Tuesday, 22 January 2013



  1. Supporting the flexible (hence unstable) wrist and leaving the pistol itself less than fully stabilized is poor shooting technique; their shots will be all over the place, thereby endangering bystanders.
    Bad shooters! BAD!!
    (And,yes, I speak from much training and experience: In the early 90s, I was a professional firearms/ defensive tactics instructor.)

  2. You have now been added to my list of people to recruit when the day comes for me to take down The Man.

    Is there any actor who can handle a gun like a professional?

  3. These images were taken from the 1975 episode "Clinkers", in which Regan and Carter were taking drunken pot shots at a row of empty whiskey bottles.
    Guest stars T. P. McKenna & Peter Sutcliffe, played a pair of gypsies, selling stolen cravats door to door in the Potters Bar area.

    Trivia: this was the only time in the entire series that John Thaw wore laced up shoes.

  4. Chief, you asked:
    "Is there any actor who can handle a gun like a professional?"

    Well, to answer your question off the top of my head (and with little research except what I noted at the times of viewing) and considering the popular media seen in the UK, I can suggest a several:

    In keeping with Island Of Terror's atmosphere, "The X-Files"' DAVID DUCHOVNY reliably used a two-handed wrap-around grip whenever possible for maximum control and he kept his knees bent and shoulders forward of his hips for best balance and greatest recoil dissipation. He most often did this with his arms in an isoscoles triangle-shaped (both arms fully extended without locking the elbows) position when engaging opponents at a right angle to the axis of his shoulders and correctly rotated his upper body in a "turret shooting" technique when those opponents moved latterally to a limited degree. At other times, when a distant opponent was closer to the axis of his shoulders, he maintained a two-handed grip and fully extended the arm of his rear-most shoulder while bending the elbow of his front-most shoulder to the minimum degree needed to dissipate recoil impulses throughout his entire body. For closer threats, he raised the pistol as high as his proximity and time would allow and either aligned both front and rear sights or simply tracked the front sight in his peripheral vision in a technique known as "high point-shooting".
    Unfortunately, I don't recall Duchovny doing much "hip-shooting" so I cannot offer an endorsement of his proficiency in that VERY close (the-muzzle-has-just-cleared-the-holster's-lip) extreme technique.

    From what I remember of "Bravo Two Zero" SEAN BEAN handled an M-16 with good balance and use of the both sights in distant shooting and the proper use of the front sight in high point-shooting.

  5. Continuing: "Is there any actor who can handle a gun like a professional?"

    Tactical reloading:
    Since professionals NEVER underestimate logistics, the value of this aspect of surviving a gunfight is second only to timely accuracy...and CHOW YUN FAT is very good at this in films such as "The Replacement Killers". His shooting technique is also solid except for some problematically unstable footwork as he spins to engage different opponents; if you do such motion on an uneven or debris-strewn floor, you may fall and be fatally delayed in your quest to stop your opponents before they END you.

    Realistic Philosophy of Survival:
    Bet you didn't see this one coming: JOHN WAYNE in his final role in "The Shootist". About mid-way through he gives Ron Howard a lecture on "being WILLING" and on being situationally aware.
    Listen, friends: On the matter of "being willing", anyone who tells you the old self-serving line "Man is a killer species" is to be immediately suspected of naivete...or self-deceit; psuedo-pacifists love that lie because it enables them to FEEL themselves to be morally superior to more common folks. However the truth is that MOST people are properly reluctant to intentionally seriously injure or kill other humans NO MATTER WHAT THE CAUSE. Personally, I'm certain that this is part of God's natural law written into our consciences because I've seen it in many diverse people who would risk their own lives to help others and yet would hesitate to shoot someone who was threatening them. I know it well because MY military and law enforcement trainers had to condition me to "respond to certain stimulus in a way which may cause the death of another person"...and I've done the same for others.
    Technique-wise, Wayne demonstrates all the one-handed techniques together: Deliberate-aiming, high-point, low-point, strong-hand/weak-hand shooting, cover/concealment, persistence ("take the hit and keep fighting as long as you're conscious"), and situational awareness.
    On the matter of situational-awareness, John Boyd's "OODA Loop" (Orient-Observe-Decide-Act) is well-demonstrated in the climactic gunfight. It's situational-awareness which guards us against unseen/unexpected danger and swift decisive action which may get us out of that danger. If you don't know Boyd's contribution to modern military theory, ask the next RAF/USAF/USN fighter pilots you meet; if they were trained in the last thirty years, they KNOW Boyd/OODA.
    If you watch "The Shootist", you'll see it in action...and if you apply it in a life-threatening situation, your chances of survival will increase by 50-100%.

  6. Jay, I'm enormously grateful to your for your response. I have very little to add to your fascinating points other than to say I once read that John Wayne was one of the only actors who could fire a gun without blinking, and although that may be completely irrelevant, it's all I have!

  7. Even if it's not your normal "cup of tea", please check out "The Shootist" and especially observe the DETAILS of the last scene. Watch John Books' self-Orientation as he enters the saloon, his Observation of his surroundings, his Decisiveness in on how to utilize those surroundings, his Acting within the availability of his own assets...and then his repeatition of the process.
    If you remember my amusing Captain Scarlet caption "Not the TREADS!", please allow me to suggest that you REALLY remember the concept of the OODA Loop. It will sharpen your thinking about situational awareness in all kinds of conflicting situations.

    I have a passion for helping people stay safer because my first job out of college was entirely unrelated to my degree (history, especially China and Europe) but quite derivative of my military training: I was an aircrew/search party survival instructor for the Civil Air Patrol. Even 26 years on, I'm still big on Situational Awareness and the OODA Loop.

    One question, sir: Is there a name by which I may address you? Otherwise, I'm left refering to you as "Chief", "Herr Doktor"...or maybe "Zigo"