Cops and Soldiers Don’t Know Jack About Guns

As always, it’s important for you, dear reader, to understand that we are all aware that blanket statements like that in the title have exceptions. Yes, there are cops and Soldiers who do know a thing or two. The point here is that we often run into a conversation that goes something like this: “Well, my uncle was a Soldier and he says that the Mini-14 is the bestest killin’ stick in all time because it shoots .223 Rem which tumbles in the air and tears people’s arms off as it passes.” Listening to this account, you may become suspicious of whether that favorite uncle exists and, if he does, whether he actually served. But you are painfully aware of how inaccurate the statement is. In this hypothetical case, the particulars are fairly obvious, but that is not always the case. Just because a person served their country and/or their community doesn’t mean that they automatically become an expert in all things that go “BANG”.

It doesn’t even necessarily mean they are particularly knowledgeable about the weapon systems to which they are assigned. To be sure, if you ask most Soldiers, they ought to be able to tell you the unloaded weight and the maximum effective range on a point target for the M16A2 rifle. But I’ve heard many Joes repeat that line above about bullets tumbling in flight or the myth that the 5.56x45mm cartridge was designed to wound. Rank and occupational specialty are no guarantee of knowledge, either. While we were preparing for a mission, a SFC in 3rd Group assigned me to the M240B on the back of a truck and asked if I had qualified recently. I advised him that I was qualified, it had been a while but that I was very familiar with the M249 and the manual of arms was about the same. He agreed, except that the M240B fires from an open bolt. Of course, most of you probably know that the M249 also fires from an open bolt, but I wasn’t inclined to argue the point.

Does this guy look like he’s an expert at anything?

Like Soldiers, many law enforcement officers are not really “into” guns in the way that readers of this blog likely are. Guns are just another tool they use to do their jobs. Unfortunately, police officers often have need to know a bit about guns that they are not issued. Many years ago, when dirt was new, I was camping and hiking with a friend when we decided to walk into the town of Safford to get some booze and use a payphone (yeah, it was that long ago) shortly before we arrived at a convenience store, we heard some firecrackers go off. Someone called the police, and they arrived while we were on the phone. Ultimately, it was no big deal as another officer found the remains of the firecrackers and it was obvious that our own guns hadn’t been fired, but while the supervisor was attempting to “render safe” our guns, he muzzled my friend and I multiple times trying to figure out how to pull back the slide on our 1911s. After telling him several times that he had to disengage the safety, eventually I had to point to it for him to figure it out.

Again, there are many cops and Soldiers who do know guns well. A close friend of mine is a sheriff deputy, former Marine, and current Soldier. He’s a better shooter than I am by a fair degree and his historical knowledge of guns dwarfs my own. And obviously there are many others that know what they’re talking about. But the mere fact that someone carries a gun for a living is really no indication that they are particularly knowledgeable. So where does that put me? Same as when I told you that you shouldn’t think I know something just because I wrote an article, you shouldn’t conclude that I know anything just because I wore a pickle suit. More to the point, the next time somebody tells you that their uncle’s best friend’s coworker was a ranger so he knows all about the FAMAS, feel free to roll your eyes. There’s a good chance that he never served anyway and if he did, that doesn’t necessarily make him an expert.



Andrew

Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block (https://www.youtube.com/user/chopinbloc). He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at choppingblocktests@gmail.com


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  • Cecil J

    Author,
    I’m curious as to what firearms (primary and secondary) you would choose to take into battle if you were unlimited in your choices for equipment?

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      Well it’s TFB, so likely a Glock/HK hybrid rifle G19 Roland dingus.

    • Chop Block

      Well, first off, you need to color this response with both my article disparaging gun blog writers and this current one. Please don’t hold me up as some kind of expert.

      That said, it’s very mission dependent. Generally, an M4 and a Glock or other striker fired polymer frame would be just fine.

      • Cecil J

        What caliber in the sidearm?

        To others who reponded, I meant equipment in an ideal World where you were the King Emperor. I’d have them design a modular 5.56, 6.5, 7.62 rifle that was AK rugged and smooth handling like the M4 or FAL. I guess if the SCAR16&17 were interchangeable and modular they’d be pretty close to that in real life or more piston style ARs as they evolve in design. You’re right-don’t see striker designs going away anytime soon.

        • CommonSense23

          AK rugged?

          • Scott P

            AR rugged?

        • Chop Block

          Doesn’t matter what caliber. It’s just a pistol. So probably 9mm. I’d rather have M4 rugged than a fragile AK.

          • miniguyvegas

            The Bren 806, best of all worlds and lighter too, plus caliber portability between 7.62×39 and 5.56, and a generic high cap 9mm plastic gun.

            Theoretical plasma cannon with a zero point energy system, if we’re going to dream up something from whole cloth.

          • iksnilol

            Doesn’t the 7.62×39 version use AR mags? Or does it use AK mags?

    • BillyOblivion

      Whatever the other guys in my unit were carrying. Logistics is WAY more important than personal preference.

    • Old Tofu

      ALL OF THEM!!!. . . if I have an unlimited budget why wouldn’t I use it? 🙂

    • Mystick

      It has to be a 1911, as opposed to those lesser, derivative firearms.

    • Anything, as long as it takes Glock mags

    • iksnilol

      Belt fed 40mm grenade launcher, a modern one and not the MK19 contraption.

      Something preferably based on the Stoner LMG mechanism/geometry.

  • RSG

    My anecdotal experience with cops are they know very little about firearms, don’t shoot very well and don’t really support the Second Amendment for those other than their immediate family members. I consider those the “rules”, but freely admit exceptions, however limited, do exist.

    • Just Say’n

      May be sadly true for most of the line officers and detectives. The SWAT members however know their stuff, and go to the range at least weekly (around these parts), just my experience.

      • RSG

        SWAT are the closest equivalent to military operators. They are more skilled and at least more committed to proficiency. Not so sure about their commitment to the Second Amendment, though. Rank and file cops, including detectives aren’t friends of “We the People”.

        • Holdfast_II

          Cops are like the populace they serve – City cops tend to be skeptical of the 2nd Amendment, while small town and rural cops tend to be a lot more pro-2A.

          • Bill

            “A community gets the police it deserves.” Anon.

          • 1911a145acp

            Hmmmmm….. I have seen some communities get FAR better cops than they deserve….

          • pun&gun

            Yes indeed. Whether they’re elected (local sheriffs) or appointed (city police commissioners) tend to have a lot to do with it. At the top level most big cities’ police forces are controlled by anti-gun politicians.

      • Billy Jack

        Lotta former SWAT guys in my area teach daily and shoot competitively.

    • BeGe1

      The first two yes, more often than not. They usually just know their service weapon specifically and can qual but are nothing special.

      The 2nd Amendment part I’ve met far more that support it than don’t though. So disagree there.

    • Nathan Alred

      Hmmm. You must not know the cops I do. Admittedly, some of them are limited in their overall knowledge (after all, it’s a job skill, not a hobby or passion), but they are pretty universally pro Second Amendment. And most of the ones I know work in a large’ish, liberal Left Coast city. As for the rest, the farther you get from the coast, the more pro Second Amendment they get.

    • Phil Elliott

      Having been a range officer, some but not all officers are not “gun savvy”, some want the extra training knowing that their ass depends on it. Others not so much. As a new R.O. i pulled a weapons inspection and was horrified to find green corroded ammo in one officers weapon! We had after hours training session over that one.

      • noob

        Okay that is just dismaying. Was his uniform impeccable but his evidence always “lost”?

      • cwolf

        Or the FBI agent(s) who sprayed their revolvers down with gun lube/WD40.

        Oops, gun doesn’t shoot.

        • Phil Elliott

          Scored a LOT of recoverable brass, and bullets from a friend who works at a range, they had to take all of such ammo from a unnamed Caribbean country along with some good surplus stuff after some Chief told all of his people to spray their guns with WD-40. Since I am retired it’s a great way to pass the time and add to the collection of “stuff” as my wife calls it .

  • SGT Fish

    Reminds me of when I was camping and had to call the cops on some neighbor campers that were being threatening to us. One of the cops was trying to unload a pistol and kept muzzling me and my GF as we his partners talked to us. I told him “dude, PLEASE stop putting our lives in more danger by pointing the loaded gun at us!” He started to snap back at me and said something like, “don’t start with m…” when his partner put his hand on his shoulder and said, “he is right, and I don’t want you to shoot me either.” haha..
    and as a soldier, I agree with this. I also think that all soldiers shouldn’t be thought of as respectable individuals. It really makes you wonder when you see soldiers/veterans complaining on TV/news/whatever and pointing out that they are a veteran like it gives them a special reason to be upset

    • Chop Block

      Couldn’t agree more. I also love it when veterans act like they are entitled to free stuff or discounts or other special treatment. I mean, I’m grateful for a discount and I’ll always ask, but I’m not entitled to a dammed thing that wasn’t in my contract.

      • Sausage

        No, they are not, but there are way too many of my fellow veterans who walk around with sand in their vaginas over other people’s actions. Chill, Brother, the irritation will pass.

        • Wow!

          That said, I do kind of like it when vets stand up for themselves over the right things. You look at how Vietnam vets were treated like dirt (and some still are) and that has always stuck with me. No one should have to deal with that kind of BS after serving their own country.

      • Billy Jack

        I always want to help those who don’t feel entitled more.

    • Kevin Riley

      Veterans also don’t automatically get the right to drive their vehicles like a$$holes when they’ve served.

      • Old Tofu

        yes they do. just like every other idiot they can to drive right OR like an escaped mental patient. welcome to america baby 🙂

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I dont really trust anyone around guns anymore.
    Theyve become a fashion accessory for yay-hoos and bros and guys with more money than brains.

    • Zundfolge

      Yeah, we should probably just ban ’em since the common man is too stupid to have the “right attitude” about ’em.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Some people actually ARE too stupid to own guns. Just like some people probably shouldnt have kids or get behind the wheel.
        Youre probably one of the ones who keeps having “accidents” and cant figure out why.

        • De Facto

          It is worth pointing out that even if there ARE people who are too stupid to own guns, it is not up to us or the Gov. to pre-emptively revoke that right. It is the price we pay for the freedom to bear arms as a right, not a privilige.

          • UWOTM8

            I would tentatively say that some rights, such as voting, are too freely given nowadays and have led our society down a difficult path. How this is decided is not up to me, but the reasoning still stands.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            The reason why our ability to own guns may be in danger is precisely because of these idiots.
            Idiots who shoot up schools, churches, themselves, each other.

          • Alex @Sea

            Those are called CRIMINALS meathead. Not idiots (though they may be that too). The danger to our gun rights come from hoplophobes. Look it up.

          • UWOTM8

            Boy, you must be such a high-speed 3-percenter if you used “hoplophobe” in a sentence. Save your 2015-era condescension for someone who cares and for a point that didn’t go right over your head.

          • Alex @Sea

            2015 era? (snickers))) Bless your heart.

          • 1911a145acp

            Again, 2015 WTF?

