LMS Defense Carbine 1


LMS Defense Carbine 1


Josh Jackson and Damien Geddis (Both active LEOs with the regional SWAT team)

My gear:​

Featureless AR15 (Fin grip) with 45 degree ambi safety, Red Dot optic, padded sling, and a Surefire Warden as a courtesy to my fellow classmates.
Glock 19 for my handgun.
Over clothing molle belt with 2+2 magazines pouches, dump pouch, and ALS holster.

About Me:​

No MIL/LEO background. No introduction to firearms from family or friends. Started shooting November 2019 at the ripe age of 28 with a handgun. Handgun classes in January and February 2020, then COVID 19 hit in March and stalled all my plans on classes, competition, and resources. New to the AR15 and carbine, but have a good understanding after a lot of research, reading, and listening to all of the Primary and Secondary podcasts in a 4-6 month time frame, plus picking and choosing YouTube content to take in.
Carbine experience has just been with a 22LR conversion doing low/high ready at bullseye targets and steel targets at local ranges (humanoid targets not allowed). Not too many places in the Bay Area where you can shoot a 5.56/223 AR standing, or with movement.


There were a total of 12 attendees.
From my recollection, we had the following setups
9 Featureless AR15 rifles
1 Mag Locked AR15 rifle
1 Mag Locked AR15 pistol
1 AK47 or 74

The Class:​

2-day (16 hours) class located at Sacramento Valley Shooting Center
8:30 AM to 4 PM
January 30, 2021 Saturday - Day 1, Bay 10, 100-yard range, 59 high, 42 low, partly cloudy.
January 31, 2021 Sunday - Day 2, Bay 11, 200-yard range, 64 high, 48 low, cloudy.
To add, this range and drive to it is absolutely beautiful. Lots of open land, no mountains in sight, and lots of nature all around. We don't have any ranges even close to this setup in the Bay Area.
Weather in the previous week was scheduled to rain, but as the weekend grew closer, it cleared up and we didn't see a single drop of rain during the class. The ground was moist, but not soaked. Weather was perfect on both days for me, not too hot, with cool mornings.

Recommended ammo count​

-1000 rifle
-100 pistol

Realistic ammo count (Tallied inventory used after class)​

-~500 rifle
-~20 hand gun

The curriculum from my recollection is the following.​

Day 1​

We arrived from San Jose around 7:30 AM, and waited, the morning a brief introduction from Geddis, and we were signing the 3 or 4 waivers for the range and LMS. Geddis gets your driver’s license and fills out the instructor portion.
Once we all settled in, we did a brief introduction of each attendee, where you're from, your shooting experience, and what you expect from the class.
Safety briefing, plans in case an accident were to happen, who to call instead of 911, and who to inform.
Discussion on gear including slings, optic, weapon mounted lights, and a introduction to the AR15 mechanics of the bolt, upper, and lower. During this time, Geddis and Jackson talked about issues they often see during classes with self-assembled AR15s having issues with the gas tube, and having reliability issues when mixing and matching brands.
They went into the MELO acronym for diagnosing feeding issues (I may be missing a letter, going off of memory)
-Magazine issues
-Extractor issues
-Operator error
Jackson says he runs his firearms wet, and doesn't clean them much.
We then went into the zeroing process and what zero to choose based on the spread of 25/50/100/200 yards. LMS recommends the 50/200 zero, which they provided a diagram of to illustrate the holds you will have to use based on the distance.

After ballistics, we took a 30-minute lunch break around noon.

After lunch, we proceeded to zero our optics. We did standing shots at the target from 10 yards, adjusted, then shot at 50 yards to fine tune, and confirm zero.
We then geared up with belt, magazines, and ammo, brought it all down to the end of the range around the 25 yards from the berm, and we broke up into two groups of 6 for lines of fire.
Geddis told us the different courses of fire we would do based on his call outs.
-One shot to the chest
-Non-Standard Response (NSR) (3-5 to the chest)
-Failure Drill (2 chest, 1 head)
-Controlled Headshot (One to the head)

Geddis then taught us the multiple types of reloading with an AR15, the following.
-Tac mag reload (Saving the mag, and topping off with a fresh mag)
-Emergency reload (Gun ran empty)
He also emphasized doing the reload in our workspace, instead of pointing the gun down to the ground.

We went through in depth on safety manipulations when coming on and off the target.
Geddis then broke down and demonstrated the 3 ready positions (aided by Jackson), their reasoning and application depending on the scenario.
-High Ready
-Low Ready
-Indoor Ready
Each one was done on the firing line at around 10 yards with high/low/indoor ready drills to get comfortable with manipulating the safety from each ready position. The transition between the two groups worked well, which gave us time to reload our magazines from ammo cans we brought to the line.

