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Dave Spaulding

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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.”

Defensive Living: Attitudes, Tactics and Proper Handgun Use to Secure
Ed Lovette  More Info

Handgun Combatives
Dave Spaulding  More Info

According to one reader of Defensive Living: Attitudes, Tactics and Proper Handgun Use to Secure, “I was fortunate enough to see an advance copy of this book. It's the finest distillation of over sixty combined years of experience on the hardest streets and darkest back alleys in the US and abroad. Ed Lovette and Dave Spaulding bring the knowledge they earned in Special Forces, the CIA, and elite police units to the average reader in a clear and simple format that is immediately usable. Buy one for yourself and buy another for everyone you care for.”

According to the book description of Defensive Living: Attitudes, Tactics and Proper Handgun Use to Secure, “Imagine a defensive training guide that has the informational firepower to keep cops safe presented in a way that's practical for your family to use to protect themselves, too. Filled with 50+ yrs of hard-earned, expert-level LE & military training experience, this treasure chest of self-help techniques. Learn pre-attack signals:  home protection vs. home defense; nine ways to ensure self-protection readiness; the life-changing "X's & O's Awareness Test.”

According to one reader of Defensive Living: Attitudes, Tactics and Proper Handgun Use to Secure, “Most books on self protection, especially those relating to armed confrontations, tend to focus on hardware, the equipment and the techniques. This book is different. Ed Lovette and Dave Spaulding give a concise and practical guide to the software aspect of violent confrontations. Mental preparation, situational awareness and winning attitude are presented in a way that allows the reader to apply these aspects. The physical skills and equipment considerations are discussed, but the main theme of DEFENSIVE LIVING is the adoption of a "tactical lifestyle" which allows anticipation of an encounter. Throughout the book the voice of experience is heard. The material presented is not theory it is the result of hard-won, hands-on experience. To sum up, we need this kind of information, we need to understand it, to apply it, to live it. It's never been better presented than in DEFENSIVE LIVING. Essential reading matter for times like this.

About the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is a full-service law enforcement agency with more than 466 employees and an annual budget exceeding thirty-six million dollars. In addition to the 900 bed jail facility on West Second Street, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office personnel are also assigned to one of the five units within the Operations Division” Special Investigations Section; Organized Crime Investigations; Patrol Headquarters; Jefferson Township; Harrison Township; and, Washington Township.


In addition to patrolling the unincorporated area of Montgomery County, personnel assigned to Patrol Headquarters are also responsible for a variety of the Operations Division’s support functions.  Some examples of those support positions include, Evidence Technicians (crime scene investigators), DARE instructors (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and civil process.


The Special Investigations Section consists of a staff of detectives, victim advocates, and other support staff, and is supervised by a Sergeant.  The Special Investigations Section is responsible to investigate violent crimes that occur in the unincorporated areas of Montgomery County as well as the contract townships of Harrison, Jefferson, and Washington.  This includes crimes such as homicide, rape, robbery, serious assaults, child abuse and child sex crimes. Special Investigations also has a unit assigned to register and make sexual offender register notifications.

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