Better Gunfighting: How Daniel Defense Helps LEOs


Better Gunfighting: How Daniel Defense Helps LEOs

Candice Horner

Over the past year, mainstream media is paying more attention to ambush attacks on police. With the Dallas Shooting being the deadliest incident on law enforcement since September 11th, it was the catalyst to acknowledging there is a problem with how law enforcement is trained.

During the Dallas Shooting, I was glued to the TV. While watching the coverage until 4am, the feeling of helplessness was overwhelming. I felt like positive action had to be taken that would benefit officers in the field, and hopefully save lives in the future. The goal for the Daniel Defense Team in hosting this class was to help fill training deficits that exist in many police departments due to budget constraints,” recalls Thomas Carlson, Daniel Defense Director of Marketing Communications.

DD_VCQB_drill planning

Essentially, the Daniel Defense Team felt like the rest of America when the Dallas Shooting occurred – but they were able to help push change. They did this by bringing William Petty (owner of Centrifuge Training and brand ambassador to JTF Awesome team member Propper) to Georgia to teach his Vehicle CQB Instructor Course.

The course is developed from trends based off the fact that a large portion of police work takes place in and around vehicles. Petty says, “Tactics only work when subjects are compliant. But, the tactic isn’t valid unless it works when opposed. We cannot rely on people to be compliant.” Petty’s course shifts the historical way of thinking and proves there are at least 16 points of cover on a vehicle.

Instead of working from the “V” of the door, he teaches participants how to use several areas on the vehicle for cover and how to use those points to your advantage to fight back.

DD_VCQB_maintaining cover

The Daniel Defense-hosted Vehicle CQB Instructor Course was offered to agencies via the DD MILE (Military & Law Enforcement) events page. Daniel Defense footed the bill, which enabled more officers the opportunity to attend. There were a total of seventeen departments in attendance, ranging from local to state to federal. After completion of the four-day course, students can go back to their respective departments to teach tactics learned.

Interesting fact: Currently, there are over 200 agencies (totaling over 4000 rifles) who use Daniel Defense rifles.

DD_VCQB_night shooting2

Petty’s main goal for the course is “To push the boundaries of ‘traditional’ cover and concealment utilizing various cars and trucks in a true 3D environment.” Some of the topics covered during Petty’s VCQB Instructor Course were:

– Vehicle CQB Principles

– Positional Shooting

– Vehicular Anatomy and Ballistics

– Fighting from Inside the Vehicle

– Fighting from Outside the Vehicle

– Force on Force

– Equipment Considerations

– Low Light Fighting

DD_VCQB_force on force 8

Petty’s training philosophy can be summed up as, “A gunfighter will always pass a qual; those trained to qual may not survive a gunfight. The training needs to reflect the reality of our current domestic law enforcement engagements.”

There was an abundant amount of positive feedback during and after the class. Here’s what a few of the students had to say about the class:

“Innovative, dynamic, and extremely effective training.”

“Petty is teaching techniques based on learning experiences from actual engagements, not regurgitated content handed down from days of old. He’s basing his content on common denominators from actual shooting footage and building his material around that.”

“There are 212 square miles in my county, with only five officers; backup can take time. I need people to solve problems and this course teaches just that.”


“My most important takeaway from this course was to always challenge your training paradigms. I’m a 13 year cop, and these guys brought stuff to the table I’ve never been taught.”

“I’ve been to a lot of tactical training throughout the country, and this one by far is the best one I’ve been to. The entire length of the training is high intensity and teaches the ‘why’ while pushing your limits.”

“I’ve always been training centered. With a class like this, I am able to improve our entire department. I believe in training before a fatal incident occurs instead of learning mistakes from a fatal incident.”

DD_VCQB_Force on Force2

“For us, it was the right training at the right time. Our department recently got a training vehicle to shoot around. I see the principles learned during the course as beneficial because our department didn’t have a structured course that had anything to do with vehicles.”

“This training should be essential for every officer because in and around cars are the environments we’re usually in. For me, personally, this course was eye-opening because it showed me how behind we are when it comes to training our people.”

“With a high turnover of officers, being able to train high volumes of officers is imperative. As an instructor, I help in shaping the future of policing for our city. NYPD has already incorporated large parts of this material.”

DD_VCQB_drill recap

“We had a budget cut in training. My ticket into this class was thanks to Daniel Defense and the fact that my state PD recently adopted VCQB. The state saw the necessity for this training, which was how I was able to justify attendance to the course from my local department. This course brings skills used by big agencies to smaller agencies, like I’m part of.”

“It’s generally a good sign when an instructor will share their curriculum. Enabling us with the tools to push this information to our departments is huge.”

