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Citizen Police Academy: week 6

Glock 40 cal, originally uploaded by IMAGO escandon.

Introduction to firearms! Now we're talking. This was the most interesting week to date for me, and possibly the most boring for Jenna. The Range Master showed us examples of guns and ammunition, and spoke about training, safety, and tactics. We learned:

  • the service weapons that St. Paul officers carry
    • (including the .40 caliber Glock pistol, above)
  • St. Paul cops must qualify at least once per year on all authorized weapons
  • that the majority of people shot by handguns do not die
Handgun ammo is designed to crush tissue and run the organism out of "hydraulic fluid" (i.e., blood), to shut down oxygen supply to the brain. They move at a relatively slow velocity, so the damage area is only as large as the hole caused by the bullet. The advantage of a handgun is versatility--you can roll around and fight with it. It's easier to handle when you don't know what you're getting into.

If you know that you're going to a gun fight, you bring a rife or a shotgun. A long gun bullet is smaller but faster. Liquid does not compress, so a high velocity bullet will create a shock wave as it explodes outward dramatically. Higher speed means more tissue affected and a wider range of damage, whereas a handgun bullet will only make a hole as large as the caliber of the bullet.

1 comment:

E. McPan said...

"If you know that you're going to a gun fight..." I actually worked on a case where a guy brought a machete to a gun fight. And won.


Nice gun - it's the kind I have. I'm not sure if the ammo I have at home is the same. It's designed to kill people but not tear up sheetrock (so you don't kill your neighbor inadvertently).