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The Classics Reloaded: “Rules For A Gunfight by Drill Instructor Joe B. Fricks, USMC”

1. Forget about knives, bats, and fists. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap – life is expensive. If you shoot inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is cheap – funerals are expensive.

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend. (Bulletproof cover and diagonal or lateral movement are preferred.)

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or full-automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running. Yell “Fire!” Why “Fire”? Cops will come with the Fire Department, sirens often scare off the bad guys, or at least cause them to lose concentration and will…. and who is going to summon help if you yell ”Intruder,” “Glock” or “Winchester?”

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work. “No battle plan ever survives 10 seconds past first contact with an enemy.”

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock walls and the like stop nothing but your pulse when bullets tear through them.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don’t drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. Practice reloading one-handed and off-hand shooting. That’s how you live if hit in your “good” side.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions don’t (In God we trust. Everyone else keeps your hands where I can see them.)

19. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.

22. Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.

23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than ”4″.

25. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. “All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket.” At a practice session, throw your gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later.

26. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of breath, etc.

27. Regardless of whether justified or not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.

28. The only thing you EVER say afterwards is, “He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I’m sorry, Officer, but I’m very upset now. I can’t say anything more. Please speak with my attorney.”

Finally, Drill Instructor Frick’s Rules For Un-armed Combat.

1: Never be unarmed.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Terry April 24, 2019, 9:17 AM

    Study that well. And practice. Get your kids involved in weapons training. They are going to need the knowledge.

  • Chris April 24, 2019, 10:05 AM

    And ALWAYS have one in the chamber.

  • Sam L. April 24, 2019, 10:15 AM

    Remember, you always have room for a knife. Or two.
    I have 3.

  • ghostsniper April 24, 2019, 1:57 PM

    First off, all drill instructors are deliberate assholes, which leads to, that thing having about 50% more words than necessary to get the point across, and about 25% of the balance is silly braggadocio. IOW, such things are only given credence by silly people that rarely take life seriously. If you are concerned this sort of thing, find someone that knows what they are talking about, has walked the walk, then PAY him for some base advice. Notice I said “him”.

    Most men of the west already know these things, having learned them from their fathers and other men in their lives, and live their lives accordingly, passing the information to their male offsprings, as has been done throughout human history. You can’t learn it from a book or website.

  • H April 24, 2019, 6:42 PM

    #23 should be revised to add SITUATIONAL AWARENESS!

    Head up on a swivel as if expecting the boogey man to be hiding in the shadows be-coz one of these days, you’ll be right.

  • Bad_Brad April 24, 2019, 6:56 PM

    Through a somewhat strange turn of events through the Obama years I ended up spending a lot of time with various trainers and ex military personnel. Tactical people. Here’s what I learned. You will fight like you train. If your standing in one spot punching little holes in big pieces of paper your not training. If you go through a shit load of tactical training classes you will eventually throw away 90% of what you’ve been taught and pay attention to two things. A good grip, and a good sight picture. Nothing else matters. FYI, I’ve shot with a bunch of Rangers, a couple Seals. But the best Military guys with a gun are MARSOC. Hands down. Door Kickers.

  • Daniel K Day April 24, 2019, 10:17 PM

    #24 should be a **single** negative, not a double negative, i.e.: … the caliber of which **starts** with anything less than “4”.

  • AesopFan April 25, 2019, 9:49 PM

    “Yell “Fire!” Why “Fire”?”

    Because nobody will come if you yell “chocolate!”


  • william chandler April 30, 2019, 8:49 AM

    Whenever they nasally whine “You don’t NEED a “Weapon of WAR”” read this to them:
    WE pay for THEIR prepping….. as they attack Our RIGHT to keep a semi-automatic rifle
    I’d like to point out …. In order to “feel safe” the politicians “need” 7,000+ nuclear warheads ,,, at least 11 aircraft carrier battle groups and hundreds more ships , how many multiBillion$ F35s, how many Troops “under arms” and tanks, tanks beyond counting. They employ inhumane ILLEGAL arms such as Depleted Uranium, White Phosphorous, and Napalm. The government is spending $700BILLION every year on GUNS. The Liars swear we are “imminent danger” of being overrun by Barbarian Hordes and that we should be terrified and give Them all the money they want, to buy every concievable weapon …..But we are “crazy” to want semiauto weapons to defend ourselves …….. then it surrounds it’s self with 24/7 ARMED bodyguards and WALLS, WALLS, WALLS for THEM, but you are a racist bigot for wanting a wall . …. and even THAT is not enough as they constantly tell they need MORE weapons and BIGGER weapons ….. then tells YOU that YOU are crazy for wanting semiauto weapons …… “they” have hidden bunkers, stocked with tons of food, medical supplies, equipment, all paid for by YOU, but you will not be welcome inside ….. but YOU are a NUT-CASE for prepping.
    Every year THEY are spending $23,400 (borrowed at interest) PER American on GUNS ….. but YOU are the crazy.

  • orgyofthewill.net May 2, 2019, 11:26 AM

    “Above all else, be armed”, wrote Machiavelli.


  • Pete Moss May 4, 2019, 7:40 PM

    Some say “five in the chest is always best” while others say “two in the head to make sure he’s dead”.

  • Flotmorton P Gildersleeve May 5, 2019, 11:28 AM

    Thank you Sgt, Semper Fi and good advice; Capt. USMC, Ret. there will always be those who “know better” but thank you.

  • Rocketman May 5, 2019, 6:01 PM

    29. At the beginning of every possible confrontation always watch your opponents hands. It’s what is in those hands that can kill you.

  • Anonymous May 6, 2019, 3:09 PM

    Never let dead man kill you

  • Casey May 6, 2019, 7:04 PM

    I cannot say that I’ve ever trained for gunfights, other than the type with artillery, mortars, tank main guns, poison gas, and nuclear concussions going off in between the pew, pew, pew of my .22 cal. carbine issued weapon. Thank God that never got tried. Well, I can say that when life has backed me up against a few walls, I have kept a certain level of calm. I hope I have some of my father’s sense of courage as a bulwark, but who knows how that works? It’s not imparted in the blood.

    OTOH, I’ve been scared shitless by unexpected and unknown men in the night, whose presence arrives quickly and/or by surprise.

    This is what the army teaches about courage. The surest way to gather it is to walk with character. A man with a gun is a moral agent – be sure to have character when you go out armed. Judgement helps, and training to be sure. You must hit your target, but layers and layers of training go into that. What about adopting your sights? What about windage and elevation variables? What is the drop rate and profile of your round? Are there weaker shooting positions for this particular firearm? Can you plunge your fire? What is grazing fire? How do you function with another ally? What are your tactics when the fight is 4 on 1?

    If I owned any firearms at all, I’d be asking these questions of myself.