Two Way Range

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There’s a big difference between the competition world and the combat-focused shooting world. Competition shooters don’t get shot at.

Cardboard/paper/steel targets don’t shoot back.

These are popular assessments given by usually low-skill people as an excuse for why they cower from competition. True, competition is done on one-way ranges. Nobody is supposed to get shot at a match. However, all forms of instruction, training, and practice exercises and drills are all also one way, no matter how military/LEO, tactical, or “high speed” it is (or you think it is.)

How many incoming live rounds did you receive during your combat-focused shooting training/class/instruction/exercise/drill? How many people were shot and hit with live ammunition on purpose? What was/is the stated acceptable casualty rate? How many people are typically shot during the conduct of it? How many times have you been purposely shot in a training environment?

If the answer is zero, you’re still on a one-way range, just like in the competition world. Combat-focused shooting that does not involve people actually trying to hit you with live ammunition is still a one-way range. And if there is no value found in a one-way range, then all forms of military, police, and tactical training are equally suspect. Done while lacking a measured result in a competitive format makes the experience less stressful than a match.

No, force-on-force is NOT a true two-way range because you know in advance a “lethal” hit won’t kill. Sim rounds, be it Simunitions, UTM, Airsoft, MILES (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System), Paintball, Laser Tag, Nerf Blaster, squirt gun, or anything else is purposely used because it can’t cause more than minor injury with proper safety precautions. Everyone starts the exercise knowing they aren’t supposed to be hurt no matter how it goes.

Even various ridiculous “training” videos showing personnel shooting live ammunition toward other people still isn’t a two-way range.

https://www.facebook.com/armyinside/videos/1655962138041846/

Still not a two-way range


Still not a two-way range

https://www.facebook.com/KaBaEnvironment/videos/1656137297735660/

Still not a two-way range

https://www.facebook.com/InstrutorDeArmamentoETiro/videos/1217181631725946/

Still not a two-way range

Yes, that is live ammunition being used with personnel downrange. No, I don’t recommend it. Despite the theatrics, this still is not a two-way range. Neither the cadre nor trainees are trying to hit other people. Bullets are being launched in their general direction, but that also happens to pit pullers in the target butts on a KD range. Nobody is being shot on purpose.
two-way-range

Competitive stress is real, it doesn’t abate even after repeated experiences, and it has been scientifically proven to exist. By actual test, merely adding a score and spectators to ballroom dancing has been measured by laboratory results to induce as many stress hormones as a novice’s first and second parachute jump. Parachuting is measurably less stressful for the novice by the third jump, however, competition continues to produce the same stress reaction even after a decade of experience and hundreds of competitive events. Parachuting is measurably less stressful by the third jump on the first day for a newbie and the same thing happens with the “stress” of all forms of instruction and training, including force-on-force and even fake “incoming” on a pretend two-way range that still isn’t two way.

Combat is a competition and requires a winning mindset. Competing at something challenging and trying to win remains the best way to develop the skills and attitude you need. Cowering from such challenges does not.

TL;DR
Shove your tired clichés where the sun don’t shine.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/competition-shooting-vs-two-way-range/

Surprise Courses

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I think that seeing the stage kinda takes the fun out of it. Drilling for it either mentally or by doing a couple of “dry run” walks through it will kill the whole concept of being as fast as you can in the circumstances that you’re given and instead makes it into a “routine” so to speak, like being the fastest guy to do a course that’s already familiar.

This is like arguing Track and Field events aren’t challenging because it’s won by the fastest guy to do a course that’s already familiar…

Many types of real-world engagements do allow for pre-planning. In those scenarios, it would be negligent to not have a pre-arranged plan:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/have-a-plan/
https://firearmusernetwork.com/seal-team-six-training/

Outside of this, some shooting events and formal competitions do feature surprise courses. They were routinely held in practical competitive events dating back at least to the early 1960s and are held in certain venues today.

The only reason there aren’t more events featuring surprise courses of fire is logistics. Events are set up and run by volunteers that obviously also want to shoot. Keeping a field or shoothouse course secret requires a range facility that prevents peeking (intentional or by accident) and it must by run by someone (usually a non-paid volunteer) willing to not participate.

Let us know when and where you’ll host something like that for us. :-)

I’ve designed courses that feature a surprise, not-known-in-advance elements that can be fairly shot by the event director and by the people setting the course up. It can be done, and is a feature of TacticalPractical events, but such layouts are not permitted by organizations like NRA, CMP, USPSA or IDPA.

Auditory Start Not “Realistic”

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Converting light to bioelectrical signals that the brain can react to takes longer than biological sound signals to be processed. It’s evident already that the timer with auditory start signal is consistently faster because the OODA loop significantly shortened. The audible stimuli cuts out the “observe, orient and decide” and leaves just “listen and act.” The orient happens before the timer ever starts.”

These are fair points. An auditory start signal to start timing an already-known, pre-oriented event is the best case scenario, equally for everyone.

All humans will be slower with other variables at play including those with whatever tactical training is currently fashionable. A known-in-advance drill begun with an auditory start signal after the person has prepared and made ready is the best-case scenario in terms of reaction time and performance, probably unrealistically so.

However, a person that is measurably slower with the easiest possible evaluation will be even slower-er with those other variables in play. A fixed, known-in-advance drill shot on motionless, non-threatening targets is much easier than real life. A failure on such a drill means the person will just get much worse when things become more varied and serious.

