In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection
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In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Paperback, 130 pages
Published June 1st 1980 by Police Bookshelf
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Neil Blankenship
An excellent book. The author covers the source material in straight forward and engaging manner. My one problem with the book is that it seems to present females as a lesser sex incapable of handling a firearm.
Mar 22, 2012 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
I think every adult should read this book. It is a great book for explaining the need for a firearm for protection. It doesn’t sugar coat anything either. The firearm is a tool, nothing more, nothing less. When a bad guy is out to do you some serious harm, a firearm is really the only thing that can level the playing field. But Massad Ayoob explains it much better than I do.

Massad Ayoob is considered a firearms guru. If you youtube his name, you will find many informational videos of him speakin...more
Jul 02, 2009 Reepacheep rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gunowners or anyone considering a firearm for self defense
Recommended to Reepacheep by: Kathy Jackson (
I know people personally who have taken classes from Massad F. Ayoob. I also found his name mentioned in a recommended reading list on Kathy Jackson's website, "Cornered Cat".

I read this book straight through. It is very readable and very practical. Written almost thirty years ago, I can't help but wonder if some of the specifics (gun and ammo recommendations, certain legal issues) are out-dated. Even so, this is a minor concern and it is certainly worth reading and puts a clear light on many im...more
This is an awesome book! It's reached legendary status in the self-defense world, and I was very happy to get my hands on it, since it's been out of print for awhile. Some of the tactics/discussions in it are blatantly dated (the author has changed his view on some of the things he covers in the book since it was written, such as using hand loads for self-defense, etc.), but the value of this book is really in it's ability to force the reader to really think through the appropriate reasons to us...more
Hard-boiled non-fiction. It may seem like a no-brainer of a pairing, or a non-sequitur, but in any case Ayoob writes quite well about firearms and self-defense. "Chickenshit" was a favorite epithet -- to slander himself. Ayoob is very sober here; this is no trifling subject. Published in 1980, and coming from a Northeastern milieu, it makes for fascinating atmosphere in a time of stagflation, muggings, and blue steel.
Very good introduction to firearms for protection. Ayoob discusses choosing a firearms, the necessity of regular practice, general tactics (such as when to go looking around your house and when to hole up in a room), and legal issues. The sections on legal issues are sobering and should be read by anyone who owns a firearm. One caution: there is some pretty rough language, particularly in the beginning.
Jan 03, 2008 Nathaniel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in carrying a gun for self-defense
Shelves: guns
Clear discussion of when deadly force is legally permissible for the average citizen. Ayoob explains the responsibility that goes along with carrying a concealed firearm, and argues that anyone who does so must do everything possible to avoid using it. An eye-opener for anyone who wants to carry a gun "for protection," this book ought to be required reading for armed citizens.
Leonard Pierce
Extremely grim and predictably reactionary book on gun laws and practical methods and approaches to using handguns for personal defense. Despite the pretty gross tone it takes, it's full of extremely useful advice with no sugarcoating. By the way, I have placed this in the "sports" category because I have no shelf for "books about shooting people dead".
Damon Thueson
This is an amazing book that can help anyone better understand the difficulties of the law when dealing with a self defense shooting or even an accidental shooting. The mental process and adrenaline and what to expect on all angles and fronts is what this book will do.
Love it!
This books has earned its status as a classic. Ayoob is brutally honest about both himself the realities of his subject. Some of the information is a little out-of-date, but that's to be forgiven. The principles are solid and timeless.
Michael Adamson
Jul 03, 2008 Michael Adamson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Michael by: My dad.
A classic in the self defense literature. Great examples from a police officer of many years. Teaches responsibility and how to avaid using a gun unless life and limb are at risk.
The concepts behind concealed carry and lethal force laws are fascinating to me. But probably not to many other people.
A great book that covers the details regarding the use of firearms as personal protection.
This is a great book for the person considering carrying a firearm for self defense.
Outstanding reference on using firearms to protect self and household.
A must if you carry. A bit dated, written in 1980, but Ayoob is the guru.
Bobby Cooper
A must read for anyone considering carrying a concealed weapon.
Excellent book. Read it years ago and I need to read it again.
Very informative. A great starting book.
Good book but material is dated.
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Massad Ayoob is an internationally known firearms and self-defense instructor. He has taught police techniques and civilian self-defense to both law enforcement officers and private citizens in numerous venues since 1974. Ayoob has appeared as an expert witness in several trials. He has served as a part-time police officer in New Hampshire since 1972 and holds the rank of Captain in the Grantham,...more
More about Massad Ayoob...
The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery The Truth About Self Protection Stressfire, Vol. 1 (Gunfighting for Police: Advanced Tactics and Techniques) Combat Shooting with Massad Ayoob

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“Those of us who have seen violent death up close, who have seen what high-powered bullets can do to living human tissue, have a horror of inflicting that nightmarish, never forgotten damage on a fellow human being. Perhaps the only more terrifying prospect is that such a fate should befall us or our loved ones. This is why we, a representative cross-section of America's population, keep deadly weapons for personal defense.” 2 likes
“A basic principle of American justice holds that a bad man has the same rights as a good man.” 1 likes
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