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“Forget about knives, bats and fists. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.” – one of Drill Sgt. Joe B. Frick’s Rules For A Gunfight at

[h/t Tyler Kee]

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  1. Travel Rule Number One: The night before you travel, lay out your clothes, money and ammo. Then pack half the clothers, twice the money and four times the ammo.

        • Don’t you guys realize how silly you sound? You, who have never needed to fire one round in self defense, are talking about carrying what, a hundred rounds whenever you go out?

          You’ve given free reign to you fantasy life and you sound ridiculous.

        • Yes Mike, because since I have not yet been mugged or assaulted it is absolute proof that I will never be mugged or assaulted.

          Do you ever stop to think what you type in the response box? Or do you not “realize how silly you sound?”

    • That grip (or lack thereof) jumped out at me too. He’s having a guaranteed FTF/FTE if he doesn’t get a better hold on that pistol.

  2. If you are tooling up for a battle, sure. Otherwise, for every day CCW, a knife can be pretty useful. You don’t run into certain problems (eg. slide pushed back, hammer prevented from falling or sideway blast with “belly snubbie” revolver). It is useful in situations of gun grabing. It is simple, fool proof and has no moving parts. There’s no ‘bang’ (or ‘kaboom’ or ‘click’) to worry about.

  3. The Rules for a Gunfight, is the most misappropriated, misstated and misquoted essay that I have ever seen.

    I am guilty of it myself as I found a set of rules online, rewrote them and included it in my Armed Response book attributing to to an unknown author.

    It turns out the original “Rules” were written by James Yeager of Tactical Response–a training company that I recommend.

    The following is an excerpt of an article that I wrote for one of the gun rags which states Jame’s actual rules, then some additional comments from me.


    1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.
    If you own and gun and have a carry permit, CARRY your gun! I have met far too many people that don’t carry because they think crime happens only at night and in certain locations. Violence happens everywhere, 24 hours a day—yes, even in broad daylight! A back-up gun can be a lifesaver if your primary weapon fails and it may get you back into the fight faster than reloading, especially a revolver.

    2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life if expensive.
    Don’t stop after just two shots if the threat continues. Shoot until the threat stops—whether it be 1 round or 12. Afterwards, get ready for the next fight; see Rule 17.

    3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
    In my training classes, I often ask participants; “How many misses does it take to win a gunfight?” The correct answer is “We don’t know. No one has ever won with misses.” You can’t miss fast enough to win. HIT your target! Practice under stress in realistic situations and environments. Force on Force Training with airsoft/simunitions is a must!

    4. If your shooting stance if good, you’re probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
    Shooting stances are for shooting, not fighting. They work well on the range when no one is shooting back. Your bullets will go where your sights are aligned regardless of your foot and arm positions. Move out of the path of incoming bullets and get to cover/concealment. Don’t just shoot, FIGHT.

    5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend.
    Distance favors the trained shooter. Train to shoot while moving to cover and moving away from your attacker. Lateral movements are better than forward or backward movement as it is harder to hit a target moving sideways.

    6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.
    Handguns have relatively very little stopping power. We carry them because they are convenient, easy to conceal and can be functioned with one hand. A shotgun or rifle offers far greater stopping power. That said, in my home, I will use a handgun with one hand as I manipulate light switches and doors with my other hand while directing my family to a safe room. I will then defend the safe room with a shotgun. If at all possible and practical, offending force should be met with buckshot or a rifle bullet(s) rather than handgun fodder.

    7. In ten years, nobody will remember the details of the caliber, stance or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
    Winning is the only thing that matters.

    8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading and moving.
    Notice that the Rule does not say that you if you are not shooting you should be communicating, reloading or moving—it said and moving. During a fight, always move if you are in the open, even when reloading. Communicate with anyone you are with. If you run dry, reload and get back into the fight as soon as possible.

    9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent of “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun. Use a gun that works every time.
    You don’t need a highly accurate handgun for gun fighting. Actually, the more highly tuned and accurized it is, the less reliable it most likely is. The most important factor in picking a handgun is one that works with your carry ammunition 100% of the time. Your shooting ability in a fight will be determined by your ability to perform under extreme stress, rather than the inherent capabilities of your hardware. All quality, modern fighting handguns are accurate enough at combat distances.

    10. Someday, someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because its empty.
    Never give up. Keep fighting; even if hurt. A warrior mindset is a key to winning any fight. People have died from minor flesh wounds from a .22 and others have won fights after being hit multiple times by larger calibers—the difference is in the mindset.

    11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one that you loose.
    There is no such thing as a fair fight. Someone will always have the advantage—make sure its you. While stomping on feet, pulling hair and kicks to the crotch may get you called a sissy in grade school, in a fight for your life nothing is off limits—do anything and everything to win. See Rule 7.

