Defensive Carry banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In both of my articles Combat Mindset & Handgun Stopping Power I used the 20% Hit Rate in a Gunfight math for COPS and had a lot of people tell me I was full of crap! So here is some current data.

As a Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor / Instructor Trainer I attribute this to poor training.

“In a crisis, you will not rise to the occasion, but merely default to your level of training.” How good was your training?

I am now the Training Director for Golden Seal Enterprises in Winchester & Fredericksburg, Va. Please check out our Firearms Training for Law Enforcement, Private Security, Military Spec Op's and Civilian's where you can take training with Law Enforcement & (former) SEAL Instructors.

Excerpt from an interesting piece in today's New York Times.

New York City police statistics show that simply hitting a target, let alone hitting it in a specific spot, is a difficult challenge. In 2006, in cases where police officers intentionally fired a gun at a person, they discharged 364 bullets and hit their target 103 times, for a hit rate of 28.3 percent, according to the department’s Firearms Discharge Report. The police shot and killed 13 people last year.

In 2005, officers fired 472 times in the same circumstances, hitting their mark 82 times, for a 17.4 percent hit rate. They shot and killed nine people that year.

In all shootings — including those against people, animals and in suicides and other situations — New York City officers achieved a 34 percent accuracy rate (182 out of 540), and a 43 percent accuracy rate when the target ranged from zero to six feet away. Nearly half the shots they fired last year were within that distance. In Los Angeles, where there are far fewer shots discharged, the police fired 67 times in 2006 and had 27 hits, a 40 percent hit rate, which, while better than New York’s, still shows that they miss targets more often they hit them.

Bad marksmanship? Police officials and law enforcement experts say no, contending that the number of misses underscores the tense and unpredictable nature of these situations. For example, a 43 percent hit rate for shots fired from zero to six feet might seem low, but at that range it is very likely that something has already gone wrong: perhaps an officer got surprised, or had no cover, or was wrestling with the suspect.

“When you factor in all of the other elements that are involved in shooting at an adversary, that’s a high hit rate,” said Raymond W. Kelly, the New York police commissioner. “The adrenaline flow, the movement of the target, the movement of the shooter, the officer, the lighting conditions, the weather ... I think it is a high rate when you consider all of the variables.”

John C. Cerar, a retired commander of the New York Police Department’s firearms training section, was more tempered in his assessment of the hit rates. “They’re acceptable,” he said. “In pristine conditions, you are going to get better hit ratios.” He said handguns were an imperfect weapon. “As long as the handgun is the main tool for the police officers to use, you are going to have misses,’’ he said.

Tom Perroni
Lead Instructor /Training Director

3,616 Posts
Being an efficient paper-killer does not translate to being a good gunfighter.
I would say a high percentage of LEO and CCW holders are guilty of being a paper puncher and not having dynamic real world handgun skills. Going shooting at a static range is not true firearms training. I am the Lead Firearms instructor for my PD and it is a full time job and very expensive to ensure that all 110 Officers maintain a level of proficiency in tactical handgun skills.

Good post - thanks for passing it on.

3,076 Posts
Combat Tactics latest had an in depth article about the NYPD's shooting stats.

3,076 Posts
Equipment doesn't always mean the difference. I know of a few departments that have all the tacticool weaponry but their accuracy in training is laughable.

6,780 Posts

Last summer I posted a trio of threads toward this _fact_ which you may find of direct use;

'NYPD 2005 Firearms Discharge Report'
Posted on June 16th, 2007, 07:44 PM


'Dept. That Can't Shoot Straight..Documents Show Officers Struggle To Hit Live Targets'
Posted on June 16th, 2007, 07:48 PM
...On the firing range, New York City police officers are required to put 80 percent of their shots on target. In the field, they are considerably less accurate even as they shoot more bullets per incident.

A confidential NYPD report indicates an increase in every category of shots fired on the job, accompanied by a disturbing drop in accuracy.

Of 276 police bullets fired in gunfights in 2005 only 23 found their target -- an 8 percent accuracy rate. Comparing the trend to the year before we see gunfight bullet volume up 200 percent, while the accuracy has deteriorated significantly...