          • .45

            The only problem with that is that I imagine for the most part the people who agree with you are the “smart” ones who should have the right to vote and those who disagree are “stupid” and shouldn’t be allowed to vote…

          • UWOTM8

            Your imagination is poor. Without intelligent people of other opinions to discuss with, forums are useless. Echo chambers are useless.

            I personally know people who became losers when given opportunities to succeed and who have expressed no desire to contribute to society. These people can still walk into a voting booth to cast a decision on the direction that my country and rights must take as if they were equal to those who contribute. Such a thought has become too galling for me to ignore it in the name of democracy. If you haven’t had this thought too, you haven’t thought hard enough.

          • chrismalllory

            Voting should be limited to property owners over the age of 40.

          • UWOTM8

            I think there could be a test and criteria devised now that could be more successful than the restrictions of old.

          • Billy Jack

            And taxes too right? Or are you arguing for taxation without representation for everyone under 40?

          • Swarf

            Yeah, just the white people– I mean right! Right. Just the right people should be allowed to vote.

            I get what you’re saying.

          • UWOTM8

            How about just contributors and citizens who can educate themselves to a reasonable degree? All you need is the internet.

          • 1911a145acp

            A very “Democratic” party idea…..

          • Samuel Millwright

            The problem is literally every other approach other than giving EVERYONE THE RIGHTS is infinitely worse…

          • UWOTM8

            Not for society…

          • Samuel Millwright

            Srsly? LOL

            Glad I’m not you

          • UWOTM8

            All I said is that there should be criteria for voting. Kind of how there’s criteria for getting a driver’s license.

            I’m glad I’m me. I can’t imagine being oblivious to the truth.

          • Samuel Millwright

            You are oblivious to the truth though… The founding of my country was nominally caused by the very “qualification” process you so glibly state is a good idea… Also the burning of the reichstag, cultural revolution, and khmer rouge called… They want their ideas/ideology back…

            Jackass

          • UWOTM8

            Are you an American? I am and I’m quite familiar with the founding ideals of my country. One of the prime principles of a pure democracy as acknowledged by the Founding Fathers was that a true democracy can only serve its purpose as long as its citizens are educated and good enough to vote properly and be trusted. In fact, that is why we were designed as more of a republic and in the beginning did not have votes for everyone.

            To liken my rather reasonable inquiry to the Khmer Rouge and other such murderous groups is a leap of topics so broad that one can only attribute it to your own hysteria. Would you liken the Founding Fathers to them as well? After all, they set constraints on which citizens may vote.

            Also, it would appear your jimmies have been rustled as I have not seen such emotional vehemence since I was in school with teenage girls. Please limit the name-calling and calm down.

          • Samuel Millwright

            I so love people like you who are so monumentally stupid, completely lacking in self awareness, and hilariously arrogant to the point where i can count on you to show you authoritarian and insufferably smug proclivities in your responses…. Just like you’ve done

            You DO NOT get to tell me how to act, what i can say, or et cetera … And if you weren’t an arrogant insufferable authoritarian prig you wouldn’t be stupid enough to prove my assertions about you instantly correct….

            Are you sure you think ppl should need to pass a test to vote?

            Judging by how perfectly you botched a low risk low potential blowback situation that most 11 year olds would sidestep with ease…. You’d be off the voter rolls for sure!

          • UWOTM8
          • Kivaari

            Literacy tests and poll taxes were designed to keep the poor whites and blacks from voting.

          • Samuel Millwright

            Yes

            I mean the thing is rights have to be unconditional and universal for all CITIZENS OF A NATION (Key distinction) or not only are they not actually rights, they will cease to be.

            Example, the second amendment and gun rights. First felonies then mental illness and mechanisms in place for both to be reinstated if appropriate.

            Then some misdemeanors if they’re bad enough etc and medical stuff and with absolutely no evidence just because someone makes a phone call….

            (And guess what? SOMEWHERE IN ALL THAT the ATF division that handled reinstatement and ordered NICS etc to rescind denial had all it’s staff transferred to other divisions and it’s budget has been zeroed for well beyond a decade… And remember a phone call in many places a medical marijuana card a petty bureaucrat and several other people can AND DO have that phone number and gladly use it whenever possible!)

            If you call that a right you’re sadly mistaken… Especially when people in government leak or lose lists that give the vital information of all permit holderz etc frequently and with intent mant times!

            I swear my elementary school teachers covered all this stuff EVERY YEAR…

            How is it some people never seem to get this message?

          • Marcus D.

            Last I checked, we still have a republic and not a pure democracy. In the federal system, the House is a representational democracy, with representatives selected by majority vote for “districts” within each state, the idea, imperfectly realized, that the various equal population areas of the various states would have equal representation. By contrast, the Senate does not represent the people but the States as political entities and sovereigns, as our Founding Fathers envisioned it. Senators were typically appointed by governors; contested elections came later. In a pure democracy, the President would be elected by majority popular vote, but instead we have the Electoral College to prevent the mob of the populous states running roughshod over the rest of the country.

            And last but not least, the primary qualifier for possession of the voting privilege (not a right) was the ownership of property, not education. It as merely assumed that such men would have a better level of education and would be knowledgeable about the issues of the day–this in an era where most people living here on their farms carved out of the wilderness or servants to landed gentry were functionally illiterate.

          • Josh

            This is, ironically, the exact same criteria used to push restrictive licencing and registration practices on firearms in ban states. It is a solid No-Go for me.

          • Swarf

            Commie.

          • UWOTM8

            Nah, I’ve formally studied communism and have no time for the catastrophe it brings (Red Guards, Antifa). If I was proposing a one-party dictatorship and socialized spending, then you could call me a commie.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I was not advocating that.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            It may be a right but we take away people’s rights all the time.
            Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
            We take away that stuff every day.
            Liberty when we put people in jail and life when we execute them.
            Two things we do more of than any other western society.

          • De Facto

            Taking away someone’s gun rights after a crime == preemptively revoking gun rights on the basis of bureaucratic checklists. (In which case it ceases to be a right, and becomes a privilege.)

            A crime (ideally) involves demonstrable proof of harm or irresponsibility that justifies revoking the offender’s gun rights.

            A bureaucratic checklist on the other hand, will quickly be subverted and weaponized to disarm those of the wrong political persuasion, color, ideology, class, demographic, etc. See jim crow era gun and voting laws of the south or (for a more current example) conceal carry permit systems in place in NYC or California.

            The current “common sense” gun regulations follow the logic that your average person cannot be trusted with a firearm. The answer, of course, is for only a special class of person to have guns. It just so happens that only politicians and their yes-men/enforcers belong to that class.

            A distasteful and orwellian road to travel. I prefer the inherent dangers of universal gun rights to be found in the United States to the statist paradises to be found in Europe.

          • De Facto

            So I tried to leave this comment 6 days ago, it was marked as spam by Disqus/mods and I only just now noticed. I’m not trying to revive an argument, just saying the rest of my piece on the subject: “Taking away someone’s gun rights (or any rights, for that matter) after a crime == preemptively revoking rights on the basis of bureaucratic checklists. (In which case whatever is revoked ceases to be a right, and becomes a privilege.) A crime should involve demonstrable proof of harm or irresponsibility that justifies revoking the offender’s gun rights. A bureaucratic checklist on the other hand, will quickly be subverted and weaponized to disarm those of the wrong political persuasion, color, ideology, class, demographic, etc. See jim crow era gun and voting laws of the south or (for a more current example) conceal carry permit systems in place in NYC or California. The current “common sense” gun regulations follow the logic that your average person cannot be trusted with a firearm. The answer, of course, is for only a special class of person to have guns. It just so happens that only politicians and their yes-men/enforcers belong to that class. A distasteful and Orwellian road to travel. I prefer the inherent dangers of universal rights found in the United States as compared to the statist paradises found in Europe.”

      • noob

        There’s no law against stupidity, just like there’s no law about me getting the hell away from stupid people. I actually would advocate low cost guns for the stupid. Let them shoot themselves before they breed.

    • Ark

      Love guns to death. So many other gun owners scare me.

    • Ryfyle

      So what your saying is repeal 2A and start gun confiscation?

  • Otm Shooter

    *TRIGGERED*

  • Zundfolge

    The absolute best shooter I know is a cop, but he was into guns LONG before he got into police work.

    On the other hand my parents live next door to a (now retired) police captain. He showed me his Glock 17 once and it had clearly never been cleaned. I dropped the magazine and it had 9 rounds in it and an empty chamber. Apparently he shot it several years in a row for qualifying and never cleaned or reloaded it. The slide was kind of stiff but being a Glock I’m sure it would have worked just fine if he ever needed it.

    Most cops are social workers who happen to carry guns. Frankly I don’t mind because I think the only thing worse than a “Barney Fife with a single bullet in his pocket” are these “high speed, low drag operators” that think police work is about dominating “civilians” like they did back in Fallugia.

    • UWOTM8

      Preach. There are plenty of cops that do good work, but many need to really dial down the macho when they’re writing someone a ticket for going 2 miles over the limit….

      • My policy was at least 10 over the limit.

        • datimes

          Anybody could have there mind else where and drive 10 over. I made my stops at 15. I could usually write one or two a day for 25-30 over.

        • Dougscamo

          Mine too….

        • int19h

          Isn’t it supposed to be, “eight – you’re great, nine – you’re mine”?

          • autofull– kevin horning

            well, in my 62yrs of very quietly paying attention i have heard both arguments to be true. it amazed me when a small town officer came into my shop and would buy a rossi 4inch for a duty weapon. and he had 20yrs in the pipe. but on the flip side a officer from the same local force came in to have a sliding stock m1 carbine registered and cut down for a patrol rifle. both sides. different levels of knowledge and wants. .

        • cwolf

          You mean there are folks NOT doing 20 over the limit? So you only arrested the ones going slow enough to catch? 🙂

      • Bill

        Yup. Ask me about the studly Utah cop who recently killed his own career on TV by arresting an ER nurse who refused to do an unwarranted blood draw on an unconscious car accident victim. This sort of thing gives cops a bad name and gives the ACLU wet dreams…

        • cwolf

          And really slammed her around.

          Or the guy in street clothes who never identified himself and pulled his gun on a guy who was speeding on his motorcycle.

          Dealing with the public is an impossible job. Not losing your temper is tough on some days.

          I think the selection process needs to screen for a sense of humor.

    • Richard Johnson

      LMAO. Love guys that bash cops. Barney Fife was a fictitious character living in a small town with a population of less than 500 made up of white people. You think it’s such any easy job? Go for a ride along with the Chicago PD for a couple weeks. Then come back and describe the ” social work ” you got see.

  • Booze and gunz

    So you were hiking with a gun and decided to get some booze? Sounds like the cop wasn’t the only person being unsafe with a firearm that day…

    • Echo5Charlie

      So, what you are saying is that one must never purchase or acquire alcohol while in possession of a firearm? Your logic is flawed.

    • Chop Block

      Yes, that’s exactly what I said. I even *gasp* drank some of that booze when I got back to camp.

      • Booze and gunz

        I personally don’t care, just pointing out the hipocracy and pointlessness of this article. Just because you are a vet, YouTuber, and gun blog writer doesn’t make YOU an expert on guns and doesn’t mean you are always safe with guns.

