Category Archives: Concepts

Ideas & Concepts,

Legal Aspects of Warrant Service with NVG

One of the things I like best about being a travelling instructor is meeting cops from all over the place and talking about the similarities in the job regardless of jurisdiction. Some of the similarities are funny; like nobody has ever owned the pants they were wearing when dope is found in the pockets, “These ain’t my pants Officer”. Some similarities are also command staff personnel who are living in the past and are actually roadblocks to progression. Some of this based on how we did it back in the day, disconnect from the street, and some of it is not embracing technology due to bad information or lack of knowledge. All of those things seem to manifest themselves in regard to NVG use for Warrant Service by SWAT units. “There’s case law that says you can’t use NVG as cops!”, my response has always been “What is the case?”. And then I get the blank….. Here is the reality, there are plenty of cases that talk about NVG and Thermal image intensifying devices in regards to the government using them to obtain information to obtain search warrants. One of the earliest was U.S. V. Lee, a prohibition era case

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Skill Drills vs. Scenario Training

I was inspired to write this article because of a curious phenomenon known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This describes how a person’s knowledge of a subject and their self-perceived expertise are inversely proportional. So a person with very little knowledge of a subject often think that they know much more about a subject than they actually do. And a true expert often believes that what s/he knows is common knowledge. This is seen in a medical community with people who self-diagnose based off a five minute search on Web MD and then argue with actual medical professionals when care is sought. This is also seen in the firearms community all the time. Joe Anybody hears something at the gun shop, or reads something on an internet forum or FaceBook page. Joe Anybody then proclaims his new found truth for all to hear. He even corrects those who have much more experience and knowledge because Joe doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and in his mind he is an expert. On the other end I’ve had numerous Special Forces soldiers tell me “If I can do it anyone can.” I appreciate the humility, but you only have to look as far

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Trainers, Training, and Mindset

“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War This is an ancient piece of wisdom and is true today. But does it apply to the individual citizen or law enforcement officer who just wants to get through the day and make it home to see his or her family in the evening? Absolutely. Mindset is the key to everything. I was fortunate enough to sit in a live conversation broadcast the other night on training and how to select trainers. One of the participants, Varg Freeborn, made a statement about mindset at some point in the chat (most but not all was broadcast and I can’t remember if this was or not) saying mindset is 80% of any fight. He talked about a fight being pretty much won or lost before it even begins based on mindset. That one comment opened my mental file folder of mindset material previously read, taught, presented to students, or written. A good friend and training mentor over the last decade exposed me to mindset when I first began training

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Tomahawk Selection

I have had a few questions in regard to selecting a tomahawk for police work. I am no expert on 'Hawk construction but a few things to consider would be type of steel used. Tool steels like D2 are good, it is no secret that I love the American Kami stuff, DJ uses S7 which is used in high impact/shock applications like jack hammer bits. http://www.americankami.com/impact.html The second would be a full tang, meaning that it is made from a single piece of steel rather than having a head with a partial tang supported by a handle. Remember that you are going to be beating the piss out of this thing and it needs to hold up to the punishment. Handle material is also important so it should not be slippery and provide a solid gripping surface that fits the hand to prevent rolling and so forth. The shape is also important, I need a spike that is thin enough to fit most locks hasps so I can break them. I also need it think enough to withstand the prying and twisting that is required for doors. I bought an AK Micraxe prior to knowing that DJ also makes a

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The Gun Elitist Debate

There are some who will argue pure price point in both the excessively cheap and unnecessarily high extremes when it comes to guns and gear. Some are brand oriented and brand loyal - for whatever reason. My XXX Brand has never had a failure (because it gets a magazine shot through it once maybe twice a year). Some people get angry when the term "duty" comes up in regards to a level of quality. The term professional gets turned away as well due to people not having a frame of reference as to what it really means. Here is some insight to the duty quality, professional use, gun snob, elitist debate - life dependant is the qualifier. Home defense, personal defense, duty, and SHTF all have one similar concept - life dependant on the weapon to work as needed and as expected. Not only does the weapon need to function reliably, it needs to be able to achieve an acceptable (if not greater) level of accuracy. If you choose a subpar option for the above situations, be aware you are taking a risk. Many (yes, many - not all) of those who have carried a gun for a living understand

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Ballistic Helmets, Construction, Testing, and Ratings

