MAY 21, 2020

Skill Set: Urban Rifle II

Jeff Cooper’s doctrine for the handgun, the Modern Technique, revolutionized the way pistols are used for defense and combat. For the AR platform we look to Clint Smith, of Thunder Ranch fame. Clint’s “Urban Rifle” doctrine completely changed the way we look at the AR, and the techniques applied to operate it efficiently. Clint’s newest book, Urban Rifle 2: Close Combat Conflict Resolution, is a must read for anyone interested in the Urban Rifle doctrine.

“At its inception,” we’re told in the book’s forward, “the original course of URBAN RIFLE in 1983, it could be said, “no one wanted it and it couldn’t be given away for free.”” Since then, numerous events have shown us the necessity for the Urban Rifle doctrine. The Miami F.B.I. fight in 1986 was a watershed moment; the threats were well armed and dedicated. “Good Guys Win” was the headline, but at an awful cost. The North Hollywood bank robbery – bad guys armed with large caliber, full auto weapons and wearing body armor - was another example illustrating the need for the Urban Rifle.

Urban Rifle 2 lays out the details of Clint’s doctrine, and the techniques Thunder Ranch teaches to employ the AR to its full potential. The chapter titled “New Stuff” discusses the AK platform, and there’s also a section on the M1 carbine. Additional chapters cover manipulations – administrative actions and reloading/malfunctions - carry modes, the use of cover and firing positions. Clint advises in the “Support Equipment” chapter: “Remembering that most of the equipment is rarely carried by you (from the truck to the bench, from the truck to the house) the weight and size of the rifle should always be in mind.” As with all things Clint, he reminds us to focus on application and the equipment required, as opposed to loading your carbine up with “widgets.” Each section, and there are plenty of them, has color photographs to illustrate the material presented.

My first class with Clint was right after he started Thunder Ranch Texas and the Urban Rifle course. For me, especially considering I thought I knew a lot about the AR platform, it was one of those life changing events. I threw myself into studying the doctrine, taking every chance to return and train with Clint and staff. Eventually, I became an instructor with Thunder Ranch and the real learning began. While your experience might not be as life changing, I feel safe saying that attending an Urban Rifle class with Thunder Ranch will not be regretted. For defensive, law enforcement or combative use of the AR platform there’s no better place.

Can’t make it to Oregon? The next best thing is the “Urban Rifle 2” book. If you’ve already made the pilgrimage then you’re aware of the quality of the Ranch’s instruction, so you’ll need to get the book too. In other words, if you’re interested in the AR platform you need this book.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. He is the author of The Book of Two Guns, AR-15 Skills and Drills, has a regular column in American Handgunner and makes some cool knives and custom revolvers. Visit Shootrite’s Facebook page for other details.