Originally Posted by longshot
Has anyone had a chance to play with one of these yet? I'm considering getting one for tactical shooting for my department. Also curious about the SPS model. Let me know if you guys have any input.
I realize that this might be coming a little late, so if you have already made your purchase, I apologize and wish you the best.
The information given is sound, and any well built rifle will do what you need it to do, but there is a variable you must factor in before the purchase and that is: If
you ever have to pull trigger and justify your decision in court.
Most police involved shootings occur at a range of 86 yards or 87 yards according to the last stats I saw from the FBI. Several departments here in Washington State where I live won't even green light a shooter out past 100 yards unless it is an "extreme" case. So any big bore battle rifle or super sniper gun in something over .308 caliber isn't going to be necessary.
Every police department that we do business with in Puget Sound, including State and local departments, all have the same basic rifle. It's a .308 caliber, ( almost ALWAYS Remington ) 20 inch or 22 inch barrel with a 4.5x14 ( usually Leupold )mounted on top and they shoot pretty much Federal Gold Medal Match or Black Hills. There is a reason beyond just the fact that it's the most basic platform, and that is it's easily defendable in court should a shot ever need to be taken.
When a police sharpshooter here takes a shot, regardless of condition, the weapon is taken from him/her and put into evidence pending an investigation. If the investigation is found to be "just" the weapon is submitted to an "approved" armorer for inspection, a report is generated, and then returned to service. If the shooting is questionable, then the weapon is submitted to an "approved" armorer and a report is generated and then the whole mess gets put in a cabinet somewhere pending a trial if it's needed. In the shop were I hang out and put in some part time apprentice work, we have had to do several of these reports and they are always a serious matter because what you are saying is "Yes, the weapon is in perfect condition" or "This sharpshooter was not taking care of his weapon and negligence was found". No small deal I assure you.
Now, if you have the exact same rifle that 800+ other police departments around the country are using, the chances of the equipment itself getting called into question should "over penetration" occur or if, God help you, you missed, will be pretty slim. But, what if you had something obscure that you have put together on your own?
Say you choose to go with an oddball caliber, or you hand load your own ammo because you have been doing it years and you know you can drive tacks with it? That will be called into question should you ever need to justify what happened. "Do you mean to tell me, Mr. Sharpshooter, that even though every other department in the nation is shooting a .308 with factory ammo, YOU
made the decision to go with ( X caliber ) that YOU
handload yourself?" Don't think it won't happen, especially if there are big bucks on the line for some bottom feeder lawyer looking to make a name for himself.
I would strongly suggest getting an approved list from your department, they all generate one if you can find who's filing cabinet it's in, as to what they recommend and will stand behind. I am sure there are several very qualified 'smiths in your area who can help customize the weapon to your needs, but I would make damn sure that your department will stand behind the choice prior to ever having to use it.
If you need some contact info, or some specs, shoot me a PM and I will put you in touch with my armorer who can give you more information than you probably need.