When Paladin Press went out of business, the Jim Cirillo books went with them. Old copies of Jim’s own book “Guns, Bullets, and Gunfighting” is now only available used, on Amazon. Fortunately, Paul Kirchner kept the rights to his book, “Jim Cirillo’s Tales of the Stakeout Squad,” and now has a self-published, EXPANDED version available.

Paul’s original book was based mainly on his interviews with Jim, augmented by his interviews with Jim’s brother officers on NYPD’s Stakeout Unit and others who knew, shot with, and/or trained under Jim.

The SOU comprised NYPD’s ultimate gunfighters, selected for their marksmanship and coolness under pressure. Almost every criminal they faced had a loaded gun in his hand and his finger on the trigger. In the few years before political correctness caused enough ruckus to get them disbanded, they killed enough armed and violent criminals in shootouts to fill a churchyard cemetery.

They learned a great deal about prevailing against armed criminals trying to kill them along with innocent victims. I knew Jim Cirillo very well, and learned a great deal from him. He was a funny, family-loving, God-fearing man, the sort you’d want living next door to you, and he put a bunch of bad guys in the ground when he had to. We’ll never know how many innocent lives he and his partners on the Stakeout Unit saved. Cirillo was a Second Amendment stalwart, and wanted law-abiding armed citizens to know the life-saving lessons he and his brother officers had learned.

The original book ran about 53,000 words. This edition, augmented by interviews with relevant sources Paul was able to interview after the first one came out, runs almost 69,000.  If you’ve read the original, you want to see this new revised and expanded edition.  And, if you haven’t read the original, you definitely want to read this one.  Jim won his gun battles with old-school technology: a six-shot .38 Special revolver (or two, or three) and a five-shot Ithaca slide action 12 gauge shotgun. It was about tactics, mindset, preparation and shooting ability.

 “Jim Cirillo’s Tales of the Stakeout Squad” would make a great gift for any member of the “gun culture” who’s on your Christmas list.  Paul tells you how to order, here:

The new revised and expanded edition of “Jim Cirillo’s Tales of the Stakeout Squad” is $25, plus $3 for shipping; $28 total. 

You can buy it on Gunbroker.


  1. I read the original book, so I’m glad that new information has been discovered. Also, enjoyed your audio interview several years ago with Bill Allard. I have played that interview several times over while sitting at the reloading bench. More insight into the inner workings of the SOU.

  2. Wondering how many times Officer Cirillo was wounded. If he was not wounded at all, or even “only” once or twice, considering his 20 OIS’s, his teachings could be golden. Compare Frank Hamer, Texas Ranger and “Highwayman” Detective, who was wounded 17 times. By ratio, Frank may have been in about a hundred battles. Might be? Both were publicly deplored, either for eliminating “too many” belligerents, or for keeping score. Cirillo’s “Stakeout Squad” was possibly the originator of the first fake news. The New York Times went after the Cirillo team like Donald Trump was on it. Learning that Jim preferred the .30 carbine with hollow-points over a 12 gauge for an indoor stopper is instructive.

  3. I’m currently reading an old NY Times article on the Stakeout Unit, it’s very interesting and was written while the unit was active. I have had this book on my Amazon list for a long time, guess my procrastination paid off, I’ll have to order up the new one!
    Also Mas, I read Roy Black’s book after you linked an excerpt from a chapter. It was excellent! Great recommendation.

  4. One more thing-it might be cool to see a list of your top 10 or 15 gun books. Maybe you did this once? I can’t recall but would be an interesting list I’m sure.

  5. Thank you for this, I will wrap this up and address it to myself from Santa.

    Mr Cirillo’s _Guns, Bullets, and Gunfighting_ is available from Amazon, both on paper and as an eBook.

  6. For a similar book about the stakeout squad experience in Dallas, Texas in the same era, check E.R. Walt’s book Holloway’s Raiders: A History of the Dallas Police Department’s Deadly Shotgun Squads.

    Walt is a retired Dallas PD captain working from official records to research the book.

    • My dad is in that book…and so is his DPD rookie of the year gun! Thankfully, that S&W Model 27 is now in my possession.

      Anyway, thanks for the info on the revised edition of Jim’s book, Mas…gonna order it now!


  7. Will drop this as a hint for Christmas..and place it in the shelf alongside “No Second Place Winner” -Jordan, “Sixguns” – Keith, “Cooper on Handguns”- Cooper, and of course “In the Gravest Extreme” – Mas.

  8. I have that book! It’s up in the attic along with all my back issues of Easyriders. Cirillo used the best technique in the world in order to engage the enemy – one that every Vet knows…Ambush! As far as Paladin I ordered a boat load of books from them in the late 80’s early 90’s thereabouts. Then there was maybe a six month lull when I didnt order anything.Got a nasty letter from some little gash at Paladin telling me I was being dropped from thire customer list because of lack of orders! Couldnt believe the chutzpah of this twit. Gee that really broke my heart.

  9. Copy ordered. Just based on your description, I would love to narrate the book for Audible; I’ll pester the publisher once I’ve had a change to read it.

  10. I met Jim Cirillo once at a pistol match in Glynco, Georgia and got to talk with him a bit, and he was a super nice guy, very funny, and a very fair and vocal guy too.

