Wisdom from Nate Perry

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From Nate Perry

I love the practical sport shooting side of things because there is nothing to debate about. You either win or you are trying to. You can’t weasel out of anything, because your name has a “XX%” next to it.

In the world of defensive training, the goal post moves a lot. “Cops can’t shoot”, “gamer shit will get you killed”, ” Most military people are dangerous with a gun”, “you work in a gun shop?LOLGTFO” “Dry practice and timers just aren’t contextual”, etc.

If you ever need a good hobby/pastime/art where you can never lose, just claim to be a defensive firearms instructor. If anyone questions you, just play mental musical chairs with their legitimate questions about your credibility or skills until they just go away.

You’ll always have customers and the best part is your ego-cushioning curriculum is a great place for the participation trophy generation. In the extremely rare event you have a student who has to get their gun out and is the least terrible of the two parties involved, you can swoop in and take credit for it.

Realistic Training

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“Gunsite has outstanding realistic training.”

– Ernie Van Der Leest, Gunsite graduate

The Garland Texas Stage at the Gunsite Alumni Shoot

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10153895678934453/

Gunsite Shotgun Advanced Tactical Problems Class Shoot Off

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10153880407169453/
"Ya gotta remember that safety..." I guess that's needed advice for a student at an Advanced Tactical Problems class. But competition (like a shoot off) is no good because it's not as stressful as the real world...

556 Carbine Shoot Off Drill

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10153865187389453/

223 Carbine Class

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10153846475654453/

Vehicle Defense Class drill

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10153547963679453/

250 Shoot Off

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10153494147274453/

Another tactical Gunsite exercise

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10154322850704453/

Another 250 Shoot Off, with the two class winners
https://www.instagram.com/p/BMr3jwHjj5s/

In case you missed the caption, the guy that unintentionally hurled the magazine downrange was among the top students in this class.

A range at Gunsite... or is this set up for a USPSA competition?

Gosh, all of this looks an awful like any number of competitive shooting matches I’ve been to. Like, nearly identical. Well, at least when watching the folks that typically round out the bottom half of the final results…

In case you think I’m exaggerating, here’s Rob Leatham at Gunsite (off camera to the left) shooting against and beating three other shooters:

Question: If I set up these Gunsite courses of fire as demonstrated here at my range and run them as a match, at what point does this become unrealistic and start inducing training scars or bad habits?

Tactics and Training Scars

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Tactics are an expedient toward a goal in a specific environment and may need to change if/when the goal or environment changes. For far too many, “tactical” means “doing it my way” and “training scar” means “doing it different than me.”

People claiming to shoot “tactically” at competitive events by going slow are NOT tactical as their tactics are bad in the context of the event they’re participating even if their approach may be appropriate elsewhere. It will not create a “training scar” to shoot fast if that is what the situation calls for, however, it is bad business to justify poor results due to inappropriate actions by claiming to be more tactical.

Pre-planning, speed, and violence of action can be important tenets for tactics.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_quarters_combat

Here’s an example from Gunsite. The infamous Scrambler:

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10153528585499453/

I guess it’s OK to pre-plan a stage and then run through for time and score, but only if the tactical class you pay to be in sets it up for you…

Claiming to be “tactical” needs to include recognizing what an appropriate tactic is in context. The context matters and changes what appropriate tactics might be.
https://firearmusernetwork.com/context-matters/

http://www.exurbanleague.com/misfires/2015/09/30/so-just-what-is-a-training-scar/

What’s Wrong with Defensive Shooting Classes

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Alright, sometimes we have close calls, but this one had to have bit the bullet, literally. I can’t believe I was so close to it also. Could have been bad for a lot of people. Even though everyone is okay here. It’s just a reminder to train and be fully aware of how you operate a handgun.

We were at a dynamic drill day practicing self defense with a focus on moving with a group of shooters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_-MAd0DFI0
You're good, you're good... [Hey Lefty, keep slapping away on your Dynamic Critical Incident "training"]

This video nicely sums up nearly everything wrong with defensive shooting classes. A line dance of lower skilled shooters dumping a bunch of rounds semi-discriminately at large, close targets. Note they’re all circling through a batch of targets shot at by everyone. No attempt to see where (or if) they’re hitting, and with everyone shooting the same batch of targets we can’t anyway. No time or other pressure. And a dude (who probably is convinced competitive shooting causes bad habits) nearly shoots himself before slopping through the exercise.

This is poor gunhandling displayed by a novice. Blaming the holster ignores the true problem. This low-skill shooter would have had this negligent discharge in this tactical class with any holster.

Line dances like this can’t get people more skilled. Despite false promises and outright lies, everyone needs to earn their chops on simple but stringent drills even if nobody seems to want to.

