March 2, 2015

Surviving A Gunfight with Lt. Bob Stasch of the Chicago PD

Our friend Darrin Cook over at Big Stick Combat has a great blog where he brings many great perspectives and opinions to the martial arts self defense realm.  He is a realist and seems to have common sense hence why he often posts about 21st century combat; ie. gun defense. 

It has been my experience that the overwhelming majority of folks involved in the martial arts have about 0-5% knowledge base when it comes to guns.  That is an all encompassing statement (obviously I am ignoring variable demographics) but in all reality the majority of people I run across have not even fired a weapon before let alone know what to do if faced with an armed opponent (weapons are more and more prevalent in assault cases).  So when Darrin shares a great clip like this one I tend to listen and learn. 

Lt. Bob Stasch has survived  14 gun fights in his nearly 35 years of service on the Chicago Police force.  Few individuals have such experience and are alive to speak of it.  I have included the video interview and also provided the highlights from the interview (thanks to Darrin):



  • Go for head shots instead of center-of-mass shots, especially at very close range, where most gunfights occur.
  • Practice shooting a 6-inch paper plate. If you can hit the plate, you can hit the head.
  • Most of his gunfights were under 12 feet.
  • Train for instinctive, point shooting instead of aimed shooting.
  • In most instances, your off hand is occupied doing something else –be prepared to shoot one-handed.
  • Carry a minimum of 2 extra magazines.
  • Carry a backup weapon in case your gun malfunctions or you’re disarmed.
  • Lieutenant Stasch likes a lightweight .38 revolver as a backup.
  • He carries a Sig Sauer P220 in .45 because of the feel in the hand “The key to being a good handgun shooter is to have a weapon that’s an extension of your hand. Don’t get the gun that people recommend –get the gun that feels right in your hand. Go to a gun store and pick up every gun with your eyes closed, pick the one that feels like a 6th finger.”

 Lt. Stasch's findings are congruent with the NYPD's SOP 9 study on combat cases: click here to be redirected.

Food for thought here no matter what your opinion of firearms is.  Are you prepared? 

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