Category Archives: Training

The Value of Backgrounds With Teaching

Something that's been bugging me of late and I have to rant a bit about...let me be blunt (as those who know me can appreciate) - I CAN GIVE TWO BIG SHITS WHAT YOUR BACKGROUND IS WHEN IT COMES TO TEACHING ME ABOUT SHOOTING!!!!! That's right...anybody who knows me, knows I know my way around guns. But what's more important is, how I got to know my way around guns MATTERS THE FUCK NOT!!!!! It suffices, that if somebody can concisely, succinctly and confidently make a logical teaching point, I DO NOT validate that point by asking that person, "ok...what SOF unit were you in" before I take that lesson and use it to it's fullest. I've learned over time that I'm a good judge of character and experience has shown me that I have a knack for surviving gun fights and making young Soldiers into old ones. But the most important lesson I've learned is that the youngest Soldier does not define that person's level of competency. What I've learned is that confidence, maturity, logic intelligence and the ability to use common sense to validate fundamental truths comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, age and EXPERIENCE LEVELS!!!!! My belief

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Critical Equipment

This article began as some thoughts when I was listening to the P&S Kyle Defoor interview a few months ago, and I am finally putting thoughts on paper (or the internet’s version of paper). “Tell me about your rifle” (here) was Kyle’s question that started me thinking. On a similar vein, more handgun-focused, was the phrase “tell me a story about your pistol.” Ask yourself “How confident am I in my gear?” In that worst case scenario where a failure of your gear means grave bodily injury or death, can you count on it all the time, every time? If not, why not? How can you bring your gear up to that level of trust? Watching videos of many violent encounters, you quickly realize how vital the opening moments are. As someone closes distance, can you guarantee that your handgun is where it should be? Will it have fallen out, shifted position drastically, or otherwise become unavailable? When you press the trigger, how sure are you that the gun will fire, and that is will hit at the point of aim of your sights? If you grab your rifle, is your optic going to be on? Will it have shifted to

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AAR’s for Scenario Based Training: How to and Why

AAR. What is it? After Action Review is the short answer. Why do we do them? Because we have to. Because we’re supposed to. First Sergeant said to. Because I like to hear myself talk. The correct answer should be to give the students (soldiers, cops, whoever) feedback on their performance, to facilitate learning and to make them better. As a young infantryman I hated AARs, I felt like they were just a waste of my time. I would rather be training, or eating, or sleeping, or playing grab ass. These, many moons later, I feel quite differently about it. I honestly think that AARs are only slightly less important than the actual training itself, but only if done correctly. Over the years it has become clear to me that most people simply don’t know how to conduct an AAR. I don’t recall ever being given specific training on how to conduct one. And if you ask me to sit through one like I used to have to endure, I’ll still think it’s a waste of time. An AAR gives the students time to reflect on what happened, what they did, what they did well, and what they could have

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Sucked Down the Tube: A Failure in Training

Much, if not all training and practice is conducted on flat ranges under calm conditions with no surprises. We shoot steel and paper that we purposely place and identify. We have lanes and all sorts of safety considerations that make a day at the range a pleasant experience.  This is fine for most of us but can lead to some critical failures if you are in a line of work that may not look the same as the flat range.  For those that form either the thin Blue or Green Lines targets will probably appear in from unknown positions and ranges. Many people preach situational awareness but fail to account for it in our training. COL Boyd gave us the OODA loop, which on the surface, is a rapidly trainable flow of Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. It is a loop because as soon as you act you start over. Observe. To hit a target, you must first observe it. You could possibly be an intergalactic grand sensei with Generation Next hardware and you will still miss a target you didn’t see. With the proliferation of magnified optics, the tendency of getting sucked down the tube is becoming more prolific

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Inches, Minutes, Clicks- Zero That Blaster

Zeroing is literally one of the most important thing we need to accomplish with our rifles and #spacegun pistols. There is much talk around the technique to accomplish this but there is one way that is easy and fast. First, determine the desired zero distance.  This will vary by rifle, optic, caliber, and most importantly purpose of the firearm. Many people with AR15 rifles use either a 100, 200, or 300 yard/meter zero. Rather, many people claim to use those ranges but most use the near zero distance on either 25 or 50-yard target. Yes, I am talking in yards here because most people on this page are not using meters. Now, to save yourself time, you can use a borelight or something like the Telluric Group Small Arms Collimator. There are lasers available in every price range and should be part of your tool kit. Doing this step will put you at the very least on paper at 25/50 which will save you rounds and frustration. Ask me how I know. Regardless of borelight or not, it’s time to shoot bullets. Get into the most comfortable and stable position possible. One that you can duplicate easily. For you Army

