Sunday, April 09, 2006

Kick The Bucket

A big hat tip to Cowboy Blob for linking to this post by Hell in a Handbasket.

It seems that back in the '50s there were a number of shootings by "mad dog killers"; and during these killing sprees an unusually high number of police officers were killed. What's strange about that is that many of the cops were found with their revolvers empty- a handful of empty brass in one hand and the cylinder open. They'd emptied the gun but never apparently tried to reload. Some of them were even reported to have left cover and gone wandering around, staring at the ground.

The mystery was solved by an FBI agent who took the time to visit some police ranges- where he discovered that the standard procedure for police officers shooting was to empty the gun, take out the spent brass and then dump it neatly in a bucket by their feet.

In the heat of battle, the cops weren't able to think clearly and so they fell back on their training, their practiced instinct- and that was to not throw their brass to the ground and reload but to put them neatly in a bucket by their feet. With that cue missing they were unable to go on to the next step of reloading and firing back at the pertson trying to kill them.

It seems absurd but it's an extremely important point- repetition, training, could save your life: or get you killed. If you're a firearm owner and you're hoping that your weapon could one day save your life, your practice with that weapon must be as realistic as possible- that includes the shooting, the reloads, and also the drills you carry out when the weapon malfunctions. It's all very well being able to shoot fast and accurate but if your training doesn't take into account what you do when the weapon misfeeds or misfires then you might be in trouble. It's an essential part of training for the worst case scenario.

Repetition- endless repetition- is the only way to ingrain these habits that will kick in when the SHTF.

Cowboy Blob's advice is to check out practical shooting- IPSC or IDPA- while Hell in a Handbasket adds Cowboy Action Shooting to that list. It's good advice. Take heed. And don't forget your malfunction drills too!

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