Sunday, June 27, 2010

Advanced Defensive pistol shooting class

After Module One and Two, I was looking forward to Baigoria’s final class that took place yesterday at the Lomas de Zamora Federal shooting club in Buenos Aires.
The class covers some of the most advanced techniques, but we also went through more typical ones like failure drill practice. For the failure drills a partner would use a spent case to cause one of the three most common failures, either stove pipe, case caught in the action or double feed. We practiced a lot of failure drill clearing one handed, weak hand only, as well as one handed reloads with both hands.

We also shot for accuracy at a two inch circle and it was nice to notice the level of the group in general, we were all chewing into that ragged hole at close range, about five yards and it spread just one or two inches more at ten or fifteen yards but in general the level of the group was very good, specially when you consider that these were defensive shooting drills and not target practice sessions. Its cool when a class works almost like a team even if you don’t know anyone, when you all draw at about the same speed, double tap at about the same time and in general you hear a long gunshot report and not several ones at different timing as you do in the beginner classes. We soon had a small audience that watched the class from a safe distance.

We shot while moving, first walking, then moving faster, then running and shooting with each step taken. We shot moving back and forth, sideways and diagonally, running back or firing from behind cover, shooting 360º. Each different drill was explained why it was done, and there was often a real world incident explained where one of the students or instructors used such a drill during actual shootings. For example a student shot a bad guy from his truck, using one of the 360º drills, shooting backwards out of the window while seated looking forward in the driver’s seat. 
This is one of the added bonuses of these classes since there’s so many real world incidents here with students involved. Another of the incidents discussed: A Chinese store owner that took one of the classes was being robbed at his store, from the office monitor he sees his wife fighting one of the armed robbers with a bottle. He gets his Bersa Mini Thunder 9mm and runs to the store and puts the gun to the bad guy’s head. The bad guy stops wrestling with his wife, puts his own gun back in his waist, and starts walking outside… with the money he robbed! The Chinese guy goes out and when the criminal tries to start his motorcycle to escape Chinese guy shoots the bike four times, effectively killing it!  Now two of the accomplices with their own bikes that already took off turn around and go back to pick up the one that was left behind, and they are coming back shooting. Chinese guy at least managed to notice the high traffic on the background, so while the bad guys were shooting his way, he could only shoot over their head (4 or 5 times) while running for cover as he had trained. Instead of covering himself completely as trained, Chinese guy left a leg uncovered and he got shot there. He was also running out of ammo quickly and had no reloads. The bad guys picked the one left behind and left, but were caught soon after because the small town didn’t have many exits and the gunfight lasted enough for cops to organize. Now, in spite of the many mistakes this man made, worse one being chasing after the bad guy after he left, he managed not to shoot innocent people at such a stressful moment, and took cover (poorly) so that even though he got shot in the leg, it could have been much worse. 

We also talked about what happens after shootings, and, we were told that many students have ended up in jail after the gunfights because of the way they handled the aftermath. Not getting into much detail, we were told that even if we do as trained, saying stuff like “yes, I face smashed the first guy and zipped him up as trained in extreme close combat, performed a tactical reload, then shot the other guy twice in the chest and once in the face” that’s not how you want to sound when talking to the judge since cold thinking during life or death situations will work against you and not in your favor, as stupid as that sounds. You want to look and sound like a poor, scared sheep.

Force on Force

After live ammo practice we started running different scenarios with revolvers loaded with wax rounds. Those sometimes hurt and leave a small bruise, so we used face masks. We started with “suicide” drills (duels), first not being able to move, one shot each. I was then handed a snuby revolver with two rounds, and was confronted by two attackers with one shot each. This time we were allowed to move and I started moving sideways as soon as I heard the whistle. I shot one, and shot the other one as he was shooting my way but he missed.
 Then I did an ATM role play drill, got surrounded by three guys, shot two but got shot in the back by the 3rd. I have a small bruise to remind me to not allow myself to get surrounded next time. We did that again but with more people (extras) and you didn’t know how many bad guys there were, or even if there were any at all. By the way, some students ended up shooting people that were unarmed, so a good lesson there. Other managed to, even better, just run away. 

On another exercise, I approached the ATM line and saw that one guy was approaching but not getting in line. I stopped before turning my back to him and asked if he was going to get in line or not. I had my hands in my pocket (with the snubby and two shots there) he lifts his tshirt to show me a gun, and starts to say “give me your m-” but I shot him in the gut point blank. That must have hurt a lot, :-) As I did that I saw another guy going for a gun and shouting out something, so I got behind the guy I had just shot and used him as a human shield  :-)  as I shot the second guy (and missed) but the other guy missed too. Would have nailed that bastard if I had more rounds! :-)

Another student got beaten with sticks and just shot one bad guy, but when he went to the floor he got kicked a lot, including a hard kick to the masked face as a lesson so that he remembers not to go to the ground next time. In another exercise a very big and muscular student tried to wrestle his way out of it, after he had a gun shoved to the back of his neck. Two instructors (bad guys) had him down good though, with a neck choke, but since he kept fighting, as in real life, another bad guy just shot him in the chest point blank for struggling. Lesson there: when you’re defeated just accept it and don’t get killed for nothing.
We did several other drills, lots of good lessons learned.

