By Lars Dalseide | September 16 2012 14:54

NRA's "Shield Up" course at the New Mexico Tactical Police Competition has competitors going in blind

Outside the blind stage at the NRA tactical police competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico - The Tactical Police Competition stage that everyone is talking about is the blind stage. Called "Shield Up", competitors are placed outside faux structure with firearm and shield in hand. And unlike the other courses ... there is no walk through.

"Had no idea what to expect," said Rich from New Mexico. "The only thing we knew for sure was that there were twelve targets. But after the first three or four, it's easy to lose count."

Before anything starts, guns are measured and triggers are weighed. That ensures that everything falls within duty specs. Why's that? Because the guns some competitors use for national 3-gun competitions are a touch more supped up then the ones they carry on duty. We want to make sure everyone starts on the same level.

Weighing the gun triggers at NRA's blind stage 'shield up' at the New Mexico tactical police competition

Another aspect of this stage is the shield. The ballistic shield must be carried at all times. No peeking either. Every shot must be aimed and fired while looking through the visor port. So what happens you come to a door? Shield in one hand, gun in the other? You have to holster that firearm and open the door.

The main thing to remember is that there are twelve targets. Twelve which to engage. And not everyone is standing out in the open. You have to look around corners, peer through portholes and make sure every threat has been neutralized.

According to the officiating Range Officer, eighty percent of competitors fail to identify/engage every target. This is the stage that will separate the pack.

starting position for NRA's blind stage at the New Mexico Tactical Police Competition

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