Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Law Enforcement - shooting the gun in a perp's hand?:

I am looking for any information on any studies on shooting of weapons out of the hands of a suspect....any actual incidents, studies, etc. I plan to do a research project regarding this type of activity to better educate the L.E. community on the pro's and con's of this type of situation.....thanks
C.Donn Swanbom II <>
USA - Tuesday, January 05, 1999 at 23:20:34 (EST) 
Swanborn II, There was an incident a couple of years ago that was discussed here where a police man took out a gun. It was the contention here (to save scouring archives) that it was a bad precident given the fact that future lawyers would probably adopt the idea and question LE snipers who did not attempt to shoot the weapon. I personally think that is well founded in good thought. There might be a senerio where that would be an option but probably as an established procedure it sucks!
Pat: I do attempt to bed a couple inches ahead of the lug for the reasons Pat Bullet gave you! but I must say it is almost impossible to tell the difference given that other factors have so much bearing.
I do one thing a little different though. Mr. Bullet seems to bed first whereas I do everything else I can do to stabilize the system before I bed it. I frankly don't know which way is best. I'm sure that Pat's method is faster and results in a good shooting gun quicker than mine. Often I do things that are nullified by the bedding later so it would be hard to argue my method is correct except that I hopefully might find some unknown problem that might indeed be hidden and reduced by the bedding process to the point I wouldn't know about it.
Ron N. that's very commendable you would test you equipment before finding out the hard way.(as I usually do) I think you will find the Leupolds are quite good in cold weather. I have never experienced anything except a little tightness on VarX II models(no clicks on it).
VarX III units I've had are not affected normally except for fogging on the outside.
B.Rogers <>
USA - Wednesday, January 06, 1999 at 10:48:28 (EST) 
To C.Donn Swanbom II: Unfortunately I do can not give any info on actual incidents, where a LE sniper would have shot a gun out of criminals hand. Still I would like to give a few comments:

If a sniper tries to shoot the weapon out of a hostage takers hand, there are several possible outcomes:

1) The gun is hit, and the hostage taker is overwhelmed by SWAT-people and nobody gets hurt big time. Not very likely.

2) The gun is hit, but due to the impact the gun fires and the hostage or a third party is hurt big time. Possible.

3) The rifle bullet hits the hand of the criminal, passes through bone and flehs and carries on at around 2300 fps and may hit somebody else. Also the criminal can still shoot wth the other hand. Very possible.

4) The sniper misses the hand ans criminal totally, but the passing bullet and sonic boom of it causes unvoluntary reflection in the criminal, his gun goes bang and the situation ends in full shoot out. This outcome most probably has happened many times.

I think that the threat to hostages and third parties are too big, when a sniper tries to shoot the gun out of a criminals hand. Therefore this method should never be an official tactic. A sniper may choose to use it, but only if he really knows how to do it. In the end he must live with the consuquences. Last but not least, if somebody is so big threat that he can be shot legally, then the sniper should try to maximize his stopping power and aim to more effective body parts than a weapon or hand.

Hexa <>
Helsinki, Finland - Friday, January 08, 1999 at 08:35:34 (EST) 

Re: Disabling firearm

Several years ago in Columbus, Ohio there was a shot fired to disable a firearm. If memory serves me, the guy was sitting on the Statehouse or courthouse lawn in a folding chair. The handgun (looked like a snub) was held in front of him dangling between his legs. At the shot (from about 75 yds), the handgun scattered into many pieces and stung the man's hand. In an interview afterwards, either the sniper, or another sniper said that they routinely shoot .308 casings at 100 yds.

The next time that I was at the 100 yard range, I placed three 308 cases on a 100 yd. target frame. I was in the process of perfecting loads in a 6mm Rem 40-X in a Zelenak aluminum stock. Three shots later……. I was able to recover two of the cases neatly perforated. Still have them. It was a bum custom barrel which never shot better than ¾" groups, so it was just a lucky 3-shot group.

Ron N. <>
USA - Friday, January 08, 1999 at 16:57:23 (EST) 

Howdy fellers.

I have held off commenting on the shooting guns out of perps hands. Hexa had some very good points. I have found the energy up to partake in this.

First and most obvious question is why would a LE sniper want to shoot a gun out of someones hand? I suppose we could argue back and forth about flacid paralysis not being a sure thing. But you can say the same thing for the fact that the gun might still go off or the sniper might miss (ala hexa's remarks). Bottom line is you still have a maggot hostage taker that will now sue your ass, eat up some correctional facilities budget and probably get out and pull this type of shit again. You have a victim who has to live with the fact that the hostage taker is still out there somewhere maybe seeking revenge or continuing the episode at a later date.

I can group very good on a stationary target, on a firing range when I have control of most everything. But what is the liklihood that I will lose a little group tightener under stress or the gun will move just as I shoot. Pretty good I think.

Men, "In my opinion" don't even entertain this subject if you are a cop. Train for it and leave it in your bag of tricks but don't ever let on to a supervisor that this is an option available to him. Besides, I wonder how many of these incidents were accidental that the sniper involved took credit for as being intentional? Hey it looks good in the press right?

Stick with the high percentage shots. Mark Maguire hit a shit load of homers but how many times did he strike out? Murphy is alive and well. I know. I've met him and his son!

gooch <>
USA - Friday, January 08, 1999 at 18:53:49 (EST) 

RE: Shooten da gun outa tha han a da bad guy!

Mostly what I want to say (make that scream!!) is...."ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR F--KING MIND???" For reasons that have already been stated chances for an major "F--k Up" are just too great.

Now that I have that out of my system I can think of a few times when a stunt like this might (that's MIGHT) be worth the risk. Recently I have seen several situations when police were confronted with a mentally disturbed or emotionally distraught individual who was a threat to others only in that they had a weapon that in there confused state might discharge and harm someone. I don't think I care if they happen to shoot themselves but as a law enforcement officer I worry about anyone else within range of their weapon. Some of these individules think thay want to commit suiside but want someone else (a cop) to do it for them. I'm not in this buisness to kill people (even if I am prepared to) and all the backlash (personal, profesional and legal) from an action like that could be overwelming.

So...If, under the circumstances described above, a shot could be taken that would have an almost perfect chance of success, where there was no chance of harm to anyone else (IE: where is the shot going after it strikes the gun?) and there is no other reasonable or likely safe solution then I would consider taking that shot....BUT....I still wouldn't like it!

Stay Safe!
Depity Dave <>
Finelly Thawing Out in, Snow Crusted West Virginia USA - Saturday, January 09, 1999 at 11:26:16 (EST) 

On shooting the gun out of the hand. Bad, bad idea. Lawyers begin to salivate. Sets a real bad precedence. About the only case this would make sense is a case of attempted "suicide by cop." If the perp is not threatening anyone but himself, I suppose this could be considered, but the reality is that it only takes a wave of his weapon to be threatening someone else. Real fine line there. No happy answer! Everyone loses. I'd agree that the best advice is to never bring it up as an option!

Scott <>
USA - Saturday, January 09, 1999 at 14:12:49 (EST) 

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