Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Skill Set: Reitz Book

I finally have had time to start reading “The Art of Modern Gunfighting, The Pistol: Volume 1,” by Scott Reitz, and although I’m not finished with it, I going ahead and labeling it as “good stuff,” which means this book is a must have for your personal library.

Reitz is a thirty-year veteran of LAPD, ten of those as SWAT and instructor, and fifteen as the head instructor for the Metro Division. Currently he and his wife Brett run ITTS, which provides outstanding instruction in the art of gunfighting.

The modern technique of the pistol was compiled and introduced to the world by Jeff Cooper. “The Modern Technique Of The Pistol,” written by Gregory Boyce Morrison, with Cooper acting as editorial adviser, provided us with a concise textbook type guide to Cooper’s teachings. Scott and Brett’s book reminds me of Morrison’s work, but with the added insights Scott has gathered during his years on the job, plus additional research on literally hundreds of other shootings. “This book is the product of a lifelong journey that has taken me into many dark places,” Scott states in his introduction. “I have come away from these experiences with profound lessons learned,” he adds, a statement that truly reflects the contents of this work.

Section I of the book tells a little about the fights Reitz was personally involved in on duty. (In volume two of this work he promises to get into more detail about his experiences with LAPD, and having heard a few of these stories from Scott I can tell you now it too will be well worth reading.) Next are sections on various aspects of fights, the use of deadly force, and firearms safety.

Sections V-VII detail the basics of marksmanship, manipulations and the combative mindset. The content is straightforward, easy to understand, and illustrated with plenty of photos, and this material is valuable for beginners as well as experts. One of the best parts of the book for me so far – remember I haven’t finished it yet – is the “Preliminary Notes on Shot Follow-Through.” This critical aspect of fighting is explained in detail here better than anything else I’ve read on the subject, and not just follow through on the aspects of shooting but in relationship to your response to the threat as well.

Keep in mind that fighting is a mental process; you have to be thinking at all times. Your fighting skills include the physical aspects of combat, which requires plenty of practice, but we also need to train the mind to perform under stress. Reading is a great way to gather the insights of instructors that you can’t train with.

I’ve be fortunate enough to have trained with Scott several times, and it’s always a rewarding experience. Whether you’ve trained with Reitz or not this book should be required reading for anyone interested in the art of fighting with firearms.


June 9, 2011 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset

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