Simple range exercises and competitive events are disregarded as not useful or relevant. Some people, including those hosting such classes, claim they cause bad habits, training scars, and the like. Using a scored and/or timed fixed exercise is claimed as not useful, even meaningless, and to be avoided.

Nobody wants to earn their fundamental skills doing boring, static, range drills and other “circus tricks.” We want dynamic drill day practicing relevant, real-world self defense in context with a focus on moving. Just like this guy.

CCW Lessons From Competition

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My background as a competition shooter has never once been a crutch through any of the realistic training I’ve attended. Instead, what I realized was that, even though I was mostly a race gun shooter, the skills developed in shooting against some of the best in the world translated seamlessly into working with a stock duty pistol, and even gave me an edge when it came to real-world applications.

When I practice my shooting, I don’t run through specialized match stages; instead I focus on specific skillsets that have a direct, positive impact on real-world applications.

Simon “J.J.” Racaza

Racaza’s experience echoes what every competitive shooter with military and police experience has found. People seeking to improve themselves far beyond the minimum standards will excel far beyond the minimum standards most are content to meet. Despite all the fanciful catchphrases and machismo, doing this requires actually participating in something where skills are tested beyond minimums. Cowering behind excuses to avoid such tests accomplishes nothing.

Especially when the excuses are mostly fabrications:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/myth-of-competition-training-scars/

And there are zero examples of any actual problems in the first place:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/training-and-competition-the-dark-side/

Read more:
http://www.recoilweb.com/preview-jj-racaza-discusses-ccw-lessons-from-competition-93359.html

Real World “Experience”

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I often think that we give TOO MUCH credit to “experience.” Someone who has done something a few times, and done it WRONG, but gotten lucky, is a very, very dangerous instructor indeed. I have seen many times a bad decision luckily turn out well, this “validating” that bad decision. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way…

The ideal, of course, is considerable real world experience using techniques that have served not only that one instructor, but a wide variety of end users well over a long period of time. I put very little faith in anecdotes, one-offs, and “well, I knocked out Mike Tyson, so I must be the best fighter ever. Well, yeah, he did slip and hit his head on the curb just as he was about to knock me into next week, but my one experience PROVES that my techniques are the best!” I’d rather have an instructor who may never have had to use his techniques, but whose STUDENTS perhaps have used them extensively and proven their value.

One of my personal favorite instructors (who is a Grand Master competitor and has been in more than one defensive shooting situation in his life) has the opinion that far too many “cool new techniques” are developed by people who did something once and got lucky. The thought applies, “Well, if I survived this one encounter by shooting the gun upside down and running the trigger with my pinky [because specific circumstances forced this course of action], then it must work all the time!” Then you get Bobby Lee’s Tactical Pinky Inversion school.

That’s the extreme, of course, but if you look at any number of would-be trainers on YouTube, you will see plenty of folks emphasizing one specific skill-set as the solution to all defensive shooting. I don’t trust any instructor who doesn’t express some sense of adaptability, and whose supposed wonder-technique doesn’t stand up to a decent amount of poking, prodding, and questioning by the students.

More here:
http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/defensive-carry-tactical-training/131459-should-he-really-training-people.html

Operator vs. Competitor Gun Reliability

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“At our monthly pistol match last weekend, our courageous (and now unpopular) match director included an optional thirty-round course of fire, exclusively for legitimate concealed-carry pistols. The only requirement was that the gun, and ammunition, used had to be one that the participant carries regularly. He said, ‘Let’s use what you’re carrying, right now, what you would have to rely upon to save your life… right now!’ No ‘match-guns,’ nor ‘race-guns’ were allowed.

Of the ten who participated, only three ‘carry’ guns functioned normally through thirty rounds!

The rest (all semi-autos) malfunctioned continuously, including light hits, mis-feeds, and failure to go fully into battery. These guns had all been carried in a pocket or concealed holster and were all dirty, full of lint and other debris. Some magazine springs were weak.

It was an eye-opener, especially for those whose guns would not function. To a person, they all piously swore, amid their embarrassment, that they cleaned their guns regularly, but that was obvious a self-serving lie. It was also obvious these guns were seldom, if ever, actually fired before that afternoon.”

http://defense-training.com/dti/readiness/
http://defense-training.com/dti/more-on-pistol-matches/

Let’s pretend this little episode actually occurred as stated and implied.

  • Potential win for all involved. We learned something when the only thing at stake was a score. Good thing to test and find out before it causes actual problems. A good shooter making a mistake at a match can take it as a learning point and fix it.
  • There’s a skill difference between competitors and participants. I’ve met plenty of D-class USPSA participants that have been attending matches for over a decade. No mention of the event specifics or attendees so no way to know.
  • It’s foolish to think this problem is somehow isolated to people at matches. Has he never been on a military or police range? Or ranges with people that never attend matches? How many stoppages occur at “operator” classes? Here are some examples of students at Gunsite posted by Gunsite on their Facebook page:

Tactical class malfunction 1:

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10153547963679453

Tactical class malfunction 2:

https://www.facebook.com/GunsiteAcademy/videos/10153935592494453/

Tactical class malfunction 3:

View this post on Instagram

New electronic target systems at Gunsite.

