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Old August 16, 2009, 08:51 PM   #26
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Training is good, compitition is better. I can set out in my back yard range and plink all day, I dont get the same benifit as in matches.

As far a experience, I'm gonna say something others will disagree with, but I'll still stand by my statements.

I'll stick with Rifle but it works equally as well with pistols. As Gen Hatcher and Col Whelen both said, there is no better practice then High Power rifle for the individual soldier. This was proven back toward the turne of the centry (20th) when the army developed the Small Arms Firing School system of teaching the individual soldier at the infantry schools, I don't have the stats but can look them up if you wish. Qualification scores went sky high.

Lets go back to Vietnam for another look. It was discovered a need for snipers, both army and marines. Where did they go for that training, the Army Marksmanship Unit and the marine counter part. Soldiers should know indivudal soldiering and patroling. Its easier to teach a soldier how to soldier then to teach him how to shoot. The respective marksmanship units, from the high power fields conducted the sniping programs.

Years ago, 1991 I believe, I repesented MAC Region VI at the Mac conferance (National Guard marksmanship advisory commettee, whos mission was to set the policy for marksmanship and qualification for the national guard). The Army tried to sell us on the ideal of combat style shooting like our alies used. I was against it, believing composite stype (NRA type) was a better avenue for learning to shoot. It was pointed out that our all guard team went to NATO to compete in their combat matches saying it was good training. I asked how the MTU Rifle Team faired. They won the whole ball game. My contention is, if composite shooters entered in their matches and won, why should we change, maybe they should. The other region directors agreed and we voted to keep the composit style shooting, Only to be over ridden by the army. The NG hasn't been competive in the All Army/Inter service matches since.

As I said, pistol shooting is the same. Prior to going to Vietnam I hadn't been involved in compitition, but I did so my shooting with one hand. The only time used pistols in combat, was in a dark muddy slimmy tunnel when I wasnt able to un-volenteer my self. There was no possible way I could have used two hands laying on my belly in mud, holding a flashing light while crawling.

Later in my live, as a LE officer, I did untold building seaches, agian it was difficult to use two hands while openning doors, using a flashlight, and inspection mirrors (to peek around corners).

Basicly if you can shoot with one hand, you can shoot with two. I'm a firm believer in composite style shooting, NRA HP and Bullseye. Learn the fundamentals first and the rest will follow.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old August 19, 2009, 04:29 AM   #27
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I spent years target shooting with .22 and .32 S&W .38 Spl. and the famous .45 ACP, it was only in the early 80s going in to IPSC and later IDPA, that I got into Jeff Coopers style of shooting (nice man Col. Jeff) the strange phenomena of tight movement, close up simulated threats in competition, soon showed the one hand weapon, the pistol, lots of time was used in one hand, naturally.

My hits were real good, and fast. With the close qtr; threats that abound in the modern day living we all pass by each day, you had better be one hand literate!

Point and press. close up, works just fine.
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Old August 19, 2009, 08:09 AM   #28
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If I had any plans to become a 'high speed, low drag operator', then I would be all over training.
In my current real life existence as a retired guy with a life time of experience with guns, I just can't see shelling out the bucks to play Rambo.

Not saying training is bad, but it is probably over rated in terms of real life cost/value comparisons.
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.".........Ronald Reagan

Last edited by Mannlicher; August 19, 2009 at 08:29 AM.
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Old August 19, 2009, 08:29 AM   #29
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
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Originally Posted by Mannlicher
Not saying training is bad, but it is probably over rated in terms of real life cost/value comparisons.
Depends on what you want. Besides, training can be fun, and the cost/value equation is purely a personal matter.
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Old August 19, 2009, 08:38 AM   #30
Join Date: May 16, 2000
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Mannlicher ~

I've heard that before. It's buncombe.

Here is a look at some of the typical skills taught in firearms schools, and how they apply to ordinary citizens in real life. Not to "Rambo," but to regular people.

