By The Book.
I recently rediscovered a gem in my collection of training materials; “Some Of The Answer, Handgun” by Jim Crews.
Jim Crews showed up on my radar a number of years ago though a tactical maillist (anyone remember maillists?). This is where I learned that he had created a collection of no nonsense manuals for people serious about firearms training.
Jim’s clear communication style came across on the list, so I assumed his manuals would be equally well written. I purchased “Some Of The Answer, Handgun” and “From Behind the Line” and was really impressed with the content and presentation.
I’m a practical person that likes things that work really well in their simplest workable form. These manuals meet that standard! They are hard working documents that deserve a highlighter, handwritten notes in the margin, and sticky notes to mark pages for quick reference. I USE these manuals, not just read them.
The manuals are created with the type of details that serve as a set of life long reminders. I’ve been shooting for 30+ years, attended firearms training and occasionally competing as well. However, I’ve still not mastered the fundamentals to the degree I’d like.
Jim’s manuals serve as guides that help focus my training and practice. They aren’t the only materials I use, but find that most of the time other sources are in tight alignment with Jim’s manuals. (That started out like a Dos Equis commercial)
Before reading “Some Of The Answer, Handgun”, empty your CCW and make it safe for dry fire. Beginning around page 2, you’ll be glad to have the gun at hand as you work through the concepts from your armchair.
Jim states “There is no such thing as an advanced class in any weapons training program, there are just different ways to apply the basics.” (p. ix). I was pretty sure I could come up with a convincing argument that he was wrong and moved on. Ten pages later, I was a lot less confident in my argument.
As Jim takes the reader through a no nonsense breakdown of the correct operation of the handgun, his point becomes clear. In order to make the bullet hit something on purpose, every time, there are basic challenges shooters must consistently overcome. In other words, shooters are never so advanced that they can stop executing the fundamentals on every shot. Great shooters execute the fundamentals exceptionally well.
The author teaches the reader to develop a disciplined system that encompasses all phases of operating the firearm. One of the things I’ve changed in my system is that I always slingshot the slide, never using the slide release.
There’s nothing particularly bad about using the slide release, but the goal is to condition the mind and body to drop the slide effortlessly and without deciding on a method. Pick whatever method you like and stick to it. It is the mastery of each discrete step of operating the firearm that prepares you for the fight.
Jim provides annotated photos to compliment his clear writing style and practical instruction.
Putting Jim’s lessons to work on the range delivers extraordinary results. The target below contains 17 rounds of 230 FMJ out of my Springfield Loaded Black SS Target, which is my CCW. This was shot from 12 yards.
The 2 high rounds had me a little confused – this wasn’t my first target of the day but the first that didn’t have all rounds touch the 2.75” Shoot-N-C. Bringing another of Jim’s books in to the review, I learned a diagnostic item from “Behind The Line”. The sun was continuing its path through the sky, changing my front sight picture. Knuckling down on my focus on the front sight yielded the results you see above.
This is a tough test that validates, in my mind, that Jim’s approach to the firing sequence is right. Try it out – put a small Shoot-N-C or Post-It note on a blank cardboard. Shoot it your way, then try it Jim’s way.
Jim covers all of the key components of the handgun, both pistol and revolver. From fundamental manual of arms to weak side malfunction drills. I’ve shared my copy with a few friends and they have become converts. Fortunately, my copy is signed to me by Jim – they have to return it and get their own!
There is no replacement for training in person, on a range, with live ammo – but this manual comes darn close. Jim has started publishing his books on CD and includes ALL of his books on the same CD – for $29.95. The CD contains the following:
- Some Of The Answer, Advanced Handgun
- Some Of The Answer, Advanced Urban Carbine
- Some Of The Answer, Urban Shotgun
- From Behind The Line, Technical Notes and Commentary
You can find Jim’s CD at Minute Man Resource.
Feel free to share your comments and I’ll be glad to answer any questions.