This class review was written the day after this five-day event.
We shot in relays of ten each. The non-shooting relay coached the shooting relay one-on-one. There were three instructors walking the line. Each round fired was therefore observed by about 1.3 people.
The first day concentrated on basics, like the draw and presentation. The second day is based on the Bill Drill, done at different speeds and distances. The third concentrated on target transitions. The fourth concentrated on strong- and weak- hand shooting. The fifth day was a day to work on speed as well as a review of everything.
Each day had a shooting standard that was shot in the beginning and end of the day. The par times were reasonable. For instance, the Bill Drill at 7 yards was three seconds. The standards were all done again on the last day. The score on all standard runs were recorded.
Total round count per person: 3700.
Places, People and Equipment
There was good weather—sunny and high in the 70’s all week. The location was a regular old 70 yard shooting range with a berm behind a gun shop. Unfortunately, the gun shop itself took extensive damage in a recent fire, and was not open. The steel targets were all new. There was a comfortable, plumbed building with a classroom nearby. Paducah has plenty of restaurants, hotels, and a Wal-Mart.
There were twenty students. Shooting experience among everyone was varied, but everyone had the appropriate baseline skill. I think everyone started out with the prerequisite skill of “draw and hit a target in 1.5 seconds.” Everyone in the class showed significant improvement throughout the week. Several students have taken the MOAC class every year. I think this shows that there is good repeat value in this class.
More than half of the students shot Sigs, either a P320 or a classic P-series. Other guns in attendance included M&Ps, an H&K P30 LEM, a Tanfoglio Stock II, and a Wilson 9mm 1911. Remarkably, there was only one or two Glocks. There were two or three red dot sighted guns. Some students used different guns throughout the week. The instructors used Sig exclusively. All guns worked well, and there were few stoppages. Holsters were plastic, and most major manufacturers were represented. Almost everyone used 9mm, although there was one or two .40S&W.
A student brought a lot of foreign 9mm factory ammo that appeared to be bad. Two rounds caused two plastic gun kaBooms within a few minutes of each other. Inspection of the cracked guns and fired casings showed convincing evidence of high pressure. The ammo was taken off the line, and more investigation is pending. There were no injuries noted at the time.
Points to Ponder
Process-oriented learning is the goal.
Looking over the gun causes one to shoot high. In real life, one can’t see results of the shot on, say, a person. Therefore, one has to call the shot and watch the sights lift. Staying behind the gun requires discipline.
In a high round count class situation, one should oil the gun differently than for carry. The gun gets very hot in class—the situation is very different than the carry gun. An appendix holster would be too hot too. One should use plenty of oil, and consider grease that stays in place.
With adult learning, one shoots and one coaches. The coach may do more watching the shooter and not the target. Often, the coach learns more.
Safety: Loaded-Muzzle-Finger-Target rules apply. The most frequent explanation after a gun accident: “I didn’t know it was loaded!” The safety brief occurs every morning and every time everyone returns from lunch.
“Train like you fight” doesn’t work. A football team might watch film and analyze the game on Monday. On Tuesday, the various positions do their own thing. Wednesday is perhaps a scrimmage and gym work. Thursday is a hard practice… and so on before the next game on Sunday. Gotta work on things separately. The team can’t play a football game every day.
When learning to do an oil change, one can do it sufficiently by simply opening the cap, unscrewing the nut, draining the oil, swapping out the filter, and so forth. After a little bit of experience, one might know to warm up the car first. Then, one would lube the filter to make a better seal. Then, the proper tools can be laid out for a neat job… and so forth. The same goes for shooting—teach the basics first, and add layers on top.
One can get on the trigger when only three conditions are met:
The target is safe and available.
The shot is legal and moral.
The conscious decision to shoot has been made.
The whole game is to work the trigger without disturbing the gun. Prep the trigger, then roll through. When we start, perhaps we can prep the trigger 50%. As we get better, 70% and perhaps 95%. With sufficient skill, we can just roll right through, but we’re actually prepping the trigger as we do it. This is not “staging.” This is the basis behind the bump drill as well.
Dry fire is of utmost importance.
Range Shooting Tips
Set the shoulders back like doing a deadlift. The tactical turtle disengages the shoulder joints and makes it more difficult. The tactical turtle causes a head dip, and gets my eye to the less optimum top part of the lenses of my glasses.
