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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent manual of self-defense
From the title, one might think that this is just another book about the mechanics of loading, aiming and firing a pistol or revolver, of which there are many examples on the market today. This book is much more, however. The first half is more about the "why" of defensive shooting with the "how" very well presented in the second half. There are...
Published on August 31, 2000 by Kirk Webb

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money
It's an 'ok' read, but i've gathered much more information from other sources. I read this book before attending Farnam's three day course, and while it was helpful for taking the course and learning some of his methods, it is fairly redundant information that can be found in just about every other shooting book.
Published 14 months ago by Jeff Blyth


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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent manual of self-defense, August 31, 2000
By 
Kirk Webb (Boulder, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning (Paperback)
From the title, one might think that this is just another book about the mechanics of loading, aiming and firing a pistol or revolver, of which there are many examples on the market today. This book is much more, however. The first half is more about the "why" of defensive shooting with the "how" very well presented in the second half. There are excellent chapters on the legal justification of using lethal force, as well as practical aspects of self-defense situations such as how to interact with the police afterwards. What are the common physical reactions that self-defense shooters suffer? Mr. Farnam lists and describes them. How much do you tell the responding officers after a shooting, and what are the pitfalls for you? Mr. Farnam covers these in detail.
Coverage of the draw from a holster, grip and stance, as well as loading and unloading, are covered in exhaustive detail, with separate sections for different models. Revolvers? Manual decockers? Colt Government models? Double Action Only? All covered clearly and thoroughly. Lots of pictures add clarity also.
For anyone who wishes for a worthy successor to Massad Ayoob's "In the Gravest Extreme", an excellent book that desperately needs updating, this is it, in my opinion. No longer do I have to recommend Ayoob's classic with the admonition "just ignore the firearm descriptions; they're way out of date". Now I can just recommend John Farnam's handgun book with no hesitation. I think it will be a classic, too.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Anyone Interested In Personal Defense, September 1, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning (Paperback)
John Farnam has created in this book an encyclopedia of information for the student of personal defense. John Farnam is recognized as a world-class firearms instructor. A survivor's perspective and years of teaching experience have given him the tremendous ability to analyze, distill and describe the latest advances in defensive training. Although Farnam has written two previous books on this topic, this one contains much new information and is anything but an update.
Much of the lifestyle and tactical advice in the book applies to everyone. Even to those who do not own firearms. The guidance on interaction with police officers and the criminal justice system alone is worth the book's cost. Much of this information cannot be had from any other source.
John Farnam brings an engineer's perspective to the technical descriptions and analysis of all common handgun action types. His distilled non-diagnostic approach to handgun manipulation is widely accepted and taught within the law enforcement and civilian training communities.
This book is a must read for anyone who is even remotely interested in personal defense. The beginner will gain a comprehensive and easily understood foundation. Serious students will benefit from all of the new advances.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed information on defensive handgun operation, March 2, 2004
By 
Seppo Vesala (Helsinki, - Finland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning (Paperback)
In this book, established and well known firearms instructor, John Farnam gives very detailed instruction on how to operate handgun in defensive purpose. There is also some discussion about tactics, and even of such less-discussed subjects (in this context, anyway) as information security and the like.
The book starts with chapters on mental toughness, personal tactics, law and other "mental skills". There is also chapters on different defensive weapons, first aid for gunshot victims and instructions on dealing with police in case you have to defend yourself with a firearm. This is interesting stuff, although I found it a bit strange that this information was the fist thing in the book. Usually, these things are discussed only after instructions on how to operate the gun. But it is a matter of opinion if this arrangement is good or not. What really strike me as odd, was that Farnam seems to have somewhat paranoid attitude towards police and legal system. That is especially strange concerning that Farnam has a backround in law enforcement.
After that there is a very detailed instruction on different handgun operating systems, mechanical systems and general technical details of a handgun. For someone interested in technical details, this might be interesting reading. But I suspect that an average reader is not this much technically oriented, and therefore this information is too detailed for a book like this. After all, I suspect that there are not that many people who go to a gun store to buy "a rotary barrel handun for self defence", rather they might ask for a Beretta, for instance. Therefore I feel that most of there pages devoted for technical detail, would have been spent better if they had been used for discussing tactics.
The last part of the book handles the basic operation of handgun. As with the previous part, the information is very detailed. However, in this subject there is really need for detailed information, as not all people carrying a handgun get hands-on instruction from a qualified instructor. Therefore, this part of the book can be recommended for a novice shooter.
If you are a novice handgunner, and are buying only one book on the subject, this fills the bill very well. In addition to instructions on basic handgun operation, there is lots of material on laws and other aspects of the issue. If the mechanics section does not interest you, you can always skip it. What really bothered me was that Farnam has somewhat paranoid attitude towards society in general, and law enforcement in particular. But you can decide yourself, how you feel towards those things. For more advanced student of defensive handgunning, this book can still offer some interesting pieces of information.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Farnam nails it with this second edition of his classic text, December 14, 2005
"When it's least expected, you're elected."

