Bibliography for GURPS Tactical Shooting
Appendix: Research Material
This section lists a wealth of sources if you want to delve further into the subject matter. Much of the material allows you to better visualize the methods discussed in Tactical Shooting.
Books and Manuals
The selected books provide useful reading and usually include illustrations of how to do it.
Applegate, Rex. Kill or Get Killed (Paladin, 1976). The first edition was written in 1943 and mainly summarized what (then) OSS Lieutenant Applegate had learned from Fairbairn and Sykes about Point-Shooting (as well as unarmed and knife combat). The fifth and final edition from 1976 doesn't add substantial detail on firearms techniques, but includes a lot of other interesting material, such as TL6-7 gun selection advice. The USMC adopted it in 1991 as instructional textbook FMFRP 1280.
Applegate, Rex and Janich, Michael. Bullseyes Don't Shoot Back (Paladin, 1998). An updated discussion of Point-Shooting in response to the rise of the Modern Pistol and Practical Sports Shooting styles.
Cassidy, William. Quick or Dead (Paladin, 1993). Essentially unmodified new edition of the 1978 classic on Point-Shooting. It has almost everything you need to know about the style, including an academically researched history and many illustrations and hints for how to do it.
Cunningham, Eugene. Triggernometry – A Gallery of Gunfighters (University of Oklahoma Press, 1996). Reprint of the original from 1934. It introduces the exploits of many famous Old West gunmen, narrated by those who knew them or knew people who knew them. This doesn't necessarily make it historically accurate, but much of it rings true. It includes descriptions of commonly used shooting tricks and techniques, as well as TL5-6 gear.
Fairbairn, William and Sykes, Eric. Shooting to Live (Paladin, 2008). Reprint of the primary textbook on Point-Shooting, written by Shanghai police officers Fairbairn and Sykes in 1939 and originally published in 1942. It has well thought-out descriptions and illustrations on how to do it, as well as pointers on TL6 gun selection.
FitzGerald, J. Henry. Shooting (Wolfe, 1993). Reprint of the original from 1930. FitzGerald was a Colt-employed gunsmith, shooting instructor, and certified ballistics expert. His book covers everything having to do with TL6 handguns, including target shooting, Point-Shooting instruction for police officers, and how to disarm an assailant – it even contains a photo of what would be later known as the "Weaver stance!"
Griffith, Paddy. Forward into Battle – Fighting Tactics from Waterloo to the Near Future (Presidio Press, 1997). Detailed analysis of TL5-8 infantry tactics from 1808 to 1990, with special emphasis on the Age of Napoleon, the American Civil War, WWI, WWII, and Vietnam.
Grossman, Dave. On Killing – The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (Back Bay, 2009). Lieutenant-Colonel Grossman, Ranger and psychology professor, provides an analysis of how, when, and why people kill. Not without controversy, but the standard work on the topic.
Lamb, Kyle. Green Eyes & Black Rifles – Warrior's Guide to the Combat Carbine (Viking Tactics, 2008). A manual on how to shoot TL7-8 assault carbines (the Colt M4 series in particular) by former Special Forces Sergeant Major Lamb, with useful tips for the uninitiated as well as the experienced shooter.
McGivern, Ed. Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting (Skyhorse, 2007). Reprint of the classic from 1938. McGivern was a famous trick shooter who pioneered the use of timers and other devices to document "impossible" feats with TL5-6 revolvers. He also covers contemporary police training.
Plaster, John. The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers (Paladin, 2006). Retired Special Forces Major Plaster describes everything needed to know about the Sharpshooter style, although he's primarily concerned with TL78 weapons and applications.
Rosa, Joseph. Age of the Gunfighter: Men and Weapons at the Frontier 1840-1900 (University of Oklahoma, 1999). Descriptions of real gunmen, with lots of background information and superb color photos of the TL5-6 guns they employed.
Stanford, Andy. Fight at Night (Paladin, 1999). Although already dated in the fast-moving world of TL8 night-vision aids, this book provides much information on shooting in darkness.
Suarez, Gabriel. The Tactical Advantage (Paladin, 1998). Written for armed citizens and police officers, LASD Deputy Suarez describes and illustrates how to do house searches and how to address many other tactical problems of the Modern Pistol and Assaulter styles.
