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Surgical Speed Shooting: How To Achieve High-Speed Marksmanship In A Gunfight Format Kindle
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In this book Stanford takes high-speed gun handling and marksmanship techniques that saw their genesis in IPSC (the International Practical Shooting Confederation, simulated gunfighting competition) and uses them as the basis for his recommended self-defense shooting methods. Kind of the best of both worlds there. High-speed, precision gun handling is the serious IPSC shooter's forte. It only makes sense, if you want the best techniques available to shoot fast and straight in a real-world emergency, you apply methods developed, and used, by the best practical pistol shooters.
Stanford's recommended techniques are built around the Modern Isosceles stance. In a clever play on Jeff Cooper's Weaver-centric "Modern Technique of the Pistol," Stanford refers to the Modern Isosceles as the "Post-Modern Technique of the Pistol." Also recommended are the straight-thumbs method of gripping a handgun, so identified with IPSC that many people call it "the IPSC grip." Stanford understands things about the subtleties of this grip technique I've never seen discussed in a book before. I only knew them myself by piecing together things I've learned during years of reading on the topic, and personal instruction from some of the best firearms trainers on Earth.
Particularly impressive is Stanford's instruction on trigger control. The method he recommends, of taking up the slack, prepping the trigger, firing the shot, hitting the trigger reset and re-prepping the trigger while the gun is still in recoil, is one of two techniques used by advanced-level shooters (the other being "trigger slapping"). In my experience, trigger control is the area of marksmanship in which the serious student is least likely to find competent instruction...because most firearms instructors don't really understand the concept, and can't execute it themselves. That's not the case with Andy Stanford.
Because this book is concerned with self-defense shooting, in places the pure efficiency of a technique has been sacrificed for perceived tactical superiority. For instance, most decent IPSC shooters fire from an almost upright position with only a bit of forward lean; Stanford by contrast prefers a much more forwardly aggressive body posture in case you have to resist being bowled over by a charging attacker. Also, when describing his recommended draw stroke, Stanford elects to flag the support hand high and flat against the chest during the first part of the draw, staging it to execute contact distance hand-to-hand combat techniques, if necessary. From the standpoint of pure speed, of course, it's faster to hold the hand slightly away from the body, ready to accept the gun. So there has been some tinkering with the basic techniques to make them more "tactical."
Surgical Speed Shooting is touted in Paladin Press literature as providing "truly advanced techniques for grip, stance, aiming, and follow-through." And that's true, if by "truly advanced" you mean "based on the best techniques out there." On the other hand, there's little here that the best IPSC shooters in the world didn't figure out 20-plus years ago. What makes this book valuable - and make no mistake, I consider this a very valuable book - is that, more so than anything else I've ever read, it gathers those best techniques between the covers of one slim volume, and presents them in a fashion the average shooter can understand.
I especially like the author's attitude: He tells his opinions on the correct techniques, then gives his justifications, but he doesn't force his opinions to the reader. For example, he is an Isosceles man, but still recommends a reader to attend different instructor's courses; even to those who teach Weaver, and tells everyone to find out what technique works best for him.
The reason this book is worth 5 stars is that it doesn't try to cover every aspect of combat, but rather focuses on shooting techniques, and does exellent work at that. I much rather read few exellent books on different aspects of combat, than several mediocre books that try to cover it all.
Just about only downside to this book it it's name. I almost didn't buy the book, because the name indicates that the book is about competitive combat shooting, not real life combat.
In fact, I enjoyed the book so much that I enrolled in his class of the same title. EVERYTHING became even more lucid. He's highly intellectual (and it shows in this book), witty, full of energy and extremely precise. The result? I'm easily twice the shooter I was prior to taking his instruction.
If you only read one book of this type in your life I cannot recommend this book any higher. Same for his Surgical Speed Shooting class. They are both simply outstanding.
Thank you, Andy!
The second half of the book is really full of gems. I particularly liked Stanford's treatment of one-handed shooting. He points out that a very likely reason you'd have to shoot one handed is because you're fending off blows, wrestling, or fighting with the other hand. He give that topic a good treatment. The photos in that chapter tell a lot too.
Stanford is part of a current new wave of firearms instructors. This wave is taking a realistic approach to shooting as a fighting skill. They acknowledge that you're likely to be scared, shaky, and uncoordinated when you actually have to use a pistol to defend your life. Stanford and these other new instructors are teaching simple techniques that you can use when you're gasping for air and at wits end.
Gunhandling (administrative and tactical) skills are discussed with the focus on the self-loader (Glock is the predominant pistol pictured), while wheelgun skills are, happily, not left out. Presentation and ready positions are also described well. I found it interesting that he has a entire chapter devoted to one-handed shooting technique -- a valid topic since we're talking about combat pistol shooting.
I had been to school, been indoctrinated, espoused Weaver, and thought anybody who shot Isosceles was an unwashed heathen. Then, after opening my mind a little, a whole new world opened up with this book. Stanford describes his own journey from Gunsite-trained Weaver shooter to Modern Isosceles proponent and argues effectively for Iso's more advanced techniques. This book is an eye-opener and I recommend it.