Ten Rules for Winning a Gunfight
This is a discussion on Ten Rules for Winning a Gunfight within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Read and read again..Ten Rules for Winning a Gunfight
Gang Detective Jared Reston knows something about winning gunfights. In a dozen years with the Jacksonville ...
March 3rd, 2013 09:39 PM
Ten Rules for Winning a Gunfight
Read and read again..Ten Rules for Winning a Gunfight
Gang Detective Jared Reston knows something about winning gunfights. In a dozen years with the Jacksonville (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office, he has killed three suspects who tried to murder him. Eight other times, he’s been part of a SWAT team that ended life-threatening encounters with deadly force.
In one battle with a teenage shoplifting suspect, which he vividly describes in a PoliceOne BLUtube interview, Reston was shot seven times before he was able to deliver three fatal contact rounds to his assailant’s head.
One of Reston’s wounds came from a .45-cal. round that blasted through his jaw and out of his neck, blowing out teeth and bone in its transit. It took 14 surgeries to reconstruct his mouth and face, yet he fought to a remarkable recovery that saw him back on full duty is just six months. At the recent 25th annual conference of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association, Reston shared with fellow operators his open secrets for staying alive against staggering odds. Whether you work with a team or patrol the streets alone, these are the 10 fundamentals he believes will help you win any armed encounter, just as they’ve helped him repeatedly.
1.) Be Ready to Inflict ‘Unspeakable Violence’
“Some officers die because they didn’t use the appropriate amount of force early on,” says Reston, the lead firearms instructor for his agency’s SWAT team. “Know what your state statutes and department policy say about when you can use deadly force so you can act with confidence without hesitation. You shouldn’t have to consciously think about what’s permissible or whether you’ll get sued. That just puts you farther behind the curve. “Be prepared to go in an instant from being calm to inflicting unspeakable violence on those who would take your life...and then back to calm again. Commit mentally and physically to doing whatever is necessary — with hyper intensity — to prevail. You won’t have time to think or warm up. You have to have that subconscious willingness to hurt dangerous people right there, and turn it on like a switch — like you would if someone was trying to snatch your child or someone else you love from you. “You can condition yourself for that through stress-inoculation scenario training. The more you train under stress, the less stress you’ll feel when it’s real. “Don’t depend on adrenalin to energize you and get you through a crisis. It may drain your strength instead. When gunfire starts, I’ve known officers who just shut down. They couldn’t even talk to the dispatcher. They thought they were ready for a gunfight, but they weren’t.”
2.) Mentally Rehearse
Reston is a strong believer in integrating hours of mental imagery into your training regimen. “Guys ask me, ‘Did it bother you to shoot the suspect with contact shots to his head?’ And I say, “No, because I’d already done it in my mind thousands of times.” “Your mindset to win has to be constantly honed or you’ll lose it. Mental rehearsal is one way to hone it. Imagine yourself confronting and defeating every kind of challenge you can conjure up. Imagine yourself getting shot and how you’ll react. And don’t just imagine the stereotype bad guys. The assailant you have to kill may look a lot like you. They’re not always gangbangers or hardened felons. Anybody at any time may try to hurt you.” Just be certain, Reston cautions, that in real life you can employ the skills you imagine yourself using to win in your mental scenarios. If candidly you have doubts, then that should identify your training challenge(s), because “in a crisis you won’t surpass your level of preparation.”
3.) Armor Up
Yes, body armor is hot, it’s bulky, “it sucks,” Reston concedes. “But it’s a tool that will help you survive a physical fight or a car crash as well as a gunfight. If you don’t wear it, you’re lazy, inconsiderate of your family, and ignorant about your own safety.” Three of the rounds fired on him by the shoplifter impacted across his chest, one in the dead-center of his vest plate. “Body armor helped keep me in the fight. The shot that hit the plate would have been a show-stopper for sure without my vest.”
4.) Watch for Opportunities of Advantage
“In most encounters, moments arise when you can gain the upper hand, but these windows of opportunity open and close quickly,” Reston says. “For instance, a subject who’s threatening you in a combat stance may drop his hands enough for just an instant that you could smash him in the face. Or a suspect’s manner at a certain point may suggest he’s willing to give up, but if he’s allowed more time to think without being quickly controlled, he might not.
“Be watchful and be ready. Act decisively. You may not get another chance.”
