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 Training courses in Americus, 2017

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Number of posts : 8811
Registration date : 2007-06-27

PostSubject: Training courses in Americus, 2017   Sat 18 Nov 2017, 13:00


Slacky and I linked up at Amsterdam, to fly KLM to Atlanta. We hadn't seen each other for a while, so the flight passed quickly as we caught up on news.
Shane picked us up at the airport, and we set off for the three hour drive to Americus. In the car Shane showed us a new knife from CRKT that was very nice. Slacky carried it for the rest of the trip.
We spent the following day with Shane as he visited police departments, in his work supplying them with weapons and ancillary equipment. In the roll call room of one PD there was a large poster proclaiming "Gun control means shooting with two hands" I love the South!

On the Friday we were taken to brunch by Rod, at the Roman Oven for some great Italian food, while Shane prepped the range. Then we all met for the Low-light training Program. Wisely, we started in the daylight, so as to go through the various techniques in relaxed conditions, while Shane kept an eye on any weapon handling issues. I have seen experienced officers fumble during low-light training, so this familiarization phase is essential.
The program was based on the use of a suitable flashlight to co-ordinate with the pistol. We did not do any dim light/unaided shooting. Dim light engagement is a very problematic area, and the legalities are daunting. Since we all routinely carry a flashlight, the goal of the training was to integrate this into your shooting skills.
Shane discussed the various types and models of lights, and what to look for when selecting a "shooting light" Several of the participants were very knowledgeable on the topic, and had brought a variety of torches to demonstrate. An important point was to avoid designs with a "clicky switch" which I subsequently found to be be very valid.
Shane presented four main techniques for utilising the flashlight with the pistol. Two were unsupported [hands apart] mainly used when transitioning from a search to a shoot. The other two were supported [hands linked] used to provide stability and co-axial target marking.
The unsupported positions were the Neck Index and the FBI positions, while the supported were the Harries and the Rogers positions.

[Shane demonstrating the Neck Index]
We did several dry drills utilising each position, before going live. This was still done in daylight, and progress was quick.
After darkness fell, we repeated the drills, and added some others, such as a two-man exercise, with the partner making the target indication with his flashlight, while you shot.
During this phase, those using Weapon Mounted Lights [WML] were given some specific drills.
Shane ensured that tactics were an integral part of the training, with scanning and movement included in the drills.

[Harries position demonstrated by Shane]

In the past I owned two good Surefire "shooting lights" Unfortunately I had swapped my 6Z for an Inova and my 9P had stopped working. So, for this course I bought a cheap Chinese copy, with my compact Surefire E2e in reserve. For illumination the light was OK, but it was equipped with the dreaded "clicky" switch, which confusingly, illuminates when you release the pressure. In the drills this was less than ideal, and I will be buying a more suitable light in the near future. The reason I wanted to use a full size light, rather than my E2e, was to work with the Graham Combat ring, which I have found in the past to be very practical.

Accessing the flashlight from the pouch, and doing weapon manipulation [such as mag changes] is easy with the ring.
I was also using a new Kydex clip-on mag pouch, instead of my old proven PWL pouch shown above. Again, the new item was not a bad design, but the tension screws had worked loose and my extended [20 round] Glock mag fell out during movement. Back at the apartment Shane fixed the screws with Loc-tite. It is the sign of a well put together course that any equipment problems are identified, and lessons learned.

The program climaxed with a Stress Shoot. We were all held in a staging area, and then individually guided through a gauntlet of threat problems, which included both hostile and innocuous targets, which required the use of the various techniques taught. While waiting in the holding area, Randy led a q&a discussion about flashlight kit, which provided much food for thought. For example I was surprised to learn that cheap Chinese C123 batteries have been known to burst into flame! This Stress Shoot was a terrific experience, and really put the cherry on top of a great training program.
We then met up at the Waffle House for a late supper, and to continue the discussion.
To be continued.

Check Six,
Dennis Martin
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