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Riding Shotgun With Charlie

Apr 30, 2024

Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Paul Kricher
Artist & Author, Jim Cirillo’s Tales from the Stakeout Squad


I’ve seen the book “Jim Cirillo’s Tales from the Stakeout Squad” online for years. It’s always been very expensive, often selling for $250. I saw that Alex Sansone, The Suited Shootist, (RSWC #162) was suggesting that folks buy the book no matter the cost. Well, I started hunting for it. I found a copy at GunBroker for $30 with shipping. I messaged the seller asking if it was a pdf of the book. Well, I found gold! Paul Kirchner, the author, was selling the book on GunBroker. Not only that, he lives about an hour from me in Connecticut. We talked and set up to film a show after I read the book. 


Not only has Paul written the book about Cirillo and the SOU, he’s penned a several other books including “The Deadliest Men” and “More of the World’s Deadliest Men”. He’s also a comic book artist with several credits to his name.. And he’s done the drawing in several of Jeff Cooper’s books, including “To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth” and several others. 


I headed down to Connecticut to Paul’s house on a trip that was bringing me to Virginia. Paul invited me into his office. It was what I would expect: a drawing table, lots of art gear all around the studio. He had some copies of his books, both of his comic books and his other books. We talked for about an hour to get familiar before we headed out. 


Paul studied art in New York and didn’t want to be a fine artist, he wanted to do comic books. After a few years in art school, he found a gig and took it. He eventually moved to Connecticut while working in New York. During his nearly 2 hour commute, he decided to read books about real life heroes. This led to him writing “The Deadliest Men” covering people like Alexander the Great, Geronimo, Andrew Jackson, and Wild Bill Hickok. 


He had a hard time finding a publisher but Paladin Press thought it was exactly what their readers would want. They wanted another book, which is “More of the Deadliest Men Who Ever Lived”. The second book was about more contemporary men. Paul had the chance to interview some who were still around. One of the folks was Jim Cirillo, former NYPD member of the Stake Out Unit. Spending hours on the phone with Cirillo, Paul decided that Jim was worth his own book.Cirillo had his own book, “Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights” which covered several of his stories. Paul wanted to make a serious book about Jim. 


Paul and Jim became good friends through these calls. Jim was retired from law enforcement and training, but wanted to get together with Paul for some social hangout time. Unfortunately, Jim’s life was taken in a car accident and they never met. Reading the book, in my mind’s ear I heard what I assumed someone from NYC who was a police officer sounded like. 


Paul also had a close connection to Jeff Cooper. He ended up doing several drawings for Cooper’s books like “To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth”, “C Stories”, “Another Country”, and “Principles of Personal Defense”. He said he’s got a pile of handwritten letters from Cooper that is about 8 inches high. 


Paul shared several amazing stories about Jim, Jeff, and some of the people that are associated with them. He confirmed what we know, that gun owners are the best people. We’re just like everyone else. I’m really honored to have his stories and that he gave me some time. These stories need to be written down and preserved for the future. You can find Paul’s books on His username is “stayingamused”. I’ve got copies of a few of the books and I’m looking forward to reading them. 

Favorite quotes:

“I think he (Cirillo) realized that I was trying to write a serious book. And that he kind of switched gears from the storytelling to trying to nail down what really happened.”

“He (Cirillo) imparts a lot of wisdom from his experience.”

“I am fascinated by people whose lives and experiences are so much different from my own.”

“He (Cooper) said ‘Whatever you have done, whatever you have experienced, if you do not write it down, it will one day be as if it had never happened’.” 


Paul Kirchner Website to buy Paul’s books

Second Amendment Foundation 


Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms



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