AAR: Modern Samurai Project Red Dot Pistol: Fundamentals Instructor 2-Day Course Carmichaels, PA April 13-14, 2021


AAR: Modern Samurai Project Red Dot Pistol: Fundamentals Instructor 2-Day Course Carmichaels, PA April 13-14, 2021

I wanted to throw together a quick AAR of Jedi's LE Red Dot Instructor Class. Excuse any grammatical errors, I'm doing this on a tablet. Long Story.

Background: I've been using RDS on a pistol at least part time since about 2014 and full time since about 2018. In that time most of what I came to learn about proper use was discovery learning, internet lore, and relearning after discovering that a lot of internet lore was bullshit through trial and error. I've previously taken the very first iteration of NLEFIA's RDS Instructor course about 2 years ago, which was very helpful on the administrative end of setting up a program, and which featured a fair amount of actual shooting and dealing with potential issues related to the RDS on the shooting end. I can't say anything bad about that course, but I wanted to take a course that really focused on performance shooting with an RDS pistol. I've followed Scott Jedlinski for a while now and briefly bumped into him once prior at an OTOA Conference. Taking this class was on my short list.

Location: The class was hosted by Cumberland Township Police in Carmichaels PA which is about an hour and half south of the Pittsburgh suburb where I live and work. The range belongs to the state Game Commission, had everything we needed and was well maintained. I got a hotel down there to avoid driving home between T1 and T2, but we ended up getting a call out for a barricade near the end of T1 so as soon as class ended I started to head to the call but the incident was resolved before I hit the highway and I ended up staying at the hotel after all.

Class: This was a small class with about 10 students. I believe the reason for the smaller class size was due to NLEFIA putting on another of their RDS Instructor classes in the area a few weeks prior and Cowan is scheduled for his RDS class next week also in the area. This unusual saturation of similar themed classes probably split attendance for folks would couldn't swing hitting more than 1. Regardless this meant more shooting and more direct instruction so no complaints here. I took the class with 2 other guys from my department, my Sergeant, and a newer officer whose working hard on apprenticing the craft. Both are super good dudes and shooters. I think the newest shooter to RDS pistols in the class had mounted his optic a day prior to the class. I, by a margin of at least triple, had more time using a red dot handgun than anyone else in the class, yet that didn't give me any clear advantage over anyone else and I believe the reason why is three fold. Firstly, the dudes in this class were all great students and shooters regardless of what they were using or how new to them it was. Second, I definitely had to take some time to unlearn and relearn some more efficient ways Scott had me doing things. And third, Scott's teaching methodology heavily favors applying techniques that show immediate results over repetition heavy skill building. This showed because by a few reps of each skill, regardless of prior experience everyone on the line was performing well.

Equipment: I shot my duty pistol for this, which is an ATEI cut Gen4 Glock 17 with a Holosun 508T. The gun is mostly stock with the exception of an Overwatch trigger and a stipple job. It performed fine although the next gun I get stippled won't have it run as high up or as sharply textured on the backstrap as it was starting to chew up the web of my hand by the end of T2. The holosun is a green model, which I wouldn't use except for the fact that it works a bit better with my color vision deficit than red models do. Ammo, due to the current situation, was some fairly garbage Freedom Munitions 124 gr I had squirreled away. While not especially accurate it was good enough for the distances and targets involved. For zero confirmation and the bit of distance shooting we did I substituted some Lawman 147gr which is my department's training ammo. All in all I think we fired about 750 rounds over the 2 days.

Weather: T1 was sunny and pleasant after a cool start in the morning. T2 it lightly rained in the morning and was cool and overcast all day. All in all, I've had worse.

T1: T1 started with a greeting and intro by Scott and his AI Alex Mix. A brief equipment discussion was had with Scott explaining his preferences and why. From there we had a safety brief and got right to work with confirming our zero's. Scott explained his preference for the 10 yard zero and why and everyone got a chance to make sure they were set up for success.

As you may be aware Scott's background is initially in martial arts, and his teaching methodology shows that. Just like teaching any kind of fight the class started with stance and built efficient body mechanics from there. As the day went on we covered his method of gripping the pistol and got lots of opportunity to practice using the most stable possible body mechanics. We also covered his draw and presentation procedure which emphasized not wasting time on things that can be done hastily and then knowing when to throttle back to complete the shot process. Sooner not Faster. Scott explained in detail causes of shooter induced error in finding the dot on presentation and how to diagnose and correct them. Throughout the day Scott would set up a skill, give us opportunity to practice it, then conduct a small competition to test it under fire so to speak.

T2: T2 started with some work on accuracy at distance and diagnosing common problems. From there we got into managing the dot under recoil and worked extensively on it, as well as single handed shooting. Next up was multiple target engagement and shooting while moving. Throughout the day we were swapping off relays and coaching our partners with the lessons again being broken up by timed competitions. We finished the day by having an opportunity to shoot his Black Belt standards which is a series of 4 drills as follows

3 yards 3 shots A zone 2 shots 3x5 head box in 2.0 seconds

7 yards 1 shot A zone in 1.0 second.

7 yards Bill Drill in 2.0 seconds

25 yards 1 shot A zone in 1.5 seconds

I only made the 25 yard standard, which I am a little disappointed in myself for. I have taken top shooter in a lot of classes but this was solid group of guys and a challenging set of standards. I look forward to trying it again in the future. After this we cleaned up and debriefed. Scott provided us with information of policy and administrative concerns related to setting up a red dot program and patches were handed out.

Conclusion: If your goal is to shoot a pistol with a RDS more efficiently, this is the class for you. If you are looking to diagnose problems in other shooters with RDS pistols, this is the class for you. If you are looking to set up a program at you department and want to cover every aspect of the use of RDS sights on LE pistols and are tertiarily concerned with performance go take the NLEFIA's and/or Cowan's class first, then still take a MSP class, because it's that good. That's also not a dig on either of those courses, please don't infer that. Hopefully I can get Scott back next year a little closer to the city and get some more of my guys through this course.