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W. E. Fairbairn and the Birth of Modern Gunfighting

In Part 1 of this series, we'll travel to the early 20th Century for adventure on the streets of Shanghai.

W. E. Fairbairn and the Birth of Modern Gunfighting

Shanghai’s International Concession was a very congested city filled with people and various types of conveyance. Over a century later, the weapons and tactics of the Shanghai Municipal Police continue to exert an influence on the use of the handgun in combat.

On 1 January 1917, William Ewart Fairbairn was promoted to Sgt. Major/Drill Instructor with the Shanghai Municipal Police (SMP). He had served as Assistant Drill Instructor from 11 March 1912. Since joining on 7 January 1907, after being discharged from the Royal Marines, Fairbairn had risen through the ranks. Today over a century later, the weapons and tactics of the Shanghai Municipal Police continue to exert an influence on the use of the handgun in combat.

Fairbairn was one of the first to personally approach gunfighting scientifically. Over a period of 12½ years he analyzed around 2,000 gunfights and was personally present at over 200 of them. During these...

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