Author Topic: Proficiency & Experience - Them vs Us  (Read 6155 times)

Offline Jeremiah Sullivan

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Proficiency & Experience - Them vs Us
« on: November 14, 2009, 12:57:06 PM »
Just received an email over the OFN (Old Farts Network) on a 2006 FBI study comparing the handgun proficiency, training and accuracy of bad guys and law enforcement.  The article (http://www.forcesciencenews.com/home/detail.html?serial=62 ) indicated, no surprise, gun control laws were of no consequence for the perps, and the perps generally were better shots.

Here are a couple of excerpts:  "Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows. ....

Researcher Davis, in a presentation and discussion for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, noted that none of the attackers interviewed was "hindered by any law--federal, state or local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws."

Nearly 40% of the offenders had some type of formal firearms training, primarily from the military. More than 80% "regularly practiced with handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year," the study reports, usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and "street corners in known drug-trafficking areas."

One spoke of being motivated to improve his gun skills by his belief that officers "go to the range two, three times a week [and] practice arms so they can hit anything."

In reality, victim officers in the study averaged just 14 hours of sidearm training and 2.5 qualifications per year. Only 6 of the 50 officers reported practicing regularly with handguns apart from what their department required, and that was mostly in competitive shooting. Overall, the offenders practiced more often than the officers they assaulted, and this "may have helped increase [their] marksmanship skills," the study says.

The offender quoted above about his practice motivation, for example, fired 12 rounds at an officer, striking him 3 times. The officer fired 7 rounds, all misses.


I know in my career firearms training was limited.  Although we generally were encouraged to re-qualify regularly, getting the time "off" was often problematic.  During one of my Headquarters tours, during transition from the Ruger Security Six to new  Sig-Sauers the Government ran out of money to buy enough new guns. Headquarters-based desk jockeys were encouraged to give up the new guns to the field and for a number of years even after I returned to the field, I continued to carry my personal S&W Model 19.  And I can't ever recall going out on my own time to practice.  Although I did always have plenty of ammo (frequently squib-enhanced garbage from a low bidding foreign "ally") and always spent as much time at the range when I could get there.  Many agents would fire the minimum to qualify and hurry back to the office.  Fortunately, our combat experiences on the job were extremely rare during my 25 years.  (Yeah, I know we did not have the challenge of routine patrol duties.)

So, now that I have shot more rounds in the past four months in CAS than in the average year on the job, I have to ask, Do you see any difference in your proficiency  now since you have been enjoying CAS, compared to your past on-the-job life?  Or did you gravitate to CAS and other competition styles of shooting because you were good and enjoyed shooting and went to a range more often anyway?


Jeremiah Sullivan
SASS # 85810
BOLD # 990
NCIS Retired
Albuquerque, NM

Offline Shotgun Franklin

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Re: Proficiency & Experience - Them vs Us
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2009, 02:13:31 PM »
I was a gun nut when I got into LE. It amazed me, and still does, that most Deputies/Officers can't shoot and don't make an effort to try to learn. IMO, the worst thing an agency can do is issue Officers a gun. They generally don't care about the upkeep of a gun that they don't own.
Yes, I do have more facial hair now.

Offline Shotgun Franklin

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Re: Proficiency & Experience - Them vs Us
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2010, 04:16:22 PM »
I shoot my Glock, that I loath, twice a year when I qualify. I shoot my SAAs in about 10 matches a year, not counting practice. Wanna guess which gun(s) I'm better with?
Yes, I do have more facial hair now.

Offline 1SG Yoak

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Re: Proficiency & Experience - Them vs Us
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 12:34:10 PM »
I was a gun nut when I got into LE. It amazed me, and still does, that most Deputies/Officers can't shoot and don't make an effort to try to learn. IMO, the worst thing an agency can do is issue Officers a gun. They generally don't care about the upkeep of a gun that they don't own.

+1. The guys on my department (for the most part), were big gun guys. We shot local intra-departmental competitions, as well as shot a shit load of reloads on our own time. Things have certainly changed.
First Sergeant J. R. Yoak

GAF#731; SASS#45295; BOLD#432

Offline Harley Starr

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Re: Proficiency & Experience - Them vs Us
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2010, 08:14:55 PM »
I shoot my Glock, that I loath, twice a year when I qualify. I shoot my SAAs in about 10 matches a year, not counting practice. Wanna guess which gun(s) I'm better with?

I'm gonna say "the SAA". ;)
"I went out there"
"In search of experience"
"To taste and to touch"
"And to feel as much"
"As a man can"
"Before he repents"
Johnny Cash-- The Wanderer

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