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Old December 24, 2016, 04:53 PM   #1
tahunua001
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piecing together a live fire training battery for handguns

hello all,
so a little background. I am former military, but have very little formal live fire weapons training due to my occupation and the branch I was in, however I shoot OK. I completed all the prerequisite courses to become a small arms instructor in my branch, but never was given the opportunity because of the size of my command, and again, it wasn't in my job description. I usually have a couple people each year ask me to train them in the use of small arms and I usually end up putting them through a mock Navy qualification battery with a semi automatic handgun because of how simple it is and the time limits are fair(in my opinion). lately I've been thinking of creating a standardized training course and putting together a qualification battery at the end to gauge how they are retaining the information.

this is not a practical defense course, mind you and is intended for people who are fairly new to firearms but need to build marksman skills, and rapid response. the course would involve about 2 hours of weapon familiarization, safety rules, shooting positions (isosceles, weaver, and kneeling) and readiness condition levels. after that some basic dry fire exorcises and remedial action. this would be followed by slow fire live fire at fairly close distances(think 5 yards). if I notice they are flinching or pushing the muzzle I like to mix in a couple snap caps in a live mag to demonstrate how they are doing it wrong when they hit the snap cap and to help them notice what they are doing wrong. finally when it looks like they have got a decent understanding of the basic operation I usually put them through a qualification battery similar to what is used in the navy for the M9 and M11 handguns but lately I've been thinking about making my own course based on the USMC handgun qualification course, the US Navy handgun qualification course, and incorporating a little personal spin on it.

the course I've been considering is as follows: 48 rounds total, B27 target, maximum score 480, with a 360 being the lowest score to be considered proficient(or 75%, same as USMC and USN).

first battery: two magazines loaded with 6 rounds each, target set at 5 yards, shooter standing, isosceles, handgun in condition 1 and holstered. the shooter must complete the following sets:
draw and fire two shots in 4 seconds. make safe and holster when finished.
draw and fire two shots in 4 seconds. make safe and holster when finished.
draw and fire two shots, reload, and fire 2 shots in 10 seconds. make safe and holster when finished.
draw and fire 2 shots with strong hand(supported), switch to weak hand(supported), and fire two more shots in 10 seconds. ensure cleared and holster in condition 4.

second battery: two magazines loaded with 12 rounds each, target set at 15 yards, shooter standing, handgun in condition 1 and holstered. the shooter must complete the following sets:
draw and fire four shots in 8 seconds(isosceles). make safe and holster when finished.
draw and fire four shots in 8 seconds(weaver). make safe and holster when finished.
draw and fire four shots, reload, and fire an additional 4 shots(isosceles) in 12 seconds. make safe and holster when finished.
drop to kneeling, draw, fire 8 rounds in 20 seconds. ensure cleared and holster in condition 4.

third battery: one magazine loaded with 12 rounds, target set at 25 yards, shooter standing, handgun in condition 1 and holstered. the shooter must complete the following set:
draw, fire 12 rounds in 12 minutes. ensure cleared and holster in condition 4.

I know a lot of people aren't fans of holster work with beginners but it should be a non-issue as long as I do my part while teaching trigger discipline and safety. besides that, is there any constructive criticism for this course? does it seem too advanced for a beginner? I'm open to criticisms or comments.
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Last edited by tahunua001; December 24, 2016 at 10:33 PM.
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Old December 24, 2016, 10:44 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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If you are going to offer this to the public at large, it should accommodate all the beginners and non-enthusiasts that the Internet Experts and storekeepers recommend to buy revolvers.
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Old December 24, 2016, 11:18 PM   #3
tahunua001
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I have thought about offering it to the public but I would like to try it out on several guinea pigs first and work out any kinks first before coming to any of the local ranges to set up partnerships and set up formal classes. I don't know exactly how I could incorporate revolvers into the mix, other than simply offering the first portion and skipping the second in favor of a separate course of fire. in my area all of the classes I've seen are only for semi autos with at least two 8 round mags, but none of them really offer any kind of marksmanship or safety training, I am extremely disappointed in the quality of the courses available here. my course would require at least 12.
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Old December 25, 2016, 03:47 PM   #4
g.willikers
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Don't know if you want to complicate your life, but there's no reason not to include revolvers.
You'll just have to include how to use speed loaders.
Might slow things down some, but definitely doable.
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