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FIREARMS TACTICS By Lindsey Bertomen The LE carbine: A class act Photos courtesy of Sierra County (California) Sheriff’s Office. The carbine is an easily T mastered tool that can be he law enforcement carbine deployed for a variety of is one of the most versatile applications. Officers should practice dynamic shooting tools an officer possesses. With and movement techniques its original purpose of bridging in various environments. the gap between a handgun and the long rifle, the carbine not The 223 isn’t the only only bridged the physical gap, but cartridge out there, but resolved some of the training and it is the one most com- deployment inadequacies as well. mon to the industry. Agencies that would have Depending on the round, it may desirable, as bullet flipping in tissue deployed an officer with a handgun have reduced effectiveness or may tends to expand the wound cavity. to active shooter incidents in the not even penetrate a pair of exterior When departments are select- past now issue the carbine (and walls. The downside to this is the ing carbine cartridges, they should often body bunkers) across the fact that the best after-barrier per- consider where they will be board. These agencies recognize formers are the highest penetrating employed. Selecting an easily frag- that it is essential to have a carbine in urban environments. That is, the mented, light bullet for city use and in every patrol car, and overlapping best performers may over-perform a high penetration combination for training/deployment plans have when we don’t want them to. rural use is a good start. Agencies become more realistic as a result. should always perform their own There is evidence that suggests Perceiving the body tests with their own firearms when some law enforcement rifle and bul- selecting ammo. let combinations, specifically light as divided into mobility 223 bullets, are safer to use in urban Think tank environments than most handguns. and fire control The carbine-equipped officer Several agencies have reported is essential. should operate like a tank. Imagine independent studies of 223 bullets the body divided at the hip, separat- failing to penetrate interior and The 223 bullet tends to yaw, or ing the mobility mechanism from exterior wall combinations where deviate from its point of stabiliza- the turret mechanism. The mobility handgun bullets just keep going. tion, quickly in soft tissue. This is mechanism is the way a tank gets to 60 Law Enforcement Technology ■ March 2009 ■ www.officer.com FIREARMS TACTICS the battle, maneuvers to a position feet in charge. The moving stance of advantage and maximizes use should be narrower than shoulder of the main gun. Although a tank width and the shooter should take driver makes individual decisions advantage of the natural shock about the terrain, such as not to absorption of bent knees. depress the main gun on steep ter- rain, he does not make tactical deci- Side to side sions. The command and control Moving while shooting is not as sec
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