That’s a much younger me on your left in the photo, but I’m here today to talk about the man on the right.

He recently sent me that photo of us taken 33 years ago and wrote, “I attended LFI-I in 1991 as a young kid who had just graduated college, on my way to grad school for a Masters in Criminal Justice (B.U., 1994), as evidenced by the enclosed certificate and photo.”

He added, “Now I approach retirement after 27 years of Federal service and as a special Agent (GS 1811)… Times have changed; I follow you now on YouTube, not the pages of gun magazines. But I retain my appreciation of your earlier teachings, and I convey what I can similarly to my own young squad of agents on my task force. I foster a spirit I hope serves this younger generation that grew up without the concept of wheel-guns. The future will tell whether either of us had any effect.”

Instructors live for that sort of feedback.  

Many thanks, Chris.

Is there a teacher in your past you’d like to thank? Let me remind you to do it before it’s too late.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Mas, I too have a couple of similar photos with you, one for each MAG class I’ve attended (hmm? You’re somehow not as.. ‘spry’ in my snapshots but frankly neither am I). Although my goal has been to seek out a variety of instructors to learn more varied perspectives, there is no voice speaking wisdom that I value above your own. Thanks for the regular referrals to solid contacts too. I regularly refer the ‘good guys’ to your instruction.

  2. We hosted LFI in the early years in our small New Mexico town. Several years later after taking me to the Albuquerque Airport, Sarah {my wife} was coming out of the largest mall in the state. She no00ticed 4 young men who should have been in school headed toward her. She immediately went from orange to red, got in her car, locked her car, and displayed her 2″ .36. The would be’s turned around and left the Mall. No shots, no noise no reports. She was later asked to testify for a legislative committee for concealed carry for New Mexico. Thanks, Mas

  3. Sir,

    I have been following you since the 90s, and have had a copy of In the Gravest Extreme since then. I am retired Navy and currently working for a Campus Safety department, working to keep our future generations safe at a time when they are rather less interested than I am in their own safety!

    For the many lessons gleaned from your words, I just wanted to say Thank You, very much. You have educated me and made me much safer, and more aware.

  4. You are the instructor/teacher that comes to mind. I extend a whole hearted thank you. To some it will seem recent as I attended MAG 40 in Liveoak in 2016. I would live to take it again to actually see what I may have missed.
    Thank you

  5. You’ve been helping keep me and my family safe since you took over from Jim Carmichael in what I believe was the Handguns Today column of GUNS magazine? Basically the best part of a lifetime. Thank you for that.

  6. Mas,

    Attending LFI I (Winamac April 1999 AI’d by Messrs. Reichard and Voltz) played a big role in my going over to Army CID to spend the last third of my service career. Why, I just got up from my “sitting room” where I was enjoying your in-depth piece on Adobe Walls. I cannot thank you enough for all I’ve learned and continue to learn from you, Sir.

    Shane Morris
    (AKA, “G.S. Morris” Snub Noir “Detective Gatzette” staff writer)

  7. Years ago I shared one of your books I’d read with my wife. Brenda’s only comment … “He makes so much sense.” My feelings exactly.

  8. I COULD NEVER AFFORD ANY LFI COURSE BUT I BELIEVE I’VE READ EVERY WORD IN EVERY ARTICLE/ ESSAY YOUV’E EVER WRITTEN. I’VE OWNED A COPY OF “GRAVEST EXTREME” SINCE IT WAS FIRST PUBLISHED, READ MANY, MANY TIMES OVER. I ALSO MET YOU AND (I BELIEVE) YOUR YOUNGEST DAUGHTER AT THE GRPC IN PHOENIX, AZ IN AROUND 95′ (IMMSMC). YOU AUTOGRAPHED A FRESH COPY OF GRAVEST EXTREME FOR ME AND I MENTIONED HOW IT HAD SAVED MY LIFE A COUPLE TIMES AND SAVED ME FROM GOING TO COURT MANY MORE !! SO I GUESS YOU’RE MY “DE FACTO” TEACHER. THANK YOU SIR, FOR THE GREAT READING, MEMORIES AND THE BOAT LOAD OF LIFE/ COURT SAVING ADVICE OVER THE YEARS. I ALSO HAD ALL OF YOUR POLICE ORIENTED BOOKS, AT ONE TIME, WHEN I WORKED ARMED SECURITY. GREAT READING. BTW, THIS IS IN ALL CAPS SO I CAN SEE WHAT I’M TYPING, LOL !!!!

  9. Forest Ms 1998 LFI 1, I was the one that loaded your speed loaders. I was following you well before then and still do. Thanks for all you’ve done.

