some thoughts after a day of training


Seeing how beautiful the weather was today I decided to take the day “gone shooting”. Other than the day I tested my steel target set-up, I haven’t been out slinging lead since hunting season, so I decided to start out with some “grease the groove” pistol work to knock off the rust. As the season progresses I will work back towards more dynamic movement and engagement sequences:

I don’t know if the swinging of the target in this set-up is a good thing or a bad one from a training standpoint. Something I have to keep working with to figure out.

I then moved onto a rifle/transition drill I put together: 10 round magazine in the AR and do the following; 50 yd silhouette 3 COM/2 Head, 100yd 5 rounds on 7″ dia plate, 7yd: 3 rounds on 7″ dia plate. Wash, rinse, reload and repeat.

Again…I know…no movement, no use of cover etc. This is just a “warm-up” (and I haven’t built my own barricades yet. Another project), with the intent of knocking off a little rust.

This drill got me thinking about the relationship between range necessity, drill realism and how you have to compromise between the two at times. You will probably think “why shoot at the 50 yd target with a target right on top of you at 7 yds??” And you would be correct in asking, but I’m not shooting a high velocity rifle round at a steel plate that close. In “real life” I wouldn’t transition to a pistol to shoot at a person that close either; so for the sake of the drill I had to set-up a mental “scenario” that had initial targets at 50 and 100 yards and the 7 yd target would be a “surprise” bad guy that jumped into view after I ran out of rifle ammo. Try to remain conscious of the discrepancy between “train as you fight” and “train safely”.

PS- After a re-paint the targets look like this. The one on the left has only had .40 S&W from about 7 yards on it, the one on the right mostly .223 rem 55 grn. from 100 yards.

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14 thoughts on “some thoughts after a day of training”

  1. I like this type of training, especially with dynamic movement.
    Did you visually look inside your pistol chamber, to visually verify there wasn’t a round in the chamber? It appears you did with your AR.

  2. Yes I did in the top vid. I wasn’t out of ammo in the bottom video so I reholstered… administratively removed the magazine (removing the mag while still holstered if you don’t know what that means) and topped it off for a later drill.

    What drill’s do you do Dave? Where do you go to do them? I’m always looking for ranges that allow more lateral shooting. Even my range here I can’t fire too much to the left or right w/o shooting towards roads or fields where farm workers may be.

    1. I’ve done more pistol drills than rifle drills. It started with my friend going to Thunder Ranch, when it was located in TX.

      What we’ve been doing lately is more Suarez handgun material. Paul attends his seminars. Suarez a pekiti-tersia guy, ex LA cop, and former instructor at Gunsite. For a non-hot range (airsoft we can do at my school) we do a lot of exploding off the X. We use many Filipino empty hand type movements, to create distance and deploy our weapons. We’ve set mats up as walls, and had to get out of a building. We have shoot/don’t shoot drills (an innocent running around scared out of his mind). All for the purposes of adding stress to the drills.

      On the hot range we do similar things without a live attacker. We still practice cutting an angle. Administrative reloads. One hand draw and fire with a canted gun. To me that was a surprise how accurate that is. We do wounded hand drills, running to cover, fall or get knocked down, draw and fire. Clearing jams, re-seating a magazine on belt or boot. A little team or side-by-side shooting.

      The best range we’ve found to do all this is Niagara County Sportsmen’s off the 400. You can google them. The combat pistol range allows close quarter handgun work and AR work. They have a rifle range that will handle a .308.

      Last year was my intro to wearing a slung rifle and concealed handgun. Some very basic rifle work, followed by basic transitioning to pistol. I liked that.

      I’m really not an AR guy. Again, I don’t dispute their tactical superiority, but I like my Mini 14. A bull pup rifle might be more to my liking.

      Yes, available land for this type of shooting, is at a premium.

      My friend spends an awful lot of time and money pursuing his hobby, Glock pistol and AR 15 rifle. He’s come up with some amazing training devices on the market. One is an a switch-out for his Glock ta]hat won’t allow it to take a live round, but he can repeatedly fire it, without manually racking the slide.

      Suarez converted him to appendix carry. He uses Dale Frickie’s appendix carry holster, the Ehud, I believe. I carried appendix with my leather Alessi and didn’t like it. I am going to get my hands on an appendix carry and try it.

      If you want to exchange ideas and info, let me know. If you want to shoot, let me know. I can help you join the club, if interested.

