Monday, April 2, 2012

Not So Random Thoughts

Suddenly time is being compressed and of course, I’m falling behind.  Here’s the current run down.

I’m getting ready for the pistol pop-up fun match at Camp Perry.  If you haven’t noticed, Camp Perry is one of my favorite shooting locations.  Where else can I interact with pop-up targets?  I’ll have an after-action blog about them, but if you’re within 3 hours drive of Camp Perry (near Port Clinton, Ohio) you should attend.  Here the tactical side to it.  Your bullet doesn’t knock down the target.  Your bullet’s impact creates a “bump” to the sensor which tells the computer to take it down.  The target is taken down after some small amount of time regardless of your impact.  Sometimes the computer is busy and your target doesn’t instantly fall.

This forces you to ask the Dirty Harry question: “Did I or did I not hit the target?  Well, shooter, do you feel lucky?”  Since there are often two or more targets standing you have to decide if you’ll move on and engage the next target or not.  The course of fire forces you to decide when to shoot a second time, when to move on and, of course, when to reload.

It’s not perfect training.  You’re standing in the open behind a bench, picking up magazines as you need them.  More importantly, nobody is shooting back at you and you don’t need to use cover.  You can make it more realistic if you carry the extra magazines on your belt and you engage them always in tactical order. 

Want a hint:  Be prepared to double tap.  Remember a double tap is shot as fast as you can control the weapon to get center of mass hits.  Misses never count.

Every year the Euclid Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association runs a Practical Pistol Combat match as a fund-raiser.  It’s open to all police officers and a few invited citizens.  My wife and I look forward to this match all year long. 
The control station behind the 5 shooting bays in the basement of the Euclid police station.

The department treats the civilians with friendship and courtesy.  That’s sometimes a rarity, as many police see civilians as a necessary evil.  We in turn show them respect and appreciation for what they do.  It’s a nice way to spend Sunday at the police station.  See, the range is in the basement of the police station.

It’s a fun 48-round match, times 3.  The course was designed for revolvers, so shooting it with a semi-auto is fast and easy.  Well, not necessarily easy.  The match is usually shot with PPC pistols, typically a heavy bull barrel, bomar ribbed .38 specials. 
These guns could be quickly adjusted for the several different ranges the competitors shoot outdoors.  Indoors the match becomes the short course with a max distance of 50 feet.

Many of the police shoot their duty gun, which is always a good idea.  Skill with your weapons is one of the marks of the professional.  Many shooters use their PPC gun
There are three identical courses of fire.  One is the individual match and another is a team match.  You can specify your team mate or you can just be a pick-up arranged by the score keepers.  The remaining match is the undercover, in which a smaller gun should be used.  I typically use my Beretta 9mm and one of my concealed carry guns.  It’s a fun match so I don’t know if anyone checks the size of the gun that closely.  

You work from the holster and shoot strong hand only, left barricade, right barricade and kneeling right barricade.  It’s a different style of shooting and represents the combat mind set of the 50’s.  You can tweak it a bit by trying to get all of you behind the tiny barricade.

4 of the 5 shooting positions.  I have yet to see the cop drama/mystery show that mirrors the reality of most police stations.  The CSI shows have poisoned the American mind into thinking results are instantly obtained.  Don't fall into the trap of believing our crumbling intra system is as nice as as the police dramas show.
From my limited perspective I think it’s great to let police officers from different jurisdictions meet and socially mingle.  It helps create shortcuts for those times when things have to gel quickly and smoothly.  It also helps us civilians talk with the police and see them as people with an incredibly tough job and as a human being.    

Hopefully they see us and realize that not everyone is a scumbag and that they are appreciated for what they do.

...I’m also slamming in to Easter time.

For my Jewish friends, have a peaceful Passover.
For my Christian friends, Happy Easter.

But for my Orthodox Christians friends, well you have another week before you can celebrate salvation and legally bite the ears off a chocolate rabbit.

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