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Old October 7, 2009, 07:39 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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TV shows, shoot out training, & actually shooting at & being shot at...

was watching the History channel last weekend, ( Tomestone with comments by historians... was pretty interesting )... anyways, after the movie, was an hour show ( I think ) called sharpshooters... they looked at old west shooters, old exihbition shooters, & modern counter parts...

one of the things that sunk in, was when they talked about gun fights, they didn't have anyone willing to shoot at anyone else... I'd think from a training point of view this kind of expirience presenting your carry gun, in a hurry, beforethe other guy shoots you, being able to aim while being shot at ( natural instinct to try to turn away...

got me thinking... nope, couldn't find any "paint ball guns" that would fit in my carry holster... but those "air soft" guns are made in several actual gun model forms... now I'm not a "toy gun" kinda guy, & I don't approve of kids playing games video, paint ball, etc. where they shoot each other... but a couple of air soft guns & some eye protection & a good buddy or two could offer invaluable training oportunities... maybe you guys do this sort of thing all the time, but I generally have been raised not to point guns at people, & haven't had any interest in the air soft guns in the past... scenereos could be set up around cars, & other natural barriers to train moving & shooting, while being shot at...

any thoughts ???
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Old October 7, 2009, 09:51 AM   #2
Lee Lapin
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It's called FoF or "force on force training." And if it isn't done well, and managed by people with some training and experience in setting up and running FoF, the odds of someone getting killed in the process are high enough to make it a dangerous practice. For example, the pages of the book Training at the Speed of Life ( ) tell the stories of any number of LEOs who were killed in scenario based training accidents. And these people were professionals...

A bunch of waist-high kids playing cowboys and indians is one thing. Grownups out in public with realistic looking Airsoft guns? Do I really need to say anything about how scenarios need to be planned, secured, and run in order to keep some real life cop- or some real gun carrying CCW holder- from accidentally getting involved? I hope not.

IMHO FoF is not something that needs to be undertaken without a good deal of preparation. Of course, YMMV.



DTI's schedule changes frequently. Please confirm all dates and locations with us before making specific plans.

We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to register for a specific course. Classes do fill up and DTI strives to keep the student to instructor ratio as low as possible so space is limited.

3-4 Oct 09 Defensive Handgun/Urban Rifle, South Lake Tahoe, NV
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Scenario-Based (Force-on-Force) Defensive Handgun Course

This is a lecture/range course where John S Farnam will be discussing and demonstrating close disengagement and close fighting methods using pistols, blades, and other weapons. Emphasis is on successful disengagement with reasonable force.

This course does includes live-fire range exercises.

In addition, students will suit-up with appropriate protective gear and Airsoft Pistols and participate in roll-playing drills where verbal skills, postural skills, tactical movement, use of cover, personal tactics, brandishing skills, shooting skills, and integration with partners are all combined in real-time exercises. After each exercise, students are critiqued and evaluated.

This is an opportunity to train and test/exercise your disengagement skills in an environment that is as real as we can make it.

Please consult the Schedule for a location and time which would be best for you.
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Old October 7, 2009, 09:53 AM   #3
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Old October 7, 2009, 10:12 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replys... I realize I'm out of my element here, & I'm inviting a discussion, but the show I watched used Jerry Michloeck ( spelling ??? ) for comparasion in the gun fighting segment... but a couple problems I have with that, is often these are race rigs ( at least race "tuned" rigs, often the holsters are not CCW holsters, in the show, Jerry commented that his holster was special, & he only needed to lift the gun 1" before the barrel cleared the holster, I don't need to shoot someone once per week, & have dropped guns out of easy drawing holsters before ( aluminum guns & parking lots are not good for a finely finished revolver ), so all my holsters have some form of retention...

also, ( I mean Jerry no disrespect at all ), but I'd bet any amount of money, that if someone shot a gun in the direction of Jerry after his 1st shot ( because he is obviously fast enough to get the 1st shot off ), that his aim is not going to be as good as shooting at steel plates for any remaining shots...

