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Jay Cunningham
09-21-09, 20:45
Got a good drill session in with member Gutshot John today.

Gutshot John
09-21-09, 21:10
Monday bump - got a good drill session in with member Gutshot John today.

Indeed and thanks again for the time getting me ready for the Nightfighter class in November. I got a lot out of it and saw good improvement. I also appreciated the troubleshooting and the being pushed out of the normal comfort zone, especially shooting offhand.

Gents, if you haven't taken TK up on his extremely generous offer for 1-on-1 time you'd be foolish not to. If you're new to this and you've never taken a formal class or if you're more experienced and need another set of eyes to make sure you're squared away. Either way you'd pay good money to get a private lesson for the cost of a little time and ammo.

Gutshot John
10-01-09, 11:42
Got another session in with The_Katar and troubleshot issues as they came to light that I need to address in preparation for the upcoming Viking nightfighter class.

Lessons Learned:


I'm now running my sling as loose as I can, especially if mounting your sling to the buffer tube. Last time I had it mounted to the stock (CTR), but had problems with transitions. I switched it to the buffer tube and things showed a significant improvement. If you run a sling loose you can always tighten it up for accuracy, but for transitions to support or sidearm you really need a lot of play to be quick.

A huge benefit I'm getting with T_K is addressing gear/setup issues. When you do a few transitions/reloads you quickly learn what setups work and what don't. In that vein, my reload pouch needed to change positions as I had some issues getting my hands wrapped around the mag and would subsequently fumble around. I'm also dumping the whole "shingle" idea in favor of a flap pouch as storage with an FB as my dedicated reload. Similarly I found the FB works great with a standard GI mag, but is slower using a PMAG.

Using a TLR-2 on my Glock also brought issues to "light." I know you guys aren't going to believe me, but I was faster using just the illumination and sights than I was using the laser. A big lesson is that it's an advertising myth ("the guy with the laser lived") that handgun lasers substitute for practice (never mind sights) or compensate for stress. To use a laser effectively you have to put in the same amount of practice, and probably require more skill.

TLG's "Dot-Torture" is an excellent tool/drill to practice transitions to pistol, in that vein another lesson learned is that when transitioning from an AR to pistol trigger it is very very easy to snatch the trigger on your first pistol shot after the transition. The change of trigger technique is quite discombobulating and while subsequent shots were on target, one really needs to slow down and think about presentation and trigger pull on that first shot. Take your time, do it right.


Seriously guys, get out there with someone who knows what to look for. Training classes are all well and good, but an experienced set of eyes during a practice session works out a lot of the bugs in your technique.

Gutshot John
10-06-09, 23:44
Did more Nightfighter prep with The_Katar today and I must say that there has been marked improvement over the last 3 weeks. It definitely helps that his home range allows for significant practice opportunities as the weather gets cooler/grayer with no one else around.

Gear/kit issues have been sorted out. I'm pretty comfortable with the setup I've got. Pistol mag pouches need to be given more thought but I'm confident in the setup.

We started with running the FAST test twice. The first was in tactical gear and was painfully slow with the transition and reload from a covered pouch, the second was shot from simple concealment and was more than twice as fast. Facing/movement was mostly review but it helped get kick off some rust "turn head - face body." Movement is something I've always been a bit more comfortable with and so I got caught "freelancing" during a snake drill.

We reviewed facing, movement and then focused heavily on transitions. Starting with carbine (empty chamber) sight picture, safety off and finger on trigger at buzzer, pull the trigger and transition firing one shot. It was an excellent drill especially using limited ammo and by the end of a series of decreasing par times kinks had been worked out and transitions were much smoother as the par was more than cut in half.

Fall in Western PA means excellent conditions for low-light/night shooting (if you just happen to know the club "pro" who might also moderate a certain m4 carbine forum). Drills were pretty straight-forward incorporating facing/movement with light including LAV's LIE as well as a snake drill using chair to simulate cover/no-shoot. Ironically accuracy seems to improve in lower light but everything was much smoother.

Earlier on in the day I was a bit frustrated, but T_K in a "teachable moment" made it perfectly clear that it's not really training unless you're out of your comfort zone. You don't learn quickly by doing things right. Feedback is vital to learning how to shoot and you don't always get that in a class with 15-20 other people where you get the big things but as with anything else the devil is in the details. Those little things add up and effort needs to be invested to identify and correct them.

