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Old November 23, 2007, 02:21 PM   #26
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You may not have up to date info

Your info on military training may not be up to date. I can speak first hand about the Marine Corps Infantry training. I don't know what the other services do, though.
You said-
"Military firearms training is minimal at best anyway, pistol? Almost non existant."
Our current training requirements for deploying to OIF/OEF include qualification on different tables (table 3 for non-infantryman, table 3&4 for infantryman).
Table 3 requires about 800 rounds (5.56) to be fired at a minimum, while Table 4 needs about 500 more. Again, this is a minimum. Last year just in pre-qualification and sustainment training alone, I put 130,000 5.56 rounds through the rifles of 200 Marines.
This is all over and above regular qualification and field firing tables (300 rounds or so).
We also do partial tables with all of our sighting systems--for example, I have iron sights, an ACOG and an Aimpoint CompM3 on my M4/M203 (I don't use all at once, of course-they're mission dependant)-all are zeroed.
Admittedly, we train less with pistols (aside from annual qualification: ~200 rounds). For Marines with a rifle and pistol (SNCO's and Officers), we incorporate combat drills to augment/suppliment the rifle. Typically, we work transition drills (going to the pistol for any failure to fire on the rifle within 25 yards of the target), strong hand/weak hand draw, strong hand/weak hand failure to stop drills (it's a 9mm, after all), speed reloads, tac reloads, low light/no light shooting (with a surefire or NVG's depending on situation). We also shoot the 9mm out to 50meters, but there's not an emphasis on that. My crew put about 1500 rounds each through our pistols in preparation for this deployment.

Bottom line, I feel that we as Marines are well trained to handle just about any situation where a rifle/pistol is the appropriate tool for the job.

You also said:
"They don't train for CCW, or civilian situations, no real legal issues...they have buddies with them firing...the lone armed civilian is in a different circumstance..."
True, to a point. We do have restrictions on shoot/no shoot over here (I can't go into specifics-ROE's are not something releasable). It's safe to say that we always have the right to defend ourselves. There are situations that we could potentially find ourselves alone. I'm part of a small training/transition team and we're some time away from help. Beyond that, urban combat is a very confusing and fluid environment, and people become separated.

But, we're getting off the original point of the thread. We were talking about tac reloads and press checks. What is the harm in doing a tac reload with magazine retention? True, average joe won't "need" it, but the truth is that the average joe doesn't live in a threatening enough environment to "need" to carry a firearm (that statement will probably get me in trouble-for the record-I am for concealed carry for anyone not legally prevented from doing so-mentally ill and felons are good examples- and I'm a staunch believer in gun ownership/posession as guaranteed to us in the second amendment). In my view, carrying a firearm is a last-resort / worst case tool. If I'm going to go as far as carrying a firearm for potential worst case, it just makes sense to me to train to use that firearm in the worst case it could potentially be needed.
I'd rather know it and not need it than need it and not know it.

Somewhere in Iraq
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Old November 23, 2007, 02:37 PM   #27
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+1 Scott

I can also say that my unit teaches CCW during our initial skills training course (a 14 hour block of instruction for CCW) you go through when you first arrive to the unit. We also dedicate a percentage of spin up and attend civilian training course specifically for the CCW training. When you are carrying concealed in other countries there is a real legal concern and it is often a PITA.
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Old November 23, 2007, 04:18 PM   #28
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I know I get a lot of SF/NSW students doing CCW and ECQT training.....
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Old November 25, 2007, 09:06 PM   #29
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All good points, though I'd observe that the "press check" in one form or another, can be done safely and competently, and does serve a genuine purpose on older gun designs like the 1911 & P35, though it's a "do it if in doubt" action, not a mandatory or frequent activity, nor certainly something to be doing "when the action starts".

The trouble with all "rule sets" and backlash "counter-rule sets" is that no rule applies always, under any and all conditions, not even the venerated Four Rules.
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Old November 28, 2007, 10:32 AM   #30
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For the civilian carrying a 7+1 Warthog, 1911, or even only one extra mag, a tactical reload, with or without retention is a must..
On the contrary, the tactical reload is one of the least important skills needed. As mentioned, it provides nothing that can't be achieved as good or better with another technique. Even in the military (where the potential need for a tactical reload is at least possible) the reload with retention serves the same job in a more efficient and effective manner.
The same might be true of gunfighters, the last of which we saw about 150 years ago.
Once again we see a lack of understanding the reality of the world. Lots of true gunfighters have been around in the last 150 years, some are still around today, and some are still gunfighting.
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Old December 1, 2007, 09:28 PM   #31
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Nice article as usual, Rob. You're doing your part which makes it easier for the rest of us. Thanks.


I see no reason to press check your own firearm having just reloaded it. I see it as a "tactical security blanket" to be grown out of like a kid does his wubby.
Another's you may have aquired for what ever reason? Sure.

I agree that tac-reloads belong in the realm of ongoing engagements and should be trained in that context. Not training for that? Then don't spend much time on it; there are better skill sets to hone.
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Old December 7, 2007, 12:09 PM   #32
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Thanks, Erik... its been a controversial article.. some have missed the point that I was trying to get at: Stop doing things "just because" and make sure that you've thought them through to examine their validity and/or are at least training them in context.

For those of you who are interested in Subscribing (or renewing your subscription) to S.W.A.T, the magazine is offering a new training DVD that I taped this fall for FREE as a promotion:

For a limited time, S.W.A.T. Magazine is offering a free DVD entitled "Tactical Pistol Training Tips".

This DVD is over an hour long and retails for $24.95... it was taped this fall at The Valhalla Training Center and focuses on ways to make your defensive pistol training better when you're at the range. Drills, Techniques and Target Types are all covered.

You can learn about on Page 35 of the Jan 2008 issue or by calling 1-800-673-4595.

This is a fast paced DVD with great content... not a fluff piece give-away.

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Old December 11, 2007, 08:31 PM   #33
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Hey, Rob.

I agree about the whole "press check" thing. I load or unload.

I don't totally agree, or may even disagree with your other points, but I understand reasons why you may hold them. I also believe somewhat different skill sets- other than doing the obvious "hit the enemy"- may be needed for CCW and military use.

FWIW, when I was "regreening" before deployment at Benning last May, I was told the M9 qual was about as rudimentary as you could get.


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