Films and Television
Few GURPS players are shooters; for them, the most accessible sources to see tactical shooting are films and TV. While much of this medium is larger-than-life even when that isn't immediately apparent, there are some examples that are reasonably realistic. The following selection is useful for the visualization of how relevant styles, advantages, perks, skills, techniques, and guns look in action. The descriptions may contain spoilers!
Appaloosa (Ed Harris, 2008). Lawmen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are Point-Shooting stylists. Virgil demonstrates Fast-Draw, Quick-Shot, and Thumbing with a Colt .45 SAA Cavalry (High-Tech, p. 95). Both perform tactical reloads, topping up their revolvers immediately after shooting. While it isn't believable that Everett would carry a bulky 8-gauge shotgun at all times, its effects are realistic. He shows the polite (and safe) way to carry a double-barrel in civilized company – opening up the action to show it's empty.
Band of Brothers (Tom Hanks and Erik Jendresen, 2001). The men of Easy Company, 506th PIR – all Assaulter stylists – demonstrate realistic application of skills and perks like Guns, Soldier, Tactics, and Battle Drills, and the use of the M1 Garand (High-Tech, p. 113) and Auto-Ordnance M1A1 Thompson (High-Tech, p. 122). The series vividly shows the effects of being under fire and features the correct sounds of ricochets and bullets whizzing by.
Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott, 2001). An excellent depiction of the problems of modern combat in built-up areas, emphasizing cover (and the lack thereof), cover penetration, tactical movement using Close-Quarters Battle, etc. It literally demonstrates the deafening loudness of gunshots. The Delta Force operators show the efficiency of fast semiautomatic shots, while the Somali militiamen display the uselessness of "spray and pray."
Blood Diamond (Edward Zwick, 2006). Rhodesian soldier of fortune Danny Archer shows the Assaulter style with Combat Reflexes. He displays Fast-Draw and Quick-Shot with a 9×19mm H&K USP Compact (High-Tech, p. 102), as well as the Modified Weaver stance and a fast Mozambique drill. With an Izhmash AK47 (High-Tech, p. 114), he demonstrates the effectiveness of semiautomatic fire using double-taps.
Bourne Identity, The (Doug Liman, 2002). Although otherwise unrealistic, ex-CIA black ops agent "Jason Bourne" shows believable perks like Cross-Trained (Pistol), Off-Hand Weapon Training (Pistol), and SOP (Back to the Wall, Check the Crowd, and On Alert), as well as the Weaver stance.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo García (Sam Peckinpah, 1974). U.S. Army veteran Bennie is a Point-Shooting stylist carrying a Colt .45 Commander (High-Tech, p. 98) in Condition Two. He shows how to ready it during a Fast-Draw. Headhunter Johnny Quill employs a stockless Auto-Ordnance M1928A1 Thompson (High-Tech, p. 122) with two-point sling.
Bullit (Peter Yates, 1968). A notable scene shows a killer using a sawed-off take-down Winchester Model 97 (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, pp. 22-23), and, sensibly, ear plugs. He also picks up his spent shells. The final gunfight is about as realistic as it gets – deafening, brief, and unglamorous.
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942). Former gunrunner Rick Blaine is a Point-Shooting stylist, showing Close-Hip Shooting with a Colt .380 Pocket Automatic (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, p. 15).
Collateral (Michael Mann, 2004). Jazz enthusiast Vincent is a Modern Pistol stylist favoring the Modified Weaver stance. He uses a .45-caliber H&K USP (High-Tech, p. 102) and a suppressed Ruger Standard MK2 (High-Tech, p. 100) and demonstrates Acute Hearing, Combat Reflexes, Cross-Trained, Grip Mastery, and Trademark Move. Among his skills and techniques are Fast-Draw (Ammo and Pistol), Close-Quarters Battle, Quick-Shot, and Targeted Attack (Pistol/Skull). Vincent shows a perfect Disarming (Karate), Fast-Draw, and Close-Hip Shooting sequence, followed the next turn by a fast Mozambique drill on a different opponent. Cabdriver Max Durocher demonstrates how long it takes an unfamiliar user to ready a pistol in Condition One.
