MAG-40 Class in Worcester County MD

Massad Ayoob is teaching a 40-hour course in Worcester County, MD in August of next year.  The course is being hosted by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and is open to all citizens and officers who legally carry/own a firearm for self defense.

Here are the key points:

  • August 8 – August 11, 2013
  • Massad Ayoob, lead instructor
  • Worcester County SO (MD), host agency
  • open to all law abiding citizens including LEOs (proof of no criminal history must be provided)
  • cost:  $800 tuition
  • equipment needed:  quality pistol, quality holster, 500 rounds of ammunition, safety equipment, good attitude (complete list of equipment here)
  • point of contact:  Detective Lou Esposito (443) 783-0393 or
  • additional class information can be found at the Massad Ayoob Group page

If you are not familiar with Mas Ayoob, he is a great firearms instructor with a great deal of experience in the law enforcement and “regular guy” realms.  In addition to teaching you how to get on the trigger, he is a court recognized expert on when, and when not, to shoot.

Ayoob wrote the classic book In the Gravest Extreme, which I highly recommend to anyone who owns a firearm for personal protection.

Review: IALEFI Master Instructor Development Class

Earlier this spring, I had the opportunity to attend an IALEFI Master Instructor Development course in Shelby County, Alabama.  The International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors is an organization dedicated to improving the level of firearms instruction with the goal of keeping officers safe in life threatening events.  This focus on officer safety has been evident in my every interaction with IALEFI.


The Master Instructor Development program is a three day event with both classroom and practical components.  The first day was shotgun, the second day was rifle and low-light handgun, and the final day focused on handgun.  Each instructor provided classroom material supported by drills that could be taken back to participant’s home agencies.

Day One began with Sgt. Jake King of the Marietta, GA police department concentrating on shotguns.  Participants learned drills for teaching loading, ammo transitions, and shooting at various distances.  Using a variety of ammunition, we saw the different patterns and group sizes using pump and semi auto guns.  Jake also brought along a “shotgun library” consisting of about 25 different models, action types, and configurations.

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Todd Jarrett on Dry Firing

Randall caught up with professional shooter and trainer Todd Jarrett at the 2012 SHOT Show. Jarrett, a huge supporter of law enforcement, offered the following advice to police officers looking to improve their shooting skills:

Video Combats Public Myths About Police Shootings

officer involved shooting

Photo courtesy of Lewisha Jones

In a unique production assisted by the Force Science Institute, law enforcement authorities in an Oregon county have created an online video that explains to civilians the realities of officer-involved shootings and counters prevalent myths fostered by Hollywood fantasies.

In 17 minutes, the program ranges from addressing why officers don’t try to shoot knives out of the hands of attackers to how cell phone and dash-cam recordings can significantly distort impressions of deadly force encounters. In all, the production tackles 7 persistent misconceptions that often lead to unjust accusations of wrongdoing regarding police use of force and provides scientific insights into the true dynamics of life-or-death confrontations.

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SIG SAUER P224Over at, I wrote about a new compact pistol SIG SAUER is releasing called the P224.  The P224 is a cut down (literally – take a look at the photos over there) P229 and is chambered in 9mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W.

Initially, the new gun will come with the DAK trigger, which has a very smooth double action only pull.  SIG states a DA/SA pistol will be available later.  The gun should be at the 2012 SHOT Show, and we will get some video and more information on it then.

The Tactical Weapon Light – Poor Man’s Laser Sight

weapon light as an aiming device

If you already have a weapon-mounted flashlight, then by default you possess a quick firearm aiming device…if you do a bit of homework!

Laser sights are all the rage and I confess to having purchased a couple. But they are not always financially justifiable or even allowed by policy for many coppers. At half the price, a tactical light can give you a similar service in a very close combat situation.

During night fire sessions at the range, some of our shooters began to notice that they were getting a flash sight picture from their handgun-mounted lights. At distances of five yards or less, the flashlights were illuminating center of mass on the targets and approximating point of impact.

A simple test is to unload and safety check your duty gun. Look over the sights at a wall at distances from one to seven yards. Turn on the light. If your sights are properly adjusted, the beam of your flashlight will give you a general aiming point.

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“Weapons confusion”: A case to watch

Torres v. City of MaderaIn a case with important training implications, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the West Coast has ruled that a municipal patrol officer who killed a suspect when she confused her M26 Taser with her Glock pistol was not entitled to a summary judgment in her favor on the basis of qualified immunity.

A jury should have been allowed to decide if her mistake was reasonable, the 9th circuit appellate judges said in overturning a district judge’s decision and remanding the case for fresh action.

“Whatever the ultimate outcome, this case bears watching and studying because of the critical issues it raises regarding training, weapons placement, personal responsibility, and decision-making,” says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Institute. As we have reported previously, Lewinski was involved as an expert witness in the BART incident, a widely publicized mistaken-weapon shooting by a transit officer in the San Francisco area.

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The Need for the Patrol Rifle – Tactical Patrol Part III

Patrol Rifle

[Ed. note: The Need for the Patrol Rifle  is part three of a series on Tactical Patrol.  The prior articles are Tactical Patrol Mindset and Patrol Response to Critical Incidents.]

The use of a patrol rifle is not a new concept. In fact, when you think about the “old west” the image of a lawman with a trusty Winchester lever-action is the standard. The 20th century witnessed the creation of some of the most deadly criminals to ever prowl our country. Names like Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, and Al Capone. This was the era of the “Tommy” gun, even BAR’s, and of course shotguns. Those heavier weapons ended the careers of many criminals.

After WWII times were good, America was growing, the Baby-Boom generation was in full swing. Then the 1960’s came. The Civil Rights struggle, the progressively unpopular Vietnam War, and the emergence of radicals saw America suffer home-grown terror from groups like the KKK, the Black Panthers, and the Symbionese Liberation Army.

During this time America had its first, real taste of an active shooter when a murderer mounted the bell tower at the University of Texas in Austin and shot multiple victims before two brave patrolmen and an armed citizen raced up the tower and ended his reign of terror. The racial, political, and social violence led police departments to look for a way to counter this new era of deadly threat.

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Citizens Academy Twist Puts Participants in the OIS Hot Seat

Officer Involved Shooting

Officer Involved Shooting

The dominant goal of citizen police academy programs is to get civilians to walk a mile in an officer’s boots. Thanks to the creativity of Force Science Analyst Steven Goard, those who attend the academy conducted by the Livermore (CA) PD walk an important extra mile–through the landmines of a simulated OIS investigation that tests their memory and perceptions of a personal controversial shooting.

The participants, including some police critics, learn first hand the vagaries of human behavior under pressure and the challenges of credibly defending a deadly force decision that may seem suspicious to outside observers.

“Invariably they’re shocked by the experience,” says Goard, who has now developed the OIS-investigation feature across 10 of his department’s citizen academy sessions.

Among many satisfying payoffs, he recalls the reaction of an African-American woman in her late 60s. “I feel guilty,” she told Goard as she shook his hand after the exercise. “For years, I’ve been skeptical of the police. I bought into the way the media report police shootings. I just didn’t have the knowledge to enlighten my thinking.”

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