Due to how long the interview with Patriot Cop got, I thought it would be better to break it into two parts to release over two days. This is part two of the interview, in this part are the questions I asked Patriot Cop that pertain more to the civilian side of things, thoughts on training, and more!
What comes to mind when you hear someone say, “I carry Glock because law enforcement does.” and then goes on to thrash open carrying?
This is what comes to mind, this is what bugs me. I am extremely pro open carry, though I probably never will again unless I’m hunting, or have a badge again… I just don’t want that type of attention from law enforcement.
What bugs me is the division among us (the firearms community). We are constantly saying we need to come together, but on inside we will fight each other constantly about the best way to carry, what gun to carry, and whatever else. They will say, “This is my right to carry and I should be able to carry everywhere….but if you don’t agree with how I think you should carry? I’m going to shun you, call you names, and tell you that you shouldn’t own guns.”
We’re all on the same side and we all need to be on the same page on everything…from the NFA to bump-stocks… but that is what bothers me. We are all on the same team yet we act like enemies. People also shouldn’t be talking about something they have no knowledge on, especially if it is something they got from someone else without vetting it.
Go figure it out on your own, do your own research, and make your final decision off of that. These are the same people, by the way, that don’t want government in their personal lives, but they want to tell others how to live their life? The first thing I think is, “You are so narcissistic that you’re going to tell me how to do something better that I’ve been doing for years…? Really?”
I seriously wish people would just stop arguing open versus concealed carry…and just argue over carry versus not carrying. Truth be told, I don’t like to argue, I like to find flaws in arguments and turn the tables on them.
Your concealed carry might give you an advantage, but you’re going to have to shoot someone. When I open carry, people will be dissuaded from going after me.
What do you think about the two recent crazes for carry guns; compensators and MRDSs (micro red dot systems)? Do they have a place and if so, is it something that people should heavily take into consideration?
Compensators are a waste of time. If you’re going to add weight and length to a gun, get one with a longer slide. You’re getting a lot more sound, a lot more gases blowing back on you, and a lot of them barely work worth a shit. The only time comps really come into play is when you’re using a caliber that people don’t carry…like .454 Casull. If you can’t handle 9mm or 45ACP without a compensator you need to change something….like not having arthritis. I have had some factory compensated guns and a lot of times I got rid of them because of the increased noise. That said, a longer barrel will give you better ballistic, and the added weight will tame the recoil a little bit.
What about the people who claim that they’re able to get follow up shots of so much faster? Before you answer, I want to mention that the few videos I have watched people are able to get their shots off maybe .01/sec faster…maybe a little more.
If you’re basing your defensive theory on a hailstorm of bullets, you’re subscribing to the spray and pray method. You should be focused on making accurate shots. The other thing is, in most interviews following a self-defense situation people say that they didn’t use their sights and they don’t know how long the event actually took, or more.
A thousandth of a second on follow up shots doesn’t make a difference, the length added by a compensator slows your draw by that much or more…and here’s the other thing. If you get into a defensive situation in the dark, do you want that fireball to wash out of your vision? Accuracy is more important than speed. It isn’t who can draw faster, its who can connect faster. To me I don’t think they are worth it. 90% of pistol comps don’t work since they aren’t tight enough around the bullet….and those time “decreases” kind of show that, and could all be the user trying to make the difference. If they made that much of a difference, why aren’t SEALs using it? For police, the only comped guns I have seen being used is the C series from Glock and it isn’t long before the user switches back to a standard model since they don’t like the increased sound level or the flash.
Electronic sights… they can fail but they are the future. You can get on target faster and you can be more precise…but like everything else you just can’t throw it on and have it work. My biggest issue with them is finding holsters and hoping you never experience moisture damage, that the batteries aren’t dead, etc. I would only want one if I could co witness it. All of that said,I don’t think they are necessary. 90% of the time your defensive range is 7rds (21ft rule) or less, and they aren’t going to help you there.
