Drill Sergeant Joe B. Fricks Rules For A Gunfight

1. Forget about knives, bats and fists. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.
2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap – life is expensive. If you shoot inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is cheap – funerals are expensive
3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
4. If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
5. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend. (Bulletproof cover and diagonal or lateral movement are preferred.)
6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or full-automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun.
7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running. Yell “Fire!” Why “Fire”? Cops will come with the Fire Department, sirens often scare off the bad guys, or at least cause them to lose concentration and will…. and who is going to summon help if you yell “Intruder,” “Glock” or “Winchester?”
9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun.
10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.
11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. Have a plan.
13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work. “No battle plan ever survives 10 seconds past first contact with an enemy.”
14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock walls and the like stop nothing but your pulse when bullets tear through them.
15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
16. Don’t drop your guard.
17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. Practice reloading one-handed and off-hand shooting. That’s how you live if hit in your “good” side.
18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions don’t (In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.)
19. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.
21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.
22. Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.
23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.
24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than “4”.
25. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. “All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket.” At a practice session, throw you gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later.
26. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of breath, etc.
27. Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.
28. The only thing you EVER say afterwards is, “He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I’m sorry, Officer, but I’m very upset now. I can’t say anything more. Please speak with my attorney.”

Finally, Drill Sergeant Frick’s Rules For Un-armed Combat.

1: Never be unarmed.
2: If you have your hands, your feet, your mind and your Spirit as an American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine or Coastie, you are never unarmed.

As Always,

Stay Vigilant and Be Prepared


Original post

Defensive mindset

Whether or not you choose to carry a concealed firearm, the defensive mindset is the same. It must start with a heightened awareness of your surroundings and a commitment to you own and others safety.

The single most important mindset is avoidance, the only conflict you will ALWAYS win, is the one you don’t have. This is especially important when you choose to be armed, your level of personal responsibility is increased exponentially. You are carrying a destructive device capable of causing great harm in the wrong hands or when improperly used.

I have made the choice to be an armed citizen, a decision I made over 30 years ago. The lessons of restraint and composure that come with this lifestyle are important. In all the time I have carried, I have never had to engage a threat with my firearm. It is extremely important to ALWAYS consider a firearm the choice of last resort. You cannot un-kill someone and you will change your own life forever, if or when you choose to use a firearm in defense of yourself or another.

You need to measure the threat appropriately, the intent of a defensive handgun, is by definition defense. When you engage a perceived threat be sure you are not becoming offensive by this act. For example, when I was much younger I was taking Criminal Justice night classes at our local community college, I used our mass transit system, one of the best in the country at the time. I was standing in the bus shelter after class one night, I was armed as usual, when out of nowhere a young gang member runs up to the shelter wielding a large frame stainless revolver. Now, of course this moved me to orange immediately, as one would imagine, but I stayed composed and ready, and observed his behavior, he simply looked around furtively and jammed the handgun under the bench before running away.

Never once did he become aggressive or threatening to me, now I could have easily over-reacted and escalated this encounter by confronting him with my firearm, but that would have made me the aggressor not him. As it turns out, he returned a short while later, before my bus came, and retrieved his handgun, never once paying much attention to me. I later reported the incident to the police, but keep in mind, as hard as it might be to grasp, this was before cell phones. I called from home, I can still see his face, to this day.

As you can see, we must always consider the threat, or lack of threat, in each and every encounter. Your firearm must ALWAYS be a choice of last resort. We carry to defend ourselves and those we love, always be defensive, not the aggressor.

As Always,

Stay Vigilant and Be Prepared

How do I chose a defensive handgun?

This is one among many questions I get asked by students during my classes. It is a critical decision and deserves serious attention. There are a few critical areas you need to pay attention to when making this decision.

You are betting your life on the choice you make, make it a good one. Whatever handgun you choose needs to meet the following requirements.


