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View Full Version : I have heard it said that IDPA can get you killed?


baddarryl
June 2, 2012, 08:42 AM
I have heard this on this Forum in the past. I have now shot 3 matches and it has made me a better shot, gives me the ability to think about cover, shoot on the move, in different positions, etc. etc. Having no formal training of any kind what I am I missing by that statement? I don't particularly see IDPA as training, but I will say I have learned more in 3 matches of that than years plinking away in the woods. If it teaches bad habits, I am sure there are those that would like to know. Thanks.

Gerry
June 2, 2012, 03:51 PM
Changing mags "with retention" would be a bit silly in real life :p

In all seriousness, the "D" in IDPA stands for "Defensive" as much as the "P" in IPSC stands for "Practical". They're sports, not tactical defense training to handle real life scenarios.

That being said, I think any shooting sport that counts for speed and accuracy will make you a better shooter and these skills could certainly be transferred to defensive situations. In other words, you could protect yourself better if you know how to use a handgun really well than if you didn't.

g.willikers
June 2, 2012, 04:27 PM
The skills acquired in the action type shooting games, like
Shooting fast and accurately,
Dealing with gun malfunctions under the clock,
Shooting from awkward body positions,
At moving targets,
Shooting on the move,
In and around props,
All of these might come in real handy one day.
It can't hurt to know these things.

Sarge
June 2, 2012, 04:42 PM
That which improves your shooting skills to the point they become subconscious, conditioned responses is good.

You need to be able to run the gun from the subconscious so you can devote your attention to avoidance, evasion, threat identification, the force decision and driving the OODA cycle through it all.

Anything that conditions you to focus on matters irrelevant to an emergency, can get you killed.

BikeNGun1974
June 2, 2012, 04:43 PM
That's the most common statement used by someone who either:
a) shoots IPSC or USPSA and wants to make their sport sound superior
b) thinks that anything that is not tactical training taught by an "operator" is not good enough.

Slamfire
June 2, 2012, 06:43 PM
People act as they train.

I have read posts from people who were involved in real world shootings. The basic understanding I got was nothing they practiced was ever like what really happened.

I do believe training can save your life, and training is much better than no training. Maybe it will give you tools that you can use if you think yourself through the situation.

While shooting arts give people confidence, the best survival tactic is not to put yourself in a situation where you might have to use deadly force.

checkmyswag
June 2, 2012, 06:46 PM
Driving a car or eating a lousy diet are more likely to get you killed.

Slamfire
June 2, 2012, 06:50 PM
Driving a car or eating a lousy diet are more likely to get you killed.

On a television show "Stats" or something like that, you have a 1:88 chance of dying in a car accident.

That number is probably increasing due to all the text messaging and cell phone distraction going on.

flightline
June 2, 2012, 07:08 PM
That number is probably increasing due to all the text messaging and cell phone distraction going on.

I'd guess that safer cars are just barely managing to outpace the increased danger from increasing distractions.

If IDPA wanted to actually mimic the typical experience of a concealed carrier there wouldn't be any shooting at all. I think anything that makes you think and move with a gun in your hand is a definite plus.

Two excellent videos that touch on this topic: Competition vs. Self Defense (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H94THAsrrRw&feature=plcp) and Special Interview with Massad Ayoob (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC_VNi5ymo8&feature=plcp)

DepOne
June 2, 2012, 07:11 PM
Sarge said: "That which improves your shooting skills to the point they become subconscious, conditioned responses is good." And someone else talked about "conditioned responses." And there is the problem.

I spent over 25 years as a police firearms instructor and I sure don't have all the answers. But I do know that when things go south and you're on the wrong end of a gun, you will automatically revert to whatever you trained/practiced to do. One example of this as a problem is an officer I once had on my range who was a very accomplished competition shooter. We had constructed a tactical range and when this particular officer took out the bad guy he cleared his semiauto and held it over his head with the empty magazine in the other hand so that the instructor could see it was clear as he approached the fallen assailant. Obviously one would not do that in a real shootout but that was a required safety measure on his competition range.

We worked very hard to train only those habits that would keep you alive in a shooting situation. For instance, no one was allowed to police brass or pick up empty magazines until there session was completed. Cops have been found after a shootout with empty brass and magazines in their pockets which they had picked up as the shooting was in progress. Why? Because they were trained to police their empty brass and pick up their magazines before they moved to the next stage. There was a shootout where the bad guys used whistles to distract the police. Once we heard about that we never again used a whistle as a range signal.

Range safety considerations can get a professional seriously dead, and it's an instructors responsibility to make that unlikely to happen due to his or her actions.

Don P
June 2, 2012, 08:23 PM
Changing mags "with retention" would be a bit silly in real life

I concur, shoot to slide lock. I understand there thinking with mag changes with retention, BUT what happens if you do change a mag out run dry and load up the mag that you retained only to find you have 2 rounds left. Under the stress most will not be aware of how many rounds were in the mag that was retained, possibly thinking its full. Just a thought, thats all nothing more, nothing less.