        • Old Tofu

          doesn’t mean he wasn’t either , so it sounds like you’re making baseless accusations , huh? troll boy needs to troll better

        • Swarf

          He never said he was.

        • Chop Block

          I clearly explained that I’m the most bestest expert at the end of the article. 😉

        • Mystick

          I personally don’t care, just pointing out the hypocrisy[sp] and pointlessness of this comment. Just because you are an anonymous Disqus user and gun blog commenter, that doesn’t make YOU an expert on gun blog writers and doesn’t mean you are always relevant with comments.

    • UWOTM8

      but your name is “Booze and gunz”

      WAT

      • Chop Block

        I presume he set up the account just to post this comment.

        • ActionPhysicalMan

          The courageous ones do that:-)

        • BeGe1

          That sounds like a lot of work for 1 comment.

          Sounds like he needs a life.

          • Novelty Account

            It takes all of a minute to set up a novelty account.
            Like this one.

    • BillyOblivion

      Wow. I’m surprised my house isn’t piled high with dead bodies since there’s ALWAYS at least one loaded gun around and several bottles of gin, vodka, scotch and bourbon around. Not to mention the wine and cider.

      • Old Tofu

        omg I’m definitely in danger here , someone find an sjw to save me

    • Paul White

      I can’t be the only one that drinks when cleaning his firearms

  • R. Kenneth Thorstenson

    LEOs and soldiers are gun experts in the same way anyone who drives a car is a car expert, or anyone who uses a computer is a computer expert.

    Just because your work requires you to use a tool of the job, and trains you on it does not mean you are especially good at using said tool.

    • James Young

      This ^

      People still call IT when they need their PC fixed. Most people in offices know nothing about how they work or really much at all about parts or programs beyond what is directly involved in their daily tasks.

      • .45

        To be fair, it is hard to learn the systems. Problems at work are usually like this:
        “Boss, something is wrong with the printer. I’m going to go get a scewdriver to take the top off.”
        “What? No, I’m not letting you take three hours trying to figure out if it is a jam or something is actually broken. Put in a call to the Help Center and get back to work.”

        How can you fault someone for not knowing how something works when they aren’t allowed to really look it over? I know most of the stuff we call in outside help for is stuff I could do, but realistically, I can’t be off the line long enough to get familiar with said stuff.

        • noob

          Well there are schools for this sort of thing, which is widely considered a cheaper and quicker way to learn a technical subject than blind “who needs the manual” experimentation.

          I mean, every surgeon has at least one human body (their own) but would you want to have your appendix taken out by a man who went to school to learn abdominal surgery or a guy who was handy with a knife and was largely self taught?

          • Jake S.

            Depends on whether the person went to school at the University of Calcutta or Johns Hopkins. Just saying.

        • Chop Block

          For the record, most printer issues don’t involve a screw driver. I usually don’t even need to be at the printer to fix it. So yeah, it’s better to open a ticket.

          • James Young

            Generally there just feeder issues, so all that needs to be done is to pop the tab and remove the stuck sheet

        • James Young

          No fault to what you described. The fault would be if that office person talked about how they worked in an office their entire career and therefore they are an expert on printers while someone working construction couldnt possibly know anything about printers.

        • MIKE

          JUST TURN IT OFF AND ON AGAIN…PROBLEM SOLVED.

    • The Heretic

      I agree, except I am quite knowledgable about all three. The fact that I used to be a mech and have a EE degree and work as a s/w engineer has more to do with that though. 😉

      Being in the military and being a LEO in the past taught me zilch about guns – I remember in boot I was the one that taught the other recruits how to field strip and clean the rifles.

      I am not a particularly good shot, but because guns have been a hobby for 4+ decades, I do know a little about them.

      • 1inidaho

        Nobody re-assembles a M16 better than Forrest Gump.

        • CavScout

          That was an M14. And the point the fictional movie was making is that his blind obedience was helpful to him.

    • Bobby McKellar

      Yessir, you have it absolutely right.

    • richard kluesek

      Well said. And they are familiar with what their agency issues. I knew NYPD Bronx cops back in the day who did not know what brand sidearm they carried, had to examine these and read the roll marks.

    • Sylvain Paquette

      You become good at using this precise ”tool” and depending your job in the military that said ”tool” might be something you barely ever train on. You do end up being good as using this precise rifle you are issued but it doesn’t mean you will know or be good with another. Doesn’t mean either that you will know everything about the rifle as you don’t usually end up taking it as much apart as a gunsmith would nor it is your job as being a soldier to do so.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    I’ve always explained it to people like this: Cops drive cars for a living too, but that doesn’t mean they know how to rebuild an engine.

    Carrying a gun does NOT make you an expert. Period.

    • bob

      Well said !

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    .223 actually does tumble when fired from a Mini-14. It doesn’t out of anything else but…..

    • Chop Block

      I think the older ones had a 1:12″ twist, but don’t quote me on that.

      • 1911a145acp

        Early Ruger Mini 14 were 1:10 twist. My early Galil AR had 1:12 twist. Needless to say the Galil was very interesting wit 75 grn BTHP Match ammo.Completely sideways bullet profiles in the target at 10 yards…..

    • Jeff

      Not outta mine.

    • Wow!

      Most FMJ 5.56 projectiles will tumble after hitting some kind of barrier since they hold together pretty well. However it seems that only out of 16″ barrels or higher under 200 yards do they fragment, which is the big feature of the round.

      Supposedly the Russians file a slant on the meplat of their 9×39 FMJ ammo to encourage tumbling. I don’t know if that is actually the reason or if it even works though. The modification does seem to have been replicated informally in many parts of Asia though.

      • Josh

        Worth noting that the original system designed to fire the round (20″ barrel, 1:12 twist) was designed to encourage tumbling on contact with tissue, not necessarily fragmenting. If you were really lucky it would do both at once inside your opponent.

        The reason tumbling in tissue was traded out for fragmenting was partially because of the introduction of the M855 round and I think an equivalent weight tracer being too heavy/long to stabilize in 1:12.

        I know I’m off on a few technical details, but that’s generally where the tumbling myth came from, and that 5.45 was designed to replicate this very effectively, which it still does in most modern ammo configs.

        But you probably already knew that if anything about that 9x39mm stuff is close to accurate. I’ve never heard of that but it sounds pretty bad ass and I wouldn’t be that surprised. I know that a design feature of 4.6HK rounds was to use a “spoon” tipped or intentionally asymmetrical tip that would cause more vigorous tumbling in tissue. And damn does it work.

        • Wow!

          I never heard about the 4.6×30 spoon tipped rounds but yes they looked exactly like the filed tipped modified ammo I have seen (exception of exposed lead of course). I wasn’t exactly sure if the slant was really for tumbling or just a manufacturing or storage defect but it seems this is the case. It must actually work somewhat for a company to take the time to form it in their ammo. Thanks for the good info.

      • cwolf

        Dunno. Most FMJ ice pick in tissue. NSWC designed the Mk262 to tumble by using OTM.

        In the DC sniper shootings, the surgeons mostly complained about the tissue damage (compared to the pistol calibers they were used to seeing).

        Fleet yaw says each bullet comes out of the gun differently, so maybe some do and some don’t, depending on distance.

        Or bullets can take bizarre paths in the body.

        Cheers.

  • Brad

    While police and soldiers may not be “experts” the scary thing is the probably know more about guns than 95% of the other (civilian) population.

    • Major Tom

      Except when they don’t. Which is demonstrated routinely.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      Police are civilian too. FYI.

      • Jeff

        AMEN

    • BillyOblivion

      I will not be pedantic.
      I will not be pedantic.

      • Swarf

        It needs to be said. Every time.

        • BillyOblivion

          You have NO idea.

    • Mystick

      Cops are civilian…. maybe it’s lack of knowledge like that that is part of the problem.

      • Brad

        Yep because all civilians go through formalized instruction, get paid by a government entity, where uniforms to work, have a rank structure, etc…
        They sure are civilians.

        • iksnilol

          Legally, they are civilians.

          • Brad

            Wow, I guess reading comprehensions am hard.

          • Swarf

            For you, apparently.

            The police are civilians. They are not a branch of the military, despite what many of them think/wish.

            It was set up this way intentionally, because cops have a lot of power and (theoretically), citizens with that much power over their fellow citizens should not report to a military structure. Partially because the military is supposed to be in charge of defense from the borders out, and partly because militaries have a bad history of toppling governments, and should push come to shove, the police (again, theoretically) would feel aleigence to their fellow citizens, not a military junta trying to topple our representative democracy.

            Police are civilians.

  • Full Name

    ” he muzzled my friend and I multiple times”
    Grammar Nazi says: “ACHTUNG!!”
    This should read “my friend and me”. You wouldn’t say, “he muzzled I multiple times”.
    “My friend and I were muzzled multiple times by him.”
    “He muzzled my friend and me multiple times.”
    See the difference?

    • BillyOblivion

      So basically you’re saying just because someone writes on the internet doesn’t make them a word stringing together expert?

      • Chop Block

        Hey, I done good at the learnin’ derby! I know the best words!

        • Old Tofu

          mr president????

          • Mystick

            Yes, my name Obama and I love my wifey Michael!

          • Old Tofu

            which is probably why no one was talking to or about you

          • Mystick

            What’s good for the goose and all. Welcome to the Internet, snowflake.

          • Old Tofu

            yeah because a LOT of “snowflakes ” read gun websites , moron. notice the upvotes . . . and none for you.

          • Old Tofu

            how many “snowflakes” do you think visit gun sites? how about keeping current , obama has been out of office how long? and you’re still butthurt

          • Mystick

            How about keeping up on current events regarding advances in social discourse: When a public, forum, expect multiple responses. YOU made it political by bashing the President, so YOU opened yourself up to responses, YOU got butthurt and resorted to personal attacks. YOU are the one that needs to get over it. Grow a backbone and learn to live with the consequences to your actions and stop being a crying hypocrite.

          • Old Tofu

            wow, angry much ? YOU are the one who jumped in on a joke with a reference from the PAST. I’m fine with responses but at least make them funny or intelligent. YOU FAILED on both accounts. YOU name called first TRYING to make it personal and got butthurt. poor smallhanded you 🙂

    • stephenfshaw

      Not to mention that the verb “to muzzle” (from which you likely derived the turns of phrase “he muzzled” and “were muzzled”) probably doesn’t mean what you hope it means..

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/638b54679b1c2c5acc578c6f5bad215fa1efc2c354fa53b6a34671582d6b243c.jpg

      • Holdfast_II

        At least he didn’t NUZZLE you.

        Because that would be creepy.

    • DangerousClown

      You’re not going to complain about “Soldier” with a cap, every time?

      • cwolf

        Army policy is to write “Soldier.” So, military folks will default to policy.

    • Bradley

      However correct you may be is completely ruined by the amount of incorrect punctuation and capitalization you used. I have found that more often than not when someone feels the need to correct someone’s grammar, spelling, etc. they make at least one mistake in that correction.

      • Full Name

        Are you referring to my putting the period outside the quotes? I do that on purpose. It just never looked right to me.

