Category Archives: Concepts

Ideas & Concepts,

Leading Fighting Men

This is one man's musings, and over the course of my career they are things that I wanted from my leaders. As such, I have tried hard to be that guy as a current leader. This is meant for discussion, not as a how to guide. One of my greatest strengths as a leader is that I recognize how big of a failure I have been as one. Waxing poetic about leadership traits does not make you a leader. Indeed, the one true test, and really the only one that matters to me, is whether the men think I'm doing a good job as a leader. My team "votes" for team leaders, this doesn't mean that Chiefs couldn't over ride the vote, they can, but that has never happened since we started handing out 3X5 cards and asking dudes to write down the four names they want running an operation on the worst day, in the worst possible circumstances. I take great pride that the men have written my name down, not just once, but on every vote. Unanimously on the last one. And I assure you that this is not a popularity contest, these dudes get it and want

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Knock & Announce

I was recently in a class where a discussion about “No knock” and “Knock & Announce” (K&A) warrant service was discussed. The context of the discussion was in relation to police use of night vision for warrant service. I have previously written an article with some thoughts and guidelines for NVG use by police, the discussion above transitioned to law in general. I have previously heard from other cops about what a “reasonable amount of time” is during the K&A procedure. The reality is that there is no defined time, officers must make that determination for themselves. The US Supreme court ruled as much in the case US V Banks. In that case officers testified that they waited 15-20 seconds for Banks to open the door. Banks was wanted for distribution of cocaine and the warrant was served at 1400 hours. Banks moved to suppress evidence citing that 15-20 seconds was insufficient since he was in the shower and did not hear officers knocking. Even if he had, the time was insufficient for him to exit the shower and robe himself to open the door. The court noted that the case turned on “the significance of exigency revealed by circumstances

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“The Best Gun Is The One You Have”

After reading many discussions on social media, specifically ones centered on firearms, I have found one phrase that people drop out of context frequently. This phrase usually is in a discussion where someone is defending a poor choice and trying to make someone else feel better about their poor choice. Let's discuss the copout of "The best gun is the one you have." Apply this concept to different circumstances - preparedness and food storage. A recent natural disaster has closed off transportation to your area. Roadways aren't expected to be opened back up for a week. You haven't prepared properly so you have a quarter bag of dog food and some leftovers... the best food storage is the food storage you have. Spending a couple dollars more at the grocery store on some canned food for storage is considered preparedness. Apply this concept to acquiring better choices in firearms - save a little more money weekly. I often hear the excuse that people can't afford a more suitable gun - buying a subpar option instead is taking resources away from this viable option. Cutting back on a habit in order to save a little more for a better solution ultimately

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SWAT Team Leader Course & Vetting Entities…

I am teaching another Team Leader course in a few weeks. During the course of a year and with different topics being taught, I invariably get asked whether my course is “certified” by a specific entity. One of the reasons I started a training company was because I felt like a lot of courses that I attended were liability driven, or lacked depth or left me wanting more from an instructor who could not relate what he was teaching to a specific example or callout. Whether or not a course is “certified”, does not mean it is good or bad. But the question is odd, since Tap-Rack Tactical, LLC is the only entity responsible for its course content. How can another entity certify it? Even POST certification doesn’t mean much since the person reviewing the course material may or may not know anything about the topic. Did they certify spelling and grammar on the PowerPoint, or the actual material? In the case of my team leader course, did a team leader with equal or greater experience than me review it? And even if they did, they haven’t sat through the class. The PowerPoint is designed to keep me on track

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Speed Costs Money……

Speed costs money, how fast do ya wanna go  With the election upon us, it seems as if everyone now wants to buy, buy, buy firearms and gear “just in case.”  Which is cool, but not the way I would go. A firearm is a tool. That’s all. Much like a wrench or a ratchet. As such, quality is more important than quantity. There is not a pro team in any racing series that uses the 101-piece toolset from your local box store. There is a reason for that.  Quality  I am a self-declared tool snob and have been for over 25 years. During my relatively short foray into auto mechanics I used tools exclusively from a dude with a big white truck who came to the shop. No, I didn’t have money for pro tools. I didn’t even have the skills to “need” pro tools let alone the pay to go with them. That did not stop me. I didn’t have as many tools as the professional mechanics I was working with and my box never got above hobby grade before I left for other things. When it came time for war, I applied the same philosophy to my

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Brand Loyalty, Bias, and Being Dumb 