DD_VCQB_Petty teaching 2

The course can be very intensive, and the weather turning the Georgia range into a roiling bowl of clay only added to the challenge. See for yourself with the gratuitous number of action shots below:

DD_VCQB_force on force 7

DD_VCQB_force on force 4

DD_VCQB_DD guns for force on force

DD_VCQB_class debrief

DD_VCQB_alphabet soup

DD_VCQB_Force on Force

DD_VCQB_force on force intro


DD_VCQB_mud boom


DD_VCQB_induced malfunction

DD_VCQB_force on force6

DD_VCQB_force on force5

DD_VCQB_force on force3

DD_VCQB_Chase hero shot

DD_VCQB_night shot 1

DD_VCQB_Petty and Chase

DD_VCQB_critiquing each other

DD_VCQB_Daily recap

DD_VCQB_Class day 2 petty teaching

Do You Even Liberty 4

DD_VCQB_End of day clean up

DD_VCQB_injured partner practice

DD_VCQB_LE Shooter

DD_VCQB_mom jokes

petty teaching 4b

DD_VCQB_pitch black

DD_VCQB_petty teaching at night

DD_VCQB_class pic


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About Daniel Defense: Chances are that if you’re reading this page, you’re at least familiar with AR-15’s. Most all of us here at BreachBangClear have carried AR’s or M4’s in professional capacities the world over, and we’ve even managed to learn a thing or two about guns along the way. We won’t sell you a line of shit–Daniel Defense is definitely a go-to manufacturer for us and has been for a long time. It’s easy to go cheaper (note that we didn’t use the term ‘inexpensive’) but much harder to do better. We are proud and enthused to have them in JTF Awesome, and it’s through JTF Awesome we make this all possible. Be sure to visit their homepage here, and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram.


Candice Horner

Start your caviling and contravening because yes, Candice Horner is AFM. That is: Another Fucking Marine (we swear that if we put two or more of them in a room it becomes all Oorah-Chesty-Puller-Port Hole-Hathcock-Ladderwell, but fortunately we have a Klingon translator). A prior federal LEO and current Registered Nurse, Candice brings special skills to the table our current minions don’t, such as the ability to properly ensconce an IV after a long night of drinking (some of our minions are CLS trained, but that usually equates to missing the stick 14 times before giving up). Like any good Marine NCO, she can spit shine boots better than a seasoned fluffer can suck, roll sleeves tight enough to make a tourniquet envious, and yell loud enough to bring a grown man to tears. Candice is an enthusiastic hunter, outdoorsman (outdoorswoman?), writer (writress?), and accomplished competitive shooter.

Candice Horner has 9 posts and counting. See all posts by Candice Horner

3 thoughts on “Better Gunfighting: How Daniel Defense Helps LEOs

  • February 27, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    I want to know what happened to that muzzle device!

  • February 26, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    A very cool course teaching some very valuable skills.

    I have to ask a question though. Please don’t take this as me shitting on LE or anything like that.

    One of the problems I have with LE in general, one I’ve voiced before and taken some heat for but which I a view I still hold, is that there is an overemphasis on gear over skills. Clearly that’s not a problem with this course but something I saw on Saturday morning made me think of this yet again.

    I live in a kind of small town outside of a Denver. One of the cops here is an attractive blonde haired, blue eyed bombshell. She’s also a regular at BJJ and Krav. Great, awesome. So Friday night/Saturday morning she’s called to a bar due to a drunken disturbance. Policing. Awesome! The problem is that she’s first on scene and then four other cops show up. Out of all of them she’s the only one I would think for even a second can actually handle herself. These other guys aren’t just a little overweight. They’re borderline obese or flat-the-fuck-out obese. Head on down into Denver and you see more of this, Aurora PD? Fuck, at least 60% of those guys are seriously overweight and couldn’t catch a cold. No joke, last time I saw a group of them standing around at a scene you could have made at least three whole new people out of the extra weight these guys were carting around on them.

    These dudes would have a serious struggle if their lunch bag fought back. I know this because they’ve come to the gym, done a session of BJJ (the first of a free MONTH) and a bunch of them have quit with their tail between their legs never to return after getting their ass handed to them by a 16 year old girl. (No exaggeration. A 125lb 16 year old girl. Granted she’s our best female competition fighter under 20 but still.) A few have said “Oh, shit, this martial arts shit’s for real and I better learn some because I could run into this in the street!” and become regulars, but not many. The same was true with I lived in Aurora.

    So a couple questions here. First, WTAF? Do LEA’s not have PFT standards? Secondly, is this a problem due to the job? I mean, I imagine if I spent most of my day sitting in a car and the only real options for food were gas stations and fast food I’d probably be heavier too but that doesn’t explain why our Sheriff’s department has no seriously overweight people working for it.

    Third and finally, what’s with the seeming aversion most of these LEO’s have to actually learning something that doesn’t involve gear? Sure, your gun and your baton and whatever are useful but they’re not useful if the guy you’re talking to at 0200 is four feet away from you when he goes apeshit and starts swinging or, God forbid, pulls a knife.

    • February 26, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      *is a view I still hold.


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