It’s Not A Magic Weapon

| November 17, 2015 | 11 Comments

This is a guest post from friend, firearms instructor, and author CR Williams. One mind, any weapon.

After the Paris attacks, some CCWers have made forum posts about how hard it would be to fight attackers armed with rifles.

Some of them sound almost like they’re giving up hope. They can only close their eyes and wait for death, hoping they get shot before they listen to the screams of their family members being slaughtered beside them.

If anyone who reads this is thinking, or starting to think, or even thinking about starting to think the same way, STOP IT NOW.


If you have taken real fight focused pistol training you have the basis of what you need to successfully resist this kind of attack, and to successfully keep yourself and your loved ones safe.


Sure, additional and specialized training (which is available to everyone in the US) will help. Certainly it will. And yes, I very strongly urge you to seek that additional training out starting now. But basic skills and a spirit that does not admit defeat before the first shot is fired is where it all starts. If you have that, you are and will be a long, long way ahead of many others who carry now.

You can do this if you have to. I believe you can. Please believe you can with me.

About the Author:

CR Williams is the author of (so far) four non-fiction books: Three volumes of the ongoing "Gunfighting, and Other Thoughts about Doing Violence" series and "Facing the Active Shooter: Guidelines for the Armed Citizen Defender". He has also made entries into the fiction arena with recent releases of "Live Fire" and the first volume of the "An Even Break" series. He currently runs classes from either his home-base area in Central/South-Central Alabama or wherever anyone wants to host him for a class. An active and ongoing student of the fight in all its aspects, he continues to work toward his goal of making you the very best defender of life and loved ones that you can be.

11 Comments on "It’s Not A Magic Weapon"

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  1. Martin Luther says:

    Not only is it possible; it has been done. Google Charl Van Wyk and the St. James massacre.

  2. Bond says:

    TBH, some of these jihadists can be overcome with knives and firsts, I’ve seen some of their training…ouch. Either way, never give up, improvise, adapt, overcome evil, and above all fight for your loved one’s lives.

  3. SSGT Wayne L Chonicki, Ret. says:

    Foremost, ‘marksmanship’ your’s vs: their’s…
    especially if you’re caught without accessible substantial ‘cover’.

    Hypothetically, THEY have greater penetration than YOUR handgun.
    KNOWING the difference between ‘cover’ and ‘concealment’ IS literally
    …a matter of life & death,

    Their disadvantage, MOST have NO CQB experience and long arms can be unweildy especially up close and in narrow confines… that’s ‘why’ folding stocks are often desirable.

    When shooting beyond ‘up close & personal’…
    USE your cover as also improvised ‘benchrest’ for your handgun.
    Worst case scenario, low light and moderately long distance…
    THIS IS NOT A MOVIE, DO NOT ‘spray & pray’… ammo is NOT infinite.

    If circumstances have you facing off against multiple Assailants and you’re unable to retreat… if you’ve neutralized the nearest, ‘trade-up’ to THEIR weapon AND AMMO to improve YOUR survivability— They didn’t come at you empty-handed.

    • J.C. says:

      Know your pistol and what to expect for bullet drop.

      The Ruger LC9s with 115 grain bullets at standard pressures (not +P or +P+) experiences approximately 3″ of drop at ~107 yards (so says the math based on bc and muzzle velocity). As part of my static target training, I will pick-out a random spot on the berm and shoot at it. I can regularly get groups ~18 inches of the point of aim at 75 yards (and watching the dirt jump is extra fun), and get most on paper with 12″ Silhouette @50-60 yards. Mind you, this with a 3.12″ barrel and ~4.5″ sight radius. A longer Sight Radius pistol could allow me to make tighter groups (so will range time).

      Unfortunately, I can’t find any good fight focus training in my area.

      • CR Williams says:

        J.C., there are instructors like me who will go anywhere there is a range and a host to do a class. You, or anyone else, who wants to find out about that can contact me at [email protected] and if I can’t work something out or don’t have the kind of training you’re looking for I will try to find someone for you that does.

        There are fewer barriers to good training now than there ever have been. Take advantage of the opportunities while they are available.

  4. Jamie Paulin says:

    Not only is the article correct it is accurate in its content. One thing you must remember during an attack like the horror experienced in Paris, is this is close quarters combat! A rifle’s purpose is generally for longer ranges. People armed with semi-automatic handguns actually have the upper hand due to the length of the rifle, tgt acquisition time and sight alignment. Carefully aimed pistol fire has a greater advantage in my opinion because of the ability to quickly engage and dispatch your tgt.

  5. Dan l says:

    We’re all gonna die sometime. You might as well go down swinging. If u think its hopeless with a handgun vs a rifle, we’ll then, why bother carrrying it you have already lost the battle in your mind. It’s more than time for people to understand in an active shooter situation your best chance of survival is everyone running toward the sound of gunfire not away. It’s the classic prisoners delima, more will survive if they all attack versus flee. If u can live with yourself running from an active shooter situation, armed or not, that’s on you, for me if/when that time comes I pray I run towards the sound of danger, if I don’t I’m not sure I’d wanna live with the person I’d have become.

  6. Pvt.Joker says:

    “Take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. ‘He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,’ is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if we will risk it on the precipice.

    He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying.”

    ― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

  7. Owen says:

    I have come to peace with this. If its an active shooter. Anything i do that encourages shooting at me over those clueless wait and die types i will do it … even if im unarmed. If i get killed so be it. I know my brothers R coming with guns so really its just a matter of time.

    God forbid if im actually armed …

  8. Thom says:

    As a compliment to or subset of fight focused training, stress inoculation training will yield huge dividends in circumstances like these, the ability to control your own sympathetic nervous system responses, think clearly under extreme stress and perform fine motor functions under stress is a learned skill, and should be developed by anyone who is serious about crisis response. Reality based self defense classes and quality force on force training are good venues for developing these skills. Software trumps hardware.

    Underlying physical fitness can also help greatly with physiological stress response management, and is another benefit of reality based self defense training.

  9. El says:

    And never, ever discount the simple but deadly will to live.

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