The Gun, or the Man?

by
posted on November 14, 2011
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As a New York cop, Jim Cirillo found himself assigned to the newly formed Stake-Out Squad. These officers randomly staked out various New York City businesses that were subject to armed robbery and took down the suspects when a robbery occurred. As you can imagine, there were a lot of gunfights. There were so many gunfights, in fact, that NYPD finally closed out the squad because it just wasn't politically correct.

Cirillo was probably involved in a dozen shoot-outs during his days on the squad. An even more amazing fact is that he did most of his shooting with a Smith & Wesson Model 10 in .38 Spl., using the old 158-grain roundnose lead ammo generally regarded as a very poor man-stopping round. Cirillo was simply a very good, cool shot who wasn't the least bit afraid to practice.

Jimmy Clark came back to his home state of Louisiana after the war. Clark was interested in bullseye shooting but, with a growing family to feed, he just didn't have the funds to buy the necessary target guns. Not to be put off, Clark bought some old military .45s and set up a shop in his garage. Probably very crudely at first, he began to accurize the old 1911s and fit them out with target sights.

With his garage-built guns, Jimmy Clark became a man do deal with at all of the big bulls-eye matches around the country. In fact, he is the only person I know of who won the National Championships without any sort of sponsorship from gun companies, the military or law enforcement organizations. He did it on his own, out of his own limited funds.

We live in a day when we are overwhelmed with good guns being built by American gun companies. In the end, however, it's not about the number of guns you own—it's all about what you can do with them.

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