Geddis also brought out a shot timer, and had us all do ready drills one by one down the line of 12 of us under the pressure of a shot timer to get a quantifiable marker on how fast we are actually going.
After a few hours of that, we went over to the two steel silhouette targets on the left side of the range. We did head-to-head shooting from low ready up against other participants in the class, with Geddis using his shot timer. We did that at 10/25/50/75/100 yards.

We then wrapped it up, left out gear at the tables, collected brass, and had a quick chat at the end to finish the day.

Day 2​

The second day of the class was on Bay 11, on the 200-yard range. We started off at 8:30 AM signing the range waivers, did a refresher on safety and emergency plan in case of an accident, and we then proceeded to bring out gear and ammo to a picnic table at the end of the 200-yard range.

I may be wrong, but I believe we started the day doing multi target engagements, 1st target, 2nd target, then back to 1st target.
Geddis then went over the various malfunctions, both simple and complex malfunctions.
He then went over the various shooting positions. Which were demonstrated by Jackson.
-Left/Right knee
-Urban Prone
-Strong Side Prone
-Junkyard Prone

The next portion of the class was my favorite part. Jackson and Geddis set up 4 stations in which we could practice the different positions as much as we wanted using barrels and a large wooden target stand.
Station 1 - Two stacked barrels that you can do indoor ready, and shoot around corners popping out.
Station 2 - Two barrels next to each other where you could practice junkyard prone.
Station 3 - Large wooden target stand maybe 6 inches tall and 4-5 feet wide. Allowed you to practice prone, urban and strong side prone.
Station 4 - One barrel where you could kneel and shoot side to side.

All of which were done at maybe 20 yards.
We did this for a while, I did at least two attempts minimum at each station. Geddis went around giving everyone some pointers and suggestions on the different stations if he saw a slip in technique. Everyone seemed to be having a good time trying all the different positions. We all went back to the table more than once to grab and reload more magazines.

After things slowed down, and we all felt we got a solid number of attempts in per station, Geddis and Jackson called it lunch, and we took a break at the shooting stations near the parking area.

After lunch we went back to the 10-yard line to meet up, and Geddis had us make two lines for the two steel targets on the left side of the range. We all took turns shooting at it from variable distances from 10 to 200 yards. He made sure to have us all hit steel at least once from 200 yards, to see the capability of our ARs, and to see our hold overs/unders.

We returned to the 10-yard line, and we then learned how to move forward and backward towards a target, and presenting our rifle to shoot the target.
We then did moving sideways. We had 3 targets, and had to shoot at them while walking parallel to their line up from 10-15 yards. We did this one by one, both moving left and right.

We then did turning and engaging a target. Geddis gave his rationale for turning "in" to the known versus turning "out" to the unknown. We did the following.
-Turning Right
-Turning Left
-180 degree turn

Next, we did rifle to handgun transitions.

The 2nd to last drill we did involved putting all that we learned during the 2 days of class. Geddis placed about 6 barrels in a straight line towards a paper target, spaced 1-2 feet apart, total range from the 5-yard line to maybe the 20-25 yard line. The drill was to walk towards the target zig zagging through the barrels in a low ready position. On Geddis' command, we would do a NSR, failure drill, controlled head shot, or just a single shot to the chest on his up commands, then we had to walk backwards zig zagging while engaging the target on command. We each ran this drill one by one, for maybe a total of attempts.

The very last part of the curriculum was recommended by Jackson, and involved pairing up, and shooting steel, after your partner takes your rifle and sets it up to simulate a malfunction on it. You then have to turn around, go to your rifle, and fix the malfunction to shoot the steel target, head-to-head against another team of two.

That concluded all of the curriculum, although from memory and some parts may not be in chronological order, but close.

After that final drill, we had a brief talk, collected brass, and brought all of or equipment to the benches near the cars. Geddis and Jackson then went one by one asking us what we learned and enjoyed during the class. Jackson talked about LMS Defense a bit how it's a family run business, that they are open to requesting classes that aren't scheduled if there is enough interest generated by the alumni, and about the customer appreciation event in Fernley, Nevada.

Geddis then announced top shot, and most improved in the class, and awarding of certificates to the attendees.

We then all packed up and left for the day around 4:30-5 PM.

