Firearms Software

Look down at your holster. If I were a betting man I'd lay odds that you have some form of GLOCK pistol it in. No? Alright, go out to you patrol car or the department's armory. Again, I'd wager that you have some form of Stoner-based rifle for your long gun.

Understanding that the two most popular handguns and long guns in service today are the GLOCK and Stoner platforms, Blackheart International through their sister company Mid-Atlantic Training has released two excellent handbooks that thoroughly examine both designs.

M16/M4 Handbook

About two year ago I picked up the M16/M4 Handbook by Mike Pannone. This top-bound, pocket sized booklet is filled with a wealth of information on how to properly and effectively operate the Stoner-based Black Rifle. Subjects include BZO (Battle Sight Zero) for 200 and 300 yards, the cycle of operation, clearing the most common types of stoppages, maintenance and cleaning.

Be honest, how many of you out there are thoroughly familiar with the black rifle you are using? Can you completely disassemble the bolt and bolt carrier group for cleaning? Can you even find the bolt carrier group? How would you check and inspect the extractor and ejector? Can you complete a function check after you've maintained your rifle?

As an added bonus, Pannone has included a section in the back of the book that deals with the most common types/brands of optics for the M4 style carbine. Specifications and instructions for using Aimpoint, Trijicon, and EOTech optics are included. Mike even examines the different reticles and how to best employ them.

The final chapter considers Mindset and although it comes last is truly the most important advice the text has to offer. If your kit includes some type of Stoner / AR carbine or rifle you need to own the M16/M4 Handbook, no question about it.

GLOCK Handbook

Anyone serious about carrying GLOCK pistols should seek out information and instruction. Coinciding with the new Gen 4 GLOCKs is a new resource guide from Mid-Atlantic Training. Simply titled GLOCK Handbook this top bound booklet offers a wealth of information not only on the GLOCK pistol series but how to effectively operate them.

The GLOCK Handbook is again authored by Mike Pannone and it examines the plastic fantastic inside and out. Once maligned as combat Tupperware by detractors, the GLOCK service pistol found its way into the holsters of the majority of law enforcement agencies in the United States in a relatively short time frame.

At the beginning of the Handbook Pannone considers specifications of all GLOCK pistols currently on the market as well as the unique characteristics of the GLOCK design. Progressing into the meat of the text Mike discusses proper handling to include loading, unloading, and reloading. From a practical and tactical viewpoint the GLOCK Handbook gives advice for clearing stoppages and target engagement.

To aid and encourage the reader to training and practice there is a section on marksmanship fundamentals and common mistakes or problems shooters encounter. There is also a chapter entitled Assessing Pistol Training. In this section the author offers advice to shooters to help them consider what training is practical and what may very well be a waste of time.

Parting Thoughts

In my experience far too many law enforcement officers stop learning or training after they leave the academy or at most they only attend training when it is mandatory. Professionals constantly seek out new and updated training and education.

Consider this, would you rather be operated on by a surgeon who had no additional training since graduating from medical school in 1985 or would you choose the doctor who attends annual seminars? Would you trust your personal finances to an accountant who is still using the 1979 tax code?

Regarding the mastery of arms, if you are going to carry a firearm every day it behooves you to educate yourself. One of the most convenient aspects of these two manuals is that they are truly handbooks. They are compact enough to carry in your briefcase or duty bag.

Broken down into short chapters it is easy to read one section at a time during breaks or those slow hours late at night when you may be struggling to stay awake. The material is available. The next step is yours.