The New York State Police Revolver Course in Shooting

The following information on the New York State Police revolver course in shooting comes from Section 43 of Shooting by J. Henry FitzGerald. Shooting is also available to purchase in print.

The following course in practical police shooting has been used for many years by the New York State Troopers and is taught by the author at the New York State Police School. This organization was the first to use the Colt’s Silhouette target. When Captain Albert B. Moore and I visited all the barracks in the state and taught the officers this new course in the shooting, the valuable suggestions of Captain Moore were of great assistance in compiling the course, which has the sanction of former superintendent, Colonel George Chandler, and the present superintendent, Major John A. Warner.

The Colt Silhouette target is used because it is the shape and size of target which must be hit in an emergency.

Course I

6 shots single action
10 yards distance
2 Colt Silhouette targets used
3 shots with right hand
3 shots with left hand
Not timed
K zone to count

The object of this slow-fire course is to familiarize each officer with sights, position, recoil, and general shooting instructions, also to teach him the use of right and left hand, a very important accomplishment for any officer. Two targets are used to determine proficiency with each hand.

 Course II

6 shots double action
15 feet distance
2 Colt Silhouette targets
Position: Hands at side, revolver in holster. At command FIRE, draw and fire 3 shots with right hand at right hand target; change revolver to left hand and fire 3 shots with left hand at left hand target.
K zone to count.
Timed from command FIRE to last shot.

This course teaches quick draw, double action with right and left hand and shooting with speed and accuracy.

 Course III

6 shots double action
1 Colt Silhouette target
15 feet distance
Stand, hands at side, revolver in holster. At command FIRE, draw and fire 1 shot; return revolver to holster, arms at side. Without command, draw and fire second shot; return revolver to holster, hands at side. Repeat until 6 shots are fired.
Timed from command FIRE to last shot.
K zone to count.

This course teaches quick draw with favorite gun hand and placing the first shot accurately.

Sample Score Sheet

Sample score sheet for use in police course. (Click to enlarge)

 Course IV

6 shots single and double action
25 yards distance
2 Colt Silhouette targets
Stand on 25-yard line, revolver in holster, hands at side. At command FIRE, draw and fire 1 shot, single action, at each silhouette target. Run to 12 yards (carrying revolver safely while running, finger out of the trigger guard, arm at side) and, holding revolver in both hands (place gun hand in palm of the other hand, closing fingers around gun hand), fire 1 shot at each target. Drop to mat and holding revolver with both hands fire 1 shot at each target.
Timed from command FIRE to last shot.
K zone to count.

This course teaches twenty-five yard shooting, how to carry a revolver when running, to stop when firing, to steady a revolver with both hands after a run, and to drop to the ground when fired upon (making a target one-sixth the size of a standing man), and to fire accurately from a prone position.

 Course V

6 shots double action
10 feet distance
2 Colt Silhouette targets
Position: Revolver in holster, hands at side. At command FIRE, draw and fire 1 shot at the center zone of each target; return revolver to holster, hand to side. At command FIRE, draw and fire 1 shot at each head; return revolver to holster, hand to side. At command FIRE, draw and fire 1 shot at each right arm (bent arm).
Each 2 shots are timed.
No hits to count except those in part of silhouette target stated in command. Body hit from bottom of center zone to separating line in neck. Head hit from separating line in neck to top of head. Arm hit from white line at shoulder to body at side. Sleeve zone marked 0 does not count.
All hits count 5.

This course teaches the quick, accurate placing of shots at short range and they are considered the six most important shots that any officer can perfect himself in. Two targets are used in the above courses to teach the officer the accurate placing of shots in two targets without loss of time or accuracy. Many other courses may be created with the Colt Silhouette target and different distances may be used.

NY State Police School

New York State Police School, Troy, N.Y. Class of Feb. 1930. (Click to enlarge)

 Target Shooting

Target shooting is very essential to a police officer in the discharge of his duty, and is especially beneficial where long range shooting is necessary. For this work I consider the Camp Perry Police Course at twenty-five and fifty yards the most helpful.

10 shots slow fire, 1 minute per shot
10 shots each 5 in 20 seconds
10 shots each 5 in 10 seconds

The three essentials for police shooting are: the officer who is willing to learn, good ammunition, and an accurate, serviceable, and reliable revolver.

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The New York State Police Revolver Course in Shooting

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