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SWAT Team Gun Tactics: Intimidating But Not Practical

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posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 11:16 AM
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SWAT Team Gun Training Not Practical

One thing that I can't accept about SWAT team training procedures I see in police and military training and actual videos is the concept of having the long gun up in a truly unstable firing position and the head bent down to look through the sight/optics as the shooter moves into a situation.

Visually scanning the scene in conjunction with a sweeping motion of an out-thrust long gun is awkward and inefficient but good theater on those confronted. However, pointing the gun in the direction scanned means the gun barrel and area of focus may be a long way from the direction of the target.

The raised gun, head down, through the sight/optics assessment of the scene seems a drawback, an over complication of a simple, fact-finding maneuver. Perhaps it is the result of bureaucratic theory that set out to logically solve the problem of close-quarter combat by dividing the field of action into pieces. Theoretically, each individual sweeps an arc within his designated area. Practically, it goes against tried-and-proven, age-old hunting instincts which is the actual procedure taking place.

Gun hunters don’t hunt that way. They hold the gun at the ready, but not in the sighting-firing position. They take in as much of the scene as possible in looking for the target(s) and estimating what is to be played out. Being prepared to shot is number two on the list.

I don't shoot much anymore, except with my battery-powered, AR-15 airsoft carbine. I find that I still retain my old skills learned in younger days of accurately, consistently shooting with the gun below eye level, frequently from the hip. In that manner, I have a totally free, unobstructed view around me without having the weapon blocking part of the view. In addition, with the gun at my waist or nearly so, the weapon is more balanced and stable close to my body, and my body control and movements are more natural. I have better control and swifter movement of the muzzle than if it were thrust out at arm’s length head high in front of me. From the hip, I can get a shot off quicker than the other guy who is swinging and stabilizing his gun before he pulls the trigger. He also must get the target into his sights/optics, a learned action, of course, but yet one that complicates and over-defines the situation and slows the process. My reflex action is to quickly swing the gun at the perceived target, shoot, and reflexively auto-correct to where my initial projectile struck (or didn’t) and continue to hose the target as required. In a close-quarters gun-on-gun situation, that tactic makes sense. When I see people with stubby, auto/semi-auto machine guns sighting through them in the videos, I ask myself, “Why?”

As I round this thread out, I’m struck by how my way of firing is not only a hunter’s way, but is the natural way, learned by trial and error in the field. If that is difficult to understand stated that way, think in terms of the modern bow hunter in relation to the primitive bow hunter. Today, it can be an extremely complicated procedure to draw a string on a target and release it given the whole apparatus’ that can be variously attached to a compound bow. To the early bow hunter needing to get off an arrow quickly at a fleeing game animal or approaching foe, he needed only instinctual reflexes sharpened with experience. He pulled up and shot. Still don’t get my point? Ok, think about how a person can accurate throw a rock to hit a target. Hint: Rocks don’t come with sights.

edit on 6-12-2013 by Aliensun because: Transferring from Word to ATS lost my graph breaks




posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 


Are you saying they should learn to shoot with weapons down near the belt on a sling? This could be done.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 11:40 AM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 


MY EYES!

Can we get some paragraphs in here?



From the hip, I can get a shot off quicker than the other guy who is swinging and stabilizing his gun before he pulls the trigger.


Good luck hitting anything firing from the hip. Or, good luck not killing the hostages or innocents. The point of a sight is so you know where your bullet(s) will travel. Kind of important if you have innocent people you're trying to rescue in a high speed entry. The SWAT guys have allot of strategy and even more practice, I think they know what they're doing.


Ok, think about how a person can accurate throw a rock to hit a target. Hint: Rocks don’t come with sights.


Rocks aren't very effective.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 12:09 PM
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I'd imagine that they're trained that way to confirm the target is safe to engage so theres no bullets hitting people they shouldn't and while you may be good from the hip would you trust it if there was a bad guy with some of your family members used as meat shields?



