View Full Version : Shooting styles for law enforcement

Michael N.
May 12, 2002, 10:18 PM
Is anybody familliar with the CARS shooting technique for pistols? It's a technique taught in law enforcement. I have a freind that is learning it and it is like nothing I have heard of before. He was showing me some of it and it look pretty wild. Comments?

Buck Savage
May 13, 2002, 09:51 PM


May 26, 2002, 05:01 PM
CARS, Is this the Center Axis something,something that is being taught by a Brit? I think he has a school in east TN [something about Claymore in the name].

Can you give any more info?


May 27, 2002, 12:40 AM

Are you angry about something???

Hit the caps lock again, you are hurting my eardrums!!!


Buck Savage
May 27, 2002, 08:34 AM
Sorry about the caps lock. I sometimes talk a little loud, but am not angry. C.A.R. stands for Center Axis Relock. The name of the company is Claymore, Inc. Apparently he is hard to get in touch with, several posts stating that. The web site was shut down last time I tried to look it up.

When I went through his school Oct 2001 he said that someone was buying out his company and was going to restructure it. He spends a lot of time on the road as he is teaching quite a bit.

May 27, 2002, 02:48 PM
Description posted with photos can be found here: http://members.aol.com/okjoe/carmag.htm

Upon request, Paul will send LEOs or their agency a video tape and manual with details about his system. He's out of Antioch, TN, but is a Brit by birth with LE and military service. As Erick has posted, people who've been exposed to the system either really like it or really don't.

The original web site was //www.claymoreinc.com but the new site is to be //www.sabertactical.com

May 27, 2002, 02:52 PM
Excellent! Thanks for the info. I'll contact them tomorrow.

Um, anyone have any contact info? Neither website is operational and I didn't see contact info on okjoes page either.

May 27, 2002, 03:18 PM
I bought my first non-.22 handgun recently. I've been doing a lot of reading on shooting schools on Glocktalk's Tactics and Training forum and here. There's such a bewildering array of shooting styles out there now, it's frustrating to figure out what I should try to learn. Weaver, Chapman, and Isoscelese are only the beginning. However, I'm going to learn those first and worry about all the latest whiz-bang, super-easy, super-powerful new techniques later on.

May 27, 2002, 03:31 PM

Living in Austin, you are very lucky when it comes to gun-training.
Karl and Penny Rehn run KR Training from Austin. They have an outdoor range about 40 miles from Austin, as I recall.

Check them out at www.krtraining.com

KR Training has never gotten "bigname" exposure, but they are every bit as good as a lot of big name schools. They also bring in Insights Training Center (www.insightstraining.com) a good deal. Insights is on the very short list of training schools offering truly integrated training programs.

Buck Savage
May 27, 2002, 08:20 PM
For contact info try:
Claymore Inc. tactical training and Research

[email protected]


November 12, 2002, 12:33 PM
This past week the first invitational Sabre Tactical CAR Master Instructors Course was held at Ft McCoy WI. In attendance were firearms instructors and SWAT officers from 18 states and two countries. Also taking part in the course were current and former members of Special Forces and Navy Spec War. In addition to the training, intense discussion in reference to the goings on this and other forums took place. Individuals who have either not been exposed to or are jealous have decided to attempt to defame Paul Castle. In reaction to this Paul provided attendees with copies of his certifications and accomplishments. The consensus was that these sling and arrows are coming from people in the community who do not like the feeling of being on the outside looking in. It was also decided that this should not let the cadre of CAR instructors from giving LE and military personnel the training that may save their lives. Other TFLers were in attendance and I look forward to seeing their replies to this thread. Please feel free to contact any of us or Sabre Tactical direct if you refuse to let childish people prevent you from getting some of the best training available.

November 12, 2002, 01:40 PM
I had the opportunity to go to the State police range here where i live and given some instruction by an officer (a friend of mine)

Personally, I love my Colt .357. He of course used a 9mm semi-auto.

While he did not mention the CAR system he did tell me that he was trained to shoot for center mass and to "point" more so than "aim". (Much like I was taught with the M-16 during nightfire)

Firing as quickly as I could:
I used my revolver first. Six shots...from about ten yards (guessing)...I missed the entire target twice! When I applied the same technique with his semi-auto (I think it held 9 rounds), every shot hit the target with 3 rounds very near dead center.