Sarge
June 2, 2012, 10:58 PM
DepOne, re Post 10: Going on 22 years of trying to teach de po-po to shoot. Just to clarify, I support committing the operation, shooting and reloading of the gun to the subconscious and my comment about conditioned responses was aimed at that attaining that goal.

And yes, I have seen the Ghosts of Other Ranges visit mine. I still have new guys who shoot 2-3 rounds with the gun extended and then pull it into their breastbone and 'scan'... on a 10 round exercise. I had another cat who insisted on moving with a scattergun pointed directly at his feet because some academy instructor told him it was 'tactical' and he'd be glad he learned it when he got on the SWAT team. I had to explain to him that shooting one's self in the foot was hardly ever the correct solution to a tactical problem. Less than 60 days later, that very thing happened on a State range.

I run a hot range. You show up just like you work, grab ear & eye cover and walk out with and shoot with whatever you're wearing. I don't tell you when to reload. If I have to trust you on a robbery call, I had better be able to trust you on the range.

lmccrock
June 3, 2012, 08:30 AM
The games give trigger time with an increased level of stress. Certainly no where near the stress where someone might be shooting back, but more than stationary shooting at a piece of paper with no clock running.

That's the most common statement used by someone who either:
a) shoots IPSC or USPSA and wants to make their sport sound superior

Not hardly. "They" say the same about IPSC and USPSA. In fact, I have myself heard IDPA people say that about IPSC.

b) thinks that anything that is not tactical training taught by an "operator" is not good enough.
Heard that, too.

DepOne
June 3, 2012, 10:10 AM
Good post Sarge, and I concur 100%.

a7mmnut
June 3, 2012, 12:07 PM
They still use firearms, don't they? It mightbe a little dangerous.:cool:

-7-

Noreaster
June 3, 2012, 12:20 PM
You can develop training scars but the more time spent handling, firing and shooting and moving the better off you are. Many many LEO ranges are static and do not prepare the officer/agent for real life. I don't know how many courses I've taken where I was taught a two handed grip with the pistol canted in close to the breast while moving around and then presented with a firm two handed punching out type move. It works great but I work at night and I always have a flashlight in my weak hand or I'm talking on the portable or using my weak hand to control a suspect, open a door, move a barrier...

Another point is people bringing up magazine changes and games teaching you bad form/tactics. How many of you non LEOs carrying spare ammo when out and about in public? For that matter how many of you LEOs carrying extra ammo off duty?

Double Naught Spy
June 3, 2012, 12:29 PM
If you consider any shooting game to be defensive training, then yeah, it can get you killed. Shooting games like IDPA usually involve trying to get the highest score in the shortest time while following a known COF where the shooter is already told exactly what is needed to get through the stage. There are no penalties against tactically unsound practices so long as the requirements of the COF are met. For example, there is no penalty for exposing far too much of yourself to the opposition who may then have the opportunity to easily shoot you.

To be successful in such games, shooters optimize time and accuracy and in order to score, shooters must shoot. These and given that shooters already know the COF and exactly what it takes to complete it teach absolutely nothing about some of the most critical aspects of gun fighting, threat identification and shoot/no shoot decision making. The shooter goes in already knowing they must shoot.

Also, games like IDPA have a linear orientation to gun fights. Threats are engaged sequentially and there is absolutely no concern that downed threats you think are out of the battle shooting you or getting flanked by threats that you didn't even know were part of the situation.

The COF is known. The threats are known. What is needed to defeat the threats is known. The shooter in IDPA already has a whole bunch of the critical information determined in advance such that he isn't having to make a lot of critical decisions about which the wrong decision could be fatal.

Games like IDPA simply do not offer the kinds of simulated fight experience present in the real world or in FOF training.

There is no doubt that IDPA and other games can help with shooting skills, but it is naive to think that IDPA is teaching you or providing you with gunfight/battle training.

Gerry
June 3, 2012, 12:42 PM
I concur, shoot to slide lock.

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Not that either, unless it's your last shot of the stage! I'm an IPSC/USPSA person by the way :p But I have been getting a little interested in the dark side and IDPA too lately.

We IPSC guys can do better than any tactically trained professional team in handling bad guys in real life situations, as long as the bad guys hold positions while we get a 5 minute walk-through to plan our stage strategy. Those bad guys can't move after either to mess up our plan, plus I'd prefer that they don't shoot back. The darn start buzzer makes us nervous enough already!

checkmyswag
June 3, 2012, 03:47 PM
I'm sure anything you do so long as its proper fundamentally and you know its limits helps your odds. For everyone who says training goes out the window under stress...true to a point. But that training builds muscle memory and confidence. Suppose that's where any training could get you into trouble though...when it gives you an unreasonable level of confidence because in the real world there are pop up shoot back targets. That being said I look forward to participating in idpa.

