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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few months ago, while I was in the reserve officer academy, we had our first day of firearms training at the police range. It was, without a doubt, one of the funniest days at the range I have ever had.

First, a little background. I've been doing training and advising for our local police department for several years and most of them know me as "Doc", the local doctor who teaches about first aid, dealing with the mentally ill, etc. Only a very few of them know that I even own a gun, let alone that I have been shooting competitively (IPSC, Steel Challenge and 3-gun) for decades. Since I was there to learn how they wanted my to shoot, I didn't see any purpose in telling the instructors that I knew anything about firearms.

The classroom instruction was thorough and started with the very basics ("This is a gun; this is where the bullets come out."), pretty much like when I was in Army Basic Training. Finally, the day came for us to be issued our pistols (Glock 22) and go out to the range. Whee!

The first half of the first day at the range was devoted to the fundamentals: grip, sight picture, drawing, holstering, etc. After lunch, we were taken, one at a time, to the firing line to draw and fire with live ammunition. Nobody shot themselves, which I thought was a good thing, so we moved on to something a bit more fun.

For the first exercise, they set up three silhouette targets in front of each of us at about fifteen feet and told us to put at least two shots into each of them, as rapidly as we could. Oh, boy!

When my turn came, I noticed that the instructors were edging a little closer and keeping a closer eye on me; not surprising, considering that I'm about twice the age of the other rookies - they probably wanted to make sure I didn't drop the pistol from the recoil (note: I shoot Steel Challenge with a 9mm and IPSC with a Glock 20 - 10mm). When the buzzer went off, I drew and put two rounds into each target as fast as I could - piece of cake compared to steel challenge.

After I holstered my pistol, the senior instructor came up and asked me if I would mind doing the exercise again. I was agreeable, so we patched the targets and reset everything. The buzzer went off and I actually improved on my original time. That seemed to satisfy everyone, so they moved on to the next rookie on the firing line.

After everyone was finished with that exercise, we took a short break while the instructors set up the next exercise. During the break, the senior instructor asked if he could speak with me for a moment. We walked off a ways and he asked me, "Have you every fired a pistol before?"

I was terribly tempted to say "Why, no. I've never held a gun before today.", but I didn't. I confessed that I had been shooting for quite a while; the senior instructor seemed oddly relieved. Apparently, they had been worried that "the doc" was going to have problems at the range.

It just goes to show you the dangers of judging a book by its (gray and wrinkled) cover.


Jim
 

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Righteous Dude
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I love this story.

I love surpassing expectations. You did that! :)

I will say, I expect the opposite of the old and grey. They are more likely to have had access to firearms than those of my age. I expect more elders to be capable with arms than those my age. AND they're generally better with iron sights. I saw this personally at different qualification sessions.

Still, I'm glad you surprised them.
 

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Love it! My FFL buddy is in his 50s and he's good friends with a number of deputies here and gets invited to shoot at the sheriff dept.'s range often. And he regularly shows up the deputies who are there just to qualify or take required practice and who are not "gun guys". He shoots circles around most of them. And gets a big kick out of it too.
 

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This is me right now after reading your post, Doc ---> :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I love this story.

I love surpassing expectations. You did that! :)

I will say, I expect the opposite of the old and grey. They are more likely to have had access to firearms than those of my age. I expect more elders to be capable with arms than those my age. AND they're generally better with iron sights. I saw this personally at different qualification sessions.

Still, I'm glad you surprised them.
It was even better than that - over half of the "rookies" needed more than six shots to get two hits on each of the three targets (at 15 feet); the "record" was twelve (no names). I only needed six shots. My time was just a shade over half the time of the next fastest "rookie" (which is probably why they wanted me to re-shoot it). I felt I had vindicated my age group.


Love it! My FFL buddy is in his 50s and he's good friends with a number of deputies here and gets invited to shoot at the sheriff dept.'s range often. And he regularly shows up the deputies who are there just to qualify or take required practice and who are not "gun guys". He shoots circles around most of them. And gets a big kick out of it too.
I was amazed how many of the "rookies" had never fired a gun before. I realize that gun handling is one of the least important skills a police officer needs, at least in terms of how often they are required to use it, but it strikes me as odd that prospective police officers (a lot of people become reserve officers to improve their chances of becoming regular officers) wouldn't have tried shooting at least once.

