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On Wednesday, the New York Times released previously unpublished documents on FBI shooting stats. While the Times focused on FBI coverups for a couple of seriously bad shoots, a deep data dive discovered more general info that wasn’t exactly Fibbie-flattering. Nearly half of all shoots were “accidental discharges.” Coincidentally enough (or not, depending on how you look at it), just posted a piece revealing that the FBI’s recently changed its firearms training protocol to reduce the significant number of negligent discharges at the range reflect the fact that most shoots occur at bad breath distances . . .

Based on a review of nearly 200 agent-involved shootings over a 17-year period [ED: the report released on Wednesday], the FBI discovered that 75 percent of these incidents involved suspects who were within three yards of their agents when shots were exchanged. So FBI top brass decided that some changes were in order to better prepare their agents to survive these life-threatening encounters.

“Until last January, the FBI’s Pistol Qualification Course required agents to fire 50 rounds, more than half of them from between 15 and 25 yards,” FBI Special Agent Ann R. Todd explains. “The new course involves 60 rounds, with 40 of those fired from between three and seven yards. It also requires agents to draw their weapons from holsters concealed by jackets or blazers to replicate the traditional clothing worn by FBI special agents.”

Fibbies qualifying in their duty gear? Rad! But c’mon guys, how bad is it, really? What’s the FBI’s hit rate at, say, any distance?

The FBI did not divulge information about the percentage of hits its agents made when firing at these very close assailants. (Some, of course, were ambushed and unable to fire.) But it would seem logical enough this new emphasis on close-in shooting and tactics was deemed necessary because the percentage of hits wasn’t as high as was hoped for.

Up with which they should not put. ‘Cause you gotta have . . . high hopes. (High apple pie in the sky hopes.) Of course, the exact stats on FBI agents’ hit ratio will be made available soon, fulfilling President Obama’s promise to run the most transparent administration in history. Or not.

Meanwhile, we’d look forward to the FBI reaching out to TTAG to issue an invitation to watch their agents’ firearms training up close and personal. You know, as journalists. [email protected], guys. Standing by.

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  1. In other words,the FBI will shrink their agents’ groups by moving the target closer,instead of increasing the amount of training received.

  2. Training to hit what they shoot? The Feebs must be using those hard to find “Australian Boomerang Bullets,” which always return the bullets to the barrels they were fired from, sometimes with dire consequences.

    Considered far too dangerous for mere civilians, the Boomerang Bullet is available from Lower Than Dirt for a mere six grand per box of one (pre-panic price, $2). ‘Cause one is all you need. NB: Boomerang Bullets tend to work best in muzzle loaders.

  3. I’m shocked, absolutely shocked, that there’s yet more incompetence in government!

    In all seriousness tho, in the days when a peeping tom cross-dresser ran that agency, the Feebies were trained to draw from their duty rig and hit what they were aiming at. Oh, and they used wheelguns, too. Their most successful wheelgun was a S&W in .357, but prior to that, there were lots of .38 Special S&W’s in their force.

    Early on, when FBI agents were first armed (and took on bad guys single-handed), they occasionally packed 1911’s as well.

    As more and more evidence of police/LEO incompetence mounts, I’m thinking of starting a campaign to fix this problem. We’ll restrict all LEO’s to a six-shot revolver. I’m going to recommend a S&W 686 in .357, but hey, government agencies will probably want to literally re-invent the wheel. Government contractors gotta eat, ya know, or so we taxpayers are constantly reminded.

    But since they’ll have only six rounds, they’ll have to learn to make them count. This should slow down these hose-jobs we’re seeing with alarming frequency now.

    • My duty gun is a 1911, and I don’t own any of the fancy ten round extended mags. My off duty CCW is a six shot revolver. You may be on to something here, because I regularly shoot better then most everyone who’s not on SWAT, and more accurately than some who are. They’re usually faster, though.

