1If you have followed this Towsley on Tactical blog then you know that Richard Mann and I disagree strongly about the 9mm defensive handguns. But what you probably didn’t figure out is that Richard and I are pretty good friends and we were having a good time with the “arguments.”

While we don’t agree on defensive handgun cartridges (and a lot of other things) I will say Richard has a unique mind and is always trying to find the truth in guns and gun writing. He is not the kind of writer that just re-writes the company press releases in hopes of getting more free stuff. He digs deep into the questions of ballistics and shooting. It’s not a money maker to spend a lot of time shooting bullets into ballistic medium or sending shots downrange. Gun writers don’t get paid for that, they get paid to write. So the guy that is turning out article after article without actually doing any shooting is making the most money. But, the guy who gets to the truth is the guy who is at the range, pulling triggers and recovering bullets. He is also the guy with credibility. Richard is that guy. Somehow, he also finds the time to turn out a lot of copy.


Not so long ago he sent me his latest book entitled, Handgun Training for Personal Defense. Richard dedicated the book to Jeff Cooper. He is a Cooper disciple and is a regular at Gunsite, the training facility that Cooper founded, so it stands to reason that there is a lot of what Gunsite teaches in this book. That’s a good thing. I have been to Gunsite several times myself and I can tell you that the facility, the staff and the curriculum are all top shelf.  A portion of the profits from this book will go to the Jeff Cooper Legacy Foundation.

In addition to training tips, techniques and drills, Richard has a tremendous  amount of information on modern personal defensive handgun equipment. He is not “stuck on stupid” like a lot of handgun writers and is not afraid to try or endorse new things. Richard makes his own decisions based on actually using the gear. I have had plenty of arguments with other writers and shooting instructors about laser sights and other new gear that eroded into illogical arguments. The same with night sights, holsters and even ammo. Most of them simply didn’t understand the product, so they took a stand against it, rather than reveal their ignorance. Don’t ever expect that from Richard. If he doesn’t know, he’ll say so, then he’ll go find out.


As a result, he has a lot of up to date information on guns, lasers, sights, holsters and ammo. In fact, ammo is his specialty and is one of the ways Richard got noticed in the gun writing community. He made it a point to test bullets and draw conclusions from real life, not press releases and rumors. Plus he was a police officer before he was a gun writer, so Richard knows a thing or two about the real world of defensive handguns.


While Richard and I will always have plenty to disagree on in the world of guns, I respect his positions as I know they come from testing and experience. I ignore the guys who just parrot what everybody else is saying; but a guy like Richard, who has done the tests, will make me think.  I’ll never admit it to him, but he has caused me to reevaluate some of the things I believe about ballistics, guns and cartridges. I have gone back and taken a new, hard look at things with Richard’s perspective driving me. I have not always changed my mind, but I have always gained new perspective on the argument. I think that says something about the kind of writer and gun guy he is, and that quest for the truth is reflected in this book.

It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie looking for your first carry gun, or a grizzled old veteran who has been shooting handguns since smokeless power was thought to be a fad, there is something for you to learn in this book.

Hard copy and electronic Kindle versions of the book are available at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=richard%20mann