Elmer Keith & Col. Jeff Cooper On Guns & Ammo For Police! lol!

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by ULVER, Mar 8, 2013.


  1. I have got to go with the Chief here. Having experienced what he is talking about, it would indeed not make me feel good at all to send someone out on the street wearing a 1911 if they only had the level of training that many of them "get by with" on the Glock.

    It isn't perfect world, cops are not generally gunfighters and many of them are less familiar with their weapons than many of us, bitten by the gun bug, were as teenagers.
     

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  2. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty

    If the NYPD academy is an example of what the modern recruit is undergoing in training I don't think it is insufficient. Thirteen days of training ought to be enough to learn to push down on a safety lever. We send soldiers into combat zones with less training.

    Regards,
    Comrade Happyguy :)
     

  3. Perhaps the following situation will help explain both my position and the need to carefully evaluate the needs and abilities of those people receiving the training.

    The Firearms and Tactics Section became embroiled in a “dispute” with the department's Emergency Services Unit (sort of our SWAT team, but those guys did lots more than a “normal” SWAT unit). This was during the mid-1980s. Our commanding officer, a great guy named Frank McGee (I learned a heck of a lot from Frank), was also pretty ridged. The ESU guys wanted to go to 9mm pistols. Frank was against it. His reasoning was, if the line officers saw that the ESU guys had “special” handguns, they’d feel their sidearms were inferior (at the time the primary handgun used was the S&W model 10).

    The ESU guy heading up the charge for 9mms was Dominic. Nice guy, he wasn’t a professional firearms instructor but rather an intensely interested hobbyist. ESU eventually won the fight and they got to carry Beretta 92s (with FMJ rounds. No, I won’t get into a discussion on that here!).

    Dominic came under the spell of the Beretta salesman. The department was using a submachine gun at the time we purchased from S&W, their model 76. Looked sort of like a Karl Gustaf. A good, reliable, simple to operate piece of machinery.

    Dominic was sold on the Beretta model 12. Much sexier looking than the S&W 76.

    ESU buys some. Not long after they start having a problem with unintentional discharges. Never had a problem before with their S&W sub-guns. What happened? Well, the Beretta 12 had the same ergonomic flaw the HK P7 series had; you had to depress a mechanism on the front of the grip (a safety with the Beretta) prior to discharging the piece. When you compress (bring rearward) your hand’s fingers there is a natural tendency for ALL the fingers to come back. If your finger happened to be on the trigger at the time, the gun would go off.

    Yes, you can rail about all those dopes had to do was to learn to keep their fingers off the trigger until they were on target. Swell. When dealing with thousands of people being trained you must train to the weakest link. And the weakest link was having accidental discharges!

    The Beretta 12s were pulled and S&W 76 went back into the ESU trucks. Eventually the department went to the HK MP5.
     
  4. I assure you, the level of training given to both incoming officers as well as those already in the field would be woefully inadequate for issuance of the 1911 platform. Beside which, why would you issue a seven round magazine capacity handgun to officers when perfectly suitable fifteen round magazine capacity handguns are available?
     
  5. You guys might find this interesting. It's from a book I just wrote (Practical Handgun Training). It's how the issuing of an untested piece of equipment can cause unintended problems!

    ***

    One example of the consequences of an error stands out in my mind. For a period of time department members were authorized to wear black leather jackets. Although the department members liked the jacket, the political hierarchy of the department was concerned over image and decided a more benign look was appropriate. Thus a modern, blue nylon insulated jacket was procured and put out on the street. What could possibly go wrong with that?

    During this period reports started to come in from officers in the field indicating they were finding their revolvers (yes, it was a long time ago…) cocked in their holsters. Understand, during this time in the department's history, officers wore a very old holster design which had an open top, their revolvers being kept in place by an internal leather piece pushed aside by the shooters’ thumb as they withdrew the handgun. Remarkably, few if any revolvers were snatched from our officers possession when this holster was in use.

