TG: What firearms training/qualificationrequirements does Tacoma PD have for its officers? Of these, whatare unique to the 1911?
SGT. WADE: All officers are required to attend a pistol transitioncourse consisting of three days (30 hours). All new hire officersare required to attend a three-day (30 hours) pre-academy pistolcourse and a four-day (40 hour) post-academy pistol course (lateralhires complete the post-academy training as part of their pistolselection). Tacoma police officers must attend two pistolqualifications each year as well as two pistol training sessionseach year as part of scheduled quarterly training. The pistolqualification is comprised of two parts: one tests marksmanship,malfunction clearances, and magazine changes from the 3 to 25 yardline with a total of 61 rounds fired. The second test is a speedqualification that requires the officer to draw and fire 10 roundson the silhouette while conducting a speed reload and clearing aprimary or Type 1 malfunction.
TG: What should other police departments know aboutTacoma's use of the 1911 for duty?
SGT. WADE: The maintenance required for the 1911 pistol is moredemanding than Glocks and other similar pistols. This includes notonly regular cleaning but detailed breakdowns by departmentarmorers and replacing the recoil spring on a consistent basis.Other 1911 pistols that were tested in 2001 were finicky about whattype of ammunition that would feed reliably. Also, some dutybullets would expand reliably out of a 4.5-inch Glock barrel butnot a 4-inch Kimber barrel so ammunition testing is vital.
Also, the range staff must reserve the authority to overrulepistol selections made by its officers. An example is officers thatare poor manipulators of pistols in general. The 1911 may feelbetter in their hands especially if they have had experience withlarge, double-stacked pistols. Their poor manipulation skills willhave to be worked on during the transition course or they willcontinue to experience issues in the future. Range staff must behonest with officers that the 1911 requires more care and bettermanipulation skills.
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TG: What do the officers appreciate about being able tocarry a Kimber 1911 on duty or, if applicable, offduty?
SGT. WADE: One officer commented that due to his small hand size,the Kimber 1911 allowed him to pick a .45 pistol that he couldgrip. He would not be able to pick a pistol with a double-stackmagazine like the Glock.
Another commented that the trigger press is smoother and has amore positive feel than most high-capacity pistols.
Several officers commented that the external safeties and hammerback were at first very intimidating. But when the range staffexplained how the safeties worked and that the trigger press wasabout 5.5 pounds (same as many other pistols) they tried the pistolout and found they liked it. PREVIOUS PAGE
Resources for Tactical Operators
The Gun Digest Book of Tactical Gear
The Gun Digest Book of Tactical WeaponsAssembly/Disassembly
Own the Night: Selection and Use of Tactical Lightsand Lasers
Tactical Pistol Shooting: Your Guide to Tactics thatWork, 2nd Ed.