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Old May 6, 2016, 01:26 PM   #1
Join Date: January 7, 2014
Posts: 83
Simunitions review

I had the chance yesterday to participate in some simunitions training. I've trained in sims before, and it always provided a great opportunity to recognize and correct issues before they manifest themselves in a real gun fight. I just wanted to touch on two quick points.

1. Draw time.

I use Safariland ALS 6360 with the shield removed. I've used it for while and am pretty efficient in my draw time. That said, I realized that even the fastest draw time is just too slow when somebody is already shooting at you. Even though my muscle memory was good and I drew quickly and instinctually, I felt like I was waiting for hours for my body to finish the draw so that I could return fire as I moved backward toward cover.

2. Point shooting.

I've had this issue before, and have tried hard to mentally rehearse to try to correct the issue, however it popped its head up again in the first few training scenarios. Each magazine was loaded with 5 rounds. We had the one in the gun and one reload. Every time my shooting was purely reactionary to being shot at, I would jam that gun toward the threat and crank off those first 5 rounds and fast as I could pull the trigger. No sight alignment, no trigger control, just as fast as I could. And for the most part every shot missed. When the gun would run dry and the threat was still there, I would realize this and after reloading I would slow down and actually perform the necessary functions to hit the target.

Just food for thought. If you ever have the chance to participate in any sort of sims or force on force training, I would highly recommend it. I feel the few hours I spend doing sims is more valuable experience than days at the range shooting paper.
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Old May 9, 2016, 09:55 PM   #2
Join Date: May 9, 2016
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 31
Thank you for sharing what you learned with your training.

Force on force training certainly adds a realism that square ranges with static targets can't. I too believe the training received from force on force scenario based time provides a much more efficient means to learn.

One major lesson it has taught me is situational awareness. Trying to constantly break myself of the tunnel vision I get when trying to avoid the pain of simunitions while simultaneously employing my weapon system effectively is much harder than punching holes in paper in an indoor range.

Video recordings, professional instructors, and after action reviews help continue learning what was done right or wrong.

I too have made the mistake of instinctive shooting, and subsequent missing when adrenaline is pumping and I am surprised or scared. I have read it is difficult, physically, to make use of sights at short distances in such scenarios. Our eyes focus on the threat, making it difficult to focus on other focal planes such as sights. It is certainly something that takes practice.

What was something you felt you did well?
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Old May 10, 2016, 05:36 AM   #3
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Join Date: December 23, 2009
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Just food for thought. If you ever have the chance to participate in any sort of sims or force on force training, I would highly recommend it. I feel the few hours I spend doing sims is more valuable experience than days at the range shooting paper.
This is true. There really isn't a good substitute for realistic training. Paper targets are good for learning the fundamentals of shooting but they don't make for very realistic combat training.

As a side note, learn to point shoot for closer range shooting. At seven yards or less it isn't difficult and it makes you a lot faster. You need speed at close range because it's first hits that count and your opponent really doesn't need any skill at that range.
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Old May 10, 2016, 10:01 AM   #4
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Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 11,057
I'm a firm believer in "point shooting". Most SF shooting situations are under 3 yards (closer to 5-6 feet)

Its fairly easy to hit center mass of a man size target point shooting at that range.

Point shooting is just that. Pointing. I start out students without a gun, but pointing their finger. If you stare at a point at the center of the target, and then point you will naturally point at the spot you are staring at.

It is important to keep your forearm parallel to the ground when you point or you will be shooting high or low.

After they realize they are pointing where they look, let them try it with an empty gun. This also helps develop a habit of keeping the finger off the trigger.

They again go through several sessions of pointing their finger, this time with the finger laying under the cylinder of a revolver or along the slide of the pistol. POINTING at a spot they are staring at.

After a few sessions of this, they do the same thing, again with an empty gun but drawing.

When they move to loaded guns, the already have the habit of pointing with their finger off the trigger and pointing with that trigger finger where they are staring.

All this is done with ONE hand, but also done with right and left hands.

I would jam that gun toward the threat and crank off those first 5 rounds
SD shooting, again, at close range, handgun retention is something that needs to be considered. Keeping the gun close to the body helps with retention of the gun or keeping it from being knocked aside.

Nothing wrong with learning to shoot while backing up, but duct behinds some sort of cover for reloading.

Firing while moving back wards gives you distance from the target, retention isn't as much of a problem and you can now use both hands and move the gun up where you can use the sights.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old May 11, 2016, 03:27 PM   #5
Join Date: January 7, 2014
Posts: 83
Most of the scenarios were LE based so they weren't perfectly applicable to a strictly SD mindset.

I do practice a variation of point shooting at 7 yards and in. I've never had a problem point shooting at a stationary or advancing threat at that distance.

The problem was when the shooting started at greater distances (12-20 yards) and some sort of ambush. I would have rounds coming my way throughout the entire draw, and would be in such a rush to get shots off to stop the threat that I would negate getting any sort of sight picture and would just start firing. The threats were usually moving (evading) while shooting, so that just didn't cut it. I got lucky a few times and made hits anyway, but in a real shooting, I feel that the extra fraction of a second it would have taken to get the sights on target would have been well worth it to put myself in a position where I could make repeated hits to stop the threat. Having the gun run empty and realizing the threat was still present was a pretty terrible feeling.

Again, this was just part of my takeaway from the training.
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Old May 12, 2016, 02:06 PM   #6
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Sim rounds are fun. Got to make sure you lead though, and lube up that BCG. I had an M4 that wouldn't feed them once. It was like fighting with a single shot. One thing they don't replicate is the noise. They're pretty quiet.
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Old May 14, 2016, 03:42 PM   #7
Join Date: November 23, 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 95
I really enjoyed my first sims class about 3 years ago....friend of mine in Colorado runs one. It really let's you "see" what you are doing wrong, or right.
I would love to take one again, a more advanced training class.
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Old May 14, 2016, 05:48 PM   #8
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Join Date: April 20, 2012
Location: Northwest Illinois
Posts: 8
Great post, thanks for sharing your experience with reality based training or "RBT."

I too am a huge fan of RBT because - when done correctly - it yields results (especially in the are of orientation, stress inoculation, and "killing enabling") that are impossible to duplicate on live fire, dry practice, and video scenario training.

Noting quite comes close, and as those who have experienced it first hand know beyond a shadow of a doubt.

As the anecdotal comments suggest, training without going head to head with another living, thinking, moving, and violent individual/group is simply working on the mechanics of shooting.

If you aren't augmenting your training with quality (scripted and controlled scenarios that are designed to accomplish specific training objectives) RBT scenarios you really have no idea of what your training program is missing.
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