    • FBI agents with wheelguns got their asses seriously kicked in 1986 in Miami by two guys that they had to shoot 18 times to kill. How about this: abolish the utterly worthless FBI. WTC 1, Ruby Ridge, Waco, 9-11, Anthrax, DC Sniper, repeated entrapment of people for the crime of being Muslim, the “Never Shake Hands With an Asian Memo,” the Boston Bombing… they suck. Fire them all.

      • 3 of the eight agents involved were using six shot .357 magnums loaded with .38 special +P rounds. One used a S&W model 36 five shot revolver loaded with +P .38 sp. 3 were armed with S&W 9mm semi-autos, and one lost his revolver in the initial car crash that initiated the gun battle. Despite being on the lookout for two violent felons who were known to use firearms during their crimes, only two of the FBI vehicles contained shotguns (in addition to Mireles, McNeill had a shotgun in his car, but was unable to reach it before the shootout began), and none of the agents was armed with rifles. Only two of the agents were wearing ballistic vests, and the armor they were wearing was standard light body armor, which is designed to protect against handgun rounds, not the .223 Remington rounds fired by Platt’s Mini-14 rifle. The FBI maintained that their agents were not “outgunned”, which they obviously were. Six of the agents were hit by Platt’s fire from the Ruger .223 Mini 14 and two were killed. Platt and Matix were former Army, Platt a Ranger combat vet from Vietnam. But it precipitated a review of FBI equipment that lead the agency to the 10mm, and then away from that high felt recoil handgun to the S&W .40 which is a smaller version of the 10mm. Quantico used to have a heavy focus on combat marksmanship competence. I have no idea what they are doing today. Platt stayed in the fight despite being hit 12 times. Matix was hit 6 times and got off one round of shotgun fire. Mireles finally killed both Matix and Platt by advancing on their vehicle shooting a revolver while severely wounded. I understand his final shot, killing Platt, was delivered from just outside the car at a distance of less than 18 inches.

      • That’s OK. If I had my way, they’d get only six… and they’d like it.

        This is because I’m a patient and forgiving man.

        Were I not, they’d get a Derringer… in .22LR.

    • He wasn’t aiming at the women carrying the baby? I’ve known people over the years that when they were shooting the safest place to be was in front of the target they were shooting at.

      • A terrible shot (he used a 50cal, I believe) that went through her eye. Maybe he was aiming for the baby. In any case, that SOB should be dead.

  4. On the whole FBI agents aren’t street cops or uniformed deputies expecting to engage in stopping street level crime.

    They’re accountants, tax auditors, intel gatherers that mostly work in a white collar environment. With a few exceptions, like the HRT, they can probably safely do most of their job unarmed.

    But as American citizens they have the right to keep and bear arms. I just wish they would support those same rights in all citizens.

  5. I spoke with Bill Rogers. And when I mean spoke, I meant Sitting there and listen to him talk about the FBI’s firearms training up in Quantico. Some of the things he observed was trainees actually flinch during their firearms training. They shot the ground in front of them.

  6. Well,
    I’ve learned a lot at IDPA:

    Can’t hit anything when I’m moving, but you have to move in a gunfight.

    I have to aim even if 3 yards away.

    Using multiple handguns on different days gives me poor scores.

    The only way to hit a target is practice, etc

    I don’t blame the folks with the FBI, but ithey should do handgun training every month, minimum. . . . At least 200 rounds, unless they want to come in second in a shootout.

    The FBI needs to practice a lot more.

    • I experienced every issue you mentioned when shooting IPSC and suggested solution is spot on; more shooting. I’m out of practice these days, between other commitments and the ammo situation I just can’t train like I used to, but in time it becomes easy to hit targets inside 7 yards while moving, and to hit well past 7 yards with front sight only (very rapid) sight pictures. However it does take an awful lot of shooting. I have no doubt that the average person can be trained to draw and hit from the hip at 0-2 yards, and to effectively engage targets at 50 yards with any sort of duty size/caliber pistol, however the amount and type of training isn’t something that’s usually offered outside of SWAT/HRT. I suspect that just as CCW licensees often are depending on the sight of their weapon to deter an attacker the police/FBI are depending on the weapon + badge to do the same. I think what we keep seeing is that while cops are often marginally better with their weapons than the average ‘civilian’ they are too often completely tactically overwhelmed when dealing with motivated and experienced BGs. In the end though cops are not gunfighters or even fighters primarily, and their training reflects this. They train for the average threat, not the nightmare scenario. Then again, perhaps unless you’re an operator it is a bit over the top to train weak hand only, supine, with dominant eye covered, firing at targets positioned ‘behind’ the shooter. . .or is it? I suppose it depends on how much time and money you’re willing to spend, and how badly you want to survive.

