Last March, we mentioned here that my old friend Walt Rauch had suffered a stroke. Thanks to the many of you who passed along best wishes and prayers to Walt and his family.
I’ve learned that this past Thursday night, Walt passed away peacefully in his sleep. Our mutual friend Michael Bane mourns for him here.
As noted in the above links, Walt was the author of two valuable books. His years on the Philadelphia Warrant Squad, and with Secret Service before that, had given him a strong handle on survival tactics. Involved early on in IPSC (the International Practical Shooting Confederation) whose American arm is USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association, Walt was also a co-founder of the National Tactical Invitational a quarter of a century ago, along with Hershel Davis and Skip Gochenauer. Twenty years ago, Walt was one of the prime movers in the founding of IDPA, the (International Defensive Pistol Association).
Walt Rauch, Jim Cirillo and Mas Ayoob
Walt and I had been friends for about 35 years. We met at the Bianchi Cup. Walt was one of the gurus, and though he sometimes came across as a curmudgeon, he was always happy to give advice to cops or armed citizens who asked. About 30 years ago when Ray Chapman and I were going around the country doing Advanced Officer Survival seminars for the Police Marksman Association, we invited Walt to be a guest speaker at the one sponsored by the Philadelphia Police Department. His advice on subtleties of real world tactics captivated our audience of streetwise coppers from in and around Philly.
It has been a bad year for losing some of our finest gun experts. Deepest condolences to Walt’s family and many friends. We have all lost a tremendous resource.