Ruger Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the newer tools for the patrol officer is the AR-15/M-4 carbine, which has almost completely replaced the trusty pump shotgun in police cruisers. On range day 10, we were introduced to the M-4 carbine. Now I could honestly say that I'd never held or fired an M-4 carbine, since in my day the issue rifle was the M-16A2. It's a technicality, since the M-4 is essentially an M-16A2 with a shorter barrel (and without the A2's annoying three round burst), but I embraced it anyway.

The first step was to familiarize ourselves with the rifle. We had some classroom instruction, lasting a couple of hours, after which we tromped out to the firing line for a little familiarization fire. We had to shoot with both iron sights and red dot optic, semi-auto and full auto; I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a lot of fun, but it did absorb the better part of a day, standing, sitting and prone.

At the end of the day, we went into the classroom to disassemble and clean our carbines. The instructors gave us a detailed tutorial and then told us to disassemble our carbine - time for fun! I had mine apart in about a minute (I was the fastest in my Army basic training group) and was halfway through cleaning it when the last person in the group got theirs disassembled. I was done cleaning before the others, so one of the instructors asked me if I thought I could re-assemble my carbine without instruction; I allowed as I thought I could and proceeded to get it back together in about a minute (the hand guards were a bit tight).

The next day - day 15 - was spent practicing how to move and shoot, which had our instructors visibly nervous. I can't blame them; a bunch of newbies tripping over their own feet while trying to keep their fingers off the trigger and the muzzle pointed down range. Frankly, I was more than a little nervous myself, but we got through the day without any injuries apart from a badly scraped elbow and a scratched carbine when one guy tripped.

The last day was qualification day. Because of some obscure certification issue, the rifle qualification was run by the county SWAT team instructors, who knew nothing of our performance in training. Another opportunity for some harmless fun!

The qualification course was actually a lot of fun; we shot timed groups standing, crouching and prone (yawn) and around a barrier, both right and left. This is where decades of being a left-handed in a right-handed world finally paid off; I initially learned to shoot a rifle right-handed and only in my forties did I start shooting left-handed. So, it didn't matter to me which side of the barrier I was on - I just switched hands. This also came into play during the pistol qualification, where we had to shoot "weak-handed" - I can shoot right-handed almost as well as I can with my left.

Part of the fun was that several of the SWAT team were doing their annual qualification at the same time. True to the stereotype, these guys are muy macho and were snickering at us rookies in our brand new uniforms and boots, especially the "old guy" (I actually heard that said). When the scores were posted at the end of the qualifications, some of that snickering stopped. I'd love to be able to say that I smoked them all, but sadly, that didn't happen; my score placed me in the middle of the SWAT team scores.

None of this happened because I am a master shooter; I score about middle of the pack in Steel Challenge and in the lower third at IPSC and three-gun competitions. In the competitive shooting world, I am a rounding error. However, as the old saying goes, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. I go to the range and shoot steel or silhouettes from a holstered start against a timer at least once a week. Regular police officers are lucky to get to the range once a month, even if they're on the SWAT team; many officers only shoot their guns a couple times a year. And for my rookie class, only a few others had ANY previous shooting experience.


Jim
 

·
Ruger Tinkerer
Joined
·
11,898 Posts
Good story - thanks for sharing. What hair I have left is gray so I can easily relate to being "the old guy." (Man how did that happen? Reminds me of a recent post on another forum where the guy said he saw his deceased father walking toward him in Home Depot the other day. And then realized it was a big mirror down at the end of the aisle....)

Hats off to you Jim for getting involved with community LEO force like this. I think it's great. And I always love to read your stories. Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,344 Posts
Your observations about police officers and firearms proficiency are the same as I have experienced. A lot of police officers are indifferent to firearms unless the bad guy has one. They qual when they are supposed to and that's about it. Your average gun enthusiast is typically more proficient than your average cop. The police officers that are particularly proficient are usually fellow gun nuts like us. I think it's more about an overall interest in guns in general than it is about what you do for a living. Same thing in the military.

Occasionally I've tried to engage a police officer in a discussion about his sidearm and more times than not they don't seem at all inclined to talk about it. Rarely does it spark a conversation. It's usually just brief but polite answers. I don't know if that's because of a natural wariness or because they just really aren't that interested in guns in general. A lot of them seem to regard it no more than they do their flashlight. It's just part of the required equipment.
 

·
Spellign Bee Champ
Joined
·
15,571 Posts
Another great story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
I'd love to be able to say that I smoked them all, but sadly, that didn't happen; my score placed me in the middle of the SWAT team scores.
Wait. Think about what you just said. Half the SWAT team (the freakin SWAT TEAM!) did WORSE than you. I'd say that's something to be justifiably proud of. Bravo! :cool:

the guy said he saw his deceased father walking toward him in Home Depot the other day. And then realized it was a big mirror down at the end of the aisle..
Not quite there yet but it's coming. :eek:
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top