2nd point, I live on a farm, with lots of outbuildings, old cars, & my own shooting range, & I'm talking about a controlled environment, & a small group of friends with air soft guns or similar, no live fire... if you carry a revolver, you get 5 or 6 shots, & semi auto, just for fair field tests shouldn't have any more shots... again, I know nothing about the "toy guns", but would think their realistic shape would make them good choices for using my actual CCW holsters... you woud be able to feel if you got hit, & if you did get hit in the cheek a few times, & it "hurt", it would add more realism tothe turn & flich factor when being shot at...
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Old October 7, 2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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I can't say I blame you for wanting to conduct some realistic training but you have to understand that it is dangerous. The reason being if someone actually introduces a live pistol into the training. Just about every year in this country, police officers get killed in training, usually because live weapons and ammo somehow slipped through. I'm a police sergeant and have conducted a lot of training, including many of the Force on Force scenarios. We have a safety procedure that is followed every time. This after a recruit got shot in some scenario training 12 years ago. No real firearms, no ammo in the designated training area, no exceptions. Every one is searched, including gear, for the same. No one is allowed to leave the training area except for good reason and only after notifying the designated safety officer. They get searched upon return. If there is a break, safety checks are conducted again. There has to be a safety officer not involved in the training to monitor conditions. If rules like these are not followed, its a disaster waiting to happen.

As far as Jerry is concerned, he's a competitor not a police officer or concealed carry guru. His goal is to maximize efficiency with this rig, within the rules, so that the least amount of time is spent. You can learn from great shooters like Jerry as long as you remember shooting is not the same as gunfighting.
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Old October 7, 2009, 11:34 AM   #6
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Lee's on the money.

FOF drills have to be planned such that the scenario has a point. It's not just for a fun gun fight.

There need to be SO's or referees for an extensive debrief afterwards.

Lee has talked about the NTI, several times. I've been there and other FOFs with Karl Rehn, Insights, Steve Moses and the scenario is well planned, the role players have script and then you debrief.
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Old October 7, 2009, 01:45 PM   #7
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bds32 pegged it. If you do "real life" practice, PLEASE do it under the eye of professional instructors at a closed, professional course, competition, or class.

As for Jerry, he's a shooter, not a gunfighter. I think ANY of us, in a real gunfight with lead flying and adrenaline pumping, would probably have hard time hitting a bus, much less a human. There's just no way to practice 100% for the real thing unless it IS the real thing.
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Old October 7, 2009, 08:09 PM   #8
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Just another 2cents worth... If your going to depend on a fast draw. I dont think your going to be on time for dinner....
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Old October 7, 2009, 08:20 PM   #9
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If a lightning-fast weapon presentation is required in real life, you're probably already too late...

Force-on-force is a great training tool, but you would need a professional (or multiple professionals) to regulate, referee, and serve as safety officers for such an event. And it would best be reserved for a designated force-on-force training course on a closed range with strict rules and safety precautions in place and enforced.

Just a guess here, but places like Gunsite very well may offer such a thing...
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Old October 8, 2009, 01:03 AM   #10
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Getting back to the paintball angle- don't get stuck on the paintball gun looking like your carry gun, long gun -vs- handgun, etc. Try to focus on the lessons.

A simple and really effective drill is the "Marty" drill- which is essentially a man-on-man duelling tree drill: Find two decent sized trees about 20' apart that are barricade sized, and shoot it out. You'll get a masters level lesson on shooting from awkward angles at small, moving 1/2 heads.
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Old October 8, 2009, 02:11 AM   #11
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As I read the original post, and the responding replies I had a couple of thoughts. Most of my thoughts have already been said by people in a far better position than me to speak with some knowledge on the subject.

First, running around in public with an Airsoft, doing "realistic training" is a good way to get very dead, very quick. It needs to be in a controlled environment.

As far as Jerry Miculek being a professional shooter. While I have never seen Mr. Jerry shoot, nor met the man, I am reminded of what Massad Ayoob said regarding Jim Cirillo and the Bianchi Cup. Cirillo made a comment in effect, that the Bianchi Cup was more nerve wracking and stress inducing than all of his gunfights.