My Growth:​

My biggest take away from this, is that with our situation in California, Featureless ARs are far superior to Mag Locked ARs. We had one attendee get so frustrated from the 1st day of class with his mag locked AR pistol, that he didn't show up for the 2nd day. Which is a shame, as I was planning to offer him to use my back up featureless rifle if he showed up for the 2nd day. The other mag locked attendee ended up using Jacksons rifle for the 2nd day of the class.
I was really able to practice my hold overs with my red dot on the targets, especially with the controlled head shots. I'm unable to really practice that anywhere else locally.
Shooting from the 4 different stations gave me a chance to feel a more "realistic" scenario of shooting from behind cover/concealment which is hard to replicate with live fire on other ranges.
My magazine reloads became more instinctual near the end of the class, as did safety manipulations.
Overall, I feel leaps and bounds more comfortable with an AR15 from before to after the class thanks to Geddis and Jackson.


During the day 1 equipment discussion (slings, flashlight, optics), it would have been a perfect opportunity to inform attendees of what Jackson mentioned during the day. Paraphrasing Jackson, "Sometimes with all the stuff on your AR and equipment, it may end up working against you."
It would have been a good time to emphasize something along the lines of
"Everyone here has their rifle, and you're all free to tailor your AR for your needs, I know some of you may have bipods, different slings, or other accessories, but do be conscious about whether it is weighing you down, or if it is worth having on there. This is also an opportunity to look at other people’s equipment, ask questions, and share experiences. You're here to test equipment to see what works and what doesn't for you."
I feel it would have made everyone more conscious and observant about what other people are using, what’s working for them, what's not, and such.

Final thoughts:​

This was my first Carbine class, and everything went smooth with LMS Defense. I also walked away with drills I can dry fire at home, and some at the range. I would recommend them to anyone in the Bay Area looking for training with a Carbine. My two friends that went with me borrowed all my equipment and ammo, after my consistent "Bro, let's go, it'll be fun", until they gave in and registered. They and I have zero regrets in attending the class after seeing the growth we had with using an AR15. Will definitely be attending more LMS Defense Classes. Thank you Jackson and Geddis.

LMS Defense.jpg

Chris Sizelove

Staff member
T.A.M. - great AAR man, and thank you for writing it and posting it.

These AAR's REALLY help people. I have no concept or frame of reference on what it's like trying to attempt training or skills development in your situation (I.E. The People's Democratic Republic of California) with its peculiarities on gear and what not. So I took a lot from this in that regard.

You're on the right path man, keep on keep' in on with what you can out there.

Thank you for the comment Chris. I wanted to write this AAR to give a detailed over view so people can get a real visualization of what to expect. Before hand, I got another members AAR that he posted on Facebook, which I got to PMs with to get more details. After this write up, I do believe that anyone can go to LMS Defenses Carbine Class better prepared.

Also since you're a moderator, I find it odd, I can't find an edit button for my post. I wanted to add a bit more. Here's what I would have added.
Also the full ability I've seen in other forums to create lists, or bullets would help in paragraph formatting here as well.

Recommendations to Instructors:​

During the day 1 equipment discussion (slings, flashlight, optics), it would have been a perfect opportunity to inform attendees of what Jackson mentioned during the day. Paraphrasing Jackson, "Sometimes with all the stuff on your AR and equipment, it may end up working against you."
It would have been a good time to emphasize something along the lines of
"Everyone here has their rifle, and you're all free to tailor your AR for your needs, I know some of you may have bipods, different slings, or other accessories, but do be conscious about whether it is weighing you down, or if it is worth having on there. This is also an opportunity to look at other people’s equipment, ask questions, and share experiences. You're here to test equipment to see what works and what doesn't for you."
I feel it would have made everyone more conscious and observant about what other people are using, what’s working for them, what's not, and such.

The Administrative reload off the firing line could have been taught. Slung rifle, safety on, finger off the trigger, aimed at ground, mag release button, pull and remove magazine, insert fresh magazine, tug to confirm seated. It's now 10+1. Student then can top off that magazine from their ammo can, and the student won't start a drill on the line with a partial/empty magazine. I started doing this when Geddis stated a few times that ammo management is on us because I had to reload after the first few rounds, but it wasn't explicitly stated if we were allowed to do this off the shooting line. As a safety issue, I'd understand why they may not have wanted us doing it.

