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Old August 13, 1999, 04:59 PM   #1
Shutoku Shia
Join Date: November 9, 1998
Location: San Leandro, California, U.S.A.
Posts: 48
Class: Intermediate Defensive Handgun
School: Marksman's Enterprise/Jim Crews
Date: July 12-14, 1999
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Chabot Gun Club
Chabot, California
Cost: $300 (plus separate $45 for the range fee)

* Day 1 (July 12, 1999 Monday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

1. Basic lecture on safety and universal gun handling rules.

2. Basic draw --- Jim teaches basic 4 count presentation except with a following 3 count variation added to it: (a) on count 3, the gun is rolled outward, held essentially at horizontal with 1 2-handed hold with only the butt of the gun resting on the side of the chest; (b) shooting from count 3 retention position involves rolling the gun outward as you shoot to get different angle of fire; (c) the advantage of holding the gun flat or horizontal (parallel to the ground level) when shooting from retention is that it is easier to shoot level at one's own chest height since it is a more natural position for the shooting hand to hold the gun flat, level to the ground when the back of the hand is down, facing the ground; (d) in addition, Crews' stance when shooting from retention position is very similar to traditional front stance used in martial arts form (very, very stable position).

3. 3 different ways of doing a press check.

4. Different ways of doing tactical reload.

5. Combat reloading.

6. Basic malfunction drills: basic tap-rack-bang and lock-strip-rack-rack-rack-insert-rack-bang for F2F.

7. Marksmanship test --- 1 hole group at 3 yards (3 shot group with 2 hands and later, with one hand, using only the thumb and trigger finger).

8. Marksmanship training: (a) surprise break via counting 1, 2, 3, ... aloud as the shooter press the trigger and watch the top of the front sight (FS); (b) focusing on FS while saying "P-R--E---S----S..." very, very slowly and as soon as the shot breaks off, focusing on FS again by shouting "Front Sight". Recoil control training is done by emphasizing: (a) 80% of the weight on the ball of the foot, 20% on heel; (b) slight forward lean; (c) isometric push-pull with the shooting and the support hand without any sideway pressure; (c) test the solidness of the shooting platform by not budging when pushed with 1 finger from front; (d) front sight focus immediately after the surprise break ---- i.e. follow through aids in recoil control.

9. Arizona CCW test --- test of marksmanship (2 shots to the center mass at 3, 5, 7, and 10 yards).

10. Teaching double action trigger pull, trigger on the first crease of the finger and pull the first 2/3 of the trigger pull quickly, then pull the last third of the trigger slowly and steadily to gain trigger control all the while focusing on the top of the front sight.

11. Rear left and right oblique assessment --- Jim teaches the shooter to assess twice before re-holstering: (a) standard left and right assessment at low ready after shooting; (b) 6 o'clock assessment by turning one's head and looking over one's left and right shoulder.

12. Tactical movement (front, back, lateral left, and lateral right) this is essentially move and shoot drill, except that Mr. Crews favors: (a) dragging the rear foot (foot opposite the direction you are moving to, for example, if you moving backward, you would drag the front foot while stepping backward and feeling the grounds with your rear (feeling with the toe and the ball of the feet first); (b) emphasis on scanning left and right while moving forward very, very slowly (idea being that you are moving FORWARD INTO THE THREAT); (c) emphasis on moving relatively rapidly backward (idea being that you are moving AWAY FROM THE THREAT).

13. Jim Crews recommends 5 minute a day of dry fire drill with a penny on top of the front sight while dryfiring to aide in focus and trigger control.

* Day 2 (7/14/99 Tuesday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

1. One handed loading of the handgun magazine with ammunition.

2. One handed reloading of the handgun.

3. Drawing with an "executive carry" (empty chamber) and racking the slide as you bring the gun toward the threat.

4. Different shooting positions: (a) high or quick kneel, double kneel, braced kneel; (b) squatting; (b) police pistol prone, rollover prone, inverted prone (shooting on your back); (c) shooting on your side (for pregnant women and for people with extremely large belly "mark of success").

