The perception of the impact of load carriage on marksmanship performance in specialist police

Rob Marc Orr, Daniel Poke, Michael Stierli, James Dawes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The purpose of this investigation was to explore relationships between the perceived effects of tactical load carriage on marksmanship in specialist police officers during operational scenarios. Six male police officers (mean age = 34.0±7.4 years, mean height = 184.2±3.3 cm, mean body weight = 96.3±6.4 kg) from a specialist police unit participated in this investigation. Marksmanship measures were collected for primary (p) and secondary (s) weapons during a short move (Sh) and following a tactical mobility task (Mob) in fatigues only (FO) or tactically loaded (TL) conditions. Officers were also asked to assess the perceived impact of load carriage on marksmanship for both weapons using a visual analogue scale (VAS). There were no statistically significant (p > 0.05) differences in objective marksmanship measures with either weapon while TL. Officer’s perceived that their marksmanship would significantly improve when TL for primary (VAS mean = +3.00  2.53, p = 0.016) and secondary (VAS mean = +2.83  2.93, p = 0.039) weapons when compared to the FO conditions. It was also discovered that as perception towards improvement increased, marksmanship measures decreased in size denoting better performances. In conclusion, tactical police operators perceive that their marksmanship accuracy is improved when TL, with objective measures potentially supporting this belief. Tactical operators should perform marksmanship training activities while carrying relevant occupational loads. Monitoring perception with marksmanship tasks may facilitate confidence in TL marksmanship performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Australian Strength and Conditioning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


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