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Old February 22, 2012, 08:45 AM   #1
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Room Clearing

I decided to get in a little range time yesterday. I gathered up 6 IDPA Silhouettes and some Target Pasters and went to the South Range. I thought I would run some drills, but had not decided what I wanted to do at first. I got to thinking that House Clearing Drills would not be a bad way to spend the afternoon. I set up 2 targets in the Kitchen area of the Shoot House. I placed 2 in the First BedRoom, skipped the second BedRoom, and placed the last 2 at the back of the house down a hall, and around a corner. All targets were set in a manner where you needed to Pie the corner to pick them up.

Running the Drill with my LCR 22:
I started off with 8 rounds loaded. Handgun holstered in a Lobo Enhanced Pancake holster worn at 4 O'Clock.
The handgun was covered by a long tail shirt worn unbuttoned as a Jack Shirt.
I carried 2 reloads. Tuff Products Model 1022 Quick Strips loaded with 7 rounds each in pairs OO-OO-OO-O. Note: leaving a shell out between pairs is required for cylinder clearance. The Model 1022 works very well for a practice Quick Strip Reload. It would be even better if it would hold an 8th round.
The Quick Strips were carried on the belt infront of the holster in a Tuff Products Quick Strip Carrier.

I would enter the shoot house through the front door. I simulated descovery of a problem after entry. I would at this point draw, and start my house clearing drill. Moving to the right the first bad guy would come into view as you were pieing the divider wall seperating the Livingroom and Kitchen. I engaged this target with 2 rounds. Continueing to pie this wall the second bad guy would come into view. It was also engaged with 2 rounds.

Moving through a door way going to the back of the house I would pie this door way to the Left. No Targets.

Through the door way into the wide hallway I would move left to gain some standoff distance from the first bedroom door I started to pie it. Again a target would come into view, and I engaged it with 2 rounds. Continueing to pie the doorway the second target came into view. I engaged it with 2 rounds. At this point the LCR 22 was dry. I took cover in the room I had just cleared and performed a 7 round reload using the Quick Strip. With the reload completed I dropped the Orange Quick Strip on the floor and moved on down the hallway.

At the end of the hallway I would pie the corner into a second hallway and proceed down it. At the end of this hallway I would again pie the corner to the Left where 2 additional targets came into view one at a time. I engeged both with 2 rounds center chest. I then went back and placed 2 head to one target, and one head shot to the other running the LCR 22 empty again.

I at this time I performed a second reload, and then pied on around the corner completing the exercise.

I ran this drill numerous times.

The second gun ran was a Model 66 S&W 2-1/2".
The holster employed was a Lobo Enhanced Pancake worn at 4 O'Clock.
I carried 2 spare reloads in Safariland Comp II Speedloaders.

The drill was exactly the same as with the LCR 22, except the 6 shot 66 would run dry after the first target in the first Bedroom requiring a reload in the hallway before completing the room clearing in the Bedroom.

The third gun used in the training drill was a 4" Model 617 S&W 6 shot.
The holster used was a Lobo Enhanced Pancake won at 4 O'Clock.
As this was also a 6 shot revolver the drill was exactly like it was with the S&W Model 66.

I noticed I had a tendency to want to drop the barrel a little when I was in a more open room with no targets visible, instead of staying behind the sights, and focused.

Improvements that could be made would be more targets up. Scatter the targets in more rooms. Paint threat Level symbols (Gun, Knife, Phone, etc) on the targets to identify no shoot, and threat priority of targets. Shoot with friends, so you could have someone besides yourself moving the targets around for each run. Having no idea where the targets were would greatly enhance the training experiance.

Overall a great learning experiance, and I figured out several things that could make it better next time.

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Old February 22, 2012, 09:20 AM   #2
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A good read.

The only problem I would have besides cheating ( already knowing the location of the targets ) is that I may end up developing some bad habits without someone who knows the correct way to do it watching over me.

I know the basics of room clearing, but stairs or breaching and stuff of that nature I have no experience in. I know the theories but that's it.

Also when I said cheating I don't mean to offend you but I just know how I am and I would do things differently if I didn't know the location of the targets beforehand.
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Old February 22, 2012, 09:57 AM   #3
Frank Ettin
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I've done these kinds of exercises a number of times at Gunsite. A major difference was that the targets included "no shoots", and a truly major difference was that I hadn't set the targets and therefore did not know where they were. Another important part of doing the exercise was that it was done with an instructor.

What a "clearing" exercise is primarily about is (1) moving through the structure making the best use of cover and concealment; (2) identifying and engaging threats while exposing oneself as little as possible; and (3) distinguishing threats from innocents.
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Old February 22, 2012, 10:08 AM   #4
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I've done hundreds if not thousands of building searches and would like to bring up a couple points you might want to incorporate in your training.

