Reviewing Head Shots

When drilling on “Head Shots” in relation to STOPPING a Bad Guy IMMEDIATELY, it is VERY Important to understand BRAIN ANATOMY.

Here are two articles on the subject I highly recommend you re-read:

 

Don’t Forget to Drill on Head Shots

Are You Good Enough to Take a Head Shot When Everything is On the Line?

 

 

 

 

The Minuteman’s Guide to Thermal Camouflage

Von Steuben Training & Consulting

Warfare, be it foreign or domestic, is changing. The modern battlefield is saturated with sensors of all types from drones to night vision to electronic warfare. As this technology becomes more and more available/affordable to civilians, even irregular warfare is evolving. In order to survive the ever-changing nature of war, we must adapt along with it.

Particularly impactful is the common availability of thermal optics. Thermal optics, which read heat signatures, are incredibly potent tools. Although somewhat cost-prohibitive, they are no longer as unobtainable as they once were and can be had for under $2000 in some cases. It is safe to assume that any large-scale civil conflict will see at least some use of thermal optics on both sides, so we must be prepared for this reality.

In order to learn how to deal with a thermal-equipped enemy, we must first understand the technology we are dealing with.

What…

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Training Should Always Reveal Flaws

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More on Rifles

 

When we train, regardless if it is with tools (firearms, knives, sticks) or not, our training should reveal our flaws; either in actual technique, our mentality or our gear.

Revealing flaws in our gear and how we “load out” with our rigs to fight is something I can tell you from experience can not only make your life easier but also be LIFE SAVING.

In training with your rifle load out, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my rig allow me to move quickly?

  • Does my rig allow me to reload quickly?

  • Is my rig relatively “quiet” or do I sound like a coke can filled with rocks when I move?

  • Is my rig “flexible” in all fighting Positions? (ie sitting, prone, one knee)

  • Does my rig hinder my ability to take cover?

  • Can I access my trauma/med kit quickly and easily?

The part about “Military Costume Play” is so true.

So often guys buy gear and dress themselves up and their firearms not from a practical fighting perspective, but because they are trying to look like the latest tacti-cool douchebag on the cover of Soldier of Fortune.

Remove your head from your ass and get PRACTI-COOL, NOT TACTI-COOL in your Training!

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

 

Training Notes: “Line of Sight” Shooting

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There is a lot to be said about how important it is to be fast and accurate with a gun when you are shooting to save your life or the life of others. I often tell students when they first start out that speed with a firearm is all about efficiency of motion. Start out by closely examining your draw stroke and/or presentation (recording it with your phone is the best way) and then eliminate any “un-needed” or “jerky” motions within the drawstroke. The old adage “Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast” is what should guide you here.

After you have smoothed out your presentation of the weapon, now it is time to get the gun into the fight.

One of the quickest ways to do this is to bring the weapon into your line of sight. Start out by squarely looking at your target and imagine where you want that bullet to go. Now, smoothly bring the weapon up into your line of sight (not your line of sight to the weapon) and work the trigger.  Notice I did not say bring the weapons “sights” into your line of sight. I have noticed when students do this, it is often accompanied by moving their head to the sights for some reason, and their motions are very jerky and not near as smooth; the main reason this is so is because they are trying to focus their attention on two small little apertures on the gun, line them up and then take the shot, rather than focusing on the target first, then bringing the gun into their line of sight, super imposing the gun on the target, then allowing your eyes to find the sights naturally.

You will be surprised as you practice this how much faster you acquire your target and get rounds on it. Please Remember: you are NOT target shooting. You are “Shooting to Live”. This is not about trying to shoot the “X” Ring out or impress our buddies with nice, tight groups; we are shooting to stay alive, period!

This technique applies with long arms as well and can be used under 100 yds reasonably well, if trigger control and trigger reset is practiced. As you bring the rifle into your LOS the first thing you will see is your front aperture. Simply “frame” your target in the aperture and begin working the trigger (This has also been called the “Poor Man’s EO-Tech” technique) As your sight picture becomes more focused, you can align the front and back sights for more precise shooting.  Although as a general rule, AK front sights are faster than AR’s front sights, I have found some of the Sig AR “winged” Troy Folding Battle Sights and the SCAR circle type sights are just as fast. If you are using a red dot or holo type sight, such as an EO-Tech, “framing” the shot becomes that much easier, using the sight window to “box” the target.

 

Remember, the bad guy does not give a shit about how tight your groups are!

Get the gun out and into the fight and start getting rounds downrange FAST!

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

 

How Realistic are Your Rifle Drills?

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“The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user. It is equally useful in securing meat for the table, destroying group enemies on the battlefield, and resisting tyranny. In fact, it is the only means of resisting tyranny, since a citizenry armed with rifles simply cannot be tyrannized.”

