How many shots are required?
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  1. #1
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    How many shots are required?

    I'm watching a police show called PD Cam right now. They had many instances where they discharged their firearms. It appeared that out of the scores of rounds fired, in various incidents, only one suspect was hit in the leg and one citizen was hit. These are trained professionals! There even was a licensed citizen that fired at the tires of a suspect vehicle (missed at 6 feet). He was not charged.

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    No personal experience here, mind you, but from people who HAVE, they confide that adrenaline makes a significant difference, and when somebody is shooting at you, your adrenaline-level is astronomical!

    They say that their accuracy on the range was no comparison to their accuracy in the alley.
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    Sadly, there are police officers who do not or will not do range practice, nor take any further training, even when they are given a reimbursement or stipend to pay for those items. They also barely pass recertification tests, and are a danger not only to themselves, but to the public.
    Every day I feel myself getting more and more like Michael Douglas' character "D-Fens" in the movie "Falling Down".

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    A number of things to point out here to help shed some light on this.

    1. Most police officers consider their sidearm just a tool that's required to help them do their job, mostly by just being there on the side of a officer of the law. They qualify yearly with it but other than that it see's little to no use.

    2. Speaking of qualifications, the test isn't anything special nor is it anything I don't think an average citizen shooter couldn't pass with flying colors.

    3. Department requirements vary greatly from town to town, city to city, and who's running things there and what the budget constraints are weighs heavily in officer competence.

    4. Even those officers who do see a significant bit of range time due to department budget or personal lifestyle, shooting at non moving paper from a stall is light years away from getting into an actual shootout, or even just being in a situation where you feel the need to draw your sidearm and your adrenaline has spiked.

    5. Adrenaline is a hell of a drug. Your body does a number of things in a crisis "fight or flight mode" situation, all of which are actually detrimental to operating a small device requiring fine and precise movements to operate and perform properly.

    6. If you aren't trained in what to expect and how to compensate for the above, you'd better hope luck is on your side.

    7. Each round you fire is a roll of the dice increasing your chances of being lucky (or unlucky...).

    8. Most rounds fired by police officers miss their intended target. Overwhelmingly. It's a roughly 20% hit rate when you tally up all police shootings and rounds fired. That's pretty eye opening when you consider 80% of those shots fired are going off to unintended places.

    9. A police officer who has the law, and the police union, and the support of local politicians and brass on their side who burn through an entire magazine in the blink of an eye and have most rounds (and sometimes all) miss, generally don't get into trouble providing they were right to fire in the first place an acting according to their duties with the best interests of the law at heart. Don't try this at home (as they say), as the same coverage doesn't apply to mere citizens.

    10. Long guns give far greater results all around as they offer a great many advantages over handguns.

    11. Remember a couple months back when that person shot the shooter in a church with a single round to the head from about 10 yards away? I think that guy needs another round of applause, because that was a hell of a difficult shot in an extremely difficult situation that the majority of police officers (or anyone else for that matter) couldn't have made. He was calm, cool, measured, and precise, which is the exact opposite of most people involved in shootings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash60601 View Post
    Let me guess.

    One of THEM married your little sister? And comes over every Saturday afternoon and drinks all your cold brew?
    I'm with Desperado on this one.

    There's a LOT of cops out there that only shoot when they are made to by the department.

    Locally, one city PD did a 50 round annual qualification with a mandatory practice run prior to quals. I've had more than one cop bragging to me about only shooting 100 rounds a year. When the new chief was hired and made qualifications semi annual, they complained for years about it. One of the local shooting instructors makes a lot of his money retraining LEO's in the region from all levels of law enforcement because they are failing their qualifications and are in danger of losing their jobs because they can't shoot.

    Most LEO's aren't shooters or 'gun people'. Like Zen Ape pointed out, they think of a gun as a tool or, in a few cases, just another thing they have to carry around on their belt. When they have to shoot, they rely on their 'knowing how to shoot' rather than realizing that handgun shooting is a perishable skill.

    I'm 'average' in both speed and accuracy when I compete. I finish someplace in the middle no matter what I do. If it's a good day, I finish at the top of the middle 1/3 and if it's a bad one, I finish at the bottom of the middle 1/3 of the scoring. I know how to do a LOT of different techniques and I'm familiar with a lot of different firearms, I just don't have the hand-eye coordination do get the most out of what I know.

    But I've also consistently outshot 90% of the LEO's I've shared the range with.

    A study of all the rounds fired by the NYPD from 1994 to 2000 showed that they had a 69% hit ratio from 0-2 yards (contact range) and a 19% hit rate from 3-7 yards with a miss rate climbing dramatically as the range increased. At 16-25 yards, it was 2% and at 25 it was 1%. Their shooting hasn't gotten any better in the last 20 years either.
    Last edited by jtg452; 02-13-2020 at 09:18 AM.
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    When the pumpkin is shooting back it isn't so easy to do.
    Of course we all know that we can hit a playing card thrown in the air at 50 yards one handed.
    Maybe we should all be police officers.
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    These are trained professionals!
    Nope; most are not. If one has never been to a LEO firearms qualification day one would be surprised/scared by what one would likely see. The officers run around scared to death for a week or two before qualification day because they know they cannot pass and may end up sitting behind a desk or fired if they cannot pass on their makeup day.

    They spend the entire day running through the line trying to qualify. It is a circus most of the time. I have personally seen more than a few officers who actually entirely miss a B-27 silhouette from the 3 yard line!

    My findings are that unless a LEO is a "gun guy" he knows very little about the firearms he carries on duty or how to use them well and hence does not qualify as a "trained professional."
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogueTS1 View Post
    Nope; most are not. If one has never been to a LEO firearms qualification day one would be surprised/scared by what one would likely see. The officers run around scared to death for a week or two before qualification day because they know they cannot pass and may end up sitting behind a desk or fired if they cannot pass on their makeup day.

    They spend the entire day running through the line trying to qualify. It is a circus most of the time. I have personally seen more than a few officers who actually entirely miss a B-27 silhouette from the 3 yard line!

    My findings are that unless a LEO is a "gun guy" he knows very little about the firearms he carries on duty or how to use them well and hence does not qualify as a "trained professional."
    The public perception is that all polices officers are "trained professionals". The reality is that that largely is just not the case.
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    My 4-H kids shoot vastly more than most of the cops I know. Many of the cops shoot twice a year for qualifications and that's about it. To many cops, the gun is no more a tool than handcuffs or a flashlight. While it's an important tool, it's just that.
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    As a former law enforcement officer and the department range officer I will tell you there are not too many "sharp shooters" but there are some we had about 20 uniform officers and there were three of us that did a lot of shooting, the rest of them just got by. I used to give them heck for barely qualifying but it didn't seem to make any difference. There were only three of us that had actually been shoot at on duty so it doesn't happen very often (that was some time ago, I think if is much more common today) but when I does happen it isn't anything like shootng at a paper target, it gets real right now.

 

 
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