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Old January 2, 2017, 09:45 PM   #1
Join Date: November 26, 2008
Posts: 37
Sniper training

Hello everyone,
I am a police officer in New Jersey and one of 5 guys assigned as our departments DM/O part time. We train at least once a month and feel like we are getting stagnant. Was looking to see if anyone had any "out of the box" training scenarios that you do. Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old January 3, 2017, 08:09 AM   #2
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Since you aren't getting any results with your original question, maybe more information might be a motivator.
What are you doing now for training?
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Old January 3, 2017, 11:53 AM   #3
T. O'Heir
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PD snipers aren't trained the same way as military snipers. And don't need to be. PD snipers aren't really snipers at all, anyway. They're sharp shooters. Different thing. You don't have to slither through the local flora, in mud, without being seen to a shooting position. You find a spot on or in a building with a clear line of sight. If you're seen going there or being there, you don't get shot.
Suggest you read all your local after action reports/analysis', assuming there are any(If not, start doing it.) and work up a training plan to cover any unforeseen issues.
What you need is an unknown distance(likely not very long either), multiple level/angle range. Probably using IPSC/IDPA style hostage targets. No idea if that even exists, anywhere. Never mind NJ.
Might be doable with minimum budget with ladders or scaffolding, etc., on whatever range you're shooting on now. No money means you need to be creative.
One assumes there are 5 scoped rifles.
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Old January 5, 2017, 12:58 PM   #4
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My suggestion is reach out to the larger agencies around the country that have full time teams. Once they are able to verify your credentials, they will be more than happy to help you with your training.

I am not going to discuss this type of training over a public forum.

I will add as a suggestion, have your agency send several guys through the NRA Law Enforcment Precision Rifle Instructor class.

Nice thing about this class (other than the information learned) it allows you to network with others in the area and have more people outside your normal training circle to bounce training ideas off of.
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Old January 6, 2017, 07:22 PM   #5
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Read Fry the Brain. Practice under all weather conditions and time.
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Old January 8, 2017, 08:08 AM   #6
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I assume DM/O means "designated marksman/observer" which fulfill the same roles as sniper/spotter. I have no practical experience with LE, but rather adequate experience with military snipers and SDM training programs.

First, the biggest difference between LE and Military is target size and distance. LE is smaller and closer focused. The "sweet spot" for police sharpshooting based on historical engagement data is between 50 and 150 yards (or meters equivalent). If every member on your team doesn't have the dope in their data book to conduct a 1st round hit on a tennis ball at 50 to 150 in 10 yard increments, that is where I would start.

Remember I'm coming at this from a military background where the focus is on putting the majority of your training into the majority of your mission profile.

It is hard to add real world stress to training, so we often substitute competitive stress.

But a good way to train is to put a couple different colored tennis balls on the range at unknown distances in the sweet spot, and see how quickly the DM/O teams can accurately range, then successfully engage, every target. This gives each time two things to measure, time spent and total rounds fired. You can then display each teams performance so that teams can start addressing areas where they were slow, or needed more proficiency.

If you want to practice a multiple shooter/multiple target scenario, you give each team a different colored ball, a minute to calculate the shot, and then a shoot on command. Any team that misses their shot is eliminated from competition but they still go through the training, until you have a winning team or a tie.

The end goal is every team is 100% confident that they can make a first round hit under stressful conditions, and they have total confidence in their partners ability to do their job.

I hope this is helpful.

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Old January 9, 2017, 09:45 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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You need a travel budget.
A SWATter here relates going to all manner of police sniper training and competition events out of town.
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Old January 16, 2017, 12:57 PM   #8
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Right out of the USAMU Sniper Guide for LE.

The countersniper is a hunter and must use any and all tricks of the trade to assure a proper hit. The lives of his fellow officers and that of the general public are at stake. Time is extremely critical, therefore, he can ex-CENSORED-pect to be required to make shots at varying angles and distances on a split second's notice. The hunt-CENSORED-ing of varmints such as woodchucks and crows provides outstanding training because the techniques in-CENSORED-volved are almost identical.
I've taught both military and LE sniping schools, the above will give you about the best practice you can come up with.

One other exercise I liked to use, and found useful. Take a sheet of plywood and cut a window in it. Take it out at varying distances. Tie two different color balloons in the window, loose enough that they can blow around. Designate on color as the hostage, the other as the bandit.

It isn't easy as it sounds. You can also buy glass pains to attach to your window to study glass deflection.

Never underestimate the value of rifle competition. I've had students who only shot what they had to, to remain certified, and those who competed in any and all types of rifle competition they could, you wouldn't believe in the difference in their abilities.

Most important, Keep a Log Book of every shot you fire. Record EVERYTHING, every change you make, the weather, everything. Its been said "if a fly comes by and burps, record it".
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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