Stick With What's Tried and True in Self-Defense

posted on December 13, 2019
sheriff-jim-5-28-15.jpg (45)

We live in an era of instant gratification, and this can be a real pitfall for the defensive shooter. There is a great temptation to believe that people can quickly become adept at defensive shooting if they have a certain kind of gun, holster, ammo and other accessories. There is a further temptation to look askance at people who go their own way and don't follow whatever the popular trends might be.

A good example might be the idea that polymer-frame, striker-fired pistols are the ultimate handguns. The best examples of these pistols are fine guns. They can be reliable, effective and relatively inexpensive, but they are not a one-size-fits-all product. The only way for people to know if these kinds of guns meet their needs is to spend a lot of time with them, burn lots of ammo and shoot them in defensive-training classes. 

In a similar vein, double-action revolvers are currently enjoying a resurgence of popularity. The fellow who thinks for himself will check them out, run a number of drills with them, and over a period of time, decide if a double-action revolver meets his defensive needs. The fad follower will switch to a double-action revolver because he or she read a really cool article on the internet. I’ll let you decide which of these people is more likely to truly succeed in their quest.

Of course, one of the pitfalls in trying to avoid fads is listening to these instant experts who crop up on the internet. Recently, I encountered one of these instant experts who was blasting the guns and holsters of yesteryear. Checking him out, it became apparent that he was about 30 years old and admitted to no previous experience with gear or gunfighting. All he had was his “expert” opinion. He seemed shocked when he couldn’t impress his audience, made up of older men who had actually used those guns and gear–older, more-experienced men, some of whom had actually been in gunfights.

People who are serious about developing valuable knowledge in self defense will become avid students. They accept the fact that this will not happen overnight. They seek knowledge. They seek training. They seek the advice of those who have been there and done that. They are in it for the long run and are willing to spend years perfecting the skills that can potentially save their lives. They listen instead of pontificating.

With that kind of an attitude towards personal defense, new shooters will begin to recognize and tell the difference between useless fads and the guns, gear and techniques that are truly of value.


olive branch
olive branch

Straight Talk: Resolving Conflict

Being an adult is hard, but it’s not as hard as making irreparable decisions.

Review: CrossBreed OutRider MultiFit Modular Holster and Magazine Pouch

A leather outside the waistband holster from a company known for making hybrid holsters.

First Look: Taurus GX4 Carry 9 mm Pistol

Taurus expands the GX4 family with an even bigger brother to the GX4XL.

First Look: Burris BTS V2 Thermal Optic

Packed with features, including streaming, multiple reticle ad color palette options and a nifty QD mount.

Honoring Our Veterans

Two separate industry events honor those who serve.

Winchester USA Ready Defense

Winchester’s USA Ready Defense ammunition looks to be a reliable and effective option for use in self-defense handguns.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.