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Gunfighting 101: Nearly Four Decades of Comments, Thoughts, and Observations on the Use of the Handgun and Rifle in the Art of Self-Defense

Gunfighting 101: Nearly Four Decades of Comments, Thoughts, and Observations on the Use of the Handgun and Rifle in the Art of Self-Defense

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Gunfighting 101: Nearly Four Decades of Comments, Thoughts, and Observations on the Use of the Handgun and Rifle in the Art of Self-Defense

540 pagine
2 ore
Feb 7, 2020


After four decades of handgun and rifle training, I was encouraged to share my experiences and what I had learned about defensive tactics. In Part I, I have critiqued various classes and the focal points of each. Through my experiences at 110 classes with 50 AARs plus supportive documents from 20 different instructors, I have learned about pistol shooting skills, rifle shooting and the integration of both. In Part II, I have included sections on the tactical treatment of gunshot wounds, tips on carrying concealed, and other skills I have learned during those classes.
Feb 7, 2020

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Gunfighting 101 - Richard Olen Wright

Gunfighting 101: Nearly Four Decades of Comments, Thoughts, and Observations on the Use of the Handgun and Rifle in the Art of Self-Defense


Richard Olen Wright

Copyright © 2020 by Richard O. Wright

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.

First Printing 2020

ISBN 978-1-79481-064-8

Richard Olen Wright

1849 Grand Silo Way

Winston Salem NC 27127


As a teacher for some twenty-five years now, I have run across and into thousands of students. Most I see once, and don't make much of an impact on. I suspect most of us would agree with that. But once in a while we have a student that understands and incorporates what we teach. And sometimes we have the opportunity to train with them again and again. And every time we do, they are better, and they are more dangerous...dangerous in that good way - like all men of action wish to be dangerous. And sometimes, although seldom, such students become our friends and our brothers. That is a term that men like me don't throw around carelessly. Richard Wright is one of those men. He is a refined and articulate gentleman to his core, but in the classical sense, also a dangerous one. He is very skilled in the topic of the anti-personnel application of weapons, and a historian in the development of the art as we now follow it. It has been an honor to train with him, and it will be the reader's blessing to read what he has to say.

Gabriel Suarez, Suarez International

* * * *

Rich Wright has been my friend and colleague for a number of decades.

I've never known a more competent shooter, nor a more talented instructor!

He was with me at nearly every one of the original Tactical Conferences in PA, and we instructed together on many occasions in SC.

Rich has always been the best of friends and comrades!

And, when he talks, I listen!

John S. Farnam, Defense Training International

* * * *

I first had the pleasure of meeting Richard Wright over twenty years ago. Since then, he has been a student in quite a few of my courses and we have attended a number of training events side by side. At events like the National Tactical Invitational, the Tactical Conference, national shooting championships, and various other professional venues, Richard has always been at the forefront of pushing for technical performance, tactical agility, and personal growth as a fighter and a trainer. I am proud to call him my friend.

Tom Givens, Range Master

* * * *

Richard has been a serious student of our art for many years. Along the way he has shared his knowledge and passion for training with private citizens and law enforcement officers alike. Through his actions many good men and women are better prepared to defend themselves and those they care about. He is in equal parts a diligent student, fine gentlemen and excellent instructor.

John Holschen, Heiho Consulting Group

* * * *

I first met Richard Wright over 20 years ago at the National Tactical Invitational. I was new to the NTI and I could see that Richard, who was a Constable in South Carolina, had firearms training that I had never seen in law enforcement. He was well-schooled in the use of movement and cover and was getting good hits. He also had tactical awareness that went far beyond what I'd have expected from someone who had simply been trained to qualify on a square range. When we did our first team force-on-force training together, the tactics Richard developed, proved to be an important factor in our surviving the exercise.

As our friendship grew, I continued to attend the NTI and also travelled to Florence and Columbia, SC, to write about training sessions that he sponsored with well-known national trainers. I never went away without some new and useful insights to pass along to law enforcement officers I've trained and the readers of magazines I write for. When I think about it, I really don't know anyone who has more expertise and experience concerning the various types of training available to law enforcement and legally-armed civilians in the United States today. Therefore it's fitting that Richard organize and pass on what he's learned to future generations. As you look over this volume think about situations you've encountered, and how additional training he describes could benefit you in your daily life. Then develop your own training plan and get the training you need. At the very least it will help you recognize and avoid dangerous situations. At the most it could help you survive a life-changing event.

Martin D. Topper, Ph.D., Daytona Beach, FL

* * * *

One of the great things about the gun community, generally speaking, is that you get to meet a lot of interesting people. Many are very intelligent and most are friendly and, at the very least, are polite. Robert Heinlein was right: An armed society is a polite society, at least for the most part.

But occasionally you run into people who are a cut above the normal cordial gun person. A person who transcends not only the normal behavior that most of us have grown accustomed to expecting into the downright amazing effort you only get a rare chance to glimpse in any field of endeavor.

It has been my privilege to meet and train with literally thousands of people over the half century or so I’ve been involved in firearms training. There have not been many of those whom I didn’t care for, but there are some who are truly outstanding.

Please allow me to tell you about one of them; Richard Wright. When I first met Richard he drove a long distance, with a friend, to attend a Range Master event where I was helping out, and learning since any decent instructor picks up new things along the way each time he is involved in any sort of training.

Richard was an eager student as well as a competent instructor in his own right, no pun intended. You notice a lot about people from the questions they ask. It was evident from the questions Richard asked that he knew a lot about the topic of self-defense and was eagerly seeking more.

I ran into Richard more over the next few years which is sort of surprising since I’ve been tied down to various jobs in the firearms training industry much of the time and only get out and about when someone like Tom Givens drags me along on one of his ventures. This meant that most of the time I was running into Richard because he was traveling quite a distance to seek to broaden his horizons.

