CAA Tactical Training Mags

CAA Tactical Training MagThe MAG30BLK is a training magazine from CAA Tactical that allows for the use of blank ammunition in an AR-style rifle.  The magazine allows blank 5.56 ammo to be inserted and cycled normally through the mag, but makes it physically impossible to load or chamber a live cartridge.

With the unfortunate number of accidental shootings in training in both law enforcement and the military, such a magazine could be very helpful in minimizing needless deaths.  The mag allows trainers to maintain a high degree of realism, but removes one potential source of unintended, tragic consequence.

The CAA Tactical training mags hold 30 blank rounds (5.56 or .223) and is made the same high strength polymer used in the company’s other magazines.

KCPD Badge Placement Study 2011-2012

In the last few months I was made aware of an incredibly important study conducted by the Firearms Section of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.  The results of that study should have far-reaching implications for any officer who engages in enforcement action during an undercover assignment or while off-duty in plain clothes.

KCPD Shooting Study

The Background for Testing

Unfortunately there are several tragic cases in the history of law enforcement where a responding on-duty officer mistakes an undercover or off-duty officer for an armed subject and shoots the other officer.  The National Law Enforcement Memorial has recorded over 100 undercover officers killed in the line of duty, some of whom were unintentionally killed by other officers.  This does not take into account probably hundreds of more officers that have been wounded by friendly fire, or “blue on blue”.  

A recent example was when undercover Oakland, CA police officer William Wilkins had cornered a suspect in a stolen vehicle and had him at gun point.  Two rookie patrol officers arrived on scene and mistakenly shot Officer Wilkins killing him.

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Ankle Holsters: Convenient, but Deadly

The first time I saw an ankle holster was in the 1971 Academy Award winning movie, The French Connection. I was in high school at the time and I hadn’t even thought about a law enforcement career. My total focus was on two things: girls and sports – in that order! I saw the movie at the drive-in and I was immediately taken by the concept of strapping a gun to one’s leg. It was so cool looking and it’s something I have learned to avoid as the years have gone by.

Ankle Holster photo

When I graduated from the police academy, one of the first things I did was buy a snubby revolver and an ankle holster. Carrying the gun was easy because of the pants style at the time (large bell-bottom trousers) and I (admittedly) fantasized about confronting armed robbers and being able to swiftly draw my gun from my leg while saving every damsel in distress in the area. But, once it happened, I realized that relying on an ankle gun for primary carry was/is a huge mistake…one I will never make again!

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Palm-to-Palm Handgun Transition

Back in November, Aaron wrote an article on off-hand shooting.  A number of people left comments and sent in e-mails with some questions on the topic.  To help clarify one of the things mentioned in the article, Aaron recorded this short video to show how to transfer a handgun from one hand to another using a technique called the palm-to-palm transition.

Questions, comments and concerns can be left in the comments section below.  As with any firearms training technique, this may or may not work with your current tactics, department policies and existing training.  You have to evaluate on whether or not you want to use this technique.  It is not the only method of transferring a gun from hand to hand, but it is one way of getting it done.

Oh, never practice this with a loaded firearm.

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Position Sul Training Video

[Ed. note:  This training article and video are on the firearm handling technique known as Position Sul.  Position Sul is not a replacement for the low ready, rather it is an alternative that officers can use depending on the circumstances, training and department policies.  Your thoughts and feedback are welcome in the comments at the end of the article.]

During the last 25 years we have witnessed the monumental push in law enforcement to get beyond punching holes in paper at the range, to a more realistic training regimen that includes critical skills to be successful in a shooting engagement (combat if you will).  One of the most difficult skills to train into officers and civilian shooters alike, is the ability to be constantly aware of where the muzzle of their firearm is pointing when the potential of shooting is a constant.

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Negligent v. Accidental Discharge

Perhaps one of the most embarrassing (and dangerous) avoidable situation for an officer to have is a negligent discharge (ND) of their firearm.  The situation is an immediate announcement of the failure of an officer to follow safety protocols, and in some cases the result of the (ND) is far more tragic than humiliation and discipline to the officer.  Recent examples of this abound.

Take for example the recent case with a BART Transit Authority officer who inadvertently discharged his sidearm and killed a suspect that was laying prone on a very busy train platform.  [Ed. note:  You can read more on the specific incident here.  The Force Science Institute gives a very good presentation of the facts immediately surrounding the shooting.]

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