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Old January 8, 2014, 05:43 PM   #1
ezmiraldo
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How to simulate increased stress level during range practice?

I am particularly interested in trying to simulate adrenaline dump effects, increased heart/breathing rate, perhaps even fear.

Thoughts?
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Old January 8, 2014, 05:51 PM   #2
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The traditional methods are to run or do pushups.

Run between stages, up to a mile, then shoot the stage immediately upon arrival, before you catch your breath. Carry variable loads until the desired state of breathing is achieved.
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Old January 8, 2014, 06:10 PM   #3
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Treadmill, exercise....

If you feel inclined, you can set up a treadmill or elliptical machine, do a few circuits jump off & let er rip.

I've seen a few LE agencies, police academies & training groups that used the method. It's unorthodox but a good way to increase your heart rate/BP/etc just like a real critical incident.
I would not advise doing jumping jacks, push-ups or windmills at your local gun range.
I'm sure some other lane or shooter will be put-off by the distraction(s). It's also a safety issue if you keep your loaded weapon on you.

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Old January 8, 2014, 07:58 PM   #4
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If I wanted to do that, I could just bring my wife and have somebody tell her how much my pistol, ammo and range fee cost...stress city.
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Old January 8, 2014, 08:43 PM   #5
ezmiraldo
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I remember hearing somewhere that in some of Mas Ayoob's advanced classes, students were injected with adrenaline... not sure if this is actually true...
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Old January 8, 2014, 08:53 PM   #6
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Like an epi pen? Seems unlikely. It's pretty hard on your heart.
Pushups are probably a safer bet. Or, if you're concerned about looking funny, you could try holding your breath or doing some isometrics for an extended period.
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Old January 8, 2014, 09:36 PM   #7
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One that works fairly well, . . . turn facing away from your target, . . . put your rifle at port arms, safety on, . . . or pistol in the shooting hand, safety on, pointed at the sky with arm pulled in close.

Have your buddy stand there next to you and give you the command to begin running in place, . . . and RUN, . . . SPRINT in place, . . .

Then, . . . when HE decides to give you the GO, . . . he calls out "GO" and you turn, . . . and address your targets.

Use a stopwatch to capture the time it takes to get a good sight picture, . . . get in position, . . . and get three good rounds down range.

It's a good drill. If you do it right, . . . the running gets the heart rate up, . . . and the "anticipation" of the GO command will give you a small adrenaline spike.

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Old January 8, 2014, 09:50 PM   #8
Bill DeShivs
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A hundred dollar bet on who shoots the best will increase the stress level.....
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Old January 8, 2014, 09:59 PM   #9
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There are TONS of methods, but one of the simplest (physical activity) have already been mentioned. One method the military uses is the "Sgt. in your face"... basically have someone scream obscenities (or at least scream) in your ear as you shoot. Of course this should be controlled as well (for safety) and likely wouldn't fly on many ranges. We also shot in full gear and body armor and would do fire and movement courses in 100 degree weather... that'll do it too.

If there's an outdoor range, you could make a point to go on the nastiest, hottest, coldest, rainy, humid, miserable days that they'll be open for. Misery makes stress.

When I went through police academy, the firearms instructors actually did a very good job of simulating stress during the combat course. It really rattled and shook up alot of the guys. The instructors followed the shooter around the entire time ridiculing them. We were forced to find our rounds and shells in a pile of spent casings, all while someone is screaming in our ear. After finding the rounds, we had to run, seek cover, and engage. You had to have 4 of 5 hits on 10 inch plates from the 15 yard line, and if you didn't then you had to go back to the beginning, do pushups and situps, and start all over (Some people did this 3 or 4 times and they got pulled from the combat course for extra coaching). After the first target, you continued through more of the course (didn't have to start over if you goofed after the first target though). None of the shots were overly difficult... there were a few 10 yard shoots on a slow moving torso target, most of it was from the 7 yard line. The stress really added to the challenge though. Only a couple of us passed on the first try.

One of the easiest ways of all to induce stress is a timed course fire with a gentleman's wager riding on it. It's not in your face stress, but it's time stress and you have something riding on it. The clock, if you make the time a challenge to you, can mess with your head as quick as anything. Simply go to the range with a buddy and have him time you while you conduct a course of fire. Do it after you've already practiced some so you can both agree on doable, but challenging, time limits and hit percentages. The wager doesn't have to be big, but it has to at set you back at least a little. It could be you buying the beer for the "after the range relax" time, paying for the next range trip, or even just washing your partners truck for him. Of course, you return the favor for him. The beauty of this method is that all other tactics may not be doable at your range, but this one can be done anywhere. It's not the most stressful environment, but it does add some performance anxiety to the mix and that's better than nothing.
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Old January 8, 2014, 10:10 PM   #10
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Box drills....

Reportedly(from several reliable sources not weekend Rambos/gun-shop Rangers) the "Green Team" or the US Navy's elite cadre/trainers for new members of what is called DevGru(Development Group) use what's called "box drills".
A SEAL would have a box put over the head & then upon a signal, remove the box and engage the selected scenario.
The cadre & command staff would interview the SEAL or tier one operator then find out what they are afraid of or have problems with(rats, roaches, fire, confined spaces, heat, cold, snakes, etc).
When the box came off, they'd observe how the applicant would react or perform under stress.

