San Bernardino LE response

by Miles
Credit to FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The tragic events of this past Wednesday’s Terrorist attack were committed by cowards with the sort of sick mentality that causes all sorts of violence in the world, not just in San Bernardino, CA. However the Law Enforcement reaction to the heinous shooting was extremely swift and ended with the solution of removing these sick individuals from the equation of life. The media coverage of that response was very thorough, and unfortunately is one of the only ways we at TFB get a chance to show some of the interesting firearms being used by Law Enforcement these days. I wish we had more media coverage of cops training, that equally showed what they were actively using, instead of having a traumatic event take place, that allows us to see what they have.

This year could otherwise be termed as “The Mini-14 Resurgence”. Not that these Mini-14s appeared out of nowhere, the police in Paris and the local PDs in San Bernardino have most likely always had these Mini-14s in their armories, but through the high profile attacks, we see them in operational use for the first time. In the San Bernardino police response, it appears that the Sheriffs Deputies wielding the Mini-14s were the patrolmen first on scene, so these rifles are probably their car or duty rifles that are issued out to them. However with the SWAT response, we are seeing a much more typical LE load out with AR15s, in addition to their duty sidearms. One of the reasons why the response was so fast is because their SWAT team was conducting training at the exact time of the shooting. And thus was able to transition from notional role play to an actual gun fight, which mainly involved the chase of the two killers SUV, effectively ventilating it with rounds.

Below I’ve attached a smattering of photographs all over the internet, of the Law Enforcement response. Some interesting findings include the ever elusive folding stock Ruger variant, in addition to various suppressors mounted. Most of the Rugers appear to be the civilian market Ruger Ranch rifles, or similar civilian versions, with either 20 or 30 round magazines inserted. I can’t look at many of the pictures close enough to tell if there are selectors on the right side of the receiver, just behind the rear sight. We also see some Remington 870s in various guises, and a number of different handguns, to include a seemingly good number of 1911s. From the body armor/gear/weapons of the SWAT responders collaged with the same layout of the patrolmen, there is an erie cross between the most modern of todays Law Enforcement, to something from at least the 1980s or so.

Some of the SWAT guys had suppressors mounted.
Interesting in the age of AR accessories, we are still seeing setups like this with the carrying handle mounted Trijicon, and the traditional handguards with a vintage light mounted. Then again, funding is not universally great among every Police Department, and I myself have seen a full size M16A1 in use by an officer in Indiana. As a 1911 fan, I'm happy to see light mounted 1911s in these Safariland thigh rigs.
Firearms used by the killers. The single point slings, reflex sights, and other accessories almost bring their weapons to the same level of the weapons used to kill them by SWAT.
Police officers conduct a manhunt after a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California December 2, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I've made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at

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  • Jeez Louise Jeez Louise on Dec 09, 2015

    I read that the terrorists were only able to shoot 76 rounds during the final encounter with police. I bet those silly CA bullet buttons and the stress of being shot at by police while driving an SUV made it darn hard to change mags during the firefight. It may be the only time the bullet button worked as intended by the CA anti-gun pols. Poor terrorists, they should've gone to Arizona for their ARs.

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    • Kivaari Kivaari on Dec 17, 2015

      @Jeez Louise I looked at them on 400%, and I can't tell. Other reports said they had been reverted to a "real" button.

  • Unwelcome Rationality Unwelcome Rationality on Dec 20, 2015

    Wow. And anyone who obeys the law but doesn't have a badge on their chest would be shot to death by these guys for daring to own weapons like theirs.