Manufacturers recognize the need for fight-winning ergonomics in their designs. If we were to recommend an agency-wide purchase for fight-winning handguns, it would be something with a replaceable backstrap such as FNH USA's FNP Series. This product line has a 9mm (FNP 9), .40 (FNP 40) and a .45 ( FNP 45) with user replaceable backstraps and an ergonomic design that places the web of the hand very close to the axis of the bore.
The backstrap is the area on the rear of the pistol grip where it contacts the palm. On the FNP model line, one can change the gun's pointing characteristics to suit the user. Our experience with the FNP 9 is that it fits a variety of shooters and is easy to get into the fight.
Training to prevail in close quarters requires repeated dry fire drills where officers start out slowly with draw and shoot drills toward muscle memory. As gun manipulation skills improve, training live fire with a Pact timer is added. If it is a training day on the range, officers should shoot against the Pact timer in friendly competition. The drills should be simple. Officers can compete to see who can empty a magazine of A zone hits at a 3-yard target.
The debate about point shooting versus aimed fire will always be fueled by new statistics and incidents. The important thing is to keep the debate alive — both have their place and officers should always practice to see the target and engage.
Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer who teaches Administration of Justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California.