By John Farnam
Not long ago, I attended the demonstration of a pneumatic target system designed for pistol training. A crowd of police officers also gathered to see this new device.
We all watched as pneumatically-actuated steel plates popped up and down from behind a steel sill. As you might imagine, this system allowed the operator to pop targets up and down in sequence, and for adjustable amounts of exposure time.
The manufacturer had a well-known, competitive shooter on hand to demonstrate his system. Ever the showman, the competition shooter performed several shooting exhibitions, using a typical hyper-tricked-out, race-gun/monstrosity and utterly impractical, competition leather gear.
In addition, like all pistol competitors these days, he wore satin pajamas full of assorted, commercial messages. While entertaining, I wondered what the purpose of this exhibition was, other than pure amusement.
When I put this question to the manufacturer, he replied that he wanted to show us all that his system can train police officers to shoot "really fast."
"Why is that important?" I asked. "Well, don't you want to be able to shoot fast?" was his exasperated reply.
He went on by pointing out that his hired pretty-boy could consistently shoot plates which were exposed for a mere three-quarters of a second, from a range of eight meters, all from the ready