Gerry
June 3, 2012, 05:08 PM
For everyone who says training goes out the window under stress...true to a point.

checkmyswag, I'd go even further and suggest that the reason why folks train is to ensure their acquired skills DON'T fly out the window under stress. Ever watch a person improvise complex lead guitar licks while holding a conversation? Same thing here.

The problem is that when we learn how to do things the wrong way for a specific situation so well to the point where it is automatic and unconscious (committed to "muscle memory"), that we may end up not being able to act differently when put under stress except to rehearse what we've been trained to do. That could conceivably cost us our life I under certain circumstances which I think DepOne's post so eloquently described.

I don't fool myself. My passion is the sport. If my passion were tactical pistol in real life situations, I'd be a secret agent or ummm at least a cop since we Canadian civilians get into a lot of trouble if we attempt to protect ourselves with firearms anyway.

speedrrracer
June 4, 2012, 05:09 PM
http://youtu.be/H94THAsrrRw?hd=1

SG29736
June 5, 2012, 06:48 PM
"We had constructed a tactical range and when this particular officer took out the bad guy he cleared his semiauto and held it over his head with the empty magazine in the other hand so that the instructor could see it was clear as he approached the fallen assailant"

I shoot most of the action pistol sports and have never heard of clearing your gun and holding it over your head. This sounds like someone making something up to support his side of the argument.

Competition is not tactical training. How many LEO's or others who receive nothing but sound tactical training, get a chance to really put in some regular, serious, tactical practice, to get the repetitions needed to achieve the needed gun handling and shooting skills that will enable them to use their tactical training to the best of their ability? Not a big percentage I'd be willing to bet.

Shooting accurately, quickly, on the move, awkward positions, using cover, reloading, and clearing malfunctions are tactical skills. You still need to learn how to tactically best conduct traffic stops, searches, clearing rooms and buildings and everything else that is included in tactical training.

Also, there is not just one school of thought on proper tactical training. Different trainers and departments have their own ideas on what is the best course of action in similar scenarios.

Actually, I think there may be some truth to the "competition shooting can get you killed" comment for LEO's that shoot very little. Those that shoot only when required to qualify and aren't familiar with other weapons probably should just stick to what their department teaches them.

Some officers who shoot very little, will come out to a match somewhere, thinking that maybe they could use some more shooting experience. When they see how well some non LEO's shoot, they are sometimes hesitant to join in because they thought by virtue of their training that they are good shooters. Sometimes the "competition shooting will get you killed" is a convenient excuse not to compete in front of everyone else. On the other hand, their are many LEO's who are top level competiton shooters.
Mark

RickB
June 5, 2012, 07:04 PM
Changing mags "with retention" would be a bit silly in real life

I concur, shoot to slide lock. I understand there thinking with mag changes with retention, BUT what happens if you do change a mag out run dry and load up the mag that you retained only to find you have 2 rounds left. Under the stress most will not be aware of how many rounds were in the mag that was retained, possibly thinking its full. Just a thought, thats all nothing more, nothing less.


You retain mags only if/when there's nothing apparently left to shoot, and dropping a partially-loaded mag under those conditions would certainly be silly.

BUT what happens if you do change a mag out run dry and load up the mag that you retained only to find you have 2 rounds left.

It would somehow be better to have no rounds available at all, than to have some doubt about the number of rounds that you do have (because you did that silly retention reload)?

WESHOOT2
June 6, 2012, 06:57 AM
The 'top' guys (I mean "top") very often have a day job that includes teaching real-life shooters how to shoot. They don't teach 'tactics', just shooting skills.



Or, "Where did Jerry B. go?"......

Sarge
June 6, 2012, 07:13 AM
They don't teach 'tactics', just shooting skills.

...and it is important to note that they are individual skills.

DepOne
June 7, 2012, 12:22 PM
"We had constructed a tactical range and when this particular officer took out the bad guy he cleared his semiauto and held it over his head with the empty magazine in the other hand so that the instructor could see it was clear as he approached the fallen assailant"

I shoot most of the action pistol sports and have never heard of clearing your gun and holding it over your head. This sounds like someone making something up to support his side of the argument.

Yep, that's me. A complete liar. I have no agenda here, and don't care what you do. I was just expressing what I observed in 27 years of police instruction.

Competition is not tactical training. How many LEO's or others who receive nothing but sound tactical training, get a chance to really put in some regular, serious, tactical practice, to get the repetitions needed to achieve the needed gun handling and shooting skills that will enable them to use their tactical training to the best of their ability? Not a big percentage I'd be willing to bet.

Yep, Unfortunately it all boils down to budget, which makes using what resouces we have to the best advantage most important.

Shooting accurately, quickly, on the move, awkward positions, using cover, reloading, and clearing malfunctions are tactical skills. You still need to learn how to tactically best conduct traffic stops, searches, clearing rooms and buildings and everything else that is included in tactical training.

Well, yeah?