Female Agents (Jean-Paul Salomé, 2008). French SOE agents model the Point-Shooting style, mainly using the FN-Browning Mle 1900 (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, pp. 14-15) and Beretta Mod 34 (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, p. 19), fitted with suppressors.
Generation Kill (Ed Burns and David Simon, 2008). The Recon Marines are Assaulter stylists with accessorized Colt M4A1 carbines (High-Tech, p. 119). They demonstrate Battle Drills, the effectiveness of controlled semiautomatic fire, and how to employ IR targeting lasers with night-vision goggles. Sergeant "Pappy" Patrick is a Sharpshooter stylist with Remington M40A1 (High-Tech, p. 116) and shows how sniper and spotter work together.
Getaway, The (Sam Peckinpah, 1972). Bank robber "Doc" McCoy is a Point-Shooting stylist displaying Off-Hand Weapon Training (Pistol). He shows excellent firearms handling, including paper-wrapping a High Standard K1200 Riot shotgun (p. 59) to avoid attention. He demonstrates the application of Condition Two with his Colt .45 Government (High-Tech, p. 98).
Heat (Michael Mann, 1995). The heist crew led by Neil McCauley shows Combat Reflexes and Targeted Attack (Pistol/Skull). All three are highly skilled Assaulter stylists using traits like Guns, Tactics, and Battle Drills. They demonstrate exemplary application of the Modified Weaver stance, double-taps, slow Mozambique drills, suppression fire, a combined Counterattack/Bounding Retreat, kneeling behind cover while reloading, and fast reloads – which at three seconds are just normal "adventurer" reloads in GURPS! The film features much realistic detail, including improvised one-point slings (p. 71) for Colt CAR15A2 R733 carbines (High-Tech, p. 119) and an IMI Galil ARM rifle (High-Tech, p. 117) carried under suits, custom-made concealed LBVs, and extremely loud gun fire. LAPD Lieutenant Vincent Hanna carries his Colt .45 Officer's (High-Tech, p. 98) in Condition One. Detective Lou Casals shows how to breach a door with frangible slugs.
Kingdom, The (Peter Berg, 2007). FBI agents and their Saudi counterparts model the Assaulter style. The film shows many dos-and-don'ts of urban combat, including small-unit room-clearing tactics and the dangers of over-penetrating rifle rounds and wall-bursting hand grenades. Faris Al-Chazi shows a transition to his Beretta Mod 92F (High-Tech, p. 100).
L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997). LAPD detectives "Bud" White and Ed Exley use Point-Shooting with Colt .38 Detective Special revolvers (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, p. 13) and Ithaca Model 37 M&P shotguns (High-Tech, p. 105). Although they show no special tricks, their gun handling is exemplary.
Miami Vice (Anthony Yerkovich, 1984-1989). Noteworthy in this largely unrealistic series is the episode "Calderone's Return," in which hit man Ludivicio Armstrong demonstrates a perfect Fast-Draw and Mozambique drill with Quick-Shot and Targeted Attack, using the Isosceles stance and a Colt .45 Government. He also employs ear plugs.
Miami Vice (Michael Mann, 2006). A memorable scene shows what a Barrett Model 82A1 anti-material rifle (High-Tech, p. 118) will do to a car . . . and its occupants.
Navy SEALs (Lewis Teague, 1990). Lieutenant Dale Hawkins shows how to breach a door with a Remington Model 870P Cruiser (High-Tech, pp. 105-106). A three-man stack demonstrates a Peeling drill to the right. Most of the platoon, all Assaulter stylists, employ the H&K MP5SD3 (High-Tech, p. 123) with stock retracted – but supported using a three-point sling. Hawkins demonstrates a neat close-combat move, striking an opponent with the muzzle of his MP5SD3 before shooting him. The effect of their Barrett Model 82A1 is pure fantasy, though.
No Country for Old Men (Ethan and Joel Coen, 2007). U.S. Army veteran Llewelyn Moss demonstrates an Immediate Action drill with a Colt .45 Government after a dip in the water and how to saw off a Winchester Model 97. He also shows other attention to detail, like picking up a spent case after a shot. Hit man Anton Chigurh displays a custom-made baffle sound suppressor for his sawed-off Remington Model 1100 (p. 60); its sound is unrealistic, however. Note how he checks the thickness of an interior wall before firing through an identical one.
