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Training and Testing with the M16 Rifle

by Detective Jerry Webb

I have spent the week training and testing with the M16 rifle. It has been about 23 years or so since I had spent much time with an M16.

The reason for my renewed black rifle relationship is that my agency has received M16s from the US Govt. That was the easy part. Now we (the most senior and qualified firearms instructors) had to come up with a training program, as well as tactics and policies for deployment.

The Chiefs issued us a mandate of almost impossible measure: get 20 "Patrol Rifle Officer" (PRO*) trained cops ready ASAP - before July if possible! The Patrol Rifle Officer program has been in the works for a while, but until now work had been obtaining equipment and policy work.

The first thing we had to do was certify enough instructors to train the PROs. It was decided that we would gather the selected instructors (all of whom were senior firearms instructors and military vets with M16 experience), and spend a full week immersed in high end M16 training and tactics. It was exhausting, but boy did I have fun. I felt younger running around and firing bursts into vehicles and targets!

I am posting some related messages with pictures, but the pictures are a little lame. Sorry, but I was busy running and gunning! I took these pictures during a lull in the action.

Officers were able to try shooting through barriers, including vehicles. Here I was playing with windshield deflection. Cool! Notice that at 100 yards, shooting from a 45 degree angle, the Hornady 60gr. TAP round did not deflect. It did break apart and strike the target "driver" in the face.

By the end of the week, we had requirements for PRO training candidates, courses of fire, and the most difficult performance standards for rifle qualification of any PD in the USA (minimum 96% score and no misses - a miss is automatic failure).

It was fun and I am looking forward to training up the PROs. Oh, and I have my own M16 now for training, and for issue when the program is implemented. The shooting facility is a half mile from my office, so I am going to practice on a regular basis.

*we are using the term Patrol Rifle Officer for several reasons. Besides sounding like what it is, the acronym "PRO" also implies the officer is an exceptional shot, which he will be. The State of Ohio calls my certification Police Assault Rifle Instructor. We want our PROs to have a handle that sounds positive and does not offend the masses. It is only a matter of time before the media starts screaming like a little girl, so our training and policy will be at the highest standards - far above what the state requires

Additional photos:

Officer fires M-16A1 rifle into a minivan.

Results of shooting a van with a .223

Officers learning what little protection a truck offers when attacked with a rifle

Officers take note of the damage inflicted upon a truck shot with a M-16A1. The 5.56mm rounds zip right through the vehicle.

copyright 2006 by the author and Firearms, all rights reserved.


Uploaded: 7/9/2006