Genuinely guys, once again, if I haven't made it perfectly clear, hint hint, nudge nudge. If you have access to an extra set of eyes with a bit of knowledge who's willing to spend some time with you to help you improve, check your ego at the door and get it done.

Jay Cunningham
10-08-09, 09:03
GSJ and I have now hit the practice range three weeks running. Generally speaking I have facilitated the sessions in order to get GSJ up to speed for an upcoming course, but I have also demo'd the drills and participated in them.

I have come to discover the *immense* value in this. Having someone who can operate a timer, watch manipulations and think up new variations on old drills makes shooting with a partner several times more effective than going to the range alone. As an added benefit, it makes it safer too (especially when they are EMT qualified ;) )

To borrow a term from stony275 and Ken Hackathorn, I intend on making this weekly "study group" a regular thing at my home range.

http://m4carbine.net/picture.php?albumid=93&pictureid=659

Member Gutshot John preparing to shoot a modified Snake Drill.

Gutshot John
10-08-09, 14:12
To follow up on what T_K said...

The value of this type of session is really understated. More often than not a a dedicated 3 day carbine class you're getting a ton of information thrown at you. Even from the most qualified and gifted instructor "drinking from a firehose" is often the metaphor. Even a "locked-on" student cannot hope to master all the techniques they are being shown and so training, without subsequent practice, is less than ideal.

Even with subsequent practice I've noticed that I'm not able to catch all the nuances and troubleshoot all the problems as I can't really see what I'm doing myself. At best progress is often slow (with occasional breakthroughs) and at worst one develops bad habits.

As T_K states having a second pair of eyes adds "immense value" by not only identifying problems, but also allowing the time to figure out how to address it as well as reinforcing the fix by spending time on it. This "baby step" approach I think yields significant improvement in an informal training session rather than having to move on to another topic as you would in a formal class.

What I genuinely love about shooting both in these informal sessions as well as in formal classes is that you have people who want to see you improve and are willing to lend their eye and support to see that you do.

I'll see you next Thursday T_K.

Jay Cunningham
11-03-09, 07:32
GSJ and I will be shooting at FGSA this Wednesday around 3:30 pm.

d90king
11-03-09, 07:44
I sure am jealous of the western side of Pa these days...:mad:

Jay Cunningham
11-05-09, 09:28
GSJ and I got some good study in yesterday. This session was a lot more free-form than some previous sessions, and we went wherever the conversation took us. We got into the specifics of tactical reloads, reloads with retention, emergency (a.k.a. slidelock) reloads and speed (a.k.a. gamer or IPSC) reloads and the strengths and weaknesses of the different methods.

We performed some immediate malfunction clearances and remedial malfunction clearances, and discussed the hows and whys of dealing with a stovepipe malfunction.

As always, shooting with movement is always great and shooting with movement is the dark is even better. I also got to try out a new belt configuration and new short Vickers gloves.

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/1104091557-01.jpg

Shawn.L
11-17-09, 21:46
I'm interested

d90king
11-17-09, 21:50
I'm interested


Good guy folks... Wants to train and learn... I'm just pissed he is close enough to take advantage of some of the westerners knowledge. TK might be able to help get you squared away for Hackathorn.;)

Jay Cunningham
11-19-09, 07:01
I'm interested

Drop me a line

the_katar@pistol-training.com

:)

Gutshot John
11-19-09, 12:08
Since it's approaching winter I don't know how many of you have classes lined up in the coming months and weeks. As has been covered in preceding posts I've been getting together with T_K pretty regularly to prepare for a Viking Tactics Nightfighter Class I finished last week.

It's hard to understate the value of consistent practice and preparation for a training opportunity. Some guys go to classes to work out the kinks in their technique but I think this is a flawed approach especially for people like Kyle Lamb. The class was so intense that if I had been working out kinks during class I would have been falling behind and missing out on training.

T_K's method is pretty simple and if I may say much like engineering. The Japanese have a word "kaizen" which means a process of modest, continuing improvement rather than revolutionary change. Basically T_K and I went through my technique to identify and correct problems which at the end of 4 weeks resulted in significant improvement.

Because of this I knew my gear would work, I could operate my light and weapon equally well from either hand, my reloads and transitions were smooth and my marksmanship was as good as I've ever been (broke back prone, offhand shooting under a car at 100 yards with first shot hits). When Kyle looked at me and said "You've gotten a lot better, it's coming together for you isn't it?" I was humbled by the compliment, but I also knew it was the result of putting in the work and practice with T_K.

