Book Review: Gunfight! An Integrated Approach to Shooting and Fighting in Close Quarters by Rich Nance

Gunfight! Is a good book worth having if you are a serious practitioner of defensive pistolcraft.  Based on my own combatives and close-quarters gunfight training I don’t subscribe to everything the author offers, as I favor some different techniques for certain things, but this is the norm: once an individual travels down the training path they will favor certain techniques over others.  However, Rich Nance is a noted expert on this particular field and everything he offers is sound.  I particularly like his simple and effective approach to handgun retention; the techniques he offers I have worked with in training environments and they stand up. 

As of this writing I have never trained with Rich Nance, and I would certainly like to if the opportunity arises, as he offers classes which address much of what is covered in this book.  But, having trained in close quarters gunfighting techniques with other well-respected authorities on the subject, I did read the book from a perspective of some experience.  I like how Nance favors techniques that are consistently simple and what he offers are principle based techniques, certain movements that cover a wide range or scenarios.  He offers simple and effective techniques that will work with minimal training, as the fact remains that most practitioners of self-defense, even those quite dedicated, don’t spend a lot of time on the niche of contact-distance gunfighting. 

This book does a good job of outlining the fact that, at contact distance, a gunfight is much more a combative issue than a shooting issue.  Nance offers simple and effective techniques for striking and grappling, and simple “Plan A, Plan B” approaches to retaining your handgun, as well as disarming one held by an adversary.  If you are a practitioner of this craft, you should have this book.  With that said, the book itself serves as an excellent manual, but you need to train in these techniques in a force-on-force environment taught by a good instructor.  Obviously, training with Rich Nance himself would probably be ideal, but there are other good instructors in this field as well.  Get the book, then get hands on training in these techniques. 

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