The Evolution of Modern Combat Handgun Doctrine

  • AUTHOR: mike
  • August 15, 2020
The Evolution of Modern Combat Handgun Doctrine

Most of the guys in my gun club are younger than I am, and they are amazingly un-aware of the evolution in gun handling doctrine in the last 50 years.

When I was learning to shoot, Bill Jordan’s book, “No Second Place Winner” was one of the premier books on practical handgun gunfighting.

Jordan, along with Elmer Keith, Skeeter Skelton and Charlie Askins were my role models when I was learning the handgunning art, back in the 1960s and 1970s.

That was the golden age of the revolver. And revolver doctrine, as taught by those gentlemen, and by trainers at the FBI, called for holsters with open trigger guards.

In close distance shooting we were beginning to pull that log DA trigger as we cleared leather, with the shot breaking as we came level with the target.

There were some differences. The FBI taught to draw and fire from a deep crouch, but Jordan believed that you were faster and more accurate, standing straight up…I agree with Jordan on that.

Back in those days, the hateful expression, “Keep your bugger hook off of the bang sitch.” Wasn’t even a concept.

With DA revolvers, we had our fingers lightly inside the trigger guard all the time…which, regardless of what anyone says, is the best way to handle a double action revolver, because, it shouldn’t be in your hand unless you believe you’ll need to use it quickly.

So what changed?

The move to semi-auto pistols a generation ago made the finger on the trigger, a pretty dicey proposition.  

Also, the popularity of shooting games like IDPA and USPSA led to game-oriented safety rules that were carried into practical training regimes.

Some of that is a good thing, in my opinion. Some of it is not.

For DA revolvers, Jordan-style holsters, or Tom Three Person’s holsters are still the best way to carry.


3 thoughts on “The Evolution of Modern Combat Handgun Doctrine”

  1. I never liked DA until recently when it seems there is comfort in knowing the probability of a fail to function in a revolver is fairly low. I guess I ignore the finger off trigger in DA shooting. Now thing back, I remember those holsters in the gun magazines. A few single action gun holsters I made as the skin tights had triggers exposed and I drew them butt forward, cocking them by their weight as my thumb saddled the hammer. I am not sure why the trigger guard was outside the holster because butt forward your finger never cannot get in the guard easy that way. Besides that, single action.

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