Open Range (Kevin Costner, 2003). Gunhand "Charley Waite" is a Point-Shooting stylist demonstrating Combat Reflexes, Off-Hand Weapon Training, Fast-Draw, Fanning, and Thumbing with his Colt .45 SAA Cavalry. "Boss" Spearman shows how to breach a door with a sawed-off 12-gauge double-barrel. The film perpetuates the Big-Bore Blowback myth.
Predator (John McTiernan, 1987). Ex-Special Forces Major "Dutch" Schaefer's rescue team demonstrates that a Counterattack drill may even work against aliens.
Proof of Life (Taylor Hackford, 2000). Former Australian SAS trooper turned kidnap-and-ransom negotiator Terry Thorne and his team are Assaulter stylists demonstrating excellent small-unit tactics. The rescue scenes show the effectiveness of a LMG like the FN MINIMI (High-Tech, p. 136) in an over-watch position, and how to affect a two-man entry. The film demonstrates how the safety on a Colt .45 Commander in Condition One can confuse someone without Guns skill.
Public Enemies (Michael Mann, 2009). Bank robber John Dillinger has Motorized Training (SMG), Off-Hand Weapon Training (Pistol), and SOP (On Alert). He carries a stockless Auto-Ordnance Model 1921AC Thompson (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, pp. 28-30) with shoulder rig under a long coat. The film showcases gunsmithed weapons including "Baby Face" Nelson's Colt-Lebman .38 Super Auto machine pistol (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, p. 18) with foregrip, 14-round extended magazine, and compensator; "Red" Hamilton's sawed-off Remington Model 11 (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, p. 23); and Homer Van Meter's sawed-off Colt M1918 BAR (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 2, p. 11) and Winchester Model 07 (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 2, pp. 9-10) with foregrip, 10-round extended magazine, and compensator.
Ronin (John Frankenheimer, 1998). CIA veteran Sam is an Assaulter stylist with Combat Reflexes and Danger Sense. He demonstrates the Modified Weaver stance and double-taps with a Colt .45 Government, as well as the overwhelming firepower of an H&K HK69A1 (High-Tech, p. 142) and FN MINIMI-Para Mk 2 (High-Tech, p. 137). French tour guide Vincent is a Modern Pistol stylist demonstrating Motorized Training and Quick-Shot with a Beretta Mod 92F (High-Tech, p. 100). English SAS wannabe Spence suffers from classic adrenaline afflictions. The film perpetuates the Teflon Bullet myth.
Shooter (Antoine Fuqua, 2007). While the film is improbable in many ways, USMC Gunnery Sergeant Bob Lee Swagger shows realistic components of the Sharpshooter style – including Deadeye, Off-Hand Weapon Training (Rifle), Precision Aiming (Rifle), SOP (Cleaning Bug), Sure-Footed (Naval), and Targeted Attack (Rifle/Skull). He demonstrates the effectiveness of ghillie suits and how to apply weapon camouflage. The film shows how sniper and spotter work together.
Shootist, The (Don Siegel, 1976). Gunslinger "J.B." Books is a Point-Shooting stylist showing Fast-Draw and Thumbing with a Remington Model 95 (High-Tech, p. 91) and Colt .45 SAA Civilian (High-Tech, p. 95). The film includes much deliberation about what it takes to be a successful shooter. It proves that saloon tables aren't bulletproof!
Sopranos, The (David Chase, 1999-2007). The episode "Guy Walks Into a Psychiatrist's Office . . ." shows mafia hit man Gigi Cestone damaging his hearing by firing a Glock 19 (High-Tech, p. 101) inside a car.
Street Kings (David Ayer, 2008). LAPD Detective Tom Ludlow is a Modern Pistol stylist showcasing the SOP (Cleaning Bug) perk as well as the Harries stance, double-taps, a slow Mozambique drill, and proper light discipline, blinding an opponent with a tactical light. The film shows how easily .44 Magnum bullets blast through a drywall.
Supernatural (Eric Kripke, 2005-). Monster hunters Dean and Sam Winchester demonstrate the Harries stance on things like skinwalkers and rawheads, but display poor light discipline.
