Photos courtesy Kevin Davis
- Lawsuit Claims Deputy Shot Man But Didn't Call Paramedics
- Mother Killed, Kids Hurt, after Shoplifters Crash in Houston
- Washington, D.C. Transit Police Arrest AED Thief
- Suspect in Killing of Utah Officer Found Dead in Cell
- New Jersey Cop Accused of Setting Fire to Captain's Home
- U.S. Park Police Furloughs Could Cause Holiday Weekend Response Delays
- Interstate Bridge Collapses Over Washington River
Sunday mornings aren’t when shootings are supposed to happen—at least not on television shows. But the reality is that a shooting can occur while you’re on the job at any time and you could quickly find yourself thrust headlong into a maelstrom of violence. You, your training and your equipment can be put to the ultimate test.
Just ask Ben Campbell. A patrolman for the quiet suburban community of Copley, Ohio, Officer Campbell was the only officer on the road for his jurisdiction on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011, when suspect Michael Hance went on a killing spree. After methodically hunting down and killing seven people, including three children, Hance was stopped by Campbell with three shots fired from his patrol carbine at a distance of 60 feet. Two of the shots hit Hance, dropping him.
Campbell, a former tactical operator whom I had the privilege to train, later told me, “I have a whole new respect for training! I was on autopilot the whole time.”
As Campbell’s actions demonstrate, an LEO with the right equipment, acting on solid training, can make a difference. During a carbine instructor program I ran recently, I had the opportunity to put a new carbine and other carbine-related products through their paces. Let’s look at some of those products and how they can help us fulfill our LE mission.
I met the fine folks from CORE15 last year. I liked them and their products and immediately asked for an LE carbine to put through its paces. The TAC M4 they sent was spot on with the basic and advanced options I believe a police officer needs in a carbine. I used this carbine as my primary long gun for the entire course, which includes shooting demos for every drill as well as shooting alongside my students throughout the week.
The CORE15 was lubed once at the beginning of the week with a new synthetic lube/metal conditioner called Italian Gun Grease (an excellent product, by the way) and shot without interruption or malfunction the entire course. I put every different type of ammo available (including some “counterterrorist” ammo no longer available) in weights from 55 grain to 75 grain and didn’t have one stoppage or failure to fire.
The 16-inch 4150 chrome moly barrel sports an exceedingly accurate one-in-7-inch twist and is chambered in 5.56. Featuring a quad rail, the TAC M4 is outfitted with a Magpul pistol grip and stock as well as a Magpul folding back-up rear sight. Put simply: The carbine is ready to shoot right out of the box. With minimal expense, you can easily mount a white light and a red dot sight and attach a single-point sling to the rear sling plate at the rear of the receiver.
The CORE15 name isn’t that well known, but its staff has extensive experience working in the tactical carbine field, and they’ve been shipping quality carbines to LEOs and agencies throughout the United States. Sometimes the little guys work harder for your business. I know that CORE15 pays attention to detail and deserves a look when it comes to quality patrol carbines.
Remington LE Ammunition
Ballistic gelatin shoots can be interesting. The folks at Remington claim that no other ammunition can achieve the Remington results in gelatin, including expansion after penetrating barriers such as glass and sheet metal.
I had the opportunity to attend a Remington event at the famous Gunsite Training Facility in Paulden, Ariz., and watched as the Remington reps shot multiple rounds of ammo into bare gelatin as well as through typical barriers such as clothing, sheet metal and glass (including compound angles). I was impressed to say the least. The bullets from all calibers didn’t fragment as they penetrated through the simulated cover materials.
Remington states the .223 62 grain Core-LOKT Ultra Bonded PSP has a 1.8X expansion with 95% original weight retention. The Core-LOKT Ultra Bonded offers what LEOs are looking for in 5.56/.223 ammunition: the ability to expand and the ability to punch through barriers without over-penetration.
Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic
Collimator or reflex sights are just plain faster to acquire than conventional iron sights. They’ve proven themselves in the fields of battle, both on the streets here in the U.S. and in the dusty, rural areas of Iraq and Afghanistan. That said, the price of a solid red-dot sight has been heretofore out of reach for many working cops purchasing their own equipment.
I know many agencies are putting out 50-year-old surplus M16s that still work, but many, many officers I know and work with opt to buy a newer, more reliable carbine out of their own pocket. After springing for a $900 rifle, many can’t afford to pay another $600–$900 for a modern red dot sight. That’s where the Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO) from Aimpoint really shines. At a price point of about $400, you get an excellent sight that provides a two-minutes-of-angle (MOA) red dot from a sturdy 30mm tube that’s 5.1 inches long and weighs 11.6 oz.
The PRO comes complete with a QRP2 mount that easily attaches to picatinny rails and comes with two different height spacers to allow co-witnessing with your back-up iron sights as well as flip-up lens caps. The PRO uses one 1/3N battery and will provide constant operation for an estimated three years. Six daylight settings and four night vision settings provide plenty of reticle illumination. I ran the sight for the entire training week and can recommend it without reservation.
The week that I was testing these products—while conducting shotgun qualifications for my agency—was a challenging one weather-wise. Hurricane Sandy’s reach spread out across from the East Coast to the Midwest, where I work, bringing wind and rain—not the best shooting conditions. (This isn’t meant to diminish the terrible conditions our East Coast brothers and sisters faced as a result of the storm—thoughts and prayers to them!)
Thin paper targets are easily blown off our target stands regardless of how many staples you attempt to secure them with or even when using copious amounts of spray adhesive. The thin paper melts in the rain and any wind at all tends to blow them right off the backers.
What to do? Well, over this past year I’ve been using targets from Targets Online and have found them to be just the ticket. Targets Online targets use “weather-resistant card stock” that’s twice the thickness of normal targets. The thicker paper and weather resistance means targets go up and stay up regardless of wind and weather. The picture targets, whether black-and-white or color, are realistic and provide all angles, ages, genders, sizes and types of shoot or don’t-shoot targets.
Are they hurricane proof? Not hardly, but they’re well designed and sturdier than thinner target paper, which helps firearms instructors and our shooters spend more time practicing with firearms than staplers.
I met Brad Brune from Challenge Targets at the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) product expo last year in Wheeling, Ill. His target systems intrigued me because they use a unique
counter-balance system. The bases of the targets are weighted rollers, which offer interesting possibilities for training.
For instance, the metal rifle targets I used reacted by rolling backward when struck, and then reset. This not only gives the satisfying sound of impact on steel when you hit, but the ability to see a target drop and then pop up again. In my shooter’s case, the targets were hit, reset and then hit again before they could move on the next stage of the move-and-shoot event. This type of training gives feedback to the shooter as well as forcing follow-through in order to hit.
One of Brad’s unique targets systems allows a range officer, by way of pulling on strikes, to cause a shoot target to move erratically behind a hostage target or piece of cover. With a pull and release of a string, the instructor standing behind or to the side of the shooter can cause some realistic unpredictable movement in the suspect target.
With metal targets for pistol and rifle as well as this hostage target system, Challenge Targets provide excellent training at an excellent value.
The Right Tools for the Job
In an interview following the shooting of suspect Michael Hance, Officer Ben Campbell said, “I felt some fear. I’m a person, I’m not a robot. I felt some fear. But I felt like I had to step up and I had to deal with this. I heard some more shooting. I’m a policeman, I had to go there.”
Campbell has a renewed respect for what his training and equipment did for him in this event—and what it can do for you in armed encounters. Carbines, ammo and training are tools. Get the best that you can afford and keep your skills sharp and well maintained with realistic and relevant training repeated on a regular basis. It’s the best way and the only way to win!