Maybe I should post about range day number 14, when I qualified on the AR-15/M-4. That was almost as funny.


Jim
 

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My 84 year old grandpa can shoot better with iron sights on his 22 than anybodys business. It came from being a kid during the 30s depression era in Appalachia.
 

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It was even better than that - over half of the "rookies" needed more than six shots to get two hits on each of the three targets (at 15 feet); the "record" was twelve (no names). I only needed six shots. My time was just a shade over half the time of the next fastest "rookie" (which is probably why they wanted me to re-shoot it). I felt I had vindicated my age group.




I was amazed how many of the "rookies" had never fired a gun before. I realize that gun handling is one of the least important skills a police officer needs, at least in terms of how often they are required to use it, but it strikes me as odd that prospective police officers (a lot of people become reserve officers to improve their chances of becoming regular officers) wouldn't have tried shooting at least once.

Maybe I should post about range day number 14, when I qualified on the AR-15/M-4. That was almost as funny.


Jim
One of the ROs at one of the ranges I sometimes visit is a retired LEO from Peoria, IL and was the range director (or some such title) for that department. He said that it was rare to have a rookie with any firearm experience prior to the academy.


Please tell us the story about the AR-15/M-4 Uncle Jim!!! Please!!
 

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It was even better than that - over half of the "rookies" needed more than six shots to get two hits on each of the three targets (at 15 feet); the "record" was twelve (no names). I only needed six shots. My time was just a shade over half the time of the next fastest "rookie" (which is probably why they wanted me to re-shoot it). I felt I had vindicated my age group.

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Maybe I should post about range day number 14, when I qualified on the AR-15/M-4. That was almost as funny.


Jim
Please, please, please do tell the AR story Loved the handgunstory.

I had a similar story, at my County Citizens Academy. Each "citizen officer" was given a Glock 19 with 4 rounds. Most couldn't get very many on the full sized human silhouette target. I did fine.

The RO told me to go get a full mag and come back. I did. He said shoot at the head. We were about 20 ft away so it was pretty easy. I admitted that I had a carry permit and had shot for many years.

He said many of his officers couldn't do so well. I said I was sure I wouldn't be able to well either if someone was shooting at me....

We talked for a bit. He said go get another mag full. Instead, I offered to load mags for the others. I figured if some of them had enough opportunity to shoot, they may come over to the "dark side" with the rest of us.

I loved the "Academy" it was a great PR event and a good use of taxpayer dollars.
 

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Here's a similar story. My dad was a reserve deputy sheriff LT and among his responsibilities was firearms training for the reserve deputies. When I was 13 he was running a training session and I accompanied him to the range. He stuck me down at the end of the firing line with my pistol (Charter Arms 22LR snubby). This was back around 1971 so all the deputies were shooting revolvers too (usually 4" S&W 38 or 357). My Dad knew I was safe and proficient so he just left me alone to follow along with the other deputies and do what they did. The next day was more of the same but it was also qual day for the deputies. I was allowed to keep shooting with them and low and behold the skinny little kid at the end of the line qualified too. A couple of the deputies did not. They got a lot of good natured ribbing from their colleagues because they got outshot by a 13 year old kid with a 22.
 

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I outshot a lot of the braggart tacticool guys at my job (Corrections) numerous times, with the S&W 65's.

I guess being a wheelgun nut since the early 90's pays off sometimes:)

I don't brag or inflate myself, but one of the range safety guys is a big time gun guy and noticed I was reloading with the speedloaders without looking, using the flutes to line up the cylinder for the speedloader, and that I had already fired my 18 rounds (for each iteration of the 48 round qual) and had my cylinder open to "show safe" before most had fired their first 6......as well as a baseball sized cluster on the target by the time we hit the 15 yard line.

Shooting a DA revolver from 3-15 yards is pretty much "point blank" range for someone like me who shoots DA revolvers for fun, so I just happen to be familiar with them.
 

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One of the ROs at one of the ranges I sometimes visit is a retired LEO from Peoria, IL and was the range director (or some such title) for that department. He said that it was rare to have a rookie with any firearm experience prior to the academy.


