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May 05, 2008

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Amateur Hour

A week ago, I watched a timed shooting event at the club that tolerates my presence. It involved five-man teams who were required to run down a 50-yard hill, then up another 50-yard hill, grab five rounds of ammunition, run back to the firing line and shoot, offhand, at a 1/3-size target of a bighorn sheep. I watched with delight as a couple of them frantically hauled on the triggers after shooting the first time, not realizing that they had failed to work their actions to get a second shot into the chambers.

Stress is the great finisher of the unpracticed shooter. After the battle of Gettysburg, 27, 574 muskets were collected from the field. Of these, 24,000 were loaded; 12,000 were at least double-loaded, and of these, 6,000 had anywhere between 3 to 10 charges down the barrel. The soldiers who had left them behind were so terrified that they loaded without realizing they were not firing.

Last week, a New York City judge returned a not guilty verdict in the trial of three detectives who had fired 50 rounds at a car with three unarmed men inside it. One of the three detectives fired a total of 30 rounds--a whole magazine, reload, then another one--with no return fire coming at him. I'm not entitled to pass judgment on people who wear badges, but this does not sound like New York City has a training program that amounts to anything. Overall, in actual combat, the NYPD has a hit ratio of 20 percent--two hits for every ten shots they fire.

If you knew that the surgeon who was about to operate on you got 20 percent of all his test questions right in medical school, how happy would you be about it? I think Mayor Bloomberg, who is concerned about the misuse of handguns, should chip in a few billion and buy his police force enough practice ammo for them to become competent.

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Comments

Pete Hansen

Well, I'm just surprised that Mr. anti-all-guns Bloomberg allows his PD to carry any guns at all! He's probably waiting for the PD to run out of ammo and then tell them they can't get any more. But, I think the one cop shot 32 rounds! That's not only rediculous but,if he fired that many times without experiencing incoming fire, he should be put through a phyc eval ASAP and, maybe transfered to a desk job where he'd be more effective sorting paper clips!

Thomas

Kinda reminds me of a Cop's and robbers show on FOX a number of years back. 20 or 30 rounds fired back and forth at point blank range and nobody hit anybody.

Thomas

Dave, I have seen Bowling Pin fun shoots run like that up in Sault Ste Marie, Canada. They were using Pistols and shotguns. Trying to knock the pins off the table as fast as they could. Two man teams run get your ammo run back load and shoot. Each man had a table with 5 pins on it. If you missed you had to run back and get more ammo. Your partner was allowed to help you out if he finished his table first. All firearms stayed on the table while contestants were running and if you pointed either firearm in a unsafe direction you were disqualified.

Those were the times to remember before all things changed. Now just try to get a handgun across the Canadian border.

Thomas

Thomas

Let me clarify things a bit. You had to knock the bowling pin completely off the table not just knock it down.

Thomas

ishawooa

Sort of reminds me of reading some years ago of a guy walking into a small one man pharmacy in Birmingham, AL. He pointed an RG .22 LR at the pharmacist and demanded all the dope and cash. When the druggist balked the criminal touched off a couple rounds for effect. The effect was that the startled pharmacist jerked a S & W M-59 from his waist band and unleashed the entire clip in the direction of the low-life hitting him 9 times. He died. Among other things the pharmacist was accused of using excessive force to which he replied that he meant to kill the dopehead and acted in such a way to be successful. Believe it or not he somehow got off after an appeal or two.

Matt

"Excessive force". Noun. A word applied to civilian gun owners, i.e. a woman who fires a single shot at a rapist who broke into her house.

"Reasonable reaction". Noun. A word applied to the police in one of the most anti-gun cities in the western world when they empty an entire case of ammunition into unarmed civilians, er, subjects.

Thank God I left that piss-hole of a city years ago.

JB

In CQB it is usually impossible to tell who is shooting, so you keep shooting until YOUR target is DRT (dead right there).

WA Mtnhunter

Sort of like, "If he's still standing, I'm still shootin'"?

Blue Ox

Isn't this more or less the same as 'buck fever'?

