XS Express Sight Set for the Bodyguard 380

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 XS front port sideSomething was missing.  Hmmmm.  What could it be?  Where’s my tritium front sight?  The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 came with many nice features.  A pleasing hydrogen isotope glow in the foreground was not one of them.  Not that I am prejudiced against serrated front ramps, but I need the green.

There is presently only one option for low- and no-light front sights for the S&W Bodyguard 380, XS Sight System’s Tritium Express Set.  They come in Big Dot and a smaller Standard Dot.  I chose the latter.  The biggun just comes off as disproportionate on this weapon.

I had once installed a set of XS Big Dot Express Sights on my Glock 27.  Hated ‘em.  I did not like the huge dot and very shallow “V” rear sight.  In my hands, they were not as precise as any of the three-dots with which I was familiar. This was borne out by my sh#*tty range scores with the Big Dot.  Whap!  Back on with the TruGlo’s.  Ahhhh, better. Continue reading

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Larry Vickers Recreates Collateral Shooting Techniques

As a profession, law enforcement sometimes fails to teach practical shooting drills in favor of square range target practice.  Yes, I know, Collateral was a just movie.  But the essence of the action here is a Controlled Pair from the holster on suspect one, followed by a Failure Drill, a.k.a. the Mozambique Drill, to suspect two.  If you have not depressed a trigger on either of these techniques thus far in 2015, you are not keeping your shooting skills honed.

I was with a small group of sergeants who had rifle qualifications a few weeks ago.  Our instructor for the evolution is a reserve Tier One soldier with combat tours overseas.  He is also one of our administrative supervisors.  I enjoy his sessions because he is serious about providing excellent training that can save your life.  He has seen the elephant. Continue reading

Posted in Firearms, Officer Safety, Tactics | 1 Comment

Latest Glock 43 Photographs

imageThese are the official photos of the Glock 43.  There were some Photoshopped versions out there, but these are the legit ones.  Specifications are below.  The G43 is slightly larger than the G42, but it is still more easily concealed carry than a G26/27.  The MSRP for the Glock 43 will be $589.00 according to some online retailers.

image Continue reading

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Glock Teases New Release–Maybe a 9mm Single Stack?

Glock This Spring

Updated:  Someone apparently breached a nondisclosure agreement yesterday and confirmed the existence of the Glock 43.  Glock, in turn, gave the rest of the media a go-ahead to publish their “secret stories.”  Looks like we are getting the skinny 9 after all…

Here we go again.  I received a media invite for a Glock event at the NRA 2015 Annual Meeting.  Glock promises exclusive “…Range Time with New Product…” among other perks at the April 20 event in Nashville.  The flyer for the soirée had the silhouette of what looks like a G42, but industry insiders accuse it of being the new Glock 43 single stack 9mm sub-sub-compact.

As if that were not enough, Glock’s Facebook page has the “This Spring” photo of the short double-captive spring assembly that would be part of the 9mm’s internals and, in another advertisement, the top of a slide consistent with the truncated pistol.  Glock is asking us to stay tuned on March 20, 2015 for an important Continue reading

Posted in Concealed Carry, Firearms, Off Duty | 6 Comments

Sarasota Police Body Cameras Stalled

imageDespite the procurement of 24 body cameras by the Sarasota Police Department, the recording devices will not be worn by officers pending a lawsuit and proposed legislation in both houses of the Florida Legislature.

A civil rights activist, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing the city over the cost of a public records request for 84 hours of police video taken during the cameras’ test program.  SPD gave a price of $18,000 for compilation, review, and redaction of the videos per F.S.S. 119, the Florida Public Records law.  The ACLU contends it is an excessive charge.

SPD Chief Bernadette Di Pino has also put the cameras on hold because of two bills presently working their way through Florida House of Representatives and Senate committees.

Synopsis of HB 57:   Continue reading

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New Emerson Rangemaster Sheepdog Knife

Emerson Rangemaster Sheepdog KnifeErnest Emerson has allied with noted author, speaker, and soldier Lt. Col. Dave Grossman to produce Emerson’s first flipper knife that will be the official blade for Grossman’s company, Sheepdog Knife and Gun.  The knife is called the Rangemaster Sheepdog and it is one very nice piece of sharpened goodness.

