Sport shooting is great for recreational practice but there are certain bad habits one can learn. There are certain stages in sport shooting competition where shooters must stay inside of a box outline or constructed of two-by-fours or steel. A well versed combat shooter would probably stand much further back if the box were not there.
This is not to say sport shooting stages are completely unrealistic. Shooters complete shoot/no shoot stages as fast as possible while running and reloading under time constraints. The artificial box might not always be there, but what if the combat shooter had to shoot within the constraints of a doorway or closet?Rule 2: Slice in, Slice out
Usually it is better to back up a bit to see more target, rather than bend around the barricade. If the officer has a lot of room behind him, he should use it. Slowly stepping back may give a better perspective. Most importantly, lead with the gun, not the forehead.
Slicing means using angles to see and engage more target while exposing less. Slicing is dynamic — never done mechanically. The decision-making process should drive slicing. A common training error is slicing around the barricade to engage the first time, ducking behind cover for a reload or to work the radio and popping out the second time.
Practicing slicing into a barricade will increase the speed and decision-making process, improving the capabilities of the officer.Rule 3: Patrol work is moving from cover to cover
Officers should also slice their way to each call. If given the choice of drifting toward an oak and strolling toward the front door of a residence, pick the oak. Officers should keep the tree between them and the greatest perceived threat. After the oak, use the light pole in front of the house, then the doorframe. This practice will augment the secondary cover an officer should always have with him: The vest.
Subtly slicing to each barricade is not hard. One should avoid predictable behavior, like walking down the sidewalk every time. Rather, officers should subtly shift their attention from object to object, prepared to put something solid in front of them.
If the officer is wise enough to slice in and out, he should also be wise enough to use cover as long as possible. That is, one should not be in any great hurry to break from cover. Every experienced officer has an example of the time when a suspect recovered from a severe shock, crash or injury and continued to fight, run or drive. Why break cover when unnecessary?
Practice malfunction drills by training on ducking, communicating and slicing back into the shooting position. This is an excellent partner drill where one officer communicates "cover" while clearing a malfunction. The other covers his partner's sector until he is back in the fight.
When slicing back into the barricaded position, vary the level of the muzzle. If the suspect knows the officer will reappear in approximately the same position, it is likely he will saturate this area with bullets, or at least watch this region. If the officer appeared at one level initially it may be a good idea to slice in from a kneeling or prone position. Do not expose a body part twice in succession and keep exposure time to a minimum.
There are many sound reasons why an officer should slice back into a shooting position. Officers must have "eyes on" in order to recognize changes in the tactical situation. What if the suspect is armed when the officer last viewed him before he surrendered?
It is better to master a handful of techniques then to be mediocre at dozens of techniques. This training philosophy advocates using the same shooting technique for barricade shooting as static range training or standing unsupported practice.
For the dominant side, shooting with the dominant hand and eye with the opposite foot forward agrees with the largest percentage of Modified Weaver shooters. For the other side, begin the slice with the dominant side.
A cant of the gun toward the centerline of the barricade is normal when using the dominant hand on the support side. For threats one can hit with a thrown rock, concerns over target accuracy, and therefore the tilt of the gun, are academic. This is two eyed spontaneous shooting with visual acuity. This is fighting with a handgun, not competing for a trophy.