Ralph the Rifleman

Many years, and pounds, ago I fired a similar course of fire required by our guide with exception that we didn't need to "grab" rounds and load in motion, but our magazines were loaded and we chambered a round when ready to fire. Our target was a elk sized form that was quite easy to hit.
I can see practicing in a "run" motion, but needing to load in this manner is like a "combat" shooting excerise and in that case your gun should ALWAYS be loaded in a combat situation!

CA Hunter

I like this kind of sport. That's why i like Biathlon. Huge in Europe, almost unknown here. Run (in the summer) or ski (in the winter), jack your heart rate up to the moon, try to slow down enough to shoot, then do it again.

Jim in Mo.

CA Hunter,
Wasn't it Finnland that fought the Germans in this manner and thats where the Olympic sport derived from?

Thomas

Biathlon is only difficult in the Off Hand (standing)position. In prone you can make use of the long bones in your arm to support you. As long as you don't grasp your rifle too tightly with your support hand your pulse will not move you too badly. But that is also why you wear a glove when you shoot.

Thomas

Clay Cooper

Mr. Petzal
You want me to weigh in on this one?
Boy, can I ever!

Zermoid

The NYC shooting is proof positive that cops can get away with murder. Literally.
I have no frigging clue how they justified that disgrace, obviously the people shot did not fire the first shot as they didn't have any guns, guess this means it's ok for cops to gun down anyone they think might be armed?
Perhaps it's not the individual citizen but the cops who should not be allowed to have guns?

jimmy

There is even a website that the CATO institute has up, entitled "Botched Paramiltary Police Raids"

http://www.cato.org/raidmap/

Clay Cooper

O’Do I see were this is going, so I’m going to set back and drop the BIG ONE!

YooperJack

Zernoid:
These policemen were charged and convicted within 24 hours of the incident. The judge and jury were the press.
I remember this incident fairly well. The police were investigating the bar. The murder victim popped up on their radar for some reason. They had reason to believe that, either the victim, or one of his cohorts, was carrying. Upon leaving the bar, the victim tried to run over one or more of the cops. They fired their guns and killed him.

While never having been in a life threatening situation, I've heard from many gun toters, that with an auto or DA, its very easy to empty the piece when full of adrenlin. Hence 50 rounds.

Also, I relate the word "murder" to some preconcieved act. I can't believe that those cops woke up that morning with the intention of killing someone. I've also, heard (not from you) the term "racist" in conjunction with this incident. Since two of the cops were black, I can't make the connection.

Another item about this case that really bothers me is that, apparently, a vehicle should not be considered as a lethal weapon. Every year thousands of Americans die in incidents related to autos. Some are actually premeditated. Many are the result of wanton negligence. Some are simply unfortunate accidents.

Through MSM, we've been trained to think that, people don't kill people, guns kill people. Now we learn that when cars kill people, its an accident.
YooperJack

YooperJack

Zernoid:
These policemen were charged and convicted within 24 hours of the incident. The judge and jury were the press.
I remember this incident fairly well. The police were investigating the bar. The murder victim popped up on their radar for some reason. They had reason to believe that, either the victim, or one of his cohorts, was carrying. Upon leaving the bar, the victim tried to run over one or more of the cops. They fired their guns and killed him.

While never having been in a life threatening situation, I've heard from many gun toters, that with an auto or DA, its very easy to empty the piece when full of adrenlin. Hence 50 rounds.

Also, I relate the word "murder" to some preconcieved act. I can't believe that those cops woke up that morning with the intention of killing someone. I've also, heard (not from you) the term "racist" in conjunction with this incident. Since two of the cops were black, I can't make the connection.

Another item about this case that really bothers me is that, apparently, a vehicle should not be considered as a lethal weapon. Every year thousands of Americans die in incidents related to autos. Some are actually premeditated. Many are the result of wanton negligence. Some are simply unfortunate accidents.

Through MSM, we've been trained to think that, people don't kill people, guns kill people. Now we learn that when cars kill people, its an accident.
YooperJack

auburn hunter

In reference to ishawoo’s post above about the pharmacy hold-up, I can recall that encounter rather vividly as I lived only 2-3 miles from the pharmacy. If I remember the media coverage correctly, though, for once the media sang the praise of someone defending not only his business, but his life as well.

