On Writing Close Quarters Combat: How to Clear a Room

Fiction writing police raids

(Photo by Spc. Monica K. Smith, US Army)

Today’s guest post comes from Michael Connick, someone who could probably sell his fictional works as writing guides for depicting firearms and action scenes. The information he presents below about clearing rooms is both informative and critical for anyone thinking of writing a SWAT raid, a protagonist’s dangerous infiltration into a hostile building or a military incursion into a structure into a story. You’re going to want to read this one all the way to the end.



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Heads Up: Your FBI Characters Will Now Carry Different Pistols

Best guns for FBI characters agents writing fiction

The FBI will switch from .40 caliber Glock pistols to 9mm Glock pistols. The rest of the country’s law enforcement agencies, which frequently use .40 caliber pistols, will likely follow suit. (Image via Wikipedia)

TLDR: If your story is set in late 2016 or beyond, depict FBI characters carrying 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistols instead of .40 caliber Glocks.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced a change to its standard issue semi-automatic pistols last month that could impact some works of fiction. The agency will switch over to 9mm Glock pistols, a departure from .40 caliber models standard since the late 1980s. Continue reading

How Easy is It to Find Fingerprints on a Gun?

Fingerprints: The criminal defense attorney's best friend. (Photo by A. Hulme via sxc.hu)

Fingerprints: The criminal defense attorney’s best friend. (Photo by A. Hulme via sxc.hu)

TLDR: As it relates to firearms, fingerprinting isn’t infallible.

When I encounter a topic I’m not familiar with, I turn to people like criminologist/crime writer Jennifer Chase to fill in the gaps. This typically happens in the forensics department, and I’m happy to say she’s a terrific resource. The latest example is the issue of fingerprints and firearms. Specifically, how easy (or difficult) is it to find usable fingerprints on a gun? Continue reading

FACT or FICTION: Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation Portrayed in Entertainment

The CSI Effect

Skilled investigators work to unravel crime scenes, but it doesn’t always follow the process portrayed in pop culture. For example, in this photo, it’s clear that someone spilled white paint on himself/herself, then tripped while doing a Wile E. Coyote impression. ~Ben (Image by Nate Nolting via sxc.hu)

If you’re not already reading crime writer/criminologist Jennifer Chase’s blog and Emily Stone series of novels, you’re missing out. In addition to those great reads, Chase cranks out posts on her website worthy of a college course in criminal justice. I’m privileged to host another fantastic post from her here. Enjoy!


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What is a Riot Gun?

Riot? Check. Gun? Check. Does that mean there's a riot gun in this picture? Read on to find out. (punghi/Shutterstock)

Riot? Check. Gun? Check. Does that mean there’s a riot gun in this picture? Read on to find out. (punghi/Shutterstock)

TLDR: The term “riot gun” usually refers to a shotgun or rifle featuring either a shortened barrel or less-lethal ammunition, or both.

I had a great time last year presenting a webinar for The Writer’s Store called The Secret to Writing Firearms. (Pro tip: You can download it here, but I recommend you sign up for my newsletter first to get a code for 50% off.) One of the attendees popped a question to me during the presentation that might apply to your project: What is a riot gun?

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