AAR, Modern Samarai Project Red Dots | Primary & Secondary

AAR, Modern Samarai Project Red Dots

Discussion in 'Training AARs' started by Pat Tarrant, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. Pat Tarrant

    Pat Tarrant Custom testicles

    AAR: Modern Samurai Project Red Dots: Fundamentals and Performance Workshop, Berryville, VA.

    Date: 9 July 2017

    Instructors: Scott Jedlinski (Jedi)

    Assistant Instructors: Jose Gordon, Doc Willoughby

    Venue: Private range in Berryville, VA (Thanks, Paul Williams!)

    Topics Discussed (from P&S event page):

    Zeroing your red dot. 10 yard zero. 25 yard confirmation. Ammo selection.
    Draw and how to stop fishing for the dot. Why back up irons are necessary?
    Only use the necessary amount of information required to make an acceptably accurate shot at the speed and distance required.
    Red dots up close. 5 yards and in.
    Red dots at distance
    Speed: Efficiency of draw and presentation. Concealed and Open setups. Speed is the economy of motion. The Langdon presentation method. Speed is not useless frenetic movement. Micro Drill training method.
    Dot tracking: Grip, stance, dot movement, predictability. Stop over confirming the dot!
    Modes of Practice: Speed mode. Accuracy Mode. Match/For Realz Mode.
    How to get better on your own. Dry fire for skill building. Live fire for confirmation.
    Why you should compete.
    Mini match to test skills.

    Gun Used: Glock 19 with RMR06 (milled by ATEI), X300U, Glock “-“ connector, home stipple job

    Ammunition: Speer Lawman 147gr flat nose FMJ

    Holster Used: JM Custom Kydex AIWB holster for G17 with RMR and X300U, neoprene wedge

    Backup Gun: Glock 17 with ALG Six Second Mount, Aimpoint T-1, X300, Glock “-“ connector, home stipple job (not used)

    Magazine Holders: Raven Concealment double Glock Magazine holder

    Belt: Mean Gene Victory Aegis belt

    Personal Protective Equipment: MSA Sordin Supreme Pro headset with Smith Elite glasses, Columbia button down shirt, Kuhl pants, Lowa boots

    Personal background (included to acknowledge my own perspective and bias): Prior military enlisted, current private citizen, concealed carry when legally possible (not always the case due to employment), husband of a wife who does not carry or shoot currently, and father of two children under five years old. I’ve previously attended two EAG Basic Carbine Courses with Pat Rogers, and one Magpul Dynamics Handgun 1 class with Steve Fisher. I’ve also taken a lecture class with John Murphy regarding lethal force scenarios, in addition to both military training, and police training (police academy graduate, however never sworn in as I changed directions and joined the military). I was one of the few there that had never been a competitive shooter in any way.

    Bottom Line: Jedi’s course could easily be called Myth Slaying 1. This course focused on the employment of red dot sights on handguns, with no bias toward or against use (concealed carry, police duty, military duty, competition, etc). There was a mix of those with and without experience with red dots on handguns, and nearly everyone brought something unique to the class and was able to contribute. Students’ backgrounds included active duty police, military, trainers, former military, private citizens, and competitive shooters. Guns at the class were mainly Glocks with RMRs, with a few Sigs with Sig Optics thrown in. This was Jedi’s first class as lead instructor, and his personal experience with training private citizens, police, and military on a private basis certainly showed with his ability to transcend social barriers that the shooting community puts up against itself. Jedi warned everyone in the beginning of the class that he may tend to deep dive on individuals’ issues due to his experience as a one-on-one trainer, however, that did not really prove to be an issue during this class. Jedi also seemed already know where he fits within the current ranks of high level instructors. The focus wasn’t necessarily marksmanship, it certainly wasn’t tactics (stressed throughout the day), but was about being fast AND effective with a red dot equipped handgun. “Sooner, not faster” was often heard.

    Instruction: Jedi started the class with a 10 yard zero drill, mostly self-paced, due to the experience level of the students. During the zero demonstration, Jedi proved that Tula 115gr is the most accurate ammunition in history! Hey, bullets do weird things, and Jedi acknowledged that.

