FBI's Pistol Team

In a June 6, 1934 "Memorandum for Mr. Tolson,” Director Hoover mentioned that he was told that a trainee in the present training school at that time, “by the name of Walsh” is the national champion in pistol fire. Hoover mentions he understands Walsh has extensive use of firearms and has been for a number of years giving instruction to police organizations. The Director wants particular attention given to this trainee to possibly use him and his services to go to each field office and see that proper instruction is being given to all personnel. 

Hoover also mentions he is very desirous of having a team formed of our best shots which can be entered in several national tournaments. "I think Mr. Walsh might, upon his visit to the field offices, ascertain the best shots in the respective field offices, and from this group, he could select a team to represent the Division in these tournaments." 

In October 1934 the real father of Bureau firearms training, SA "Frank" Baughman suggested the purchase of "six officers model .38 caliber Colt Special revolvers with six-inch barrels " for issuance only to agents participating in shooting matches as representatives of the Division.

"Mr. Walsh” turned out to be the legendary SA Walter Walsh with whom most are familiar and who passed away a couple of years back at the age of 106. 

And thus began the birth of the FBI’s Pistol Team……Rolling into 1935, the Bureau’s Pistol Team would be composed of some of the best of the best which included Walsh, Baughman, SAC and former Texas Ranger, “Gus Jones (national machine gun champion); the legendary “Jelly” Bryce, Bill Nitschke, Vernon Criss, Dick Glavin, Ralph Winton, Harry Stewart and Bob Reed. Some early matches were at Camp Perry, Ohio.