View Full Version : A case for distant shooting (Pistol)
April 6, 2009, 12:05 PM
The impression one gets from reading about lethal gunfights in which LEO’s are involved is that LEO’s are killed at very close distances. So, why are LEO’s allowed to get closer than 21-ft to a perpetrator without having absolute control of the situation? Why, is the Police Pistol Combat (PPC) Training, Courses fired at 7, 15, 25 and 50 yards not being taught?
Historical, as well as current data however, certainly, gives the impression that close shooting should be taught but not all at the exclusion of marksmanship training. To only teach close reactive shooting, has not been the answer.
Conventional wisdom has us forego marksmanship training, which is unfortunate and to train mostly and solely in close reactive shooting.
Current training does not teach marksmanship and since the targets are not scored, we don’t know if we are progressing or not and the data says we are not. The answer is better tactics, but better tactics or being fast won’t help if you cannot hit the target.
If 88% of the shooting occurred at 21 feet or less administratetively, do not allow any LEO to enter that distance from any potential assailant without that potential assailant being covered. LEO’s are Law Enforcement Officer first and Welfare Charity Workers a distant second. Even if the LEO’s are careless or inattentive we can’t have our LEO’s shot because that wastes resources. By edict don’t let them get closer than 21 feet without a partner, being there to cover the perpetrator.
If one practices 50-yard shooting, and can become accomplished enough to do headshots consistently and on demand a 50-yards that is certainly offensive enough for any firearm for that type work. What that degree of proficiency also does, is that it teaches gun handling and gives the practitioner tremendous confidence in the ability to shoot closer in, in any situation.
The Above is a brief part of the link I posted. It dosnt not cover the reasoning and stats backing up the study. The link does.
I dont like to tell war stories but I'll add this. One of the most common and most dangerous activities of police work is domestic disturbances. You never know what you are getting into. As an FTO I taught (as I was taught) that you park down the street, out of sight of domestic calls. Now even if you carry a patrol rifle, or counter-sniper rifle, its gonna be left in the car, maybe blocks away. So you approach the scene, which at times results in an ambush or hostage situation. (Note the Recient Pittsberg Shootings). You may be seperated from your patrol car (and long range weapons). You may be pinned down. You may be 25, 50 or more yards from the bandit. Do you spray and pray, do you hunker down and pray, or do you react, knowing you've practiced distant shooting and are confident with your pistol at 50 or so yards???? The answer depends on how you train.
We know not all domestic cases result in violance to the officer. But we never know which one does.
Regardless of your tactics, the very worse that can happen shooting PPC courses and practicing extended range with pistols, THE VERY WORSE, is maybe a waste of ammo.
Read the above link, and take the time to think this through.
April 6, 2009, 12:21 PM
A lot of my own recent training is limited to 25 yards (length of the indoor range). However I use smaller targets to sort-of simulate longer distances and also the range lighting is terrible. Between all of those factors I think that my "realistic" capabilities are more on the order of about 35-40 yards.
This is roughly the same thing I tried to do on a regular basis when working in LE.
On the range I do decently. Under actual stress, who the heck knows (and fortunately I never had to find out).
Great Maker I hated anything that even hinted of "domestic disturbance".
April 6, 2009, 12:34 PM
Current training does not teach marksmanship and since the targets are not scored, we don’t know if we are progressing or not and the data says we are not.
I don't know where you (the author) are getting that information, but my experience with LE is that there is still plenty of emphasis on marksmanship and that many targets are scored, especially in the academy environment. Yes, there is a (somewhat) new emphasis on close range shooting and tactical considerations, but most departments still have some marksmanship work in there.
So, why are LEO’s allowed to get closer than 21-ft to a perpetrator without having absolute control of the situation?
Because we are trying to get control of the situation.
April 6, 2009, 12:44 PM
How would you gain "absolute control" from a distance? I mean, short of stopping at 21 feet and tazing people before you get closer?
April 6, 2009, 02:09 PM
Many factors influence training with firearms, one of them is the reality of monitoring recent history (under 5 years?) Police shootings, examining the distance, the criminal threat, amount of them! and light (time of day, or night) can be duplicated in most cases on the range.
The radio call "Domestic disturbance" is, and should be, pucker factor City.
The marksmanship that is required in the "Kitchen" is a critical factor, and one readily trained for. Distance to threat (5 yd) size of target, head or portion of same.
Knowing your capability's with your duty weapon? Critical, can you hit an eye socket at 5 yds? Approximately a 2" inch circle. If the answer to that question is, not sure, or I do not know? The ability to strike the human target at 50 yds, is according to statistics, somewhat moot.
