No Second Place Winner

By on January 3, 2013

Bill Jordan, No Second Place Winner, 2nd Place Winner, Bill Jordan Border Patrol, William Jordan,

Book Review

No Second Place Winner was written by one of the great old time gun fighters.  Bill Jordan worked for the US Border patrol during some of the roughest times.  He starts with a couple of fun stories in the intro and then jumps into how to win a gunfight.  Most of the writing is towards police officers but still relevant to everyone that carries a handgun.

The first couple of chapters are about selecting and caring for a holster.  The info is a little dated since the book was written in the 1960s, but he does give you a useful way to break in a leather holster and how to care for it.

Other chapters include information on grips (all revolver), practice loads, choosing a handgun, what caliber it should be in, and what he thinks should be the ultimate man stopping load.  Interesting enough, he likes the new (at least at the time the book was written) .41 that was being developed by Elmer Keith.  He thinks a .41 caliber bullet weighing about 200 grains moving at 1200 to 1300 fps (feet per second) is the way to go.

I went over to the Double Tap Ammo web site to look for some equivalent modern ammo.  At first, I looked at the .40 S&W but that is under powered compared to what Mr. Jordan wanted.  The closest thing they had was a 200 grain bullet moving at 1100 FPS from a full-sized gun.  Next I looked at 10mm, which is a .40 caliber bullet.  Double Tap sells more than one load that matches what Jordan thought a man stopper should be.  Double Tap lists them as hunting loads not self defense loads.

Jordan does say that the .357 was the way to go during the writing of the book and is what he was carrying at the time.

The book gets good (and worth the read) when he goes on to the chapters on Combat Style Shooting, Gun Fighting, and Fast Draw.  I had to read the chapter on Fast Draw twice.  This old guy really knew about getting his gun into the fight.  A lot of the things he was talking about never caught on or have faded to history, but should be looked at today to get the gun moving faster.  To give you an idea why I was amazed at his teaching was the time he could fast draw in.  During the police academy, training courses, and qualifications I’ve had to do in the past, 1.5 seconds is generally the accepted norm for getting the gun out of the holster and the first shot off.  Anything faster than that is, well, fast.

If you haven’t used a shot timer before and think that is a long time, it is and it isn’t.  Most people are around 2 seconds to draw from concealment.  Jordan is talking about drawing and firing out of his duty rig in under half a second!  That got my attention.  He said anything over half a second is slow!  He really wants closer to .25 second.  That’s why I had to re-read this chapter.  Here are his points about executing a fast draw: Relax; Let your shoulder drop back in drawing; Keep your body motionless and draw with arm movements only; and use a circular or arcing motion of the hand.  He also fires from the hip instead of full extension but can still make hits.  His number one tip for learning the fast draw is to start slow and be very smooth.  He says the biggest mistake people make trying to execute the fast draw is that they try to go too fast.  He says you need a lot of practice really slow before you can start going fast.

The other two chapters of combat shooting and gun fighting are filled with great little sayings and points that are worth the read and the money.  He compared gun fighting to competition.  If a competitor tried to take an unfair advantage, he would be shunned, but during a gunfight you must take every unfair advantage possible.  You must suppress your conditioning to “play fair” and condition yourself to see the unfair advantages so you can take them.

In the end, the book is well worth the money and time to read it.  Him talking about gun fighting and learning to shoot were good, but the book would have been worth the money if it only had the one chapter on fast draw.  Buy it, read it!  You won’t be sorry.

Stay Safe,


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Posted in: Gear


  1. Ben Branam
    April 30, 2014

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    Thanks for the insight about Bill Jordan. I would have loved to meet him. He is one of the few that I truly would have loved to have a beer with. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Roy. H. Huntley
    April 20, 2014

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    I am a retired Border Patrol Agent. I was range officer in El Paso several years and I was a member of the pistol Team. I was never stationed with Jordan but I knew him well because he attended the Camp Perry National Pistol Matches to do a show & demonstrate quick draw shooting. He was not a member of the team.
    In the evenings Harry Aitkin & I along with others would play guitars & sing. Bill Jordan would join us and he was a good base singer as well as quick on the draw and a good shot. His “thing” was not 3 gun target shooting and he did not shoot in competition. He probaby could have but he apparently was not interested in target shooting. He was a good guy & I loved him.

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