A post shared by Gunsite Academy (@gunsiteacademy) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BLCAnMjD0mI/

But this claim mostly reeks of typical unsubstantiated “games’ll getcha killed” nonsense. This unicorn event that apparently didn’t have a physical location, date, name, or affiliation will appease those that have never attended an actual match into continuing the delusion that such events are “bad.”

>> Most had never been fired, even once, until that day!To be sure, all ten pistols were badly neglected and dirty

Both claims are made in different places between these posts. So we’re to believe brand new, never-fired pistols have magically become so dirty, fouled, and spring-weakened as to cause stoppages.

We’re also to believe shooters serious enough to regularly attend an organized, scored, no-alibi shooting discipline are unaware of the need to check if their equipment is reliable. And that said shooters would have guns for regular carry readily available but never bother to shoot them ever. Because we all know how competitive shooters hate to shoot. Especially when these regular match shooters intend to participate in a scored side match with said gun.

>> My carry guns, pistols and rifles, are all designed and built for serious purposes. Few ‘modifications.’ Most are ‘out-of-the-box.’ I wouldn’t win a typical pistol match with any of them!

Service Conditions matches require as-issue gear. NO modifications are allowed, not even the ‘few’ this fellow uses. Nearly every discipline has a stock or production category available that stipulates using exactly what this fellow uses. There is not that big of gulf when comparing open match guns to production guns as this fellow ignorantly implies. Here are the numbers:
https://firearmusernetwork.com/race-guns-vs-regular-guns/

Stock or production-legal guns are carry-appropriate and effectively identical to what’s advocated here. He wouldn’t win a typical pistol match with any of them because he lacks the fundamental skill to do so.

Oh, and here’s what a skilled competitive shooter can actually do with a sub-compact .380 from concealment.

https://www.facebook.com/remingtonarmscompany/videos/travis-tomasie-puts-the-rm380-through-its-paces-in-this-video-sizemattersnot-spe/10153454344106025/

Tactical Training Is Silly

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How often in a real fight are any of the popularly-espoused, school-taught tactics employed? Review various fights caught on video and note how often the solution was (or ideally would have been) to present a firearm and land quick hits with the only additional necessary tactic being a little bob and weave.

Some examples:

From a vehicle:

At a store:

IPSC shooter working security:

https://firearmusernetwork.com/ipsc-shooter-wins-fight/

At another store:

https://gfycat.com/SillyEnormousIntermediateegret

http://www.speroforum.com/a/LRELBDEMBV42/79760-Video-armed-robbers-choose-wrong-gunshop-with-devastating-results

Police officer:

https://firearmusernetwork.com/new-russian-army-pistol/

In front of an elevator:
https://video-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t42.1790-2/15278144_560280984162570_7771793311236358144_n.mp4?efg=eyJ2ZW5jb2RlX3RhZyI6InN2ZV9zZCJ9&oh=ca052e5e24918831f8f88b001535a94b&oe=583B2071

While not common, shootings do happen to good people sometimes. When they do, those people often have zero formal tactical instruction from popular classes.

The successful ones respond simply: Draw and land hits as quickly as possible, usually with little else needed. You’d be hard pressed to find a video of a successful defensive shooting where the defender used any of the techniques popularly taught at various schools.

Many of the most feared gunfighters of the 20th century used tactics and techniques that would be considered passé today. A surprisingly large number of them were involved in competition emphasizing static slow fire (Bullseye, PPC, etc.) that doesn’t test the timed movement, gun handling, and rapid-fire shooting on multiple targets found in practical competition. But they fought successfully many times. If they were still in service and in their prime, they’d probably fight quite well today as well.

Competition Shooter, Real World Encounter

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This is yet another example of how competition shooting causes bad habits during real world encounters. Oh, wait…


http://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2016/09/19/man-shot-crossroads-mall-terrorist-uspsa-competitor-3-gun-shooter/

Man Who Shot Crossroads Mall Terrorist Is USPSA Competitor, 3-Gun Shooter

USPSA Shooter,  3-Gunner, and NRA-certified firearms instructor Jason Falconer has been identified as the man who shot and killed a 22-year-old Somali immigrant who went on a stabbing rampage inside a St. Cloud, (MN) Mall on Saturday.

The apparent terrorist—who apparently asked victims if they were Muslims before stabbing them—was engaged by Falconer inside the mall.

Preparation

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A nice quote from Greg Everett. This applies equally to problems in fitness training and tactical training.

“Being prepared for any random task is not the same thing as preparing randomly for any task.”

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