You need to train your team with a live-fire contest. You want CQB shooting, carbine and subgun engagements and maybe even a long-range shot or two to prove to the operators they don’t “always” have to wait for the sniper. (No offense to the snipers out there. We’ll get to you next month.) And you have a budget. What do you do? The clock is ticking. What do you do? (Cue theme for Jeopardy.)
I’m going to say: You create a timed scenario your operators have to solve using a sidearm and a long gun.
That’s correct, but you did not phrase your response in the form of a question.
Seriously though, no agency can go through training with only static paper targets and call the officers qualified. But building a scenario-based training environment with reactionary targets can be really costly. Unless, that is, you shun the steel and go for polymer. With just five polymer targets from Newbold, some dimensional lumber and a little imagination you can create a shooting scenario that is realistic, challenging and, if you include a stopwatch, provides the competitive stress to elevate the operator’s heart rate. Here’s the set up.
Run to cover
Engage popper at 25 yards with the long gun
Engage popper at 50 yards with the long gun
Move to secondary cover
Clear three plates at 7 yards with the sidearm
The timer starts the watch on the command and stops it when the final target disappears. Now, here is where the creativity comes in. Training officers can change the length of the run to cover, change the point of transition from the long gun to the pistol, or change the sequence of engagement. I had a bit of a reality check as I drew up the sequence. I started by planning to engage the closest targets with the handgun before transitioning to the long gun for the distant targets.
In the real world, if you are carrying a long gun on a mission, that gun is your primary weapon and you would not sling a fully functional long gun and reach for your pistol, so I turned things around, forcing the officer to run to cover, engage the closest of the two poppers (on the assumption that the closest threat is the most immediate), before hitting the distant popper. Then, for the sake of training, assume that the long gun has malfunctioned AND a close threat has appeared that requires multiple hits to be dealt with. Draw from the holster and fire the side arm.