    One of the biggest issues with pistol mounted red dots was immediately addressed; finding the dot. Jedi pointed out that altering one’s presentation of the gun could aid incredibly in finding the dot faster and reliably. Having previously been one who’d look for my front sight through my RMR in order to find my dot, I found Jedi’s ideas on the subject a great help, and plan on practicing them a lot. The instructors also addressed the “green light” concept where the brain tells the body that now’s the right time to fire. While most people generally say that the sights are their “green light,” actually watching people shoot showed their “green light” was actually when the firearm reached full outward extension after presentation. This can cost tens or hundredths of seconds that could cause a loss in competition, or incoming fire beating outgoing fire in a lethal encounter. An ongoing theme started right there, that lessons learned in competition can be readily adapted by anyone using a gun.

    Both Jedi and the AI’s knowledge of body mechanics and efficiency of movement was both taught and stressed throughout the day. Old adages like, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast” were met with the harsh reality that slow is smooth, and slow is still slow. I’ll come back to that a little later, but the point is that efficiency of movement means simplifying tasks, moving body parts straight from where they are to where they need to be, not wasting either time or movement, all shaved time off of drills.

    The next myth to be slain was that died a cruel but swift death was the red dots are slow up close. The inverse, that red dots are fast at distance, generally holds true and was not really examined throughout the day. It was explained that it’s relatively easy to use iron sights up close, as you pick up the sights in peripheral vision and can begin roughly aligning them even before the gun is all the way up. In close distances, however, even with irons, traditional sight pictures aren’t used so much. Instead, a coarser sight picture, such as using the back of the slide or the top of the slide as a very rough but quick sight is usually the ideal mix of speed and accuracy. It’s no different with a red dot, as was demonstrated. In fact, having a large optic body gives even more choices for coarse sighted fire up close. Interestingly, as the day went on, and we worried less and less about finding the dot, and put more and more rounds downrange, it became easier and quicker to find the dot.

    Most drills throughout the day were on a shot timer. Personally, I have never been on a timer as much as I was during this class. The timer added not only an additional source of stress to the drills, but also an incredible amount of quantitative feedback. Having shot drills before without a timer, I could guess on which one I shot better at, but had no solid evidence to back it up. A shot timer is definitely in my future. Additionally, it was continually stressed for students to maintain an open mind about where different ideas originated. Having been from a more police and military training background, I had a bias toward shot accountability.

    The day ended with a simplified competition stage. Three sets of three targets (nine total) were set up at roughly 5 yard intervals, roughly 7 yards from the firing line. Barricades were set up, as was a starting box and left/right borders for shooter location. Having never shot a competition stage before, this was entirely new to me. The course of fire began with having a fully loaded gun holstered, with both hands touching the left or right most barricade. When the timer beeped, the shooter would draw and fire two shots on each of the first three targets (make up shots allowed, best two rounds on each target were recorded). After the first set of targets was shot, the shooter would move laterally to the other side of the stage while engaging the three middle targets (two in each), and at the opposite end, would shoot past the other barricade and engage the last three targets (two in each). My first run produced descent hits, and took over 18 seconds to complete. Watching other shooters vary from fast and accurate, kinda fast and kinda accurate, and slow and very accurate, I reached an epiphany, which Jedi, Jose, and Doc were attempting to hammer into my head throughout the day: No matter how good my shots were, I could never shoot good enough to make up for being THAT slow. Instead of not moving any faster than I could shoot, I asked my inner Ricky Bobby, “You wanna go fast?” and my inner Ricky Bobby said, “Yeah, I wanna go fast!” I decided to flip it and concerned myself with moving fast, moving more efficient, and less worried about whether I got A or D zone hits. While I probably produced the most misses of the day on my second run, I completed it in only 8.6 seconds, shaving almost 10 full seconds off my time, and averaging less than one second on each target, even including movement. The me from the previous day NEVER could have done that. It literally was an eye opener. I certainly have to work on my shots, but I was always doing that anyway, and now I have some speed to combine with it. In context 10 seconds is an AWEFULLY long time in a gunfight or an active shooter scenario. If I worry about waiting for the perfect shot instead of a good enough shot, that time may be all a bad guy needs to put one into me or someone I’m trying to protect. That’s something that I didn’t think competition brought to the practical table, but it certainly does.

