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Combat Shooting with Massad Ayoob

Ben Stoeger

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Few names are as well known in firearms publications as Massad Ayoob. So after picking up “Combat Shooting” with Massad Ayoob my expectations were pretty high.

Combat Shooting is not really what I expected. It is not a tightly organized book that covers all the topics one might hope for. It is instead a collection of previously published material that seems to be loosely connected together into 5 chapters covering a range of topics. There is a chapter on mindset, learning combat shooting, three gunfighters (a profile of 3 famous gunfighters), competition as training, and choices (controversial topics).

Since this material has already been published you may have seen some of it before. That is kind of annoying since nothing on the cover of the book indicates this is essentially a “greatest hits” volume.

Previously published or not, many sections of the book are unbelievably compelling. There were lessons and interesting factoids in the “three gunfighters” section. Some of the discussion in there of what happens under stress and aimed fire and such is absolutely timeless.

Some parts of the book absolutely fall flat. I really did not care for “The Martial Art of Combat Shooting” article. That isn’t really all that bad though, because a few pages later you are into a brand new article.

All of that having been said, there are some problems with this format. Some of the information was hopelessly out of date. By way of example, the description of IPSC shooting had factual errors because it was written so long ago. The information was not corrected with the release of this book, and for the money I feel that it should have been.

There are other problems as well. Due to some of the articles being more than a decade old and some being new, it seems like some things are lost to the reader. The description of IPSC shooting includes a beautifully written and extremely interesting description of a match that took place 15 years ago. The IDPA section contains an equally good walkthrough of the 2010 nationals. It seems to me this is like comparing an apple to an expired orange.

So what we have here is a bit of a mixed bag. I am certain pretty much everyone interested in the topics presented in the book will find something interesting and new. That having been said, this is a lazy effort of a book. Information that is out of date should have been updated. The chapters (made up of a few articles) don’t flow very well. Some of the pictures don’t really seem to go along with any of the text. All of those problems are extremely irritating.

The verdict on this one is simple. If you are a maniac for this sort of information, you are going to buy it no matter what. That having been said, there is other stuff on the market from the same author that is quite simply much better. I would look elsewhere for Ayoob writings first. If you still cannot get enough, this book may be worth checking out.

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Good to seeing you are broadening your horizons. I don't read Ayoobs stuff anymore. He has made a name for himself, as a writer. I have not looked at this book, but I guarantee one of the shooters will be Jim Cirillo, a legendary NYC cop. Cirillo was a cool gun. I think Ayoob is off. Ever since he said that having a weapon mounted light was the same as pointing a gun at someone, I decided that he hadn't really explored the various guns and light combos. It is very easy to carry at gun at low ready and not point the gun at anyone, and still illuminate the scene. He is a paid expert. I loathe paid experts. They are paid to provide testimony that is beneficial to their clients. Ayoob provides zero for the competitive shooter and has been influential in keeping law enforcement from embracing IPSC and USPSA in greater numbers. He has been noticeably silent in bad shooting-Diallo case in NYC, Sean Bell in NYC. NYC cops routinely shoot other NYC cops that are undercover. Ayoob never goes near this stuff. Nobody does. Keep reading, you will get there.

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I am not exactly broadening my horizons right now. I have been reading all this stuff for years; I just don’t post about it that often. :)

His writings did a lot to push me towards competitive shooting… but he didn’t push me towards IPSC (big surprise). Most of the stuff he writes regarding competitive shooting is geared towards criticizing IPSC. It is fine to criticize stuff I just don’t feel like he is up to date on the current equipment and rules situation in the sport.

I don’t agree with everything he writes or even enjoy everything, but he has written some stuff that is absolutely fantastic. Some of the techniques in his other books really did help me learn to shoot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I look at his materials just to see his bad toupee. His stuff is out of date and he just seems to rehash it in some other form.

+1, generally out of date, rehashed, and will often flip on issues depending upon which magazine he is "writting" for.

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