'CBS 2 Exclusive: Secrets Of The NYPD'
Posted on June 16th, 2007, 07:41 PM

...New York City police officers are required to go to the range twice a year to be qualified with their weapons, but only specialized units get regular tactical training. Privately, experts wonder if training problems could be at the root of the controversial large volume shootings like Amadou Diallo, or more recently Sean Bell. The department has called these cases of "contagious gunfire." Critics told CBS 2 HD that the incidents look more like poor training: a phenomenon some call "pray and spray."

Whatever the issue, it isn't limited to the NYPD. Eugene O'Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice said the 2005 Firearms Discharge Report is not surprising.

"My reaction is that cops don't hit people a lot," O'Donnell said. "But that's not an NYPD problem, that's a country problem. We had a shooting in Florida where they fired 288 shots and missed the guy 282 times. It's a big issue...
- Janq actively tracks this kind of information

6,780 Posts
Here is another that I had posted last winter at a different gunfu site...

The following is an article oriented toward LEOs featuring combat statistics specific to them.
Now for those of us who are non-LEO CCW there are lessons and information that is dierectly applicable to us even as we are not law enforcement.

The source of this article is The Virginia Coalition of Police & Deputy Sherrifs.

VCOPS said:
The article below has interesting statistics and information relating to police shootouts. The studies were made by the NYPD. The results are very interesting and are important enough for review by membership of VCOPS and all law enforcement officers in Virginia. We offer you this article for your information and advise that the information contained in it be evaluated as a part of your entire firearms training program.


In 1969, the Firearms and Tactics Section of the New York City Police
Department instituted a procedure for the in-depth documentation and study of
police combat situations. It was designated Department Order SOP 9 (s. 69).

Data gathering began in January 1970, and over 6000 cases were studied during the 1970s. The study results and findings were released in 1981. The following sets out many of those that focus on shooting situations and shooting techniques.

Since the results became available, pistols have replaced revolvers in most
agencies, and the results are dated. However, based what one reads in the
literature, and sees in police videos, the elements and conditions of
shooting situations have changed little over time. As such, the results can
be expected to prevail today. At a minimum, they form a solid and scientific
basis for self defense training and action until new study results and
findings come along.

Also, it is likely that the results are applicable most anywhere, as New York
City, in addition to tall buildings, has numerous suburban communities,
beaches, large parks, remote areas, highways, rivers, ocean fronts, etc.

All of the results and findings applicable to police combat situations, are
not provided here. Hopefully, the snippets below, will serve as a spur to
those in need of that information, to get, study, and act on it.

Shooting Distances

From Sept 1854 to Dec 1979, 254 officers died from wounds received in an
armed encounter. The shooting distance in 90% of those cases was less than
15 feet.

Contact to 3 feet ... 34%
3 feet to 6 feet ...... 47%
6 feet to 15 feet ..... 9%

The shooting distances where officers survived, remained almost the same
during the SOP years (1970-1979), and for a random sampling of cases going
back as far as 1929. 4,000 cases were reviewed. The shooting distance in
75% of those cases was less than 20 feet.

Contact to 10 feet ... 51%
10 feet to 20 feet .... 24%

Lighting Conditions

The majority of incidents occurred in poor lighting conditions. None
occurred in what could be called total darkness. It was noted that
flashlights were not used as a marksmanship aid. Also, dim light firing
involves another element which is different from full light firing, muzzle


Firearms accounted for only 60% of the attacks on police. However, in the
254 cases of officers killed in an armed encounter, firearms were used in 90%
(230) of them, and knives in 5% (11).

The service revolver was used in 60% of the cases. The authorized smaller
frame civilian clothes revolver was used in 35% of them.

In all cases reviewed, an unauthorized or gimmick holster (ankle, shoulder,
skeleton, fast draw, clip-on etc.) was involved when the revolver was lost,
accidentally discharged, or the officer was disarmed.

Unintentional discharges averaged about 40 per year. This number is
relatively small given: the size of the force (28,000), that all officers are
required to be armed at all times when they are in the city, and that 4,000
non-police firearms are processed each year.