    12. Have a plan.
    Where ever you go, look for escape routes and possible entry locations for bad guys. Seek out cover and concealment. Ask yourself continually what you would do right this instant if shots were to ring out.

    13. Have a back-up plan because the first one won’t work.
    Your escape route is blocked, what now? Can you break a window with a chair and escape? What improvised weapons can you use if you can’t get to your gun? How will your plan change if your child is away from you in the restroom when the attack ensues?

    14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible. If you are not behind it you should be moving towards it.
    Incoming bullets have the right of way. Don’t be standing in the direction that they are heading. An intermediate object that blocks bullets or keeps you from being seen is your best tactic in a gun fight. Don’t crowd your cover/concealment; give yourself room to maneuver. Expose as little of your body as necessary in order to make your shots. Don’t be predictable by coming out from behind cover at the same location each time—vary the place you come out and the height at which you are seen. Practice with cover on the range!

    15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
    Keep in mind that the same tactics that you use can be used against you by your opponent as well. Don’t underestimate your attacker. Anticipate his options and actions.

    16. Don’t drop your guard.
    The fight isn’t over until its over—and you may not know when that truly is. Always expect the fight to continue or a new one to start at any time without notice. See the next Rule.

    17. Always top-off and scan 361 degrees
    After the fight, get ready for the next one. Get your gun reloaded and stay alert. Scan your surroundings completely looking for other bad guys. Don’t just search for whole bodies; look for body parts which will belie a hiding attacker—look for fingers, feet, clothing, etc. Look for good guys too; you will be just as injured or dead whether it’s a bad guy or a cop that shoots you.

    18. Hands kill so watch them.
    The eyes may be the window to the sole, but the hands hold the weapons. The hands are one of the most important signs of an impending attack.

    19. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
    A major factor in winning a gunfight can be immediate and aggressive action. Allowing your attacker to increase his foothold in the fight will not bode well for you. The faster you act to defend yourself, the more likely you are to catch your opponent unprepared and the less likely he will be able to counter your defense.

    20. The faster you finish the fight the less shot you will get.
    Well stated!

    21. Be polite. Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
    Don’t drop your guard around strangers. The best way for someone to attack you is to get close enough so you will not have time to get to your weapons or even have time to react. Realize that everyone you see and even those that you don’t may be a threat to you. Remain aware of your surroundings at all times and have a plan to defend yourself and/or escape at all times.

    22. Be courteous to everyone. Friendly to no one.
    Works in conjunction to Rule 21. Don’t lower your caution level even if a stranger seems friendly. Keep strangers at bay to give yourself time to react. If approaching, tell them in a brisk voice “KEEP BACK.” If they are really good guys they may be offended by your action. So what if strangers think that you are not friendly? If someone persists and keeps trying to get close it’s a sure sign of evil intentions.

    23. Remember, all skill is in vain when an Angel pisses in the flintlock of your musket.
    Murphy is alive and well and things may not go your way. Adapt, improvise overcome. As Rule 13 states, have a back-up plan.

    24. Your number one Option for Personal Security is a life long commitment to avoidance, deterrence and de-escalation.
    The best way to win a gun fight is to avoid it. If an encounter persists, do anything and everything you can to de-escalate it. Apologize when you are not wrong. Be polite even when you are cut off by a bad driver. If someone screams at you, remain calm and don’t yell back. Ignore insults. Above all else, our goal for each and every day is to go home safe.

    25. Don’t go to stupid places with stupid people and do stupid things.
    That pretty much says it all and is the root principle in avoiding (winning) a gunfight!

    David Kenik

    • A lot of these rules makes sense. Some are completely over the top. “Ask yourself continually what you would do right this instant if shots were to ring out.” “Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” “Be friendly to no one.” Un-be-frickin’-leivable. Rules for a gunfight? Sounds more like rules for living in Mexico.

      99.9% of us will never have a need to use our firearm against a bad guy. Of the few who will, merely showing the weapon and taking a wild shot will be enough to scare the bejeezus out of the bad guy and get him running. Can anybody here point me to an instance (not involving police) where the bad guy stood his ground in the face of gunfire?


      • Considering Yaeger’s background as an LEO, I’m thinking that some of the more extreme sounding measures are meant to apply to a lone officer on duty as opposed to a civilian carrier. I’ve only seen his videos but he comes across as far more reasonable and personable than it would appear from those comments. I think his presentations are light years better tham almost everyone else in the video instruction field actually. I’d love to take one of his classes sometime.

  4. When I get to the point in my life that I’m doing #22 at Piggly Wiggly yelling “KEEP BACK” at everyone too close to me in the pickle aisle, I HOPE I get plugged because life will not be worth living.


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