    We all gathered for dinner at the end of the day, and before I left, Jedi said something that summed up a lot of lessons. He said that he competes to become a better shooter, and that he doesn’t become a better shooter in order to become more competitive. The willingness to take good information, regardless of the source, and the humble authority that Jedi presented everything in really made this class something special. I look forward to more classes with Jedi, and I think he’s going to bring a lot more to the community as he develops even further.

    Special thanks goes out to the Primary and Secondary community, F3 Tactical, Tuff Products, PHLSTER holsters, Paul Williams for hosting the class, Mrs. Jedi, and many others I’ve forgotten to include.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, and I’d be happy discuss.


    Pat Tarrant
    Trevor, LaserTech, R.Neville and 7 others like this.
  2. AsianJedi

    AsianJedi Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Appreciate the kind words my friend!
    RJ Boyer and Pat Tarrant like this.
  3. Pat Tarrant

    Pat Tarrant Custom testicles

    It was my pleasure. I try to keep my friend hat and student hat separated, and only wear one at a time. It was certainly a learning and growing experience.
    RJ Boyer and AsianJedi like this.
  4. BklynBacon

    BklynBacon Amateur

    Any issues with the guns in the class? I own a Sig P320 and looked at the RX model, but may more than likely mill it and purchase a RMR06 instead...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    AsianJedi likes this.
  5. ggammell

    ggammell Member

    Both Sigs were straight up race guns. I think they we're the RX models or even X5s.

    Really one of my favorite aspects was how Jedi gave us a course and let us shoot it at our own pace i.e. 5 shots at your pace, do it 3 times. I've never experienced that in a course. If someone was taking thier time, you could throw in an extra string.

    This was the strongest talent pool of shooters I've ever been in class with. By far.

    I walked away with a very solid foundation of how to get better with the red dot. I've only been in that game for about 2 months so this was a great opportunity to learn before I establish my own bad habits.

    Thanks Jedi.

    p.s. In the few photos from the class I've seen so far, I'm that guy. The one looking at his phone. I tried doing my notes on my phone instead of a pad. Looks like I'm facebooking. Such a jackass. Oh well.
    AsianJedi, Pat Tarrant and BklynBacon like this.
  6. AsianJedi

    AsianJedi Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Zero issues from any of the guns or their dots. Someone tell the internet!
    Sunshine_Shooter and BklynBacon like this.
  7. Yondering

    Yondering Amateur

    I like this. Great mindset.
    RJ Boyer likes this.
  8. RJ Boyer

    RJ Boyer Newbie

    My view of the training:

    Red Dot Pistol Fundamentals and Performance Course AAR

    Location: Private Range, Berryville, VA

    Date: July 9th, 2017 0900 to 1700

    Primary Instructor: Scott “Jedi” Jedlinski

    Assistant Instructors: Jose Gordon and “Doc” Willoughby

    Class Size: 18 students (approximately). In no order a mix of law enforcement, prior military, professional industry trainers, competition shooters, and concealed carry “no ones”.

    Weather: Mid 80s, low humidity, partly cloudy (Freaking Perfect)

    Gear used: Glock 19 with KKM Compensator, RM06 with slide milling by ATEi and a X300U-A. M3 Tactical FEDLR AIWB holster and single IWB leather magazine pouch by Jackson Leatherworks.

    Bottom Line Up Front:

    This is not a tactical course, not a self defense course, not a precision accuracy course. This course is very possibly the first organized Red Dot Pistol Fundamentals and performance course (it is the first I have ever heard of).

    (Student comment: Scott is a friend of mine and some of my comments may be biased. I will attempt to suppress any nepotism in this AAR, but if any is found it is my fault and not Scott's attempt to control the message. All student comments are mine and contain no information provided by Scott unless annotated.)

