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Matt Landfair on Police and the Minimum Requirement

Monday, September 14th, 2015

This is Matt Landfair’s second article on SSD. Matt is a Veteran Police officer, firearms/tactics instructor and founder of We are hoping that articles like this can spur dialogue.


I have always been a firearms enthusiast. I was surprised I wasn’t surrounded by like-minded people when I went through the police academy. It wasn’t until I took further training beyond what is provided in law enforcement did I start seeing a bigger picture beyond just firearms. I learned how firearms, equipment, tactics, and training all work in concert. I also found this bigger picture was not an important aspect with many of my coworkers. This bigger picture is an important part of law enforcement; aspects within it can affect life or death outcomes.


Because of the weight firearms and firearms training holds; I found myself always looking to improve. My attitude is it is best to have and not need than to need and not have. Yes, the likelihood of needing firearms skills is lesser compared to other law enforcement skills. However, lacking firearms skills when you need them could potentially cause a life devastating incident. An issue I run into consistently is conveying the importance of training to those uninterested parties. The couple extra reps or magazines shot can make a difference, and in the long run they provide tangible results – unfortunately the naysayers want results now. During my quest to spread the gospel of good training and gear I have run into several different types of personalities who block progress within a department. These types of officers are obstacles to improving overall department capabilities:
-Too experienced – They used a sub-optimal or bad option which magically worked (against all odds). Now they push bad ideas.
-Already knows what is best – no experience, no scientific backing- they somehow already know what works. Worse, all of their answers are from the internet from questionable sources. .22’s kill more people; we should use .22’s as our duty guns.
-Playing the odds – They shoot down ideas because the likelihood of further training, superior weapons, or equipment (armor) most likely won’t ever be needed.
-Not important – similar to playing the odds, but this one wants department pencils (include your favorite excuse here) made instead of buying patrol rifles or funding training.


We already know police standards in training, equipment, qualifications are a minimum requirement. For me, this is not the standard to occupy. When is minimum a standard to strive for? If your department will not act to improve, to what extent are you willing to go to provide a better and safer environment for yourself at work? I may be better trained or equipped because it is on my dime, but what about my coworkers? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Do you want those weak links with you in a gunfight?

So how do you get that further training and equipment to strengthen that department chain? Rank is not always needed to instigate a positive change. There are budgetary constraints to everything within a police department. Realistic explanations need to be provided as to why your concepts are a necessity and weigh that lifesaving option to the non-essential items and training that are being purchased. With this in mind, what is the life of an officer at your department worth? I worked for agencies that did not provide these things and having that specialized personally owned equipment and additional training put me in a class well above that standard.


That minimum standard not only affects weapons, gear, and training – this affects personnel. I don’t think the public is aware we are blessed by officers who do not see police work as a job but as a calling and a passion. I do not think any of my friends or coworkers do this because of the pay. When the public cries out because of a few bad cops – be aware, if those standards were higher and higher pay was offered to attract better candidates – bad apples would be more easily weeded out.

Don’t let department training and standards be your standards, go beyond that minimum – strive to lead.

This article was originally published on and reprinted with permission from Matt who retains the Copyright to his work.

Random Training Produces Random Results

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

September 7, 2015
Aaron Barruga


If you are going to the range without a plan, you are wasting money. If you are not collecting data with a shot timer, you will never advance plateaued skills. Moreover, temporarily plateaued skills can turn into complacent ability. If you are not measuring your growth, then how do you confirm improvement?

In his marksmanship manual “T.A.P.S. Tactical Application of Practical Shooting,” Patrick McNamara writes about “training-itus”:

Train like you fight is one of the most abused axioms in tactical training… It is easy to get stuck in a rut when training on a flat range. We are going through a motion or ritual of sorts. When one performs a ritual, one is training his body and not his mind. One is performing a motion with no cognitive thought process, and he may forget why he is doing it, let alone whether or not it makes sense.

McNamara’s point is accurate in that training labeled as “tactical” can often disrupt the advancement of skills. Often I encounter shooters that pay less attention to the drill they are performing, and focus more on their post-drill tactical rituals. For example, shooters will completely forgo follow-through so that they can “search and assess;” or shooters will immediately begin lateral movement to “get off the X” despite having failed to score threat neutralizing hits.

It is absolutely permissible to perform shooting exercises that isolate certain fundamentals and forgo the performance of tactical rituals. For example, slow-aim-fire bulls eye shooting is great for reinforcing trigger control. Although going slow in a gunfight is not practical, analysis of trigger control provided by this exercise is invaluable in developing our overall comprehension of marksmanship.

If the absence of performing a tactical ritual during a shooting exercise distorts a shooters sense of ability in the real world, chances are that shooter has not been properly trained.

Tips For Success
It is okay to draft up a range plan, and then adjust it mid training session. Sometimes we are too ambitious and need to dial down the intensity; or after analyzing our performance we may identify a more pertinent issue that needs work.

