I first read Chuck Taylor’s writings in “Soldier of Fortune” and “SWAT” magazines as a teenager. I Purchased his book, The “Fighting Rifle” while still in High School. His opinion of what a real “Fighting Rifle” consisted of formed many of the opinions I still have to this day, simply because they have proven to be true in my own experiences.
I first considered the FAL as a “Go To” rifle because of his opinion of that very gun. That opinion has also proven to be, “Spot On”. Although I moved away from it for a time, I am back to using that rifle in it’s present 11″ and 16″ configurations, and they sit on my “Ready Rack” as my “Go to War” rifles. Here’s two of my favorite quotes from him,
“If you are the greatest or the fastest guy in the world, what difference does it make if you shoot the wrong guy?”
“You can’t miss fast enough to matter.”
I watched him go from adamantly opposed to optics on a combat rifle, due to their fragility, to endorsing them in the many, durable configurations available today. In a world of the many “Fly by Night” firearms/tactical trainers out there, Chuck was one who had, “Been there, done that.”, and I heeded his words. To this day, I still use some of his rifle drills in my own practice. Below is an except from the Foreward of his book “The Fighting Rifle”. It tells you many things you need to know about the Man who was Chuck Taylor.
“Whether on the range or at the typewriter, Chuck is no armchair commando, glorifying war to satisfy the Walter Mitty instincts of those who have always gone to sleep at night in a warm bed and with a full stomach. Chuck knows there is nothing glorious about war for he has been there. He has smelled the mixed smells of death and gunsmoke, and felt the slam of enemy bullets into his body as he himself went down firing. He knows what it’s like to sit down to a hurried lunch in a jungle clearing and wonder if he will still be alive to eat supper that night. He knows what the professional soldier’s two main objectives are – to defeat the enemy and stay alive to go home himself. For without life, how hollow is the name of victory.
Chuck Taylor’s training is based on actual firsthand knowledge of what happens in combat (18 months in Vietnam won him the Bronze Star with ‘V’ device, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, among other decorations) not on the theories advanced by ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ whose advice is well intended, but based on ‘book learning’ gained while relaxing at the Officer’s Club rather than upon service in the field.”
David McFarland, February 1983
Here is a link with a eulogy from a personal friend of Chuck’s, giving his impressions of a man who will be sorely missed.
"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.