Clint Smith, director of Thunder Ranch, is part drill instructor, part stand-up comic. Here are a few of his observations on tactics, firearms, self
defense and life as we know it in the civilized world.
"So a guy says, ‘I’m good! I move, I shoot, I communicate.’ Yeah, but can you do it on the ground? Because that’s where you’re gonna be in a
"It’s real different when the bad guy shoots back. It doesn’t mean you’re going to lose, it just makes the story more interesting afterward."
"The best example of good training is to never get in a fight."
"If you’re accosted, don’t get out of the car. Put it in some other gear and put both feet on the gas. Clint’s school of driving-add power!"
Running Out Of Ammo:
"If pointing an empty gun at your opponent makes him duck, you may live for an extra two seconds-and who knows? I may find another gun, the bad guy
may give up, or the ammo fairy may drop me a magazine."
"If we’re going down a hall and I see the end of a double barrel shotgun, I better communicate to my partner, ‘cause I can be pretty sure it’s not
the Easter bunny on the other end."
"Open up the ground between you and the threat. At arm’s distance, you opponent doesn’t have to be good, he just has to be lucky."
"It doesn’t do me any good to have a partner and shoot ‘em-although I’ve had some partners I’d like to shoot."
"You better learn to communicate real well, because when you’re out there on the street, you’ll have to talk to a lot more people than you’ll have to
shoot, or at least that’s the way I think it’s supposed to work."
Big Bore Sixguns:
"...He asked, ‘Did you hit him?’ Hey, I don’t know, but he was smokin’ when he ran outta here."
Counting Your Shots:
"It’s our experience that in a fight you will continue to shoot the gun until the threat goes away or until the gun is empty."
"Don’t be a deer caught in the headlights of the Kenworth of life!"
Long Guns Vs. Handguns:
"They say you can’t use a rifle or shotgun indoors because a bad guy will grab the barrel. Yeah? Well, he better hang on, ‘cause I’m gonna light him
up and it’ll definitely be an "E" ticket ride."
"People ask, ‘What do you do if the guy’s on drugs?’ Shoot ‘em! ‘But what if it doesn’t work?’ Shoot ‘em some more!"
The Defensive Mindset:
"The only reason we would plant our feet is to dig ‘em real good so we can run, ‘cause we’re about to get the hell out of here."
The Survival Instinct:
"Anyone can understand shooting to protect themselves. You give me five minutes and I’ll make anyone on this planet mad enough to shoot me. The real
question is, will they have that much time in a fight? You need to make that decision before you start to fight-only you life depends on it."
"The handgun would not be my choice of weapon if I knew I was going to a fight. I’d choose a rifle, a shotgun, an RPG or an atomic bomb instead."
"The two most important rules in a gunfight are: always cheat and always win."
"Every time I teach a class, I discover I don’t know something."
"Don’t forget, incoming fire has the right of way."
"Make (your attacker) advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, bet he’s gonna have to beat me to death with it, ‘cause
it’s going to be empty."
"If you’re not shootin’, you should be loadin’. If you’re not loadin’, you should be movin’. If you’re not movin’, someone’s gonna cut your head off
and put it on a stick."
"When you reload (in low light encounters), don’t put your flashlight in your back pocket. If you light yourself up, you’ll look like an angel or the
tooth fairy - and you’re gonna be one of ‘em pretty soon."
"Do something. It may be wrong, but do something."
"Nothing adds a little class to a sniper course like a babe in a ghille suit."
"Shoot what’s available, as long as it’s available, until something else becomes available."
"If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That’s ridiculous. If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid about?"
"Don’t shoot fast, shoot good."
"You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or use any other word you think will work, but I’ve found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty
much the universal language."
"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."
"You cannot save the planet. You may be able to save yourself and your family."