Competitive Shooting: Not Just a Game

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Field Notes Ep. 13, Competitive Shooting with Robert Vogel, Not Just a Game.

It’s worth noting that Mr. Vogel won his first national championship using the same firearm he carried on duty as a law enforcement officer.

More from Robert Vogel:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/tag/robert-vogel/

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Get Gun Owners To Be Shooters

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https://ricochet.com/422134/taking-it-off-the-streets/

Taking It Off the Streets
By Kevin Creighton

There’s been a tremendous increase in gun ownership in the past few years, but that gun-buying bubble will pop unless those new gun owners find something to do with their guns other than keeping them unloaded under their beds and hoping they will keep the bad guys away.

Owning a gun should not be a fad. CB radios went away because people found out that there was little to do with a CB except talk to truckers. If we want guns to be something other than tactical pet rocks, we need to introduce gun owners to activities they can do to improve their ability to use a gun under stressful conditions, without throwing them into the ring of competition right from the start with little or no training.

Enter Shoot and Scoot Range Days, put on by Step By Step Gun Training.
https://stepbystepguntraining.com/ssgt-scoot-and-shoot/

This event features simple, easy to follow practical shooting stages that use reactive steel targets to give instant feedback on whether you hit the target (or not) and easy-to-follow courses of fire that use shooting boxes to delineate what targets must be engaged from which positions. The round counts are low (under 25 rounds per stage) and most importantly, the focus of the Range Day isn’t on winning a match, it’s on improving your skills and getting comfortable with carrying a gun in a holster.

A typical Shoot and Scoot Range session consists of two pistol-shooting bays set up for easy-to-shoot courses of fire for people who want to work on drawing from a holster and safely moving with their gun and a bay with a more advanced course of fire that brings in the defensive use of a rifle into the mix. In addition to range officers (who get a big discount on the practice fee in return for their services) on each stage, there’s also a instructor dedicated to teaching first-time attendees how to safely draw from holster and move with their gun. The sessions are three hours long, which is enough time to run through all the courses of fire at least three times, and while timers are in use on the stages, scores are not kept, and the time is used more to gauge personal improvement than who recorded the fastest time on the stage.

Shoot and Scoot Range Days aren’t there to give people a chance to win a match, they’re to give people the experience of being at a match. Attendees get a taste of what it’s like to safely operate a firearm under a small amount of simulated stress, without the stage fright and anxiety that comes from being judged by your peers on your performance. More importantly, people at this event get a feel for what it’s like to carry a gun around on your hip for hours on end.

You would think that’s a common thing among people who have their concealed carry permits and own a defensive pistol, but you’d be wrong. At a recent industry-only event put on by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, some participants were amazed by how few people within the firearms industry itself had any experience drawing a gun from a holster and putting rounds on-target. [This same problem exists among uniformed military personnel.]

If this is the case inside the firearms industry, imagine what it’s like for those on the outside. If we want “Gun Culture 2.0” to truly become a culture, that means that the having a defensive firearm on you or near you needs to be as natural and as normal has having a smartphone on you or near you at all times.

In Defense of ‘Square Range, Static Target’ Training

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Great article by Greg Moats. Read it!

I’d add that his spot-on assessments here are not limited to younger folks and are not caused because the Internet has become increasingly available and popular. Plenty of older people, including those that should know better, are just as capable of this silliness and were doing so well before ARPANET existed.

In Defense of ‘Square Range, Static Target’ Training — or ‘How the internet is screwing up Millennials’
by Greg Moats

http://www.shootingwire.com/features/679eeb80-dbe2-43a2-9d48-99e4a664f01a/

I’m guessing that many of these instructors don’t know that in the late 70’s and 80’s, a number of the “high-speed, low-drag” organizations went to the square range, stationary target, static position schools of competitive shooting to learn basic shooting skills! I was fortunate enough to have been in the first class that Ray ever ran at the Chapman Academy. Since I lived close, we became friends and I helped him with a few classes. The Navy SEALs came to the Chapman Academy to work with Ray. They also went to Berryville to work with Bill Wilson and to MISS to work with John Shaw, two competitive shooters that never ran a black op nor (I’m guessing) heard a shot fired in anger. Apparently all of the square range, static training didn’t get them all killed as they kept coming back.

