I previously posted “Louis Awerbuck Remembered” (HERE). (Click on the book above for the link to the Kindle at Amazon).   I wrote there I might have more gems to relate.   As promised:

  • If you have the time, go for the potentially most effective target area. If you don’t, get whatever meat and bone you can get, and maintain continuity of fire until the deadly force threat is gone.
  • When you dance with Death, you’d better make sure you and the orchestra are working off the same page of sheet music.
  • You’re either a gunsmith/armorer or you aren’t. Merely inserting a Dremel Tool into a male forepaw doesn’t automatically make you a ‘smith – all it usually does is morph you into a firearms-destroying demon.
  • You need to check your surroundings after dumping your adversaries, but in battle you’d better slow down your physical gyration and antics to the pace where your cognitive processes can keep track of what your panic-stricken eyeballs are photographing.
  • Unless you’re Mother Theresa, Sun Tzu, or your late father, remember that silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
  • Let’s face it: – how many different ways can a human press a rifle trigger, speed-load a pistol, or apply basic strategy and tactics concepts? Don’t waste a lifetime scanning a hundred metres ahead when the secret is in full view inches in front of your nose.
  • Since there are no guarantees, all you can do is roll the dice, select the best potential equipment for the job, observe Rule Four, and pray a lot.
  • Sometimes zero can be defined as nothing, sometimes it can mean everything.
  • Yes, you often go to the cinema for escapism and to take a break from reality, but for the ever-hungry student, sometimes you walk right into art imitating life with shocking accuracy. And knowledge is the staff of life, no matter where and how you obtain it. See you in the movies.  (I learned Awerbuck too was a fan of “The Shootist” and “Unforgiven.”  See my prior post, HERE).
  • But while there’s always room for improvement, and advances to techniques, the trick is to work out which system works best for you, and then stick with it, whether it’s fashionable or not. It’s your choice, your gunfight, and your life or death in a gunfight.
  • Even though there are two definitions of the word “feet”, whether you’re an accomplished gunfighter or a centipede, 21 feet isn’t enough.
  • The difference between gunfighting in bright versus poor ambient light conditions is like the difference between night and day….
  • Gunfighting requires a hundred percent concentration on only one thing at a time. And that is achievable for most people most of the time – assuming you don’t run out of luck or ammunition.
  • Learn from the mistakes of others. You’ll never live long enough to make them all yourself.
  • Familiarity breeds contempt. It also, paradoxically, breeds a fight-winning firearms mechanical manipulation foundation.
  • If you’re on your own and it’s not something for which you’re prepared to die – DON’T DO IT! Maybe you’re a gunfighting lone wolf from hell who can huff and puff and blow down the three little piggies’ house. But the odds are that you’re going to lead yourself like a lamb to the slaughter.. Mutton ventured, mutton gained….
  • The bad news is that there aren’t any “basic” or “advanced” gunfights – they all suck. The biggest mistake is thinking that once you can handle a firearm proficiently, you’re ready for battle.
  • There’s an old axiom that states that shooting is ninety percent mental – probably stemming from the fact that — shooting is ninety percent mental.
  • If you, on occasion, blame yourself for your poor marksmanship, the good news is that it may actually be your equipment at fault. Check both the weapon and the ammo. If you always blame your equipment, face facts – it’s probably you.
  • So if you are a professional warrior (or, for that matter, have ever considered the fact that you may wind up in a force-on-force confrontation), study both The Book of Five Rings and The Art of War.
  • Don’t engage in physical force if you don’t have to. Use overwhelming force if you have to engage. Disengage when your enemy knows he’s beaten.
  • No, nobody really “fights like they train” – because the training range can never really duplicate a battlefield. It’s what Bruce Lee called “dry land swimming”. You do the best you can to replicate it – the rest is all in the laps of the gods.
  • Listen to the sages, lose the T-shirt.
  • I miss you, Dog.  (HERE)

Awerbuck’s “story” attached to each quote is a stand alone lesson, interesting, and downright fun to read.  Trust me, the read will be $10 very well spent.

This entry was posted in Review, Training by Steven Harris. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steven Harris

Steve Harris is an experienced attorney (member of Florida Bar, 1979) who has represented federal agents and local LEOs in duty related matters. He has written and lectured about officer involved shootings, self-defense, and use of force law, including "Stand Your Ground." Steve has been a seasoned and active competitive handgun shooter for over 20 years.


  1. Thank you for the sage wisdom. I’m a little confused on the t shirt comment though.

    • Here’s a bit more of that particular Awerbuck entry, should explain what he meant:
      “Like many sagacious comments, the wisdom is buried in humorous words – but is also deep-rooted in battle experience. And unlike the many mindless “I thought of something cute, now buy my printed T-shirt” slogans, you can actually learn something from experienced people. You have two choices: – either learn from sages’ experience, or be taken for a sucker. If you’re willing to admit that you’re not Heaven’s Gift to Gunfighting, study the words of the Wise. If you just want to look cool, buy the T-shirt. Think about it. If you allow a car dealer to put his sticker and license plate frame on your new vehicle, you’ve just paid somebody to be a moving advertising billboard for his business – not to be a safer and more proficient driver.”

      Awerbuck, Louis (2013-04-01). Plowshares Into Swords: Musings of a Different Drummer (Kindle Locations 6578-6585). Louis Awerbuck. Kindle Edition.

Comments are closed.