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Old June 7, 2012, 12:22 PM   #26
DepOne
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"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.
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Old June 7, 2012, 01:53 PM   #27
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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.
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Old June 7, 2012, 09:45 PM   #28
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"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
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Old June 7, 2012, 10:04 PM   #29
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Well, you LEOs do have PPC. Now that's much better than IPSC or IDPA in training basic shooting skills! (sarcasm)

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!
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Old June 11, 2012, 02:29 PM   #30
Jesse Tischauser
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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.
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Old June 11, 2012, 11:24 PM   #31
Jim Watson
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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.
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Old June 12, 2012, 12:33 AM   #32
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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.
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Old June 12, 2012, 06:28 AM   #33
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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!
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Old June 19, 2012, 07:01 PM   #34
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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.
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Old June 19, 2012, 11:39 PM   #35
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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!
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Old June 20, 2012, 05:45 AM   #36
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oh yes I do, right in their face

I personally recommend to LE acquaintances they attend USPSA matches, and use their issued every-day duty gear.
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Old June 20, 2012, 06:22 AM   #37
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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.
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Old June 20, 2012, 08:11 AM   #38
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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.
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Old June 20, 2012, 11:02 AM   #39
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Quote:
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!!!
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Old June 20, 2012, 12:33 PM   #40
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My point exactly. Who says you have to use a gun in a gun fight?
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Old June 20, 2012, 09:01 PM   #41
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DepOne.....Good point, but we were outside the care and using it for cover. In the car, run them down!
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Old June 20, 2012, 09:22 PM   #42
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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.
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Old June 20, 2012, 10:33 PM   #43
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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.
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Old June 21, 2012, 03:32 AM   #44
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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.
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Old June 21, 2012, 07:23 AM   #45
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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.
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Old June 21, 2012, 08:17 AM   #46
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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.
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Old June 22, 2012, 12:29 AM   #47
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"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
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Old June 22, 2012, 07:56 PM   #48
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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.
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Old June 23, 2012, 10:55 AM   #49
Old Grump
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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.
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Old June 24, 2012, 06:17 AM   #50
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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.
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