Colonel Jeff Cooper, USMC Ret.

 

Taking this thought into consideration, the CO needs to be constantly evaluating his rifle drills to ensure they are Real-World Applicable and not “Gun Range Fantasy”.

The over-emphasization of accuracy and non-integration of movement and cover are the primary culprits in “Fantasy Gunfighting.”

I have put together a short list of drills that I use regularly. Take into account all of these drills can be “tweaked” to emphasize any number of challenges, such as reloads, malfunctions, multiple targets, etc.

As a sidenote, always take time to emphasize marksmanship fundamentals (sights, breathing, trigger, trigger, trigger!!) before moving into real world drills.

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1. Snap Shots

Quite possibly one of the most neglected skills with a rifle but one of the most needed in the field.

A Rifle Snap Shot can be likened to that quick camera shot you have had to make sometimes on a vacation. You did not plan on taking it, but there it is in front of you, either make it or miss the opportunity for a great picture, the difference being of course with a rifle, either kill the enemy or he kills you!

COVER and MOVEMENT IS LIFE.

Cover stops bullets from perforating your body and killing you.

A Moving Target is always harder to hit than a stationary one.

So to tie Snap Shots and Cover together, snap shots CAN BE as much about “COVER FIRE” as anything else, even if you do not have a high percentage shot, I can promise you, if you shoot at somebody it will buy you time to get to cover (if cover is available to move too of course).

Setting up staggered targets at 25, 50 and 75 yards, move to each yardage marker (I use 50 gallon drums for markers and cover) and work on snap shots; emphasizing speed and movement, fire between 1-3 shots at each target while getting to cover.

What should I see?

At these distances, for open sights with an AK or AR, simply super-imposing your front aperture on the mass of the target is sufficient, DO NOT take time to line up the shot with rear and front apertures!

If using a red dot or similar it is often sufficient that the target is framed in the “window” of the sight. This is also a good thing to practice in the event of battery failure, ie framing the target.

 

prone

2. Positional Shooting

 

  • Standing

  • Sitting

  • Kneeling

 

3. Shooting from Prone

The ground offers the shooter two BIG advantages that are often overlooked:

  • Makes you a SMALLER target and able to take advantage of cover quickly

  • Gives you STABILITY for more accurate shots

 

peace

4. Cognitive Stress Drills

A skill rarely emphasized much less taught in today’s rifle schools is DISCRETIONARY SHOOTING.

Now I know it is of some debate whether “No Shoots” have any place in CIVILIAN Self-Defense shooting as they do in Law Enforcement Training. The argument being; Why teach a civilian to hesitate at all with their weapon when their life is in danger? Isn’t that eventually just creating more risk for the student? After all, a civilian is not under the same scrutiny as a LEO, right? My answer to this is unequivocally NO!!

If anything, CS Drills offer more protection for the civilian student. I mean look at the George Zimmerman trial as an example..look at the spotlight put on that man and his actions (granted there were a lot of factors other than self-defense in play there) but still, when you go into a self-defense trial, you want the entirety of your actions to be UNDENIABLY, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, JUSTIFIED! 

Imagine if Zimmerman had “accidentally” wounded or killed somebody during the shooting? His actions then would have been seen as reckless and indifferent..even though he had still acted out of pure self-defense. Teaching a student to ensure that his background is clear and that they have clearly ID’d their target ensures this; and the only way to TRAIN that into somebody is COGNITIVE STRESS. Now, Cognitive Stress is more than just “CHECKING YOUR BACKGROUND” and “NO SHOOTS” during a course, it is also engaging the “rational” side of the brain during the very exacting mechanical process of shooting a gun. Remember: You can NEVER “Take Back” a bullet…there are no “resets” in real life.

One of the ways to integrate CS Drills is the use of LE Targets  DT-4C “Command Training, Shape and Color” paper targets. These targets have a variety of shapes, colors and numbers, which allow the instructor to  call out a variety of commands to make the shooter “Think” before pulling the trigger. Commands such as “Squares” or “Number 5”, “All Red” or “Odds” can be called out…this gives the drill variety and makes it engaging to the student also.

The Instructor is also doing his or her students a giant favor in adding this degree of SAFETY (and TACTICAL PRECISION) to the course. If in the event a student is involved in a self-defense shooting, when their personal training records are inevitably pulled by the DA, it will show that they went that extra step to ensure that they trained only to kill the bad guy efficiently and not wound or kill innocent by-standers. In this uber-litigious society that we live in, think of it as extra insurance!

in Closing, when you go out to drill guys, don’t use it as an “Ego Petting” session!! Drill on the stuff you SUCK AT, not just the things you can rock thru and ace!

Staying REAL is the mark of a Professional.

Ego Petting is the for weak amateur’s.

Train Hard and Stay Armed!