Sight Alignment

In 70% of the cases reviewed, sight alignment was not used. Officers
reported that they used instinctive or point shooting.

As the distance between the officer and his opponent increased, some type of
aiming was reported in 20% of the cases. This aiming or sighting ran from
using the barrel as an aiming reference to picking up the front sight and
utilizing fine sight alignment.

The remaining 10% could not remember whether they had aimed or pointed and fired the weapon instinctively.

Quick Draw

65% of the officers who had knowledge of impending danger, had their
revolvers drawn and ready.

This is proper tactically for several reasons, the first being that holsters
which are designed with the proper element of security in mind, do not lend
themselves to quick draw. The old bromide, "Don't draw your gun and point it
at anyone unless you intend to shoot" is a tactical blunder.

Situations in which rapid escalation occurred, were most often activities
considered routine, such as car stops, guarding, transporting or
fingerprinting prisoners or handling people with mental problems.

Family disputes did not prove to be high on the police danger list. Sniper
and ambush incidents represented less than 1% of the cases reported.

Reports on incidents involving police death revealed that the officer was
alone more often than not and that he was confronted by at least two people.


The element reported as the single most important factor in the officer's
survival during an armed confrontation was cover.

In a stress situation an officer is likely to react as he was trained to
react. There is almost always some type of cover available, but it may not
be recognized as such without training.


In 84% of the cases reviewed, the officer was in a standing or crouch
position (supported and unsupported) when he fired.

(The training doctrine developed for use in an exposed condition involves use
of the crouch/point shoulder stance. The feet are spread for balance and the
arms locked at shoulder, elbow and wrist. The body becomes the gun platform,
swiveling at the knees. Multiple targets can be fired on with speed and
accuracy through an arc of 140 degrees without moving the feet.)

Strong Hand or Weak Hand

Officers, with an occasional exception, fired with the strong hand. That was
the case even when it appeared advantageous to use the weak hand. The value of placing heavy emphasis on weak hand shooting during training and
qualification is subject to question.

Single and Double Action

The double action technique was used in 90% of the situations and used almost without exceptions in close range, surprise, or immediate danger situations.

Warning Shots

A warning shot may set off chain reaction firing.

Accurate fire from handheld weapons from a fast-moving vehicle is almost
impossible, even by a highly trained officer.

Firing while running changes the situation from one where skill has a bearing
into one in which the outcome depends on pure chance. It endangers the
officer unnecessarily by depleting his ammunition supply, and increases the
chance of shooting innocent persons who may be present.

Rapid Reloading

The average number of shots fired by individual officers in an armed
confrontation was between two and three rounds. The two to three rounds per
incident remained constant over the years covered by the report. It also
substantiates an earlier study by the L.A.P.D. (1967) which found that 2.6
rounds per encounter were discharged.

The necessity for rapid reloading to prevent death or serious injury was not
a factor in any of the cases examined.

In close range encounters, under 15 feet, it was never reported as necessary
to continue the action.

In 6% of the total cases the officer reported reloading. These involved
cases of pursuit, barricaded persons, and other incidents where the action
was prolonged and the distance exceeded the 25 foot death zone.

Bullet Efficiency

During the period 1970 through 1979, the police inflicted 10 casualties for
every one suffered at the hands of their assailants.

In all of the cases investigated, one factor stood out as a proper measure of
bullet efficiency. It was not the size, shape, configuration, composition,
caliber, or velocity of the bullet.

Bullet placement was the cause of death or an injury that was serious enough
to end the confrontation.

Hit Potential In Gun Fights

The police officer's potential for hitting his adversary during armed
confrontation has increased over the years and stands at slightly over 25% of
the rounds fired. An assailant's skill was 11% in 1979.