5. Don’t be Equipment-Dependent
“Be prepared for any weapon to fail — not to work or not get the results you want,” Reston says. His Taser once malfunctioned at a critical moment. “It didn’t spark, it didn’t shoot, it didn’t do anything except count down on the screen,” he recalls, necessitating a fast transition to empty-hand tactics and eventually to his Glock 22 to control a hostile subject who was determined to attack him. “A failure may surprise you, but it shouldn’t shut you down. Know the immediate action that may fix the problem. Drill that over and over and over, so your hands can go through the manipulations subconsciously while your eyes and mind are concentrating on the threat. “Always have a Plan B, so you don’t get stuck in a Plan A that isn’t working. Be your own weapon. If you’re well trained in multiple skills, what won’t fail you is you. ”
6.) Target Your Weaknesses
When it comes to prevailing against deadly threats, Reston thinks like Bear Bryant, the legendary ’Bama football coach: “It’s not the will to win but the willingness to prepare to win that makes the difference.”
Training for “that day,” Reston believes, is everything. “Work on the things you’re not good at,” he says, “because you never know which tool or combination from your toolbox your life will depend on. Set aside time to go to the range regularly, to work out with a balanced program to build up your strength and endurance, to practice your DT. Seek out additional training outside your agency. Spend your own money. Invest in yourself.
“We need to be better than we were 20 years ago, given today’s criminal gun culture. All the motivation you need should be the realization that there are people out there who want to kill you just because of what you are and what you represent — and you never know when you will meet one of them.”
7.) Stay Fit
In the foot pursuit that preceded the shootout with the shoplifter, Reston’s partner fell behind — not because he was wholly out of shape but because he’d concentrated only on strength building in his workouts, with scant attention to cardio fitness. “He couldn’t run more than 40 yards,” Reston says. He was out of sight and out of shooting range when Reston took the suspect’s seven rounds. “Having two of us there might have made a difference,” Reston says. “He didn’t eat or sleep for two days, worrying about what I’d think of him. Then he got serious and changed his workout program. “Staying fit so you can do the job the way it needs to be done isn’t just for yourself. It’s for your partner, your family, other officers, and for the community you’ve sworn to protect.”
8.) Fight ’til the Lights Go Out
When your life is on the line, Reston stresses, “FIGHT! You can’t just lay there and hope the situation will go away. You can fight through getting shot. You may not feel pain for two or three minutes, and in that time you can win. Mentally rehearse doing it.” Your adversary may have a will to win that’s nearly as great as yours. In the shoplifter shooting, Reston had hit his assailant with so many .40-cal. rounds that “he was a walking dead man, but he still kept coming and shooting.” Though critically wounded, Reston’s resolve was to “keep firing until the lights went out.” When he had the opportunity to grab the suspect and pull him close enough for three contact shots to the head, he took it and finished the fight. “My last words will never be screaming into the radio for help,” he declares.
“If I go out, I’ll go out fighting.”
9.) Practice Self Aid / Buddy Aid
“Make your own wound-treatment kit if you’re not issued one,” Reston advises, “— or be willing to watch someone die in front of you because you didn’t.” Include four-inch square gauze pads, a tourniquet, QuickClot or similar hemostatics, and a seal for covering a sucking chest wound. “These items can stop a lot of bleeding and can be kept in a packet small enough to carry with you,” he says. Practice using them on yourself and others so you can do so automatically under stress. And watch what you say around a wounded colleague. When Reston was bleeding from several wounds inflicted by the homicidal shoplifter, a fellow officer knelt beside him, held his hand, and reassured him, “You’re gonna be ok.” But then he turned to another officer and said loudly, “Where’s rescue? He’s gonna die!” “Don’t ‘comfort’ anyone ‘into the Light,’ ” Reston remarks.
10.) Don’t Let the Suspect “Win from the Grave”
The determination to win may need to continue beyond the initial victory. Reston has drawn on his warrior mindset to carry him through a torturous recovery from the shoplifter shooting, including months of surgeries and rehabilitation, with 14 operations to repair his damaged face alone. “It still hurts,” he says. But even as he rode to the hospital in the rescue wagon, he vowed to come roaring back. “I wanted to be out of bed and able to stand by the time of the suspect’s funeral,” he recalls. He consciously stretched the time between pain medications. Within two weeks, he’d designed a workout routine. In six months, he was back on full duty. “I wasn’t going to let the shooting define me or ruin the rest of my life. I wasn’t going to let that son-of-a-***** win from the grave. “You may have scars,” Reston says. “I’m still not able to do all the same workouts I used to do. But every day that I push on and accomplish something is another kick in his balls. The way you win on the street and in life is to set goals, stretch yourself. When you reach one goal, set another.” Whatever personal improvements Reston may have on his goal list, his ability to prevail in a crisis clearly remains undiminished. The shoplifter incident was the second confrontation in which Reston shot and killed a gunman. Since then, he’s had a third. He and another officer were approaching a man wanted for multiple murders when the fugitive suddenly went for a gun. The officers hit him — mortally — with six rounds. The suspect never got off a shot.