Recommendations to Students:​

When you show up for the first day in the morning, feel free to bring out your gear and place it onto the tables there, but don't gear up with your gun belt, AR, eye and ear protection yet, or anything else shooting related. The first half of the class will be pure standing lecture, and I'd recommend getting as comfortable as possible so that you can listen and absorb as much information as possible coming from Geddis and Jackson. I'm the type that doesn't write notes, but instead I listen and observe very attentively. I get too distracted when writing notes, but if note taking is what works for you, now would be the best time to do it. We had some guys fully geared during the lecture portion, and I observed some fidgeting a bit from uncomfortable eye protection, vests, and getting tired from standing for a few hours. Also note that Geddis and Jackson will use some part of the table to place their AR and material to reference and demonstrate, so give them some space to use on the tables.

On the second half of the first day after lunch during the zero process, no need to gear up still. Go slick, just your AR, magazine or two, eye/ear protection, and your optic adjustment tool. That's all you need. You will shoot at 10 yards standing to get on paper, then move back to 50 where you will shoot prone on the bare ground, so expect to get a bit dirty, and if it rained and the ground is moist like our class, expect to get a little bit wet. After that, you will have a chance to go back to the tables and gear up, now you can put on your belt, mags, and everything.

Bring an ammo can with ALL your ammo in it loose that you plan to use. We had two sets of ammo brands in two different ammo cans with us, 580 rounds of Wolf Gold in 20 round boxes in one can, and 1600 rounds of Winchester 55gr 5.56 loose in a can. We had one person zero with the Wolf Gold, and the other two zero with the Winchester. We ended up burning time because we didn't dump all the 20 round boxes of Wolf Gold into the can ahead of time, so we were at the 25 yard line behind the first firing line, helping a friend dump ammo from the 20 round boxes into his can, and a bunch of empty cardboard boxes on the ground we cleaned up after. After that, he could just go there, open the can, and load all of his mags. Much more efficient than opening a box of 20 every time you load magazines.

With the current ammo shortage, we all know ammo is expensive and hard to come by. I and others were cracking jokes or saddened at the beginning whenever we pulled that charging handle and dropped a round during instruction. After all, it's like throwing money on the ground. But Jackson brought us to our senses and told us that being sentimental with a disposable/consumable piece of ammunition by picking them up and reusing them by putting a messed up round into your rifle and possibly blowing a barrel will quickly derail your experience during the class.

-Get over it now and be prepared with what to expect.
-You came here expecting to plow through 1000 rounds.
-You WILL charge that handle and throw rounds onto the ground during drills
-Consider it money well spent and don't let it bother you, stay focused on the task and class at hand.

If you use all 10/30 round mags like we did, you will get so many reps in on reloading when your gun runs empty. Multiple people had freedom mags (standard capacity 30s), and could go multiple drills without reloading. My two friends and I were reloading non stop with the handicap, and there were instances during drills where each of us had 3-5 magazines on the ground from a single drill set. Imagine that you are literally getting 3 emergency reload reps in for every standard magazine someone uses. Don't be discouraged when others are using freedom mags, you're here in a controlled shooting environment to get your reps in with an instructor to correct your technique. Geddis can't observe and correct your reloading technique if you aren't reloading that often.

Also, the more magazines you have, then the better, much more so since we're in California and are using 10 rounders. Bring as many magazines as you onto the firing line. When fully topped off, I had the following.
-2 left sided belt mag pouches
-2 left leg cargo pocket
-1 left pocket
-1 left butt cheek pocket
-1 right butt cheek pocket
-1 in the gun
-8 magazines total on my body/rifle, they go fast when using 10 rounders

There will be times where you have burned through your rifle magazine, 2 belt pouches, and will have to be pulling from your left pocket areas. The right butt cheek pocket was usually just a place holder, and after a volley, I would take that magazine and place it into a belt mag pouch.
Rotate or index your mags from least efficient to most efficient in between drills if you are not able to go get full mags or refill them. My personal order would have been the following for efficiency.
Belt mag pouches > Left Pocket > Left Cargo Pocket > Left Butt Cheek Pocket > Right Butt Cheek Pocket

After each drill, get a feel if the 2nd line will shoot, or if Geddis will give a small lecture to determine if you should go to the ammo can and load. Load as many as you can, but keep your eyes on the firing line, in case you may be holding up the class, we unfortunately did this once or twice trying to load everything.
With the information up top, we figured out a efficient system on reloading magazines for two people from the same ammo can, which I'll sum up below.
After a drill set and the next group goes up to shoot, head over to your ammo can which will probably be on the floor. (Day 1 on the ground) (Day 2, we had a picnic table)
You should have 3 designated areas of organization, empty/not full pile, ammo can, and full mag pile, then I follow these steps.
Administrative removal of magazine from your gun
Put all your empty or partial magazines onto the designated pile
Grab any full magazines left there and begin indexing them into your pockets or rifle based on efficiency.
Begin filling the empty magazines and if your pockets aren't full yet, begin indexing to your pockets again based on efficiency until full.
Once full, keep filling the empty magazines and place them in the full mag pile.
During this whole process, keep looking at the firing line to see if they finished, and the curriculum may be moving forward.
If the curriculum is moving forward, head back over there with whatever you have loaded and in your pockets, don't worry if you didn't fill all the mags, do it later.

