Book Review: Some of the Answer; Urban Carbine Revised Edition by Jim Crews


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Jeff White
December 27, 2002, 09:30 PM
Jim Crews wrote his first carbine manual in 1997. It was ground breaking back then, because it was the first "how to" book on employment of the AR15 type rifle for defensive use to use a format similar to Morrison's The Modern Technique of the Pistol. Others had published books on tactics and weapon selection, but no one had published an illustrated, by the numbers text. The original was intended to give Jim's students a text they could use to reveiw and reinforce what they learned in class. Jeff Cooper himself wrote the prologue for the first manual.

The revision adds the lessons learned in the five years since the first manual was published and expands into areas the original never went.

This book is for the shooter who wants to learn how to employ his carbine in a safe and efficient manner. NO ONE CAN LEARN TO SHOOT OR HOW TO MANIPULATE THEIR WEAPON FROM A BOOK. USE THIS MANUAL ONLY FOR REVIEW OF TRAINING YOU HAVE RECEIVED OR TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THOSE TASKS YOU WILL LEARN TO PERFORM IN CLASS. MANY OF THE TECHNIQUES DESCRIBED IN THE MANUAL CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR THE SHOOTER AND OTHERS IF NOT PERFORMED PROPERLY.

The new manual has expanded to 296 pages. There are chapters on the Mini 14/Mini 30, and the AK and SKS. All techniques are illustrated with detailed photographs showing the correct (and often the incorrect as well) way of performing them. There are 48 chapters covering nearly every aspect of employing the carbine. The only technique I didn't see mentioned was the CQB center of the chest, sight over the top of the weapon method taught in some schools. In fairness, I've not known Jim to teach that method. Everything else is here. All weapon manipultaion drills are covered from both the right and left hand side. Reloads are covered using plain magazines and Magpul equipped ones. It contains one of the best explainations of offset and hold over for close range work that I have ever read.

Chapter 16 on the eyes is almost optometry 101. It's taken from Jim's instructor's manual, From Behind the Line Ever wonder why you can make good hits looking straight at your target through your range glasses, but you may shoot slightly to one side when shooting targets somewhat to the oblique? It could be optical displacement. Pages 72 through 75 tell you how to check and see if you're getting optical displacement through your lenses. Contact lenses and problems with them are also addressed. I have never seen any anaylsis of problems that can be caused by optical displacement by the eye protection you wear on the range except in Jim's books.

Low light shooting is covered in two chapters, one covering coaxial mounted lights and the other covering handheld lights.

Chapter 32 on accessories says it all. Jim takes a minimalist approach and only recommends those things that he has seen work. An instructor gets to see all kinds of lashups, the good and the bad. If something isn't going to work in an intense 3 day carbine course, it's not going to work the one time you will need it to maybe save your life.

The book is in Jim's tried and true format of heavy bond paper in a spiral binding. This makes it handy to take to the range with you. I prefer this to standard binding because it allows you to lay the book open flat next to you on the range for a ready reference for practice. It's also available in a 3 ring binder format as well as on CD ROM in Acrobat Reader 5.

The manual is self published and available direct from the author for $39.95 plus actual Priority Mail shipping.

Jim Crews
PO Box 556
Stevensville MT 59870
602-549-7389
crews@sprynet.com
http://www.marksmans.com

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