Bringing the Fight Back to the Pistol: Part II
Shooting positions are not always “comfy” when fighting with a pistol. But I find comfort in reality based training.
Brian J. Stas / SWAT Digest
I need to step back and explain why I’m writing this. I’m not proud to admit I let my pistol skills drop off. The last year or so I’ve been concentrating on my long guns skills. This is just one of my many excuses for not training like I should, as I’m sure many of you have.
For many years Law Enforcement officers were shunned from long guns. It was rare to even see a shotgun in the arena. Forget about a carbine. They were too scary for the public to see us with them. It seemed only SWAT had them to avail, but that has changed a bit these days. Thankfully long guns are now getting to be mainstream in our forces. Now we have the big guns for when it hits the fan. Now more then ever, long guns are needed to protect the homeland from terror, as well as our bad guy competitors.
At an army base this past summer, I was an observer on a joint SWAT training operation. SWAT units from three different jurisdictions were represented. During the training, I witnessed very impressive sub-gun and carbine work. However, I noticed when pistols came into action, shot patterns went to the galaxy. After a stern debrief to his teams, the team leader remarked, “Our pistol skills suck, we need to get more dynamic live fire drills with them, not just static transition drills.” We had a short discussion about the matter. The Lt. advised me that the teams have been spending a lot of time training with long guns. Long gun overconfidence has caused a bit of a push away from the importance of strong pistol skill set. I admit, I’m guilty. Lets get back to the basics. Pistols are still a respected tool. I should let you look into a bit of my history with the pistol. You may find some similarities.
Prior to becoming a Police Officer, I didn’t have much experience with pistols. I was only about 20 years-old when I began the process to become a cop. Growing up, there was that certain mystique about pistols, with all the cool, bad ass movies I saw and stories I heard. I can remember a certain feeling of certainty that when I got a pistol, it would magically transform me into a warrior. A gun, a shield and bring on the bad guys! In fact I remember all the buzz among my fellow academy recruits about “Gun and Shield Night.” Ya, graduation day would be cool, but prior to that we were issued our badges and pistols. That was when you really became a cop… right? I can still remember the false sense of power receiving my gun and shield gave me. Do you remember the first time you got your pistol strapped on your side? How did you feel?