April 6, 2009, 03:08 PM
The article is a thought provoking one. If 88% of LEO murders happen within 7 yards, why go inside that distance when alone? I agree that this is the number one contributer to officers killed. Many times it is an arrest situation and many times they are alone. I believe that if you anticipate a custody arrest, you should call for a second unit. However there are many times you will not have the luxury of being farther out or having a second unit right there such as every unknown risk traffic stop you initiate alone. If we could somehow get back to two man units instead of one, I think we would be safer. However, that would require some major administrative changes and probably more taxpayer money.
Marksmanship training is still being taught at my department. We don't shoot B-27's anymore for the most part but we still shoot a qual course out to 25 yards and for general training, steel out to 50 yards. I think that marksmanship should still play a fundamental role in law enforcement firearms training but it is just one piece of the puzzle. We need to practice gunfighting skills more than we do: shooting from different positions, movement to and use of cover, one handed shooting, and malfunction drills. Tactics and training that focus on mental conditioning and "mid-brain" programming are equally as important.
April 6, 2009, 04:00 PM
By edict don’t let them get closer than 21 feet without a partner, being there to cover the perpetrator.
That's gonna be one long foot chase if you have to wait until your partner catches up!
April 6, 2009, 09:59 PM
Can someone tell me what the standard qualification shooting test is exactly for a policeman? I understand this will vary by location. Is it just getting bullets on target at 10 feet, 50 feet, etc., or something more? From the snippets here and there, you'd think it wasn't very challenging, and perhaps it's not, but I'd like at least some baseline to go from.
April 6, 2009, 10:10 PM
Cant speak for local LE, but Air Force qualifications go from 7yds out to 25 yds in progressive steps. Basic proficiency is measured by whether you hit the target, but an expert score is dependant on accuracy measured by smaller portions of hte target.
April 6, 2009, 10:26 PM
There was a topic that covered that subject (LE Qualification Courses) in the General Topic Section a couple days ago.
I dont 'really want to post my (ex) departments qualification course.
I did however ran a Course for Armed Security Officers. I used the Standard PPC course. I required a score of 80% or better for me to sign off on the license.
The State of Alaska seemed to like it, they bought off on the course and issued the licenses.
April 6, 2009, 10:29 PM
I am pro marksman training along side tactical shooting. The primary reason being muscle memory: focus & trigger control. To hit a long range target with a hand gun you must focus on the the front sight and have good trigger control (slow steady squeeze). The muscle memory gained in marksmanship training greatly enhances accuracy at close range and in high stress shooting; because you do not have to think about it, that is why is is called muscle memory.
I have scene unexperienced shooters miss a silhouette target at three yards, whereas experienced (marksmanship trained) shooters 'key-hole.'
Favorite quote: "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"
April 6, 2009, 10:31 PM
Can someone tell me what the standard qualification shooting test is exactly for a policeman?
Usually around 50 rounds
Shooting from distances in yards: 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 25.
Most two handed but some one handed, gun side and support side.
Time magazine change or two.
April 6, 2009, 10:46 PM
This is the PPC Course of Fire:
Stage 1 - 12 rounds in 20 seconds at 21 feet, all double action. Standing position with no support. Starting with a loaded, holstered gun (all by range officer's command) and at least one extra speedloader, when the target turns, draw, fire six rounds, reload, then fire six more rounds before 20 seconds expire.
Stage 2 - 18 rounds in 90 seconds at 75 feet, all double action. Starting with a loaded, holstered gun and at least two extra speedloaders, when the target turns, draw, kneel and shoot six rounds. Reload, then using a supplied barrier, shoot six left handed from the left side of the barricade. Reload and shoot six right handed from the right side of the barricade.
Stage 3 - 6 rounds in 12 seconds from 75 feet, all double action. Standing position with no support. Starting with a loaded, holstered gun, shoot six rounds.
Stage 4 - 24 rounds in 165 seconds from 150 feet, may be shot single or double action. Starting with a loaded, holstered gun, and at least three extra speedloaders, when the target turns, draw, assume a seated position and fire six rounds. Reload, assume a prone position, fire six rounds. Reload, stand, then fire six rounds left handed from the left side of the barricade. Reload, then fire six rounds right handed from the right side of the barricade.
April 6, 2009, 11:37 PM
I am a firm believer in practicing Stand Off shooting. That is why I took the Time to practice with my 4" model 19 round butt with B-27 Targets at 100 Yards prior to being deployed to LA to work Security for the XXIII OLYMPIAD in 1984.
April 7, 2009, 07:33 AM
I guess road officers could check licenses etc. from 50 feet or something by using a bullhorn and a telescope. They could also call the house during a domestic and tell the folks that the police are outside but far enough away that the police are in no danger, so stop fighting and would the perpetrator please come outside and handcuff himself. The perp could then walk to the station while the cruiser follows 50 feet or so behind.
