Sunday, July 06, 2008

Books: The Book of Two Guns - The Martial Art of the 1911 Pistol and AR Carbine


Without knowledge and training, you might as well chuck all those fancy guns in the garbage, and "The Book of Two Guns: The Martial Art of the 1911 Pistol and AR Carbine" by Tiger McKee is a neat chronicle of one man's journey to learn how to best employ the 1911 and the AR. The techniques described will transfer to almost any pistol or carbine, but the book centers around the titular guns. It's basically McKee's training diary, written and illustrated by hand.

Now, some of the techniques and doctrines presented here don't work for me, but I saw nothing that could even remotely be considered unsafe or unsound for self-defense, and McKee is careful never to proclaim his way is the best or only way. The diary is full of his observations and advice on all aspects of shooting, and Tiger's trained with some of the best (he's now an instructor). From mindset to presentation to more advanced topics like using cover and lowlight tactics, it's all refreshingly practical and free of the absurd survivalist Rambo-ism you might encounter from something on a gun show book table. Tiger is the real deal, but he also comes across as a nice guy, too.

Of course, even the best book is no substitute for actual hands-on training. And there are some parts, particularly the equipment section, that are probably outmoded; for instance, Tiger recommends plain iron sights on an AR, but I think modern optics have become almost necessary equipment for fighting rifles (as the experience of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan confirms). Still, it's a highly personal and entertaining primer written in a down-to-earth style, and it's well worth picking up if you have any interest in this sort of thing.

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