So, after one of my gear reviews, I received so much feedback, I decided to clarify/expound. It seems most end users are merely consumers. They want to give you their want as they see it, and they expect you to point their nose at an easily affordable product without any real regard to their needs. This problem is compounded by the fact that unsavory companies will do just that…on the surface…while easily disconnecting said consumer from their money. The problem isn’t always on the behalf of the business. As with anything we purchase, we know that with quality comes monetary compensation, so where do we draw the line and how do we spot these companies? That is easy my friend, it is called education. For today’s entertainment, I will discuss ballistic helmets, how they are rated, and why some companies offer them at a different price break. We will also talk about the simple solution for finding a good helmet that won’t break the bank. First of all, I am no “expert.” I am mostly just experienced and educated. Having procured, tested, evaluated, and taken to combat many different systems, I have learned a lot through a few decades. While

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Choosing a Protection Level for Rifle Plates

Armor 101… I tell customers that armor is one of the most confusing commodities in the defensive industry. Understanding the rating systems, the materials, and the capabilities associated with each is a must for one to make an educated armor choice. When selecting armor, start with the most likely threat that you may face (be realistic) and work from there. It is always a trade-off (protection, cost, durability, weight, thickness); just balance the capabilities to arrive at the best available solution for your requirement. RATINGS/LEVELS (Rifle Threats) Rifle Plates and Levels. NIJ is the rating that drives the armor train (for now). It is horribly outdated and does all of us a disservice. But NIJ is the only girl left in the bar and it is 2am...so it is what it is. So why is the NIJ rating system "out of date"? Well, the CONUS bad guys aren't shooting at us with 30.06 AP rounds for the most part. The current certification does not account for common threats such as 7.62x39, 5.56 (ball, M855, AP), or 7.62x54R. Rifle plates are rated to stop 6 hits of 7.62 ball (Level III) or 1 hit of .30cal Armor Piercing (Level IV). These

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Materials Used in Hard Armor

*Editor's note: NiJ ratings do not consider 5.56 in classifications. If something is rated level III it will stop .308 but not necessarily 5.56/.223. Currently there are four common options for Level III plates:  5-6 mm steel (AR500/R50c/AR46100) plates: Level III steel plates offer a very thin profile, but are a bit heavier (6.5-7.5 lbs for a 10x12 plate) than some other options. They are very durable and offer inexpensive multi-hit capability against even closely spaced non-AP 7.62 x 39 mm and 7.62 x 51 mm projectiles, as well as for heavier 5.56 mm loads, including 62 gr M855 “green-tip”. Unfortunately, many lightweight (55 gr or less) 5.56 mm loads will defeat steel plates, including the extremely common 55 gr FMJ loads like M193. It is a VERY good idea to wear level IIIa soft armor underneath steel plates. *Spall is a great safety concern. Hard compressed polyethelene (Dyneema/Spectra) plates: These are very lightweight (3-4 lbs for a 10 x 12 plate) multi- hit capable level III plates that will stop closely spaced hits of both the lightweight 5.56 mm ammo that defeats steel, along with the 7.62 mm threats stopped by steel, as well expanding rifle ammunition in many

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The Value of Backgrounds With Teaching

Something that's been bugging me of late and I have to rant a bit about...let me be blunt (as those who know me can appreciate) - I CAN GIVE TWO BIG SHITS WHAT YOUR BACKGROUND IS WHEN IT COMES TO TEACHING ME ABOUT SHOOTING!!!!! That's right...anybody who knows me, knows I know my way around guns. But what's more important is, how I got to know my way around guns MATTERS THE FUCK NOT!!!!! It suffices, that if somebody can concisely, succinctly and confidently make a logical teaching point, I DO NOT validate that point by asking that person, "ok...what SOF unit were you in" before I take that lesson and use it to it's fullest. I've learned over time that I'm a good judge of character and experience has shown me that I have a knack for surviving gun fights and making young Soldiers into old ones. But the most important lesson I've learned is that the youngest Soldier does not define that person's level of competency. What I've learned is that confidence, maturity, logic intelligence and the ability to use common sense to validate fundamental truths comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, age and EXPERIENCE LEVELS!!!!! My belief

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Critical Equipment

This article began as some thoughts when I was listening to the P&S Kyle Defoor interview a few months ago, and I am finally putting thoughts on paper (or the internet’s version of paper). “Tell me about your rifle” (here) was Kyle’s question that started me thinking. On a similar vein, more handgun-focused, was the phrase “tell me a story about your pistol.” Ask yourself “How confident am I in my gear?” In that worst case scenario where a failure of your gear means grave bodily injury or death, can you count on it all the time, every time? If not, why not? How can you bring your gear up to that level of trust? Watching videos of many violent encounters, you quickly realize how vital the opening moments are. As someone closes distance, can you guarantee that your handgun is where it should be? Will it have fallen out, shifted position drastically, or otherwise become unavailable? When you press the trigger, how sure are you that the gun will fire, and that is will hit at the point of aim of your sights? If you grab your rifle, is your optic going to be on? Will it have shifted to

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