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A Reminder for Myself and Other Instructors

A lot of times, we take our own repetitions for granted.  As we're teaching, it's easy to become frustrated with students that "just aren't getting it."  And since I'm a nobody, instructor-wise, I get a lot of students that are prone to "just not getting it."  A lot of the top level national guys get students who've trained at a high level before.  And so it's easy to have a line full of switched-on guys that have already built tens of thousands of reps.  We come to those national guys, most of the time, with years if not decades of firearms experience. As a student on their lines, I love that.  We aren't held up by a number of students who are just really slow to pick up some basic concept that we started workin on 20 years ago.  And as a student, it's really easy to get frustrated with "that person" in the class.  You know the one.  The Private Pyles of the class.  We've all seen it.  We've all been frustrated by it. But today, I've had a stark lesson in why we should never let that frustration show, and really, should soften our thinking on it. I

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Running the Irons.

Iron sights have been part of shooting since the very least April 19th 1775. Aiming was a major part of our tactics that helped defeat the British unaimed volley fire. This being said, it should come as no surprise that we have learned, used, and lost uses for iron sights in all environments from jungles, deserts and even the frozen landscapes of Siberia. I am going to talk about a few of those techniques here. First anyone ever wonder why there are 2 apertures on the M16/AR15 platform? Most people have looked and wondered but never cared. Some wondered then tried switching between the two and found no gain from it. There is a reason for it but first we need to talk about sight alignment. Photo courtesy of FMJ Armory, LaGrange, GA TC 3-22.9 states “sight alignment is the relationship between the aiming device and the firer’s eye. To achieve proper and effective aim, the focus of the firer’s eye needs to be on the front sight post or reticle. The Soldier must maintain sight alignment throughout the aiming process.” It goes on to say for iron sights it is the “the relationship between the

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Malfunctions

We are continuing our discussion on Control. Specifically, we will be addressing how to handle malfunctions, which is a particular part of the shot process that was not addressed under the fundamentals. Our Reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1, dated January 2017. A malfunction is anything that occurs to interrupt the cycle of function of the weapon. The TC describes it as: “The Soldier controls which actions must be taken to ensure the [threat] is defeated as quickly as possible based on secondary weapon availability and capability, and the level of threat presented by the range of the [threat] and its capability.” This means that the Paratrooper needs to determine how to most effectively neutralize the threat based on their assessment. They do this in one of three ways: Their secondary weapon to can eliminate the threat, their secondary weapon cannot eliminate the threat, or they have no secondary weapon to transition too. We will discuss each of these separately. If the Paratrooper has a secondary weapon, and they believe they can neutralize the threat with it, they will transition to that weapon. Secondary weapons are usually a pistol for an M240 Gunner or the M4 Carbine

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Follow Through With the M4 and M4A1

We are continuing our discussion on control. Specifically we will be addressing Follow-through for the M4 and M4A1 platforms. The Reference for this discussion is TC 3-22.9 Change 1 dated January 2017. The M4 series weapon has a variable trigger weight due to the burst trigger control group. The weight can vary as much as three to eight pounds depending upon where the sear is at in the burst cycle. So how do we compensate for that variable trigger pull? The answer is follow-through. Follow-through is the continued application of the shot process until after the shot has been fired. This means that the Paratrooper keeps applying the elements of the shot process until the weapon ceases movement from the recoil pulse. A practical application of follow-through is keeping the head in the same position, firing eye (or both eyes open, in the case of the CCO and RCO), and holds the trigger back until the recoil pulse ceases, then lets off enough to allow the trigger to reset. Body position remains the same, and breathing is either steady or held, depending upon the conditions of the particular shot. There are nine components to follow-through, they are Recoil Management, Recoil

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Slaughtering Sacred Linguistic Marksmanship Cows: Following up “Clickbait”

Author’s note: Context is important. The previous post here was intended for the military audience. Judging by things I’ve seen from others it may be applicable to law enforcement entities as well. Without experience based frame of reference it may be tough to get the reasoning in these posts. Nothing personal, just putting it up front. The intent was spur conversation. In that vein, the post seems to have been successful. Was the initial statement and title misleading? Maybe. Was it clickbait? Maybe. Did it get people to read, use critical thinking skills, and discuss? One comment answered that for me: “I shared this article on my personal blog FB page, which is populated by soldiers I served with who wouldn't normally read an article about the profession. Within an hour, it was read by multiple people who would otherwise not give a professional circular this sort of attention. Now they are thinking, and they've been exposed to a higher concept.  The "clickbait" worked. I'll take it.” Note to self- don’t make a habit of doing things that can be considered clickbait. There were a few comments saying it’s semantics. So let’s look at the definition of semantics. Source is

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