He did not mention pointing with the index finger while using the ring finger to pull the trigger.......I'm going to have to try that......when I buy my next handgun....a semi-auto.*g*

November 12, 2002, 10:19 PM
Is this the same guy that was selling the little "shelf" that attaches to you pistol to assist in pointing your index finger at the target? They're actually teaching that stuff to cops?

November 12, 2002, 11:06 PM
The Center Axis Relock seminar I took some time ago made full use of the sights on the pistol.

Matter-of-fact, it was pointed out that postioning the pistol in closer to the shooter brought the front sight into a "more natural focal plane" or something like that.

As with everything martial, I took the parts of CAR that worked for me and incorporated them into my pistol-craft, the parts that didn't work for me I discarded.

okjoe is indeed the gentleman who was marketing the shelves that one glued to ones pistol to guide the old nostril-hook finger into a proper pointing position.

P.T. Barnum was right.


Double Naught Spy
November 12, 2002, 11:13 PM
I think it was called the Central Axis Relock System if I recall correctly. It was described 2 or 3 months back in an issue of Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement (either July or Oct issue, I think).

Assuming the article I read and CARS mentioned here are one in the same, I don't think I have ever seen something so stupid in my life. For handguns, it was described as very close quarters and the pictured showed the guy holding the gun rotated 90 degrees with the entire gun at eye level. As near as I could tell, he effectively obliterated about 75% of his field of view and was completely oblivious to anything to his strong side. More over, it would not take much of a bump as shown by the pictures to end up with the recoiling slide punching him in the eye area.

There was quite a bit of description of the handgun technique and limited on carbine and shotgun, although the shotgun picture showed the gun also had to be rotated 90 degrees for some weird reason not explained and the people in the picture were essentially shooting from the hip.

The following link is from John Farnam on the pistol Central Axis Relock. Scan down to 21 June and read. He poses a VERY good question and that is, Is this really any better than anything we have now? If you read the description, the answer would have to be NO.

Here is another link that shows CAR, but does NOT show it done to the extreme I saw in G&W for LE.

I think Farnam is pretty much right. It is just a modified weaver position. It may have limited application such as use in an automobile as shown, but for open areas or even CQB indoors, I don't see it as much of a better retention system than what I have learned elsewhere. Do pan down and look at the guy doing this in an extended position where he is driving his semi-auto handgun into the chest of his opponent. Sorry, but that looks really stupid. First, you are thrusting your gun away from you and closer to the opponent who might be able to better his chances of taking the gun away from you since you are essentially handing it to him and not trying to keep it away from him. Next, thrusting semi-auto guns into the chest of your opponent for a potential contact shot isn't the best of ideas for a semi-auto since you may drive the slide back slightly as it is pushed into the chest, thereby taking the gun OUT of battery and it not firing. That is something of a fundamental mechanical mistake that in a life and death situation may cause you to lose when you thought you had everything tightly wrapped up with a contact shot that could not miss.

By the way, my original copy of the G&W of LE was loaned to a police firearms instructor who saved it to share with his other instructors as something they definitely would not be teaching to their officers. His statement to me was that gun handling like that is something that will get you killed. As noted in the article, they knew of no departments at the time that had adopted the technique. As noted by my trainer buddy, because it will get you killed. Go figure.

November 12, 2002, 11:25 PM
Don't go by an article. Attend a class.

November 12, 2002, 11:47 PM
I enjoy reading about new trends in shooting, but I am not going to attend every new course that comes out. I have to look to some source of information so I can decide what i want to spend my money and time learning. The shooting school instructors on Glocktalk's Tactics & Training forum and Farnam seem to have some valid questions about the CAR method. For now it seems safer to stick with shooting fundamentals of Brian Enos and tactics of Gabe Suarez.

November 13, 2002, 12:08 PM
The officer friend of mine made no mention of pointing the trigger finger and firing with the ring finger. he simply pointed out two things.
1st: That in many situations where an officer (or a citizen for that matter) must either fire or return fire there usually isn't enough time to line up the sights and take good aim.
2nd: That when squeezing off several rounds quickly it would be extremely difficult to bring the handgun back to sight alignment (after the first shot) in time to be effective.