Also, there is not just one school of thought on proper tactical training. Different trainers and departments have their own ideas on what is the best course of action in similar scenarios.

I guess you're right but, opinions are like........well, you know. Experience counts, not guesswork. Training LEO's is too big of a responsibility to rely on "opinon."

Actually, I think there may be some truth to the "competition shooting can get you killed" comment for LEO's that shoot very little. Those that shoot only when required to qualify and aren't familiar with other weapons probably should just stick to what their department teaches them.

LEOs that shoot very little are rarely seen at matches and, after getting their butt handed to them once probably won't be back.

Some officers who shoot very little, will come out to a match somewhere, thinking that maybe they could use some more shooting experience. When they see how well some non LEO's shoot, they are sometimes hesitant to join in because they thought by virtue of their training that they are good shooters. Sometimes the "competition shooting will get you killed" is a convenient excuse not to compete in front of everyone else. On the other hand, their are many LEO's who are top level competiton shooters.

God! I hope you're not involved in professional training. There's nothing wrong with match shooting, and I'm not criticizing it. It's just different and I personally don't recommend it for LEOs. Just my opinion, if you have no objections.

shooter_john
June 7, 2012, 01:53 PM
I am a LEO... I am a LEO firearms instructor... I shoot competitively, and I very much encourage my fellow deputies to do so as well (though VERY few actually do).

I don't shoot IDPA (yet) and I hear A LOT of complaining about it and some of its rules. With that said, I seem very capable of differentiating between a shooting match and training. My goal at any given match that I shoot is to run my gun quickly and efficiently using the same techniques that I train on on the LE range, get good, fast hits, and to take advantage of the "stress" that the timer puts on me. I don't necessarily "game" each stage either.

With all of that said, I think Double Naught Spy's previous post summed up this subject as well as any thoughts I've ever read.

SG29736
June 7, 2012, 09:45 PM
"I guess you're right but, opinions are like........well, you know. Experience counts, not guesswork. Training LEO's is too big of a responsibility to rely on "opinon.""

A person with more experience in a particular area, should have his opinion more highly valued than someone with little experience. However, it is still an opinion, not fact. Proper training of LEO's is a huge responsibility. But even the tactical trainers at the highest levels do not agree on everything (have different opinions).

As you pointed out, you are forced to train officers within the restraints of your budget and facilities. When they need more hands on practice with shooting and gun handling skills, where do they get it? These are perishable skills and must be practiced regularly.

Competition gives shooters a place to practice these shooting and gunhandling skills often enough to stay at a high level. It doesn't teach the classroom textbook way to clear buildings or rooms or that part of tactical training.

I am a small county correctional officer. I shoot with LEO's from the surrounding counties in competition. They seem to be happy with their experience at matches and feel more confident with their ability to handle their weapons.

Years ago, a lot of young men grew up around firearms, hunting and plinking, and had experience when they entered the law enforcement field. Now days, a much larger percentage of new LEO's have never fired a gun before, or maybe they shot a 22 once or twice, that's it. Not all of them, of course, but a lot. I really can't imagine carrying a gun on duty, with no prior experience, relying only on the minimum training that my department was able to give me.

I believe you when you say that your officer cleared his weapon and held it above his head. But, my experience tells me that he more likely was attempting to show off, as opposed to actually being required to do that to show clear at any organized competition.

I'm on your side. I want to see officers get that additional trigger time that they need to keep their skill levels up, when the budget doesn't allow for the training. They are more likely to get out and do it regularly at matches, because in addition to being good practice, it's fun. Also, it's measurable. Agencies shooting qualifications are usually pass/fail. They don't like to closely score anyone to rank one officer above another. At a match they get to see this and measure their improvement.

Good luck, Mark

Gerry
June 7, 2012, 10:04 PM
Well, you LEOs do have PPC. Now that's much better than IPSC or IDPA in training basic shooting skills! (sarcasm) :p

Speaking of which, the girl's team here training to kick the best-of-the-best LEO teams' butts in all 5 shooting competitions including shotgun is going to be fun to watch! Yes, there will be video folks! :D

Jesse Tischauser
June 11, 2012, 02:29 PM
I have never heard any if my LEO/MIL buddy's say that they went into competition mode and almost got killed during a real world gun fight. The fact that you are a much better shooter as a result of competition shooting puts you at an advantage in any gun fight. Of course doing nothing but training for an actual gun fight would be better training but since training classss dont give out trophies and prizes I'll stick with competitions.

Jim Watson
June 11, 2012, 11:24 PM
There are very few real world sustained shootouts against numerous motivated and armed assailants. Which is what you see in IDPA and IPSC matches in order to keep the round count and novelty factor high.
Most gunfights are over by the time you finish the first target array on the range, at least from what I have read and thankfully not done.
You are just not likely for combat to go on long enough for those bad match habits to kick in. Shoot the first gangster or two and the rest will decamp... or you can.