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 12:16 PM
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I think the SWAT guys move and aim as they do for a basic reason. They are the 'attackers', learning interior details and spotting people as they go ...while those they usually seek or are fighting are waiting and fully expecting SWAT through limit entry ways. So the gun-up and ready to fire in an instant is to try and even out what is already starting a losing situation if they actually are walking into armed opposition.

My only real problem with police SWAT teams is how they are used, how easily they're deployed ..and for the first two reasons, just how many there are now compared to past times. Tactics generally make sense, IMO tho...



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:03 PM
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When clearing a room, you shouldn't look down the sights. The gun is shouldered, and your head should be up, not using (but still close to) the sights. Of course long guns aren't the ideal weapon for clearing a room in the first place.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 


As a SWAT Instructor let me try and explain

As the development of modern sighting methods and tactics involving the hunting of men evolved, many things were discovered.. Of most importance of course are the reasons methods fail and men die..

In the early 1990's until very recently, many federal agencies conducted both hands on research and historical fact finding to develop the methods in use today

I was a part of some of the studies so PLEASE feel free to ask me anything and if I can I will answer

The current tactics used by SWAT and many military units function to reduce response fire, decrease personal profile, increase stabilization and increase natural point of aim and effective fire.

Hunting men and hunting animals are completely different prospects until deer learn the art of rifle fire..



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by CrisMajor
 


Exactly we like to utilize the low ready position

www.lawofficer.com...

Also running a weapon system with a non magnified optic like an Aimpoint or an Eotech was designed to do so with both eyes open. So in reality you can clear a building aiming down the sights, with both eyes open thus still retaining your peripheral vision. Not how it is always done but it can work effectively.

In my opinion for law enforcement purposes there is no better weapon to clear a room then a short barreled AR-15 variant. I prefer 11.5". Of course the proper ammo choice is vital to effective performance. That is a whole other thread though.
edit on 6-12-2013 by TorqueyThePig because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-12-2013 by TorqueyThePig because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-12-2013 by TorqueyThePig because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 


As a old Soldier I can say that the majority of the decent door kickers do not have their head down looking through sights. They do have their head nearby and are constantly scanning. With both eyes.

It's constantly hammered upon during CQB training.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 





Hunting men and hunting animals are completely different prospects until deer learn the art of rifle fire..


ROFL but well said. You have to be able to take out the target without dying.

Question though, I fully understand what the OP is getting at. I can shoot very accurately from the hip using no sights. Accurate enough for game, yes, accurate enough to take out a human hiding behind a mum and child, um - no! Why not go in with lasers.

I don't understand why fixed sights are used with lasers. The only problem I can see is that when a whole group go in you need to establish who's laser is who's. Then on the other hand, you don't sweep a room with ten men.

I have no training against targets that shoot back but the subject is interesting.

P



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:27 PM
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pheonix358
I don't understand why fixed sights are used with lasers. The only problem I can see is that when a whole group go in you need to establish who's laser is who's. Then on the other hand, you don't sweep a room with ten men.


You have to have a fixed sight because batteries that power lasers do go bad from time to time. But combined, they make a deadly pair if you are quick enough.

I've cleared buildings (some scary ass [Snip]) with as many as 40 Soldiers. But usually, a room has 2 to 6 people per breach.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:35 PM
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For anyone who is interested, I thought I would add a helpful tidbit. The DVD for the movie Doom has a great special features section. Part of that is the real world actor training the cast went through to use tactics and weapons handling as an 'actual team' would.

They went into some of the reasoning, as I recall and were also showing the ready/fire position which is most of the tactics in the movie and what the OP is talking about here I think.

One thing to note, both eyes were open, too. So it wasn't scope lock to be oblivious to everything outside the sights. That would be a crazy way to imagine any armed team moving in a changing situation.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 


Thats cops for you, be ready to fire at any second, and prepared to look up and see what you hit immediately afterward.
Why do you think the police get spanked on TV every time they duke it out with one or two dudes with equivalent armor and firepower ala the North Hollywood Shootout and the Dorner Manhunt?



