Running Guns = Fighting Pistols

By John Farnam

Glock 43 Pistol
Glock 43 Pistol

Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO -( Fighting Pistols:

With regard to my last Quip, the three carry-pistols that functioned normally through the thirty-round event I described were:

  • S&W 340PD Revolver (5-shot snubby)
  • G43 (9mm)
  • S&W Shield in 9mm

The seven “carry” pistols that did not do well were all small 380 autoloaders, mostly off-shore manufacturers. Most had never been fired, even once, until that day!

To be sure, all ten pistols were badly neglected and dirty. The three mentioned above ran well regardless.

My friend comments:

“I’m busy! I don't have time for ‘sports’ and most other forms or recreation. I don't shoot recreationally. When I go to competitions and matches, I train, running each stage tactically, using real guns, service ammunition, and genuine concealment gear. I don’t even look at the scoreboard!

My carry guns, pistols and rifles, are all designed and built for serious purposes. Few ‘modifications.’ Most are ‘out-of-the-box.’ I wouldn’t win a typical pistol match with any of them!

What I described was a ‘sporting event.’ Many participants delude themselves into thinking that their ability to hit targets with under-powered ammunition, ungainly guns, carried in ridiculous ‘holsters,’ all while wearing silk pajamas, makes them ‘fighters.’

There is nothing inherently wrong with that lie, so long as they know that they are lying to themselves. When the quaint, collegial, sterile world of match shooting collides with the barbarous world of asocial violence, it is like a formula-one driver having to suddenly compete in demolition derby!

This is no drill!”


For most of us, “The first thing we need is the last thing we want!” We think we want comfort and admiration (even when mostly false). What we need is challenge and struggle! We don’t need to spend our time looking for an excuse to lose. We need to spend our time finding a way to win!

Tough, resourceful, resilient, determined, innovative, skilled, seasoned, prepared. Those are the ones I want on my Team. Delusional, self-absorbed whiners need not apply!

“If we lived in a state where virtue were profitable, common sense would make us saints! But, since we see that abhorrence, anger, pride, and stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice, and thought, perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes” ~ Sir Thomas More (played by Paul Scofield) in the 1966 feature film, “A Man For All Seasons


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc

As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor as well as published author, John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

I am curious to know what weapons were used and if you thought failures were the fault of the weapon or the user.

4 years ago
Reply to  Ft.Defiance

Guns get blamed for a lot of crap that’s really on the operator. Seven firearms that ‘didn’t do well’ ? I guess it’s possible but I don’t think so !

4 years ago

You stated there were 7 firearms that failed and all were 380 caliper. What were the 7 failed brand names. I own a C-43 and several other pistols also a G-42,for my wife’s EDC. If I need she can carry the G-43 and I will carry the G-19.


4 years ago
Reply to  Larry

7 unnamed firearms in .380 that didn’t do well ?!?! That’s a real stretch !