In the upcoming 2014 issue of Complete Book of Handguns, author Massad Ayoob takes you through the reality of gunfights, as learned through history—not through TVs or movies. He writes, “There are many myths floating around out there in the world of armed self-defense. Some are wishful thinking—the sound of whistling past the graveyard. Some are sincere beliefs that merely lack a foundation of truth. And some are generalities that may not apply in specific situations.”

The first myth on the docket? “If you can’t do it with six, you can’t do it at all!” For this, Ayoob counters, “Alas, that’s not always the case. Sometimes you can’t do it with six, but you can end the deadly threat with, oh, seven…or eight…or 19…Or maybe 33. Back when the only state policemen carrying autoloaders were those in Illinois, with all the rest packing six-shooters, Illinois State Trooper Ken Kaas got into a shootout with a gunman armed with a semi-automatic shotgun. Each was using his vehicle, successfully, for cover. Midway through the firefight, the gunman suddenly stood up and left his cover, rushing toward Trooper Kaas with his shotgun up and a wolfish grin on his face. Ken shot him in the midriff and the criminal fell. It was over.”

This is only the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about real-world gunfights and how you can best prepare yourself to come out on top, check out the Complete Book of Handguns 2014, available on newsstands and digitally December 31, 2013. To subscribe, go to

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