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  • October 18, 2018, 02:55:12 AM
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Author Topic: Deconstructing the "Range" mentality  (Read 1581 times)

Chuck Burnett

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Deconstructing the "Range" mentality
« on: June 22, 2005, 10:25:44 PM »

A goodly portion of my job is teaching basic two and four day firearms courses.
One thing I tell students early and often is that we must recognize the limitations imposed for safety and logistics when doing live fire training in a group setting; for example, non reactive static targets, limited shooter  movement, and limited arc of muzzle movement.
These range elements can ingrain bad habits if we let them.

I caution students not to go home and dry practice as though stuck on a firing line with fellow students to left and right.
And of course we must go force on force with airsoft or simunitions whenever possible.

One common bugaboo is failure to follow through or "cover down" on the target. The shooter fires and then reflexively drops the gun to the ready without recovering the sights on target.
This is a result of too many controlled pairs or predetermined responses on non reactive targets.

The choice to continue shooting or not should be based on the attacker's response to our shots.
Ideally one resets trigger and sights on target after each shot until the attacker drops or ceases aggression. If a burst to the upper torso hasn't stopped the attack one targets the head.

The primary basic training fix for follow through is to train to reset the trigger and reacquire sights on target after every shot. This is commonly called second sight picture.
This is a matter of mental discipline and can be done whether targets are reactive/nonreactive or even when the range management/instructors constrain the number of shots fired.

Chuck
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Hock

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Re: Deconstructing the "Range" mentality
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2005, 06:58:36 AM »

Chuck, we recently talked more about the "after action drills," and how some instructors swear by them and others (that SWAT vet you mentioned) ignore them completely.

Can you mention that information here?

Hock

Trembula

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Re: Deconstructing the "Range" mentality
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2005, 08:55:13 AM »

Something that actually becomes more and more of a problem the more time someone spends on the square range is immediately clearing the weapon and holstering as soon as the course of fire is over. Beginners haven't had as many repetitions of the "unload and show clear" or "magazine out, slide back, slide forward, hammer down" as the ones who have been playing the shooting games for a while, so they usually wait for the commands. But the "expert" and "master" shooters can be really frustrating for the S.O.'s to deal with.

The 360 degree scan that some folks advocate is a no-no on the square range (although the same square range self-appointed guru's will tell you that the gun and eyes should always be pointed in the same direction... go figure) but there is no reason why one cannot keep the gun pointed downrange (perhaps held from a retention/pectoral index) and look around for any targets that may of been missed.

Dan
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Hock

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Re: Deconstructing the "Range" mentality
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2005, 09:03:46 AM »

...here' something to think about...

"Don't crowd cover!" speeches, over and over again

then they march your out to the range, for mandatory...

Right-side barricade
Left side barricade

shooting, with your arms/hands braced against the "wall."
Then shoot on the ground the same way...

Get feller's muscle memory all confused with mental tips...
Hock

Chuck Burnett

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Re: Deconstructing the "Range" mentality
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2005, 03:00:38 PM »

"magazine out, slide back, slide forward, hammer down"

Yeah, I love the guys who have ingrained automatically pressing the trigger every time they clear the gun

Quote
there is no reason why one cannot keep the gun pointed downrange (perhaps held from a retention/pectoral index) and look around for any targets that may of been missed.
Quote

The "do anywhere" method we teach is to compress the ready position, muzzle angled down at about 45 degrees, and look over the shoulder keeping the muzzle oriented downrange. This is not the ideal position for responding to threats but it's so range friendly that it can be trained even in fairly restricted venues.
In our intermediate courses we teach the "safety circle" concept where the muzzle tracks an imaginary circle just larger than the shooter's feet and 360 scans are allowed. The shooter can use SUL, a depressed ready, or just point the muzzle at the ground to achieve this.
One big plus of 360 scans on the range is that we instructors can give students something to look for in their scan by holding up objects, concealing our hands in pockets or behind our back, palming drone weapons, and etc.

One prominent LE trainer takes umbrage at Front Sight's after action drills (follow opponent down as you move to cover or position of advantage, if he's not still fighting you glance left-right for other immediate threats, recheck opponent and if he's out of play do a methodical 360 scan.)

His position is that you never take your eyes off the opponent as he is a known threat. He believes that other opponents are not a major concern because you'll likely know up front if you have multiple opponents and his experience has been that others in the area flee the gunfire.

I agree that you may be aware of other opponents (unless you are successfully ambushed) but I personally believe that his paradigm has more validity if you are a uniformed police officer with backup and the weight of authority behind you than if you are an armed citizen who has been targeted for criminal attack.

I will concede that if the after action drills are ingrained thoughtlessly on a square range, i.e. with non reactive, non threatening targets, no movement to cover allowed, and a sterile range environment with nothing to really look for, that they can devolve into a "twitch" of moving the head without really looking for threats or cover.


I just think you've got to train something besides shoot then holster or you're liable to get blindsided by someone you didn't see going in.

Chuck





 
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Hock

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Re: Deconstructing the "Range" mentality
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2007, 08:20:58 AM »

Good to re-read.

Hock
 

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