The Cornered Cat
Things change – and a pop quiz

I’ve long been fascinated with the history of defensive firearms training. I like to understand how different shooting techniques started, why they were created, who used them first or most effectively, and how they evolved into something else or were discarded for something better. Of course, understanding things like that is important for what I do as an instructor, but it’s also an intriguing study in its own right.

Historically, most firearms training has been for law enforcement and military applications. These fields are related to, but not identical with, the way ordinary people use defensive firearms. And when it comes to choosing which techniques and skills you need to learn, context matters. Still, there’s a lot we can learn from these sources as long as we remember that the contexts are quite different.

Lots more there to think about and explore, but I’m already off track. I just wanted an excuse to show you this cool old video, a training film from World War II. It’s about 15 minutes long, but if you don’t have that much time, just skip to 3:15 and watch for a half-minute or so. There will be a quiz later.  😉


Pop Quiz: After watching for thirty seconds after the 3:15 mark, can you name one important way that firearms training has changed since 1944?

4 Responses to Things change – and a pop quiz

  1. George says:

    I’m going to go with…we don’t go swinging our “piece” around like a dead fish with the instructor downrange?

    1) All guns are always loaded.

    2) Never let your muzzle point at something that you are not willing to destroy.

    3) Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you’re ready to fire. (Or as my 8 year old says: “Keep your bugger hook off the bang switch!”)

    4) Know your target, and what’s behind it.

  2. Old NFO says:

    Finger on the trigger… 🙂 And “I” would not stand in front of folks while they cleared their guns… Just sayin…

  3. larryarnold says:

    Today’s instuctors generally encourage a two-handed handgun position, but that may be too obvious for your question.

  4. wildchildT says:

    Shooting two-handed is preferred, clear guns while pointed in a safe direction (not up or in front of the instructor), gun should be at low ready and eyes scanning while moving from target to target, and always…finger OFF the trigger until eyes are on target and ready to fire.

    This movie is great!

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