MLeake
June 12, 2012, 12:33 AM
I can see the point some are making about the weapon-clearing and retention-type reloads potentially creating bad habits. That makes some sense, but that seems to me more something to be aware of as one practices, than something that makes IDPA "dangerous."

That said, one of my new hand-to-hand trainees had been complaining that I don't let him stop and do-over when he screws up a counter or takedown. When I made the point that I want his ingrained response to missing a technique to be for him to instinctively let the muffed technique go, and focus on moving to a place of safety (IE get to the flank or rear of the attacker and do something else), the light bulb clicked on for him. Attackers don't give mulligans.

Small things can affect mindset. Good instructors (and good students; and good practitioners) can mitigate those effects.

BlueTrain
June 12, 2012, 06:28 AM
I hesitate to make comments here because I'm neither competitive nor in law enforcement. However, the subject is interesting and also important. It should go without saying that this is a controversy of long standing. Unfortunately, the more you read the literature, the more confused you become. What is even more noteworthy is that those with law enforcement experience are on both sides of the issue. There are also fairly well known individuals with strong opinions (all their opinions are usually strong) on the matter but with zero law enforcement or gun fighting experience. Also the differences go back to long before the shooting games came around and I think one could say that Jeff Cooper invented the shooting game.

I wonder about non-law enforcement civilians "training." Practice, yes, but training? Perhaps for a competition but for what other reason? If you're more likely to die in an auto accident, they perhaps you should get some professional driving training. Come to think of it, my brother-in-law did!

I also realize the limitations of a live-fire range with lots of people around. Most ranges won't allow you to do just anything. Quick draw from a holster might not be allowed and rapid fire may not either. But you still need practice and whatever you get may be better than none.

Not competition but I've read some opinions that suggest neither hunting nor military experience is all that helpful in an armed encounter. That's a subject on which I'd be interesting in hearing the thoughts of others. Maybe for an armed civilian the whole set-up of an IDPA or IPSC is all wrong, though it might be good for a policeman. Under what circumstances do civilians have shooting? Maybe the problem is in the scoring. Another suggested that the whole concept in the game is to shoot, which is not necessarily the idea in real life. Just the same, it's probably worth mentioning that deciding whether or not to shoot, for a civilian, is his biggest handicap. It is assumed that the bad guy will be less reluctant. For a sport competitor the score is the thing. For anyone else, it probably should be a pass/fail basis.

Then there are the guns!

baddarryl
June 19, 2012, 07:01 PM
Wow. This has been a great discussion. Thanks guys. I was really wondering about the 'habits' developed. I see little thinks in maybe how the order of the scenarios are set up or the commands, but nothing grossly negligent.

I did see 2 things this Sunday though. One is they set up a scenario where you had to take out 2 guys through the side window of a car before engaging someone in front of the car. This left you totally exposed. The better shot would have been to take him out while using the cover of the car before engaging the guys through the window.

Secondly we did an officer down scenario where we had to run to him, pick up his weapon, flip him over to pull clips off his belt to load the weapon with. This made sense, but you were only allowed to grab the second clip on slide lock from the first. In real life i think you might grap both mags.

Powderman
June 19, 2012, 11:39 PM
Competition can help you in a real-life shooting.

I am a pistol competitor, and I shoot the single most static shooting sport in existence--NRA Conventional Pistol, also known as Bullseye Pistol.

So, what does it do for me, and what has it taught me? Two very important things.

First, it teaches you that it is indeed possible to shoot accurately--with one hand, if needed--at a small target up to 50 yards away.

Second, it teaches you to acquire your target and lay on the trigger, FAST and consistently.

In closing there are two things that are VERY true, especially for LEO's:

1. You WILL fight as you train. Thus, TRAIN the way that you will FIGHT, so you will FIGHT the way that you have been trained. It is up to YOU, the individual officer, to become technically and tactically proficient with your service weapons. Spend the coin for ammunition if you don't reload, and load a bunch if you do. Practice shooting from cover--and from different positions.

Practice that draw! You should, each night, clear your weapon, remove ALL ammunition from the area, and practice drawing and acquiring your target. Start at a slow, even speed. Practice smoothness of the actions required; speed will come naturally. Draw your service weapon at least 50 times, each night. under safe conditions.

2. The most important thing to remember is simply this: the best battle plans ever devised went straight to hell as soon as the first shot is fired.

Stay safe!

WESHOOT2
June 20, 2012, 05:45 AM
I personally recommend to LE acquaintances they attend USPSA matches, and use their issued every-day duty gear.

BlueTrain
June 20, 2012, 06:22 AM
It is said that in amateur sports car competitions, the ones who drive their car to the event are not competitive with those who bring their sports car in on a trailer. Sort of the racer's edge. If a law officer showed up at a match with his duty gear for the purpose of participating, he'd have to overcome his amateur status within the competitive community, if you follow me.

