Multi-Gun Counterstrikes

In a fast-breaking felony stop, you never know if you’ll…

In a fast-breaking felony stop, you never know if you’ll have time to access a long gun. Train with your duty pistol and use the door of your cruiser, as Case Four illustrates, for protection. Sean Utley photo

If we taught every officer to pilot the patrol car like a professional race driver or fight like a professional Mixed Martial Arts master, there would be no time to teach them to perform day-to-day routine police work. This is why the law enforcement establishment can’t teach every cop to shoot like a 3-Gun champion. However, we can extrapolate from those other arenas and teach techniques that officers can use effectively on the street. One way we can make firearms training more efficient and street-relevant is to teach shooting stances and techniques that will transfer from a service pistol to off-duty and backup handguns—and even to police shotguns and patrol rifles.

With that in mind, I queried two famous policemen who’ve been in gunfights with both handguns and long guns. They each also have extensive background in teaching their skills to brother and sister officers. One is my old friend, Bill Allard, now retired from the NYPD. He was the lead firearms instructor for the legendary Stakeout Squad, and the one man on that unit who killed more armed robbers in gunfights than his famous partner, Jim Cirillo.

Bill Allard poses with a photo of himself from his days in the NYPD’s Stakeout Squad.

In a shootout I’ll call Case One, Bill emptied his Ithaca 12-gauge shotgun into a pair of heavily armed gunmen, only to find both of them still up and running after a total of five solid 00 buckshot hits. Transitioning to his S&W Model 10 service revolver, he pumped three .38 Special bullets into each man’s chest. By that point, both gunmen were down, but one was still trying to shoot him from the floor with an auto-loading carbine. Bill dropped his empty .38 and drew his specially authorized backup, a 1911 .45, and put seven rounds into the last gunman’s torso and the eighth into his head. Reloading from slide-lock, he realized at last that the gun battle was over and both of his antagonists were dead.

Bill Allard advises the readers of Guns & Weapons, “The opposite foot of your trigger hand goes forward when you are using a rifle, submachine gun, or shotgun. The other foot is to the rear. The butt of the gun should be tucked into your shoulder pocket, and your elbow should be held high, just about level with the shoulder. This keeps the butt from rolling out, away from the body. Of course, you are pulling the pistol grip tight into the pocket you created.” With this stance, and your body weight forward, says Bill, you can “recover faster for your next shot. In all my gunfights, I never fired just one shot with my 12-gauge Model 37 pump.”

With a handgun, Bill advises, “During a close encounter [within 10 yards], your stance should have both arms pushed out front, elbows locked tight and shoulders rolled in.” This Isosceles-type stance also squares your body armor most efficiently against the armed man you are shooting at.

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