In the non-fiction book, Damn Few, the author(a SEAL officer who ran BUD/S), Denver Rourke stated some sailors couldn't handle the pressures of live fire training drills. One top SEAL applicant couldn't shoot a young boy target holding a AK47 saying later the photo looked just like his younger brother.
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Old January 9, 2014, 09:21 AM   #11
Don P
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IMO start shooting competition matches. The buzzer going off will help increase your stress level, thus having to remember how you want to shoot the stage while trying to do it, not breaking the 180, reloading and shooting on the move. Give it a whirl
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Old January 9, 2014, 01:06 PM   #12
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Stress has an affective component besides the physical. The bodily sensations interaction with what you perceive.

You can see the same bodily arousal in emergency and nonemergency but physical situations.

Thus, range practice really doesn't do it if you want to train for critical incidents. That's why trainers add the emotional component. FOF simulations are the best once you have the basics down. Most critical incidents for us don't entail running and pushups but do involve the rapid emergency physical responses. Of course, law and military need the fitness at high levels (I'm not going to be 19 again).

Ayoob didn't find that much detriment with the epi injections. Injecting yourself with an epi pen would be the height of stupidity. Mas had the situation closely monitored.
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Old January 9, 2014, 06:52 PM   #13
Deaf Smith
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Quote:
How to simulate increased stress level during range practice?
I find a dog shock collar works wonders if randomly used. Cattle prods are a second way.

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Old January 10, 2014, 08:03 AM   #14
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You can purchase a shooting timer, that has various shooting drills downloaded into the unit.
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Old January 10, 2014, 09:18 AM   #15
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Another method is similar to the Seal version, mentioned above, but without the head in box.
Some call them mystery stages.
The targets, which include no-shoots (non bad guys), are set up in a way that are hidden from view to the shooter, preferably behind a door or large vision barrier.
At the signal to start, the shooter has to engage the shootable targets in a prescribed amount of time, without hitting even one no-shoot, or they zero out the stage.
The time allowed should be quick enough to cause anxiety.
Doing it in the dark, if possible, adds to the stess.
If it's done outdoors, wearing dark, dirty glasses or face shield works, too.
Introducing some kind of gun malfunction adds to the fun, too.
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Old January 10, 2014, 09:47 AM   #16
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You can join the FBI...along with the four shoot houses that they have down in the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. I helped do the survey layout/certification construction work for the FBI shooting range, during the time of the 911 terrorist attack.

Or you can just go hunting for wild hogs with a rifle/pistol or knife.
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Old January 10, 2014, 10:45 AM   #17
ezmiraldo
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Good ideas, folks. My favs so far:
- go wildboar hunting with a pistol
- getting an electric dog collar

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Old January 10, 2014, 12:09 PM   #18
Erno86
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If you're in the vicinity...you can check out wild boar hunting on a game preserve called Pipe Line Ridge, in Pennsylvania. You can even hunt in the nighttime.
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Old January 10, 2014, 12:12 PM   #19
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jumping jacks require no more room than what you already have. turning/moving targets and time restraints. must have the ability to change target locations at least, so you are forced to scan for the threat.

another trick to show you how hard it is to hit a moving target is balloons.

blow a dozen up, set two on the ground and step back 5 paces. if the wind is even slight you will be challenged as long as there is a time restraint and ammo limit. its not as easy as you think. CAUTION. ensure the wind is blowing the right way so your down range is safe.
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Old January 10, 2014, 04:45 PM   #20
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Right before you start shooting, put a thumb tack upside down in your shoe.
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Old January 10, 2014, 07:38 PM   #21
Deaf Smith
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Ok.. one more.

Go to the range and take a hornet's nest (LIVE hornet's nest.)

While shooting kick over the nest and keep-a-shoot'en without regard of what the hornets do.

Do that while getting good hits and you have mastered the stress test.

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Old January 10, 2014, 10:38 PM   #22
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At my local range, they have police car lights mounted on the ceiling that can be activated to simulate the look of police lights on a target or whatever. Kind of cool if you are LE I guess. I know for a fact that simmunition training is very stressful... not because of the sim rounds or the pain they cause, but because in full kit on a warm day with the required face mask you will start to get good and winded! Especially if it's outside in rough terrain.
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Old January 11, 2014, 12:29 AM   #23
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my buddys dad used to do pd training and he stole a box of simunition from his dads garage, that stuff is cool in a revolver, although we couldnt get it to cycle in the semi-autos, we wouldrun around the yard and see who could shoot who first. its nearly impossible to get a hit when your both running around, very difficult

not sure how stressful it was, but you do kinda panic when having a real gun shot at you and not knowing how bad its going to hurt(doesnt really hurt that bad)
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Old January 11, 2014, 07:54 AM   #24
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As said, there is physical stress from vigorous exercise before shooting and there is mental stress if you have enough of a competitive nature to want to excel. There is extreme mental stress if your job depends on your score.

Then there is difficulty level, I remember the first time I faced a door into a dark house with a pistol in one hand and a flashlight in the other, that was tough. For a while we had a club at high enough overall experience level that we could do things like low light, light in the face, obscured goggles, noise level, surprise stages, pair shooting, etc.
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Old January 11, 2014, 02:52 PM   #25
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You can practice the 3 second jug drill...that is: place a gallon jug filled with water or some other reactive target at 100 yards, stand in an offhand port arms position, raise the firearm to aim and shoot the jug within the three second time limit.
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