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SureFire Field Notes – Bill Murphy

SureFire Field Notes is a multi-segment informational video series with tips and techniques from subject matter experts of all backgrounds. In this episode, Bill Murphy discusses the importance of having a tourniquet with you at all times.

Bill has been a police officer for over 37 years, currently working as a Reserve Deputy with Los Angeles County Sheriff Department. Bill was also a Senior Police Officer assigned to Patrol /SWAT with the Huntington Beach PD in California, where he was also a Firearms Instructor/Armorer, Use of Force Instructor, and a member of the Range Advisory Committee, Gunsite Training Center Rangemaster, a Police Academy Instructor, an NRA, FBI, and an Adjunct Instructor for the U.S. Air Force Pararescue Advanced Weapons School. Bill serves as Lead Instructor for low-light and firearms courses at the SureFire Institute.

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21 Responses to “SureFire Field Notes – Bill Murphy”

  1. jbgleason says:

    While I agree with his sentiment, I have serious reservations with his choice of equipment. Seek out someone qualified in TCCC / TECC and get competent training and the knowledge base to make intelligent equipment choices.

  2. Ray Forest says:

    Haven’t followed this closely in a bit but is there still no dopler pulse testing associated with this product? I remember they avoided publishing any data on that testing even though at the time it was the elephant in the room. There is still the 1.5″ issue?

  3. mike says:

    What about eliminating the threat first? I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. That is of course my personal opinion.

    • Kev says:

      Couple of options really. Drag his ass out at that front door or dude self aids and the instructor takes up the fight.

  4. d says:

    The rise in popularity of the RATS tourniquet is disturbing.

  5. xpoqx says:

    I wasn’t paying close attention to the title, subsequently I was disappointed when I realized that it indeed did not say “SureFire Field Notes with Bill Murray.

    • Jon says:

      glad I’m not the only one…I was hoping to see a shotgun with a surefire light hunting a gopher on the golf course…that would have been great!

  6. JKifer says:

    Didn’t watch the video due to its incompatibility on a work computer.

    However, tourniquets are an absolute must have. I have only personally used the cat’s/soft’s and can only attest to them (prefer their wider straps, and ease of use). I am by no means an expert, I do have just enough knowledge under my belt to get into trouble having undergone CLS, two different TCCC courses, and am a natl cert EMT.

    Always return fire first, establish that cover, and get the cas off of the X. Most often the cas can administer a hemo gauze, press dress, and TK then and there and really help his medic out while the cover is being established.

  7. Darkhorse says:

    People like to think of gun fighting very one dimensionally. In fact, it’s an entire package of being a master of a lot of trades and proficient at all.

    The guy who goes out and takes a shooting class so he can be a second class wizard in a mall shooting “Johnny-on-the-spot” likely will apply a tourniquet to a gunshot wound NOT requiring a tourniquet- because of the lack of training in emergency/battlefield medicine.

    The RATS is absolute shit and can (in many cases) do more damage than good. But because Instagram commandos are running around with them on their backs thinking they’re the real McCoy, they gained traction and now people are potentially doing more damage to victims of gunshot wounds.

    • Ivan says:

      In the interest of learning… What is “shit” about the RATS? And in which “many cases” do they do more damage than good?

      I am curious because I have talked with one of our Doc’s who was using them and handing them out in the field. He had good things to say about them. Could you elaborate on the above please?

      • Lt M says:

        Start with the blatant false advertising by marking them “TCCC APPROVED” (in this TCCC being a trademarked company and not the legit CoTCCC), then move on the the lack of published test data by the manufacturers, and finish with the independent testing that shows a continued distal pulse when using the RATS.

        • Ivan says:

          Moving past, advertising and TM stuff. Where can I find the independent testing. In the testing, did they not work, or not work as well, or?

          Trying to do my due diligence before I scrap something… because the internet said.

          • Invictus says:

            The CAT was selected because it occluded 100% of blood flow through the applied limb. The RATS is analogous to the surgical tubing style of tourniquet referenced in this study: ( and occluded 90% of blood flow. The narrow width of the RATS and surgical tubing style TQs cause more localized pain, and potentially tissue damage, as there is an inverse relationship between width of the TQ and the amount of pressure needed to slow blood flow.

            More reading here:

            And a history of tourniquet use through history:


            The narrow style of TQ can be effective and safe, but the error margin will be higher for the untrained user, which goes to Darkhorse’s comment. Med training will likely direct you more toward the CAT than the RATS.

      • Darkhorse says:

        1/2″ elastic tubes made of whatever material applied to an extremity for the purpose of arterial occlusion is dangerous. Speed of application, effectiveness, and safety are important factors and directly impact mortality and morbidity.

        There is one study comparing RATS to CAT and it was found to be inferior to RAT in terms of blood loss and speed of application. I don’t work for a tourniquet/medical equipment company btw.

        The bigger point is, half of the people carrying tactical use items have NO IDEA what they’re doing. They see themselves one way but in actuality, they are one dimensional. And just because you attend a shooting class and saw something on Instagram doesn’t make you well rounded.

        • SSD says:

          You bring up a good point. Shooting is only a percentage of the profession of arms. There are lots of other skills one needs to master. For years, I have been encouraging folks to take other types of classes in order to make themselves more well-rounded.

        • Darkhorse says:

          ***RATS being INFERIOR TO CAT***

  8. Chris G says:

    Really a shame that SureFire let Bill publish this in conjunction with their name. We ALL know that self aid comes first in that scenario. The threat is not eliminated, how can Bill actually show the uninformed viewer that the person bleeding (And its simulated as serious requiring a tourniquet) holding cover while the uninjured person is applying aid. That’s completely stupid they would show that. So when the patient loses pressure and passes out and Bill applying the tourniquet is looking down and doesn’t realize, then they both get shot. Brilliant tactics.

    Not to mention he is promoting a product that TCCC instructors specifically point out as ineffective. RATS is blatantly misleading buyers with its TCCC logo on it. Its NOT approved via CoTCCC. And its not an effective tourniquet with multiple failure points on it. Do NOT use a RATS tourniquet.

    Really sad SureFire.

  9. Surefire Alumni says:

    Everyone is so busy discussing the tourniquet that they are really missing the bigger point, which is why in the F**ck is Bill Murphy Teaching trauma management when he should be staying in his lane. I mean he’s running the Surefire Institute and “Should” be an “SME” on Low light and he picks a medical topic for field notes!??. This is the problem, Bill weaseled Surefire into licensing the institute to him and he never really was an SME at low light. He’s teaching a curriculum that was developed in the Very early 90’s and has never been updated. Not to mention if you go to the website and look at the course offerings he’s teaching, Halo sniper courses, scuba breaching, and hot air ballon revolver employment. I mean WTF Surefire!!?? You guys are about as f***cked up as a football bat!

    • Blacky Houston says:

      Someone hurt your feelings along the line?

      • Surefire Alumni says:

        No butt here, just facts…..Bill Murphy is an industry joke. Surefire is unfortunately one of those companies that makes great product but struggles hard with seeing the forrest for the trees and can’t get out of their own way…

  10. Eric says:

    There is no reason not to be able to carry a flat folded SOFTT-W instead of a RATS which, as stated already, has no data or peer reviewed studies to back it. Add in the shady marketing and why would anyone bother?