Gear used and some tips

Glock 31 + 3 magazines and 500 rounds of ammo
Long sleeve tshirt and another 2 extra tshirts so that the wax and airsoft rounds don’t hurt that much, a vest is even better.
Mouth piece (we were provided face masks for FOF drills)
Ear plugs
Bug repellent
Water (at least a liter) and some snack or sandwich.
Spare gun so that you don’t lose the class if you have a failure.

We all used Glocks (9 students) except for one that used a Beretta 92. No one had problems except for a guy that was limp-wristing his Glock during extreme close range drills where we shot one handed. I had no problems with Wolf ammo and some other cheapo reloads I used. 

As always, very pleased with the class. There were more instructors than students so that helps a lot in the safety department too. Very professional and WELL worth the money spent.



Jenna said...

"Each different drill using one of the 360º drills, shooting backwards out of the window while seated looking forward in the driver’s seat."

I'm slightly puzzled. 360º would be to turn completely around in a circle. 180º would be to turn so that you are now facing the way you came. Did you mean 180º?

Bill N. said...

I just finished the intermediate pistol class (350) at Gunsite last month. We fired approximately 1000 rounds during the five days. One night we shot inside a shoot house and a wash (waadi). Sounds like the classes were similar except we didn't do one handed reloads or malfunction drills. We also only did one force on force with simunitions using a Glock, SIG or Colt Automatic. Here in the states stove pipes, double feeds, etc are called malfunctions and the process to get the pistol back in operation is called a malfunction drill. A failure drill is what we practice when we fire into the torso of an adversary and the rounds have no effect on him/her because of body armor, drugs, or someone who is just a really tough hombre. The normally drill failure to stop drill is to fire a couple of rounds into the chest and immediately aim for the head. If the first two rounds are effective the guy/gal will have collapsed and the head will not be visible as you aim above the chest (standing person). If the first two rounds were ineffective you start firing at the head as your sights come on target. I used a Glock 17 except when I had a bad round that lodged a bullet inside the barrel during the night shoot in the wash. I had to get a Glock 19 out of my truck to finish the exercise. I had to field strip the pistol and use a punch and hammer to drive the bullet out of the barrel. If that had not been a training exercise it could have cost me my life. There is something to be said for carrying a second pistol preferrably using the same magazines as your first pistol. An another advantage of the 9mm Glocks is they accept the 33 round magazines used in the Glock 18. They are not practical to carry in the weapon while it is in a holster on the belt, depending on the circumstances it can be used to double the number of rounds you can fire before having to reload. Concerning my class there were 10 shooters. There were five Glocks in either 9mm or .40, three .45 Automatics, and two SIGS in .40 caliber. I am currently reading your book and find it well thought out. It would have been nice to have some pictures.

David said...

While I "get" the value of high-cap guns/big magazines like the Glocks and Beretta, I'm still surprised no one took the class with a 1911 or one sort or another.

FerFAL said...

Hi Jenna, its called 360º shooting because you shoot in all directions, front back and sideways. Your front is 360 and your back is 180 of course :-)


keith said...

I recently bought Magpuls Dynamic Handgun DVDs. They are great, however they do not focus on true to life conceal carry scenarios like you wrote about. Does the school you took the class at sell any DVDs?

thanks for the great tips shared, once again!

Anonymous said...

FerFAL, Are you going to teach classes like this when you move to the USA?

Maldek said...

Thank you for sharing the impressions FerFal!

The first situation with the chinese shop owner I found very helpful. However it is difficult to find a proper solution.

I would have shot the guy in the head when wresting my wife and be done with it. Legal trouble almost certain.

The second scenario with you in ATM line shooting a guy who just did *show* you his gun...well ATM's are normaly monitored. So the situation would be on tape most likely. Prison here you come.

Thats the sad truth - gangsters dont have to worry about legal consequences

DaShui said...

I talked with the local prosecutor where I live, Mississippi. He said after a murder they look into the dead guy's background. If the guy was a troublemaker, they don't worry about it. I think it is a Southern thing(but not Florida).

FerFAL said...

David, I like the 1911 but the Glock not only has more capacity, its also easier to shoot faster, more reliable and has less felt recoil.

Keith, I think he used to sell some DVD's but havent seen them in a while. He's training lots of people that then go train others so he's pretty busy.

Anonymous said...

FerFAL, Are you going to teach classes like this when you move to the USA?

June 28, 2010 6:54 AM

Working on that. It is a possibility. :-)


Anonymous said...

"Are you going to teach classes like this when you move to the USA?"

And a DVD too? For those who won't be going to Texas.

I don't think we'll be seeing you on Oprah.

You would have been a great guest on The Tonite Show back when Carson hosted it. No shows like that today, that I know of,... I think they cancelled The Man Show.