Most people believe they are already safe gun handlers. Many do not believe they need to be taught the first and most basic lesson most instructors stress: the ability to safely manipulate a firearm. I'm here to tell you, those who haven't had a class from a competent instructor often overestimate their abilities in the safety department. The folks I've seen in classes who are notoriously the most dangerous are the people who've been shooting for years and think they've already got the safety thing down pat. I'd be willing to lay out money, by the way, that 98% of the folks who read this will think I am not talking to or about them -- and the other 2% will be offended that I've insulted their unsafe gun handling because after all, they haven't shot themselves (yet!).

Safe gun handling includes the ability to load or reload your firearm quickly under stress. Again, this one sounds kind of silly to most of us; what are the odds of needing to reload in a hurry? Are we going to take on a horde of invading zombies by ourselves? Doesn't seem likely. How Rambo! But this skill is simply a subset of safe gun handling. If you cannot easily load your firearm quickly under stress, without pointing it at any important body parts, and without losing muzzle awareness, then you have not yet completely internalized how to handle your firearm safely. And if that is the case, you are at risk of negligently shooting yourself or a family member if you ever need to handle your home-defense firearm under the extreme stress of a home invasion.

Accurate shooting is usually next on the syllabus. Again, most people reading this probably already consider that they are accurate enough. Yet a fellow who opines that if he were engaged by a criminal at 15 feet he would simply "fire in the direction of the target" is not only at risk from an attacker - he is a risk to the rest of us. You are responsible for every bullet that leaves your firearm, not just the ones that hit the intended target.

Once accuracy is achieved, speed is often stressed. Firearms instructors show their students how to bring the gun out of its holster and onto target quickly. How fast is fast enough? How much time would you have to draw and fire if you were attacked? When a student asked defensive firearms instructor John Farnam that question, Farnam replied, "The rest of your life." While the answer sounds flippant, it cuts right to the heart of the issue. You do not know, in advance, how fast you will need to be. But it is a good idea to learn to become as fast and as accurate as you are reasonably able to do.

There is another reason to learn how to draw and fire quickly. This is because a fast draw is a smooth draw, and a smooth draw is a safe draw. Not everyone will need to draw fast, but everyone with a holster should be able to draw safely. A smooth draw brings the gun out of the holster without fingering the trigger, it doesn't get tangled up in the clothing, and it doesn't point anywhere it shouldn't on the way up. A smooth draw is a safe draw.

Being able to shoot multiple targets well is another subset of quick and accurate shooting. While being attacked by a herd of rampaging criminals might seem a bit far-fetched, the fact is that few criminals attack when they think the odds are even. Criminals like the odds to be in their favor when they attack. And as Marc MacYoung puts it, "Bad guys have friends, too."

Another subset of quick and accurate shooting is the ability to shoot well with only one hand. This looks like a show-off range trick -- more Rambo activity! -- but the fact is that in real life, it is quite possible that if you need to fire your weapon, you may not be able to use both hands. Maybe one hand will be carrying a small grandchild, or keeping a grasp on a larger child so you know where she is. Perhaps it will be fending off a close attacker, or shoving the door shut while an assailant tries to open it. Or perhaps, heaven forbid, one hand will be disabled in the initial attack. If you carry a gun for self-defense, you should know how to safely draw and use the weapon with either hand alone.

Moving targets are fun and challenging on the range. They really catch the students' attention and they appeal greatly to the Walter Mitty fantasy guys. But that's not why good classes include moving targets. Quite simply, good classes include moving targets because in real life, criminals do not just stand there and imitate a piece of cardboard; they move. If you are unable to reliably hit center mass on a moving target, you are not yet prepared to deal decisively with a living opponent.

Similarly, while it appeals to wannabe warriors to shoot while their feet are moving, that's not why good classes teach students how to do so. The reason moving while shooting is taught is because anyone with half a brain is going to be running for cover when a criminal attack happens. If you carry a weapon, you owe it to yourself and everyone around you to learn how not to shoot the innocent grandmother putting her groceries in her car on the other side of the parking lot while you boogey to cover and get away from the bad guys.

