UpComing Classes

Emerald City Writer's Conference


October 18-20, 2013; Bellevue, WA

A Basic Guide to Weapons

Chat with a Cop

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Weapons I'v Carried: Part IIIa

Weapon’s I’ve carried Part IIIa: Shotguns and submachine guns

I split this final section into parts A & B, but hey we’re talking about the coolest toys and they needed a little extra finess.  

In the CHP Academy I was introduced to the Remington 870, 12 gauge, Pump Action Shotgun. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdW2TAfN3mQ). When I went to the CHP Academy back in 1983, women reported a week earlier than men. Because we (women) were at a disadvantage – we were the weaker sex, don’t cha know - we needed the extra training to make sure we made it through the Academy.

If I sound a bit snarky – I am.  There were definite perks in letting women go to the Academy a week before their male counterparts:

Academy Orientation – we had the run of the layout, of learning the schedule and inner workings, preview of Physical Training (PT), Weapons, Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) and the all important one-on-one with women CHP officers at the Academy.

Now most of that was excellent training and we (women) definitely received an advantage going to the Academy early, but me being – well me – I only seem to really remember Academy Staff  members taking us (women) out to the EVOC track and showing us (women - only) how to change a freakin’ car tire. 

Seriously, first they gave us handouts to review and then we went out to the high speed track and received a step by step demonstration.

It wasn’t until years later I realized I had been insulted. At the time I was simply, but majorly peeved. I asked my female Academy mates if they had ever changed a tire and every one of them answered yes. Turns out, I was not the only one who had a brother or father teach them how to maintain their own vehicle so that brother or father no longer had to. 

Then to add fuel to my ire, when the discussion of our first week came up with the males in our class, a few of them readily admitted they had never changed a tire. One even said “That’s what AAA is for.”    

Me thinks I still be a bit peeved about that. I will take a deep breath and let it go . . . again.

Back to weapons training at the Academy.

Officer Danoff, a female officer who worked as a Firearms Instructor at the Academy, took the women cadets, during that first week, for orientation at the firearms range. She went over basic weapons handling, which included the shotgun. Ofcr Danoff showed us the best way to handle and fire the shotgun to prevent the weapon’s kick from beating the hell out of us.

Danoff showed us how to widen and balance our stance, place the shotgun butt in the pocket of our shoulder, to keep it seated there, and to lean forward slightly to minimize the kick. Until you fire an improperly tucked shotgun, you don’t realize just how much of a kick (or bruise) you can get.

Before that orientation was done I was acutely stiff, severely sore, but I knew how to properly hold and fire a shotgun. Later that evening we female cadets sat around comparing our first in a long line of deeply colorful academy bruises.

During the CHP Academy we shot both 00 buck and slug rounds. Let’s just say the slug rounds left bigger and better bruises.

The Remington 870 is a great tactical shotgun. There is nothing like the sound of ‘pumping’ a round into the chamber. Talk about psychological warfare. I have been present during group fights (usually gang or alcohol related) where officers tried repeatedly to get the combatants attention. One officer racked a round into the chamber of his shotgun and I’d swear every fighter came to immediate attention as if they were military trained.

This video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woIHhXBTQPs&feature=related ), has so-so sound quality, but you definitely hear when he engages the pump action. Truly that sound is distinctive and attention getting.  

I will stop here and post the final section in a few days.


  1. Great. Leave us hanging right in the middle of all this great information!

    Seriously though, I am soaking all of this up and am so pleased you're putting this information out there for all of us!

    Thank you,


  2. He-he, you caught me. My way of trying to get you to come back.