S.W.A.T. (Clark Johnson, 2003). The LAPD SWAT officers are Assaulter and Sharpshooter stylists showing room-clearing tactics in action, including how to use a Benelli M3 Super 90 (High-Tech, p. 106) with door-breaching muzzle device.
Taken (Pierre Morel, 2008). Ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills is a Modern Pistol stylist displaying the Modified Weaver stance as well as Cross-Trained and Off-Hand Weapon Training. He parries an H&K MP5K (High-Tech, p. 123), then uses the Close-Hip Shooting technique with a SIG-Sauer P226 (High-Tech, p. 102).
Tears of the Sun (Antoine Fuqua, 2003). The U.S. Navy SEALs are Assaulter and Sharpshooter stylists, displaying Combat Reflexes, Battle Drills, Fast-Draw, and Close-Quarters Battle with the H&K MK 23 MOD 0 (p. 58), SIG-Sauer P226, Colt M4A1, Springfield M14 (High-Tech, p. 115), FN M249E3 (MINIMI-Para Mk 2), and Saco MK 43 MOD 0 (treat as the M60E3 from p. 134 of High-Tech). They show Counterattack and Peeling drills in action.
Terminator, The (James Cameron, 1984). Resistance fighter Sergeant Kyle Reese shows how to saw off the butt of an Ithaca Model 37 M&P and how to sling it under the shoulder using a string, as well as how to make pipe bombs. The T800 demonstrates a shoulder rig for the IMI Uzi (High-Tech, p. 125).
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991). Former waitress Sarah Connor shows the Assaulter style with Modern Pistol elements, using the Isosceles stance and carrying a Colt .45 Government in Condition One. She demonstrates Combat Reflexes, Pacifism (Cannot Kill), Motorized Training (Pistol and Rifle), and One-Hand Drills (Shotgun).
Thief (Michael Mann, 1981). Burglar Frank is a Modern Pistol stylist with a fine (accurate) Colt .45 Government pistol, customized by pistolsmith Jim Hoag with a longer barrel and new sights (and likely with a Weapon Bond). He demonstrates Fast-Draw, Condition One carry, and a one-man tactical entry complete with Weaver stance, "slicing the pie," double-taps, and a tactical reload. Note how he unintentionally reveals himself by sticking out his pistol's muzzle during a door entry.
Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992). Aged gunman William Munny is a Point-Shooting stylist with a S&W No.3 Schofield (High-Tech, p. 95) and a sawed-off, double-barreled 10-gauge. He demonstrates Combat Reflexes and Thumbing. The film particularly deals with the special mindset required to prevail in a gunfight.
Valkyrie (Brian Singer, 2008). German army Oberst Claus Graf von Stauffenberg displays One-Hand Drills with his Walther PPK (High-Tech, p. 99).
Way of the Gun, The (Christopher McQuarrie, 2000). Criminals "Mr. Parker" and "Mr. Longbaugh" use the Assaulter style with Modern Pistol elements. Both demonstrate Combat Reflexes, Battle Drills, and One-Hand Drills (Pistol); Longbaugh also has Danger Sense. Using a Colt .45 Government in Condition One and a semiautomatic IMI Galil ARM rifle (High-Tech, p. 117), Longbaugh shows Fast-Draw (Ammo and Pistol), Close-Quarters Battle (Pistol and Rifle), Fast-Firing (Pistol and Rifle), Off-Hand Weapon Training (Pistol), and the wall-penetrating abilities of the 7.62×51mm NATO round. Parker employs a Remington Model 870P and shell bag and does an impressive transition to his Colt .45. They demonstrate the Modified Weaver stance, tactical reloads, two-man room-clearing tactics, and even how sniper and spotter interact. By contrast, the bodyguards show the Isosceles stance with 9×19mm H&K USP pistols. The bagmen favor Point-Shooting with revolvers.
Wyatt Earp (Lawrence Kasdan, 1994). Although historically inaccurate, the film shows some realistic shooting. Marshal Ed Masterson gets his waistcoat set aflame by a close-contact shot. "Curly Bill" Brocius demonstrates Gun Shtick (Twirl) with a Colt .45 SAA Cavalry on Marshal Frank White.