Regardless, you should always gather data on what you are doing. Here are the best ways for adding value to your training regime:

1. Plan your shoot, and shoot your plan. Adjust as necessary.
2. Use a shot timer.
3. Analyze your performance in real time. This doesn’t always have to be recording results on paper, and can just be a mental talk through.
4. Track your results. Too often shooters will develop a solid training plan, use shot timers, analyze their performance, and then fail to record any data. This might seem intuitive, but we often do this because of laziness. Again, you don’t need to write down everything you do, but you should record something from your range plan so that you can start developing performance metrics.

Know Your Limits
Plateaued (or outright complacent) tactical shooters speak against the use of shot timers and the need to compete. They commonly excuse themselves by proclaiming they are “training for the real world” or that “bad guys aren’t impressed with tight shot groups.” Advocates of this complacency mask their inabilities as “combat effective shooting.” They excuse tight CQB-like shot groups, and instead permit excessive flyers so long as a shooter is going for speed.

It is very easy to develop quick hand speed that is sloppy. However, reinforcing this anxious type of shooting, in which accuracy is sacrificed for speed, is dangerous. Because we lose a lot of fine motor skills in a real gunfight, our limitations are exaggerated. What might have been a C-zone flyer can become a round that is sent completely off target.

Although you definitely don’t want to be the slowest participant in a gunfight, consideration should be placed on how we train and why. The consensus against shot timers is nonsense and a methodology that needs to be disenfranchised. Trainers that support this ideology do so because they face an existential threat to their credibility, in that shooting for both speed and accuracy will expose their lack of ability.

Matches are another great metric for measuring the limits of your shooting ability. When I first started shooting matches, I thought some of the stage designs and props were impractical. However, at the end of the day, my performance (good or bad) spoke louder than my boasting of Special Forces credentials. Will you ever encounter a plate rack or a Texas star in the real world? No, but the ability to rapidly engage those targets in a match demonstrates comprehension of marksmanship fundamentals.

Random training produces random results. Maximize your time and money spent training by using the aforementioned techniques. Reviewing our improvement strengthens our confidence, and keeps us from plateauing or staying in extended training ruts.

Aaron is a Special Forces Veteran and teaches classes in Southern California. Check out the trailer for his courses at: Instagram: guerrilla_approach

Guerrilla Approach – Gunfighter Training Courses Trailer

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Guerrilla Approach has produced a trailer for their new Gunfighter Training Series.

Tired of the same training? Sign up for a real challenge.

Will Petty Joins 88 Tactical Cadre

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Tekamah, NE–31 AUG 15–88 Tactical Group

88 Tactical, a Nebraska based training organization, is proud to announce the addition of Mr. Will Petty to the ranks of its nationally recognized instructor cadre. Petty, a longtime Law Enforcement Officer, has served both in patrol and a number of specialized assignments. Petty will be conducting courses not just at 88 Tactical’s range and lodge facility but elsewhere across the country and abroad. Most will be focused on (though not limited to) the unique challenges of Vehicle Close Quarters Battle — shooting in, around or through vehicles, including low- and no-light classes and instructor development programs like the one he recently established for the NYPD.

Says 88 Tactical’s Founder and HMFIC Shea Degan, “Since Thrasher (88 Tactical COO and serving 18Z Trevor Thrasher) and I first began our program we’ve worked to ensure everything we do is reality- and behavior based. All our classes, in fact our entire instructional ethos, is predicated on adrenalized, asymmetrical scenarios. William’s emphasis on contextual reality is a perfect extension of this. Nothing Will teaches is ‘square range based.’ He despises range lore for the institutional tradition it is. We are [expletive deleted] excited to have him.”

Petty began his LE career in New Mexico, eventually moving to Texas and spent 2-years on contract with the Critical National Infrastructure Authority in Abu Dhabi as a Counter Terrorism instructor for certain specialized units of the United Arab Emirates and other places. He’s been a rangemaster, defensive tactics instructor, ERT member and departmental competition shooting team member. Petty, who remains a Texas Tactical Police Officers Association instructor and serving reserve officer, joins an all-star roster of notable and internationally experienced instructors. Among them are former SF medic, combat diver and PSC contractor Nick Nowatney, former FBI Hostage Rescue Team Leader and DoJ Counter Terror expert Mike Sackett, veteran LEO and former counter-piracy PSC contractor Tim Fullmer, USAF SERE legend and Midwest School of Bushcraft Terry Barney and many more.

You can take a look at some of what Petty will be instructing for 88 Tactical here in this video trailer:

Defoor Performance 2016 Training Schedule Is Live

Friday, August 28th, 2015


Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Darley Days – DFND

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

DFND is a new company on the Berry compliant tactical clothing scene but the men behind it bring over 25 years of experince to the brand. They’ve got a lot of offerings already but after a brief discussion, we decided to introduce their compression technology first. DFND currently offers three lines of compression, Recovery, Elite and Active.


Above, is the Active Compression S/S Shirt. Made from 70D medical grade, circular knit, breathable compression for 360 degree muscle containment. It is Moisture Wicking, Anti Bacterial and offers UPF 50+ Sun Protection. Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL.