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Thread: AAR - Mike Pannone 2 Day Adv. Carbine - 3-10-12 Pueblo CO

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    AAR - Mike Pannone 2 Day Adv. Carbine - 3-10-12 Pueblo CO

    Mike Pannone 2 day advance carbine class...part one.

    Well, this will be my first AAR ever (along with my first shooting class). Please bear with me. So far out of the class, there was only 1 thing that I was familiar with doing, shooting on the move. I got that down. Everything else was very much new to me (aside from shooting prone for accuracy). I came into this with the mindset “My cup is empty”.

    Right out of the gate Mike was straight forward and was very no BS about his class, how, and most importantly WHY he does things the way he does. Let me reiterate that…Mike explains in detail WHY a thing should be done, and WHY other methods are not as effective or as quick. Not just “Do as I say”.

    Started off with all 13 (yes, only 13) students verifying zero for 100. Started out at 50, and fine tuned at 100. Then we were off to the races. No pictures. My photographer (wife) had zero interest in accompanying me on my “2 day boys camp”, so I was behind the trigger all day.

    100 standing at the buzzer, then drop to prone and fire 10 within 1 minute IIRC (I can’t remember the times, but they were all timed, and got shorter the closer you got). Moved up to 50 and standing to sitting – fire 10. At 25 we went standing to kneeling fire 10, then at 10, standing – fire 10. Rinse and repeat 4 times then a final for score (ouch – down 61 but nothing outside of the 6).

    He did a very good job of explaining the way to position your body in each position so your body has it’s natural aiming right at the target so you are not fighting yourself trying to stay on target, and ways to check to see if you are there, or need to reposition. I learned a great deal about being nothing more than a recoil sponge so the rifle can do it’s job without my screwing it up.

    Now we stayed inside the 25 for the rest of the day. He had us do a modified half and half drill. 5 shots at 20 in 10 seconds, 5 shots at 15 in 5 seconds, 5 shots at 10 in 1.25 seconds. I really need to work on my splits. Could not beat that 1.25. Consistently in the 1.65 range.

    Rinse and repeat several times then score (IPSC target, no more than 3 outside the A, and a D was a FAIL).

    OK, now we do some transitions to support side. He walked us through each and every motion on his method of doing so, explained why, and how, then had us do it in shots of 3 (strong, weak, strong – take 2 steps back and repeat). That was different. I was more worn out by that simple exercise/drill than the entire day combined at that point. Repetition, repetition, repetition. One (of many) drill that I am going to have to do a lot of on my own time to get proficient. NOTE – I have all manner of ambidextrous crap on my rifle, and here is Mike teaching me how not to use it. This is a good thing. I doubt that I will take any of it off, but it is nice to know that if I have to pick up another rifle that is not mine, that I will not be stumbling trying to run it. I made it a point to make sure that I did the routines as instructed until I had it down solid. Standard safety, support side, fast and easy on and off incorporated into bringing the weapon up to target.

    After Mike felt comfortable with our abilities to do the transitions, then we did the half & half drill support side. Once again, that 10 yard kicked my but. The times were modified to allow for the “wrong” shoulder thingy but not by much. 10, 6, and 2.5 (I was still over .3). Back to strong side, but now we are shooting at two targets, so the times were doubled to account for the shots fired. Again, over the time limit at 10, now by .7.

    Rinse and repeat, score, then support side.

    Shooting on the move. This one I know, I just needed to incorporate this shooting a rifle instead of a handgun. Posture, stance, steps…Mike explains EVERYTHING! If you don’t get it, and can’t figure it out, then you were not paying attention.

    Time for reloads, the one thing that I had been avoiding all day. I only got caught once on a low mag, and it figures, on a scored drill…prone. Up to this point, I had been changing out mags and combining rounds into a singe mag between drills as time permitted. I had no clue what was the proper and efficient way to do it. I just tried to mimic what I do with pistol. 10 mags, 1 round each. Fire, reload, fire until you were out. 1 round in all the mags, gear up, and repeat. After I felt that I had it down pretty good, I started to use my ambi release, and found myself double hitting the bolt release (left and right hand doing what needed to be done to release the bolt…at the same time).

    OK. Enough for now. I’m tired and sore, not to mention that I still have to reload all my mags, and other house keeping with my equipment.
    Last edited by Sticks; 03-11-12 at 19:21.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    Part 2

    Second day. Sore and tired, yet anxious to get going. I received a request from Paul H. to get some pics. I did what I could, and it will be a while before I post them. I have to pick, process, and post, and I doubt that I will get to them this week (back to 60 hour weeks at work).

    Started off repeating the 4/100 drill above (10 shots prone, move 50, 10 shots sitting, etc.) and a variation of the previous days drills both strong and weak side.

    Mike then showed us the secondary kneeling (support hand on the ground, gun about 3” above the ground) position, and explained the hows and whys about it. He demonstrated various ways to do it by using the sling, fore grip and so on for the barrel support, and where to brace the butt and position your head to take your shots…50 yards, 5” x 11” A zone target. Then he had us do the reverse prone (laying on your back) and again showed us various ways to properly brace the rifle to get steady shots.

    After we ran 2 mags worth of start standing, do the secondary kneeling fire 5, flip on to your back and shoot another 5, stand up, rinse and repeat. Once we all got finished, he had us do an “S” drill which was fire 5 shots standing, fire another 5 support side, drop to a kneeling position and fire 5 support side, switch to strong side, fire another 5 kneeling, then secondary kneeling, fire 5, flip into reverse prone and fire 5…in one minute. I was half expecting him to have us do the secondary kneeling and reverse prone support side, and was very surprised that we didn’t.

    Now the infamous failure drills. Mike showed us the 4 most common failures, and the only failures that you would encounter that would not require the replacement of parts or tools to correct. He went into detail as to what causes each failure, and what to “feel” for (not look) then identify and correct the problem. Mike made huge emphasis on not repeating the same attempt at correction if it did not work the first time. “Time is precious. Why waste it repeating what is not working. If it did not work the first time, accept it, then try something else. He then sent us to go jam up our own rifles and clear them…60 times. Once we got that somewhat mastered, then it was group up in teams of 3, and jam up your teammates rifle, so they could try to figure out what the problem was and fix it. After all that, then it was blindfold time. This is one of the top three things that I value most out of this class. Being able to identify and fix a weapons malfunction without looking and spending an inordinate amount of time doing it.

    Next we went into shooting on the move parallel to the targets going from a normal walk to fire three COM on the move, return to a normal walk, rinse and repeat. Did this strong side, support side, strong side – firing towards the support side (right hand shooters shooting at targets on the right). Once again the hows and whys. We had a couple active military that Mike had walking one behind the other (like 1.5 feet) and work as a team. First guy fires, and at the pause, the second in line picks up, return to first shooter.

    We ran a few more drills, then after lunch we did the 4/100 again. Mike evaluated the targets and determined that we were getting fatigued as a whole and called the class finished. We had the option to keep shooting, but Mike now validated the point that he made the first day about how the other classes that spout off about shooting 2k to 2.5k rounds in two days is a waste of money and time. You can not track that many bullets and know what you are doing right or wrong. With that much intense shooting, you are reinforcing bad habits and don’t really lean anything.

    My total round count for the weekend was right around 1200. I knew the last three drills that I was getting frustrated that I was missing, and missing badly. I was still better than the first day, but expected to be doing better than I was. As an example, my afternoon 4/100 score was down 58. Better then the first day I shot for score, my groups were tighter, but still off the damn bull. That was pretty much the average for everyone. Even the guys that I was shooting next to were wining a few out in the white whereas they were all in the black on the first day.

    Now, at the end I can say that I was very fortunate to have Mike come to CO to teach this class, and I had the opportunity and fortitude to suck it up and sign up for it. I knew that this was an advanced class going into it. There was not necessarily a pre requisite for the class, but hey, it states advanced.

    I know that there is more that we were taught, and more that I could say. I am once again tired, fatigued, and need to get back to my duties at home. If you have any questions, please feel free to post and I will answer what I can.

    Here is where I say a HUGE thank you to Failure 2 Stop, Rob_S, and JonConsiglio for their support, advice and knowledge that they have put forth on this and other forums regarding shooting, gear, weapons and accessories. I know my learning curve, so I was confident that I could go into this knowing nothing and learn what I need to know without getting overwhelmed. There was a little doubt that I would be “That Guy” way out of his element, but I prevailed.

    My cup is no longer empty. It has a thin layer at the bottom that I can nourish myself for a brief period until I can get more to drink from another professional like Mike Pannone, who does an outstanding job of passing on the knowledge that he learned both the easy and the hard way.

    Thank you Mike!
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    Here is a few pics from the class. I have a bunch more that I need to edit out those that did not want to be posted.



    CTT-Solutions
    www.ctt-solutions.com



    Grey Group Training:
    www.greygrouptraining.com



    Blindfold malfunction clearing.

    IMG: DELETED







    Two handed approach to bolt override.

    Last edited by Sticks; 03-12-12 at 04:39.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    This weekend after I get my girl cleaned. I will create some pics of the malfunctions and show what they look like (most of you probably already know, but for the benefit of those that have never seen one).
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    Congrats on getting through your first class! Question for you on "failure drills". Did Mike describe them this way or is that your take on it? Typically I've called these "malfunction drills" as a "failure drill" is a shooting template of two rounds to the body and one to the head.

    Great job, great writeup, and congrats again on getting out there and getting training. You are now the 1%!

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    Sticks, great review. It was good to meet you and thanks for the loctite...

    For me, the training was outstanding, much needed and only solidified my appetite for more GOOD training. Among many other lessons learned, Mike's method of utilizing accountability for every round was effective and eye opening. Without doubt this method will become part of my personal training process. Fact is, I have a lot of work to do. Mike's drills and no BS style exposed a lot of holes; the point of a good instructor and good training.

    As Sticks articulated, if you want straight forward, effective, no BS training, take Mike's course. It is my plan to take his course again in the future.

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    Nice to meet you Sticks and thanks for the AAR. When I got home I grabbed a beer and you grabbed your keyboard. I don't know how you put this info together in such a short time.

    Again Thanks.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    Congrats on getting through your first class! Question for you on "failure drills". Did Mike describe them this way or is that your take on it? Typically I've called these "malfunction drills" as a "failure drill" is a shooting template of two rounds to the body and one to the head...
    I don’t know if Mike used the word “Failure”, or that is how my brain interrupted the situation. So, yes, technically there malfunction drills that we were doing. My brain says that something in the cycle from trigger pull to bullet impact, something failed. My apologies if I misused the industry terminology.

    Quote Originally Posted by pomyc View Post
    Sticks, great review. It was good to meet you and thanks for the loctite...

    As Sticks articulated, if you want straight forward, effective, no BS training, take Mike's course. It is my plan to take his course again in the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperiorDG View Post
    Nice to meet you Sticks and thanks for the AAR. When I got home I grabbed a beer and you grabbed your keyboard. I don't know how you put this info together in such a short time.

    Again Thanks.

    It's called getting up at 2:30a every day, and doing the email and fourm thing while having coffee. That and I was - believe it or not - an administrative assistant (PC for secretary) for 5 years (still looked the same, tattoos, long hair and all).

    It was good to meet all three of you guys (El_Mac has not chimed in yet). Hopefully we will run into each other again.

    When I am around, if you need something chances are real good that I either have it, can get it quick, or make it. I have a tendency to be over prepared for contingencies.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    Part 3

    I will keep adding to this AAR for probably the next week. I keep thinking of things while I am at work and try to jot little notes down so I remember when I have my coffee in the mornings. I will try to wrap it up with this and only add the pictures over the next few days.

    Further thoughts on the whole Ambidextrous thing. As I was watching others try to use my rifle during the drills, they ran into trouble with my “extras”. So in retrospect learning how to use a rifle with the ambidextrous attachments would be almost as important as learning how to use a stock configured rifle.

    I wanted to also expand a little more about this class being an advanced class, and my having attended, with little combat rifle experience, and only 380 rounds of AR prior to this. In 1996 I purchased an SKS that was either designed or converted to take AK-47 mags. I was one of those guys at the BLM ranges shooting dirt, bottles, and the occasional target at maybe 30 yards with a 9x40 TASCO scope mounted to it. IIRC I only put 2000 rounds down the pipe in the 11 years I owned it, most of it in the first 2 years.

    There were things that were not even mentioned in the class. Administrative reloads/reloads with retention, the whole rotate the rifle counter clockwise when the shooting stops to eyeball the chamber (is that actually a operational thing, or a tacticool thing?), and I don’t recall even seeing anyone do it. Sight picture, flash sighting, how to use the optics or irons etc. These items I suspect are what is covered in the beginners or entry level classes. My pistol shooting experience, what I have learned from talking, and listening to other shooters, reading on these types of forums have given me the basic idea, even though I probably still don’t have the whole picture. Anyone who does not have those basic operational skills will truly be way out of their zone in a class like this. Again, I know my learning curve and can suck up massive amounts of information (both verbal and visual) and put it together in a cohesive format and use it. There were several times during the class where I was absolutely blank on what Mike was talking about. I kept watching for visual clues, listened intently, and asked the questions when I needed answers to fill in the gaps. Then there is the old fall back, "Monkey see, Monkey do."

    This was a very strong point with Mike and his teaching. He not only explains in detail, he shows you what he is talking about. Gross motor skills like inserting a mag and locking your thumb out and bending your arm to close the bolt , or just pressing the damn button, rather than slapping the side of the receiver or using the charging handle (which is only to be used to open the bolt like it was designed). Showing you what happens when you do things, for lack of a better term, incorrectly or inefficiently, and the time lost. Even something so simple as transitioning from strong side to support side in a smooth continuous motion (by far the most difficult motion set for me to get down).

    I have a lot of holes in my operation. I know that the worst one to correct is recoil anticipation. If I can beat that, I know my overall performance will triple at least.
    Last edited by Sticks; 03-12-12 at 20:14.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    Kudos to Sticks for banging out this AAR in short order.

    I've had the good fortune to take more than a few classes from other professional instructors over a fairly long period of time/career. Mike rates right up there and surpasses quite a few in some areas. He is a quality instructor and it shows. His instruction was direct, clear and to the point. Everything he does and demonstrates is done for a reason. There is no showboating/hollywooding involved. As Sticks alluded to, I've shot twice the amount of ammo in other classes in the same period of time and not been nearly as tired on TD2. But it was a good tired in that you know you have learned something new and solid when you complete Mike's class.

    Highly recommend! If you've not availed yourself of one of M. Pannone's classes, what are you waiting for? Get thee to his class.

    I look forward to hosting more classes in Pueblo.

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    Nice reviews.

    I can add a few things from my perspective.

    This was my first class and the reason I choose this class was based on Mike’s reputation. I was not interested in a mega round count blast away type of class. Reading other reviews of the CTTS classes I was expecting plenty of shooting but also some really good stuff on malfunctions and AR operation.

    The malfunction clearance block was well worth the cost of the class. Mike really understands how the AR works and his methods of clearing malfunctions are simple and effective. These methods don’t require you to look at the gun and are designed to work exactly the same in broad daylight or pitch black. Learning to quickly clear a bolt override double feed or a charging handle impingement while blindfolded is the big hard skill take away I got from the class.

    We shot a variety of drills including several different types of half and half, 4/100, S drills, 10 magazine reloading drills. I shot almost 1200 rnds and never felt like we were blowing through ammo just to bolster the course round count.

    Mike’s attitude as an instructor was great. I half expected a little grief at the beginning of the class because I showed up with a Hubble telescope on my AR but he just asked a few questions about the unconventional adjustments and that was it.

    If you can figure out a way to get to one of his classes I highly recommend you do it.

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    You were Hubble!

    I was half tempted to toss my PSOP on to give you a little support.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    "There were things that were not even mentioned in the class. Administrative reloads/reloads with retention, the whole rotate the rifle counter clockwise when the shooting stops to eyeball the chamber (is that actually a operational thing, or a tacticool thing?), and I don’t recall even seeing anyone do it. Sight picture, flash sighting, how to use the optics or irons etc."

    Sticks, my approach in other than beginner courses (which I haven't taught yet) is to address those things in the basic skills set that are being violated. If no violations occur I leave shooters to continue on other tasks.
    We talked about flash sight picture in the body mechanics block as well as on the modified 1/2 & 1/2 and talked about how to use and adjust optics during the zero and grouping exercises. Iron sights are a completely different exercise and are very time consuming so I left them alone or risk spending an entire day on zeroing both iron and optic. I have actually thought about running an iron sight only course but interest is about zero and with the tremendous reliability and durability of modern electro-optical sights the time is better served with the primary optic.

    I hope that clears that up. It was an omission for efficiency not an oversight.


    *The "rotate the rifle" thing is "tacticool" in my opinion.

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    Sticks,

    I do remember the sight picture explanation during the 5 yard portion of the modified ½ and ½. A lot of guys were not really driving the gun to the target on the first shot and Mike went into how important getting the first round into the A Zone in less than 0.7 seconds if you want to make the 1.25 second par time.

    His point was you might have to rely on body mechanics for the first shot and might not find the dot until shot 2. Of course a nice black crosshair is much easier to see, you guys with your red dots.

    The looking at the chamber was covered extensively in the malfunction block and Mike was really clear that the goal is to be able to run the gun without looking at the gun. Shooting a mag empty to slide lock has a different feel than a malfunction and you need to learn that feel.

    I figured the whole reason for the blindfold malfunction clearance drills was to get us to realize how to get the gun running again without taking the time to look and losing focus on what could be happening downrange.

    I personally got some reloading instruction when Mike caught me using the charging handle to drop an open bolt after I reloaded.

    I suspect anyone has done well if you remember even half of the instruction in a class like this with so much information.

    Mike,

    You also covered the whole “rotate the rifle and then give it a twirl” thing to dislodge the magazine. I remember you thought it might just be more efficient to buy mags that dropped free and also mentioned that this technique might have been popularized by some who also make magazines that might stick more often than others.

    I appreciate that I was not subjected to a “how to adjust iron sights” block of instruction. I understand it might be applicable in some classes but that was not the reason I came to your class.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP01 View Post
    Sticks, my approach in other than beginner courses (which I haven't taught yet) is to address those things in the basic skills set that are being violated. If no violations occur I leave shooters to continue on other tasks.
    We talked about flash sight picture in the body mechanics block as well as on the modified 1/2 & 1/2 and talked about how to use and adjust optics during the zero and grouping exercises. Iron sights are a completely different exercise and are very time consuming so I left them alone or risk spending an entire day on zeroing both iron and optic. I have actually thought about running an iron sight only course but interest is about zero and with the tremendous reliability and durability of modern electro-optical sights the time is better served with the primary optic.

    I hope that clears that up. It was an omission for efficiency not an oversight.


    *The "rotate the rifle" thing is "tacticool" in my opinion.
    That is what I was trying to convey - Yours was an advanced course - not for the novice.

    Now I need to start kicking the wife's Jeep out of the garage so I can at least go through the physical motions of some of your teachings (gonna have the PD show up if I do them in the back yard, no room in the house).

    Thanks for answering the "Tacticool" thing.

    ETA - As far as Irons, maybe a drill to have a transition to irons in the middle by removing RDS with the QR mounts or honor system and turn off the RDS. Shit happens when you don't want it to, like me forgetting to turn mine back on after lunch at the beginning of a timed drill.
    Last edited by Sticks; 03-16-12 at 03:50.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    FINALLY - more pics

    Here is a phase by phase of me doing the "S" drill.

    Start: Strong side


    Transition to support side








    Firing from kneeling support side


    Transition to kneeling strong side:






    Firing strong side kneeling


    Transition to secondary kneeling




    Firing secondary kneeling


    Transition to reverse prone








    Firing reverse prone
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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