Having someone else watch you execute technique gives you two sets of eyes and two brains to troubleshoot technique. This is far more efficient and effective than just going to the range alone. Talking things out and experimenting with what works and what doesn't helps you understand why certain things are done the way they are.

Thanks again T_K.

Jay Cunningham
11-19-09, 16:03
Thanks for the kind words, GSJ.

I was hoping that our methodology (such as it was) would help you concentrate on what KL had to teach you. Sounds like it worked out and I look forward to the next study session.

d90king
11-19-09, 17:28
Thanks for the kind words, GSJ.

I was hoping that our methodology (such as it was) would help you concentrate on what KL had to teach you. Sounds like it worked out and I look forward to the next study session.

There is no doubt that you deserve each and everyone of them.;) Your commitment to helping others receive quality training should be applauded on all levels. Job well done sir.

I just wish I was closer so I could take advantage of your mentoring...

Gutshot John
11-19-09, 17:44
We really need to get a group shoot together.

I've even got a line on an ammo group buy.

Jay Cunningham
11-19-09, 17:45
We really need to get a group shoot together.

Agree.

Jay Cunningham
11-25-09, 07:40
Happy Thanksgiving all!

d90king
11-25-09, 15:15
Happy Thanksgiving all!

Thanks TK, we all have much to be thankful for. Even when we think we have it bad there are many others that are waaaay worse off than we are. I hope you have a great holiday and thanks again for all that you do in promoting training and volunteering your time to others.

Jay Cunningham
11-28-09, 22:21
I'll be available Wednesday, December 02...

Shawn.L
11-29-09, 08:52
I'll be available Wednesday, December 02...

during what time frame ?

Jay Cunningham
11-30-09, 05:55
Pretty much anytime, probably after 12:00 pm is realistic.

Jay Cunningham
12-03-09, 12:29
Went to the range yesterday but it was closed - weather was a washout, too. Changed gears and headed back to the garage/mancave for some discussion. Blue Guns were utilized to maximum effect. :cool:

Gutshot John
12-10-09, 18:11
Went to the range with T_K, we HAD intended an indoor shoot since it's about 18 degrees with single-digit wind chill and scattered snow, but thanks to my club changing the lock on me it ended up being a southwest PA cold weather shoot. This had some good training behind it and we stood up to it for about 2.5 hours. We did put a few things together.

Drawing handguns from under heavy winter gear and wearing gloves is something that needs to be practiced more often especially if you don't live in Florida. Clearing up how to wear layers and outer garments and still get the gun out was a challenge. Running the FAST drill was particularly instructive as not only drawing and firing but clearing a reload was interesting especially when the reload mag caught on a sweater and dropped to the deck.

While it helps to have figured out the problems, I believe the solutions are mostly related to gear and what may work in normal attire must also work with cold weather outergear. Having a good quality, stable, concealment holster and mag pouch is certainly obvious, but you should check to see how well it works when you've got several layers of clothing on.

I've focused too much on carbine and my pistol skills have degraded. 2010 will be the year of the handgun. Relevant to handguns I'm not sure where the whole BUG concept works for me. Got to shoot T_K's LCR and while I know many like it (and I think T_K was pleased with it as well but he can give the range report) and for good reason, it's just not for me. I'm still looking for better options.

Jay Cunningham
12-10-09, 19:55
Good study session today, even though it was sort of improvised. Lots of wind and accompanying wind chill factor. Many of us carry in very cold weather - but how many of us practice drawing and shooting in that weather?

As GSJ mentioned, it seems to be largely an awareness of clothing and how it interacts with one's preferred carry method. It's very easy to carry conventionally IWB (3:30 position) or even OWB on the hip when wearing a heavy coat... but when you go inside it might look a little weird wearing that heavy coat by the fireplace.

I was carrying my Glock 19 AIWB and a reload... I was also carrying my new Ruger LCR (w/CT laser) in the front support pocket in a DeSantis Nemesis holster. I was wearing a zip neck fleece with a down vest over it, which gives me options indoors I might not have with just a heavy coat.

We ran several iterations of the FAST to get a feel for how the conditions would effect it. I managed to shoot it clean on my final try in 8.02 seconds. This was in the cold, wind blowing, gun and reload under the fleece and Vickers gloves. These gloves are not designed specifically to keep hands warm, and yes my fingertips got pretty cold. I was actually very pleased with this time, especially considering the reload involved.