A larger problem that I perceive is a simple lack of resources for people to be constantly training or practicing, both time and money. I no longer have the resources to do any shooting at all, though I suppose I could give up something or other. Maybe my 401k contribution. I think maybe one reason there are divergent opinions on styles, practice and training is the different amounts of resourses people are willing to devote in their free time, if they have any, to shooting.

I think it is a myth to think people in the past, before I was born, had more experience shooting pistols before they entered law enforcement than they do now. Hunting with a shotgun or .22 rifle does not translate into combat pistol shooting skills. My father had lots of experience hunting before he went into the army (at age 28) but it was all with a .22. He never went deer hunting in is life. There weren't any deer where he lived.

So with limited resources and with men only slightly familiar with handguns, you concentrate only on the things that will get them through a gunfight. And right away we have divergent opinions. You have two weeks to train people.

DepOne
June 20, 2012, 08:11 AM
Re Darryl's post:

"I did see 2 things this Sunday though. One is they set up a scenario where you had to take out 2 guys through the side window of a car before engaging someone in front of the car. This left you totally exposed. The better shot would have been to take him out while using the cover of the car before engaging the guys through the window. "

If these guys are trying to kill you and one is in front of your car, do you realize how many grains are in a Crown Vic compared to say a 9 mm? Run over the son of a bitch in front of you. Then worry about the 2 shooters and decide if you're better off staying with the car and getting the hell out of there and waiting for back up, or getting out to enter a gun fight outnumbered 2 to 1. THAT's the real world. In the instructions for the scenario you've just trained yourself to do something stupid.

While the intentions are good and some marksmanship is taught and improved (maybe) this stuff just doesn't relate to the streets I was on for 27 years. And you are NOT ALLOWED to think outside of the box.

Powderman
June 20, 2012, 11:02 AM
If these guys are trying to kill you and one is in front of your car, do you realize how many grains are in a Crown Vic compared to say a 9 mm?

I like that!

Wonder what the Taylor Knock-Out factor would be for a CVPI? I'll bet that makes Major in a hurry!!!

DepOne
June 20, 2012, 12:33 PM
My point exactly. Who says you have to use a gun in a gun fight?;)

baddarryl
June 20, 2012, 09:01 PM
DepOne.....Good point, but we were outside the care and using it for cover. In the car, run them down!

DepOne
June 20, 2012, 09:22 PM
Sarge, re post 12, well said. We are kindred souls. Hell, I sure don't have all the answers and never will, but I react to things I see happening that create bad habits and I always took my job as an instructor to mean I had a responsibility to keep good guys and gals alive.

Can we create the stress level of a gun fight? No way! But we can be responsible and not use training methods that won't be used on the street. And, as far as tactical reloads are concerned, if I'm down to 1 or 2 rounds in my magazine and have a chance to safely insert a full mag, I'm sure as hell going to take the opportunity.

Sarge
June 20, 2012, 10:33 PM
Well, you LEOs do have PPC. Now that's much better than IPSC or IDPA in training basic shooting skills! (sarcasm)

Don't laugh too hard there and break a rib, sonny. KCPD was using a modified, speeded-up PPC course as their basic academy standard when I attended in '80. When the days shooting was over, we shot a yellow plow disc half-buried in the ground at 60+ yards (with double-action revolvers) to see who bought beer. Those boys could put a hurtin' on you across the street or across the bank parking lot... and did just that more than a few times.

A good shot is a good shot. Folks with sense know when to pour the speed on and when to slow down and make the hard shot. They know the difference between the static range and say, using a moving trash truck for mobile cover in order to escape a field of fire or flank an adversary. Folks without any sense need to take up another hobby.

MarkDozier
June 21, 2012, 03:32 AM
I have to add my .5 cents. As a Damage Controlman (shipboard firefighting expert) we trained to the way we fought fires. As a civilian firefighter we trained the way we fought fires. I almost flooded a school (muscle memory) one time because we did not have a brief telling me to simulate.
The key here is mindset. You can not just reply on "muscle memory" you have to actively engage your mind to the correct mindset. When you are running and gunning your having fun. When you are in a gunfight you are there to stop the threat to life.
I am of the opinion if you can not have the correct mindset at the correct time you are already in a world of crap.

Old Grump
June 21, 2012, 07:23 AM
I taught too but my approach was a little different. I held classes every Wednesday night and sometimes if enough wanted we got together on a week end. On the indoor range we were pretty much restricted to targets and scenarios but here is where I changed up the course.

I encouraged all my new shooters to buy a 22, I didn't care if it was a revolver or pistol and I didn't care if it was a single or double action as long as it was a 22. This allowed more shooting time for my police officers and deputies who had to provide their own ammo. We held live fire drills monthly with their duty weapons, usually with reloads so they kept the feel of the gun fresh in their hand.

My next change up was pulling surprise drills on them like putting their guns on the table and leaving them unloaded, step to the right or left and shoot your neighbors gun. I made them shoot strong hand, weak hand, from a sitting position and from behind a barricade left and right. I made them shoot standing on one leg leaning up against a pole or table for support or with their dominant eye patched.