Also this should go without saying, but if you have a dump pouch, use it for your empty magazines to make it easier to bring them all to the table, and less likely to reload an empty magazine during a drill because you didn't reindex it into a pocket.

My friends and I had 10 magazines each, all 10/30 Hexmags, which fit in normal pouches and pockets well due to their length. I observed some other attendees using 10 round Pmags and 10/30 Hexmags simultaneously. They were not able to be consistent on their reloads due to having a different grip on them, and their placements. Use what you can, but having uniform sized magazines will allow you to get more consistent reps in.

Also with your handgun, we only fired off 20 rounds at most. My friends and I were all using Safariland QLS systems, so we didn't connect our handgun holsters onto our belts until the last day of class after lunch. No need to put the holster on until then, unless you want to wear it to become more comfortable with having it on while using your rifle.

During the 2nd day of class in the malfunctions portion, I and another attendee cut our hands to the point where we were bleeding a bit. Mine specifically was on my right middle finger, two small cuts that I got sometime when I ran the charging handle during a malfunction drill. After that happened, I didn't want to get an infection, so I put on some gloves, which also helped protect my hand from our prone positioning drills we did later that day, as you have to use your hands and palms to go in and out of prone. Gloves are a recommendation. I was specifically using Mechanix 0.5mm High Dexterity gloves which was enough to protect my cut from getting exposed and my palm from getting pebbles in it, but thin enough to where I had no issue with weapon manipulations or trigger work.

Bring a lunch. The lunch break is 30 minutes each day. The nearest food place is miles away, and you won't have enough time to go buy food and come back.
Bring water or drinks. Also bring it to the firing line if you want, but don't drink too much. The firing line was at the end of the ranges berm, which is 90 yards on day 1, and 190 yards on day 2. That's quite a walk, and needing to pee cause you drank too much water will have you missing out a bit on the class.

Restrooms are pretty decent here. At the entrance of the main part of the range, they have a giant handicap porta potty that was pretty clean when we used it at 730 AM after driving 2 hours from San Jose. On the actual range, Bay 10 and 11, they share a restroom. It consists of a tiny building with two side by side restrooms made for one person occupancy. One was out of order, so we only had one to use. It was lockable, had running water, liquid hand soap, paper towel dispenser, and a toilet. Ventilation was alright, and the ammonia smell wasn't too strong.

We came from a 2 hour drive, and decided to stay the night to make things easier on us, and the nearest hotel is the new Murietta Inn and Spa, about 10 minutes north of the range. We booked it earlier that week, and it cost about 200 dollars flat for one night, two queen sized beds that my friends and I split. We called ahead weeks before and asked if firearms are allowed in the rooms, and the front desk couldn't give us a straight answer since he was a new employee, but he said that guns are cool, and that we can request a room close to the side entrance. We checked in and requested the side entrance room, and that allowed us to bring all of our guns and gear (cased of course), into the hotel without issue or glares if we were to bring them through the main entrance and lobby. We didn't feel comfortable leaving thousands of dollars worth of gear in the car over night.

In the morning, we hit up the nearby Starbucks, and Burger King for breakfast. They also have a Bel Air grocery store which is like a Whole Foods or Trader Joes kind of place, where we bought water. All of which are damn near walking distance from each other from the hotel.

With all those recommendations and information, remember to bring the most important thing to this class. An open mind and willingness to learn. Observe everyone's actions, and you'll not only learn from your own mistakes when corrected by the instructor, but from others as well when Geddis or Jackson instructs them. Don't be afraid to chat it up, don't be shy to ask questions.
First and only class I took was their TCCC class back in August with instructor Comte, cool class and learned a solid amount. Ill be there on 30/31 for the Carbine 1 class with a buddy of mine. First shooting class with LMS Defense. We’ll be driving from South Bay Area to Sacramento on Saturday morning, straight to the class, and sleeping at a nearby hotel 10 minutes away for the night. Can’t carpool you with us cause of all the gear we’ll be bringing in my sub compact Kodi nox lol.
Yep, that was me answering a random guys question on Reddit using the same screen name as I use here. Don’t know what the “kodi nox” you added to the end there means though.