    Before the Course Administrative: The course was announced on Facebook from Scott’s company’s page “Modern Samurai Project”. One week prior to the course registration being opened up Scott posted his intention and was polling possible students for locations and best dates. Several students due to prior training relationship with Scott (myself included) were tagged in that post. When registration (through Primary & Secondary’s training page) went live, many if not all of the individuals who indicated their intention to attend were sent a Facebook PM message. The registration through P&S’ Training page was very intuitive and simple. I believe that the registration was open for only several hours before the class was fully booked.

    In the time between the registration and the class date, there were multiple Facebook posts and emails sent by Scott and his wife Beverley, passing along course information, minimum gear requirements, ammo count (500 rounds recommended, but we did not fire near that amount), directions to the range, the meeting point, and the pre course waiver.

    (Student comment: I am pretty new to the formal training scene with only five group classes and one private session with Scott before taking this course. All of the previous courses were with quality instructors who have very good reputations. The pre class communication for Scott’s class was far superior to all of them. At no time did I lack for the information that I needed or have to reach out to Scott or Bev for details.)

    Training Day

    RP ops: Directions to the rally point were clear and accurate (soldier proof). Many of the students arrived 15 to 30 minutes prior to the start of the set meeting time and the pre class “sizing up” occurred. There were no braggarts or “experts” in the group. The normal student bonding started and the fact that every student was there with about the same level of experience on the red dot (plus or minus six months) made everyone equal in a very pleasant way. Around 0845 we drove out to the range maybe a mile away.

    Pre class briefing: The appropriate medical brief, safety brief, introductions, and course goals were made. As previously stated in the precourse communications, it was made clear that the “Gamers” and the “Tactical Timmys” had to cease all fire between the two groups and set aside normal attitudes.

    Training evolutions: The group split up into pairs due in part to range size and in part to provide shooting coaches to everyone. The AI’s took their positions at either side of the firing line. All evolution were demonstrated by Scott prior to the group conducting them by firing order. As previously stated this was a low round count, HIGH information course. Before each evolution Scott discussed what the ideas were behind the drill, his experiences, the reasons why the evolution was set up that way, etc. All shooting was conducted 10 yards and in. This was done because most shooters who have issues with red dots on pistols believe they are slower up close. No one has disputed their usefulness at distance.

    Zeroing: The first evolution was for everyone to zero their red dot sights. The discussion covered the significant differences between iron sights and red dots, the impact of different ammo weights to point of aim/point of impact, hold overs. Scott demonstrated with his pistol the goal of having three rounds impact the center of the shoot n see target. To attempt to demonstrate the differences in ammo, he then used one of the AI’s ammo which was Tula 115 gr 9mm. The first major laugh of the day was when Scott shot more accurately with the Tula than his normal practice load. The students then took turns zeroing one firing order at a time. This was a deliberate process.

    Finding the Dot on the Draw: Next on the roster was the issue of how to find your dot when you draw from the holster. One of the biggest issues we new red dot shooters have is “fishing” for the dot upon presentation. The “normal” method of punching out (or as Scott called it the “earthquake method”) only causes instability and inconsistency. He demoed another method of bringing the sight up to presentation which was not only more consistent but also more efficient. This is where the concept of sooner and not faster first was discussed in depth. The old (and misquoted and misused) line of “Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast” was destroyed at this point in the training. Enter one of the AI's who has the definition of “experience” who gave us the full background on the statement and why when you state the quote accurately and with full context it makes sense. But the vast majority of people misuse it with no understanding of context.

    The Necessary Amount of Info to Make the Shot and Nothing More: At this stage the idea that the red dot gives us more information than we need to make the shot was introduced. As was the idea of depending on the distance the shot is to be made at, do we even need to see the dot? Scott laid out the case that in close in (five yards and in) many shooters for the first shot do not even index the pistol off the sights for a rapid shot but instead index that shot off the top of slide or at least have a “less than perfect” sight picture. Three separate methods of indexing with the red dot were presented and each of students took turns firing three round strings to determine which of the three methods worked best for them (you have to take the class to find out…)

    We then moved to an evolution from the draw to fire three rounds into the target's “center Mae’s and then two rounds to the T box in the head. This allowed us to learn a cadence of firing and transition using the level of information we needed to make the shots that we needed to make.