Now, a lot of people don’t realize that throwing a MRDS on their gun can affect everything. It can lower the reliability of the firearm by adding/taking weight from the slide (throwing the timing of it off), so you really have to thoroughly test it to make sure your springing it set-up properly; this goes for compensators too if you decide to use one. On that note I hope that the factory guns that are optic ready have been vetted to make sure that they run properly with optics before leaving the factory.
Maybe in 10 years though we will see them more common place like we do WMLs….the only reason I don’t use WMLs on my handguns is the same main issue I have with MRDS… I can’t find a good OWB that has a decent level 3 retention rating. Admittedly I have yet to play with handgun optics, but you have it set to look good in the day what will you do at night? Unholster and adjust the brightness setting? Of course fiber optic/tritium MRDSs aren’t affected by this or auto-dimming models (assuming the auto-dim feature always works).
Speaking of weapon mounted lights (WMLs), what do you think about weapon mounted lights and lasers? Is there any validity to the “Bad guys will aim for the light” ?
The claim of the bad guys shooting at the light is bullshit. Back in the 70s when the lights were dimmer, yeah you could probably aim at them. Today with how bright they are, you aren’t going to be able to gauge where the target is. And even then the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Night sights are great, but they take a while to reacquire. At about the 15 yards you can use the hotspot to hit your target since the hotspot is usually right there on their torso.
If you're using fancy words, you can call this indexing.
I ran a laser for about 2 years when I was in law enforcement, it didn’t help me any in the aiming aspect…actually I shot worse because I was spending more time trying to line up the laser. The only thing they’re good for is if you need to pull a gun out under a table and needed to shoot someone. For me, it only gave me an advantage at night when I would pull someone over. When a suspect would step out of their vehicle they would only see a wall of light and not know that I had a gun trained on them…activate a laser and all of a sudden they would start listening. It was a force multiplier more than anything. I do carry a quick detach WML for my guns for if I need it though. The main reason is because I haven’t been able to find any decent holsters with level 3 retention that accommodate light bearing guns like I mentioned before.
Alright, lets get into some gear/training questions… To get the ball rolling what do you think are the worst handgun calibers for self-defense and which ones do you think are the best?
The worst in general would be .38Spl and .380ACP, guns chambered in these are back-up guns; nothing more.
Alright, so .45ACP suffers the worst. It has terrible penetration capabilities, it does poorly through barriers, and is almost always low on capacity. Even without low capacity though, you’re talking about a good bit of excessive weight in spare ammo/back-up mags. You also have 3 times the case capacity than it really needs…which results in it being pretty fat. .45 also loses velocity and drops fast… hollow points need velocity to open up, so when you go out to further distances the chances of it not opening up increases greatly. The ball ammo for 45 is also a somewhat poor penetrator…but if that is all we had I would reconsider my stance due to its size.
The best all around would have to be 9mm and .40S&W, as they are about equal. They are both “Jack of all trades, but master of none” when you look at them from all aspects. You don’t get harsh recoil and the price is just right for the guns and the ammunition. Sure, they don’t do anything exceptionally well, but they don’t do anything bad….they are well rounded.
Now 10mm and .357Mag still beat both, however, because of how effective they are. .357 Magnum still has the highest rate of “1 shot stops”….which I believe is in the 90th percentile. Now for .357 Sig… .357 Sig shines through barriers and in terms of reliable feeding. It is just a tad bit better than 9mm, but it doesn’t jam. I have never ever seen a .357 Sig stove pipe and that is in part due to the bottleneck shaped casing… .357 Sig actually works even if the feed lips are bent because you’re sticking a tiny bullet into a larger chamber. On the downside you’re getting .40S&W capacities while shooting 9mm bullets essentially.
I do have to mention .44 and .41 mag since I see people carrying them for self-defense. These calibers were designed for hunting big game and the hollow points typically don’t expand until leaving a person…because they were designed to hunt animals that are a little more rigid than humans.
At one point I had made some plates that were essentially threat level IIIA and I tested them with all of the popular calibers. The smallest denting was the .380 and .45…in fact the indents they left were pretty darn similar. This is probably because Browning designed the .380ACP to act as a downsized .45ACP.