The most important trait of a defensive handgun is reliability, by this I mean both the mechanical reliability of the handgun and the ease of operation that means you will reliably be able to make the handgun function properly. Two choices top the list; modern striker fired semi-automatics and double action revolvers. The striker fired semi-autos are on top, due there smaller profile, larger capacity and simple operation. You pull the trigger they fire, you don’t pull the trigger they don’t fire. The double action revolver earns a spot here for many of the same reasons, you pull the trigger it goes bang. It has a limit on capacity and a bit larger profile, but is still a solid choice because of it’s extreme reliability.


This is the measure of the handguns ability to be used in all plausible circumstances related to defensive action. The most important aspect of shootability is the fit to your hand. It is vital that the handgun you choose fits your hand appropriately, a poorly fitting handgun will be difficult to consistently operate, especially under stress.

The first thing you want to look for is the ability to get the handgun

Proper dominate hand position

Proper dominate hand position

centered in the V formed by the web between your thumb and forefinger and your finger is comfortably on the trigger. Be sure there is no gap above the web of your hand and the bottom of the beavertail. It is also vital that the knuckle at the base of your thumb be beside the gun, not under it. If you are holding the gun and find that the top of the grip area is above your knuckle, you need to move your thumb around toward the weak side of the gun. While in this position, your index finger should contact the trigger with its last pad.

Now you must check to see that you can operate the magazine release, slide lock and any safeties or de-cockers with minimal movement of your dominate hand. Pay attention to how well both of your hands fit on the grip simultaneously, this is important, as it provides stability and controllability for your handgun, giving you greater consistency.


Inside the waistband Hybrid Kydex and leather holster

Inside the waistband Hybrid Kydex and leather holster

Your choice of handgun should also consider carryability. You should consider how you dress normally and how easy it would be to conceal the handgun. Lets face it, we probably will not change the way we dress in order to carry. Choosing a handgun that has the appropriate size and weight and holsters that will allow you to carry comfortably is vital. If you aren’t comfortable carrying your handgun, chances are you won’t carry. A defensive handgun in your safe is no more valuable than an empty fire extinguisher at a fire.


My belief is the most effective caliber for a defensive handgun is 9mm. I may get some hate mail because of that statement, but facts are facts. 9mm is smallest caliber that meets the requirements of defensive ammunition. Why would I use the smallest if I can use larger?, you ask. Simply put you will be more accurate and be able to put more shots on target, faster, due to reduced recoil and ease of follow-up shots. The myth of one shot stopping power falls short. If you can’t reliably put multiple rounds on target quickly, you need to reconsider you choice.


Today it is nearly impossible for you to find a handgun that is not defensively accurate, that has meet the previous criteria. In a defensive encounter you will be far less accurate than any handgun suitable for carry.


If you are considering the purchase of a defensive pistol, you need to make a commitmentHandgun Safety Certificate
to learn proper safety and handling, how to properly use the handgun and practice often. You cannot expect to purchase a handgun that makes you a skilled user. This must be earned through proper instruction and diligent practice. Don’t expect that going to the range or quarry and turning money into noise is going to give you the skills to bet your life on. You owe it to yourself and everyone you love to make the commitment to become a safe and skilled shooter.


A reason benchmark is $1000, this should get you a quality defensive pistol ($500-$600), extra magazines or speed loaders, a good holster, some quality defensive ammunition, a couple hundred practice rounds and some instruction. When selecting your practice ammo, be sure to get the same weight bullets e.g. if you use 124gr hollow points, use 124 round nose for practice. This will give you the same feel when practicing.


Any defensive handgun will be a compromise of reliability, shootability, carryability, comfort and other factors. No single handgun is likely to top out in every category for any given individual. Choose your compromises carefully and keep these concepts in mind when you make your defensive handgun purchase.

As Always,

Stay Vigilant and Be Prepared

Welcome to NW Survival LLC – Firearms online, our goal is to provide high quality firearms, instruction and education to the average person at affordable prices. The firearms we select are based on a 3 point evaluation, Cost, Quality and Practicality. We have access to all available non-NFA firearms by request. Our NRA certified instructor teaches all of our classes.

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