The Rangemaster Sheepdog has a 3.5 inch blade of 154 CM stainless steel, Rockwell Hardened to 57-59 on the C scale.  The blade, available as a bowie or spear point and in black or stonewashed finishes, swings open via the patented Emerson Wave Feature, a thumb disk, or finger flipper action.  Any one of these methods operates on a new Emerson ball bearing pivot system.

Grossman told Emerson, “It’s important that the user must be able to open the knife under high stress so I’d need it to Continue reading

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Police Lives Matter

Police Lives MatterI was thinking about the two police officers shot in Ferguson this morning when I remembered this homemade sign placed beside the road in the city where I work.  This impromptu road sign was much like a banner I had seen a few weeks ago in Gibsonton on U.S. 41.  It also read, “Police Lives Matter,” and was displayed over a business.  Both made me reflect that there are many law enforcement supporters out there who are our silent majority.  I appreciate the sentiments.  Speedy recovery to the wounded officers and safe shifts to those on watch…

Randall

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Lone Pinellas Deputy Controls Beach Brawl

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bryan Bingham had his hands full with drunken, combative Spring Breakers convicted felons.  He stayed calm and appeared to use as little force as he could to control both suspects while awaiting back-up.  It would have been nice to see some of the kids give him some meaningful help earlier in the fracas, but at least they did not attack him.

The first suspect, Joshua McMahan, punched and spat on Bingham at the beginning of the incident.  McMahan was released from prison in 2014 for armed robbery.  The second suspect, Justin Lewis, was also released from state prison last year on an aggravated battery charge.  Both have many previous arrests.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri cleared the sergeant, saying he did his job in a dangerous situation.  Bingham had responded to a fight involving 15-20 persons on the beach.  “When you got a big crowd and you got somebody who is fighting, you’ve got to take action and that’s what Sgt. Bingham did,” Gualtieri said at a press conference.

Nice job, Deputy!  Glad you were not seriously hurt.

Randall

Posted in Officer Safety | 3 Comments

Deputy Arrested for Sending Photos of the Dead

Pasco Sheriff LogoA Pasco County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested on Thursday for sending his ex-girlfriend explicit photographs of two dead persons from crime scenes.  Austin Jeffrey Douglas violated Florida State Statute 406.136 (6a), which makes it a felony for the custodian of photographs, video, or audio recordings depicting the killing of a person to release them to anyone not authorized.

Douglas told Internal Affairs detectives he sent the pictures of a gunshot suicide victim and photo of a dead man in a living room chair to his ex’s cell phone because he was having a “bad weekend.”  Investigators confirmed he had been at both scenes over the past weekend.  Austin was fired in conjunction with his arrest.  The ex-girlfriend made the IA complaint.

Working in law enforcement brings both added Continue reading

Posted in Legal, Misc., Off Duty | 2 Comments

Lake Wales Police Officers Shot

imageNews agencies are reporting that two Lake Wales police officers have been shot while responding to an “active shooter” incident.  The Lake Wales Police Department and Polk County Sheriff’s Office have a suspect in custody.  A PCSO spokesperson stated no one “was seriously or critically injured” at the call.  Neighbors on Hillside Avenue said there had been numerous gunshots from the area.  I hope the officers will make a full recovery…

Randall

Update:  This was a straight-up ambush.  Suspect John Goepferich called 911, saying there was someone shooting in his house.  When Ofc’s John Schwartze and Benjamin Metz arrived, they were hit by gunfire from Goepferich’s 9mm pistol.  In all, the suspect shot at 12 LEO’s.  Five Lake Wales officers returned fire, striking the suspect.  Ofc’s Schwartze and Metz suffered non-life threatening injuries, as did Goepferich.  Goepferich is facing 12 counts of attempted homicide of a law enforcement officer.  Good work by the officers surviving and prevailing in this cowardly attack.

Posted in Officer Safety, Street | 2 Comments

Police K9 Handlers and Dog Control

Author with his second K9 partner.

Author with his second K9 partner.

A Coconut Creek Police Department K9 dog has been retired from the force after biting two innocent persons, one an officer.  Four-year-old K9 Renzo had only been on the job a year and a half at the time of his dismissal.  The circumstances of the bites, as widely reported in the media, shine a light on the subjects of a handler’s judgment and his control of his police dog in public.

I am commenting only on the scenarios as documented, not the persons involved, who will not be named here.  In the first instance, November 26, 2014, the K9 team was tracking a home invasion suspect around 12 a.m.  The handler lost his footing and control of Renzo, who then bit an officer.  The officer received multiple puncture wounds.  The handler said the dog might have viewed the officer as a threat.