    Efficiency of Movement: Slow is not Fast. Efficient is faster. Sooner is better than faster. Yes I know I am being vague. I can't do justice to the way Scott and the AI’s present the info. At this point he also introduced the Jedi Force Punch replacement for the ball and dummy drill. And then he proved it. And then we all proved it. Once again I know I am being vague.

    Red Dots Up Close: The biggest and baddest myth of red dots, “They are slow up close and will get you killed in the streets”. This was the next step to previous drill. At this point we move in real close (like two yards in) and took turns firing five round strings into the berm to show us what fast actually is and to see how the dot tracked under recoil. Then Scott had each of us explain what we saw and what we thought it meant (good/poor grip, etc).

    Lunch: We ate, we hydrated, we talked. (About an hour or so).

    The Three Modes of Shooting: Scott then moved us to steel to show us the difference between the three modes of shooting (Speed Mode, Accuracy Mode, and For Realz Mode). The shot timer came out, the beeps started, and the weapons were drawn… or not. Gear was validated and so were clothing choices. Once again, vague for a reason. Dry fire was discussed and its importance was emphasized. Scott’s view is 80% of everything is dry fire with the 20% live fire confirming the dry fire practice.

    Mini Match: Scott, the AI’s and one of the shooters who is a sponsored competition shooter set up a mini stage of nine targets with barricades and each of the students ran the stage. This was a light bulb moment for me as it was the only thing that Scott did not previously have me do in my one on one class. I suck. The one mike (yes I am using match terms oh God of Defensive Shooting) I had on the course stared back at me even after it was pasted over. It was taunting me as if saying “Hey, shitbird, you missed and probably killed someone that didn't deserve to die.” Yes this moment made me decide I need to get into match shooting to improve my skills. This is a line from Scott. He shoots competition to become a better shooter. He doesn't become a better shooter to get a higher ranking. A very important differential.

    Hot Wash: We had the normal hot wash where Scott asked for the good and the bad. After a little push from one of the AI’s I had to give my one negative. And considering that this course was Scott’s first large group training course, only one negative is pretty darn good in my mind. I had the advantage on a lot of the shooters in that my one on one class was specifically around my red dot. I had seen to a certain degree the vast majority of the information in a direct method. But that was two hours of having the fire hose shoved down my throat. Seeing it in a large group setting where I could stand back and take notes and hear it all over again allowed me to digest the information and allow it to stick.

    The Post Training Dinner: So I am anti social. I am more anti social when I am surrounded by people who I hold in extremely high regard. Having said that, I attended the post training dinner. If you have never done this before, you have no idea what you are missing. The conversations had, the lessons learned and the building of friendships is worth the price of the training even without the training. In my mind I don't just friend people on Facebook that I admire without knowing them. They are important and busy people and without knowing me, who am I? People like Jose Gordon, Doc Willoughby, Jon Hauptman, Annette Evans. These are people to learn from. The dinner allow that to happen and to build those relationships for the future. It actually allows us to build the community that we often talk about. Ok rant over.

    Final Thoughts: I have been blessed with a very good training year. I got to take another Sage Dynamics course. I got to train under Varg Freeborn. I got to take my first one on one training course. And I got to participate in possibly the first ever organized red dot training course ever held. If you have a red dot on your pistol, or if you are thinking about it, you owe it to yourself to take this class. There is a class photo of our pistols on Facebook. 18 pistols totalling about $40,000 laying on the ground. This ain't cheap folks. If you have spent the money to do this, why aren't you going to spend $150 (yes just $150 at the time of this AAR) learning how to do it properly? I heard during the hot wash several very serious shooters who had not made up their minds on red dots or who had previously tried it and didn't like it say that this course has opened their mind to the possibility. No hard and fast converts who didn't already bow at the altar of the RDS (the group was too mature and intelligent for that fast of a transition) but it opened up minds. And what is the purpose of training if not to do that?
    Trevor, R.Neville and AsianJedi like this.
  9. AsianJedi

    AsianJedi Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Outstanding AAR Ryan!!!!
    RJ Boyer likes this.

Share This Page

Internet Payments