John Farnam travels the world, teaching firearms skills to the military, law enforcement and other interested citizens. I've had the good fortune of getting to participate in John's classes for about a decade now, and so have seen his techniques evolve over the years. This book is the latest compilation of his teachings.

John has refined and augmented his book "The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning" in this second edition with lots of new material and photos. One would expect topics such as safety and gun handling to be covered in a defensive firearms book, and they are. However, John also covers the moral and ethical consequences of defensive firearms use and the important aspects of interacting with the police and the judicial system. Also discussed in depth are handgun operating systems, administrative and tactical operations for each system, ammunition performance, and more.

If you're looking for a text that covers about everything to do with defensive shooting, this is the one book you need to have on your bookshelf.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Huge Amount of Information, March 20, 2007
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This book covers a wide range of topics and contains a huge amount of information. If you are only going to buy one book on the defensive use of a handgun, this would probably be my recommendation.

Farnam covers many areas that rarely appear in similar books, i.e. first aid for gunshot victims and interacting with Law Enforcement Officers. Many of the chapters are very interesting and Farnam's writing style is easy to read. In my opinion, the book would be much better if it were organized differently. Some of the technical data and definitions could have been moved to an index in the back. There are several chapters that are difficult to read and go into excessive detail.

Overall a worthwhile book to read and an even better reference to keep on your bookshelf. I can easily see myself going back to this book in the future and reading selected chapters (i.e. Trigger Control) when my memory needs to a refresher.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New edition available, December 18, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning (Paperback)
This edition has been superceded by a Dec 2005 Second Edition.

Amazon has it; search for the title and Second Edition.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff, But Not as Good As the Real Thing., October 24, 2006
By 
JP (Northern California) - See all my reviews
This book is an excellant introduction to the world of defensive handgunning. The book says what needs to be said to get the newbie oriented properly and fundimentally educated on the issues at hand; a Journeyman effort in this genre.

What's frustrating about this book is that John Farnam is far more than Journeyman in person...he's a true Master with teaching and inspirational abilities that do not translate to the printed page. I recommend that you buy and read the book, but know that you're only getting half a loaf. To get the other half, the best half, you need to go and train with John in person.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete and Covered, June 4, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning (Paperback)
This book covers all the areas of defensive handgun use. It is not difficult reading but it does really completely cover the subject. It is an excellent book. I would strongly recommend this book. One of the most complete texts on the subject. If you have an interest in this area and want to improve your skills and knowledge. Buy this book. 5 bold stars!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Gun Handling for the Serious Minded, March 2, 2004
This review is from: The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning (Paperback)
I have read this work and have seen Mr Farnam in action on the firing line many times. He is a no nonsense instructor with a sharp presentation that stays with the students for a long time. His ability to break down the essentials of handgunning for the beginner and the advanced practitioner is inspiring. I refer to his notes often when teaching my own classes. He has few peers in this field and many should pay some attention to how he conducts classes and imparts knowledge in a pragmatic and comfortable way. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning solid handling of the handgun for self protection.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to marksmanship and gun-handling, July 4, 2003
By 
C. J Rives "pyrolyzer" (Amarillo, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning (Paperback)
This is Farnam's basic level book. It is an excellent introduction to gun selection, marksmanship, and gun-handling. It's not a book on tactics (His earlier book The Street Smart Gun Book was; if that's what your looking for). Farnam is a highly regarded instructor with real-world experience. This book is well-written and formatted well. The illustrations and photos are very clear.
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The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning
The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning by John S. Farnam (Paperback - Aug. 2000)
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