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Bringing the Fight Back to the Pistol: Part IV

Brian J. Stas / SWAT Digest

Mindset – No matter who you train with or how you train, take it seriously. When I train, I try to make it as real in my mind as I can. The targets are not paper. They are the bad guys. Never give up the fight. Weapons break, malfunction or just don’t work sometimes. If it happens to you, think about the task at hand and work through it. If you can’t fix it, use it to break the bad guy up. Remember, a pistol can be one hell of a blunt trauma instrument. The bottom line is never friggin quit! A survivor always starts after he hits his mental switch.

Skill – Without the skill to carry out the task, we may fail. To develop skill we must train. Rehearsal in the mind as well as through realistic training is key. We don’t just default to training. We default to the level of training we have mastered.

Tactics – Have a plan. Have a backup plan. Have plans to back up the other plans. You get the point. We should always have an option for when the poop lands on our plate. How are you going to move? Use your weapon? Use cover? Take that story you saw on the news or that survival story you heard of. Put yourself there in that same situation. What would you do? How prepared are you for it?

Gear – That cool looking pistols with lasers , lights and racing stripes is not going to do the work itself. I have wasted lots of money on gear that I could have used on more training. Don’t get me wrong. Gear is important, but make sure it is gear that only amplifies your level of mastery. Get gear because it works, not because it looked cool in the picture strapped to a ninja with explosions going off in the background. The more stuff we add to a weapon system, the more it can complicate our tactics or cause more malfunctions.


Drills in this course reinforced the above listed. They were realistic and achievable for all students regardless of prior skill level. All of us left with a humble, and confident feeling and rightfully so. In truly bringing the fight back to the pistol, we should be more intimate with it. By that, I mean that every time we pick up a pistol and look at it, it should be a reminder of how much training time we have put into it. It should be at home in our hands like an extension of ourselves.

I can’t write all of the things I would like to on this subject, as it would turn into a book. However, my goal was to get you to at least remind you to look into your pistol skill set as I did for myself. And don’t forget what a valuable tool your pistol is in the fight.

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