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StrikeFace
February 25th, 2010, 01:56 AM
AAR - CCJA's Tactical Handgun II Class - 21 February 2010

Instructors: Tom, Mark

Some of the highlights:

=== Handgun Positions & Draw
- Retention (Two handed grip, forearms against torso at sternum level, handgun slightly canted to nondominant side)
- SUL ("South" hold)
- Mechanics of tactical draw
1. Proper grip, choke up on that beavertail area
2. Straight draw with elbow up, forearm arm kept close to oblique
3. Handgun rolled forward with ejection port canted away from torso, magazine baseplate placed against ribs (this position gives support as well providing the slide room to work should you have to fire)
4. Two-handed support in retention by taking handgun in both hands with forearms resting against sternum
5. Arms extended, "Ready" (the standard firing position)

=== Emergency Reload
- Basic reload from slide lock; used when magazine is depleted
- Bring elbow into appendix area to utilize "work space"

=== Tactical Reload
- Used to top up magazine during a lull in the fight while behind cover
- Draw a fresh magazine from carrier and swap out the used mag in the gun with a fresh mag while retaining used mag in cargo pocket
- Bring elbow into appendix area to utilize "work space"

=== Common Jams and Remedies
- Stovepipe (round caught between barrel block and slide inside action)
Tap, Rack, Fight (slap baseplate, rack slide)
- Double Feed (round in chamber with another round loose inside action, usually floating atop magazine)
Rip, Rack-Rack, Reload (visually confirm, remove magazine forcefully, rack slide several times to clear, reload magazine)

Useful link with detailed descriptions and pictures of how to reload and remedy common jams is = HERE = (http://www.wikihow.com/Reload-a-Pistol-and-Clear-Malfunctions)

=== Movement While Shooting
- Exaggerated heel-toe “Groucho Walk” (prevents weapon bobbing) with torso twisting like a tank turret so as to keep your hips aligned with direction of travel and torso squared up with target as much as possible

=== Discussion of Tactical Flashlights
- Handheld, weapon-mounted
- How bright is bright enough?
- Different grip techniques (FBI, Modified FBI, Harries, etc.)
- Utility of strobing light (disorients suspect, prevents tracking)

...

We didn’t hit the range with this course; it took place entirely at the CCJA classroom. And I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to make a dent in the ~1k rounds of 9x19 I had sitting in my ammo can, but as I was driving home that evening I realized that a gamut of rusty areas and weaknesses were revealed in my personal training picture. To have that put in front of me for an honest examination without a single casing leaving the ejection port was priceless. While there is a huge appeal to be out on the gravel pinging steel--and there is little better to aid a student learning how to fight with a firearm than shooting--often the fundamentals must be reinforced and techniques illustrated so that they are the sole focal point of that day's training. The difference between shooting and fighting with a firearm is where the thought that tactical training with a firearm is no different than (as was mentioned in the class) a martial arts discipline like karate or ju jitsu. The fundamentals and techniques are similar and the aim is the same: to become proficient in controlling your body (and manipulating a weapon) so as to control an external situation in the most efficient manner possible. Bruce Lee didn't become a martial arts legend by simply whacking a punching bag for a few years (much like those that only go to the range and bang off rounds at a piece of paper and look at the target instead of themselves), he instead focused on fundamentals, techniques and engaged in countless hours of practice.

As always, Tom's class gave me a healthy dose of "performance under stress." It reveals how much skill you lose when you have an audience and can only hint at how it must feel to perform these tasks under combat stress. Outside the comfort zone of shooting by yourself or training at home, you revert back to whatever tactical habits you've brainwashed yourself with over the years. The only way to become proficient with "The Right Way" is endless repetition. Practice, practice, practice. If you're not running around your house in full kit and practicing these techniques for a bit each day (while scaring the hell out of your spouse/kids/neighbors), you're not doing it right.

Any issues you have with your gear will also quickly be revealed. As an embarassing example: My kit was designed to be worn with body armor and maximizes retention of weapons, ammo and equipment. I won't win any 3-Gun matches with it, but I won't lose my mags if I have to roll around on the ground. As my kit evolves and I'm exposed to more and more training, I'm learning what works and what doesn't. I fumbled a lot of mag changes in this class. Being stressed out by having to perform various tasks on command is invaluable in the testing process and I'll be able to refine my equipment more and more so as to get that combination of what's fast and what's secure. My first few classes with CCJA I used an old belt-mounted Bianchi M12 flap holster for my Glock; I've since graduated to a Serpa dropleg. It's much faster and just as secure. This class in particular showed me that my Velcro-flap nylon mag pouches, though very secure, are slow, unwieldy, and sit too high up on the mag body to allow a solid grip during the draw. My point: You learn what kit works for you when you're all jittery and trying to move way too fast vs. when you're in a field situation where retention is important. Strive to test your kit in both so you can find that happy medium: Don't be the guy fumbling to get your mags out of restrictive carriers (like me) and don't be the guy that leaves his sidearm / AR mags on the ground during a prone drill (you know who you are!).

...

Tom and Mark, thanks again for the expert instruction. You reinforce the old adage: Training isn't about certification, it's about maintenance. You always leave me with something to think about and plenty to work on. I look forward to training with your outfit again real soon.

ateixeira
February 25th, 2010, 07:14 AM
Great write up! Why was there no range time?

kac
February 25th, 2010, 07:49 AM
I guess the best explanation is that the instruction we were doing took up all the time. We were doing tons of presentations, tons of mag changes, then got onto room clearing, movement, night/light activities, and all that work simply filled up all our time. We kind of were directing where we wanted the concentration in the instruction, and that was best performed where we were.

ateixeira
February 25th, 2010, 09:31 AM
Roger that. He has a good space for room clearing.

Thanks KAC

Kchen986
February 25th, 2010, 02:49 PM
Keep in mind the quality of a course isn't measured by the round count, but by the quality of the instruction. :) I learned a lot that day, especially about low light situations, pieing, diagnosing malfs on the fly and concomitant remedial action. We could run dry-fire drills all day and I'd be a happy camper.

ateixeira
February 25th, 2010, 07:06 PM
Keep in mind the quality of a course isn't measured by the round count, but by the quality of the instruction. :) I learned a lot that day, especially about low light situations, pieing, diagnosing malfs on the fly and concomitant remedial action. We could run dry-fire drills all day and I'd be a happy camper.

Well aware of the "measurement":innocent0 I was just curious. BTW I'll remind you of the "measurement" next time I see you pulling your trigger ragged:D

Kchen986
February 26th, 2010, 12:38 AM
Well aware of the "measurement":innocent0 I was just curious. BTW I'll remind you of the "measurement" next time I see you pulling your trigger ragged:D

Sure thing. See you at the next class.