Police work requires close contact with people in a variety of situations. Shootings for the most part occur with little or no warning.
April 7, 2009, 09:26 AM
As an FTO I taught (as I was taught) that you park down the street, out of sight of domestic calls. Now even if you carry a patrol rifle, or counter-sniper rifle, its gonna be left in the car, maybe blocks away.
I don't mean to be a smart-ass here in anyway, and I am not a LEO (yet), but couldn't you take your patrol carbine anyway?
I know infantry training does little good here in the real world, but is it possible to wear an Outer Tactical Vest and carry your patrol carbine (by choice, not a standard) to domestic disturbances and other moderate-risk/high-risk situations?
It seems that even in Small-Town, USA cops are getting shot at more than ever. Instead of just re-tooling the training, why not add more protection and give better equipment to the every day patrol officer? If it means everyone dressing like SWAT for a while, so be it.
Now all my ideas/questions, if implemented, would be purely on officer preference. If the patrol officer doesn't want to wear an OTV and carry a carbine, it shouldn't be forced. Those who do should do so, but pay for the equipment themselves so it doesn't burden the department.
All I'm basically saying is: if it means making safety a top priority for officers and deputies, they should have the right to utilize the best equipment on the market today.
April 7, 2009, 11:12 AM
PPC Course of Fire, using the B27 Target
This is the PPC Course of Fire:
Kraigwy... so I see the tests they'd run, but what actually determines a passing grade? Just getting on target?
Also, the 50 yarder must be a challenge for quite a few people. I wouldn't know my own skills at that distance since the range near me is indoors and only goes to 25 yds.
April 7, 2009, 11:58 AM
I am pro marksman training along side tactical shooting. The primary reason being muscle memory: focus & trigger control. To hit a long range target with a hand gun you must focus on the the front sight and have good trigger control (slow steady squeeze). The muscle memory gained in marksmanship training greatly enhances accuracy at close range and in high stress shooting; because you do not have to think about it, that is why is is called muscle memory. END QUOTE
I agree, what surprises me is the lack of combat/tactical shooting departments are guilty of, and the blame should go to police guidelines of their respected states. Police qualifications (twice a year) require a certain score along with use of force, and safety classes depending on your state. If states would put together a combat/tactical course for officers to attend, if not qualify twice a year, officers would benefit tremendously. Then again money/budget comes into play.
April 7, 2009, 12:29 PM
Kraigwy... so I see the tests they'd run, but what actually determines a passing grade? Just getting on target?
No Sir, I used the scoring rings. I'm very strict on shooting classes I have to sign off on.
Yes 50 yards is tuff, but doable. Takes a bit of practice, concentration and proper fundalmentals. But Doable.
April 7, 2009, 01:02 PM
Okay... but what score is passing then?
April 7, 2009, 01:08 PM
60 shots, max score 600, 80% passing would be 480.
My Dept (APD) required a 80% score to qualify, 90% for Range Officers, CRT, K-9 & EOD.
April 7, 2009, 06:07 PM
Personally I practice rapid fire at up to 25 yards and slow fire 25-50 yards.
April 7, 2009, 06:26 PM
i practice 30 feet for squeeze, sight alignment, and stance, i then get serious at 5-15 feet and practice some tactical shooting, stance, drawing, rapid fire 2-4 shots using point and front sight shooting, mostly front sight.
Personally i like an outdoor range, since retiring i don't get to do as much combat/tactical/defensive shooting as i use to.
April 7, 2009, 08:53 PM
This is just a test, shot at the end of approximately 100 rounds of .38 Spl or 9mm various drawing and firing, gun at ready, poor light, man on man, voice challenge shooting,etc.
The twenty round test was based on the .38 Special test, which was also based on actual rounds carried, 6 rounds in the Model 64 S&W, plus two speed loaders. that's 18, but I added two to be loaded individually for two reasons, first to show that the operator knew the direction of rotation, second to make a mathematically sensible score possible.
The thought pattern being, why have a test, not based on the reality of the street load? Like who carries 60 rounds on them?
Pass was 80% or more, more than two misses was a fail, one re shoot was allowed.
Normal score was in the mid to high 90s, a class of 8 would maybe have one possible (100) also = 100% All from the holster or ready position.
April 10, 2009, 06:07 PM
jhenry said it right. police work is a very up close and personal occupation. you can not do your job from outside the house, you can not catch the bad guy from 21 feet away, and citizen really hate it when a cop watches them get the crap kicked out of them while you stand there 21 feet away shouting encouragements like: "hang in there, your doing fine", or "try hitting him back a few times", and the classic "your doing it all wrong, try to AVOID the punches". the simple fact is police work is dangerous. we can try to minimize the dangers, but we also have to be in those situations, thats why chicks dig us ;), just kidding.....sorta.
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