Miami Vice Wiki
Jim Zubiena


Miami Vice Character

Jim Zubiena served as firearms instructor on the show Miami Vice, as well as appearing as Ludovici Armstrong, ace hitman hired by Calderone, in the episode "Calderone's Return (Part I)".


In addition to being an accomplished actor, Zubiena has been recognized worldwide as an expert marksman. His abilities so impressed Michael Mann that he hired Zubiena to serve as firearms instructor on Miami Vice and in his movie Manhunter (in which he also took a small role, appropriately, as a police weapons instructor, alongside with Garcelle Beauvais, Bill Cwikowski, Chris Elliott, Dennis Farina, Kim Griest, Michele Shay, Bill Smitrovich and Michael Talbott). When Don Johnson began his Nash Bridges series, Zubiena was brought on to play a hitman. Zubiena has been recognized for the speed and accuracy in which he handles a 1911A1, showing the Mozambique technique in "Calderone's Return (Part I)". His handling of firearms in the episode was NOT rehearsed, but rather a demonstration of his actual abilities, and the footage has been used for training in law enforcement and intelligence officer firearms handling. Of particular note is the method with which he handles his Ruger AC556 assault rifle during his attempt on Crockett's life at the end of "Calderone's Return (Part I)". Zubiena struggled to maintain what he considered a realistic degree of accuracy due to the high recoil that resulted from firing on full-auto for extended periods, and so to compensate he gripped the rifle's heat shield from above to help steady the barrel. Also during this scene, after firing three 30 round magazines, the blank adaptor fitted on the AC556 heated up to a degree causing it to come loose. It was propelled from the barrel at considerable speed directly towards the camera crew shooting the action; fortunately they were protected by a thick perspex screen. Zubiena, however, was not so lucky, as the adapter ricocheted off of the screen and struck him in the left collar bone. The force of the impact spun him around and knocked him to the ground. He suffered no long-term injuries, but had the adaptor struck him somewhere else, he could have been seriously hurt.

He has appeared in other TV shows including, the Mini-series "Drug Wars: Camarena", the MOW " Long Road Home" Doogie Howser, MD and Falcon Crest and approx. 48 commercials for various products. His stage career included Natl. tours of Godspell and a 14 month stint with Les Miserable in San Francisco during the early 90's. Currently he is retired on a 29 acre horse ranch in northern LA county, but still shoots with the Single Action Shooting Society as the "Singin' Cowboy"