I stumbled upon this colorized version of a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) training tape from the late 1930s (the description says 1936 but the video says 1938). The tape is available on the LASD’s YouTube page is a worth watching for the trick shots, training methods and historical context. I’m going to point out a few great parts in case you don’t have the 15 minutes to watch the entire thing, but here is the video:
Here are my favorite parts:
At 0:30 the trick shots start. Yes, they actually shoots cigars and cigarettes out of each others mouths and ears. Total win.
At 3:35 “a rookie arrives for gun instruction”. Note his muzzle awareness, he is quickly corrected. Nice touch!
Around the 7:30 mark you’ll see a some rapid fire strings of fire. They actually have a butt system for targets at the 25 yard line. I thought this was amazing since you only see it on known distance rifle ranges in modern times.
The video gets even better at 10:18 with the introduction of combat shooting. At 10:55 they show the drill above, “gangbusters” which was the “el presidente” without the head shots years before it was standardized.
If you’ve spent anytime shooting ISPC matches, you probably started a stage like this, known as “merchants lunch” at 11:00.
They had bigger budgets back then, at 12:12 they want you coming back once a month, instead of the 1-2 times annually in many big departments nowadays.
A good part of the video deals with reloading. A progressive pistol press in the 1930s? Yep, LASD had one at 14:02, with two guys running it.
Things get good at 15:00 with the Tommy Gun and tear gas gun training. Note the heart on the target.
At 15:15 more officers rush targets with 1911s! How cutting edge is that?
The video closes with what appears to be a change of command ceremony with the a sword being exchanged. How cool is that? A sheriff’s department with swords?
It appears the more things change, the more they stay the same. I was joking with a buddy that we could travel back in time to the range and start working it without missing a beat.
Thank you to the LASD Sheriff for sharing this video!