    Ranking members of the department, safe behind their bullet-proof desks and seeing these reports of cocked handguns in holsters come in, dismissed them as somehow being the fault of the patrol officers nervously toying with their revolvers hammers. But the reports continued, and increased, from all parts of the city. Something was going on.

    Well, the jackets had been put out without any prior testing (issuing articles of clothing were the responsibility of the Equipment Section, not the FTS!). It turned out that the zipper tabs on the new jackets had a large hole in them. From time to time a tab would find itself atop the open holsters the officers wore and, on occasion, the hole in the tab would permit the hammer spur to enter and catch. When the officer jerked on his jacket, their revolver’s hammer would sometimes become cocked!

    The fix was to order thirty plus thousand little plastic snaps to go through the holes in the zipper tabs and make sure newly ordered jackets had modified zippers. The point of this story is, there was a reason the FTS found the thorough testing of equipment prior to general issue to be so important. And why, as a firearms user or instructor, you should not be overly quick to adopt some newly introduced firearm or piece of equipment until such time as you can be assured that all the kinks have been worked out!
     
  6. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty


    I'm not pushing 1911's. I'm just at odds with the idea that the average officer/person can't operate one safely and efficiently without spending several thousand dollars on training.

    You draw the weapon, slip the safety off, settle the sights, and pull the trigger. It really isn't all that complicated and it takes just a bit of practice.

    I understand your position, but the problem isn't with the weapon. It's with the officers and I for one have little sympathy for a police officer that is negligent enough not to become proficient with such an important part of their job.

    But in the end, we pander to the lowest common denominator. It has become the default response in our society and I get that. The tail wags the dog.

    Regards,
    Comrade Happyguy :)
     
    #26 happyguy, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  7. One of the interesting side notes in a comparison of the "Glock-type" pistol V the "1911" that I find amusing happens with regularity in the "general firearms" section

    The argument goes thusly,

    "The Glock is perfectly safe because it is all about training, I swear on a stack of bibles, cross my heart and hope to die, that I will never, ever, put my finger on the trigger until I am ready to shoot because I have trained to a moral certainty of that. I wouldn't carry a 1911 however because I not sure I can train well enough to always remember to flick off a thumb safety"

    And this is on a forum of gun enthusiasts. Imagine the hair pulling chore it is to teach a bunch of cops, many who aren't enthusiasts, the ins and outs of firearms safety and use.

    To put it in another perspective, a PD I was familiar with changed over, in the mid '70s from the "old fashioned" S&W 19 & 66s to the "New" S&W 39's" the argument went this way,

    "We are changing over because the new gun is a bit easier to train officers on at the range. DA shooting is a hard skill and we will simply lower expectations a bit for that first shot from the "safe" DA position. In addition we feel this gun will enhance officer safety due to the magazine safety (allowing the officer to "punch out" in a struggle for the weapon) and the slide mounted safety which provides a margin of officer safety that the revolver lacks since anyone can fire a revolver without being trained on the use of any safety."

    In a few years other autos had been tried and the Glock was finally settled on, because, as the reasoning went,

    "this new pistol will streamline the training process because of its simplicity and the relative ease with which a non-shooter can be trained to fire it. With no complex safety mechanism to deal with and a consistent trigger pull less time will need to be spent on such details and we can qualify officers to a practical standard much more efficiently"

    In the reality of it all, the 1911 is a fine gun, but it is no surprise that it is not taking up much space in the general LE issue community. It's great gun for the 1911 enthusiast, and was for a soldier as a secondary arm, but as a primary arm for those who are neither, not so much.
     
    #27 countrygun, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013

  8. Your reply is totally removed from today's reality. Do you really think that LE trainers have the time, patience, resources & money to give every officer Delta Force level training? Most have never even shot a gun before and few have the initiative nor personal finances to become proficient. The agency issuing the sidearm has responsibility as well for issuing the officers the best overall weapon for today's modern enviornment.