Once again, “failure” means missing a reasonable standard by a fair margin, something that wouldn’t happen if fundamentals were squared away.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/circus-trick

Timers and Standards for Gunfights

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For the average Joe/Jane on the street who isn’t trying to beat Bob Vogel at the next world shoot, it is possible to expend too much effort developing speed while neglecting other important aspects of self defense but rarely do I see people investing so much effort in refining their ability to deliver fast, accurate hits on demand that they’re neglecting other bits of the equation. That’s much more of a theoretical problem than a real one, I’m afraid.

Assuming you’re not trying to become the next USPSA champion, there’s certainly a rational balance to be reached, but the clichés parroted endlessly don’t encourage the employment of reason in finding that balance. They tend to drive the conversation towards eschewing the use of a timer or the use of standards to measure performance because once you start to put things up against hard standards it becomes pretty clear that a lot of “tactical!” is just suck dressed up with black paint and silly furniture. Nobody likes to admit that they suck.

I don’t know who came up with this concept of “cowboy quickdraw” but that person should be flogged in the town square. Police and ordinary citizens are reaching for a gun IN RESPONSE TO AN AMBUSH. They need the gun NOW.

Situational awareness gives you a few seconds heads up that something is happening…it is not a magical power that repels all boarders so you don’t need to worry about the hard skills of actually using the weapon. There is no situation where you truly need a firearm in which getting it into play slower is to your advantage.

– Tim Chandler

I feel the timer is there to make up for the fact that targets in real life are not standing still indefinitely like they usually are on a range. It’s pretty easy to not take speed seriously when that’s the case.

– Robert Vogel

You’ve got the rest of your life to solve that problem… how ever long that is.

– John Farnam

There is a timer in every gun fight. The other guy is holding it and it has a button that makes a very loud beep. It’s called a gun.

– Nate Perry

How Shooting Affects Your Hearing

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How Shooting Affects Your Hearing, an info graphic from The Smoking Barrel USA:

How Shooting Affects Your Hearing
Source: The Smoking Barrel USA

Establishing Hard Standards

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MountainGuerrilla

One of the subjects we discuss in this blog, a lot, is the importance of having quantifiable metrics of performance. A large part of that is what I call “soft standards,” i.e. “I did better than I did last time,” and “I performed the drill/skill correctly.” On the same hand however, there is a time and a place for “hard standards.”
“Hard standards” are simply a published set of metrics that a given group of people are expected to be able to achieve, on demand, without specific preparation or warm-up. As individual practitioners of…dare I say…the “Heroic Ideal,” soft standards really should be more important to us than soft standards, but hard standards do have a very important role to play as well.
In the first place, it allows us the confidence to accept fate stoically. “What is, is.” If I have met a hard standard, on demand, without preamble…

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Inches, Minutes, Clicks- Zero That Blaster

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Ash Hess has a solid write up on using the Army’s new zero target. What’s interesting is that this really describes how the zero process used to be taught before it was deemed too “confusing.”

https://primaryandsecondary.com/inches-minutes-clicks-zero-that-blaster/

https://primaryandsecondary.com/grouping-the-baseline/

>> I use the new Army Zero target since it was designed for this exact thing vs the old school one that was designed by an idiot.

FC 23-11 (Unit Rifle Marksmanship Training Guide) was published in the early 1980s for the M16A1 era and it claims the reason for the silhouette-shaped aim point was to replace the “confusing” Canadian Bull zero target and have troops zero on the same shape/relative size target they’d see during qualification.

They also eliminated explanation of “confusing” minutes and mils and went with 1 square=1 click as well as “confusing” descriptions of basic ballistics. Just use the “L” sight on your M16A1 when zeroing at 25 meters and flip it back when done. The zero target even has pictures with arrows to show which way to click the sights to adjust them.

Brilliant! Until the M16A2 was adopted, followed by the M4 and then optics, lasers, and other sighting accessories that became common issue… Try to explain the how and why of the Small Arms Integration Book to someone that doesn’t understand Inches-Minutes/Mils-Clicks and basic ballistics.

It’s worth noting the FC 23-11 is a well-written manual published by knowledgable shooters that did a great job explaining the decision process for the zero and qualification procedures the U.S. Army has been using since the early 1980s. The real failure was that this basic, initial program of instruction and qualification was intended to be only a basic, initial program. Soldiers were supposed to eventually shoot field courses (the Alt-C target was originally intended for other exercises to prepare for this), at full distance, on KD ranges, and learn higher level shooting. All of that is explained in FC 23-11. The simplistic nature of the initial course was to be added upon during a Soldier’s career.

As with any potentially-useful program, when left to be handled by under-skilled personnel with no background or interest in the subject at hand (drill sergeants and other NCOs) along with leadershit with no background or interest in it, the program stopped at the simple, introductory level and began to retrograde. KD courses and full-distance course were eliminated due to logistics, followed by even the scaled exercises at 25 meter. The entire affair eventually dumbed down to the lowest-common-denomitor, minimalist affair common to every Soldier that has served since Reagan’s first term. 25 meter zero followed by “pop up” targets (or just the 25 meter Alternate “C”) course is the least effort approach that technically satifies minimal requirements.

Sadly, because most Soldiers are illiterate this is the totality of their understanding.

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