Lieutenant Dave Spaulding (retired) has 28 years of
law enforcement experience. He retired Montgomery County Sheriff's Office (Ohio). He has had a varied
career in law enforcement in assignments such as: Communications; Corrections; Court Security; Patrol; Evidence Collection;
Investigations; Undercover Operations; and, Training. He spent 12 years of his career on the Montgomery
County Sheriff’s Office on their SWAT team and give years as the supervisor of a multi-agency narcotics task force.
Lieutenant Dave Spaulding has a BA in Social Psychology.
Dave Spaulding is a graduate of most of the major,
if not all, firearms training schools. He has also served as an instructor of H&K, the Tactical Defense
Institute is a past president of the Ohio Tactical Officer's Association. He is the co-author of Defensive
Living: Attitudes, Tactics and Proper Handgun Use to Secure; and, the author of Handgun Combatives.
According to the book description of Handgun
Combatives, “Topics include: developing the combative mind, legalities in using force for personal defense,
personal fitness for combatives, selecting the personal defense handgun, carrying the handgun: holster skills and holster
selection, dealing with multiple threats, night work, extreme close quarter shooting.”
According to one reader of Handgun Combatives,
“My copy of this book has highlights, sticky tabs, and notes in the margin. I like his thoughts on training regarding
simplicity of technique. Spaulding eschews complex, difficult, or fancy technique. Instead, he focuses on what he can guaranty
will work and how to recover when Murphy's Law takes effect and the guaranty fails. I started to say that although he
covers some basics, this was not a basic level book. Now that I think about it more, I think much of this book is pre-basic
defensive handgunning. It addresses the question what are the goals and objectives of our training before jumping into training
techniques. To this end, I particularly like chapter one: "Developing the Combative Mind," chapter two: "NLP
Skill Development and the Way of the Jedi," and chapter ten: "Technique, Physiology, and the Continuous Motion Principle.”
According to one reader of Handgun Combatives, “This is a very good book about
using handguns in combat. In the book, the author not only tells about the technical stuff (correct grip, stance and so on),
but he discusses the tactics and mental aspects as well. The author has reviewed many established models of operation, and
has found that the most common way is not always the best way to conduct business.
In the book, Spaulding goes though the usual stuff of selecting the handgun and
holster, but in my opinion, Spaulding gives advise that is a way above average. Usually, in similar books they only advise
which guns and accessories are good, but Spaulding advises how to select gear that is good FOR YOU. In other words, he tells
how to select gear that is both of good quality, but is also suited to your individual needs and physique. It is odd though
that after the chapter on gun selection, there is seven chapters (about 50 pages) before Spaulding goes to holster selection.
Spaulding does a good job of presenting proper shooting stances (actually combat
stances, because shooting a gun in a range is a totally different ball game than shooting in combat), getting a good grip
(he gives an interesting trick that helps you to determine the proper grip that was totally new to me), and so on. He also
discusses extreme close quarters shooting, shooting in the dark, the problems with automobiles and so on. He also stresses
that your practice should reflect the conditions of real life, not those of a shooting range.
The only real problems with the book are those of production. It appears that
Looseleaf law publications have tried to save printing costs by limiting the number of photographs to a minimum, and printing
the captions as small as possible. There are hardly any diagrams in the book, which would have helped to understand the text
better. Also, the text is printed in a dense format, and because of that the book is a little strenuous to read.
In conclusion, I would say that this
book is of very good quality, and there is some very useful stuff even for experienced shooters. It should have a place in
the bookshelf of every person interested in his survival in a armed confrontation.”