Please tell us the story about the AR-15/M-4 Uncle Jim!!! Please!!
What? You still haven't bought the book? :D

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A few days after the events related above, we had to qualify with our issued weapon. Department rules state that I can carry a handgun of my choice when on duty in plainclothes if it is at least a 9mm and if I qualify with it. A lot of the officers (reserve and regular) qualify with a 9mm because they feel they can get back on target faster (which is true for all of us, I think).

I went the other direction and brought my Glock 20 with me to the qualifying range. This threw some of the instructors off because it looks a lot like the Glock 22 we are issued - it even has the same size hole in the end - but it is significantly louder. Since this is my IPSC gun, I am very comfortable with it. Long story short, I scored as well with the Glock 20 as I did with the Glock 22.


Glock 20 - $550
150 rounds of 10mm ammunition - $75
Look on the faces of the people you out-scored with a more powerful handgun than they were using - priceless!​



Jim
 

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Great story and I agree, it would have been fun to say "Why no, this is my first time shooting!" just to see the expression.

That's about my speed of thinking. Earlier this year I went to a range in a touristy area that rented full auto firearms. I decided I wanted to run the Uzi. Rather than my normal explanation of "yeah, I've got some training and have fired full auto before" I played full all out "tourist never seen a gun don't which end to point down range". I got the full talk and when it came time to fire the guy was practically hugging me on the line. Let me say here, I can't blame them really considering everything. Well, after a few single rounds with hits about 1" apart I was told to "go full auto" so I moved the switch and unloaded the mag in a hole about 4" in diameter.

The guy looked at me and said "you lied, you're very familiar with firearms." I asked what gave it away, he said "well, besides handling the firearm well you're only smiling and not grinning ear to ear. Most of the guys that fire a full auto for the first time can't get the grin off their face."

I hadn't thought about that before, so if you do decide to bluff someone, remember to GRIN BIG the entire time to sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Great story and I agree, it would have been fun to say "Why no, this is my first time shooting!" just to see the expression.
God knows I was sorely tempted. If the instructors hadn't been people I was going to work with in the future, I probably would have succumbed to temptation.


That's about my speed of thinking. Earlier this year I went to a range in a touristy area that rented full auto firearms. I decided I wanted to run the Uzi. Rather than my normal explanation of "yeah, I've got some training and have fired full auto before" I played full all out "tourist never seen a gun don't which end to point down range". I got the full talk and when it came time to fire the guy was practically hugging me on the line. Let me say here, I can't blame them really considering everything. Well, after a few single rounds with hits about 1" apart I was told to "go full auto" so I moved the switch and unloaded the mag in a hole about 4" in diameter.

The guy looked at me and said "you lied, you're very familiar with firearms." I asked what gave it away, he said "well, besides handling the firearm well you're only smiling and not grinning ear to ear. Most of the guys that fire a full auto for the first time can't get the grin off their face."

I hadn't thought about that before, so if you do decide to bluff someone, remember to GRIN BIG the entire time to sell it.
Good advice!


Jim
 

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The best part about NOT bragging about shooting skills, is outshooting people who do and then telling them a little about your "background".....

I qualified at my job with the Ruger M77 .223 rifle, there was a bunch of guys there, some thought they were master shooters because they've been deer hunting since they were 4, were in the military, etc.

I shot a perfect score, with my somewhat "unorthodox" and less than perfect holds while shooting kneeling, seated and prone.......nice tight groups at 100 yards.......

The instructor was like "how the ____ did you pull that off, the way you were shooting I thought you'd be shooting buckshot groups........."

Well, besides being a Squad Designated Marksman in Iraq, before I joined the Army I've also shot so many rounds through bolt action rifles that I've shot out more barrels than I can count.........so I guess whatever I've been doing has worked so far:)
 

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It just goes to show you the dangers of judging a book by its (gray and wrinkled) cover.
Jim
So Jim is your forum name, right? Your real name is Jerry Miculek, huh? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
So Jim is your forum name, right? Your real name is Jerry Miculek, huh? ;)
I wish I could shoot that well. I shoot about half as fast and my groups are twice as large...on my best day.


Jim
 
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