2nd System Check, The Fallacy of Shared Guns

By John Farnam

patrol rifles
2nd System Check, The Fallacy of Shared Guns
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- “Opportunity knocks, but seldom nags!” ~ Anon

Patrol Rifles:

Our beleaguered, and under the current administration, largely irrelevant, US Border Patrol reports that they don’t have enough patrol rifles to issue one to each officer.

In some stations, a single rifle is “shared” by three separate officers.

I’ve editorialized about this before. “Shared” rifles are a predictable recipe for disaster!

Rifles are a highly personal item of emergency, safety equipment. To be truly useful, a patrol rifle, indeed any rifle intended for serious purposes, needs to be carefully “zeroed” by, and for, the individual using it.

Zeroing” a serious rifle so that the path of the bullet (trajectory) and the line of sight precisely intersect at certain distances (according to whatever formula you adhere to- there are several that are acceptable) is an exacting and tedious process, usually consuming hours of range time. Owing to variables like body size, parallax, optics, and vision issues, a rifle that is “zeroed” to the satisfaction of its owner may not be acceptable to another shooter.

During Rifle Courses, I tell students, until and unless their rifle’s sight settings are exactly to their satisfaction, there is no point in going further! Lack of absolute, personal belief in the correctness of his rifle’s sight settings represents a virulent sickness that will fatally sabotage any shooters’s self-confidence, even preventing him from taking advantage of critical opportunities.

In addition, I encourage students to reconfirm their rifle’s zero at every opportunity. When The Test comes, there will be no room for nagging doubts!

Thus, “sharing” rifles among different officers represents a lethal mistake!

A rifle with an unknown zero, or no zero, provides its owner with little more capability than a pistol.

At this point, I should say something unkind about an administration that cares so little about its officers that it allows such a situation to continue. Heaven knows, I say that often enough!

But, here is the real point:

As an individual, LEO or otherwise, don’t wait around for your agency, your employer, or the Tooth Fairy for that matter, to “get around” to providing you with critical, life-saving, emergency, safety equipment. Equipment like personal body armor, flashlights, rifles, adequate ammunition for serious training, etc.

Take the initiative, without delay. Get and carry your own gear. Expose yourself to professional training outside your agency. Take your own health seriously, even when no one else does!

As we confront yesterday’s hideous news about the captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive, recorded on video, by ISIS criminals, all of us had better come to grips with real threats faced by our generation!

Suggesting, with a straight face, that confronting armed terrorists with broomsticks and fire extinguishers has some chance of success, is a telltale indication that we’re still not serious. (but maybe French)

Confronting them with unzeroed rifles represents scant improvement!

If Western Civilization has any intention of continuing to exist through the next couple of decades, its subscribers had better get serious!

Every American, especially every LEO, needs his own, personal military rifle, close at hand, precisely zeroed, and ready to go!

The enemy is at the gate!

“The Art of War teaches us to rely, not on the calculated likelihood of the enemy’s coming or not, but on our own readiness to receive him, no matter what he does.” ~ Sun Tzu


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

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I’d rather have a shared weapon with an uncertain zero than a can of Green Giant creamed corn.


The enemy is indeed at the gate. The enemy is also in the White House, among other places inside the gate.


The government gives out surplus rifles to any dept that asks
For them there is no excuse to share a weapon


Remember that NYPD SWAT officer that had his Eotech installed backwards ? So much for training and 0’ing/confirming zero on their weapons optics at NYPD with that kind of pillock around!


Might a ‘patrol’ rifle equipped with a laser pointer compensate for the different ‘sight pictures’ experienced by the various users of the gun? Provided the dot is visible the bullet should strike where the ‘target’ is illuminated.


Lasers not compensate for wind and bullet drop, nice thought but even a 5.56 is going to move from the laser point, lasers are guides and intimidation devices more than actual impact point indicators.