A pistol training round | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

A pistol training round

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A pistol training round

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Pistol shooting practise usually consisted of standing at 45 degrees hand on hip and pistol hand extended, sighting down the barrel and shooting  the target bulls-eye out. In real life if someone is shooting at you you get all of you into or behind cover until you can see whats going on. So if you are in cover are all your bits hidden. If your ankle or end of foot or elbow is sticking slightly out then a shot to this bit can take you out of the game. In UK we used a wax cartridge to simulate live fire hits. I introduced this round into the MU training. When I came from UK I bought with me an RCBS hand loading machine which is like a nut cracker. It can re-manufacture used empty cartridges. By using the cartridge primer only and no powder it has suffcient energy to propel a bullet made of wax with accuracy. We now had the means of recording hits to your sticking out bits when under fire. I made some of these rounds and showed them to the MU together with instructions for use and what they could and couldn't do and clothing to wear and where to shoot etc but were still unsure as to how they would perform. We were with Bill Duncanson in the bar at PHQ considering various training methods. Paul Deal (SB) then left to go to the loo and he was followed By Hugh Healy Brown. Next there was a shout from the loos and Hugh came running out chased by Paul Deal through the bar. Whilst Paul was standing at the loo and to test the rounds Hugh had gone in and shot him twice in the ass as a test. They worked and Paul had 2 bruises to show. After this they proved their worth and our self preservation expertise increased. When someone shoots at you you get out of the way first instead of standing and drawing your weapon whilst looking around. If you survive the first bullet it is doubtful if you will the second. 

From the training school the RHKP was repetative in its shooting training, so much so that when under the stress and fear in a live shoot you revert to your repetative training manner and that can get you injured or killed. Under the guidance of Bill Duncanson, this was something the unit was not going to do so each shooting session was full of different situations to solve involving all weapons and skills and some surprises. When I went to the FBI academy at Quantico Sept. 1977 as a member of the RHKP we researched a paper on this title. 2 highway patrol officers arrived at an armed robbery with 2 men shooting at them. Under stress they reverted to their basic training. They hid behind their car and each officer shot back. They would then duck back out of sight, eject their spent cartridges, load and both shoot again. Then when they ducked to reload, the baddies walked up leant over the car and shot them dead. Their empty cartridges were found in a nice neat little pile behind them just as they were taught in school. That is what we didnt want to happen in HK. and why Bill Duncanson wanted us trained in all sorts of things. You aint no good if your dead or missing a piece.

Another situation to show how people react under stress. In Minnesota a male and female police entered a shop being held up by 3 baddies. The distance between the 2 sides at the most was no more than 20 yards and each shooting position was fluid about the store and shelves. Each side saw the other and started shooting. During the shoot out a total of 97 shots were fired by both sides with no hits to people recorded. The baddies gave up when they ran out of shots (so did the police) but by that time police back up arrived before they started fighting and biting each other. The problem with live fire is that you have to experience it to see how you are going to react. Some people have been known to stand up and walk about thinking it is a dream.  That is another aspect of our training that we got over and so had confidence in each other. This is also one of the secrets of our operations success. As a team or individuals We went, saw, completed and gone knowing that the boss, Bill was behind you/us and he never let you down regardless.