You don’t think 10mm would overpenetrate do you?
That argument is pretty subjective. With FMJs? Yeah, but a good hollow point won’t at all. It comes down to bullet design… the whole over penetration thing is overly perpetuated.
Would you say it’s a myth like stopping power with handgun calibers?
Do you see a bullet pass through when a cop shoots someone? Not really… can it happen? Yeah,but it is pretty unlikely. Once it hits someone a hollow point will lose a lot of its velocity unless it hits the person in the hand or something similar. In that instance lets say the hollow point starts to behave like an FMJ in terms of drop… If you are 6’0 shooting at a target that is 6’0 tall, the bullet will drop at about 200yds, if it goes through something it will drop even faster….honestly just practice with good ammo so you don’t miss. Over penetration is over exaggerated greatly. Especially with the advancements in bullet technology. Lets be serious though anyway, since semi-autos came onto the market and hollow points started to hit the market…how many times has someone gotten injured from over penetration during a shoot? Usually when shots are fired, everyone flees so there isn’t a lot to worry about…more people have probably gotten injured from their own rounds bouncing off of their steel plates from not having them angled down.
Would you say its safe for people to carry FMJs?
Is it safe? Yeah. Is it smart? Well, it isn’t necessarily stupid. If anything though its safer for the person you’re shooting at since they have a higher chance to survive. The only real safety issue is, is that 99% of FMJ ammo unless its designed for military and police is lower quality. This lower quality increases your chances of having malfunctions with your firearm and a lower chance of primer ignition.
Do you think people should worry about overpenetration with it?
No, I wouldn’t worry about that. I would be worried that the person I shot would sue me because they would be stuck in a wheelchair, or that they might come after my family for retaliation. That and they will also survive that 3-5 seconds more (or longer) and have a chance of taking me down. People can live for 10 seconds if shot in their heart of lungs and that is a lot of time for an individual to be able to do damage. But with FMJs you’re really just poking toothpicks into people and they aren’t very effective.
Alright… I have a good one that might make you think a little. Do you carry up 1? (The +1 on advertised capacities)
I…. don’t ever stack +1. Never, never, never. A lot of people do it, but I just use a full magazine, and chamber the first round…so technically I carry minus 1. Guns that I leave magazines loaded for extended periods of time, I download. I usually download by three rounds for rifle magazines (depending on the capacity of the magazine) and by two rounds on pistol mags. A lot of people like to claim that springs don’t wear out and I call bullshit on that. I have left mags loaded for years and years and I have had a lot of them end up with completely compressed springs. I have had others though that were fine. One thing that I need to say is that it seems single stack magazines don’t seem to be as affected as double stack mags. The other thing is that a lot of guns seem to have a lot of issues when it comes to loading and ejecting that first round… This might be due to the fact that a lot of these mags might hold 16-17rds but in truth the dimensions and springs show that they should only have 15-16rds loaded into them. Honestly, if you want that extra around, just throw on a mag extensions.
There’s actually a benefit to be had from just carrying what the magazine will hold; its easier on the magazine spring. Typically when a standard magazine is loaded today, the spring is basically flat, if you put it in a gun with the slide closed you’ll meet some resistance typically. If you put one in the chamber, load the mag in, or however you do it, you’re throwing all of that tension on the magazine. Not to mention its a pain in the ass to chamber a round, take the mag out, and load another round into the magazine. Even the military will download magazines that are going to be sitting for a while…or at least they used to.
Typically, and these are why I don’t stack up a round, I see two things causing issues with firearms. Either the mag spring is so compressed that it isn’t able to push the last round up to feed reliably or the first round likes to nose dive if the gun isn’t racked hard enough. There is a lot of stuff that people just don’t take into consideration with their defensive firearms though… nobody really considers that if you pocket carry your back-up mag that sand/lint/dust will get in there and make it real sluggish…which ultimately will cause a feeding issue. Usually to keep any of these issues from happening I change out mag springs every couple of years.