     
  9. Regrettably, discussions over which version/type/model/caliber sidearm is most suitable for general police issuance inevitably boils down to a back and forth debate more appropriate for a social dispute revolving around favorite sports teams.

    When a person has a responsibility to determine the most practical and task related piece of equipment to choose for a group of journeyman level police officers, what is “best” is frequently not the sidearm most desired by firearms interested individuals.

    The 1911 platform came from a 1900 Browning design. It’s a more finicky mechanism than current modern designs. The cartridge coming off the magazine is unsupported for a significant fraction of an inch as it makes its way into the pistol’s chamber. There are simply too many negatives against the 1911 for this type platform for it to be considered to be issued to general service type police officers.
     
    #29 ChiefWPD, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  10. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty

    Bolded and underlined part of your post was all that was necessary.

    Considering the technical aspects of a lot of LE equipment your rational rings hollow.

    Also, you are ignoring the fact that I'm not advocating putting 1911's in police officers hands.

    As your post indicates, they obviously aren't up to it. :tongueout:


    Regards,
    Comrade Happyguy :)
     
    #30 happyguy, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  11. I don't know any informed expert that thinks any handgun FMJ is a great choice for LE or civilian self-defense. It's silly to poo-poo (for example) 9mm and say it's the reason the Germans "lost the war".
     
    #31 cowboy1964, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  12. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty

    If you can't train an officer to use a 1911 safely and effectively in 13 days you either need to look to yourself as the problem or your candidate selection process as the problem.

    Edit: My criticism is not directed at the typical police departments weapon selection so much as the rationalizations I'm hearing in this thread.

    Edit: added "in 13 days"

    Last edit: I honestly don't care what any department carries, I just hope the officers are competent.

    Regards,
    Comrade Happyguy :)
     
    #32 happyguy, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  13. The choosing of police officers is done at a pay grade far above that of their firearms instructors. You’re conflating a social/political paradigm shift with your views on what sidearm would be “best” for issuance to working police officers. I can search my soul from now until heck freezes over but the bottom line is, I will train the officers sent to me. Period.

    If you have the political will and clout to somehow require the hiring of officers that meet your standards, then go for it. None the less, the real world demands that decisions be made that reflect the reality of the day.
     
  14. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty

    I have no quarrel with you or whatever weapon your department chooses. But if your officers can't learn to utilize a 1911 in 13 days they are stupid.

    Sorry that's my honest opinion.

    And I seriously doubt they are stupid.



    Regards,
    Comrade Happyguy :)
     
    #34 happyguy, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  15. What was the largest group of police officers you ever trained or trained with?

    What was their budget?

    What was the time frame allowed for the training?

    You would think, that, after over 100 years, if it were practical gun for LE more agencies would have noticed it.
     
  16. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty

    I have no quarrel with you or whatever weapon your department chooses. But if your officers can't learn to utilize a 1911 in 13 days they are stupid.

    Sorry that's my honest opinion.

    I seriously doubt they are stupid.

    Regards,
    Comrade Happyguy :)
     
    #36 happyguy, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  17. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    The Chief is correct. I've seen the same things he has. Others may watch cop shows and think they know how things work, but in the real world, 1911's are impractical for police work. There are simply better options.

    It is simply not practical to think that we can resurrect the Colonel and have him train every cop on the road (not to mention the desk slugs) so that they can obtain some level of sophistication and wear a barbeque gun in the field.
     
  18. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty

    Why do you guys insist on carrying on an argument that I'm not making?

    If you are a police officer maybe it's true that a safety is too complicated for you operate.

    Regards,
    Comrade Happyguy :)
     
  19. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Your comments in red are way out of line. Just because Chief doesn't list his actions in his sig line doesn't mean he doesn't know a thing or two about leadership.
     
  20. happyguy

    happyguy Man, I'm Pretty

    :rofl:

    Regards,
    Comrade Happyguy :)
     
    #40 happyguy, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013

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