Firearm Training Reality – The Naive Shooter from a Law Enforcement Perspective: Hit Probability

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Force Science Institute published The Naive Shooter from a Law Enforcement Perspective: Hit Probability, a study that identifies the problem with shooters that remain at novice skill levels.

By actual test, an average police recruit completing academy firearms training is only marginally more skilled in shooting than a person who has never shot or even held a firearm. The study found that personnel completing military or police handgun instruction and passing qualification enjoyed a mere 13% improvement over complete novices. Between groups labeled “expert”, “intermediate”, and “novice” there was no effective difference in skill between the identified groups.

Force Science Institute executive director Dr. Bill Lewinski said, “[R]esults indicate an alarming need for improved firearms training for officers,” because despite being academy graduates and passing mandated firearm qualifications the new officers “were a mere 13%” more accurate than novices in shooting at distances where a high proportion of officer-involved shootings occur. What these statistics appear to imply is that officer firearms training is not extensive enough and occurs too sparsely for officers to gain, and maintain, the expert level of accuracy with their service weapons that is expected of them.”

Context Matters

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Words of wisdom from Thomas Howard

Anyone who assumes that people playing a game by the rules attempting to win will be acting anything like they would in a combat/gunfight/self-defense situation is pretty much stupid, or at least ignorant of how humans establish habits.

Qualified to Teach Tactical Training: SEALs

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All good instructors and coaches must be serious students of their craft and this requires demonstrated performance at higher than novice levels. Sadly, within the firearms world this higher level performance is rarely required or found outside of organized competitive shooting. Regardless of the instructor or coaches background (claimed or real), this is reason enough to demand some sort of reasonable level of success in something like competitive shooting, if only to demonstrate the person is capable of doing more than merely qualify.

If you’re foolish enough to believe a military or police service record is enough, watch this video. Skilled people will note his demonstrated gun handling and shooting and realize he wasn’t worth considering, regardless of the claimed experience.

Finger Roll


Finger Roll
by John Tate


Pistol Shooting Tips From 20 Sharpshooters

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Sent in from John Tate

Here’s a list of tips from some good (and a few not-so-good) shooters. There are some genuine gems in here.

Qualified to teach Tactical Training, Again


So it turns out a “trainer” for a security company is notably unskilled with firearms and managed to shoot one of his fellows while conducting routine maintenance just after returning from teaching a class. Shocking to hear, I know.

Yet another tactical trainer managed a negligent discharge, causing critical but (luckily) non-life threatening injuries. This one just days after another misguided tactical trainer posted (and then removed) a missive concerning imagined issues about competitive shooters. Following the posting of that one, I managed to find eight (!!!) videos on YouTube of police/tactical “trainers” causing actual, real negligent discharges (as opposed to a remote chance of possible, imagined ones) that were caught on video and made public. This took me 30 seconds after typing “police tactical negligent discharge” into a search box.

Also notice the distinct lack of these stories concerning active, skilled competition shooters, or the complete lack of these incidents occurring at competitive events. While no amount of skill can make a person immune from mistakes, training for and competing in higher level, organized events greatly increases skills and significantly reduces the chance such mistakes will be made.

At least this security/tactical trainer that shot his comrade didn’t develop any bad habits by attending competitive shooting events…


Police Firearms Instructor (I never train anymore)


Great article from Jerry Jones over at MSW that echoes problems I’ve experienced on the military side. Another useful addition would be competition and it can be done locally on a budget. An instructor/coach lacking any sort of reasonable competition success is an undeveloped instructor/coach. Thankfully, at least with the USAR Marksmanship Program, this is easily rectified.

by Jerry Jones

We all know “that guy” that goes to firearms instructor school, has all the answers upon graduation, and never trains again. He is the “INSTRUCTOR” (It says so on the back of his red polo shirt, and the red hat he bought from Gall’s). The scope of this article is not about him, or the folks you know like him (or her). This installment is about the reality that I and many other instructors have found that the police instructor doesn’t get to train as much as we’d like to after getting in the position. If at all.

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