Would you say that limited capacity (sub 10 rounds) .22lr pistols are viable options for self-defense?
That is very, very dependent on many different factors. I will limit that here to the United States. A lot of our spooks will actually carry a .22lr pistol since it is easy to get ammo for since a lot of foreign countries still have it available. If you can put all of your rounds on target fast, it is about as effective as putting a 12ga buckshot on the target. A lot of people don’t understand that if I put a toothpick sized hole in your heart, you’re going to die. Is it a good option though? No, it isn’t. If it was the end of the world though, it’s a great option…since it beats the hell out of a spear or a slingshot. Is it viable? I wouldn’t say so. You can get a .380 in about the same size with more reliable ignition and more damage. At the end of the day though it is better than nothing. There is a reason poachers and hitman use .22lr, just keep that in mind.
With .22lrs being favorite back-ups for some, what was your favorite back-up while on duty?
I don’t think that I could answer that question. There was a time when I carried as many as four handguns at a time. My whole career I carried a Glock 22 on my side. Initially I carried one back up gun…then two…and then three. The reason I did that was not for reloading speed or out of fear that the weapon would fail. I would carry my duty weapon on my strong side, on my left ankle I would usually carry a wheel gun because I found it easier to access in a vehicle. I would also carry a Kahr P40 in my left shirt pocket and a Shield in .40S&W in my right shirt pocket. It gave me the ability to draw no matter if my left or right side were being affected. I carried them on different parts of my body so it didn’t matter which position I was in…I could always get to one easily. I also carried a spare magazine with everything, but I maintained my four back-ups magazines for my primary gun on my belt. I wasn’t too concerned about reloading my back-up, my thought was if someone was on me and I needed that back-up gun… a New York reload would be the wiser course of action. (Chuckles) If I wanted to do it right I should have just carried a lot of Glock 27s so I could use the same magazines. Now…the one revolver I loved carrying on my ankle was the 10oz S&W 340PD which was a .357 J-Frame. Maaaan, it kicked like a .500S&W but if I didn’t stop someone it might catch them on fire! I usually carried my P40 there (on the ankle), but eventually I went to the revolver because it could get dirtier on the ankle without having any issues.
You said that you carried two in your shirt pockets? How did you manage to pull that off?
The shirts we had were made by 5.11 and had a long Velcro pocket on it that you could open from the side, and the pocket was pretty large. What a lot of officers did before we had these shirts was they would sew Velcro onto their vest, put Velcro on their holsters, and go about carrying backups that way. Thankfully with the 5.11 shirts I didn’t have to do any sewing.
This one may stir-up some controversy, but, do you think that force on force training is worth it for people who might only take one class every couple of years? Or do you think they would be better off using that money to hone their shooting capabilities?
Hmm…that is an interesting one… I would tell you right now, force on force training would probably trump shooting capabilities. You might be an accurate shooter, but you aren’t a gun fighter. In defensive situations it isn’t just one holing shots. Its speed; the first to react is the one who wins. If you’re at 25 yards and get 5” groups, just focus on getting those rounds off faster, not tighter. I would rather fight with a guy that can put 10 rounds into a baseball in 10 seconds, than a guy who can group them at 1” in 30 seconds. As far as surviving…force training versus accuracy. That isn’t to say being a good shot doesn’t have its own advantages, but being a target is just as bad when you’re trying to take the shot. Learning how to move, getting out of the way, and more is just as if not more important. My advice would be, once you can hit your target, go to tactics training, and then hone your accuracy. The problem with it is, a lot of schools you are going to see aren’t worth a shit. The drills aren’t good, or they are far too basic. Just find someone that has worked with SWAT or has had combat time with an entry team…those are the guys that know how to live.
Again, I would pick tactics. I can always shoot at targets, but picking up my speed while going through doors, clearing rooms, and tactical reloads are equally if not more important. Once you are familiar with your firearm, start figuring out how fast you can get out of your vehicle, how fast you can unholster while seated, etc. Take a one week course a year, practice those fundamentals at the range, or in your home with unloaded guns, and become more proficient with it. If you took one 40 hour course a year for a couple of years…you would probably have more tactics training than most law enforcement officers.