Training is a progression, a journey consisting of trips back to the square range to polish skills, as well as learning from simulators.

Circus Trick

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Low skilled people continue to whine about standards drills as not being realistic, tactically relevant, or being a “circus trick.” What they’re really doing is attempting to conceal lack of skill, either their own or others. Rather than blame a lack of fundamental skill for a poor result, it’s easier to blame the evaluation for the poor showing. The fact that such a test is known in advance only serves to make it easier.
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Tactical Reload

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http://www.gunnuts.net/2015/07/16/magazines-and-reliability/

Magazines and reliability
by Tim aka TCinVA

Dropping magazines, especially partially loaded ones, on the ground is often very hard on the magazine. Apart from dirt, mud, and other detritus that gets inside the magazine, baseplates and feed lips will sometimes crack, and tubes will sometimes bend or dent. This fact is, believe it or not, where the so called “tactical reload” came from.

I actually discussed this with Tom Givens in his Intensive Pistol Skills class a few weeks ago. In the early days of Gunsite the gun that 99.99% of people showed up with was a 1911. In those days there was no Wilson/Rogers 47D magazine and folks didn’t show up to classes with massive piles of magazines for training. Everyone was using GI or factory Colt magazines in their guns. Dropping these magazines on the crushed granite of the range ended up destroying them to the point of students almost put out of commission because they didn’t have any functional magazines left. If the magazines never hit the granite, then you never have that problem, right? VIOLA!! The “tactical reload” as we know it was born.

Just think: All that arguing about reloads you see on the internet dates back to a practice adopted to get around the fact that 1911 magazines circa 1977 sucked out loud. Stew on that one for a bit without getting depressed. I dare ya.

Guns April 1964
See page 18
http://www.gunsmagazine.com/1964issues/G0464.pdf

Tactical Light Use

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“I worry less about it as the need for a light in the CCW fight paradigm is damn near zero. I note that in exactly none of the 62+ CCW shootings that Tom Givens students were involved in was a light used, or needed. When you have an armed robber in your face the need to PID the target is greatly reduced. CCW folks don’t, or shouldn’t, be chasing people into dark holes.”

-Chuck Haggard

http://www.policeone.com/police-products/duty-gear/flashlights/tips/5322302-Proper-use-of-weapon-mounted-lights/

“I’ve never encountered a civilian CCW holder with a weapon-mounted light that had a clear idea of when to use it or how to use it. Handheld I strongly recommend as a tool for life. WML… get training before you throw on one, then decide. To get them thinking, I ask them how they will feel pointing the gun at their family to identify them.”

-Ken Nelson

Beyond Expert: Competition creates greater skill

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People outside the competition world often fail to understand the sort of skill levels possible. Routine qualification is the most vestigial level of basic understanding. Police and military qualification is the equivalent of a simple arithmetic quiz considered easy by elementary school children. It’s a perfectly acceptable level for a student actually in elementary school and basic/recruit/Academy training because we’re working with a brand-new novice. It is no longer acceptable years later because the student should have progressed.

Even students taking courses at quality shooting schools sometimes fail to gain this. Taking a class is receiving instruction, it is not training. Real skill development takes more on-going effort.

I discuss this at length in my book Beyond Expert: Tripling Military Shooting Skills using U.S. Army qualification standards as compared to NATO combat competition courses. In it I show that anyone interested in competition shooting needs to at least triple military qualification “expert” (or even “perfect”) standards as a starting point. For handgun events, this can be increased by a factor of five or more. Shooters consistently winning need to be better still. For more details, read Beyond Expert: Story Behind The Book

In case you think I’m exaggerating, here’s Rob Leatham at Gunsite (off camera to the left) shooting against and beating threeother shooters in a video posted on Gunsite’s Instagram page:

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