How do you win a gunfight?

How do you win a gunfight?
Use any cover you can find. Get to cover and stay there unless you need and can find better cover.

As promised, here is my take on winning a gunfight.

Use any cover you can find. Get to cover and stay there unless you need and can find better cover.

The primary goal, for you as an honest citizen carrying a concealed handgun, is to not get shot. Getting shot greatly reduces your ability to stop the threat. Yes it is true that some people can keep fighting through a hit with a pistol round. There is an old saying out there: What does a guy do after getting shot with a pistol? The same thing he was doing before he got shot with a pistol.

Use that wisdom to remind yourself to keep shooting the bad guy until the threat is neutralized… but no more. Now back to the main goal.

Focus on conflict avoidance if at all possible. I'm not telling you to run away or vacate places you have a right to be, but think about the horrific aftermath of even a justifiable shooting. If you can avoid the conflict, do so. In some cases it might be better that you move to a position of safety and become a good witness. If you can't do that, well, movement is your friend.  The sequence should be clear in your head and drilled into your training regimen: Move! Draw. Engage. If the rules at your range do not let you train this way, find a new range. Too many people, and you see this all the time with officer-involved shootings, fight their way to the 7-yard line and die there. Get to cover. Do not break cover unless you are going directly to better cover. If you are responsible for the safety of others, like your children or a spouse, direct them to cover (forcefully if need be) and order them to stay behind the cover. Then fight from cover.

The reality is most gunfights don't last long enough for you to get to cover. Remember, three shots, three seconds, three yards? Well, then movement toward cover is the next best thing. Get off the line. Get out of the way. Move first! Make yourself a more difficult target in order to engage from a position of tactical advantage. If you stand still, there is much greater chance that you will have holes poked in places that don't really need holes.

So… I really only care about your concealed carry holster if you can get to it while you are moving. I really only care about your concealed carry handgun if you can draw and ACCURATELY fire while you move to cover. If you can't do so, well, wait until you get to cover to shoot because you are responsible for every round you fire.

So there you have it. As far as I'm concerned, the primary goal is to stay alive. You do that by first insuring you don't get shot.

Recommended gun books for those who carry concealed handguns:

The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry

The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery

Effective Handgun Defense, A Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry

Find more resources at




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