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P1 Book Review: Building a Better Gunfighter by Richard Fairburn

The book Building a Better Gunfighter  is more than a book. It is a unique accomplishment. Dick Fairburn has managed to write a book full of rock-solid tactics and techniques for preparing to win gunfights, winning gunfights, and then surviving the aftermath of gunfights. This in itself does not make this accomplishment unique. What makes the book so unique is that it can be picked up and read by military gunfighters protecting our freedoms, law enforcement gunfighters protecting the public, and civilian gunfighters protecting their family, hearth, and home. It can be read by the people who train these gunfighters as well.

I rate this book a solid code yellow! I am not referring to Jeff Cooper’s “Color Code,” which is explained in the book, as it should be. I am referring to the fact that, as a trainer, when I read a book and see something that I like — something that is wise, usable, prolific, or new, I highlight it in yellow. My copy of this book is marked yellow front to back. The yellow in this book rivals my copies of “On Killing,” by Grossman (who writes the forward in this book) and the Street Survival Series by Charles Remsberg.

For example I marked in yellow the quote of retired Navy Seal Herschel Davis, who said, “In a gunfight, you will not rise to the occasion, you will descend to the level of your training.” I also marked the quote by Marshall Wyatt Earp, who knew a little somethin’ somethin’ about gunfights. Wyatt said, “Speed is fine, but accuracy is final. You must learn how to be slow in a hurry.” Another of my favorites was Winston Churchill’s comment, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

The subtitle of this book is the theme explained and reinforced throughout: “Improving Marksmanship, Mechanics, and Mindset.” The author devotes a great deal of time explaining how to improve on each of the Ms.

Fairburn has an unfettered passion for helping honorable modern gunfighters prevail. He has put that passion into his writing and has written a book — a work with grist to serve as the mortar for building a better gunfighter. If you are a gunfighter, or the trainer of gunfighters this book is a worthwhile read.

One last quote from the book came from the movie, “The Patriot” and the character Benjamin Martin, who was a composite character based on the real warrior patriots Daniel Morgan and Francis Marion. In one scene in the movie, Martin was about to do battle alongside his young sons. They were trying to free his eldest son from some British Soldiers, who had captured him and were leading him to his place of execution. Martin prayed as he took aim at the commander of the British column, “Lord make me fast and accurate.”

Reading the book will not make you fast and accurate. It will however, tell you how to help yourself and others become fast and accurate, when someone’s life depends on it and there will be no time to pray until the smoke clears.

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