In 1990 the overall police hit potential was 19%. Where distances could be
determined, the hit percentages at distances under 15 yards were:

Less than 3 yards ..... 38%
3 yards to 7 yards .. 11.5%
7 yards to 15 yards .. 9.4%

In 1992 the overall police hit potential was 17%. Where distances could be
determined, the hit percentages at distances under 15 yards were:

Less than 3 yards ..... 28%
3 yards to 7 yards .... 11%
7 yards to 15 yards . 4.2%

The Disconnect Between Range Marksmanship & Combat Hitsmanship

It has been assumed that if a man can hit a target at 50 yards he can
certainly do the same at three feet. That assumption is not borne out by the

An attempt was made to relate an officer's ability to strike a target in a
combat situation to his range qualification scores. After making over 200
such comparisons, no firm conclusion was reached. To this writer's mind,
the study result establishes that there is indeed a disconnect between the

If there was a connection between range marksmanship and combat hitsmanship, one would expect the combat hit potential percentages, to be well above the
dismal ones reported. That is because the shooting distance was less than 20
feet in 75 percent of the 4000 encounters studied.

The US Army recognizes that there is a disconnect. Its training manual, FM
23-35 Combat Training With Pistols & Revolvers (1988), calls for the use of
Point Shooting for combat at less than 15 feet, and when firing at night. It
does not call for using standard and traditional range marksmanship

"The weapon should be held in a two-hand grip and brought up close to the
body until it reaches chin level. It is then thrust forward until both arms
are straight. As the weapon is thrust forward, the trigger is smoothly
squeezed to the rear. The arms and body form a triangle which can be aimed
as a unit." For shooting at 5 to 10 yards, a modified version of the
technique is used.

Various Point Shooting techniques are available for use. They are simple,
direct, easy and quick to learn, and effective. With appropriate emphasis
and training time allotted to them, one can expect a better future than the

Target Focused shooting is taught to the CHP. It is similar to the shooting
methods of Fairbairn, Sykes, and Applegate, in that the sights are not used
in close quarters aiming.

There was an extensive write up of the system in the Oct, 2001 issue of Guns
& Weapons For Law Enforcement. Louis Chiodo is the developer of the method.
His site is Gunfighters Ltd., and the URL is:

Another innovative approach to Point Shooting is the C.A.R. or the Center
Axis Relock Method of Gunfighting. C.A.R. is a strong, stable, and flexible
platform that allows for quick target acquisition and rapid fire bursts of 4
shots to COM in under 1 second with standard pistols. It also can be used
effectively in small spaces and vehicles. It provides maximum weapon
retention, and also serves as a practical and effective base for contact

An article on the C.A.R. system was published in the Summer 2002 issue of The Deputy Sheriff Magazine which is published by the United States Deputy
Sheriffs' Association. Paul Castle is the developer of the system. His site
is Sabre Inc., and the URL is:

The author is a fan of AIMED Point Shooting or P&S as he calls it. He has
patented a very simple, cheap, and practical aiming aid that has proven to be
very effective in recent test shoots. Information on it with pics is
available at

Anyone who wishes to make and add the aiming aid to their own personal
firearm/s, is welcome to do so, if done at their own risk and expense and if
they accept full responsibility for any and all results. This also applies
to police agencies who may wish to make and add them to various agency
weapons, and gunsmiths who may be needed to do the work.

To use the aid, one just grabs the gun, points the index finger at a target,
and pulls the trigger with the middle or left index finger. That is all
there is to it. Just point-n-pull, point-n-pull. No more, no less. It is
instinctive, and it works. The photos of the targets used in tests, show
that to be fact. One does not need to learn a special technique, grip,
stance, or dance. The full details on P&S are available for free at

The author has had several articles on Point Shooting and related topics
published over the past few years in a variety of Police publications. A
recent article titled: Is Front Sight Press, Front Sight Folly?, and one on
the C.A.R. system, can be reviewed on his site. He is not a professional, or
a gunslinger. He just objects to shooting methods that don't work when they

The US Army's Combat Training manual is free on the web at:


A final note:

I have recently completed another article titled "Is Front Sight Press, Front
Sight Folly?" I have not included it here as it would make this long e-mail,
much longer. I will send it to you if you wish, or you can review it on my
site. The URL is

I wrote the Front Sight Press article after I happened upon the US Army's
combat pistol training manual a month or two ago. It describes in great
detail, the requirements that "must be met" to use the Front Sight Press
technique successfully.

