• Randy England

Book Review: The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning, John Farnam


The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning, 2nd Edition, John Farnam

The second edition of The Farnam Method of Defensive Handgunning was published in 2005. Mr. Farnam starts by introducing himself. He is the president of Defense Training Institute, Inc. and has been teaching for over thirty years. He currently teaches his courses and works with the Park County Sheriff’s Department in Park County Colorado. He teaches police departments, federal and state agencies, and even foreign governments. He is a Vietnam War Veteran. He retired as Major in the U.S. Army Reserve. After introducing himself, he moves on to discuss ways to help those avoid potential threats sooner by being alert, having plans in place for potential occurrences, and most of all to be decisive.

John describes some ways one’s body might react when faced with a deadly encounter. He then describes the stages that one will go through after faced with a deadly encounter. If lethal force is needed to protect oneself, Mr. Farnam describes the zipper technique with your firearm as being a very effective way of stopping the threat. He then provides advice on what to do following a lethal force event if one is put into that situation. He illustrates many stories of occurrences that shape why he uses certain techniques. This helps the reader decide if this technique might be useful or not for them in their life. Mr. Farnam touches on less lethal options and elaborates on different types of oc sprays and covers many different types of batons to give the readers ideas for other useful tools to carry. He describes ways to interact with police and how best to answer their questions to best protect yourself. He describes to the readers, different types of felonies and how the court system works. He describes four conditions defensive firearms can be stored in. He describes in great detail the five types of mechanical systems used in handguns. It was very interesting to get a step by step breakdown of how each system works mechanically.

John Farnam breakdown the different stances and grips shooters use with handguns. He is in favor of the Weaver stance for a few different reasons. This stance keeps the handgun farther from the attacker and still in a condition that one could shoot from the retention position. This stance puts the shooter’s dominant forearm directly behind the gun, unlike the Isosceles stance. In a Weaver stance, the shooter has better balance because their feet are bladed. In the Isosceles stance, the shooter is more open to the risk of either being pushed over or pulled down depending on which direction they dispersed most of their weight. Afterwards, John goes on to describe what a proper draw should look like. After finishing up with technique, John explains what he prefers in a hollow point and why. To wrap up the book he writes how important the Second Amendment is. I like that he elaborates that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with possessing firearms for sporting purposes or recreation. The Second Amendment is to protect the free society from the government.

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