Then some years back, tragedy struck Richard with a debilitating disease. That is when we who know him saw him step up his game! A lesser person would have just quit, but not Richard. No, he stepped up to the plate and knocked one out of the park! Always an astute observer and analyst of shooting and shooting instruction, adversity has sharpened his skill in these areas and it would behoove us all to listen to his observations!

God bless you my friend, you are my hero!

Jim Higginbotham, American Institute of Marksmanship

* * * *

We don’t plan to fail but we sometimes fail to plan. When we do, we get experience and experience is something we get shortly after we need it. Just because we have a gun does not mean that we are armed. The mind is the final weapon, all else is supplemental.

Pat McNamara, Alias Training

* * * *

As Director of the American Tactical Shooting Association and event Director of the National Tactical Invitational (NTI) for a quarter century, I had the honor and privilege of observing the performance of hundreds the best Practitioners that Our Serious Study has produced.

The NTI was a study, it was not a competition. There was no prize table. There was no published ranking of Practitioners, first through last. There was performance data collection by the Judges assigned to each of the ten (10) tests the Practitioners were presented. Judges provided their performance data collection forms to staff analysts regularly during the event. The analysts converted that data to numerical values.

At the conclusion of each event, the Judges met and discussed their observations regarding the performance of the individual Practitioners. The Judges then selected a number of Practitioners (typically 5) they wanted to recognize for exceptional performances. Once the Judges selections were made, the Judges met with the staff analysts and compared the Judges evaluations with the number’s values created by the analysts for each Practitioner who took the field that year. The numbers value and the Judges selections were consistent.

The Practitioners identified through this process were then presented to the Practitioners-at-large.

In reviewing the records of the NTI, Practitioner Richard Wright was a member of this selection process on (5) separate occasions. An incredible accomplishment!

During the tenure of the NTI Richard was struck by his current affliction. He continued to attend the NTI. He asked no special consideration. He took the field and continued to perform as a super-pro.

In my half-century as a police officer and Detective I have yet to meet anyone with more demonstrated heart, dignity and devotion of Our Serious Study than Practitioner Richard Wright!

When Richard finishes his author project, I will be purchasing (3) copies--a personal copy and one for each of my two sons. I will be encouraging those Practitioners I know to do the same.

It is an honor and a privilege to list Richard Wright as my friend and Fellow Practitioner.

Skip Gochenour, National Tactical Invitational


This started out to be a book about guns and training. But, the more I got into it, I came to realize the impact this has had in my life.

The world today is far different than when I grew up. The heros today are typically athletes and movie stars. For the most part, they are shallow, one dimensional, ego driven pretenders to the throne. And I have scant time to waste on them.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a hero as: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

Our way of life is under attack. Concepts like courage, honor, humility, are laughed at. We are thought of as old school--out of touch with the world today.

I disagree that we are out of touch!

But what can we do?

Well, I decided to find two good men and bring them into the fold--nurture them, be their mentor. Then they each bring two, then they bring two, etc. So far, I have added 45. But, what if each and every one of us did this. What would the numbers be?

Mold them, not just train them!

Get involved in local politics.

Get involved with local education.

We all know who Captain Sullenberger is; he is the pilot who landed the plane on the Hudson River. When asked how he prepared, he said he has been making deposits into his life bank his whole life so that when the time came to make a withdrawal he had enough to cover it.

As students and trainers, we need to make our own deposits into our life bank so when the time comes, we will have enough deposits to cover us.

I have been blessed to have trained with some of the best in the world. They have been a major influence in my life, and they probably don’t realize it. Well, I am going to change that now. To those mentioned in the following pages, I want to thank you for all that you have done for me. Not just the course training curriculum, but demonstrating by words and deeds the qualities I now cherish – integrity and humility.

I turned 72 last year and have been battling Parkinson’s Disease for over 10 years. This disease has no known cause or cure. While there are treatments that can enhance your life, the disease continues. I try not to dwell on this as there are far worse diseases out there, but this is no walk in the park.

You can’t choose your battles, but you can choose how you fight them.

As I look around, I am amazed by how many of my friends have stepped up to help my wife and me. I have surely been blessed.

You may ask, Why are you writing this? Good question!

At Tac Con 2018, I was talking with some of the trainers about the fact that I have over 90 training certificates and 43 After Action Reports dating back to 1981 from 17 different instructors -- well over 2,000 hours! And to a man, they all said I should write about it.

I had no idea what I was getting into!

PART I - The Beginning

I’ve always been interested in guns, but for most of my early years, family and work kept me busy. It was much later before I could get involved in the pursuit of firearms training.

But where do you go to get such training? Remember, this was 30 plus years ago, and in Illinois. A full decade before Glocks!, no iPods, no cell phones, no Internet. How did we ever get by?

Gun magazines were the source of all things gun. It was there that I came across John Farnam, a full time Deputy Sheriff in Elroy, WI. John was having a class in October, so I wrote a letter to John asking if I could attend. After a phone conversation with him, I was invited.

Thus, began an intensive immersion in pistol craft, mindset and tactics. Looking back, I realize just how fortunate I was to have John Farnam as my first instructor. He set high standards and expected us to meet them. All the basics were covered. I learned the proper way to load, unload, reload and do a chamber check. We covered the draw stroke trigger reset and IADs.

Gun Safety

It is everyone’s responsibility to practice gun safety habits (I call them Life Safety Habits) whenever they choose to carry a weapon. Two major safety rules follow:

ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off, it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.

ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. When holding a gun, keep your finger in the register position (as high along the side of the gun as possible). Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.

The following handouts from John Farnam are pertinent summaries of gun safety:

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