copied from: Handgun Combatives ( Read and read... | Facebook)
March 3rd, 2013 09:39 PM
March 3rd, 2013 10:12 PM
In one of the classes at the Tactical Conference and Polite Society Match this weekend in Memphis items 1 and 2 for Civillians rings true. We discussed differences between Military, Police FBI, DEA, and Civillian Gun encounters. The first thing up was Analysis Perallis (cant spell) of the issue at hand and getting into Fighting Mode. As civillians we do things much differently than the Police or Army. The FBI and DEA folks are closest to us in the mode of operation. They are not uniformed and in Plain unmarked cars. Until you run into one of them you will not likely know who they are. When out in public I profile everyone I see and meet. Then other decisions are made.
Praise the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle --- Psalm 144
NRA Endowment Life
There are NO Silver Medals for Street Combat
March 3rd, 2013 10:49 PM
Number one is what I found to be for me the answer. I have never been in a gun fight as a civillian. When I first went to combat I was not very effective and worried a lot about being a coward. Once I found I was not a coward and I survived a couple of encounters with the help of some very understanding brothers in arms. I found my self engulfed in a rage I had never experienced before. Once this happened I became effective and fair at what I did.
The mental preperation was helped thirty years after my combat experience. A book by Col Grossman titled on Killing put to rest the other mental issues I had fought with for years.
mental preperation is a must for me. The mechanical shooting the gun is pretty easy stuff really.
Thanks for the post I copied and will keep in my shooting box.
March 3rd, 2013 10:59 PM
i'm going to check this book out, hopefully I can get it on my iphone and start reading on it.
March 3rd, 2013 11:08 PM
I'm not in law enforcement,but,my dad was for 15 yrs.I have 2 relatives that are.A while back,i went out to the Sheriff's Office,to see a friend of mine.While i was waiting on him,i saw a police magazine.I saw an article that said,in 2011,72 LEO'S had been murdered in the U.S.It said about 65 had their vest on.Of course, one is to many,but,72,wow.
March 3rd, 2013 11:11 PM
Great article. Mental and physical fitness, Situational awareness, Medical training, having a Warrior Mindset these are all the things it took him to win however it takes dedication and training to do it.
"A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013
March 3rd, 2013 11:29 PM
There is only "1" rule in a fight..... there are no rules.
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."
March 3rd, 2013 11:51 PM
words to live by.... literally
”God grants Liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.”
Defender of freedom by birth, Photographer by trade, Certified gun nut by love.
March 3rd, 2013 11:54 PM
...and the mindset that there is no such thing as a fair fight!
Originally Posted by Eagleks
"That I cannot do."
"Give this to, uh, Clemenza. I want reliable people, people who aren't going to be carried away. After all we're not murderers in spite of what this undertaker thinks."
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
March 3rd, 2013 11:56 PM
Best to avoid that kind of thing.
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunder bolt...... Sun Tzu.
The supreme art of war is to defeat the enemy without fighting........ Sun Tzu.
March 4th, 2013 12:10 AM
IMO.....Violence isn't always the answer....but when it is.....it's the only answer.
March 4th, 2013 12:16 AM
I agree and there is no doubt in my mind that if someone draws a weapon on me that I won't hesitate to draw and fire at least two rounds.
US Army 1953-1977
‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’
— Abraham Lincoln
March 4th, 2013 12:47 AM
I don't think anyone ever actually "wins" a gunfight. I think it's merely a matter of either surviving, or not.
And I subscribe to the adage; "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck."
"If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot."
March 4th, 2013 05:52 AM
All are good points, but I'd really stress #2 .. the mental aspect.. It's easy to assume and even be "so sure" that you'll respond ever so aggressively but it isn't always the case when you actually face a situation. Hesitation gets people killed.
"Ignorance may be bliss, but it certainly is not freedom, except in the minds of those who prefer darkness to light and chains to liberty. The more true information we can acquire, the better for our enfranchisement." -- Robert Hugh Benson
March 4th, 2013 07:10 AM
Actually, I find the "keep fit and give yourself medical training" to be the two determinants. If you think you've got a 'warrior's mindset', but aren't trading TV-time for exercise-time, how can I believe your mindset? And how about the actual evidence of dedication to get First Aid training? Plus, those two tools will have a great deal of utility in your ongoing life.
The March of Dimes worked; it's why we're not debating Universal Iron Lung coverage.
Knowing about the Bystander Effect actually prevents it.
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