The problem with comparing wartime and LEO shootings is the geneva convention for one thing. Everything used (legaly anyway) in wartime is going to be FMJ. All standard issue GI ammo is 9mm FMJ used in a beretta.
Most (if not all) LEO's carry Hollowpoint ammo. Most over the years prefered hydroshocks while more recently talons and golden saber. Most LEO also carry +P+ which is also going to react differently from most off the shelf ammo. Most all LEO departments have a .40 or larger rule for thier duty weapons and only use 9mm and below in there back up weapons. In the early 90's, I was base security and was also a reserve on the locl sheriffs department. The ball .45 ammo I shot on base from my 1911 had much different performance that 230 grain .45 hydroshock +P+ I fired from my colt double eagle I carried on duty out in town. The government issue ball .45 ammo would penetrate better even though it was slower. Where as the +P+ hydroshocks were hotter and faster but opened like an umbrella and didn't penetrate quite as much but left a much larger wound cavity. I much prefered the hydroshock to the ball GI issue, but the two didn't really compare and were more like apples and oranges.
So, there really isn't an apple to apple comparison when comparing military to LEO shootings.
This is the first area that I focus on in training. It's totally different to conduct stress training combined with live fire, like physically-demanding tasks conducted right before shooting, than the physiological conditions RangerRick just described. Stress training petty much only provides the mental stress and increased heart rate, but not the levels of norepinephrine and adrenal cortisols that attack your heart and brain when you find yourself in a situation where death or serious injury is imminent. There is a very noticeable difference between getting down and doing push-ups, sprinting, or dragging someone in a SKEDCO, versus seeing a car about to hit you, or a person with ill intent approaching you in your car. It is even worse when you witness a death or serious injury, especially when you're in proximity to the event to a degree that you painfully realize that it could have been you, or might be you next. There are ways to simulate this in training, but very, very few people are actually doing it.
Originally Posted by RangerRick
I agree there are varying degrees of effective training and nothing beats first hand experience. I've been working the streets for a few decades and have actually fired my weapon in high risk encounters. I've experienced the auditory shut down, the feeling of being in slow motion and the tunnel vision which occurs in violent encounters. I've also experienced these effects while doing active shooter training with simmunitions. From living through these events I think your chances of survival are increased if you know your weapons and tactics without having to think what you are going to do in a given situation. The ability to react instinctively and decisively sure can't hurt along with having a fair amount of luck. Mental attitude and innate ability to do the job at hand doesn't hurt either. From being a LEO I've seen a percentage of Officers who had no business being on the job for various reasons.
Personally I've carried revolvers and semi auto handguns, rifles and shotguns in a lot of serious encounters and personally I think it is more important to effectively use your weapon than a particular caliber in handguns. I felt just as well armed with a model S&W 439 with 9MM +P+ ammo as I did with a 45 ACP 185 grain JHP, a 40 S&W with JHP or a 357 Mag with JHP's. I realize that every weapon ammo combo has its own strengths and weaknesses but hopefully through my own knowledge and training I can effectively use the tools I have at hand. If given time I'll always grab a long gun but I also feel its important to know how to protect your own weapon from being used on you. Weapons retention and physical skills rank right in there with situational awareness. The ability to use an iron bar take down at the right moment can be just as important as drawing and firing your pistol accurately.
Last edited by VASCAR2; 09-27-2011 at 11:19 PM.
The most dangerous thing is a well-trained, thinking man in a fight, who is especially comfortable with violence. There are far too many people who enter professions that are governed by violent environments, with no experience in it. This is true of most people in LE, but you do see a trend of guys who gravitate to Infantry and Special Operations units in the military who often had rough upbringings, and are very comfortable with violence...often to the point where they are extremely agitated and frustrated by the insanity of a peacetime, garrison environment. Get them out from under the flagpole, and into a foreign country, with live weapons and tons of ordnance, and they are happy. Impose crazy ROE's on them, and they often get out, knowing that they will not be able to deal with some dirtbag in pressed uniform telling them about combat when they absorb back into the peacetime camouflaged welfare Army, where the screw-ups are promoted, and the true warriors are shunned and punished for being something the desk-jockeys can never be.
The best thing the LE academies could do would be to have "king of the hill" beat down sessions on a regular basis, and instill a violence-friendly workplace. Doing jail duty first often fulfills this role well, since unruly inmates often need physical submission, but it just doesn't quite fit the bill.
That being said, as I peruse my Hornady Reloading manual and check the stats on 7.62x25, they list 1700 fps velocities with 90gr Hornady XTP JHP's. Those will smoke right through soft armor, and I'd really like to see the gel tests with that load. I wish popular pistol makers would offer chamberings and modern mags for the 7.62x25.
Last edited by LRRPF52; 09-28-2011 at 05:59 AM.