I believe I did much better with his semi-auto because my Colt .357 seems to "buck" in my hand more than his 9mm. It could have been just in my mind. I rwally do not know about semi-autos. Do they have as much recoil than a revolver?

At any rate I surely did better with his semi-auto than I did with my revolver.

On the other hand, when taking time to aim with the sites I did better with my revolver. I am thinking that is only because I am used to my revolver, but could it be since there was more length between the front and rear sights it is easier to aim?

My friend also made no mention of any system. But he drove home the point that rather than go for a one shot one kill approach it made more sense in a dire situation to shoot for center mass and shoot several rounds quickly.

He did however point out that such a shooting tactic could not apply in every situation, say in crowds. In a crwod scenario he said he would probably worry more about getting behind cover before returning fire, and then taking aim and not simply point and shoot.

The best way to predict your future is to plan your future.

Buck Savage
November 13, 2002, 04:15 PM
Before criticizing a technique try it. Then if you find serious flaws with it, then criticize it. Don't go on what you see from black and white photos in a magazine or based on the description of an internet post.

A wise person will experience it for themselves, then make up their own mind.

Double Naught Spy
November 13, 2002, 04:19 PM
mercop, if the article sounds stupid and I still don't have an answer that shows the method is better than what I am doing now, then why would I pay for a class? That logically goes against sound reasoning at so many levels.

No doubt that any article will ever duplicate what can be learned first hand. There is no replacement for training. Even so, if what is shown and discussed in the article does not seem to make good sense, then why pay for training that doesn't appear to be sound?

And with all sort of the new ninja-jihad trends, new magic bullets, new magic guns, I think I will take the conservative road and let other folks take the time to field test these for a few years to find out if they really work or not before I commit my life or those of my family to an unproven gun pop culture concept. That doesn't mean it won't work. It just means that I would rather wait for the stats to come back from those who train with the method and who use the method to see if it is turning out to be a good as claimed. Is it really better than the proven methods I am being trained with now? No method is perfect. Has it been around long enough to expose potential pitfalls that might be fatal to the user because he didn't know they existed? Me, I like to learn both why a given method I am using is beneficial and also what the shortcomings are of the method. The shortcomings, which are often shown to exist via real life circumstance, may be as critical as knowing what the strengths of the method are, probably more so.

November 13, 2002, 09:25 PM
Ah yes the body armor arguement. I think I would rather not get hit by blading myself to the target thus cutting my target profile. Not to mention I love my Second Chance but I will not count on it to save my life. What about the two thirds of the day you are off duty and not wearing vest (or do you wear yours off duty? Do you detectives wear a vest? How about your narcs? Many on duty LEOs still don't wear vests. How are you going to square off to a threat from behind the wheel of your car? You can't. Can anyone tell me how you retain your weapon when it is punched out in front of you. Let's train for the real world not the reel world.

November 13, 2002, 10:43 PM
Gee mercop, you're not associated with a CAR system training school, are you? You seem so.....unbiased?


I wish I had the magical power to deflect bullets simply by blading myself to the target. And since when is the CAR system the one system that offers a retention position?

November 13, 2002, 11:33 PM
How much of a reduction in target size is achieved by blading one's body? Sure, you can cut your torso cross-section in half if you stand completely sideways-on, but in reality it is going to be a heck of a lot less of a reduction. Contrast the benefits (real, but not as large as one might think) with the risks of moving your trauma-plate off center (and thus off the vitals it is designed to protect) and also moving the armpit hole into play...

I'm reminded of HMS Hood for some reason at this point...

I dunno. Blading is good in many situations...not so sure about once the bullets actually begin to fly. Square up, punch out, shoot. If he's close enough that punching out would be tantamount to handing him a weapon...fine. Hold your weapon in close, use body indexing and start pulling the trigger. You won't miss.



November 14, 2002, 01:16 AM
A note that maybe of some interest is that you can read about Mr. Castle (and his extensive background) on his website.