        • Bradley

          Lack of ending punctuation, lower case letters at the beginning of a sentence, unnecessary colons, and erratic spacing. Of course none of that actually matters, but if you’re going to call the kettle black…

          • Full Name

            We all have our pet peeves.

    • The Tin Star Kid

      If you’re going to correct someone’s grammar you may want to ensure that their grammar is actually incorrect. A writer referring to themselves in conjunction with others should use the nominative pronoun “I” and not the accusative pronoun “me” (e.g. “George and I went shooting.”). If the writer is referencing an action being done to them by another then the accusative pronoun “me” is correct (e.g. “George took me shooting.”). One who claims to be a Grammar Nazi should, perhaps, grasp the nuances of the English language.

      • Full Name

        He used “I” as an object. This is incorrect, just like saying, “He muzzled I multiple times.”

  • James Earl Jones

    The click bait is strong….

    • ActionPhysicalMan

      I imagine that he really wanted to say this rather than just fill space. It is consistent with other things he has posited on line. I kinda doubt he gets paid to write here but have never asked so I really don’t know. Do you get paid for your articles for TFB Andrew? What is your motivation here?

      • Chop Block

        I do get paid. I’m not paid by clicks or traffic. I just write about what interests me.

        • ActionPhysicalMan

          I would have thought that there would be enough people with sufficient writing skill and firearm knowledge willing to do it just to have the pulpit. This is the first time I have ever been wrong.

          • Chop Block

            Well, considering my decidedly mediocre skill and modest but very focused knowledge, and the fact that I’m not even willing to work for free…

            Seriously, I’d still write from time to time but not very regularly without motivation. As it is, I don’t write that prolifically.

    • Paul White

      the click waits while the writer baits?

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Unfortunately, police officers often have need to know a bit about guns that they are not issued.

    Painful.

    • Klaus Von Schmitto

      I’ll take unnecessary linking verbs for 500 dollars Alex.

  • Student of Life

    I’ve seen this myself. In the past 6 years, I’ve had the opportunity to coordinate and/or guide 1000+ hunts for wounded warriors and policeman. One thing I learned early on is that most had limited knowledge about firearms. It didn’t matter if they were a truck driver, dispatcher, SRT or SF, very few could load a shotgun (turkey and duck seasons) or properly zero a variable powered scoped rifle/crossbow (deer season). It’s not a knock against them as unless the weapon was previously issued to them, most see no need to learn how to use it. I’ve found the solution to this is expose them to other firearm related hobbies such as Project Appleseed, IDPA, or even squirrel hunting. The more exposure they have to different systems, the more they want to learn. This pays dividends in the field when they come across a weapon they may have never before seen. It also helps prevent accidental discharges which increases everyone’s safety.

    • BeGe1

      This is true, and gets compounded by the fact that most of them are seen as big gun experts simply because of having been military…which means it’s kinda a step down from that pedestal to actually get more general gun training and understanding, so many don’t break through and do that for that embarrassment.

  • Andrew

    “Ranger” should be capitalized, please.

    • ActionPhysicalMan

      Being that it wasn’t capitalized I had assumed that he was referring to a park ranger. I also thought that was funnier that way than with an Army Ranger.

      • Chop Block

        Park ranger, loan arranger, “Army Ranger” with giant air quotes…

    • Klaus Von Schmitto

      Yea – Like in “Danger Ranger”

  • Walter E. Kurtz

    Yesterday I was thumbing through Brandon Webb’s book “The Killing School: Inside the World’s Deadliest Sniper Program”. On page 11 he waxes poetically about the the M40A3 and its 30-06 cartridge. Only the M40A3 has always been chambered for the 7.62mm NATO round. And this guy is supposed to be a real world Navy SEAL sniper instructor? Hopefully the Navy has improved the quality of their sniper instructors— hiring people that really know WTF they are talking about. The horror….the horror…

    • CommonSense23

      The dude is a hack and absolutely hated in the NSW community. And NSW really hasn’t done much to improve Sniper cadre. Fortunately they hire civilian experts for a lot of the follow up training that is strictly shooting.

    • Billy Jack

      If you’re an expert in any field, or approaching that level of knowledge, you will undoubtedly discover a host of professional experts in said field who are completely full of feces and throw around falsehoods like their lives depend on it. Some of it is good intentions coupled with horrible memory. I find the more grandiose the personality, the more they just like talking out of their ass since most won’t ever call them out on it. The worst part is when empty suits build up the empty heads and create entire environments based on horseshit.

      This is a good article not just for the firearm community but for anyone in any field or stage in life. When you let people rather than fact become authoritative you’re in for some failure. You’re only lucky when you can just trust a so called expert’s word to be true. I’m sure I’m not the only one who got some polished turd of information from a family member as a child only to have it crushed into dust later in life.

    • Mr.SATism

      Yeah, I wouldn’t say that everyone who gets behind a gun is certainly an expert in calibers. When it comes to guys like him I hope he has enough knowledge to shoot accurately

    • LilWolfy

      He has some basic technical mistakes in his other book, The Red Circle, about HK handguns and MP5s. He also stated that civilians should have special training mandated by the government before they are allowed to own a firearm.

  • Edison Frisbee

    How did I know this would be an Andrew article….

    • Bradley

      Because it lists the author’s name under the title on the link you clicked?

      • Edison Frisbee

        Nope, guess again!

    • Chop Block

      Because you have an unhealthy, paternalist infatuation with authority figures and anything that challenges that makes you feel ooky but you lack the communication skills to articulate the feeling?

      • A.WChuck

        LOL I didn’t really like you at first, but that’s changing. 🙂

        • Chop Block

          It’s not too late. I’m not a very good person.

      • Samuel Millwright

        Are you saying he has tiny junk Andrew? I think you’re saying his junk is tiny!

      • Edison Frisbee

        Close….but no.
        The first clue was the over-the-top headline. Coupled with a banal article of little import, well, it’s a dead giveaway. Admittedly, I lack your mastery of the English language. I often have need to know a bit about words that I have not been taught, and it makes me feel “ooky.”

  • Jim Drickamer

    When I was involved in IPSC competition, it was nothing to go to the range and shoot 300 or more rounds in practice every week. That compared to the 60 rounds I was required to fire once a year for departmental qualification. Police department training is often more designed to teach when to shoot rather than how to shoot. Problem is an officer who is not sure of his ability is likely to shoot sooner in a situation than someone who has confidence in himself.

    • Mystick

      …and empty a magazine towards the target, and not IN the target.

      • Marcus D.

        Is it just me, or are officers actually trained to shoot until slide lock and then reload? That seems to happen in police shootings around here (which are actually pretty rare), even though most cops here like to go shooting and have a hit rate of over 50%.

        • Mystick

          Indeed, that is the trend I have noticed. Maybe it’s the adrenaline overriding training and acclimatization – in which case, the training is insufficient or not suited for the task to begin with. It used to be you could go to a training academy as a private citizen and audit the courses, but now it’s all need-to-know “opsec” and “proprietary”…

          • Marcus D.

            I cannot attribute it to adrenaline, since untrained homeowners fending off a home invader don’t empty their weapons–unless he or she has to. Usually it is just a few rounds. I have to assume their adrenaline is pumping pretty good–mine sure as heck would be.

        • 1911a145acp

          National hit rate for cops is MUCH lower more like 20-30% that includes ALL hits -ankle, finger, through the shirt etc.. Considering the abysmal lack of training and the fact that it is INCORRECT marksmanship training- NOT GUN FIGHT training, the astonishing part is that they actually DO connect 30% of the time. Consider the Infamous 1986 FBI Miami shootout in which over 100 rounds were fired by agents and less than 50% connected. That 50% hit number includes 5 rounds of 12 Ga 00 Buckshot fired supported at 20 feet ( 2 rounds in to the legs and feet of the BGs) 3 rounds into passenger compartment at 20 feet, and 6 rounds 38 Spl +p revolver rounds fired from approx 12 feet down to 2 feet by grievously wounded agent Morales.

  • noob

    On the other hand, would you trust a carpenter’s opinion about wood or hammers? I guess the point is that a soldier knows a hell of a lot about people and large complex, fighting organizations. That’s the heart of the job. A man is a soldier’s hammer. Discipline is a soldiers wood. The gun is kinda like a nail.

    I’ve seen engineers geek out about the metallurgy and design of fasteners. I’m sure that if nails were slightly sexier there would be something like “The Brass Tacks Blog: Fasteners Not Politics”. But soldiers and carpenters wouldn’t visit there much. They would be more preoccupied with making houses stand up, or fall down.

    • Old Tofu

      “that a soldier knows a hell of a lot about people” . . . the average soldier is early to mid 20’s who hasn’t had time to learn about themselves much less others

      • noob

        It’s all relative. Some soldiers are faster learners than others and do better as a result. Also I’ve seen civilians in their 30s who know less about themselves than soldiers in their 20s.

      • noob

        Some soldiers are faster learners than others, and do better accordingly. And there are plenty of civilians in their 30s who know less about themselves and how the world works than the average 24 year old soldier.

        • Old Tofu

          which is why you DO NOT make sweeping generalizations claiming advanced intelligence just because someone is a soldier , get it yet?

          • noob

            Where did claim advanced intelligence for all soldiers? I claimed that soldiers have extensive experience with themselves working together with other people in a large, disciplined fighting organization. Are you claiming that the Army is not a large, disciplined fighting organization? People who have experience with a thing tend to remember a thing or two about that thing.

          • Old Tofu

            “that a soldier knows a hell of a lot about people” . . . just because someone is in the organization does not mean they understand it or the motivations behind it.

          • noob

            and a carpenter may not be told what the structure they are erecting will be ultimately used for, but they are chiefly concerned with whether the structure stands up or falls down.

          • Old Tofu

            what? stop trying to make up your own sayings. it’s NOT working for you. try just using sentences. an individual soldier being concerned whether or not his side wins has nothing to do with them “knowing” about people or organizations.

          • noob

            Are you saying that an individual soldier is not familiar with the discipline of being in a large complex fighting organization?

          • Old Tofu

            there are plenty of undisciplined soldiers in the army so that would negate your statement. how is a soldier who has been in the military 6 months gaining all this insight you claim. what I have been saying all along is stop saying that soldiers know this or soldiers know that , THOSE are generalizations that do NOT hold up to inspection. not all soldiers are the same just as all people are not the same , guess why . because soldiers are JUST PEOPLE.

          • noob

            Are you claiming that the Army does not train and test the soldier? That during drawdown the Army doesn’t make it difficult to stay in? That this experience doesn’t tell a man anything about himself and those he serves with? At the very least it will make you somewhat able to regulate your emotions when being confronted with things that make you uncomfortable. The army doesn’t make you disciplined, but it sure can make you wish you were. I have not yet met anyone who has managed to get kicked out of being a civilian and lived to tell the tale.

          • Old Tofu

            I watched guys graduate basic training that had to be pulled aside for a whole week just to get them to step in time with the rest of the platoon. as far as being “kicked out for being a civilian” . . . our prison systems are full of them. where have you been?