Brand loyalty is a strong influence on people’s attempt to find the best option. Ford vs Chevy, Coke vs Pepsi, we all have our preferences. Is it safe to blindly rely on our loyalties with our choices in guns, gear, and training? Is it wise to consider a piece of gear without knowing other (possibly better) options available? My gun/gear purchases are work related. I don’t bother with cheap options. I have that bin of crappy holsters, AR15 accessories, and cheap optics from over a decade ago. I have learned inexpensive usually means not for work use. I am one who believes you get what you pay for after a few bin related issues. Serious use items need greater scrutiny. A blind assumption that a specific brand will always provide the optimal option is a wrong assumption. I have used Glocks for years without issue. I just bought a new G34 for duty use, but I won’t buy a G43. G34’s have had great reviews, Glocks in general are an outstanding option – G43s seem to still need some proving. I am not going to make the blind purchase based on my previous experience with Glock. (I did buy a

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Mission Planning For SWAT Teams

It is no surprise that a lot of SWAT teams use the Military five point operations order for mission planning. There are many similarities and SMEAC (Situation, Mission, Execution, Admin & Logistics, Command & Signal) is a great tool for planning to ensure nothing is overlooked or missed. However, I see that base model being used even when there is more than enough time to detail plan. In the following paragraphs I will detail each of those portions, and suggest some break out section that can be added to the format. Those things are usually contingencies, but we have to remember that the Ops plan serves the primary purpose of briefing a bunch of people what their individual and element functions are within the overall plan. In addition, it is a discoverable item and should stand on its own to show professionalism within the group. That document should make a jury say to themselves, “These dudes have their shit together.” SITUATION General overview of the call, but it should do so succinctly. Who – bad guys known to be present and associates information. Kids and No-PC adults should also be listed. Cops that will assist, SWAT, detectives that will come

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Women, Wardrobes, Guns

“But, women have to completely re-think their wardrobe in order to carry a gun safely.” Apparently, according to the vast majority of men, women regularly need to go up a size in their jeans, or completely “re-think” their wardrobe in order to accommodate your everyday Kydex holster. This has always been one of those “nail on a chalkboard” topics for me. It’s simply not true, or rather, it’s not true for the majority. There are always tricks, wearing a push-up bra to offset the thickness of my Glock 17 is one of them. Layering a tight undershirt with a flowing blouse is another easy trick. Bottom line, we as a community need to stop making safe concealed carrying seem like an impossible feat to new female shooters. Gone are the days of high waisted button fly Levis hugging all the right places, and not allowing for extra room inside the waistband. Sure, in the 90’s, women very likely had to go up a size, or even wear men’s jeans in order to accommodate a pistol inside the waistband. However, most ladies jeans today have a certain percentage of spandex that guarantee even a Glock 17 has plenty of wiggle room. A lot of women live in yoga pants,

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Weapon System Visual Signature Reduction aka “spray painting your rifle”

“(Camouflage) is the use of materials and techniques to hide, blend, disguise, decoy, or disrupt the appearance of military targets and/or their backgrounds” - Army ATTP 3-34.39, Camouflage, Concealment, and Decoys “Target indicators: anything a Soldier does or fails to do that could result in detection.” - Army FM 3-22.10, Sniper Training and Operations I’ll preface this article by stating that this is written with a duty/work gun in mind, for the servicemember or LEO that relies on the weapon they carry to bring them back home not only alive, but victorious over their enemy. As such, aesthetics are not only a non factor but something that must be purged from our collective brains. Function is the key here - there are plenty of places to get your rifle cerakoted with flaming skulls and other bullshit if that fits your fancy. Equally important is understanding that a sweet paint job does not mean your weapon is invisible - it is merely a base for a true system of camouflage that involves other techniques that are the topic for another day. Not fooling anybody Target indicators/improper camouflage: the down and dirty. Of the five types of target indicators, our focus here

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Point Shooting According To Roland

Point shooters practice using "muscle memory" to consistently repeat gun alignment to make shots. Through enough reps even a broken watch is right twice a day. But because this is not aimed fire and no attempt to find a dot or front sight post (FSP) was made the rep does not relate back to aimed fire practice other than maybe the draw. Traditional shooting practice, moving into flash sight picture, and eventually down the slide, or in the glass built upon the exact same techniques- just allowing yourself to accept less optimal visual input as to the proper alignment of the weapon. "Point shooting" as something you practice for instead of something that happens: think about Cowboy action hip shooting. Unaimed fire focusing on repeatable muscle actions, built up though exhaustive repetition. For some reason when you take the gun away from center of mass and all the sudden place it at the hip..... practicing point shooting seems a whole lot different. A key element to today's point shooters is they are trying to stay squared to use the tip of the modified isosceles triangle as their aiming reference- so punching out center line is important. How does that work when

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