Swat (special weapons and tactical) operators often need to perform intense physical activity and display weapon accuracy for an undetermined period of time. Strength and conditioning training have been found to play a vital role in the performance of SWAT operators during physical assessments, but little research has been devoted to training to improve dynamic marksmanship. PURPOSE: To evaluate the relationship between age, personal shooting practice, years of law enforcement experience, and years of SWAT experience with dynamic shooting accuracy. METHODS: SWAT operators (n = 195) completed a survey to self-report their training behaviors and previous experience (number of years in law enforcement and number of years in special operations unit.) Operators then completed several performance assessments (e.g., spring, pro-agility, 300-m run) in which they fired three rounds upon completion. The accuracy of the shots and the time it took to fire them all were recorded for each firearm for each assessment. Dynamic shooting scores were calculated, and a regression analysis was completed to assess the impact of age, experience, and training behaviors on dynamic shooting performance. RESULTS: As compared to the ≤ 30 year-old age group, each of the other age groups (years) [31-35 (P=0.0010), 36-40 (P40 (p=0.0218)] showed a decrease in overall shooting score, on average. As compared to those with ≤ 5 years of SWAT experience, both the 6-10 (P=0.0001) and >10 (P=0.0351) years of experience groups showed an increase in overall shooting score, on average. Those firing more than 250 rounds monthly (as compared to those firing ≤ 250 monthly, P=0.0017) showed an increase in overall shooting score, on average. Number of years in law enforcement was not found to be associated with overall shooting score. CONCLUSION: Years of SWAT experience and rounds fired per month were found to have the most impact on dynamic shooting performance of a SWAT operator. Early identification of officers to be brought into special operations would allow them to gain experience during younger years, optimizing factors for dynamic marksmanship. Further, agencies should seek to have operators maximize both monthly practice their primary weapon (>250 rounds) and dynamic movement training to optimize development of accurate dynamic shooters. These results suggest further research into SWAT training is merited to deepen our understanding of factors impacting dynamic marksmanship.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.