Also of interest may be the video section showing Mr. Castle using this technique:




(I didn't know anything about this guys until yesterday)

November 14, 2002, 09:40 AM
So let me get this right. When the bullets begin to fly I should be sure to stand in such a way that I place me little trauma plate between me and the BG. I am a peace officer and as such employ what we refer to as the interview stance (bladed). It makes sense to shoot out of that since in the position it is easy to move back and/or off line by slide stepping. And yes I am a CAR instructor. After being involved in a shooting in 2000 I found out how my body really worked under stress. It was not like it worked on the range. I became even more involved in firearms training (as an instructor) and martial arts. Then the CAR came along and I realized it gained it's stability through body mechanics and harmonious muscle placement. For my agency I wanted a full house fighting system that blended defensive tactics with firearms. I along with a lot of help did this with traditional Ju Jitsu and the CAR. They both work from body mechanics not strength and speed. The CAR is the BEST weapons retention system I have ever seen. I am a conduit for the folks I train. It my mission to give them the best training I can put together. If the only training you do is firearms you are kidding yourself. Most gunfights are at 3-5 feet, in 3-5 seconds and consist of 3-5 rounds. This is where CAR excells. I like to train for distance and believe everyone needs that tool in their toolbox. But unfortunatley many cops are lazy. By using CAR any cop can get four rounds off under a second into center mass. One thing you will notice of it's detractors is that none of them have been through the class. I will not even get into how it will let even the smallest shooter shoot slugs from a 12GA one handed with no problem. Unless I am missing something is there anyway that you can get rounds off from a traditional stance at 3-5 feet from the BG? If you say disengage, what if you are in a project hallway or behind the wheel of a car.

If you go the website I am the second to last instructor listed.

November 14, 2002, 10:15 AM

Some questions that I have regarding the C.A.R. system are

1) How stable are you in the fight that you describe (3-5 feet from threat) while in the C.A.R. stance?

It seems to me that if you are at more or less 90-degrees to the threat, then your stability is compromised (moreso than in a conventional squared or bladed stance) should he charge into you and that you are in a less flexible position to deal with threats from multiple directions.

2) How does C.A.R. address the single person moving and shooting in the real world (360-degrees) as opposed to flat range training (180 degrees)?

Going through the C.A.R. manual and viewing the video, I don't see it addressed.

3)How does C.A.R. address someone moving into the operator from 90-degrees off the shooter's muzzle line? For instance, you are moving in C.A.R., in the "High" position, and someone, heretofore unseen, moves directly into you towards your centerline, pinning your gun in between your bodies.

The reason I ask is because with the gun in the High position of C.A.R., the gun is in a similar position (albeit with a completely different muzzle orientation) to Position Sul. Sul is often criticised as being poor from a weapon retention standpoint. With a more conventional orientation towards the threat, you are able to retract the gun from Sul into a weapon retention positon and engage the threat with the gun or protect the gun, as indictated by the particular situation.


November 14, 2002, 10:24 AM
Gomez- from the HIGH ( within say five feet) you would shoot using your shoulder to index the target. Depending how close the threat were to you when you saw them you would go to the HIGH EXTENDED and you could shoot 180 deg+ or switch hands. In reference to the gun being trapped in the HIGH my Sensei (Reddragonjujitsu.com) and I were tasked to come up with answers to these questions and we are working at it. The circle of control in the CAR is the same as martial arts. Having the gun close to you body lets you retain it while fighting with your elbows. If trapped face to face I would suggest a head but to the face or raking you foot down their shin.

November 14, 2002, 12:37 PM
Erick- I've been playing with the Center Axis Relock stance for a few months now. What specifically turned you off to the system?

November 14, 2002, 03:35 PM
Has anyone ever met someone who has attended the school and not adopted it. I guess I should just shoot weaver and get a body bunker. I have a take home car and I am off duty two thirds of the day. When off duty I do not wear body armor but still have to carry a gun. People who dismiss a technique without getting training on it may miss out on things.

November 14, 2002, 11:51 PM
Well, there was at least one person on this thread that said he had taken the class and only adopted the parts that fit his personal fighting style.

I have a question: When faced with multiple BG's, how do you choose which one to blade against? What if it means turning your back on one of the group?

On the video on the Sabre Tactical website, why does the instructor have his eyes on the gun during the malfunction drill?

You say that CAR allows you to get off 4 rounds in 1 second. From 3 to five feet, using indexed yet unaimed fire from retention, ANY shooting style would allow a shooter to get 4 shots COM, so long as his trigger finger is fast enough. I can do it from my Iso retention position, and I am in no way a high speed operator.

I live in the Nashville area and I would be very interested it taking a class to test out the system. Do you train private citizens or just cops?