Can you learn anything from watching YouTube?
Yes, you can teach yourself all you want as long as you put it into practice. When we did SWAT courses, we would spend about 4/12 hours practicing tactics on a bulletin board. Just take notes, make a book of different tactics you can use, and practice them to find what works. I learned most of my mechanic type stuff from watching my father. Now with most of what I do, I go to YouTube to learn what I need to know; even with guns. If I can’t figure it out I can always find a video on YouTube. For those who say you can’t learn from watching videos… I can show you people in prison who have learned this type of stuff from watching videos and learned how to counter it when they start riots. But yeah, you can learn a lot of stuff. If you are good at replicating stuff, you can probably outgun anyone who has taken tactics training as long as you can replicate it. If someone tells you that you can’t even learn gun safety from videos…ask them why pamphlets work and videos don’t. The ATF and NRA sure as hell think pamphlets can do the job.
As a follow up to the force on force training, which were you more afraid of encountering on the job, a knife or a gun?
I’ll shoot someone with a knife before I shoot someone with a gun. It is just because there is a lower chance of survival from being stabbed. I have been both shot and stabbed…and I would rather get shot. To add on, a ballistics vest won’t stop a knife, it won’t stop a spike, but it will stop something chambered in a common handgun caliber. To some extent though it does come down to distance. If the suspect is at 30 foot, I would rather a knife than a gun for obvious reasons. The bad thing about a knife is fighting it, no matter how good you are, you are going to get cut, and most people just aren’t prepared for that.
When we did SWAT training we did a lot of simmunitions training where people could shoot at us but we could not shoot at them. While they were shooting at us we had to try hitting a target, once we hit that target they would stop shooting at us. The idea behind that was a lot of people who get shot typically just drop in place and start screaming… if you were to make an entry into a house or anything similar, you go in and take care of the problem; this drill trained us for this. It doesn’t matter if you start to bleed, you go until the threat is taken down. It was really all about numbing the shock of getting shot.
If I take you to the range and tell you to: fire “x” amount of rounds on target, reload, fire “x” amount of rounds, so on and so forth, you’re going to get faster the more you do it. If I take you to that same course with people shooting at you with paintballs, you’re going to get a LOT faster.
For someone with limited funds for training, we’ve established that they can get by with training themselves via YouTube if they can replicate things and see what they’re doing wrong… Would you advise them to shoot…say 200rds once a month, sho0t 100rds twice a month, or to shoot 50rds four times a week?
Easily 50 rounds each week. It doesn’t matter if its 5,000 rounds every 10 weeks, or 50 rounds every week. I will go with the 50 rounds each week. If you’re doing 50 rounds each week you’re keeping your skills sharpened, and you’re keeping up with your training. If you’re doing 200 rounds a month, you’re going 3 weeks without any brush up and you’re going to lose your edge. Eventually when you get to the higher round counts, you are going to get fatigued, and at that point you’re not even really gaining anything. I would do courses when I was in law enforcement where we would just shoot for hours with minimal breaks and eventually I would get tired, hungry, or both. At that point you start to pull shots from flinching, you loosen your grip from fatigue, etc. Sure, I might have been improving muscle memory but I wasn’t getting any sizable benefit from it. So, yeah… 50 rounds a week beats the other two.
