Rauch’s Rules

Good Advice from Walt Rauch

Zrog’s Introduction:

I’m not really a “gun person”, but if you read between the lines, there is an interesting (and IMO, quite accurate) look into the mind of a predator.  A “predator” in the gaming sense is someone whose gaming persona is a “win at all costs”, and does not really take into account the other players’ feelings.
I also think these rules serve quite well as an essay for those interested in basic self-defense, especially rules #4, 5, 11, and 22.  Your best defense is to avoid a bad position in an unsafe location to start with!


Walt Rauch was a Special Agent in the US Army Intelligence and the Secret Service and a founder of USPSA and IDPA. He is a firearms instructor and writer and these are his “Rauch’s Rules for the Real World” from his book Practically Speaking: An Illustrated Guide.

Rauch’s Rules for the Real World

1. All predators are always killers. When they attack, your options for self-defense are very limited.

2. The predator is smarter than you. Act and react accordingly.

3. Predators will use all the force necessary (and then some) to achieve their goals, without regard to consequences.

4. Predators evaluate their targets before attacking. If you are attacked, the predator has determined he will succeed without a heavy cost to himself.

5. If you are about to become a victim, you have already made serious mistakes.

6. Believe what you see; don’t go into denial. Your attacker won’t.

7. In a lethal confrontation, you will only have time to choose one course of action- and your life depends on making the right choice.

8. Predators rarely act alone, although the ones that do are the most dangerous. (If there’s one, look for two, if there are two, look for three; etc)

9. Fear is the predator’s friend… and your enemy.

10. Talk and negotiations rarely work.

11. Predators do not have a conscience. Don’t waste time and effort appealing to any sense of mercy or kindness.

12. Some people cannot be frightened or intimidated. Displaying a weapon may well not solve-and in some cases, may exacerbate- the problem. Be prepared for this.

13. “Bullets don’t work” …Gene Zink, a federal law enforcement trainer. No hand-held firearm fires a guaranteed “one-shot-stop” round. Anticipate needing follow-up shots.

14. “Stay plugged in. Stay in the fight”…Clint Smith, Director, Thunder Ranch.

15. Firearms don’t work all the time and may well not work when you need them the most.

16. Don’t be overly concerned about caliber. No one wants to “leak” or have holes put in them.

17. Carry only the biggest caliber gun you can control.

18. Carry a reload.

19. Carry a 2nd gun.

20. Be able to get to both handguns with either hand.

21. Don’t assume you can prevail in the conflict due to your superior tactics and training. The predator only has to be lucky once. Avoiding him is the best defense.

22. The honest citizen pitted against a predator is an unequal contest. The predator is a professional. Most honest citizens are amateurs.

23. No competition or training, no matter how well learned or practiced, can equal hands-on experience.

24. Predators constantly validate their training with hands-on experience.

25. Getting hands-on experience can be fatal, but survivors learn their lessons well!

26. Expect to get shot!

27. When shot, don’t expect to die.

28. If you are going to die, take him with you!

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