          • noob

            At last we agree, that people can be trained and the Army does put some effort into training people up to some standard. I hope we can agree that although you might find that minimum standard to be very low the trained person might learn a thing or two after training about themselves and if they manage to not get kicked out of their remedial training how to work successfully in their large and complex organization.

            As for the question of civilian criminals, i would say that the criminals who have not been executed in death penalty states are still under civilian law. Felons may have lost important rights and franchises (eg firearms rights and voting franchises) but they still have to attend the same courts as any other civillian. Some felons can even appeal and have their rights restored.

            As you know, there is a whole separate system of justice for the military with far tougher laws. Those who are convicted under the UCMJ can of course have an other than honourable discharge as one of their punishments, but that would happen as the very last phase of a punishment. Inmates at Leavenworth may not have rank or pay while they are in, but until they are discharged (sometimes after execution) they are under military law. Some inmates from Leavenworth or Consolidated Brig have managed to get clemency and return to active service if the discharge has not yet been carried out.

            So no, I’ve never seen a person get told by the government that they have been kicked out of being a civilian who has then gone on to live afterwards. Such a person would be a stateless individual, trapped with no passport and no legal framework willing to take them in. I heard tom hanks played such a person whose country had ceased to exist leaving him stranded in a movie once, but if a government had a policy that shed itself of its civilians for failing minimum competency tests you would have large populations of stateless people appearing not under the roof of a jail but starving in the wilderness. In real life these people would be called displaced persons by any competent government and taken in as refugees – binding them to the laws of their new hosts as civilians once more.

            Now consider the civilian who has gone through none of the above and has sat for 30 years on a couch in his mom’s basement, he might know a thing or two about getting a very average score on the SAT or the rarity and perks system in Destiny: The Taken King but what does he know about tough situations where his mom can’t help him?

            People know their jobs. A soldier knows soldiering. An armourer knows guns. A carpenter knows building.

            And a manchild knows no job at all. (But we have to keep even the manchidren on the books as civilians because we can’t just kick them out of the country)

            Once you change jobs you learn the new job or you don’t keep the title long.

    • Samuel Millwright

      There are sites about fasteners… Ask me how i know…

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        Carr-Lane: The fascinating world of tooling balls and socket head cap screws.

      • iksnilol

        You’re into some really kinky stuff?

        • Samuel Millwright

          How’d you know i like springs too!?

          • iksnilol

            Oh baby, talk home depot to me!

  • ResIpsa

    How do I know a range patron is potentially unsafe?

    “I know about guns, my dad was in the Army.”

    • El Duderino

      “I know about guns, I watch Arnold Schwartzenegger movies.”

      • Paul White

        “If someone attacks me I’ll drop this down the stairs and it’ll kill them for me right?”

        • El Duderino

          Only SIG 320s, Remington 700s, and grandpappy’s Colt SAA. Or throw a Ford Pinto at them, rear bumper first.

  • Martin M

    Reminds me of my time in the ‘Berg’. All my neighbors were range guys. One weekend I brought my collection out in exchange for playing with their toys. Long story short, first guy up didn’t know how to operate a bolt action (Mosen Nagant). Revolvers were totally foreign. It was their first experience with a 45 (which they LOVED). I spent a lot of time educating.

  • Ευστάθιος Παλαιολόγος

    Actually, I’d say that soldier don’t actually need to know all that much about guns.
    They need to know how to be safe with their guns, and how to employ them and service them, but that’s about it.
    But other than that, even the rifleman’s main job is to get his weapon to the correct place/time

    • Samuel Millwright

      The problem is… You’re absolutely right but most of them BELIEVE passing rifle qual and working at the mess hall on camp hero makes them experts whose word is law over no account civilians, engineers, and the very laws of physics themselves BY DAMN (f*** newton! I asked to see his dd214 on arfcom and he waffled! He never served! He doesn’t Know! He wasn’t THEEEERRREEE MAYN!)

      • Chop Block

        Lol. Because I’m going to post a document with my SSN and intimate details of my life on teh interwebz for all to see just to prove a point to a stranger. You called it.

        • Samuel Millwright

          It’s funny watching how angry you and one or two other tfb staff make people by having the temerity and audacity to tell the truth whether some faction’s sacred cows gets slaughtered by your pieces or not!

          I see Andrew or Nathaniel F. Bylines and instantly start slobbering like one of Pavlov’s dogs because i can ALMOST TASTE THE SACRED COW ALREADY.

          (Personally i like my sacred Cow cooked over charcoal in a marinade of avocado oil butter crimini mushrooms Worcestershire generic a1 salt and pepper for at least 45 minutes before grilling)

  • Justin

    Considering what I’ve seen at the local ranges I’m not sure some officers even know how you use their issued weapons. Talking to one officer who was having trouble they have more required sensitivity training then firearms training. When I went through the academy there was two weeks of firearms training and most of that was class room. We were required to buy 1,000 rounds for the entire training course and I ended up with about 850 rounds left and that was after I let everyone else shoot my 92fs and got to try several Glock that others had and that was inital firearms training.

    I do know that when I was active duty I was allowed to touch a weapon once a year for my qual other than that I had to tell PMO every time I brought a weapon on base not that I was allowed to shoot anywhere on base even the pistol and rifle range was off limits unless I was assigned training.

  • BeGe1

    There’s a lot of truth in this. I’ve learned FAR FAR FAR more about guns in the normal world and from my own research than I ever did in the military.

    And I have SO many stories of infantry Marines that know so very little about guns. And not just boots either.

    I once had a COMBAT INSTRUCTOR tell me that the “62 grain” part of the the description of M855 ammo meant it had 62 grains of powder (not just the bullet weight). It wasn’t just a flub either, he went on to explain how this increase in powder is why it is more powerful ammo than the old 55 grain round, and how they needed stronger chambers for it and such. He explained that he learned this as a part of designated marksmen school.

    I had another one explain to me that military M855 ammo is actually not 62 grain bullets, it’s like 85 or 90 grain and that that’s super powerful and illegal for civilians to own and is a military only thing, and that the civilian version of M855 is just limited to 62 grain bullets legally.

    I could keep going and going…but the general idea is that people in the military actually only are taught the specific stuff they need to know when it comes to equipment. We get taught all sorts of stuff about tactics and that sort of stuff…but they don’t waste much time teaching us about “gun stuff” in general.

    In fact I know 4 year infantrymen (not all, but some…they exist) that have been using an ACOG for all 4 years but still would be hard pressed to truly zero it properly. I mean…with enough rounds they could get there, but to actually do it with any efficiency (i.e. be turning the knobs the right direction on the first try and going somewhere near the right amount of clicks) the person acting as range coach for that position has to do it for them.

    They can spit a 9-line at the drop of a hat thought 🙂 That’s just plain more important knowledge for an infantryman.

    • Chop Block

      Nailed it.

    • Alex @Sea

      Exactly.. reminds me of General Mcchrystal head of JSOC advocating banning the AR 15 because of the horrendous wounds it can have on civilians. Don’t guess he has ever seen what a .270 does to a deer.

      • Marcus D.

        Most generals got to where they are because they are politicians, and as politicians, they know that going against the politics of the c-in-c is a bad career move. McChrystal fell into that trap, following Obama’s lead on his desire to ban ARs/AKs, or in the alternative, having been in the military for so long, he was used to soldiers not being allowed to carry arms on base unless assigned MP tasks, and unloaded arms when doing so. that cost him his credibility.

        • noob

          Also the interview he did with Rolling Stone didn’t help his career.

          • Marcus D.

            I wouldn’t know about that. Rolling Stone I gather no mas.

      • BrotherLazarus

        I was an arrogant little turd when I first got certified as an armorer, but I got lucky and hit a wall of “you don’t know everything, kid” and started to figure out that for everything I learned, there were about a thousand things I hadn’t even known I didn’t know yet.

        And then there are guys like the clowns I had an argument with recently…

        “I was a soldier, you little numbskull, and just because the 5.56 isn’t as powerful as some handgun cartridges doesn’t mean it’s not high powered!”

        Paraphrased to cut some of the salt and profanity, but retain the stupidity. Apparently he’d never laid eyes on a deer gun (or the 7mm Rem Mags/.300 Win Mags folks out here hunt elk with). *snorts* Heck, if punching through an old steel pot helmet at 100 meters is “high powered”, I’m pretty sure that makes my ancient Enfield a cannon somehow.

      • n0truscotsman

        He’s an opportunist, nothing more. Par for the course.

  • Madison J Coleman

    The only people I can think of that know less about guns than cops or the military are gun bloggers.

    • Samuel Millwright

      I have some words for you

      Matty mattel

      Poodle shooter

      Wood and steel (spelled steal 95% of the time)

  • Jeff Smith

    “I don’t know what it’s called; I just know the sound it makes when it takes a man’s life.”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8777a43933635f68fc45abc9acab6c429fa912b2a05100bbb95021d659383a86.jpg

    • Ark

      “Click”, because he carries a 1911.

  • Andrew

    I hate to be “that guy”, but “Ranger” is normally capitalized.

  • iksnilol

    Here in Norway, all indoor ranges have extra ventilation in the ceiling courtesy police officers messing up.

    • AC97

      Well, you know what they say: Never go full VODA.

      • iksnilol

        Oh no, they didn’t have knives so it’s all cool.

        • AC97

          True, lol.

      • Lockmazter

        Michael Thervil, AKA Lucien Black? I think you mean Never go full ASS-CLOWN!! Lol!

    • I’ve watched LEOs “walk” the rounds down to the target… with revolvers (yes, it was MANY moons ago)… on a concrete floored indoor range…

      • noob

        .357 magnum tracer

      • Wow!

        Some actually were taught to use the muzzle flash to illuminate the target and point shoot their way to victory. No joke. Although I am sure that tactic never got far.

      • Bill

        Me too-and I was almost hit by a round that clipped the edge of a steel baffle and came back uprange to hit the wall next to my head. I still have that flattened chunk of lead as a reminder that Murphy was a shooter.

    • M1911

      It is the same here. I know an officer who is the firearms instructor for a small suburban police force (about 20 officers). Before they moved into their new building a couple years ago, the first thing he would do with new officers was to take them on a tour of the police station and show them the three places where officers had negligently discharged their firearms.

      • iksnilol

        Only three places?

        That’s impressive, for real.

        • M1911

          Well, one was a 12 gauge (00 buck) through the roof. Does count extra?

      • 1inidaho

        Obviously a shrewd man.

    • cwolf

      Our range here can’t keep target carriers intact. They finally went to plastic pipe just to keep the cost down.

    • n0truscotsman

      You should see some ranges here in america. holes in the metal overheads LOL

    • CavScout

      After seeing some various videos of armed officers responding in Europe… I totally believe it.

    • Likvid

      Some Czech ranges refused to provide services to cops after.. experience.

  • Sean

    THANK YOU. This article single-handedly turned my opinion of this blog around. I get so sick of ignorant dudes whipping out the “I was on the military” or “I’m a LEO” card (or asking my status) when they’re wrong about firearms related points or have an opinion that’s debatable. All that shows me is that they know they’re out of answers.

