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A Must-Read for the Serious Gun Carrier
on November 12, 2003
For the hard-core, dedicated gun carrier, Massad Ayoob has writen StressFire, subtitled Volume I of Gunfighting for Police: Advanced Tactics and Techniques.
The first thing to strike you about this book is the absolutely awesome cover photo capturing the vortex-like fireball as Ayoob triggers one round of Federal .357 Magnum 125-grain jacketed hollowpoint out of a 4-inch barreled Smith & Wesson Model 13 revolver. Muzzle flash provides the only illumination for the photo. This shot was taken, obviously, before the era of flash-retardant powders greatly reduced the super-flamethrower effect of many .357 Magnum loads, including the Federal 125-grainers.
StressFire is a book on gunfighting. In it Ayoob puts forth the techniques he believes work best, based on having debriefed hundreds of gunfight survivors. It's good stuff. Ayoob looks into this controversial topic with rare insight. He was one of the first well-known instructors, for instance, to condemn the Weaver Stance as a combat technique, recommending instead a modified isosceles. Read this book, see if you can argue with his logic.
Massad Ayoob is a wonderfully articulate writer, with extremely strong opinions. Like his fellow gunwriter and instructor Jeff Cooper, he's the sort of larger-than-life personality that attracts both devoted followers and sworn enemies. Just to make it clear where I come down on the topic, I've trained with Mas Ayoob, I've read his articles and books for 20-plus years, I like the guy. But whether you love him or hate him, there's one fact that's undeniable: no one can honestly say he's done more to provide good, solid information on the use of the defensive handgun to the average citizen than Massad Ayoob.
Do I agree with everything in this book? No. Every highly trained gunperson is going to have their own repertoire of preferred techniques, some of which might differ from what Ayoob puts forth in StressFire. And that's fine. I will say, however, that in order to have an informed opinion on the topic of gunfight survival, StressFire is one of the books you simply must have read.