Holy Crap, are Cops really this bad at shooting their pistols???

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
775
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I read this in another forum:

Police are phenomenally bad shooters by any measure. The hit someone other than the person they are shooting at 5 times as often as civilians, they accidentally shoot themselves or other cops 3 times for every 4 times they shoot a target, and they are only 50% as likely to successfully hit an opponent before he escapes as a civilian is.
Is that really true or made up?

That might explain all the 'accidents' lately.
 

Canai

Diamond Member
Oct 4, 2006
8,016
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Unfortunatly, I believe it. A few years ago we had a sherriff come out to take care of a sick raccoon, he literally emptied a full clip from his sidearm into it at point blank range, and ended up killing it with a shovell.
 

xanis

Lifer
Sep 11, 2005
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Let's see, if you're facing an armed criminal and your life is in danger, I would bet that your accuracy would be a little off too.
 

novasatori

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2003
3,851
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I think it applies to almost everyone

I talked to an MP who said that even with them practicing all the time, as soon as you get adrenaline and other factors going you can expect your accuracy to decrease by a large percentage I don't remember the exact, but like 50% iirc
 

SViper

Senior member
Feb 17, 2005
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I'm pulling these numbers out of my ass, but I heard one time that your chances of getting shot if you are a stationary target are 1 in 10. If you are moving, your chances of getting hit are 1 in 25.
 

novasatori

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2003
3,851
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Police trainees who were ready to graduate from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) volunteered to participate in an exercise designed to evaluate their survivability. In a highly stressful interactive scenario, which included a hostage situation, performance was evaluated for a range of responses, including: shooting judgment and accuracy, communications, and coping with a weapon malfunction. Nineteen percent of subjects shot the hostage, a failure rate that falls in the reported range of friendly fire casualties in military combat. The Spielberger Trait Anger Scale showed an association with shot placement and performance during the gunfight as well as with overall performance scores.
Source


So 19% to hit the HOSTAGE, I believe the 50% decrease that was given to me by the MP training guy when I was at the range.

If someone has a way to get the full article no doubt it has more information within.


I will keep looking.
 

BigJ

Lifer
Nov 18, 2001
21,335
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Every police officer has to qualify, and every officer has continuous training while on the force. However, it is not extensive training, and when you make a police officer use their weapon in a situation where a target is normally either moving or behind cover, is in a life or death situation, and their adrenaline is through the roof, the chance of hitting a target plummets.

The majority of police officers never wind up firing even a single round on duty, and to actually implement a training system that would make officers much better marksmen would cost tax payers tons of money that they aren't willing to shell out.
 

YoungGun21

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2006
2,551
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My dad used to be a police officer... he was a Marksman with his sidearm.

He is still pretty freakin accurate even though he doesn't shoot nearly as often.
 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
48,903
19
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Police are phenomenally bad shooters by any measure. The hit someone other than the person they are shooting at 5 times as often as civilians,
What civilians? General public? Not true. Many civilians have not even fired a handgun. The fact that they didn't define the group of civilians they're talking about is suspect.

they accidentally shoot themselves or other cops 3 times for every 4 times they shoot a target,
Most cops don't ever fire their gun in the line of duty. Accidents are rare as well - apparantly only slightly more rare than firing on a criminal.

and they are only 50% as likely to successfully hit an opponent before he escapes as a civilian is.
Again, they need to define the group of civilians they're talking about.


This reminds me of the statistic that says that if you keep a gun in your house, it's 40 times more likely to be used against you or a family member than against an intruder. While that may be technically true, it's completely misleading.
 

Cattlegod

Diamond Member
May 22, 2001
8,687
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they should make them do mandatory paintball/airsoft training or something instead of just target practice.
 

Mardeth

Platinum Member
Jul 24, 2002
2,609
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Not sure if those numbers add up.

75% chance to hit himself or other cop(!).
25-100+% ((5-20%)x5) chance of hitting other than target.
10-50% ((20-100%)x0.5) chance of hitting the target.

Averaging those out: ~15% of shooting at least 3 people. Or is my math/logic/understanding of english way off?
 

sygyzy

Lifer
Oct 21, 2000
14,001
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Originally posted by: Xanis
Let's see, if you're facing an armed criminal and your life is in danger, I would bet that your accuracy would be a little off too.
Why are you justifying it? Nobody asked you to. The OP just asked if it's true and while I don't know about those exact numbers, it's pretty understood that cops are terrible shots.
 

novasatori

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2003
3,851
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Originally posted by: sygyzy
Originally posted by: Xanis
Let's see, if you're facing an armed criminal and your life is in danger, I would bet that your accuracy would be a little off too.
Why are you justifying it? Nobody asked you to. The OP just asked if it's true and while I don't know about those exact numbers, it's pretty understood that cops are terrible shots.
I think the point is that it doesn't just apply to cops, but when given the same stress in a scenario almost everyone will perform ******.

Pretty unfair to say cops are terrible shots, when it is applicable to everyone and it shouldn't really surprise anyone.

tunnel vision + stress + nerves + a weapon + probably noise(yelling) + racing thoughts = inaccurate results
 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
48,903
19
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Originally posted by: sygyzy
Originally posted by: Xanis
Let's see, if you're facing an armed criminal and your life is in danger, I would bet that your accuracy would be a little off too.
Why are you justifying it? Nobody asked you to. The OP just asked if it's true and while I don't know about those exact numbers, it's pretty understood that cops are terrible shots.
"It's pretty understood" sounds like a statement steeped in fact.

Whenever there is a thread about cops shooting someone or something, you can tell which posters have fired a gun (in real life), and which have derived all of their knowledge of guns from movies and Counterstrike (a telling sign is when they think the "deagle" is the be all, end all of guns). It doesn't surpise me that "it's pretty understood" that cops are terrible shots when so many of the people who "understand" this have never fired a gun and have unrealistic expectations of what firing a gun is like.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
45
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Police trainees who were ready to graduate

i'd say there's a bit of difference between someone who's never experienced a situation like they describe and someone who has experience.
 

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