Since it appears that everyone so far has generalized police forces as bad, let me step in and repeat a very poignant statement once made by a very well-respected police officer friend of mine. He pointed out that as a civilian, you should only draw a concealed weapon when you fear for your life (or your family members’ lives) and with the intentions of killing your intended target. By this, I took him to mean a couple of things: 1) obviously, don’t pull a gun and wave it around if you have other means of escaping a situation, i.e. car, running away, etc. and 2) if you pull a gun and shoot someone in the kneecap one time, with our judicial system today, there is a decent chance your still-living target can get a lawyer to convince judge and jury that you were not in physical peril that justified the firing of your gun.

WA Mtnhunter

Having read the above posts and Mr. Petzal's account of the Gettysburg muskets, it brings home the realities of combat stress whether mano mano with a gun wielding thug or in a noshit firefight. Strange things happen when the bullets fly. One of the old west gunfighters (I can't recall who) is quoted as saying words to the effect that you don't have to be fast or a great shot, you just have to keep your head and take deliberate aim and shoot 'em while they are missing you.

Men like Audie Murphy are not supermen. They simply reacted to stress in the fight mode instead of flight and were able to keep their cool and close the deal. Do you think all those Germans he killed were keeping their heads and being deliberate? Of course not, or one of them would have killed Audie!

I'm not demeaning heroics here. Audie was a hero among men and one of my personal heroes. He just had the nerves of steel to get the job done!

I have always been taught to never draw a gun you didn't intend to use and never point a gun that that you didn't fire.

My Pappy taught me that if you stand there waving a gun, better hope it is made from good chocolate, because someone will take it from you and make you eat it! If you point a weapon at me and don't fire, the authorities will be questioning me, not you.

And for all you critics of the NYPD officer, I challenge you to do better. I'd bet a silver dollar you have never been shot at, especially up close. Perhaps the officer in question needs a little more training, but not punishment.

Skeetrider

Dave,
I was at that event! The sponsors of that event were just sickos!

As for the NYC cops, how do you justify the use of deadly force when they could have gotten out of the way of the car? Was it really THAT important to stop 2 party boys that killing them was actually on the table as an option? Think of the thought process which says instead of "jump out of the way behind the other cars in the street"(which there were lots of) to "I'm being threatened because they are not obeying my command (when you didn't ID yourself in the first place as a cop)so I have the right to use deadly force and open up when there was no sight of a gun". The cops may not have been guilty to the letter of the law, but there really is a problem with the agression level. I know it wasn't a pretty neighborhood but the cops were way out of control on this one. The operation was botched from the beginning and I know from the local papers that the heads of the upper ranks rolled for this incident. Just more reasons to move away from NYC.

Mark-1

There's very few gifted killers and very few people know the experience of being in a “fight”, either low tech or high tech. It especially true reading the bloggers comments on this site. If it was otherwise there be a mound of dead bodies in front of each one.

It’s always been my observation back-sitters have strange combat notions. There’s nothing linear or rhythmical about a real fight. It’s just pure chaos with overwhelming noise and un-sanitized mayhem. If a person isn’t use to it, it seems you’re facing your destiny.

There is one item of fact, poorly trained and inexperienced “troops” waste ammo. Well-trained and experienced troops call the shots as best as possible. Those NYC cops were simply scared silly beause they were green. They aren’t green now.

DAVE2

DAVE, THANKS FOR THE INFO ON GETTYSBURG. I WOULD HAVE GUSSED THAT THE PANIC TOOK PLACE IN SOME OF THE MEN BUT NOT NEARLY TO THAT MAGNITUDE.
THIS DOES SAY SOMETHING ABOUT EXPERIENCE AND PRACTICE. LOTS OF PRACTICE BEFORE EXPERIENCE.

WA Mtnhunter

Mark-1

Good points all. One will never know how they will react until faced with the chaos of battle. The lucky ones will somehow sort thru the chaos and mayhem and react in a way to survive or just be plain lucky.

Training and experience is they key. Why else would we expend the resources to have have the finest fighting force in the world?




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