AAR: Sentinel Concepts Critical Carbine Employment 2 - Bauxite, AR - 10/2016


Sentinel Concepts

Instructor: Steve Fisher

Critical Carbine Employment 2

Benton Gun Club in Bauxite, AR – 10/15 – 16/2016

TD 1 – 0800 to 1700, 2100 to 0000 – weather was warm and sunny

TD 2 – 0800 to 1700 – weather started out overcast and somewhat cool, but turned warm and sunny quickly

Gear: 16in middy with Trijicon MRO, SF Scout Fury, and Magpul MS1 sling. Bladetech rifle mag holder on belt. Other mags went in pockets. Steve’s brief at the beginning of TD 1 was great – run what you like/brought, but as this class has a very specific aim (improvement of rifle handling skills and marksmanship), there wouldn’t be any express need for elevated gear (chest rigs, plate carriers, etc.)

Several guys ran battle belts, some went the more minimal route. Broad range of rifles, couple of cans (only one was run throughout the class, but if I remember correctly, that rifle had issues). Two individuals had to table their rifles completely and borrow the ones Steve brought with him.


Three LEOs (myself and my running buddy from a mid-sized PD in a mid-sized city, one State Trooper from the northeast who took high shooter), all others civilian. Several DARC OPFOR guys. Total of 11 students.

TD 1

The day started with confirming zeroes, which didn’t go on for too long as everyone was expected to show up pretty much ready to go. Discussion of the 50/200 yard zero was also interesting, as was what that particular zero does to mechanical offset at a certain distance (which was confirmed by all students via drills). Once we were dialed in, we dove into the details on stance and recoil control. I enjoyed Steve’s approach to teaching stance, and his explanations for not only what we should be doing, but what we should be SEEING, were helpful. Accuracy drills were worked, and accuracy was stressed heavily throughout the course.

We moved into other aspects of manipulation, including ready positions and reloads. I appreciated hearing Steve’s take on high-ready – previous (sadly insufficient) training and guidance at the PD had not included the high ready. The reload portion of TD 1 was a good example of some of the small, thoughtful changes proposed by Steve to challenge existing doctrine or practice. Anything that could be made competitive was made competitive. Malfunctions were covered, with a nice corner-cut provided by the instructor to what was previously a multi-step process.

Gear discussions took place. There seemed to be a premium placed on weight savings by the instructor. It’s probably well-known on this board that Steve is the type of guy to make his preferences and feelings known. Lots of good info to process.

The first portion of TD 1 ended at appx. 1700 hours, but it had been made clear to Steve halfway through TD 1 that we would be allowed to train at night on the range, so we broke for dinner/showers and met back at the range at 2100 hours for some low-light training. Much of the training we had completed earlier in the day was repeated, albeit with the training modifier or darkness. The advantages of having a well-made, high-lumen light on your rifle was made clear. TD 1’s low-light portion ended at appx. 0000 hours.

TD 2

Day 2 consisted of a quick warm up, after which we started working on engaging multiples, with a great flow drill emphasizing cadence and getting transition times and split times to match up.

Shooting on the move came next, with Steve offering a shift in perspective that allowed for students to effectively deliver fire to either side while moving laterally without having to switch shoulders. A drill combining lateral movement and engaging multiples was worked. Steve’s take on forward movement was also interesting, and will be worked extensively. Definitely not the Groucho walk. Movement training was continued until the latter part of the day, when it was time for a couple of drills that Steve had been talking up as “ass kickers”. They did not disappoint, and exposed some deficiencies in my particular case.

The course wrapped up at appx. 1700 hours on the 16th, with the awarding of top shooter and everyone receiving their course mementos.

High Points

Steve had a lot of great info to take away, and seeing as how I don’t want to spoil the experience for anyone else, I’ll just say that there is more than enough technical material/adjustments/improvements on offer to make the course well worth the very reasonable cost of admittance.

The biggest high point in regards to the class itself was Steve’s practice of hot washing every training iteration/drill – each student was given a chance to talk about what the learned during each portion of training without any time passing, which aided in everyone picking up a lot of info.

One thing we all learned at the hands of Steve Fisher – chamber checks are gay.

Also, as an LEO, Steve was able to contextualize a lot of what we were doing into myself and my fellow LEOs working lives, which was a huge value added for us. Can’t stress enough how great that was. The only formal training I’d received in patrol rifle was during the academy, and the information on offer there was nowhere near what was covered over Sentinel Concept’s two day course, despite the previous PD training taking place over four 10 hour days.

Thanks to Steve for putting on a great course. See you soon, dude.