What do you do when you've got a gun to your head?
October 28, 2018

What do you do when you’ve got a gun to your head?

5 Key Facts to Know

If someone is crazy enough to put a gun to your head, you cannot trust them to back off or leave you alive after you comply with their demands. When you've got a gun to your head, it is important to remember these 5 key facts. [Learn how to prevent situations like this with our home defense online course Property, Guns and Liberty.] 

  1. It is possible take a gun away from someone who is larger than you.
  2. Practice – if you are familiar with the moves of taking away a weapon, muscle memory will come to your aid. Especially when your brain is overwhelmed with fear.
  3. Surprise – if the attacker thinks that you have given up or that you are not a threat, they will not be as on guard as they would have if you behaved aggressively.
  4. Confidence – once you have decided to take the risk of removing the weapon from your attacker, you must be confident in your response. Hesitating will only warn your opponent and set you up for disaster. You must be prepared to be firm in your grip and use all of your strength. Half an effort will get you or someone else in the vicinity shot.
  5. Speed – even if you grab your attacker’s gun with as much strength as you can muster, these maneuvers will not work if you go slowly. It will give your attacker time to react. You must move as fast as you possibly can to ensure that they cannot stop you from taking the gun. Which also stresses the importance of practice.

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When You've Got a Gun to Your Head

There are two main positions to train for when you've got a gun to your head.

  1.  The Frontal Attack - your attacker is facing you
  2. The Rear Attack - your attacker is behind you

It is important to remember that every situation is different and you've got to be prepared to think outside of the box. Knowing these two key strategies for weapon take-aways will help you troubleshoot solutions if the angle of your attacker is different than the two positions listed above.

The Frontal Attack

Always remember the 5 key facts when attempting to disarm your opponent. Be sure that you use all of your strength and speed. If you do not react fast enough, the results can back-fire (literally).

  1. Hands Up – appear to be compliant
  2. Blade your body (turn sideways), and push the gun away from your face
  3. Grab the slide with your fingers and place your thumb on the bottom of the slide
  4. Push your wrist forward thus twisting your attacker’s hand back
  5. With your other hand, use the webbing between your thumb and fingers to grab underneath the frame of the gun and choke the slide in a tight grip
  6. Push the gun up and back towards your attacker
  7. Take a step back and rip the gun from the attacker’s hands by pulling, with gravity, down towards your sides (easier to go with gravity than against) – (If the attacker’s finger gets stuck in the trigger, it will break it)
  8. Ensure that your hand is not in front of the barrel before shooting from your hip. Place two shots in your attacker’s chest and one to the face.

The Rear Attack

  1. Hands Up - appear to be compliant
  2. Lean back – pushing your attacker off balance and forcing your attacker to support your body weight
  3. Reach back and grab the weapon – use your thumb to brace against the back of the gun and your fingers to grab the slide
  4. Use your thumb as a lever and push the gun away from you and your attacker
  5. Grab the gun with your other hand
  6. Pivot your hips and turn sideways
  7. Turn the gun into your attacker’s gut and fire twice (don’t push the barrel of the weapon against your attacker or it will not fire correctly if at all)
  8. Grab your attacker by the back of the head with your other hand and push it down
  9. Twist your body and fire once into the back of their head

Practice Exercises

  • Try out both methods
  • Then find a partner (spouse, friend, brother, etc) and teach it to them
  • Practice each method every day this week 10 times each (Do not use a real gun)
  • The best way to learn how to do something is to teach someone else how to do it
  • If you can’t teach it, then you don’t know it enough
  • Teaching someone else will also help you remember what you’ve learned


Arthur has always had a serious passion for shooting and living off of the land. He started his career working with law enforcement and has been an army recon soldier for over a decade. Arthur has dedicated his life to saving others from hardships and war. Most of his free time is spent outdoors training. With the core belief that the only answer to surviving mass devastation is by being prepared & working together. His goal is to teach that concept to as many as possible.