  • Ron

    Most don’t

  • Joel C

    ITT…Betas

  • Joshua

    Never forget this very important rule the military teaches you, it will save your life.

    If you don’t stagger the gas rings the gun will explode.

    I’m kidding of course, but that used to be taught….may still be I’m not sure. But stagger away it does no harm.

  • Ted Unlis

    Most LEO’s with no interest in firearms other than a tool of the trade that their job requires don’t pretend to be an expert and will quickly tell you that guns and shooting isn’t a hobby for them. The general population, particularly those who frequent the various gun blogs, especially TTAG, has a much higher percentage of pseudo firearms experts who often repeat garbage the read somewhere on the internet or heard from the dude at the pawn shop or the kid working the gun counter Gander Mountain. Just because someone pretends to be an expert online firearms expert doesn’t make them one.

  • Bill

    What exactly is the definition of a “gun expert?”

    • Ted Unlis

      At a minimum someone with an above average working knowledge of the design, function, and nomenclature on a broad variety of firearms.

      Might be easier to describe who isn’t an “expert”, such as obstinate hard headed know-it-alls who repeat ignorant cliches such as “the ______ handgun cartridge is a proven 1 shot man stopper”, the ________ is the greatest pistol (or rifle) of all time. Or of course dumb@$$E$ who make painfully ignorant blanket statements like “Cops & soldiers don’t know jack about guns”.

  • Bill

    TFB writers don’t know jack about punctuation or writing.

    90% of blankets statements are wrong %100 of the time.

  • Sua Sponte

    I’ve always been inclined to walk away as quickly as possible when someone tells me they’re an “expert” in anything….Those that are usually never say the word and simply refer to themselves as “proficient”….Their actions speak louder..

  • Alberto Barbosa

    While servicemen don’t know everything about guns, they know alot more about the practical use of guns than a civvie who wants to blow all his money on useless features he will never need.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Get out.

      • Alberto Barbosa

        not even lying, alot of gun hobbyists have this rather unrealistic fantasy of how a self defense/SHTF scenario will play out, one that is mostly derived from movies and video games that once stripped down, is more similar to the videos of untrained jihadists firing full auto in the middle of the street with no cover than it is the “quick reload no scope” nonsense they learned off call of duty

    • cwolf

      I’m not sure.

      Military doctrine is really very different than police shooting policies. Recon by fire is a useful technique in combat.

      There is a reason why Lake City produces well over a billion small arms rounds/year.

      When they do AAR on combat shootings, the shooter might say something like:”I shot center mass at a running Bad Guy at 200m and he kept on running.”

      That statement is very revealing on several levels.

      Cheers.

      • Alberto Barbosa

        That is how combat works, but leave it to a weekend shooter who only goes to the range on a warm sunny day to think that being able to shoot 1 MOA at 100 yards sitting from a bench with a front heavy steel barreled AR-15 and a over sized 4-16x optic matters when your target is moving quickly and shooting back

  • 2wheels

    You know the extent of my handgun training in the Army? I was handed an M9, asked if I knew how to shoot a pistol, and proceeded to go shoot a qualification table.

    Shot expert, but mostly because I’m a handgun enthusiast in my personal time.

    Most soldiers only know enough about their issued firearms to qualify with them and clean them, unless they take an interest in firearms off duty. I suspect it’s the same with cops.

  • McThag

    You think cops don’t know jack about guns, talk to them about CARS sometimes.

    • Chop Block

      Lol

  • Shaun Connery Oliver II

    Thank goodness I listen to one of the best gun guys around, Larry Allen Vickers! I am not he is an expert at this, but very knowledgeable in firearms. Been following him for almost a decade, and I learned a lot from and his friends, like Ken Hackathorn and Dave Spaulding. I don’t claim that they are experts either, let alone their teachings gospel. I am saying that I am glad that I learned from them, checked them out, and be able to verify that they are ligit.

  • Paveway

    Our state level agency stood up an ERT team. Brass wanted and got 16″ 9mm AR’s for “entry guns” and 556 AR’s for perimeter work. Side arm is standard 40 cal glocks.

    Face palm.

  • ComradTrump

    This veteran shot expert with his Colt 45 in the US Army and expert in the PD with a SW. But not everyone can be a cop or soldier, but anyone can by a gun and claim to be Wyatt Earp.

  • Jerry_In_Detroit

    During my days as a LEO, most officers I knew would rather have a good pen over a good sidearm. Very simply, they used a pen daily. No small number of police officers never draw a gun in service.

    • They must work in a boring city with very low crime rates.

      • ComradTrump

        Excellent training in firearms restraint is a vital tool that has helped drive down NYPD shootings over time. In 1972, New York’s finest were involved in almost 1,000 incidents in which firearms were discharged; in 2010, that number was just 92.

        • Marcus D.

          It’s not the training, it’s the Glock trigger that is so stiff the average cop can’t get a shot off.

          • iksnilol

            Doesn’t NY cemand a 12 lbs DAO trigger?

          • Marcus D.

            Yes. But you do realize I was being facetious, right?

      • cwolf

        I respect & admire police officers; it’s an impossible job.

        The riskiest thing the average LEO does is drive a car (in terms of number of injuries, etc.).

        148,000 Americans die every year from trauma. 20% or more could be saved by simple first aid (it’s the golden 5 minutes re bleeding out).

        Shootings are a much smaller number.

        • SuperFunkmachine

          One of biggist course of death is being hit by cars at traffic stops.

  • northstar19

    Pickle suit???

  • Cal S.

    “…5.56x45mm was designed to wound…” Yeah, that’s what you tell 18 year-old draftees so they don’t feel as bad about shooting another human being. Or, perhaps you really believe that because you don’t agree with the army using something smaller than .30″ for the first time in 200 years.

  • The Mystic Seer

    97% (made up figure) of the LEO’s I know are not ‘gun’ guys and all but the ‘leatherneck M14’ soldiers I know aren’t interested in guns either. It’s a hobby that some people find interesting, and bores others.

  • William M Durham

    If it kills dead what you shoot at a range that is good for where you fight it works. The 5.56 is not even legal for deer in most states, but it can and will kill men, sometime not very fast, or well and surely very doubtful at long range since it has no mass/ Seems funny though that the absolutely best assault rifle is a spin off of a german development of 1943. And the AK will rule forever it seems, it shoots a bigger bullet further and harder. So why are we so stupid and egotistical as to not copy what really works?.

    • No one

      Wow, if there was a record for least accurate and worst overall post on TFB, you would’ve just struck gold.

      …..Actually, pretty much all your comments but who’s counting?

  • sullymega556

    I once bought a used gun from a ffl when I opened the box I saw the the previous owner had left a copy of his 4473 in the box. On it it said he was a officer so that gave me some peace of mind that the gun wasn’t abused untill now……

  • Jim

    I wholeheartedly agree with the author about the cop side of this article. As a cop for 40 years and a firearms/tactics instructor for 27 of those, there are some cops that don’t like guns at all. They only carry them because they are required to by policy. In their mind, it is just another tool issued to them. They don’t own any personal firearms and don’t want anything to do with them. Some of these same officers are also career-long terrible shots and have a hard time qualifying on a regular basis.

    • ComradTrump

      Seen those cops too, yet instructors keep qualifying them……….

  • Mr.SATism

    As much as it is nice to know other firearms, especially as a LEO or a soldier (it sure is nice to pick up and use an enemy’s ak, or so I’ve heard), I don’t believe that elitism is going to help out either LEO’s/soldiers or even the firearm industry. If you’ve got cop buddies, or are currently enlisted, try getting them to the range with some of your own different firearms and try adding a little knowledge to their repertoire. (I’m currently doing the same things with my family/friends with knives, and will probably get my brothers some nice Swiss Army Knives)

  • Tom Currie

    One afternoon we had an unsuccessful break-in attempt at my house. Someone tried to jimmy the lock on a side door. I don’t know why they didn’t just break a back window, but they tried the side door with some sort of pry bar and just tore up the wood frame a bit without getting in. We called our local police to come take a report. While the officers were taking down the information one got a page and asked if he could come in and use our phone (yes, this was several years ago). Of course we invited him in to use the phone. The room directly inside that side door was my wife’s craft room/office. Hanging on the wall directly over her desk was the framed target from her Concealed Carry training shooting test (20 rounds at 7 yards on a B21 target – her score was 100, most in the X ring). When he noticed the target, said something like “Wow, that’s some shooting. Is that your husband’s?” My wife smiled and said “No, that one’s mine – my husband taught me how to shoot.” His reply was “Oh.” As he was leaving he stopped a couple of times to look back at the target.

  • jerry young

    When I was in the Army everyone who went through basic training so that means everyone was trained to shoot, field strip, clean and reassemble the M16 and the 45 along with other various other weapons, does that make them experts absolutely not, for a while at one duty station I worked in the armory I worked on many types of weapons, does that make me an expert again no, there were the stories of the 5.56 being designed to tumble and was banned for use by the Geneva Convention is it true how the hell would I know I’m no expert, I’ve built guns from 80% parts and still not an expert, the only way to become an expert is to get the training needed and still I hear a lot of untruths and things I disagree with from so called experts so is anyone truly an expert in all aspects when it comes to firearm’s? I doubt it.

    • cwolf

      Maybe Infantry OSUT (One Station Unit Training)(combined BCT and AIT). Otherwise, straight BCT only trains the rifle.

      • jerry young

        Things have changed since I was in, when I was in basic training we all trained with many different weapons we even got to spend some time with an artillery unit to learn a little about that, we threw hand grenades, shot machineguns and there were infantry and many others, I for one was a helicopter mechanic to start but changed to other fields throughout my time, but no matter we all trained the same, I guess they figured out that a cook may not need the same training as a grunt

  • M1911

    One of the most unsafe shooters I know is a Vietnam war vet. Nice guy, but I don’t particularly enjoy looking at the wrong end of a Colt SAA.

  • M1911

    I’ve taken about 250 hours of training and have competed in USPSA and IDPA. During that time, I’ve been instructed by and shot with former military and former police officers. I’ve shot with a sergeant, a detective, and a firearms instructor from the Boston PD. I’ve shot with a SWAT team member from Nashua PD. I’ve shot with an instructor from the LA County Sheriffs Department. I’ve shot with two federal agents. I’ve shot with a couple officers from my local suburban department, one of whom was a firearms instructor.

    I’m not a particularly good shot (D-class production, C-class single stack). I was better than many of them and they all, to a man, said that only about 10% of the department were gun guys and gals, and that includes the SWAT team. So these guys were among the best in their department.

    Two standouts are USPSA Grand Masters. Both are incredible shots and great guys. One was former Special Forces and then an Air Marshal. The other was Mike Seeklander, former Marine, former instructor at FLETC, former Air Marshal.

    Some police and military are great shots and safe gun handlers. Most are not. Many of the great ones didn’t get that way through the training they received at the police academy or in the military.

  • Nathan Alred

    Was there a point to this article? I mean beside the obvious one of allowing Andrew to vent.

  • IshTheBuddha

    I read Chris Kyle’s “American Gun”. It was rampant with inaccuracies pertaining to firearms.