What would you advise someone to do after getting into a defensive situation? Should they wait for their legal counsel to show up? Or would you say that it is situation dependent? (Disclaimer: Patriot Cop is not a lawyer)
First thing I would have to say and I can only vouch of Texas law… but there are a lot of similar states with Castle Doctrine and the like. If I was in the situation, after the police took my gun, I would not tell them anything without legal representation. I would give them my name, my ID, or whatever else they needed, that is all. In the heat of that situation when you’re coming off of the adrenaline rush you can say something that can be used against you in court. In Texas you have to be in fear for your life. Say you have someone come at you with a knife and you tell the cops you were going to shoot him, you can go to jail for murder. You also don’t want to say anything that the family can use against you. I would plead the 5th Amendment and wait for my attorney. I also wouldn’t tell my attorney anything that could incriminate myself. In the heat of the moment, even for officers, you can make yourself look really bad. Even for officers, they get a day before being interviewed. If you are right, there is no reason you should suffer, but even then you shouldn’t say anything. I wouldn’t mention race or anything else similar that can be used against you. I wouldn’t say “I shot him because he was trying to rob me.” You need to say: “I feared for my life and they were….” Or something along those lines. I would always get an attorney if I shot someone, but this is also where carry insurance comes in handy.
When getting pulled over in states with a duty to inform, how would you recommend going about notifying the officer that you are carrying? Also, as something that is argued, in states that do not have a duty to inform, should you inform the officer that pulls you over regardless?
When I had a concealed license, I would never directly inform them that I had a firearm in the vehicle. Instead I would hand them my driver’s license and my carry license. Of course every state is different on what they mean by duty to inform, but the big thing is to just remain calm. Nervousness creates nervousness and if they ask you where the firearm is, don’t move your hand towards it, just verbally say it. The big reason I never informed though was due to anti-gun cops… they will either detain you after disarming you or just disarm you to run the serial number on the firearm. Sometimes, especially with the state police in Texas, when they go to return the firearm, they will take the round that was in the chamber, the mag, and the gun and just leave it on the roof…I really, really don’t like that. For some of these anti-gun cops they will also use your possession of a firearm as reasonable suspicion to search your vehicle…have fun getting that 30-60 minutes of your life back.
If you don’t have a duty to inform…I just wouldn’t. It isn’t worth the possible hassle, the only benefit is possibly getting off with a warning and not a ticket. When I was doing patrols, I would just issue warnings to CHL holders unless they were doing something really stupid.
Alright Patriot Cop, to finish up this interview, can you tell us one of your most memorable incidents while you were in law enforcement?
Here’s the problem… I forgot some of the best ones…but the most memorable traffic stop? Okay, I got one. I was called in for a pursuit that started about 50-60 miles away and I got called in when it was 20-30 miles out. I had just gotten out of SWAT training and I didn’t have spikes in my trunk. I had also just gotten this beautiful rifle, so I put my vest on, and put the rifle between the seats so I could get to it fast. When the chase caught up to where I was, the vehicle was being chased by 15 state police cars doing 80 MPH, so I just started following. Eventually I told my partner that I was going to take a nap with how boring this chase was getting. Eventually they got his tires blown with spikes… and he started doing 30 MPH for 20 more minutes.
When we stopped with him, I pulled my rifle out, flipped on full auto, came behind a state police officer, and said “Lets advance.” I have my rifle trained on the car for if he came out of the driver’s seat. As we were advancing on him in the same formation that geese fly, I hear “Shots fired!” over the radio. The only thing I could think of was “What the f*ck, I didn’t hear anything.” We advance up and found that after the guy stopped, he pulled a gun, and shot himself. After checking the trajectory of the round I found out that the bullet missed me by about 8 feet and I didn’t even hear it. That had to of been the weirdest traffic stop. I never heard the shot despite being 15 feet away and I think that is because I was so focused on the situation.
Here’s a little bit of a funnier one though… I stopped a guy who said “I have some guns in my car, but I’m not going to tell you what they are.” And I responded with “Why? Actually, I’m going to need you to step out of the vehicle now since I’m curious.” He had just won seven guns at the NRA Friends meet that were worth about $6,000 total.
I have also had people run from me because they thought there was a warrant out for their arrest..when their wasn’t. So just because they ran they could have gotten slapped with evading arrest, which some did.
Well everyone, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it! Patriot Cop will be making special appearances from time to time on my website TacCat and actually helped me write an article that I recently shared with you all here on the L1F network called “How Glock Gained Popularity“. Big thanks to the Liberty First Foundation for letting my share my articles with you all!
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