When You Have to Go for Your Attacker’s Gun

While trying to disarm an attacker with a gun is always a dicey business, sometimes it’s the only option. But as this story from Henderson Co.’s 14news.com shows, it should never be undertaken lightly. “Henderson Police say the suspect tried to rob the victim at gunpoint, but the victim fought back and tried to get the gun. Police say the gun went off during the struggle and the victim was shot in the foot.” Of course, it’s possible that being shot in the foot was an acceptable trade-off . . .

There isn’t enough in the story to determine if that were so. The general advise is, if you’re unarmed, within five feet and believe that you are going to be shot in any case, look for your chance to disarm your attacker. Practice is very much advised. If you think that all he wants is money, most would judge that trying to disarm the guy holding a gun on you isn’t worth the risk.

From personal experience, practicing disarming techniques in and of itself carries some risk. One friend suffered a nasty cut (not knife-related), an old girlfriend ended up with a strained, but not broken finger. Use mock guns for these exercises (of course), and gloves.

It’s harder to do a successful disarming on a small gun than it is a large gun. It’s just easier to apply more leverage on a bigger gun. If you must do it, act fast and ruthlessly. Concentrate on the weapon and realize that you may take some punishment in the process.

Another useful old adage: rush a gun, run from a knife.

If you’re on the other side of the equation, don’t let your adversary get too close, and do not hold the gun out there where they can grab it easily. If you have a pistol, hold it in close to the body and use your off hand to ward off an attempt to disarm you.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch


  1. avatar jwm says:

    If I was being robbed by a person armed with a Webley RIC revolver I would offer to buy it off them.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I know, right?

      1. It is a Tranter .442 rimfire. It is a British precursor of the Webley. The .442 rimfire was only made for a few years in the 1860’s.

        How it ended up in a Yuma, Arizona flea market is beyond me. Maybe this is one of the guns that Col. Custer was rumored to be carrying….

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Wow! What a great find.
          Love it!

        2. avatar jwm says:

          You sure that’s a Tranter? If it’s a .442 rimfire it’s the 1863 model and the barrel to frame hookup on the gun pictured doesn’t look as slab sided as a Tranter. That looks like a standard RIC extractor rod set up also. The Tranter had a beefier extracter set up.

        3. Yes, it is a Tranter. It is clearly marked. There was a fair amount of variation on a lot of those older guns. Many of them were essentially hand made, so they are not as standardized as modern production models.

          I would gladly trade it for a .380 centerfire version. I believe I have worked out a method to make ammuntion for those…

          I saw a nice one available at an Ohio auction house a couple of months ago. I was tempted, but their shipment policies did much to discourage my bidding.

      2. avatar Chuck in IL says:

        Only on TTAG can a post about disarming criminals turn into a discussion of old firearms in the opening comments. One of the reasons I guess I check this page three or four times a day.

    2. avatar Travis says:

      “I swear, I won’t even cancel the credit cards. Just let e have that when you’re done.”

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I know a house down the street from me with a safe. Trade me the gun for the address and a 2 day head start.

        1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Heck yeah! That hole in the barrel looks like it might be original caliber too.

  2. avatar Another Robert says:

    I’m guessing that’s a French Model 1873 11mm military service revolver. Anyone know what it is?
    OOPS, looks like someone answered while I was writing this up– thanks–

    1. avatar jwm says:

      The French 1873 is a robust and well made gun. Brendan Frasier used 2 thru out the mummy movie. Reloading kits are available for them also. Webley has a stronger following, but the French gun is their equal.

      I love this shit.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Yup, at first I thought an 11mm Reichsrevolver, so I googled it and looked at the images. The German ones all had fluted cylinders, but the French 11 mm didn’t. Really should have recognized the Webley tho I guess.

        1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

          I clicked to see what she was holding, assuming the discussion would be mostly about that. I am not disappointed.

  3. avatar benny says:

    Jwm wins the interwebz.

    Im fairly certain I’d lose in a wrestling match for control of a gun. I’m 130 lbs and 5’6. I don’t have a lot going for me lmao.
    That’s why I wanted a gun to begin with! If it gets to where physical strength plays any sort of part, I’m already fighting uphill.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      It’s not about size of strength, though they’re not harmful. It’s about quickness and determination.

      It sounds as if you might have quickness on your side. Just research the rest. I’d imagine some training would be really useful.

    2. avatar Dave says:

      No excuses. Have you heard of Bruce Lee or the Gracie family? Get in shape and look into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Aikido. Being physically smaller does not have to equal weak and defenseless.

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        You can also just fight dirty.

        1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

          It’s hard to shoot someone if their thumb just went through your eye….

    3. avatar B says:

      Krav Maga disarm. Control the barrel, twist the whole gun up. Its a nice giant lever with tons of leverage. If his finger is in the trigger guard it will possibly fire, but you will also likely break his finger.

  4. avatar Maineuh says:

    You seriously expect me to read this article? The photo is mesmerizing for some reason. Must be the revolver.

  5. avatar Dennis says:

    The question is, “What is she holding in her right hand?”

