Your Hump Day Reading List for August 24, 2016

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It’s Hump Day — and time to get your learning on! This week: another look at a case where shooting wasn’t the answer; some alternative defensive tools to consider; a gun you have beats the one you wish you had; an explanation of polygonal rifling; sometimes students active try to not learn; a real-life example of “could” versus “should”; Claude Werner looks at the criminal interview; and the lever action rifle is still a viable choice for defense. Prepare for knowledge!


Lethal force is for lethal threats. Not car prowlers.

I’ve said this many times in many different ways, but your defensive firearm is the tool to protect your life (or the lives of other innocents) from an immediate threat of death or grave bodily harm. That’s also how the law looks at it, and absent a legal restriction there is still a moral and ethical restriction on the use of lethal force. In this case, a homeowner confronted a petty thief who started running away. The homeowner started shooting anyhow, and even if he doesn’t face criminal charges he may end up being hung out to dry in the inevitable civil case. Remember what your firearm is for, but more importantly what it’s NOT for. Your future depends on it.


It’s not always about the gun

The self defense world tends to be very centric; those who are into guns tend to believe that the gun is the only way you can protect yourself. In reality, though, there are other tools you can use to defend yourself, and some of them have a much broader range of use that does the firearm. This Personal Defense Network article looks at some of the less-lethal defensive tools available, their strengths and weaknesses, and why you might want to consider them as part of your total defensive preparations.


…and even when it’s about the gun, it still isn’t about the gun!

It’s really easy to get caught up in the latest tactical nonsense. So many people selling so much gear, with complicit enablers in the training business telling students they need that gear or they’ll never be able to protect themselves. Over at Revolver Science, Sherman House answers an email that asks if modest gear is enough, because the “experts” say it isn’t. Good on Sherman for answering the fellow’s question! I take heat from the Tactical Timmies in the training world for not automatically condemning revolvers as defensive tools, and more than one has called me names because I’ve been known to carry — gasp! — A revolver to protect myself. If you’re tired of the incessant clamoring for more “tactical” gear, this will be a refreshing read.


Polygonal rifling: what is that, exactly?

Every so often someone asks me about polygonal rifling, wondering what it is and why some guns have it (and others don’t.) Here’s a great article from The Firearm Blog that’ll clear up any misunderstandings you might have about rifling that doesn’t really look like rifling!


The “difficult student”

If you’re an instructor, you’ve had them; if you’ve been in a course or two, you’ve seen them (and probably cursed under your breath at them.) Whether you want to call them ‘difficult’, ‘unteachable’, or ‘idiot’ — sooner or later one will come up in the course you’re taking or teaching. Here are Jeff Gonzales’ thoughts on how not to be one, and how to handle one when he appears.


Keeping your cool during an incident is always the better choice

This is an interesting article about a fellow who, along with his family, faced a very angry drunk man in a very unusual environment: the dock of a boat where his family was staying. His recounting of the incident shows how using your head and not immediately going to your gun if you don’t need to is usually the best course of action. Definitely a learning experience for him, and thankfully for the rest of us as well. Definitely worth reading!


An encounter that could have turned out far worse

Criminals very often do what some refer to as “the interview” — asking questions designed to get you to drop your guard and make their attack easier. Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor, was the subject of one such interview. Here’s his terrific analysis of the encounter that will give you plenty to think about!


The lever action rifle as a defensive tool

If you’ve never heard me extol the virtues of the pistol-caliber lever action rifle as a personal and perimeter defense tool, you’re in the minority! I’ve been pretty vocal about my advocacy of the lever action, believing it to be a viable yet almost criminally overlooked defensive option. This article takes a serious look at the lever action, what it’s good for and how to make it work for you. While I have some minor disagreements with the author, overall I think it’s a great article that you should read if you have (or are thinking of getting) a lever action rifle.

– Grant Cunningham


Opening photo: “Camelus dromedarius at Tierpark Berlin” by Agadez – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons



About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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