If those requirements are looked at closely, and considered in the light of
what is known about real life and death pistol gunfights, serious questions
come up about the use of FSP in gunfights. That is so, because some of the
requirements are patently unrealistic, and plainly impractical for
application in those situations. Even the US Army doesn't call for the use
of FSP at under five yards.

One article compliments the other.

- Janq

1,044 Posts
Two things. To most police officers it seems as if their firearm is regarded about as highly as their can of pepper spray and they have as much or less practice with it. Two, does the NYPD still issue Glocks with that 12+ pound trigger?

396 Posts
Sounds like they use the spray and pray technique. Practice, than practice some more, and than some more, etc.
Unfortunately most LEO are just like the rest of the sheeple walking around, they have very little interest in fire arms and just consider there gun to be a heavy burden on there hip that they wish they didn't have to carry all day. I would venture to say, that in most Police and Sheriff departments that the number of LEO that train with and shoot there weapon on a regular basis is probably less then 5%. the other 95% are the ones that don't touch there weapon more then the once a year when they have to, to qualify with it. They have no incentive. They put there butts on the line everyday for a just over minimum wage job. Most of there on duty time consist of baby sitting drunks, dealing with druggies and marriage counselor for domestic disputes and giving tickets to people that hate them for it.
there not going to spend there money on gas or ammo if the department they work for is small and doesn't' give out practice ammo. Unfortunately this is the reality of the situation.

3,616 Posts
Unfortunately most LEO are just like the rest of the sheeple walking around, they have very little interest in fire arms and just consider there gun to be a heavy burden on there hip that they wish they didn't have to carry all day.
Ouch, that's a hard hit. Mainly because it's true. Scratch me off that list since I live fire train once a week and do dry fire, airsoft and/or sim just about everyday (except weekends). I am the lead firearms instructor for my agency and this is how I got it - do more, know more, want more than everyone else and shoot a hell of a lot better than them too. I actually have co-workers who are surprised that I carry a gun all of the time - go figure!

396 Posts
There are allot of outstanding LEO out there. They train hard and are very good at what they do, I am proud to know a few of them, unfortunately they are very much in the minority. Not trying to get OT on this, but I believe my post explained one of the big factors of why the hit ratio's are so low.

3,616 Posts
There are allot of outstanding LEO out there. They train hard and are very good at what they do, I am proud to know a few of them, unfortunately they are very much in the minority. Not trying to get OT on this, but I believe my post explained one of the big factors of why the hit ratio's are so low.

444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There are allot of outstanding LEO out there. They train hard and are very good at what they do, I am proud to know a few of them, unfortunately they are very much in the minority. Not trying to get OT on this, but I believe my post explained one of the big factors of why the hit ratio's are so low.

Roger that!

Super Moderator
18,301 Posts
Not trying to get OT on this, but I believe my post explained one of the big factors of why the hit ratio's are so low.
I don't know about that. Shooting once a week at a B27 silhouette that doesn't move or shoot back only proves that you can hit a target that isn't moving or shooting back.

It does little in the way of training for real world scenarios. This is the reason why shooting targets that move, learning to shoot on the move, shooting at real targets that shoot back and the various scenario drills have much more value in the real world than shooting a standard police course does.

Using simunitions can open ones eyes as to the training needed. Someone shooting at you when its unexpected or even if you know its coming and all of that time standing in front of a paper target doesn't mean a thing or do a thing for you other than for gun handling skills.

Fortunately, more and more Dept's. are going to more realistic training scenarios. Still others, are using outdated methods for qualifying. Thats where the problem is.

6,780 Posts
Bingo! ^^

For me training with Simunitions is what _reeeeallly_ opened my eyes wide toward threat assessment, reaction timing, and how most probably shots will be fired with a threat focus as opposed to a sight focus.
After doing so I was convinced that point shooting has merit, amongst a host of other things learned that cannot be via static range paper target training.

- Janq
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.