I like listening and learning from guys who have BTDT (Been There, Done That)…they give it to you with no bullshit. They have seen the Elephant and lived to tell the tale. One of the many men for whom I hold in high regard is the late, great Police Officer Jim Cirillo. I won’t dishonor Jim and try to give his biography, but I will give you the readers digest version..(do yourself a favor and look him up..there are tons of good stuff out there, including his teaching DVD’s and books some of which are in our store).
Jim was part of the NYPD Stakeout Squad in the 70’s and 80’s, when the drug war was in full tilt. Jim survived countless gun battles, some as close as 3 feet! Jim’s teachings are in stark contrast to most “gun school” dogma, which is based mostly on competition shooting skills rather than how to save your own skin!
One of the many thing Jim promoted was Positional Shooting with both pistol and rifle. Learning to shoot from any position other than standing, including awkward positions you might find yourself in is a tool we all need in the toolbox. Besides the obvious “other” positions you should be incorporating into your drills like kneeling and sitting, here is the short list:
There are two variations on this, the first mimics you getting knocked on your ass and shooting laying flat on your back. You should be incorporating this into your force on force scenarios already… The second variation is flat on your back and shooting behind you, drill one and two handed, with left and right hand. Drill at standard distances 7-20 yds.
This was a new one to me, and when I first saw it I discounted it’s usefulness, but when Jim explained it in detail, it made sense. In a fetal position, on your side with your knees tucked up into your chest, shoot one and two handed at standard distances. With your knees up, this gives a decent amount of cover to your vitals, all except your head obviously, but as Jim explains it, he was almost always behind cover when in this position!
3. Spetsnaz Prone
This position comes from Sonny Puzikas, former Spetsnaz Operator, not Jim, but none the less it is a very useful position to drill on. Go to one knee and with your opposite leg stretched out in front of you, lean back slightly on your back leg and bring your upper body horizontal to the ground (sideways). This is a great position for shooting under or around cover. It changes your position both on the horizontal and vertical plane, and also gives you 360 degree coverage, as you can turn very easily when you are that low to the ground. When drilled on going from the standing position, it can be a very useful tool.
In closing, we need to integrate position shooting into our courses of fire if we have not already..an example drill is shown below.
(All shots are to Center of Mass unless noted)
1. Target 10 yds..Begin with full magazine. From Standing: fire 2-3 rounds, go to kneeling, fire 2-3 rounds, go to prone, fire 2-3 rounds, roll over on back, shooting behind you fire 2-3 rounds.
2. (2) Target’s at 10 yds..Begin with full magazine. From Standing: fire 2-3 rounds, go to Spetsnaz Prone in one motion, fire 2-3 rounds into second target.
3. Target 3 yds..Begin with full magazine. From Standing: fire 2-3 rounds(gun held tight to body for retention)..go to Supine (Flat on Back) Fire 2-3 rounds Center mass and 1 round to head (failure to stop).
Integrate mag changes and malfunctions by letting partner load mags with less rounds and dummy rounds.
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