      I’m by no means an expert, but feel much better off than the guy who gets his handgun, stands static infront of a target and bullseye shoots, for self-defense.

      1. Appendix carry of a full size pistol (or any pistol .38 cal or larger IMO) is too uncomfortable if you spend a significant amount of time seated in my experience. Same with small of back carry.

      2. This sounds pretty cool Dave, how about we get our classes together for this kind of workout. We were already talking about getting together, this would be good stuff for at least part of the class.

      3. Paul that would be great. It would be nice if we could work together to positively challenge each other, and make ourselves stronger. I like the idea of the next generations building on the kenpo/arnis system.

        We’ll have to try and schedule something and make sure we’re on the same page with goals and gear.

        My school can handle airsoft.

        We would need a hot range for live fire.

        Perhaps the best approach might be, I teach one time and you teach the next time. Open to suggestions.

      4. We’d already discussed the exchange idea. I was just waiting for a follow up email with your schedule so I could offer a few possible days to see which one works for you.

        This would just be a way of specifying the content of part of the training.

        I don’t think we need to do a hot range since I don’t think it’s practical nor realistic that I will be using an AR or a mini 14 for home defense/personal protection (alone or in combo w/a pistol). I think the CQC scenario idea (tailored to civilian based scenarios) would be an interesting area to look at though. The airsoft idea is a good ‘litmus test’ with a measure of safety to it.

        13 years of tire towns/live fire exercise ranges/qual ranges and so on as a Marine and then as an Army MP, as well as having to instruct some of those skills/abilities to my squads to prepare for deployment then apply them during deployment was a good place to figure out what worked and didn’t when it came to that stuff. Since I don’t make a habit of carrying an M4 or a 9mm pistol anymore or travel as a squad leader with three fire teams, it would be a fun diversion, but isn’t central to my current civilian needs.

  3. The thing that not many people realize is the time required to train on your own property. By the time I got there, set up targets, loaded magazines etc. I had chewed up a large chunk of my training time. You have to get out there, set-up and get to work ASAP.

  4. There is also a place for static drill as long as it’s being used to work on a specific skill. Just like there is a place for bag work in boxing in comparison to sparring.

    1. Paul carries a full size, high capacity Glock whenever he can.

      I agree in the beginning, more static practice has its place. Also, I think it’s good for getting back to basics.

      As far as the heavy bag comparison, while learning kickboxing, I was taught to never stand static infront of a heavy bag. Again, that was after basics were mastered.

      We always try to graduate to dynamic, constant movement in defensive shooting, sparring, and grappling.

      1. My dislike for appendix carry is just my personal preference. I also don’t like the muzzle being drawn/re-holstered with the muzzle pointing towards my groin/femorals…a few people carrying “Mexican” have put the hurt on themselves in that orientation. Just a “taste” thing for me.

        I think that the type of firearms training you do HAS to be matched to a specific defensive scenario. A street encounter like a mugging or patrol contact at short range has different dynamics from holing up in your bedroom defending against an intruder, or taking a 50 yard shot on an active shooter in a mall/school. Moving while shooting a carbine at an opponent 100 yards away is good for little other than suppressive fire which is not particularly good except in military context. I agree with guys like Paul Howe who say that most rifle engagements should be a Move..cover…shoot sequence.

        While I have put my hours in training in shoot houses doing dynamic entry drills, doing that sort of thing is a last resort even for cops. Look at how many have been killed doing it in the last few years. It should be twice so for the average citizen. Fantasies about tossing in flash-bangs and shooting bad guys is the cause of a lot of wasted training and dangerous legal issues post-shoot IMO. I also don’t like the tendency to just spray rounds that I sometimes see in training videos. First its expensive. Second some people are not doing it for a specific training purpose. Emptying 2 whole magazines into a paper target as fast as you can is definitely fun, but it’s much MORE fun with the ammo is being paid for by Uncle Sugar. I think that loading magazines w/5-10 rounds each is a better idea if you want to practice magazine changes. Or have someone else randomly load them so that you cant round count. Transition drills are much more realistic when you do that IMO.

        In the end I think that people need to analyze their lifestyle, their risk and identity their training needs accordingly. Different approaches for different situations/ranges and different training as well.

  5. I have the same concerns about appendix carry, but am willing to try it with a holster specifically designed for appendix carry.

    Couldn’t agree more with the rest of what you said above.

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