  • The_Champ

    An author sets out to prove the hazards of certain people relying on anecdotal and cherry picked evidence to pose as experts by using only anecdotal and cherry picked evidence……

  • Dragonheart

    What the author says is absolutely true. Just because you wear a uniform it doesn’t magically give you knowledge about anything.

  • Wow!

    They may not always be experts, but they are always professionals. In most cases they do know more than the average citizen, but the above average citizen often knows more than the average professional. 🙂

  • uisconfruzed

    I’ve a close friend I shoot with that’s an E9 Green Beret, and a former Marine Scout Sniper. He doesn’t know the details of his weapons, that’s someone else’s job. He seems to hit everything and is a phenomenal shooter and trainer.

  • Old Tofu

    wow , why don’t you just miss the whole joke and get angry instead

  • Richard Johnson

    As a former Marine married to an active Marine this anti police and military rhetoric pisses me off. At this very moment I am sitting on a forward deployed base that a little fat n Korean has threatened to nuke any day now. Instead of reading articles supporting those willing to run toward danger instead of away from it, I am reading an article and comments from people talking smack. You think first responders and military suck at their jobs, you are more than welcome bring your nasty civilian bodies to west pac and spend a day in their boots. Enjoy the 112 degree heat index at 90 percent humidity. You can run fast fire drills in full cif gear sleeves down. Afterwards there will be field stripping speed drills. When it’s all over, during the debrief, we will discuss who the expert is.

    • Sgt. Stedenko

      Yes. People who join the military out of high school are this nations brightest. That’s why they sign up for 6 years of hell for peanuts. Tattoos aren’t free after all

  • Justy

    As a soldier, I whole-heartedly endorse this statement.
    Also, I’ll just leave this here. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5955bb5a6624389a5c713da859751fa21030d5b888f0e6db6d556615065fdb93.png

    • cwolf

      All this time I thought it was a backwards J curve? 🙂

  • Carl_N_Brown

    We are lucky if a cop or soldier knows the standard issue weapons of their unit. Or at least the weapons issued to them and with which they qualified. But non-gun people act as though a police or military background makes one an expert on all guns.

    I remember Bertrand Russell’s “Oswald didn’t do it” theory cited the “fact” that a Dallas police captain identified the JFK assassination rifle as a 7.65mm 1891 Argentine Mauser carbine after glimpsing it as it was walked past him in a hallway at the police station. (Look up photos 7.65mm 1891 Argentine Mauser carbine and 6.5mm 91/38 Italian short rifle in any standard ref book: similar in general outline from a glancing distance.)

  • Michael Fallon

    Agreed. I spent eight years on active duty, and twelve reserve. I also was a civilian cop for twenty-three years. It is true that many military and cops are not “gun people.” Guns to them is just another tool of their trade. I knew quite a few cops who, the only time they fired a pistol, shotgun, or AR-15, was at bi-annual qualification. I did know a few, both in the military and in Law Enforcement who were very into guns. Not just because they just liked them either. They knew the importance of off duty practice, and dry fire, and soaking up every bit of knowledge about small arms, and their capabilities. The best, I knew personally, were members of special forces, and SWAT units. I have always been fascinated by the history, science, and use of small arms, and it always benefited me in my career, which I am now retired from. I still practice all I can, read all I can, on better tactics and use of firearms, as I still carry a firearm concealed.

  • Bill

    All true-but. I came up in Texas and New Mexico and have spent the last 37 years in gun-rich Utah, 16 of which were on the job, and I’ve seen the spectrum you describe. At one end there was the Texas Ranger who carried a lanyard looped Colt SAA in .45 ACP and had 2 1911 mags on his belt for speedloaders, and at the other end there was the guy I worked for years ago who carried his S&W Model 10 with an empty chamber under the hammer. In the middle there was the guy who carried His Hi-Power in condition 3 and the girl who flagged me on the range not once but twice out of nervousness more than stupidity. Bottom line is that gun owners, law enforcement and otherwise, are like snowflakes in that no two are alike. The trick is to stay away from the business end of whatever they are carrying.

  • ToddB

    Everything I know about guns was learned on my own. Yea the marines train you on various weapons, but nothing more than how to use it. I still remember ‘3100fps’ at boot camp, tho that would be the older 55gr that was no longer used, guess nobody figured the training needed to be updated. We trained on 1911, then were issued M9s. I have a new neighbor who got out of the marines not long ago, his knowledge is a bit questionable. Sorry those old Ruger P85 were just not that great of a gun, do not care if it has a hammer vs striker. I knew a guy who worked in a gunshop, and I know he had no clue, he was the one who gave $250 for mosin. A bubba mosin, after a few months I gave him $50. If it wasnt an AR or a glock it was junk. Or the cop buddy of my ex, she sold someone he knew a pistol, guy wanted to try it. They could not figure out why 9mm makarov would not work in a 9mm luger chambered gun. Many are simply not open to anything new or different. No need to read or understand anything new. ‘Powder coated bullets your gonna blow yourself up’ yea thats why you can buy them now. Gunshop guy I knew refused to use cast in anything.

  • cwolf

    It is always fascinating to watch how these discussions evolve, twist, and turn. Sometimes ending with anger and name calling.

    When I was on an Artificial Intelligence project, the first step is to find an expert. It turned out about 5% of the people in any given field really knew what they were doing.

    Once upon a time, Pat Rogers was involved in a test where they had highly qualified KD shooters engage moving targets. All the targets survived. All the shooters were veteran experts.

    Look around you. We’re still building many things based on a bubble in fluid and a weighted string.

    The original premise was many folks who the public assumes know about guns don’t know much about guns. You could easily broaden than to some/many/most of the folks you know about any topic.

    The reality is some/many/most military stop shooting after IET. Many units don’t even have guns. Many Soldiers are never trained on tactics or military procedures.

    Or look at the studies of police shootings. Some/many/most departments train on KD ranges from the gun on the bench. The FBI radically changed its shooting training by requiring duty clothes and drawing from their duty holster. And actually looked at shooting team tactics. Does the FBI train on moving targets? Some places focus on why to shoot and use force-on-force exercises with Simunition.

    Do bullets tumble? I don’t know. Fleet yaw says some randomly sort of tumble at some distances. It took us 200+ years to figure that out. Do bullets “tumble” in tissue? Some do; some don’t.

    Some of the best experts are great natural observers. Hmmm, why don’t milk maids get sick when everybody else does? Hmmm, why does everybody who drinks from that well get sick? Hmmm, why do my bullets not hit the target after I go to a different city for a competition?

    The real experts are also prepared to be wrong and adjust fire. You know, people just don’t seem to get better when I drain their blood, but some do. Wonder why? We ran an L-shaped ambush yesterday and most of the enemy ran away. I wonder why we missed so many?

    The military takes high rates of injuries. Everybody knows stress fractures are overuse injuries. Except the research literature says it’s really other factors. OMG! Imagine mass screaming, yelling, and jumping out of windows. Shoot the heretic.

    When I went thru BCT, I was told that the M16 was “flat shooting,” so you aimed center mass at all targets. Later I looked at the 556 ballistic curve. Hmmm, the bullet drops 45″ at 500m, so that’s why I missed the 500m targets. Clearly, I was shooting, but I was not an expert.

    Am I an expert? Nope. Will I ever be an expert? Nope.

    Feel free to disagree or become furious. Call me names. After all, you may be an expert.

    Cheers.

  • Old Tofu

    don’t understand humor do you? how about stay away from the keyboard for a while

  • Old Tofu

    humor . . . ever here of it?

  • Core

    I tend to agree. We became experts at running guns until they broke and then the GM’s fixed and replaced them for us. In my days as an instructor I’ve seen many police and military that don’t know jack about guns, so I agree. With that said my military days I also came across experimental weapons, not that I knew anything about them..

  • bob

    This article was spot on. I was a LEO for almost 30 yrs. Most Depts required their Officers to qualify once a year. For most,but not all Officers this was the only time they fired their weapon and then Maybe they cleaned it after. A rumor going around when stainless handguns were first introduced,was to properly clean the weapon,merely run it thru the dishwasher.

  • Gary F. Brennan

    As a retired veteran and law enforcement officer and current firearms instructor and government trapper, I guess the reason for this article was to illicit the responses you are getting. Yes, there are folks in both services who do not need or want to carry or shoot, they are still on the line. They may not need to be “gun nut expert” but they know how to use the “tools” they are assigned. I was often called to a scene to unload a gun which was discovered. the officers were good at what they did, they just didn’t know firearms other than what they were issued. Still good cops. I agree with the article but you will find this in any occupation so the article is wasted space and I just wasted more time replying to it.

    • George Peter Anaipakos

      Gary – You did what you were meant to do, not a waste of time (unless you could have been drinking or chasing skirts). Thanks for your service.

  • MontieR

    This falls conveniently into my favorite category.The mistaken belief intelligence comes with an education. I would like to relate a favorite memory of mine. I had one of my daughters at a shooting range (in Texas) no less and we were test shooting some wildcat caliber weapons. We were right next to the close pistol range and a uniformed officer comes up and sets up to shoot the 5 yard steel plates. Mind you he has (apparently his duty weapon) 4 magazines in 40 cal that is somewhere around 40 or more rounds. He finally drops the last of six plates about half way thru the FOURTH magazine. My 12 year old daughter steps up and drops all 6 with six shots, turns to me and asked my why it took him so many shots. He packed his gear and left. I still tease her calling her Anne Oakley.

  • Mike Betts

    Andrew – While I’m sure you are more knowledgeable than I about firearms, I’ll take a backseat to no one when it comes to being a “Grammar Nazi”. If you are going to write for a living it behooves you to know that some pronouns are “subjective” and some are “objective”. For instance, “I” is subjective and “me” is objective. Ergo, in the third paragraph of your article, the correct grammar is “…. he muzzled my friend and me …..” as “me” is the object of the verb in the past tense “muzzled”. If you need a mnemonic to remember when to use the objective pronoun, simply omit the antecedent object and conjunction/s and you will immediately note the jarring contradiction, in this case it being ” … he muzzled I …”. Please employ this simple trick in the future so I don’t have to break out the ruler and go all “nunja” on your knuckles.

  • Mike

    I’m a soldier so when I tell you all that Steyr AUG is the best assault rifle ever made you who i’m right.

    • George Peter Anaipakos

      Write literate, complete sentences… I agree about the AUG, which were issued to the Special Agents in the US Customs Service in the early 1980’s.

  • dlh0

    As a 4 yr former Marine from the 71-75 time frame, along with another 7 years in air and army guard, and over 30 years in state and federal law enforcement, I have to sadly, agree with this article, in general.

    I spent many years as a defensive tactics and firearms instructor, as well as a special emergency response team member. In all of my accumulated service experience, I can sum up an all-to-common attitude in the LEO rank and file with one experience. While trying to qualify a consistent ‘non-qual’ state trooper, I’ll not ID the state, he commented, “I don’t care much about my shooting skills. I use a pen much more than a gun so I may as well carry a box of bics in my holster instead of a pistol.” Short sighted, but not that uncommon.

