7 Mar 16

From a friend with a big department:

“Not long ago, I supervised a standoff situation where our officers were placed in positions to engage a dangerous suspect. Several officers were armed with M4s. Bystanders were thickly mixed-in! Range to suspect was between 10 and 30m.

Happily, our situation was resolved without our officers having to shoot.

As a precaution, I asked all officers to report, with their red-dot-equipped M4s, to the range the following week. I set-up a situation with parer targets that exactly duplicated the situation with which were confronted a week earlier.

Given generous time, stable, braced firing positions, and stationary targets, not one of our officers was able to deliver required shots, even after several attempts!

When asked about sight settings and zeros, most officers were not prepared to answer definitively. Some didn’t even understand the question!

An examination of the M4s present revealed that, in most cases, the red dot and the back-up iron sights did not agree. Some were not even close!

Through rigorous training with much range time, we are aggressively addressing these issues.

Non-zeroed rifles in police service are a disaster, waiting to happen. I’m thankful disaster didn’t happen to us,

… through no fault of our own!


The foregoing gaffes are all too common! Police departments have rushed military rifles into service, often without necessary accouterments, nor necessary training. Some officers understand how to set-up and run these weapons, but many don’t.

Rifles can’t be “shared.” Sight settings are individual, and each officer must have absolute confidence in his, confirmed regularly on the range. Otherwise, the rifle is little more than a big and bulky pistol, with scant chance of ever positively contributing to any tactical situation.