Requisite level of skill

As long as a person can consistently (95% of one shot presentations) hit a target the size of two sheets of paper, stacked in landscape orientation, at four yards, they have the requisite level of marksmanship skill to dominate 99% of personal protection shooting incidents by non-sworn personnel.

Two sheet target

That’s not a popular opinion but after studying over 5,000 Armed Citizen incidents, it’s the conclusion I’ve come to. Here is the Male torso hit zone target sheet.

There are other skills that are more important than marksmanship.


  • Handling a loaded gun without endangering self or others. (Remember Rule #1)
  • Competently and safely loading and unloading a handgun.
  • Safely storing and accessing a handgun, whether it’s on-body or off.
  • Moving with a loaded gun in hand from one place to another.
  • Safely manipulating a loaded gun and flashlight simultaneously.


  • No Shoot/Shoot
  • Intervention
  • Verbal Confrontation
  • Interaction with the POlice

The good news is that the gunhandling skills can be learned without live fire. The decision-making skills can be learned without even having to handle a gun. If I thought people were interested, I’d write a book about it but they’re not so I won’t.

21 responses

      1. HAHA! Hi Doc! Happy Chanukah!

    1. You can run, but you can’t hide! 😉

    2. I’m also interested!

    3. Glad someone finally said this! As a person who has created outcome related training programs I see a lot of the internet marketed training programs as being much to complex and much to detailed for the average person who doesn’t really have any interest in firearms other than self defense. I encourage you to write the book! The field needs a dose o common sense.

  1. Me too! Who the hell wouldn’t be!

  2. I’m interested. Crowdfund it and I will thank you in advance with a donation.

  3. The disparity between reality and what some folks “demand” as a requisite level of skill to “qualify” to exercise your 2A Rights is interesting and telling.

  4. Wait…what? Where in all this is the shiny new gear, the tactical weekend courses, and arguments over how many angels dancing on the head of a pin? Almost sounds like you are saying folks don’t want the unsexy, hard work and study? I know I’m certainly more interested in reading about how not to shoot myself or a loved one during administrative handling than I am about the new John Wick weekend shooting course.

  5. I’m interested. Write the damn book; I’ll pay in advance.
    Rule #1. People don’t know what they don’t know.
    Rule #2. Instruction in the use of firearms is a business which models itself on sports training, emphasizing technique.

  6. Tom Givens new book “Concealed Carry Class: The ABCs of Self-Defense Tools and Tactics” does an excellent job of covering most of these areas

  7. Yeah, that’s quite the tease. You’d find a core group of people who are interested.

    The Decision Making factor is one of the most important, and hardest to train. I’ve found some benefit in photo-realistic targets and FoF, but those are difficult to set up and resource intensive.

    A book like you describe would be a treasure.

  8. I am interested in a book on the decision making piece as well. Long or short, it doesn’t matter, I’m in.

  9. I am certainly interested. For me, it would be most useful if it was written so that I could use it to teach others.

  10. I’m in!

  11. I would be in for multiple copies of that book!

  12. Scott Trowbridge

    A book on training or drill for improving decision making under stress/duress would be awesome!

  13. I agree that people who should be interested are not. I shoot two matches a month, and shoot about 100 rounds in drills twice a week. None of the folks I shoot with are interested in anything other than their match rating. When I ask how many carry every day only 3-5 of 20+ raise their hands. But they all have optics, race guns and thigh holsters worn over tactical pants. Who are these idiots? I’ve been shooting a Shield, Sig 365 and now an Officer model 1911 (which is the best) against race guns and folks 1/3 my age so I don’t place well but I get lots of “real” practice which is why I bother. Life is amazing!

  14. I’m interested. And I’ll buy the book.

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