Expert Handgun Training

December 28, 2012

RATTENKRIEG by Bob Taubert, published in 2012 by Saber Press.

ISBN 9780977265947

ISBN 9780977265947

First started reading this book back before the elections.  Wasn’t really convinced at the time that crawling through the rubble of a bombed out ghost town, armed with only my trusty pistol would soon become a reality.  The book is very good reading, with lots of pictures and illustrations that make clear the points being discussed.

Bob Taubert was there at the  beginning days when the FBI was forming their soon to be famous HRT (hostage rescue team).  He has trained with British SAS, German GSG9 and U.S. Army Col Charlie Beckwith.  Retired after 23 years as instructor in the FBI,  and now teaches in private security and occasionally writes.

According to Mr. Taubert,

Rattenkreig, or “rat war”, was the German soldier’s term for the vicious close quarter’s fighting that occurred in Stalingrad during the epic World War II battle for the control of that city.  The term was adopted for the title of my CQBP course and this book because it vividly describes both the realities of close quarter pistol battle and the mindset one must develop to prevail in such a fight. Prospective students are advised that this is not a basic course and very little time is spent reviewing rudimentary skills.

Students who participate in training exercises as detailed in this book must have, at the least, a thorough grounding in the basic safe handling skills of pistolcraft.  Some shooting fundamentals and other basic subjects have been omitted from the text as this book has been written for, and is intended to be used by, the experienced, advanced practitioner.”

He also reminds us that, “Firearms training is a dangerous activity that can lead to serious injury or death if not properly and safely performed.  All training must be conducted at approved ranges and under competent supervision.”  That translates into, “if you fall down while reloading between targets and put your next two rounds into your leg, at least you’re at a range where somebody can use  some gauze and a tourniquet on you while you’re passing out and waiting for the ambulance. Dry fire practice, while maybe not very manly, does lessen your probability of bleeding out while practicing in your back yard alone.

Taubert points out that “the pistol is the least effective weapon in our tactical inventory, but it and its caliber should be selected with utmost care.”

His list of the characteristics of a good CQB pistol :

Demonstrated reliability under unfavorable conditions
Corrosion resistant
Non reflective finish
Non slip grip
Lanyard attachment point
Minimum 10 round magazine capacity
Can fire with out magazine inserted
Capable of 3 inch groups at 25 yards

Yes, that’s yards not feet.  You do know how to shoot your pistol out to 50 yards and beyond, don’t you?

Great!  So, my favorite Walther P99QA makes the “A” list once again.

Not everything in the book is about putting lead down range.  There between the stories and drill explanations are short doses of gun fighter mindset.

There are questions you need to ask yourself as you pursue CQB pistolcraft.  To become an effective operator with the handgun here are some concepts every warrior should consider:

First and foremost, you must honestly decide whether you can employ deadly force in defense of yourself and others.

Then you must master the basic handgun and safety skills and be able to execute them on demand under all conditions.

Develop the proper combat/mission mindset.

Strive for consistency in technique.

Perfect practice makes perfect performance

Deal with one target at a time.

For the tactical operator, one-handed shooting skills are absolutely vital.

An operator has to be able to break the shot deliberately when the opportunity presents itself.  This is called “shooting the target in the target’s time”.  The whole idea is to fire the shot as quickly as possible when the target presents itself and not disturb sight alignment while closing with the threat.

For me, one of those “ah-ha!” moments when the origin of the six-second rule is retold by the man that was there:

In a study conducted by SAS, during an attack, if the element of surprise was complete, on average it took six seconds for the first terrorists to recover and react to the diversionary device or explosive breach and attempt to counter the assault.  From this, they determined that they had six seconds or less to breach, enter, clear, and dominate the room.  If a terrorists fails to obey your command to “Don’t move!” or “Get down!” and makes eye contact with you, he is going to fight.

Of all the training drills in this book, my favorite has to be the German Par Cours drill.  The goal is to make 20 shots in 60 seconds from eight different firing positions.  It starts with a 25 yard dash to a barricade 25 yards from two side by side targets.  First make two shots on the targets from prone position as you reach the barricade, then while standing behind the barricade,  make two shots from the right side and two from the left side.  Then rush in to the next barricade, 15 yards from the targets.  This is a low barricade and simulates a parked vehicle.  Make  two shots kneeling from the right side, followed by two shots over the top, a quick reload, then two shots in a kneeling position from the left side of the barricade. Then, move up to a line 10 yards from the targets and double tap both targets.  Finally, move up to 5 yard line and double tap both targets – one-handed.  Total of 20 shots, from eight different positions, with one reload, in sixty seconds or less if you’re good.

GSG9 Pars Cours Drill

When trying to explain the usefulness of such a drill to a few of my potential training companions, it occurred to me that the first barricade in this drill, while envisioned to be nothing more than a door, would be more useful if we substitute a VTAC 9 Hole barricade and add another two targets 25 yards  directly in front of it.  That would add the potential for another 20 shots and a reload  from this position before moving on to complete the rest of the course.  A variation could be made to run some of the course with a rifle and some of the course with  a handgun.  VTAC videos over there on the sidebar.  Made right here in central North Carolina.

VTAC 9 Hole Barricade


3 Responses to “Expert Handgun Training”

  1. Tim Field Says:

    Interesting book, thank you.

    In addition to my military stint, I’ve competed, among other things, in IPSC for over thirty years running courses of fire similar to these.

    I’ve spent years overseas, and while being safety cautious, they don’t go over board with it. Soon in America you are allowed merely to say “bang” at the shooting ranges pointing a plastic toy to the round target while several range officers watch your every move. Only in America it is a must that “All training must be conducted at approved ranges and under competent supervision.” Who is competent?

    Of the SF people, I most enjoyed training with the Israelis. I coud easily beat them in draws and speed shooting, but the rattenkrieg isn’t clearing a holster in 0.40 and completing a Bill Drill at 25 or 50 yards. (Yup, I know how to shoot my pistols beyond 50 yards.) The one thing I learned from my friends in the Eretz, you need to be serious every time you draw your gun, whether dry firing or practicing or for real.

    For example, when I was training with the Border Police’s chief instructor years back. I asked him to demonstrate the “Israeli Draw.” He had his old Star in well-worn leather holster. The targets were A4 size white office papers.

    Suddenly he drew, racked the slide and shot, ziz-zagged to the next position forward, too cover and shot and kept on going and shooting. Then he put the gun to the paper and shot twice.

    I asked why. “I’ve learned that when they don’t have brains, the fight is over.” When he repeated the demonstration, he ended it every time pushing the barrel to the yellow office paper and pulled the trigger twice.

    Made me think hard.

    Thank you for the book suggestion. Ought to be an interesting read.

    Stay safe.


  2. Provided information is very useful.
    It will definitely helps to all viewers, Thanks for sharing!

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