(MA) Guns, guts and taking aim


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Drizzt
May 6, 2006, 03:22 AM
Guns, guts and taking aim
By Bella Travaglini/ bella.travaglini@cnc.com
Friday, May 5, 2006

Police met their match when residents attended the Citizens' Academy last month and took aim with police-issued guns.

"I think we have some ringers in this class!" Lt. Dana Milne proclaimed, admiring the target sheets academy members took home as testament to their shooting prowess.

Men and women alike stepped right on up for the chance to handle and fire the exact gun police carry - the SIG Sauer P226 RDAK semi-automatic firearm. This powerful weapon police began carrying last fall did not intimidate one single member attending the academy.

In spite of an hour-long preparation with "dummy" guns and a fair warning to keep their fingers properly placed, one academy member was injured during his time up in the firing range, though not seriously.

"I guess they (police) were right when they said to keep your fingers out of the way," David Tapparo said, clenching a paper towel to his bleeding hand. He injured it when his finger got in the way of the slide device during the firing of the gun.

Lt. Dana Milne and Officer Brian Casparian led the April 20 session of the academy on police firearm procedures, which could very well have been one of the most anticipated sessions of the 10-week program.

Many academy members were surprised to find police had a firing range conveniently located in the police station's basement for continuous training. Equally surprising was the fact that the guns to be used by academy members were loaded with live ammunition and not blanks.

"Why are we using live ammo?" academy participant George Corley asked.

"If we use blanks, then there wouldn't be any marks left on the target," Milne said.

Bullets usually consist of a brass outer casing and the actual bullet inside that, Milne explained. When a gun is shot, the casing drops off while the projectile continues on its path. Blanks are simply casings without bullets; therefore, nothing would actually fire from the gun.

"The bullets we use are a bigger size," Milne said, referring to the 45-caliber bullet police use. "This creates a larger wound, but because it opens up when it hits the target, it stops and therefore prevents the bullet from passing through."

Academy members vied for a spot in line in the narrow corridor of the police station firing range, with the three female participants maneuvering for the front of the line.

"You'll be a little shaky and a little leery at first," Casparian advised before the first shooter fired off.

With body armor in tact, eye goggles in place and ear protection on, each academy member, one by one, took aim with the SAK Sauer semi-automatic and fired off five rounds at the paper target 21 feet away.

Members of the police force who patrol the streets begin their shifts wearing their protective body armor, Casparian said. Although gun assaults in town have been far and few between, police don't take a chance.

"Danvers is quiet, but over the years things crop up, as they do in the bigger cities," Milne told academy members.

The protective vests, designed of a weave of materials which "catch" bullets in the mesh, are specifically designed to stop 45-caliber bullets.

This is not a coincidence, police said. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement, Officers Killed and Assaulted Program (LEOKA) statistics, 633 police officers were killed by firearms between 1988 and 1997. Those firearms were usually their own.

http://www2.townonline.com/danvers/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=488798

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Chipperman
May 6, 2006, 02:18 PM
Interesting. I'm not far from Danvers.

"...633 police officers were killed by firearms between 1988 and 1997. Those firearms were usually their own."

Glad they wrote that. Goes against the anti-gun position that every gun "on the street" is a Cop-Killer.

There are some other odd statements in the article.

"The bullets we use are a bigger size," Milne said, referring to the 45-caliber bullet police use. "This creates a larger wound, but because it opens up when it hits the target, it stops and therefore prevents the bullet from passing through." :scrutiny:
"When a gun is shot, the casing drops off while the projectile continues on its path." Is this like a rocket booster? :rolleyes:

James NM
May 6, 2006, 02:29 PM
When did SIG start making the 226 in 45 caliber???

FPrice
May 6, 2006, 02:35 PM
"...633 police officers were killed by firearms between 1988 and 1997. Those firearms were usually their own."

While I don't have the figures in front of me I do not think that this is an accurate statement. If I can find the time I'll try to check the DOJ files on this.

Tory
May 6, 2006, 07:42 PM
"Bullets usually consist of a brass outer casing and the actual bullet inside that, Milne explained. When a gun is shot, the casing drops off while the projectile continues on its path. Blanks are simply casings without bullets; therefore, nothing would actually fire from the gun."

Tell that to Jon Eric Hexum....... :uhoh:

"The bullets we use are a bigger size," Milne said, referring to the 45-caliber bullet police use. "This creates a larger wound, but because it opens up when it hits the target, it stops and therefore prevents the bullet from passing through."

So all those 9 mm .357 SIG, .357 Magnum and .40 S&W JHP's all over-penetrate? :scrutiny:

"The protective vests, designed of a weave of materials which "catch" bullets in the mesh, are specifically designed to stop 45-caliber bullets."

Well, I'll be sure to use a smaller caliber the next time I'm in Danvers........ :banghead:

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