Outside I added 'Fartlek' to the drill. Sitting, kneeling, prone belly down and prone on your backside at targets that moved like small balloons dangling from a string in the breeze. No limits on time or shots fired, they shot till the target was hit. The bouncing 2x4x4 block starting about 20' and shoot till it was on the 50 yard berm or to small to shoot at anymore.

I never had a student that did not qualify high at qualification time for their department and one set a high record for a rookie becoming the second highest qualifier on the sheriff's department. .380 or 45 or 22 or .357 or 9MM it didn't make any difference. When I got done with them it was sights and trigger breathe and squeeze. Bulls eye at 50' or 50 yards or golf ball at 10, 20, 40 yards. They got the idea that every situation was different but the end result was the same, the first good shot won, not the first shot and that speed came with practice not from trying to force it.

I had my detractors, mostly the older officers but results told, I turned out a lot of good shooters who didn't just spend a lot of time with two hands at 7 yards and they could do it with other guns not just the one they ordinarily carried.

Sarge
June 21, 2012, 08:17 AM
Good stuff, Grump. I particulary like your use of random small targets, bounced out to the 50.

I actually had 12 years where I didn't have to run the show, so I got to shoot whatever was thrown at me. One of the change-ups that outfit used was to hang a couple of waferboard dummies, dressed in old clothes, which we engaged after moving down a hallway as a two-man team. Those dummies had a softball-sized ballon where the heart and head should be... and if you didn't flatten one, you lost the fight. I was carrying a Sig 220 in those days and took a little ribbing from the rubber gun crowd, but I got to give it right back when I'd zap their balloon-zombie while they were changing mags.

SG29736
June 22, 2012, 12:29 AM
"I think it is a myth to think people in the past, before I was born, had more experience shooting pistols before they entered law enforcement than they do now."

In my earlier post, I never mentioned experience shooting pistols. I only mentioned that more people had firearms experience, hunting and plinking. Even someone with a good amount of rifle and shotgun hunting experience will have an advantage learning to shoot a handgun compared to someone with no experience with any guns at all. Mark

DepOne
June 22, 2012, 07:56 PM
Some very good points and drills Old Grump. Mix it up. Throw curves. Make them do the unexpected. Nothing will EVER be like training on the range when lead is coming north instead of going south. :eek:

Old Grump
June 23, 2012, 10:55 AM
Some very good points and drills Old Grump. Mix it up. Throw curves. Make them do the unexpected. Nothing will EVER be like training on the range when lead is coming north instead of going south.

That's what I thought but you should have heard some of the names they had for me the first few times I pulled that on them. Then they started getting it and some preferred the oddball drills to just standing there and shooting bulls eyes on their two hind legs. Wasn't all my idea though, I had a couple of really good coaches and a lot of handgun hunting time in the desert to hone my own skills. My first international match and my first PPC match also got me to thinking that there was more than just one way to get lead on a target.

BlueTrain
June 24, 2012, 06:17 AM
Thank you for your comment, Mr. SG29736. It probably isn't all that relevant to the current thread but I always find it interesting what people thing things were like before they were born. While it may be likely that many people may have had hunting and shooting experience, say, before WWII, it doesn't follow that big city police departments were able to recruit from that body of men. In small town and rural areas, it would have been a different story.

It is very likely, I think, that the better shots in police and sheriff's departments may have brought with them some prior experience but it is just as likely perhaps that those experiences would frustrate their firearms instructiors. Hard to say, really. Then there is the question of whether or not it made them better policemen--or just better pistol shots.

Sarge
June 24, 2012, 08:42 AM
Been a police FTO for decades. I will always take a trainee with firearms experience, over one with none.

Yes, you occasionally have to correct problems but that's what I'm doing anyhow. I often have to correct errors in basic technique, from officers who have just graduated a four-month academy--including range time--who still can't shoot well.

The bigger cities' police departments have always paid better, had better benefits, furnished more and better equipment and offered more adventure. They've never had any trouble at all attracting trainees from rural areas.

Steviewonder1
June 24, 2012, 10:44 AM
I have shot USPSA/IPSC for the last 20 years and have taken 5 Gun Fighting classes in the last 3 years. I do not subscribe to the IDPA process (11 rounds in gun or less) but have shot it a few times. In the gun fighting classes I always shoot to slide lock and reload the gun. I can shoot on the run, strong hand and weak hand at targets out to 30 feet with no issue. Anything more than that and I am going to cover. I carry more than 10 rounds in my guns and do not limit myself in what I can shoot. I recently did a "Shoot with SWAT" from my local PD Group at an Indoor Gun range where there was 3 courses of fire to shoot for their local charity. I shot at the top of my group or near the top of the list. Some folks came with no holsters or mag pouches! The SWAT guys said all the PD team was Pro 2A and wished that there was more CCW in the community! Now that is an attitude from those that protect us!

