Archive for June, 2010

More useless facts…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 by Jay

DPS is the only agency in this state that can shoot at a vehicle while in a moving vehicle, a.k.a. Shooting s vehicle off the road.

Departments can get what are called STEP grants from the Texas government. The purpose of these grants are to enforce certain laws, i.e. get 30 seatbelt violations in 2 days, get 4 DUIs in one shift, etc.

Every 57 hours, a police officer is killed somewhere in the U.S.

There are only 2 offenses you can not be arrested for in Texas…speeding and open container. Brake light out? Arrestable. No front license plate? Arrestable. You get the idea.

It is illegal in Texas to display your license plate from the dashboard. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled for it to be legally displayed, it must be displayed on the leading edge of the vehicle.

THAT guy has bought 2 firearms since I lasted posted about him, a Sig P226R in .357 Sig for his Academy pistol, and a Walther PPK/S “just because”…

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Ninja…cows?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2010 by Jay

Funny story told to us by the DPS Trooper teaching us Accident Investigation…

A fellow DPS Trooper got one of those mailed red light camera citations. They mailed him a picture of him committing the infraction and the citation. So he withdrew the cash to pay the fine, took a picture of it, then mailed them the picture of the money.

Another funny story related to me by a local Sheriff Deputy…

They got an anonymous call for some loose livestock blocking the major intersection in a town. They responded to the scene as quick as they could, since hitting a cow is messy in more ways than one. They arrive at the intersection, and the cows are nowhere to be found. There is not even a shred of evidence of cows. So, this Deputy, flustered at having driven half way across the county, gets on the radio and says, “Either I’m blind or these cows are freakin’ ninja cows…” Turns out it was fake call from a bunch of bored high school students.

Anyway, I figured I need to update yall on how I’m doing in the academy…

I’m currently 4th out of 27, and have a 91.9 (out of 100) overall average. I have scored above average on every test so far except for one. Even then, the class average was only 1.3 points more than my grade.

I lost the Constable gig. The Sheriff was never really going to go for it and thanks to the F word (funding), I got the axe. Most ironically though, rather than pay me, I got to keep the Beretta as compensation. They owed me around $300, so in the grand scheme of things, I’m a little ahead.

However, I’ve been searching high and low, slowly digging up job openings, and have gotten some numbers to call. The big problem is that dreaded F word again. Police Departments simply aren’t hiring like they used to. Thankfully, there is a catch. Sheriff’s Offices are pretty much recession proof. They rely mostly on tax money and citations, plus the occasional state/federal grant, which never dries up. People pay their taxes and people commit crimes and get citations, so it’s about as solid as you can get in this economy.

However, the problem is, all of those positions require the Peace Officer License first, which is why I’m in the Academy. So what I’m calling for, is to see if they’d be willing to hire me while I’m still in the Academy, then when I pass the TCLEOSE test and graduate, I’d go to work for them. It is called a ‘name only sponsorship’ since I’m still paying my way, but assume my studies under their name. It is something of a long shot, but it certainly isn’t unheard of. I just need to hope and pray things work out.

Another problem, is if they are willing to accept me, I will have to drive to their office and pick up an application. Sure, it doesn’t sound like much, but when you figure I’m calling places like Lee County (which their Sheriff’s Office is about an hour and a half from me), that’s a lot of driving. It’ll be worth it, just not looking forward to it.

‘Til next time!

Heh

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 by Jay

I was walking home from the local festival going on. A truck backfired, which sounded like some kind of semi auto rifle. I jumped, faced the sound of the threat, positioned my body in the draw stance, and tried to index my hand on my nonexistent Beretta in case I needed to draw it to engage the threat.

Problem is, it wasn’t on me since I don’t have a CHL.

I guess all that training is starting to pay off…

Shooting fun!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 by Jay

Now everyone will get to see what I bad shot I am with the Beretta…

I woke up this morning wanting to go shooting, which was made worse by doing some dry fire practice and watching Magpul’s Dynamic Handgun video. I didn’t have much ammo to really practice with (107 rounds), but I decided something is better than nothing. I asked a non-shooting friend of mine to go (more on this later tonight!), however, he initially accepted, but later declined, so it was just me.

I took the Beretta, 3 15 round mags (1 factory Beretta, 1 USGI Checkmate, 1 USGI Airtronic), 107 rounds of 9mm (50 rounds Winchester 9mm NATO, 57 rounds USA Ammo Remanufactured 9mm), my rig from DPS1, and headed out.