    I also have many horror stories of LEO’S trying to ‘safe’ various unfamiliar firearms.I wish I had a dollar for every time I was dispatched to a ‘take care of this weird gun for another officer’ call.

  • scaatylobo

    Taught LEO’s to shoot and can attest to the FACT,the majority are barely able to tell you what caliber they carry = and forget asking what model or make.
    I came on [ retired now ] in the early 80’s,back then we carried .38 wheel guns that held a whopping 6 rounds,12 more in LOOPS on the belt.
    Some of us took up learning about guns as a hobby,the rest are sadly in the same boat as the stated argument,knowing how to drive a car don’t make you a mechanic.
    AND too many are barely able to pass qual’s anyway.

  • Old Tofu

    humor , do u get it? everyone else did. but then u are in oblivion

  • Rogertc1

    LOL Click Bait title. Sure there are cops, soldiers ann civilians who are more expert with guns than others. Especially since the last decades of liberal gun teaching. A good thing is the internet which has a lot of knowledge as long as you know how to use it.

  • RPK

    JUST BECAUSE SOME EGG HEAD CAN SPOUT OFF A BUNCH OF STATS DOES NOT QUALIFY HIM (OR HER) AS A WARRIOR OR SOMEONE I WOUND NECESSARILY DESIRE AS MY BACK-UP. MANY PEOPLE READ AND READ A LOT. THEY ARE OVER EDUCATED IDIOTS. MANY PEOPLE HAVE A DOCTORATE DEGREE OR AN ADVANCED EDUCATION AND HAVE TO LOOK AT THE NAME TAG ON THE SHIRT THEY ARE WEARING TO RECALL THEIR OWN FIRST NAME. FROM BOOK KNOWLEDGE TO PRACTICAL APPLICATION, THEY COULD NOT FIND THEIR OWN REAREND WITH TWO HANDS AND A MAP. FIREARMS, LIKE ANYTHING ELSE, IS A PASSION. YOU EITHER HAVE A PASSION FOR SOMETHING OR YOU DO NOT. FOR INSTANCE SOMEONE WHO WRITES AN ARTICLE FOR AN ON-LINE READ. THEY CAN DO ALL THIS RESEARCH AND WRITE ABOUT IT INTELLIGENTLY. WHEN YOU TAKE THEM TO THE RANGE, THEY DO NOT KNOW THE STOCK FROM THE BARREL CROWN. POINT MADE?

    • George Peter Anaipakos

      cap lock – CAP lock – CAP LOCK!!!!!

  • Jim

    If the P320 dropping issue is any indication, the title should be changed to include firearms blogs and forums as well.

  • CraxyD

    I’m a broken, 19K Army veteran. I’m not a firearms expert by any stretch of the imagination. Never considered myself one. I have absolutely no idea WtF MOA are or where to buy them.
    Put a new (to me) pistol in my hand and I have yet to find one that I’m not shooting it proficiently within less than a full box of ammo. I don’t see the need for training courses where one hops around like a cracked out jackrabbit but YMMV

  • Micheal McGreevy

    Back in the 90s, the local 100 Club held a series of matches to raise money for local LE equipment. A chance for LEs and civilians to compete for trophy’s at the police gun range. They even had a SWAT competition. So four of my friends and I threw together a “swat” team. I was astounded at how mediocre most cops shot, and my little team actually beat the local PD SWAT team (PD of a city of 200,000) !

  • Chris Todd

    In other words, don’t fall for an appeal to authority fallacy.

    There are many police and soldiers who know firearms inside and out, many of them I’m sure read this article and maybe even this comment, but most police and soldiers simply don’t know their tools.

    Works the same on the inverse, just because somebody never put on a uniform doesn’t mean they’re completely ignorant or incapable.

    Bottom line: judge people on an individual level.

  • Ryan

    This article describes nothing that about firearms. Just complaining.

  • Mr. Katt

    In my 66 years, almost 60 of which have been around firearms, the military and an LE careet, I can count on one hand the number of soldiers and police officers who KNOW about guns – and that doesn’t include the geeks in forensics.

  • Some people have 30 years of experience. Others have one year of experience repeated 30 times.

  • HubbaBubbaD

    Some people are just not interested in firearms, regardless of their profession.

  • Ski

    I’ve been USMC/LEO for just over 20 years. I’d estimate that 99% of my firearms knowledge and trigger time is a result of my own initiative and funds. But in all fairness, training is pretty expensive.

  • RUKdnMe

    I don’t believe there is a Military (M.O.S.) Military Occupational Status of Weapons Expert because if there was, everyone would want to be one…Can you imagine the budget for ammo on anything that could be fired by hand or otherwise, through the roof…

    • BeGe1

      USMC Gunner is essentially that. Extremely hard to attain Warrant Officer status. Is considered an expert on all infantry weapon systems.

  • pismopal

    And a Gunsmith might not be able to deploy correctly at the scene of an “in progress” bank robbery…..so.

  • Old Gringo

    You sir, are so right. I have been a gun nut since I can remember, most of my 68 years now. I have 24 years active and reserve and worked in military, state, federal and local law enforcement. In midlife, I went to night school and became a trial attorney. For the last 20 years, I have conducted jury trials involving technical matters. My forte is attacking so called experts in engineering, metals, chemicals, environmental issues and others. In a jury trial, an expert must have extensive education, training, and or experience. Most have an advanced degree and some sort of license. My point is, I could disqualify 99% of cops and military folks from testifying about guns. Now folks like Massad Ayoob, the folks at Gunblast, John Taffin, Mike Venturino, etc, could easily qualify because they have tested and reported on hundreds of guns. But some blogger who has owned say less than 100 guns, really has very little expertise. Now if that same person has owned 100 different brands of ARS, that person may well be an expert on ARs. But to suggest cops and soldiers or Navy Seals are experts on something like a mini 14, is nuts. Now for what it is worth, the Mini 14, is perhaps the single semi auto I would own if I could own only one. I carried a Mini 14 as a cop and park ranger and M16s, M4s and ARS for decades. FWIW

  • Mike Lashewitz

    I simply look at that title and laugh my ass off because you left out CELEBRITIES!!!

    Personally as a soldier who carried many styles of weapons your blanket statement is just your opinion and totally useless. I have weapons at the moment from over a dozen different manufacturers and have owned many more. Plus I am also a gunsmith and have been since 1980. 37 years. I have witnessed crap come and go I have bucket list want of historical weapons. I actually have a 1 inch punt gun and am trying to obtain a 2 inch Tariff from France.
    If I could find a Puckle and afford it well we all can dream can’t we?

    Of course a 63 confirmed kill count may indicate something as well. Like I came home.

    • George Peter Anaipakos

      And you sir left out the obvious know nothings: The PRESS and The POLITICIANS! You can take that from a former Marine, former Army Airborne and after 45 years as a federal agent, county deputy sheriff and Police Officer in NYC (with WAY over a piddling 63 confirmed meals “on the arm.”)

  • N.R. Jenzen-Jones

    I work in a portion of a related industry where a range of levels of understanding are required. Some clients want to understand how weapons are acquired, stockpiled, or employed; others want to know about rivets and springs. As such, there will (and should be) people with everything diffent specialisations and degrees of knowledge.

    I should also add that, to their credit, most prior and serving military and LEOs I’ve interacted with in this job have been upfront about their knowledge limitations – much more so than your average non-professional firearms enthusiast or ‘blog reader’.

  • Marko

    I managed a gun shop near Chicago for 15 years. I cannot tell you the number of times I heard some stupid drivel about firearms come out of a cops mouth.

  • Shawn M

    Three paragraphs and a couple of hypotheticals, with the politically correct, “yes, some cops and some soldiers do “know a thing or two.” All to state the obvious. MOST cops and MOST soldiers don’t know anything about guns. I hate to break it to you, but MOST readers of this blog don’t know much about guns either. Or ammo. Or ballistics, etc. All you have to do to know that is to read the comments below any technical gun or ammo article.

  • 1inidaho

    In the meantime we have cops throwing nurses up against walls and handcuffing them because they have no idea what constitutional law is. Watch for more violations of the 2nd and 4th amendments as hurricane Irma visits.

  • George Peter Anaipakos

    When I was an ATF agent in NYC in the early 1980’s we would perform gun traces for the NYPD after a weapon was seized following an arrest. I remember one of the agents taking down some information from an NYPD officer and asking “Smith and Wesson Model 39, what caliber is that?” Now I believe that a S&W Model 39 can ONLY be a 9mm semi auto, why ask the obvious? I told the Special Agent in Charge about the incident and he responded “I only want my agents to know when they see a gun to seize it!”

    Even the gun agency knew nothing about guns!

  • Archie Montgomery

    I served four years in the U. S. Marine Corps, did a number of jobs and am proud of the title “Rifleman”. I served twenty-eight years as a federal lawman, six as a Border Patrol Agent and twenty-two as a Customs Inspector (later titled Officer).

    Most of my colleagues in both career fields knew only about the weapons they carried, and that was essentially about how to use it and first level preventative maintenance (cleaning, lubricating, immediate action to reduce stoppages and a very superficial ability to diagnose further problems). They knew what ammunition to use, sort of, and the ammo in question was generally handed to them (issued). To my knowledge, no user went into a ‘store’ and selected the proper ammunition.

    Law enforcement was much the same as the service. How to use it without being over-hazardous to one’s self or others, basic marksmanship, and basic maintenance.

    Even the ‘match shooters’ were mainly limited to marksmanship and basic handling. Many of the pistol shooters had never used a holster for their match gun. (Excepting PPC shooters, of course.)

    I did know some very knowledgable ‘gun people’ in both service and law enforcement. However, ALL the knowledgable people learned about firearms as part of their personal endeavor and interest; NOT as part of training.

    This does work both ways. Many in the service or law enforcement fields have a superior knowledge and understanding of “gun fighting” (presuming they paid attention). This is NOT to be confused with marksmanship or speed of either draw or fire.

    Also to be mentioned is law enforcement tend to know more about legal aspects of lethal force use (again presuming they paid attention) than many sport shooters.

  • LilWolfy

    We had a drill sergeant talking about how if you let the gas rings line up in the M16, it will explode….

  • CavScout

    And civilians, your forgot civilians. If you think gun-job pepole generally don’t know anything about guns… you should try the non-gun-job people. This may amaze you, but they know even less.

  • CavScout

    The average LEO or mil still knows a lot more than the average civilian.
    And the average LEO and mil who doesn’t know dink about guns can use then better than the average civilian who does know more about them. Learned from the computer screen.

  • John1943

    Yes, I had a civilized argument with a CHP officer recently who told me it wasn’t safe to carry my firearm (a1911) with the hammer back. He was confident of this because he was told in training that his Beretta should be carried hammer down.

  • Likvid

    Reminds me a few stories from my mandatory service, like our WO explaining piston driven gas operation system used in vz. 58, then proceed with vz. 82 blowback and then added something like “so you can see, both principles are practically same”.
    Or when our Major after the firings told us, how this Russian rifle is better than it’s western counterparts. Most Czech soldiers thinks vz. 58 is AK clone even today.