Most criminal attacks happen in the dark. Of course a good class will teach you the most obvious tactic: turn on the lights and equalize the environment if you can. But if you cannot turn the lights on, it's really a good idea to be sure you can hit the bad guy instead of the innocent bystanders.

And finally, here we are back at safety again. People tend to overestimate their own existing level of safety, and underestimate their need for personal feedback. But everyone does need it -- and often the ones who need it worst are those who believe it least.

Last year around this time, another instructor and I were talking about a course he was assisting with. "Rough day!" he confided. "One guy pointed a gun at me--TWICE."

"Twice?" I inquired, "What happened the second time?"

"The first time I didn't see what led up to it. Got there as quick as I could and redirected the muzzle. Gave him the stink eye and the full chewing out. He apologized, felt bad, promised he wouldn't do it again."

"So what happened the second time?"

"The usual..." Deep sigh. "He simply did not have the faintest idea that he was bringing the muzzle around to point behind him every time he reached for a fresh magazine. Honestly did not. Just a complete failure of self-awareness."

Experienced shooters and intelligent people often have a hard time believing how much they need this honest and direct feedback from a skilled observer. But everybody does need it -- and the longer the shooter has practiced without formal training, the more desperately they are likely to need this feedback as it relates to both safety issues and shooting techniques.

When I first began working out of a holster, I thought I was doing pretty well with it. Maybe I wasn't as fast as others, I reasoned, but at least I was doing everything safely. Or so I thought. Right up until a professional firearms instructor stood next to me and said, "Hey. You just pointed the muzzle at your own hand." I did? I hadn't even been aware of it!

Similarly, I have in turn stood next to students who were totally oblivious to their own major safety violations, everything from pointing the firearm at their own abdomens while racking the slide (yes, really), to sweeping the person next to them, to casually leaving their fingers on the trigger. When caught, the universal response is honest bewilderment: "I did? I didn't even notice!"

And that's just for gross and obvious safety issues. Shooting skills are even more prone to this type of personal blindness.

That's why I'm excited about professional training and it's why I beat the drum for it every chance I get. Personally, I'm a middle-aged, out of shape housewife who lives in a great low-crime rural area. I'm not Rambo, I don't want to be Rambo, I have no need to be Rambo, and given my physical limitations I couldn't become Rambo no matter how hard I tried. But I'm not going to risk being unsafe with my firearm, and I'm not too proud to say that there are things other people can teach me that I need to learn.

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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Old August 20, 2009, 05:20 AM   #31
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Ain't that the truth

A smooth draw brings the gun out of the holster without fingering the trigger, it doesn't get tangled up in the clothing, and it doesn't point anywhere it shouldn't on the way up. A smooth draw is a safe draw.
So true Pax.

Every body wants blinding speed! or as is said of a lot of human skills, they want to run before they can walk. And a truism I have preached in my full time occupation from 1980 till 2003 (which statement I did not invent) as a firearms Instructor "Keep it simple" my bread and butter classes were Private Company's, ATM/Armored Car/Banks, all with mandated Revolvers, .38 Special.

Every shot fired was from the holster, draw and fire, draw and not fire (challenge!) over and over, all reloads, speed reloads, and then back to eye level.

In every instance that happened whilst working, by all. That doctrine was followed, to the letter, why? Because it was simple.

One of my female ATM attendants, confronted by a young man at 0 dark thirty, as she was exiting a bank, "Give it up" hand in baggy winter coat pocket.

She told me the front sight of her Mod 64 S&W centered on his face as she screamed "don't move" happened on it's own! No conscious thought of "Draw gun" Did she see the sight? Even the little lines, she said.

Now as a carrier of a pistol, under various clothing, summer shirt, winter coat, CCW in wallet, after the "Training" you got to get that CCW issued was in lots of cases, without firing a round! Do you need training? Yes you do.
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