Monday, March 22, 2010

CQB Training Day 2 and Lessons Learned

Yesterday we had rain during the entire training session.
There was an action shooting tournament that got canceled, then it turned into a thunder storm and the guys doing Krav maga next to us left too. It was hard to see with water pouring down the eye protection and with the earmuffs on and running around you sometimes confused the thunder with shots. You also slipped a lot because of the mud and you never knew when there was a foot deep hole in what seemed to be a puddle of water on the trail, so when water covered you boots you had to walk carefully.

After a short review of the room clearing concepts from the day before, we did some target recognition and precision shooting.
Each target had small squares with numbers, about 3x3 inches square with a number inside. Facing at 6 and then 9 o’clock, a number was given and when the whistle was blown you had to go from SUL, kick your right or left leg forward to rotate 90 degrees and shoot. Because of team members being right in front of you during this exercise and then moving all around you the rest of the day in tight quarters, SUL was used a lot and your gun was either holstered, SUL, shooting a target or covering some area.

The day was then completely dedicated to room clearing in teams. Lots of dry fire practice, then with live ammo. We used only 3 rounds per magazine most of the time, so the shots had to be accurate and you did lots of tactical reloads ( not dropping the mags to the ground like in sport shooting) while your partner covered you.

Any mistake, such as going into a room alone, leaving your partner without backup, dropping gear, sweeping someone with the barrel unnecessarily, forgetting to cover your sector, it was all punished with pushups on the spot. When everything was done correctly and we solved the scenarios smoothly… we were rewarded with some more pushups. We ended up doing lots of pushups, sometimes in the soft mud, sometimes on a few inches of water.

We learned how to resolve corners in pairs, L and cross shaped corridors.
The we did all this but this time with hostiles inside with airsoft.
All in all, it was good training and I wish we could do it more often.

Some of the lessons learned:

1)The guns used were either Glocks or Bersas. I did fine with my Bersa, dropped it in the mud, the rain cleaned it up for me, it still worked well and I had only one malfunction because of bad reloads (primer didn’t go off)

2) Don’t mess up your Glock. The only Glock that had problems was one that had been… customized. The only thing that the Glock needs is iron sights if you have the fragile plastic front post. Other than that, lave the thing alone!

3)A revolver in this condition would have stopped firing sooner than later. Try dropping you revolver in the mud, then putting your weight over it and fire a couple shots. Repeat it 5 or 6 times and see how it works.

4)Everyone there had previous training. If you think that you don’t need training because you’ve been shooting all your life you don’t even know what you don’t know.

5)I expected rain but stupid me, I forgot to take extra clothes: It was an uncomfortable trip back home. No that it mattered much after a hard day of training. Being pushed that way puts all things into perspective.

6) Leather may look nice but it sucks when it comes water. Getting caught by rain may be enough to leave your holster damp, and needing a replacement until it dries, and eventually rots. Synthetic fabrics and kydex may not look that nice but will resist water and sweat much better.

7)You need to train at least every six months to keep your skills. Otherwise you get too rusty. Just a visit to the shooting range and spending a good times with friends and buddies doesn’t count.

8) These are extreme high risk courses and with defensive shooting in general body armor is a very good idea. I took my vest and was glad I did. Its during these times as well that body armor becomes a most valuable item, and you realize your life is priceless. Sure worth the couple hundreds bucks worth of armor.

9)Soft body armor gets ruined when wet. I opened my panels, dried them up but I would advice taking hard armor plates to these classes where you might end up soaking wet. When working indoors and there’s no risk of such thing happening, then maybe soft body armor is more confortable and you don’t risk ruining your gear but I’ll get hard plates as soon as I can. When you get armor keep in mind our advertiser,, there’s also used vests in good condition that will serve you we’ll if you have a tight budget. Again, your life is priceless.

10) These classes are also good for finding lik e minded individual. Someone said, “Heck, we’ve make a hell of a team if things get totally messed up. Maybe we should share our emails” We laughed for a second, and then stopped laughing and wrote down our contact information.



Bones said...

Thank you for finally proving Bersas are superior to glocks. ;P

EN said...

Doesn't sound like much fun, but it does sound like great training. I don't always practice as much as I should so there's a good reminder there.

Pitt said...

As usually you bring up issues that most of us never really think about. I was lucky enough to get some instruction on CQB and Dynamic Entries at an old job i used to have. The training was fantastic and incredibly fun. What makes this type of training intense is that you know that there is another shooter behind you with a loaded weapon who is just as hyped up as you are. Scary, if the guy behind you is "That Guy".

I have found a good way to keep my skills up is to go and shoot IDPA or some other tactical shooting sport. I just did a rifle/pistol match on yesterday (Sunday) and that was blast (and it allowed me to test out the new .223 AK-47 with red dot that I put together as a homeland defense/SHTF rifle. My Saiga AK ran like a top (which is more than I could say for some of the AR-15s that showed up.

David said...

Can you describe the "mods" to the Glock that failed? I like Glocks just fine, but the stock trigger sucks, period. There's a reason IPSC rules treat a Glock 19 as "Production Class" but move it to "Unlimited" the second the gun has a 3.5 lb connector (like the Glock 34) or a trigger stop. It becomes drastically easier to shoot well.

Reduced trigger reset or striker springs are undoubtedly bad ideas for a defensive weapon, as are extended magazine releases and slide stops (accidental activation problems galore), but I can't quite see why installing a Ghost Rocket properly would inhibit proper operation of the gun, with the very minor possibility that somehow some foreign matter could get between the trigger bar and the trigger stop preventing the bar from releasing the striker (a very, very unlikely condition, indeed).

A gun that reliably fires and misses is arguably worse than one that doesn't fire at all. I may be alone in the world on this, but getting the Glock to instinctively index in my hand and be lined up "on target" before I even look at the sights is a big challenge as opposed to a 1911 that seems to point "right" even with my eyes closed. Anything I can do to make the Glock more likely to fire on target for me seems worthwhile, even if others' mileage may vary.