  10. Mas, you made vests affordable to Keene PD guys early. 1984. You made national firearms information condensed for local consumption. We’ll never forget. As for instructors? Well, Bill Kennedy of the Boston office of the FBI taught me a lot, and we went on as a team to teach many officers in SWAT technique and skillful shooting. No idea where he is now, but he was very good…

  11. Betsy and I greatly enjoyed and benefited from your LFI1 in Amarillo, 2007. And your empathy was a real help through our divorce, reconciliation and remarriage.

    Most recently, I got my bifocal plane put on top per your recommendation in a Wilson Combat video, and BINGO, I can see my sights clearly again. So grateful for your wisdom Mas and that you’re still sharing it with us.

    Darren

  12. Mas, I took a Mag 20 class with you in 2013 in Tennessee (Range Master)…that class made a big impact on me. It changed the way I looked at Self Defence. That class scared me to death but you told what would really happen if I had to use my weapon in self defence. I really appreciated you even more after all the books of yours I had already read. Many thanks for your contribution to the self defense education for so many people.

    I had the great privilege to take 8 classes over the years with Tiger Mckee. Defensive Hand Gun 1 & 2, hand gun tactics, defensive carbine, low light. Some of these classes where 2-3 days. I even followed him down to Baton Rouge to take a 2 day class with the LSU campus police.
    I would go over to see him just as a tune up.

    Tiger was a true teacher of the skills, not just a firearms instructor. He explained why it was best to do what he was trying to get across to the class.
    We always had a blast with him on the range.
    We miss him!

  13. I too have a first edition copy of “In the Gravest Extreme,” as well as most of the books you wrote afterward.

    My classes aren’t of the LFI variety, I concentrate on beginner “This is the end the bullet comes out of” classes, but your influence is in every one of them.

  14. Awesome sauce, Mas! I myself became a fan of your writings back in 1990 when I was 14 y/o and just getting into shooting. I can honestly say that I learned more about handguns and shooting techniques & tactics than any other gun writer.

    34 years later, as a military veteran and former L.E.O. myself, I continue to read your books and articles and view your YouTube videos and recommend them enthusiastically to newbies and experienced shooters alike (and have indeed purchased multiple copies of your books as gifts to friends).

    Thanks for everything over the years, Mas. Keep up the great work, and hope to finally meet you someday!

  15. “I hope serves this younger generation that grew up without the concept of wheel-guns.”

    Emotionally, I have a hard time accepting this. I got interested in handguns in 1994, and learned that one of the attractions of the Glock to law enforcement is that there were no safeties or de-cockers to learn — so it’s an easier transition for people who were trained on revolvers.

    So now, when I’m told, “The Kahr has lost popularity in part because of its weird trigger” I think, “Whaddaya mean, `weird’???” It’s just like the trigger of the double-action revolver that everybody started on!

    • “double-action revolver that everybody started on”

      Back in the 1950s, when TV Westerns were king, the “revolvers” most of us started on were cap pistols, that didn’t actually “revolve.” We graduated to BB guns, like the Daisy Red Ryder, then to bolt .22s. If we went the military route the 1911 was our first experience with real handguns.

      Of course, law enforcement took a different path.

  16. Mas,

    You have taught us well through classes, magazine articles, books and digital media. With the knowledge we good guys possess, we could put violent American criminals on the endangered species list. The only things holding us back are Democrat politicians, the media and the legal system. Sic semper tyrannus (Virginia motto). Criminals are small tyrants.

  17. I took LFI I, II and III back to back in Dumbarton, NH, also in 1991. Wonder whether Chris and I were classmates.
    I’ll forever be grateful for all the great knowledge you shared with me back then.

  18. Want to add my thanks for literally decades of your teaching both in person and in articles/videos. I usually try to do this at the end of classes but it sometimes slips. This topic brought to mind an LTM class long ago in Alliance, Ohio. Chief Black did a presentation on the Rodney King case and it wasn’t enthusiastically received by the class. Wasn’t until I’d decompressed and was typing up my notes that his message came into focus. IIRC, I dropped him a belated thank you when I was sending my classmates copies of my notes.

    For those who may be instructors, I don’t recall when/where I heard about the “big instructor in the mind (sky?)” thing where folks under stress sometimes experience the voice of their instructor coaching them. So far, it’s never happened to me, but it’s apparently real. I’ll just leave it at that. Something to keep in mind.

  19. I’m a committed student of yours and have had the privilege of taking your classes. Just learned with sadness that you will not be attending TacCom. Was looking forward to seeing you. I hope to see you in Mississippi later in April

  20. Mas, your lethal force class in Iowa was superb and you remain my favorite instructor. I especially enjoyed your joke about lawyers and neckties, and it still gets a laugh after many years.

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