Mirrors: I carried a small mechanics inspection mirror in my jacket pocket. I like the one with the extensible or telescopic handle. I used it to peek into rooms prior to entering.

Learn to shoot with both hands, one at a time. forget the two handed grip for hand guns. It means less exposure. You can easily check this out by standing behind your barricade. If you are on the right side of the barricade, use the gun in your right hand, if on the left side of the barricade, use your left hand. Try it, (right side) poke your gun toward the target with your right hand, then poke your gun at the target with your left hand. See which hand exposes more of your body.

Get low. If you watch others search buildings or rooms, at they peek around a corner they are always high, standing or kneeling. That's where bandits expect to see you. Lay down, get as low as you can before you peek into a room. Never peek into the room at the same spot.

Something I didn't have until I retired was laser sights on my revolver. Combined with the mirror I mentioned above, I found you could engage targets without exposing anything but the mirror and the revolver.

Simply hide behind cover, stick the mirror out until you see the target, then poke the revolver (or pistol) around your cover and look through the mirror as you put your "dot" on the target.
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Old February 22, 2012, 10:46 AM   #5
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Good advice kraig, especially about the mirror and laser together.
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Old February 22, 2012, 10:58 AM   #6
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If you noticed in my list of improvements, I listed having someone else relocating the targets for each run. That would really be a help.

I also mentioned the No Shoot and Threat Level symbols. As was mentioned, having no shoot targets that you confront as a great training tool. Bad plan to engage every target you encounter.

The Captain has a very good points with the mirror.

I was in LE for 17 years, 15 as a Reserve Deputy, and 2 as Police Chief after I retired from my day job. My real job the last 20 years before I retired was a Construction Project Manager. I would meet with the customer and find out the requirements of the project. Do the research, and design the project, then oversee construction. We were heavily involved with meeting customer requirements from start to finish.

I have designed several shoot houses. In the design they were made into a nightmare to clear on purpose. A bathroom door opening against a bathtub allowing someone to stand in the tub behind the door. A wall at the end of the Tub hiding the toilet, and creating a blind spot. Swinging book case under stairs. Hidden doors, trap doors to move around under a house. Stairs, closets with an opening back to back to move between rooms, etc. The design plan was to have as many blind spots as possible to make the training hard. Then have camera equipment everywhere for aftergame review. And then we have simunitions to really add to the realism.

Then you have other things to consider like a custom breaching window that you do not destroy with your gear going through it time after time doing an entry. Plexiglass windows so flashbangs do not break the glass. Exterior breaching doors for Ram practice. The list of requirements goes on and on. Non-Skid floors, Light fixtures with HD Globes so that they hold up to flashbangs and simunitions. Custom fabricated furniture and props that will hold up to the training.

Where I was going with this is, you can only cover so many things on a beer budget. Our Club's Shoot House which most Police Departments would consider State of the Art, is the Beer Budget as compaired to the facilities I designed for Advanced Law Enforcement Training.

The best beer budget way to handle stairs etc would be using a house or building with no loaded weapons, or possibly Air Soft handguns.

As was explained to me several years ago. Training is what you make of it. You only get out of it, what you put into it.

Looks like lots of good observations so far.


Last edited by Viper225; February 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM.
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Old March 2, 2012, 11:11 AM   #7
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Room clearing

I hesitate to recommend room clearing as the tactical advantage always lies with the one who remains silent and concealed. A snot-nosed teen with a Saturday night special can easily defeat a trained police officer when firing from ambush.

The exercises are fine and do build confidence. However, If I'm certain an intruder is in my home, I plan to arm myself and wait for him to come to me. I'll also call 911 and ask for the cavalry if I have that option. I've learned from years of deer hunting that I can often defeat a deer's superior senses through silence and remaining motionless.
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Old March 2, 2012, 11:45 AM   #8
Glenn E. Meyer
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You need to try this with opponents. Exercises against static targets only go so far.

The best advice is not clear unless it is extreme circumstances. Certainly not to save the TV.

I'm no commando but I've seen in civilian training, naive clearers - even with self-taught tactics, get 'shot' righteously. And I have been myself.
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Old March 2, 2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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I'd suggest playing paintball at your local field and try to move through any forts or structures. It's an eye-opener.
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Old March 3, 2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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Federali makes an excellent point, one that is well known by nature photographers, as well as hunters.
If you sit still long enough, your opponent will run out of patience, or get focused on something else, and expose themselves.
And the one on the move is the one most likely to lose.
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