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Training To Win Gunfights

The streets are becoming more violent than ever. Gun battles are erupting with greater frequency; thugs are heartless and psychopathic. They’re intent on hurting and killing anyone who tries to stop their criminal behavior. Guns in the hands of felons are appearing with hardly any warning, which means we must be ready to use lethal force swiftly, confidently and fearlessly. To survive we can’t leave anything to chance. Firearms training can no longer be simply a nice outing - a day to get together with buddies, shoot a couple boxes of ammo, and then go play golf or retire to the nearest gin mill for a few drinks. No. Range day must be treated as time spent honing our skills with the only thing that in many cases will save our lives - our pistol.

A good friend and former colleague, Bob Taubert, a.k.a., “The Rock,” has just released a new book. The title is Rattenkrieg (Photo 1), a German word for “rat war.” Rattenkrieg was a term coined by German soldiers during the battle for Stalingrad. It was used to describe the fighting the Germans encountered with Russian soldiers - vicious, CQB, meant to destroy their enemy. This book is a must-have for every Warrior because it describes the proper mindset, and provides a number of combat courses designed to defeat the knuckle-draggers whose goal is to kill us.

Bob’s book is not meant for the beginner, it’s not a basic firearms course. Rather, it is an intensive set of drills and courses tailored for the aggressive cop who wants to win each battle and go home at the end of their tour of duty. Be forewarned, however, that Rattenkrieg contains firearm drills that may conflict with your department’s policies or regulations. As a rule, before you run any of the courses contained in the book make sure you are in compliance.

In Rattenkrieg, Bob raises an important issue in describing his training philosophy and methods. He recognizes the importance of not making anyone look bad. Cops have huge egos, thus Bob’s courses have no scoring or time constraints. The goal of this type of training is to expose cops to tactical shooting drills, thereby increasing their fighting skills. Qualification and shooting for scores is an administrative function. It’s not designed to fully prepare you for a gunfight. Once you’ve learned basic firearms, the key is to retain those skills and be able to adapt them to street encounters. Speed is important, but it takes a back seat to accuracy. Once you’ve learned to train with consistency, speed becomes a by-product of that redundancy.

Another important point Bob illustrates in Rattenkrieg is the importance of training to shoot with one hand. This tactic is sorely lacking in many firearms training sessions, particularly in combat courses. Truth be known, one-handed shooting expertise will necessarily save your life. “For the tactical operator, one-handed shooting skills are absolutely vital.” According to Taubert, many instructors avoid one-handed shooting drills because they are difficult to master, and the results don’t measure up to the students’ two-handed shooting capabilities.

Here’s why you must practice shooting with one hand:

  • Your may be using your support hand for blocking or deflecting
  • You may be multi-tasking, i.e., opening doors, moving objects, holding on to people and things
  • One arm may be out of the fight due to injury
  • You may be the shield man

I’m sure you can come up with other reasons, but suffice it to say, our firearms training is overwhelmingly conducted with both hands on the pistol. However, that’s not always reality. One-handed shooting is a life-saver. Practice. Practice. Practice.  When you do practice your one-handed shooting technique, remember this: grip the gun tightly to prevent stoppages. Never allow the weapon to shift in your hand. Lock the wrist, this will allow the gun to cycle by providing resistance. No limp wristing.

I hope you will consider getting a copy of this important work. In the meantime, the following is one of the many CQB drills Bob has included, which will make you better equipped to win.

The Gantlet Drill (Photo 2) is designed to assist the shooter in developing an ability to hit right and left oblique targets on a dead run.


Six or more Pepper Popper targets positioned on either side of a firing lane at staggered intervals. At the end of the run, locate a seventh popper, or stop plate, to complete the drill.


From the ready gun position, move forward between targets and fire while on the run. Start slowly and increase your speed as your skills improve. Never move or shoot faster than you can hit. Never turn around to fire at any target you have missed. All rounds must be fired downrange at all times.

Note: As skills increase, set the steel poppers so they require a head shot or multiple hits to topple, and increase the intervals between targets.

Active shooter situations are becoming the norm. We can no longer sit back waiting for SWAT teams to arrive and handle these types of deadly incidents. Traffic stops involving the driver and/or passengers jumping out of their vehicles and assaulting the officer are also a common threat. If you take time to get into your comfortable two-handed shooting stance, you have lost precious time. You could have already delivered a fatal round to your adversary. If you haven’t practiced one-handed shooting with both right and left hands, you are behind the power curve, as this techniques will feel uncomfortable and you will lack confidence. Please practice these life-saving drills and techniques. It is truly a matter of life and death.

Stay safe, Brothers and Sisters!


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