Random thoughts from flyover country

Friday, October 5

Qualification prelude

Qualification is upon us once again, and the ranges open for practice Sunday morning. There will be the usual crowd of dedicated, conscientious officers wanting to hone their skills and the guys and gals who just like to shoot for free! Of course, those two groups are not mutually exclusive. Over the next few weeks, they will fire several thousand rounds of 180 grain .40 S&W ammunition. A few of us will add several hundred rounds of 125 grain .357 Magnum, and a similar amount of 158 grain .38 Special. (Yes, there are still a few of us old-timers toting .357 Magnum revolvers with .38 Special bugs.)

Then, there are the others, those that don’t like guns, don’t like to shoot, don’t practice on their own time, and don’t even remove them from their holsters between qualifications. Those are the folks who will fail to qualify on at least one of the three opportunities on their qualification days. (A shooter must qualify on two of three chances in order to work armed. If they fail, range personnel conduct immediate remedial training and let them attempt to re-qualify. If they fail that, they don’t work until they have retrained from day one of the firearms course and re-qualify since qualification with firearms is a job requirement.)

I’ve already heard some officers whining about qualification, their issue weapons, and the likelihood that weather will be inclement. Sometimes I think they’re in the wrong career field. I heard one of them refer to his issue handgun as a “boat anchor.” I’ll be working with him personally to resolve any problems he thinks he has…


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