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 05:05 PM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 





You have to have a fixed sight because batteries that power lasers do go bad from time to time. But combined, they make a deadly pair if you are quick enough.


I am fine with that. Fixed sights for a backup or when you don't want a laser showing is great.

My question is, why use them both at the same time? Why look down the sights just to see your own laser dot?

P



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 05:44 PM
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pheonix358
reply to post by TDawgRex
 





You have to have a fixed sight because batteries that power lasers do go bad from time to time. But combined, they make a deadly pair if you are quick enough.


I am fine with that. Fixed sights for a backup or when you don't want a laser showing is great.

My question is, why use them both at the same time? Why look down the sights just to see your own laser dot?

P


Most often the laser is a IR laser which you cannot see with the naked eye. You need a pair of NVG's to see it. Don't believe the Hollywood hype.

Lasers work both ways (even the IR types), just like those tacti-cool flashlights that you see on weapons.. If you can see it coming at you, then you know where you're target will appear. Most lasers work off of a button these days, so that the shooter can activate it when he needs it.

And even if it is a visible laser, there is a certain comfort level after you have zeroed the weapon so that both the iron sights and laser line up at a fixed range. Kind of like zeroing a rifle scope. Then it just becomes muscle memory after you practice enough.
edit on 6-12-2013 by TDawgRex because: Just a ETA



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 06:35 PM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 


Thank you for the explanation.

I have seen enough silliness from Hollywood to know that they are far from the truth. One of my favorites was Sylvester Stalone standing on a wall shooting god knows how many bad guys who didn't seem to be able to hit him back. Sometimes even the good guys fire mag after mag and not hit anyone and the next scene they shoot someone with a cap gun at extreme range and put the bullet through the eye of a needle ...... silliness.

The problem for most of us is to tell what bits are silly and which are not. Still, movies need to be watched with logic disconnected.

P

edit on 6/12/2013 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 07:07 PM
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The guys aren't looking through their sights and only scanning what the barrel of their gun sweeps. Unlike the movies I've never seen guys keep their head perfectly in line with the sights of their weapon. They're constantly looking around with their eyes and head with the rifle shouldered. Just because the rifle is shouldered doesn't mean your cheek has to be smashed against the stock. Sometimes the butt stock is even on top of the shoulder to reduce practical length even further to minimized the chances of a grabbed barrel. Shots will hit the hotspot of a good weapon light at these ranges and of you happen to pickup your reflex sight or red dot or irons in your sight picture, then all the better.

The elbows in, shoulders hunched posture reduces the silhouette while at the same time keeps the shooter as "square" with expected targets as possible, maximizing the frontal area of body armor. The move away from bladed stances is for this reason.

Real life room clearing

As you can see, it's fast, violent, and you seldom have time for anything. I expect the weapon light was the main point of reference in this one.

edit on 6-12-2013 by Galvatron because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


Lasers are problematic for several reasons, so much so I have never used nor issued them to my teams

1. They artificially indicate shake at any distance over 10 m....

2. In a team atmosphere, knowing which light is yours is near impossible

3. They depend on a battery

There are more, but I have never liked them and never taught them or issued them to any of my teams



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 08:22 PM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 


This piece could benefit from some example images. I mean you do a great job describing, but I think they best technique is somewhere in between theirs and yours. Shooting from the hip doesn't seem like the best technique nor is the showy swat style.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 08:34 PM
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GogoVicMorrow
reply to post by Aliensun
 


This piece could benefit from some example images. I mean you do a great job describing, but I think they best technique is somewhere in between theirs and yours. Shooting from the hip doesn't seem like the best technique nor is the showy swat style.


Here is some quality footage of CQB. Excellent lessons here.



Sorry, I couldn't help it.



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