I highly doubt that Jerry Miculek would turn to jelly if you shot at him.


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Old October 8, 2009, 07:02 PM   #12
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if someone shot a gun in the direction of Jerry after his 1st shot
To paraphrase one of my favorite philosophers, Han Solo, that's the trick, isn't it. Letting him shoot first isn't a good choice.
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Old October 8, 2009, 10:12 PM   #13
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also, ( I mean Jerry no disrespect at all ), but I'd bet any amount of money, that if someone shot a gun in the direction of Jerry after his 1st shot ( because he is obviously fast enough to get the 1st shot off ), that his aim is not going to be as good as shooting at steel plates for any remaining shots...
Mr. Miculek has devoted his life to learning to shoot a variety of weapons rapidly and accurately under extreme pressure and under a wide range of conditions. He has succeeded to the point that he is literally the best in the world in some respects.

While it's reasonable to assume that the pressure of putting his life on the line might affect his abilities to some extent, it's extremely important to realize some things.

The person who's shooting at Mr. Miculek would also be under pressure and almost certainly has nowhere NEAR the experience in shooting under pressure that Mr. Miculek has. Therefore it would be reasonable to expect that at the very least this unfortunate shooter would experience similar relative degradation in abilities but would most likely find that their loss of skills would be much worse, relatively speaking.

It's common to hear people comment that "So and so is really good at shooting targets, but those targets ain't shooting back" or something equivalent, but it's rare to have anyone make the connection that the person "shooting back" would also be under similar stress and would also experience a loss of skills as a result. In other words on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being a performance that only 4 or 5 in the world are capable of, Mr. Miculek might degrade from 100 down to to 95 from stress while his unlucky opponent might drop from 35 to 5.

Unless Mr. Miculek were to be attacked by a world class shooter, the outcome of the scenario would likely be unaffected even if his skills were severely degraded, by his standards.

Are gunfights like shooting targets? Not at all, but all else being equal, the guys who shoot targets really well are going to tend to do better in gunfights than guys who have more trouble getting good hits on paper.

Ok, so is FoF the solution for how to make practice like real gunfights? No, it's not THE solution. No more than IDPA, IPSC, shooting targets at the range or paintball is THE solution.

Target shooting stresses precision too much and underemphasizes time.
FoF tends to underemphasize accuracy and tends to overemphasize movement.
IDPA and IPSC have rules and procedures that can help ingrain bad habits.
...and so on and so forth...

All of those things can provide useful experiences and help build valuable skills that are useful in real gunfights but all of those things differ from real gunfights in one or more significant ways and therefore none of those things can give you a complete answer in and of themselves.

FoF has "warts" just like the other training methods, although it definitely provides insights that aren't easily available otherwise.

I'm certainly not discouraging people from FoF training or from doing any of the other activities, just pointing out that a balanced approach is better than focusing on any single activity as being THE way to go.
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Old October 9, 2009, 01:44 AM   #14
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Just my two cents based on my experience. There is NOTHING that can compare to a real shooting incident. I have been in one in 30 years. I have interviewed many street gang members in Los Angeles as a Detective and it surprised me to find out time and again the amount of shootings a hard core gangster gets into. As far as shooting at people and being involved in shootings many gangsters and hardened criminals are involved in many, many more than the average police officer, even in a large busy city!