Jim Watson
June 24, 2012, 11:08 AM
I do not subscribe to the IDPA process (11 rounds in gun or less)

What a lot of people forget is that IDPA was organized during the AWB when a 10 round magazine was the largest you could buy over the counter. They have stayed with it after "sunset" so their classifications, CoFs and procedures would be consistent. Also so the membership in repressive jurisdictions like California and Canada that still have magazine limits could be competitive.

Glenn E. Meyer
June 24, 2012, 03:01 PM
I agree that the mag limit doesn't reflect the guns but it isn't that bad to get some repetitive practice of mag changes. After shooting IDPA for a bit, you get them on fast automatic.

If you want 200 round mags - shoot IPSC - :D.

Nanuk
June 25, 2012, 01:17 AM
Competition shooting will not get you killed if you get in a real fight. What makes people lock up is paralysis by analysis. Train, have a plan, be able to make a plan.

I am a retired LEO (USBP) and competitive shooter. I shot PPC, was on the Ft Worth PD Pistol team, I shoot IDPA. I get penalized every match for breaking some IDPA rule. I shoot IDPA because it is great fun, trigger time and all day with other gun guys and girls.

While I was working (ok I am still working, just for a different master) I used my duty gun and duty ammo (H&K P2000 40 with hot 155's). Now I shoot what is fun, Glocks, revolvers, whatever.

Competition is NOT training, cannot replace training, however, it CAN supplement training.

Retaining mags is not always stupid in SD, nor is a reload of a partially loaded gun. If you have fired any rounds getting to cover, you probably do not know how many rounds you fired. Before you break cover to move to other cover or to keep from being flanked, you should reload. IDPA rules state that you must be behind cover to reload, hmm sounds smart to me.

Jeff22
July 9, 2012, 01:05 AM
I shoot both IPSC and IDPA fairly regularly and shoot PPC about once a year. IPSC and IDPA are best considered skill building exercises that have some training value and can be very entertaining. Any competitive event, of necessity, will not be able to duplicate the dynamics of a real gunfight.

But, depending upon the course of fire, there CAN be training value in the process, if you are shooting the IDPA classifier or an IPSC classifier that measures basic marksmanship and gun-handling skills. Some IPSC assault courses totally lack any connection to reality and are best avoided IMHO, but classifiers and most IDPA courses of fire are at least semi-realistic in the marksmanship skills that are required in that course of fire.

In such competitions I've most often always used whatever my duty gun was at the time. (Currently it's a Sig 226R-DAK in .40 cal.)

I'm more interested in getting trigger time than in shooting the matches as a competitive activity. Of course, I'm not particularly fast, so if I WAS attempting to become the next USPSA champion, I'd be way out of luck . . .

In general I prefer the course design philosophy of IDPA. However, I've been shooting IPSC on a sporadic basis at the local level since 1978, and I've become more involved recently since some of the local clubs have been regenerated.

I particularly like the USPSA Classifiers and the IDPA Classifier match as methods to test basic skills. Also, several of the local IPSC clubs have LOTS more steel and movers and bobbers and so forth than what we have available at the police range, so the courses of fire they use on match days are much more innovative that what we can do during in-service training at the PD.

There was a similar thread on one of the other forums a few years ago, and one poster had an interesting thought that kind of mirrors my philosophy -- he takes IDPA more seriously and competes in IPSC as a sort of structured practice session.

You'll get out of it what you put into it. Be safe and have fun with it. At the very least, shooting in matches can show you which skills to need to practice more . . .

Many clubs are now on the web and some post the course descriptions for upcoming stages on their web site. If clubs near you do this, you'll find this to be very useful. I don't look at the courses of fire in advance to figure out a "game plan" on how to shoot the course, but rather to get an idea of what skills I might need to practice before the match. (practice strong hand only and weak hand only shooting to start with, and engaging multiple targets from behind high & low cover)

Also, some clubs are more practically oriented, and some have more members who shoot purely as a competitive activity (usually the IPSC shooters, BUT NOT ALWAYS) and by looking at posted courses of fire you can determine which orientation the club has and if the matches they run have any value for what you're trying to accomplish. (Sometimes I'll look at the posted courses for one of the local clubs and if three out of five stages are "run & gun" assault courses [which don't fit in with my philosophy very well] I'll just go do something else that day . . . )

Competitive shooting certainly has the potential to help you increase your marksmanship and gun handling skills, depending upon what kind of matches you're shooting. It can also certainly train you into bad habits, just as focusing too much on speed, jerking the trigger, and forgetting to look at the sights . . . you have to be mindful in everything you do if you want to maximize the skill building potential of that particular activity.

jimbob86
July 9, 2012, 02:09 AM
can shooting IDPA get you killed?


Not as surely as only lesiurely shooting at big round circles or leaving your gun in the safe and never shooting it.

Familiarization with your equipment is a very good thing, and more is better. Add in some stress and time pressure, decision making on the fly .... what is bad about that?