I brought some  homemade targets and some regular targets as well. Initially, I was just going to shoot to shoot, but decided to make it something of a training session. Every mag I shot was a full 15 round mag, practiced drawing, search and assess, etc.

So I set up my initial batch of targets, and decided to try what KR had said in the comments of another post:

Go shoot a group where every shot is in DA mode and compare the results to the SA-shot group. Get a timer and do 10 one-shot drills starting with the gun coming to the target from ready in DA mode and in SA mode and report the results.

So, thats what I did. I had 2 kinds of ammo, so I tested it with both, all from 7 yards. The USA Ammo in single action, the 9mm NATO in single action, the USA Ammo in double action, then the 9mm NATO in double action. Once I completed that, I did the latter half of the ‘Hsoi Drill’ (slow groups at 25 yards). I didn’t do it to start with, since I didn’t have the ammo for it, but I certainly finished with it. And honestly, I kinda suprised myself at how accurate I was out to 25 yards. I’m not going to win any prizes, but I got some pretty good hits IMO.

Here are the targets from today. They are in the order I shot them.

Arrangement will be what I was doing, then the picture of the target. For reference for the red ring on my homemade paper targets, they are roughly 2.75″ in diameter. In comparison to the big targets, it would fall in the middle between the 9 ring and the 10 ring.

USA Ammo Remanufactured 9mm, all single action, 7 yards

Winchester 9mm NATO, all single action, 7 yards

USA Ammo 9mm, all double action, 7 yards

Winchester 9mm NATO, all double action, 7 yards

Winchester 9mm NATO, DA/SA, 7 yards

Mix USA Ammo and Winchester 9mm NATO, DA/SA, ~25 yards

Not too shabby overall, consider I was out there in pants, a longsleeve shirt, and no hat, meaning, I was sweating like a stuck pig. When I was shooting SA, I’d try to do double taps, but I’d have to stop, readjust the grip on the Beretta, and shoot again. Also, for the last half of the targets, I was getting really hot. Like, I could hear my heart beat when I had the ear plugs in. I had sweat pouring off of my face, my eyebrows, and my hands were just drenched in sweat. I’d wipe them off, but only after shooting a couple times would they get sweaty again.

At least, I think I figured out why my accuracy isn’t the best in the world with it. First off, I didn’t have enough finger on the trigger. Once I adjusted that, they started to come more towards the center, which is evident as I got used to it. The other problem, which was certainly made worse by how sweaty I was, is I keep jerking the trigger. Once I had my hands clean, had my finger on the trigger properly, and did a slow steady press to the rear, the results became much better, as proven on the first big target. I did that starting with the Beretta in the holster. I drew, and started to shoot.

To give you an idea why I like to make my homemade targets the way I do, here you go:

The red ring is in the middle of my sternum to give you a point of reference. It looks kinda weird, since I was holding the target with one hand and using my other to point the camera at me and take a picture, but you get the jist of it. Not exactly hi-tech, but it worse. Anyway, as you can tell, that is the target from the 9mm NATO DA only pulls. I did have 3 clip the very edge of the target, but those are all still going to have an effect on whatever/whoever I’m shooting at.

Things to work on:

  1. Slow down, smooth trigger press to the rear.
  2. Make sure to clean my hands for the best grip.
  3. Do a complete Hsoi drill at every range session.
  4. Do more dry fire practice to help perfect the trigger pull.

The 9mm NATO was freakin’ sweet. You could certainly feel that +P, but yet it was still managable enough to do quick follow up shots. It certainly is a screaming little round. I am going to pick up another box or two for SHTF purposes, especially at $14 a box.

All of the new springs worked great, especially the new D spring. It really changed the DA pull, both in how it felt and the pressure it took to pull it. I still need to put about another 100 rounds through it to make sure it’ll function 100% of the time, before commit to it 100%.

Stop…bang time!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 by Jay

During the last couple hours of class today, we covered a little bit about officer survival, via some videos and a little lecture regarding shootouts and other dangerous situations. I wish I could post every single one we cover, since it is all something we could learn from, but alas, I can’t.

However, I will go into a little bit about one we covered today.