I guess my point is you never really know how you will react or act till you have been there, and don't underestimate a criminal with a blanket statement that he will not perform very well in a gunfight.
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Old October 9, 2009, 08:04 AM   #15
Magnum Wheel Man
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I pretty much agree with most of the last couple posts... I certainly don't have any intention of doing "only" FOF training ( I have over 40 calibers I load for, & shoot, in a multitude of different formats... I'm not going to mothball 99% of the guns that I own & shoot... that & I actually enjoy reloading & developing new loads, & shooting those in everything from long range rifles & specialty handguns, to side by side 22 rim fire spinner battles with friends ), but recreational shooting is really where "all" my exprience has come from... I'm not a particularly good shot, but still enjoy it, & seem to get better everytime... ( in a confrontation, Jerry / or a similar competitor, they could easily shoot me before I even came close to getting my gun out of the holster ), but that doesn't mean I'm not still wanting to improve, & continue shooting for both enjoyment & training... I agree with what the previous poster stated about bad guys & shooting... most of them are idiots, & some of the hardened ones wouldn't bat an eye at shooting someone, & have been shot at, while they did it... to go back to the old west gun fighter thing, alot of shots went off the mark, but the cold steely eye & the ( either over confidence of a full of them self fighter ), or the steely nerves of of expirience often won out ( or the guy that plain just shot the seasoned shooter in the back anyway I think the FOF training offers a different facet of shooting than any of us have done in the past, & offers all of us a chance to develope & improve those in grained skills one falls back on, in a high stress real life situation...

I am pushing forward with the air soft idea, I & most of my group of shooting buddys are middle age profressionals, every one is carrying most everyday, we live in a small town, & generally have a low risk life style, we are not lacking in common sense, or the money or proper locations to hold training... I think all FOF training guns will be manditory blaze orange, some senerios will take place "on the farm", some in my warehouse at work, but none of the FOF training will take place in open public areas, or on the shooting range, we are capable of developing our own "incedents", evaluating & improving on them as we go, one buddy is a state inspector, one a hazard anyalisis inspector for a large utility, I run a food ingredient factory, & am capable ( & done ) of developing my own HACCP, Quality, SOP, GMP programs, evaluating their effectiveness & maintaining them, setting up similar guidelines for our FOF traning seems like a piece of cake if you have any understanding of what kinds of paperwork, hazard anaylisis, & documetation are involved in my industry...
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Old October 9, 2009, 08:22 AM   #16
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Off topic but I thought this was very interesting. I was reading about Wyatt Earp and read that he and John Wayne actually met at a movie set in the 20's. Cool.
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Old October 9, 2009, 04:44 PM   #17
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Earliest memories include multitudes of FoF encounters. It was our primary mode of operation as boys growing up in a rural environment. Sticks led to dirt clods to pine cone and "cow patty" grenades to store bought toy guns to sling shots and china berry ammo to BB guns to bottle rocket and roman candle warfare.
Was it play or was it early training. All I know is this: when green pine cones were being thrown by the little league pitcher - it didn't seem like "play" to get hit. We learned about movement, cover, flanking maneuvers, fields of fire and to run like the scalded dogs when we experienced ammo depletion.
I would think a Ref or Ump or Safety Officer or Observer will be needed for maximum benefit from your war games. In set piece situations, if possible, the Ref should know what’s going down and the perp(s) should know, but the armed peasant(s) should be clueless.
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Old October 10, 2009, 03:20 PM   #18
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Well I ordered the 1st 3 of 4 "trainers", one as close as I could get to a J frame sized revolver, one thats close to my L frame sized revolver, & a semi auto about the size of my CZ compact, all are metal, gas, airsoft guns, the revolvers are tougher to get quality pieces, as the autos seem more popular... all will get Dura Coated in blaze orange, some will go to my machinist buddy beforehand for barrel length, sight & grip alterations, & I have yet to decide on the full sized auto... ( I sometimes carry a full sized Witness in 10mm, but the 1911 models are also popular )

the local hobby shop has an ex military armourer that runs the shop, & he is "into" the air soft stuff... OMG... "toy" guns with real belted ammo going into them etc... anyway, buying them from him, means he'll service them for me, & insure I won't be getting junk ( him & his buddys play war games in full military gear in a couple of the local parks... probably way more dangerous than the project I'm undertaking )... a couple of the guys I shoot with are wanting to buy their own "trainers", so, we'll have like 5-6 weapon options, of which, I'll insist they all get painted orange... the guy that runs the shop also assists the local police dept in training ( using similar guns & techniques as I am planning on ), & wants to help out, when we get started ( I think he likes playing the bad guy, as he most often does with the local PD during their training )
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