5. 2 variations of failure drill: (a) 3 shot failure drill --- 2 shots to the center mass (CM) and WITHOUT assessment, 1 shot to the head (brain cavity (BC)); (b) 5 shot failure drill --- 2 shots to the CM and WITHOUT assessment, 2 shot to the pelvis (1 to each left and right pelvis), finishing off with 1 BC shot.

6. Teamwork concept (moving as a 2 man team and learning to use make-shift command language to faciliate communication bewt. team members).

7. Learning to move laterally or backward in an "L" shaped movement --- i.e. first take a step back as you shoot at the charging threat, then you sidestep either to left or right as you let the threat pass by and keep the gun on the threat.

* Day 3 (7/14/99 Wednesday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

1. Basic dryfire drills to speed up the draw and extend one's awareness.

2. Making a head shot at a turn flip target from the holster in under 2 seconds
-- making a 3-shot failure drill at a turn flip target from the holster in under 2 seconds (3 yards initially, 7 yards later). Jim is heavily into ACCURATE SHOT PLACEMENT.

3. Timing a head shot from the holster (3 yards).

4. Shooting on the move (forward only); Jim recommends dragging the front foot method of move and shoot instead of shooting on the move while moving to the rear.

5. Solving the problem: moving hostage problem involving 3-dimensional target, the goal being to hit the moving perpetrator holding a hostage that is also moving.

1. As the curriculum shows, this class had a very strong emphasis on precision and basic techniques comprising the fundamentals of combat marksmanship.

2. Due to his tireless energy and concern for the students, Mr. Crews was able to give everyone a very high degree of individual attention to each student with personal diagnostic coaching to solve each student's unique problems involving marksmanship errors/weaknesses.

3. Jim obviously loves doing this! This instructor runs the class with least amount of down time I have encountered (the only exception being in classes where there were 2 co-instructors running separate relays in parallel).

4. Jim encourages every student to observe and learn as you watch him diagnose each student's marksmanship problems --- through watching him teach other students, you learn how to better self-diagnose your own shooting problems. This was a great learning experience!

5. Jim is extremely versatile, able to diagnose both student's shooting problems as well as any gun problems that developed. You come away from the class with a better understanding of how your gun works and how to take care of it, in addition to learning the fundamentals of combat marksmanship.

7. Mr . Crews was able to demonstrate an outstanding control of the students, no matter how disparate the student population were (there was several beginning pistol shooters as well as seasoned Orange Gunsite alumni of Advanced Tactical Pistol making up the class). We all came away from the class thinking it was well worth the cost and time spent on it.

1. I feel that there should have being more emphasis on utilization of available cover and concealment in conjunction with teaching of various positions. For example, when various kneeling positions were taught, I felt that it would have being more useful to some of us if it was empasized in practical application, the pros and cons of various kneeling positions as it relates to how various cover could have being used --- e.g. raised curb, vehicle, etc.

2. I feel that there should have being more emphasis on movement, especially then you are combat reloading or performing malfunction drills.

3. It would have being nice if some of us got a brief introduction to pieing and moving with a gun inside a closed structure such as a house.

4. I would have liked more time spent on learning the intricacies of shooting from the Crews' version of retention position (Redman suit with Simunition F/X marking cartridges in an advanced course?).

I learned the importance of being able to shoot any gun well (1 shot hole group at 3 yards was demonstrated with just about any gun the students had brought by Jim Crews throughout the course of instruction, including S & W AirWeight and a Russian Makarov).

I learned the importance of being able to shoot and maintain high level of marksmanship from any position and from any angle, whether shooting the gun upside down, canted left or right, sideways, or 1 handed.

I would recommend this class very highly to both a novice shooter who is just starting out as well as to an experienced shooter. A novice will get a very firm and solid understanding of marksmanship fundamentals while an experienced shooter will get to polish his techniques while at the same time, gain a renewed understanding of shooting fundamentals.

Shutoku Shia
August 10, 1999
San Jose, California

P.S. If you have any question, Please email me at [email protected] since right now, I am not able to check TFL forum on a regular basis.

Mr. Crews can be reached at:

Jim Crews
Marksman's Enterprise
PO Box 1408
Avondale, AZ 85323
Ph 602-549-7389

[This message has been edited by Shutoku Shia (edited August 15, 1999).]
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