  7. I don’t get the rush to hate on the FBI. (Disclosure: I am biased because I have family members who are/were career FBI, but I don’t work for the Bureau myself and never have.)

    This is the same community that treats as gospel (for good reason) the work of the FBI regarding ballistics and wounding in practical settings. Yet somehow the same analytical approach and public disclosure, when applied to their own documented firearms usage, earns them derision. I just don’t get it.

    How about this: First, judge them on the number of NDs per man-year worked with a loaded gun. Hint: there are a LOT of FBI agents. Then, compare the rate at which FBI agents shoot perps to other law enforcement agencies, measured against the number of contacts with said perps.

    Yes, there’s always room for improvement, especially with regard to NDs. Frankly, though, I think it’s encouraging that the FBI’s biggest training challenges consist of doing more close-in shooting and reducing NDs among the many thousands of Special Agents carrying daily. That’s better by a long mile than having a training program trying to stop excessive bad shoots, or excessive numbers of shoots, good or bad.

  8. Soon they will be shooting at a wall and painting the target rings afterwards… Perfect score every time!

  9. What I’d like to know is, if the whole “LEOs are better trained than civilians (ignoring the fact that LEOs are also civilians)” in firearms, and LEOs are also “public servants” why it’s so hard to get any agency to disclose the specifics regarding their qualifications. By that I mean how often they have to qualify, how many rounds at what distance, and what constitutes a passing score.

  10. I will say this and then stand back as the gallery insists that I’m lying.

    I took the CCW permit class and shot the qualifier along with three IPSC shooting buddies back when Ohio passed it’s CCW law. Our instructor was also the shooting instructor for a local law enforcement agency. After the qualifier we remained and did some additional shooting since we had the range. The instructor watched briefly, then began requesting that we shoot various drills. In each case we universally felt that the drills he was giving us were for children or very new shooters and eventually told him so. He indicated that we had all just passed the qualification course for the county sheriffs office with scores in the 99-100% range meaning that we did so well had we been deputies we would not have had to recertify for an entire year. We then demonstrated what we were actually capable of. After watching us shoot for another brief period he interjected that we shot better than virtually any officer he’d ever seen with only rare and unique exceptions, and this over 25 years in law enforcement. The sad part of this is that the best I’d ever placed at that point was 8th of 35 in a local IPSC match, and the others trailed me considerably. We were the B team of those of us who belong to the range.
    The thing is different mindset. We were determined and devoted large amounts of time and money to becoming experts in tactical pistol. For most cops it’s a job, nothing more, and the tools used to do the job are just that, tools. Some cops are gun guys/girls but at least in my experience not most and that’s in small towns. City cops I would suspect are even less likely to be gun enthusiasts. Most are never going to fire their weapons outside of qualification, and it’s debatable how much training and what level of proficiency are needed. That said, based solely on my limited experience and what I’ve read, the police qualification courses are ‘dumbed down’ to ensure everyone passes and one can only suspect the FBI of doing the same thing. It should not be a surprise that they have difficulty with effective fire, they pass the course and are told they are now competent with their weapon. In essence they are lied to, and that lie is too often only exposed on the two way range.

  11. The FBIs meme is to burn it’s victims alive (after Gassing them using US Army Tanks) Political affiliation and mindless obedience and concealment of the Muslim Brotherhoods “The Project” in the USA is far more important then an ability to NOT hit innocent bystanders.


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