Use the middle finger up the back of the holster to index onto the grip.
Draw fast, but decelerate at the end of extension. Make sure to avoid the diving board effect. Prep the trigger on the way to extension. This is easier to see with a DA gun. Avoid the Quickdraw-Stop-Whack method.
The Takeaway Message
Work the trigger without disturbing the gun. Prep the trigger, then roll through. This is the entire game.
This was an excellent class. There was good learning, good takeaway messages, and a good pathway for self-improvement. I appreciated the high round count, but I also appreciated that every round that went downrange was coached, timed, and/or scored. There was no mindless shooting into the berm. Five days is a long time to commit to shooting, and I’m glad the time was used well.
Thanks for the review and welcome to the forum. A couple of questions, though, for those not initiated into the jargon:
What is a “deadlift,” and what does “tactical turtle” refer to?
“... try not to shoot any friendlies ….”
|Sigforum K9 handler|
A dead lift is an Olympic lift as to where a loaded barbell is on the ground and you lift it to about waist level. The tactical turtle is the classic late 2000s shooting position to where the shooter locks completely out and shrugs the shoulders up around the ears. The very aggressive elbows locked, shoulders up and rotated forward instead of leaving the shoulders back like in a deadlift so that the shoulder structure and pecs can perform some the recoil management/dispersion.
What the good doctor (and top shooter for the week) is saying is if you set the body up with the shoulders back and in their sockets instead of rolling them forward you have a lot more control of the gun returning reliably under recoil.
Thanks for the review, sir!
"Make it a shooting, and not a gunfight" LSP552 02/19/2011
I don’t believe I quite get to the “turtle” position, but I had never made a conscious effort to keep my shoulders back either. I will try to keep that in mind the next time I’m at the range.
And I’ll take this opportunity to thank you again for the video about correcting the tendency of some Glock shooters to consistently hit left. I had a student recently with that problem and I believe that your advice was instrumental in improving things by the end of the first session.
“... try not to shoot any friendlies ….”
In case anybody wants to know, the offending ammo was as follows:
PPU 9x19 NATO 124gr Lot PPU 1702
3 verified double charges in one case! 2 other cases of the same ammo went untested.
Hanlon's Razor /prov./ A corollary of Finagle's Law, similar to Occam's Razor, that reads "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
--Leonardo da Vinci
Visual reference: http://www.gunnuts.net/2013/07...the-tactical-turtle/
Overheard at an actual match:
"Tapers! Come on, guys, we need tapers!"
"No, my name's Gonzales."
“... try not to shoot any friendlies ….”
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This class was a lot of fun. It was all the things we've come to expect from OpSpec; safe, educational, fun, and conducted with a high degree of professionalism.
Once again Jerry assembled a first rate instructor cadre. As usual, they had a wealth of knowledge and real world experience. There are a lot of quality instructors out there that have never carried a gun as part of their profession but I prefer to train with those that have. They've had to live with their choices in the real world and short of going back 20 years and changing careers the best way for me to learn what I think is important is from those who've walked the walk.
I'm not sure how Jerry gets these folks to teach but I'm glad he does. I like the diversity of knowledge the various instructors bring to the table.
I was glad to see 4-5 people that I've trained with in the past as it was good to see them again. I also got to meet a couple folks I knew from the forum but never met in person.
The Paducah facility is nice, clean and close to hotels and restaurants.
Each of the first 4 days we shot a drill in the morning after an explanation briefing and demonstration and then we worked on those skills at ever increasing distances. In the afternoon we shot the same drill again and across the board everyone did from a little better to a lot better.
As the days went by you could see the trainees begin pushing harder and harder. It led to frustration for some but the staff was very perceptive on when to stop for a moment and remind us where we started at the beginning of the week and how much harder the drills we were doing later were, which of course was the whole point.
On Friday we shot all the drills again twice and as always it was under the (self inflicted) pressure of having to do it in a certain amount of time. There was always plenty of time if you stayed relaxed and concentrated on your trigger control.
If you are serious about pistol training you owe it to your self to take this class at least once. There were multiple students who had taken it previously. I imagine soon Jerry will have to do 2 classes a year as the number of returning students grow.
If you haven't taken the OpSpec Practical Fundamentals class before you really should take it once at a minimum before taking this class. Taking it a couple of times is even better.
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