Jim Smith gained fame as a member of Delta Force who was aboard Super 61, the first helicopter that was shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. Jim then bravely defended the helicopter and his comrades from onslaught of enemy combatants, receiving a gunshot wound to the left shoulder from an AK47. Today, Jim works as firearms instructor through his company Spartan Tactical. He provides lectures both to US military and law enforcement as well as to interested civilians around the world, including periodical lectures in Slovakia. In the second part of interview Jim explains his personal relationship with firearms
Rozhovor v češtině si můžete přečíst zde: Zbraně & Jim Smith, člen speciální jednotky Delta Force sestřelený v prvním “černém jestřábu”
Zbrojnice.com is a Czech language website that deals with practical, legal, cultural and social issues of civilian firearms ownership. This interview was conducted in English and thus you can read it also in original language version below.
Jim, when was your first experience with firearms? What was your relationship to firearms before you joined military?
My father was a police officer in San Diego California where I was born and raised. He taught my brother, sister and me responsible gun safety and gun handling at an early age. We would regularly shoot pistols with him on the shooting range and out in the desert. My first shooting memories are with both his police duty pistol a Smith and Wesson 38 special revolver and his off duty carry pistol a WW2 1911A1 made by Union Switch and Signal made in Swissvale Pennsylvania in 1942- 1943.
My mother bought my first rifle for my 16th Christmas, a Ruger 1022 in 22 caliber. I would roam the hills around my southern California home shooting small game and training by going to an old dump and shooting bottles.
Before I joined the Army, when I was 16-18 years old my friends and I would go out the desert east of San Diego and hunt varmints and jack rabbits.
You have also sizeable firearms collection. Are there any guns you are particularly fond of?
I have a lot of firearms in my collection. Many were given to me directly from the manufactures to use in my training company.
I am fond of several of the collectable pistols and some of the military firearms like my M1A1 Springfield rifle. Over the years I have consulted with many companies so each and every firearms has memories tied to it.
I shoot any and all of the firearms in my collection. To me these are tools and need to be used to be appreciated.
Civilian firearms ownership is a divisive issue in the US. Do you think there is a need for more regulation, and why?
No in the US we don’t need any more firearms regulations. The criminals don’t follow these laws and these laws would only restrict the law-abiding citizen.
In 1776 our founding fathers had just fought a revolutionary war; our constitution was written shortly after kicking Great Briton out of the colonies. The second amendment was wrote allowing the private citizen to posses enough weapons, ammo and firepower so that the citizen could fight a tyrannical government.
The organization that is pushing these new firearms laws in the US is the US Democratic Party. We have a two party system in the US, republicans and democrats.
In my opinion the US Democratic party is a Marxist organization whose goal is to disarm the American citizen for the determent of the nation and our constitution.
Apart from your instructor duties, how often do you shoot in your private time?
I try and shoot one to three times a week when I am in Texas where my range is and where I live part of the year.
What kind of drills do you train when you are on your own?
With the pistol I usually start and end the training session with precision slow aimed fire. 15 and 25 meters on a bulls eye target with scoring rings. Then I practice a tactical pistol course on a timer and see what discipline I need to work on, draws, reloads, multiple targets, movement, etc. I also like to train in dynamic situations like IPSC or three gun scenarios. On my range I normally have five three gun stages set up at all times.
With the carbine rifle it normally is on steel as we have several hundred steel targets set up out to 2000 meters. I am also an advocate for shooting carbines on paper out to at a minimum of 300 meters. During our training courses we shoot several scored competitions on paper out to 300 meters.
Normally I don’t shoot that much carbine at close range.
With precision rifle we normally start on steel at 500 meters and then work our way out to the calibers transonic zone.
Now for a final question, one that was most requested by zbrojnice.com readers: what is your primary choice for a concealed carry firearm and why. Please don’t hesitate to go into lengthy detail.
Concerning concealed carry I like Glock G19, G43 and Sphinx SDP Compact. I want an easily concealable pistol that is reliable, accurate and easy to carry.
I have wanted to try some of the new models of CZ pistols as a good friend of mine, Mike Pannone, shoots everything CZ. I do have a CZ 75 that I purchased when I was stationed in the military in Germany as a LRRP years ago.
Any ending note to Czech legal gun owners?
I have had the opportunity to hunt, shoot and give training courses in the Czech Republic. I have visited your fine country many times. I have many close friends there. I have enjoyed most everything I have seen and done there. You have a wonderful country and my life has been enriched with my travels and friendships I have made there.
I do give classes in the Czech Republic and Slovakia on request. For 2019 we have two courses scheduled for Slovakia in the summer, a carbine course and a Precision rifle course. My website is www.SpartanTactical.com. I am on social media on instagram as thespartantactical and Facebook as Jim Smith/ Spartan Tactical.
If you would be interested in attending a training course or hosting a course please let me know. If I can be of additional service to you please send me an email.