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Looks like a Webley to me.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        I think that’s in her left hand. Her right hand is pretty much out of the picture, but from what I can see I’m guessing another revolver. Looks like a piece of hammer spur above the root of her thumb, and a red fingernail resting on a handle.

    2. Your cannot really see the right hand, but it has a broomhandle Mauser in it. Notice that her finger is not on the trigger, and the hammer is down on the Tranter revolver?

      That is the type of thing you would hope to notice on a disarm.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Likewise the empty chambers in the cylinder I guess…

  6. avatar Model 31 says:

    “off hand to ward off an attempt to disarm you.”
    Careful not to shoot your off hand off.

  7. avatar Bill says:

    @ benny
    Its not about a wrestling match to disarm an aggressor, its about speed and leverage.
    The “simple” explanation is that you should turn the barrel of the aggressors firearm towards the outside of the trigger finger, which breaks not only the aggressors grip on said firearm but breaks/dislocates the trigger finger on the trigger guard.
    There is much much more to consider, speed, timing, moving away from the muzzle, footwork, much more.
    Try holding a blue/red gun with your finger inside the guard while your buddy EXTREMELY slowly disarms you, you will find out what pain is and how impossible it is to retain your weapon.

  8. avatar David says:


    Seriously, if it goes to grappling this is not the UFC its the eastern front. Groin shots, head butts, all is fair when the other guy has a gun.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      “There is no fair fighting in a fight for your life or limbs.”

      Head butts, groin jabs, elbow in the face, eye gouges, broken fingers or wrists, etc. All of those should be used when repelling a lethal attack. Fight vicious, fight dirty, fight fast and win at any cost! If you happen to kill him while fighting him off, so be it. What’s the Krav Maga mantra?

  9. avatar Christine Miller says:

    Check oit victor marx…fastest disarm ive ever seen

  10. avatar MotoJB says:

    Who gives a damn about this article…that girl is fine as hell! More pics of her please.

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Dude, she looks about 16-17 years old.

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        If their old enough to bleed, their old enough to butcher.

    2. She was almost 18 when the pictures were taken. She is a sweetheart, I met her at church. I have a lot of pictures with her and guns that we did at an afternoon shoot. I cannot use them here mostly, because of policy.

      This picture, just by chance, fit the disarm article very well.

      1. avatar JSF01 says:

        So what is the other firearm she is holding?

        1. avatar Another Robert says:

          A post up above says it was a broomhandle Mauser (Model 1896, is that right?)

  11. avatar former water walker says:

    Nice looking babe. Yeah bite. ” Are we not animals?” Bruce Lee

  12. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    Not that it matters to the story, but this T.V. news report isn’t from Houston. It’s in Evansville, IN and the “HPD” referenced in the story isn’t Houston Police Department, but apparently refers to those of the city of Henderson, in Henderson County, in neighboring Kentucky. I saw that “Houston’s 14news.com” and thought “What?”

    Good article and good advice. I think I recall reading years ago that it’s best to rush the gun, especially if you’re a woman, because supposedly the statistics are that a man accosting a woman with a gun is most likely to end up killing her anyway. As I recall, this goes even more so if he’s trying to take you to some secondary crime scene. So it’s best to take your chances early when you might be able to catch him somewhat off guard. I don’t know how true it all might be, just something interesting I read and noted.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Or, as “Ed McBain” used to put it, “Things don’t get better, they always get worse.”

  13. avatar sota says:

    No joke, the first like 10 comments on this post had me laughing.
    You know you’re surrounded by hard core gun lovers when…

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      LOL!! Actually, I did notice who was holding the gun…

    2. avatar jwm says:

      ….when we talk about the gun and not the lover holding it.

  14. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    I don’t care about anything other than she’s HOT. OMG.

  15. avatar Ontheotherhand says:

    Disarming techniques are… fun to say the least, I however, would rather be stabbed than shot. (Been stabbed by a crazy ex girlfriend, getting shot just sounds shitty.)

  16. avatar CoolBreeze72 says:

    So…..all this talk of disarming maneuvers are pretty much squat when she has a gun in each hand. Shot by girl!?! DOH!!!!!

  17. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    “The general advise is, if you’re unarmed, within five feet and believe that you are going to be shot in any case, look for your chance to disarm your attacker. Practice is very much advised. If you think that all he wants is money, most would judge that trying to disarm the guy holding a gun on you isn’t worth the risk.”

    Anybody here a mindreader? No way of knowing what the person has in mind-

  18. avatar Michael says:

    A fantastic gun and a pretty girl. Invite them both home.
    They are both keepers.

  19. avatar rlc2 says:

    Yeah, read somewhere- maybe it was a youtube vid, where the author said most people trying one of these fancy disarms is going to end up with a hole in their forehead- as the time to pull trigger is about 1/3rd the time to close and grab gun.

    Me, I’m saying-
    “here’s my wallet, here’s my phone, here’s my car keys, take it, you’re the boss”

  20. avatar Nik says:

    Basic principles of countering weapons: RCAT
    Redirect away from yourself
    Control the weapon
    Attack the wielder
    Takeaway the weapon.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email