    Back in 1982 a couple of weeks before we went to the Second Chance shoot, a good friend of mine who was a local deputy sheriff took me to an IPSC pistol match at the federal training center in Glynco which was organized by one of the instructors at the facility. The competitors were all instructors, trainees, and other LEOs except for me. Jim Cirillo was a guest instructor at the center and was shooting a H&K P7 which he called the “Squeeze Box”. Jim and I got along fine as I used to live in Brooklyn, NYC. I had a good day and scored higher than everyone. Instead of handing out the trophies immediately after the shoot and presenting me with the first place award, the match organizer, who came in second, delayed the ceremony an hour so he could have a local shop make up a small plaque engraved “New Shooter, 1st Place, D-V-C, 1982” which was then given to me and I still have it. The instructor/match organizer was awarded the foot high first place cup, and the second and third place shooters also got smaller cups.

    Jim thought that was wrong and said loudly I should have gotten the first place gold colored trophy cup instead of getting a little wooden plaque and everyone had to wait an hour while it was being made. I was just happy to get something to remember that match where I was lucky enough to meet and speak with the great Jim Cirillo who I had read magazine articles about. I only wish I had a photo of us but didn’t know he was going to be there, so did not bring my camera. After returning from the Second Chance shoot, I had asked my sheriff deputy friend to take me to another one of the Glynco IPSC matches, but never got to go again and later heard that my buddy was asked by organizer not to bring me there anymore. I was quite saddened to learn years later that Jim died in an automobile accident.

    I will be ordering this book and look forward to reading it.

  11. Let’s see. Honest store owners are plagued by burglars, so the NYPD forms stakeout squads. The burglars have to worry if they are walking into a protected store. Some are arrested, some are killed, saving the taxpayers the cost of litigation and housing them in a prison.

    The store owners and their customers feel more secure, justifying the use of their tax money to pay for police protection, and the police get realistic force-on-force training. What’s not to love? What a beautiful idea! Like setting a trap for criminals. I wonder if similar traps could be set for terrorists.

    Contrast that tactic to last summer’s big city Leftist mayors’ tactics, who told the police to stand down while mostly peaceful rioters looted and burned down stores owned by taxpayers. Defund the police? Yeah, that’ll work. “Liberalism is a mental disorder.” — Michael Savage.

  12. Officer Cirillo was definitely doing something right. Just guessing that the main difference between Cirillo’s and Hamer’s situations was that Hamer and his Texas Ranger and Highwaymen allies may have been much more often outnumbered or outgunned than the Stakeout Squad. Maybe Hamer was in two hundred battles, too. Or had to deal with more open battlefields. Or he just waded into gunfights like John Wayne. All this bears scrutiny. Both men were exceptionally brave winners.

  13. I have a copy of the original “Tales of the Stakeout Squad”. I did not know that there is an “improved” version available.

    Seems like everything is just an improved version of something old, nowadays. Take the 2020 Election (Please…:-)). The basic Democrat technique, used in 2020, was outlined by Johnny Rocco way back in 1948 as follows:

    Quote from the Movie ‘Key Largo’ (1948): “Yeah, how many of those guys in office owe everything to me. I made them. Yeah, I made ’em, just like a — like a tailor makes a suit of clothes. I take a nobody, see? Teach him what to say. Get his name in the papers and pay for his campaign expenses. Dish out a lotta groceries and coal. Get my boys to bring the voters out. And then count the votes over and over again till they added up right and he was elected.” – Johnny Rocco

    Modern day Rocco’s, like Soros and Bloomberg, have simply “improved” upon this basic technique with advanced computer technology and big media propaganda controls. Instead of dishing out groceries and coal, out of their own pocket, they use Federal handouts. Much better that way, don’t you see, since the money comes from the taxpayers rather than out of their own pockets!

    Also, in modern day Hollywood, the Johnny Rocco’s of the World are now the heroes. They are no longer assigned the role of the villain.

    Nevertheless, the basic Democrat Election Technique has not changed since 1948 when ‘Key Largo’ was released. It has merely been “improved” and “perfected” over time.

    The more things change; the more they stay the same.

  14. Mas, thank you for promoting the new edition of my book, “Jim Cirillo’s Tales of the Stakeout Squad.” I thought I had an ample supply of copies, but I’m almost out and have to save some for those whose checks have yet to arrive. I ordered another 100 copies from the publisher and they should be in my hands by December 20, if not sooner. I’ll put the listing back up as soon as I’m in a position to fill orders promptly. Thank you all for your interest, I really appreciate it. And Jim would be proud to know his lessons live on.

  15. I missed it as well, I will definitely take two new copies when they are released again. Is there anywhere I can sign up to be notified or who should I contact?

  16. Here’s a NY Times article of June 20, 1973 covering then NYPD Commissioner Donald Cawley’s decision to disband the NYPD’s Stakeout Squad.

    (Keep scrolling down in the linked article to view legible text.)

    Take note that New York City store owners supported the mission and the effectiveness of the Stakeout Squad, but the brass at One Police Plaza did not. Ditto for nervous nellies in NYC Mayor John Lindsay’s Office, without a doubt.

    Think about it. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, NYC had Jim Cirillo’s crime-stopping Stakeout Squad. Fast forward to 2020. NYC has the insufferable, shrieking harpie AOC and her Squad from other states. Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that this is the absolute opposite of progress.


    • Curtis,

      Here’s a quote from that article which gave me deja vous all over again;

      “Although a department spokesman said that ‘efficiency’ was the only reason for disbanding the stake-out unit, it had been criticized because of the large number of hold-up men it killed and because so many of them were black.”

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