A Deputy in Georgia was looking for someone who had a warrant out on them, a felon to be exact. Long rap sheet, numerous aliases, the works. Any who, the Deputy finds the felon and executes the felony warrant without back up, since this guy is wanted badly.

Deputy gets out of his car, and approaches the felon. The felon runs to the cab of his U-Haul truck, and grabs a Glock. Needless to say, a firefight ensues.

I know that is short and lacking detail, but this is what matters:

Felon:

  • Acted
  • Glock .45
  • Fired 6 rounds
  • Hit Deputy 5 times – Once in the right cheek, once in the upper right leg, 3 times center mass, in the A zone (or the ‘triangle’ for those who know what that is)
  • One shot missed, passed through the Deputy’s pants

Deputy:

  • Reacted
  • Glock .40
  • Fired 16 rounds
  • Hit felon 4 times – Once in the wrist, once through the upper torso sideways, once in the leg, once in the mouth
  • Mouth shot never penetrated felon’s skull, only knocked out felon’s teeth
  • Mainly fired pistol one-handed, other hand covered head wound
  • Inititally attempted to shoot felon through felon’s piece of a cover, U-haul truck door. Only 2 shots passed through the truck door, one hit felon in wrist, other  hit felon in the leg.
  • Survived due to Level IIa ballistic vest with trauma plate and will to survive

Those are the high points in a nutshell.

But yes, the felon was more accurate and better trained with his Glock than the Deputy was with his. Without the Kevlar vest, the felon would’ve easily won the fight. There were other safety issues with the stop (i.e. officer didn’t position his patrol vehicle to use for cover), however, simply put, the officer wasn’t proficient with his weapon, no argument about it.

The “fight deciding shot” was when the officer fired a round that penetrated the truck door, because it hit the suspect in the wrist and caused him to drop his pistol. The officer was able to continue to shoot him while the felon was fleeing. It is suspected that the felon’s missed shot was because of the officer’s wrist shot, however, we can’t say for sure.

But still, 3 .45 ACP hits in the A zone, from about 15 yards.

What can we learn from this?

  1. Train, train, train! – The felon obviously had some kind of practice with his weapon of choice. While yes, the Deputy was shooting one-handed, there is training out there for that, one-handed reloads, one-handed malf drills, etc.
  2. Mindset is key! – The Deputy never gave up. He knew he had been shot, but kept going on anyway. He was determined to get through it, which he did. However, after the Felon had dropped his weapon, he ran. He wasn’t looking to fight, he was too busy fleeing.
  3. Action versus Reaction! – Remember, it is always easier to act, than it is to react. Because the Deputy had to react to the felon’s actions, he lost the initiative, and was shot in the face in the process. Thankfully, the Deputy’s reaction was right on the money, and turned the reaction into action, regaining the initiative (shooting felon in the wrist) and ending the fight.

violations…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 by Jay

We finished up Traffic laws today, and will spend all day tomorrow reviewing for the test on Monday.

The DPS trooper that is teaching us said we would find equipment and traffic violations all the time.

On the way home from the police academy, I decided to keep my eyes open for license plate violations.

In the 40 miles from the Academy to my house, I found 22 license plate violations.

1 vehicle had no plates front or rear.
2 had obscured license plates.
19 had no front license plate, or the front license plate was incorrectly displayed (i.e. on the dashboard)

I didn’t count improper use of signal, speeding, brake lights and tail lights out, etc.

Would all 22 LP violations been citations? Nope. Some would have been written warnings, some verbal warnings, and some would have been citations. If it was on the dash, verbal warning, if they cop an attitude, written or cite. Missing, written warning, but they could talk their way into a citation.

The one missing both is a cite. The 2 obscure would be verbal, but they can escalate it.

Airing

Posted in Uncategorized on June 21, 2010 by Jay

Just want to clarify something…

I am not bashing or hating on 9mm, and certainly don’t want to turn this into a caliber war. As I said previously, and KR confirmed in the comments, all handgun calibers suck.

Remember, I am going through the Academy with a 92F after all.

I posted ‘Why’ out of wonder and curiosity, after having spent the previous night working on Officer Survival stuff covering the 86 FBI Miami shootout.

Remember, Baron Von Richthofen (a.k.a. The Red Baron) took a .30 cal machine gun round to the head and lived. Why? The round didn’t penetrate the skull. It simply hit and ricocheted off his head.

In the end, it is all about shot placement and penetration as myself and others have said in the past.