If true, this situation is both handler error and unfortunate circumstance.  The error of the handler in falling may have been unavoidable.  Running around in the dark with a motivated four-legged partner pulling you all over creation can result in the K9 officer going down and losing the dog.  If a trailing officer was close, the dog may have seen his or her movement and reacted Continue reading

Posted in K9, Officer Safety, Street | Tagged , | 2 Comments

New CODECAM Police Body Camera

CODECAM frontI spied a couple of police body cameras at SHOT Show 2015.  One was the CODECAM designed by HQ Industries, LLC.  This is a low profile camera that can be carried in a uniform pen pocket or clipped to other items of clothing or MOLLE webbing.  It even comes with a magnetic mount.  HQ says theirs is the only camera with a built-in LED utility light.

The CODECAM records video in 720p HD at 30 FPS and stores it on an 8 GB micro SD card, which can be removed for upload.  Video is recorded, in color and with audio, to .MOV format.  Over two hours of video can be captured.  The lens of the camera has a 60 degree viewing angle.  The unit is rechargeable by USB.

CODECAM is activated by sliding open the lens cover, called the iLid, on the front of the camera.  This cover also protects the lens when not in use.  HQ says the iLid makes using the camera “mistake-free.”  One could just say “foolproof.”  We have pretty thick skins. Continue reading

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Recording the Police: Hands Up 4 Justice App

handsup4justiceHands Up 4 Justice is an app that lets people record police/citizen encounters without the officer knowing that the user’s cell phone camera is active.  Although the message is that taping the interaction is innocent, the Hands Up 4 Justice Facebook page contains the following:

“The App will allow you to secretly record any traffic stop & share & save the video online. In the event that you are detained or killed the video is safe”

I am a little put off by the words “secretly” and “killed.”  This is more sinister than HU4J’s regular website, which gives helpful tips to app users such as:

  • Make sure you have updated driver’s license, registration, and insurance information.
  • Be polite and don’t make any sudden movements.
  • Always comply with the police officers’ requests.
  • Tell the officer if there are weapons in the car.
  • Tell the officer this entire stop is being recorded.
  • Ask the officer his name, badge number, and reason for the stop.
  • Don’t be a jerk to the officer.

I can support these recommendations.  The website also shows a traffic stop which is obviously done by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper.  Strangely,  I did not find any legal disclaimers on the site.  But, there is case law pertaining to officers’ behavior with respect to a citizen recording their conversation.  Continue reading

Posted in Legal, Officer Safety, Street | 2 Comments

Gerber Strongarm Fixed Blade Knife

Gerber Strongarm CoyoteGerber Legendary Blades as offered fixed blade knives for military use going way back to their 1966 Mark II fighter of Vietnam fame.  Focusing on the needs of the soldier in real time, Gerber’s new Strongarm knife is Made in the USA for today’s modern warriors.  This knife at SHOT Show barked SWAT use as well.

Strongarm is a full tang fixed blade of 420HC stainless steel.  420HC is easy to resharpen and holds a decent edge.  It is used in some of Gerber’s fixed blades for its toughness and durability.  Blade length here is 4.875″ and it is coated in a black ceramic.

The Strongarm stretches a measuring tape to 9.75″ from tip to pommel.  Speaking of the pommel, it is a “skull crusher” or glass breaker, depending on your mood.  It has the obligatory lanyard Continue reading

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SWAT Medics In Harm’s Way

SWAT Medics3Last week, a Polk County SWAT medic was shot in the shoulder during a barricaded suspect shootout.  A Polk Sheriff’s Office M.R.A.P. was peppered by the suspect with over 40 rifle bullets in the incident.  This scenario reminded me of some of my Team’s struggles to integrate medics into our own program.

When I joined SWAT in 1989, there were no trained medical professionals on any tactical unit in the my county.  About eight years later, we began sending fire department paramedics to SWAT School.  Although the FD guys qualified with handguns and shotguns, they only carried them in training.

Once the medics had been activated with our Team, we began to think about how they would be utilized on actual operations.  We practiced bringing the medics with us on perimeters.  We integrated them into large scale entries, though they were always at the back of the stack with a rear guard as their armed companion.  Medics would be called out for Continue reading

Posted in SWAT | 4 Comments