idea to go around quoting very much. Some early trainers went to a lot of trouble to learn about early gunfighters in the West to try and learn how they were successful and survived gunfights. Also, many well known gunfighters, practically all lawmen (and most of them from the Border Patrol!) were also competetive target shooters. But the form of target shooting was a lot different from IPSC, to be sure.

I was surprised at how badly many people performed in matches I've observed, or more correctly, how their guns let them down. That is an instance of the gamesmanship getting the better of them. I'm referring to how a 1911 that is accurized can be less reliable than a stock gun. The stress level should have made no difference.

Another thing many old-time shooters indulged in was trick shooting, which has just about disappeared but it probably irrelevant to combat shooting. Yet some lawmen (and trick shooters) were already very familiar with their guns and excellent shots before they became law enforcement officers--never having had any training. Perhaps a key thing is familiarity with their weapons that was achieved by constant use under a variety of circumstances, hardly any in a combat situation. The social circumstances today may prevent a person from achieving the same level of comfort with their guns, unfortunately, unless they lived way out in the country.

Personally, I thought what Duane Thomas wrote was interesting (but not especially interesting) and that he was informed on the subjects he wrote on. However, I thought his subject matter was rather limited and narrow in scope and started to become repetitive, something other gun writers also suffer from, including some with more and broader experience.

On the other hand, some highly respected gun writers from the past who wrote frequently, though not exclusively, on gun fighting were never in a gun fight. And I suppose there are many who have been through one or two who have never written the first thing about guns and gunfighting. And some gunwriters who had been through more than their fair share of gun fights actually wrote relatively little about gun fighting.

I might also point out that there is probably a large body of literature on the subject written exclusively for the consumption of lawmen all around the world that sees little circulation among the general public.