The LCR seems pretty good so far, but there will be much more on that later. Should have some pics to post to prove we actually got off our asses. :D

Anyone who wants to join our study sessions is encouraged to do so!

Irish
12-10-09, 20:06
Too bad PA is so far away :mad: Looks like you guys are getting some great training & practice in. Awesome that you're donating your time to help out other members TK. Stay warm out there!

Gutshot John
12-10-09, 20:30
You really have to give T_K a lot of credit for organizing these groups. He genuinely wants to help the individual be a better shooter. He's not at all wrapped up into the ego trip of being an "instructor", he just presents problems and helps the other person come to the appropriate conclusion.

Genuinely more people need to get out there with us because we simply figure things out by experimentation. There's no dogma or ego. The only thing that counts are speed and accuracy as the best variables to measure. I think most shooters here would benefit from similar groups wherever they live.

For instance we ran a few tests with the CT laser on the LCR. It's pretty clear that the laser is slower than iron sights. As to accuracy I think we found that on center-mass shots it's quite effective. Using the laser for pinpoint accuracy seemed to be significantly more problematic as the recoil causes you to lose the laser and then reacquire. It's much easier to track iron sights than a laser.

For myself at least I'm much faster and more accurate using a weapon light and iron sights than with a laser.

Jay Cunningham
12-10-09, 23:47
Thanks for the kind words fellas. Some pics:

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/IMG_0387.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/IMG_0388.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/IMG_0389.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/IMG_0390.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/IMG_0392.jpg

Jay Cunningham
12-15-09, 09:20
I split off some earlier posts into their own thread: "Mentoring"

I view mentoring as experienced members showing inexperienced members the fundamentals. I view study sessions as several experienced members sharing experience.

;)

Jay Cunningham
12-19-09, 00:22
Member Aray and I had a very brief session but one that stressed the importance of continuing to dry-fire... especially when you have an extended range absence.

Jay Cunningham
01-12-10, 21:27
Shot a lot of dots the last two days, some indoors and some outside. Lots with pistols and some with carbines.

GSJ and I ran a couple of VTAC drills today as well. The snow ain't cold as long as you're moving and shooting!

Jay Cunningham
01-12-10, 21:38
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/0112101550-00.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/0112101551-00.jpg


:D

d90king
01-13-10, 07:48
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/0112101550-00.jpg

http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll200/Thekatar/0112101551-00.jpg


:D

Umm, I might be to big of a pussy for this crew.:D Good God it looks cold... Prone must have caused a bit of shrinkage.:D How did your trigger finger hold up?:eek: I will need to revisit my glove situation quickly if this is what my weekend has in store for me.:cool:

Jay Cunningham
01-13-10, 10:18
Umm, I might be to big of a pussy for this crew.:D Good God it looks cold... Prone must have caused a bit of shrinkage.:D How did your trigger finger hold up?:eek: I will need to revisit my glove situation quickly if this is what my weekend has in store for me.:cool:

It wasn't that cold! Invest in some UnderArmor and something to keep your feet warm. The hearing protection will keep your ears warm and gloves are a must. No prone but I did get into sitting and kneeling real quick.

Trouble happens in bad weather sometimes!

d90king
01-13-10, 10:41
Trouble happens in bad weather sometimes!

True, very true! I took a Vickers pistol class in the midst of a hurricane and after all was said and done, it really was not to bad at all. I also felt better for gutting it out when we were done!

Gutshot John
01-13-10, 18:03
It wasn't that cold!

I checked my iphone on the way out of the club and local temperature was 22F with 13 windchill.

This is where layering gore-tex and UA yields dividends. I was perfectly comfy especially with my tacticool surplus wool pants.

For gloves I was using Outdoor Research Omni Gloves and I must say I loved them. I'm not sure what melting temperatures were but my hands were perfectly warm (no numb fingertips) after 4 hours outside. They're form fitting so they're actually excellent for shooting.

lethal dose
01-14-10, 01:08
looking like may 1 (sat) and may 2 (sun) right now. phil and i are still hammering out the details. i'll keep you boys posted!

d90king
01-14-10, 08:39
I checked my iphone on the way out of the club and local temperature was 22F with 13 windchill.

This is where layering gore-tex and UA yields dividends. I was perfectly comfy especially with my tacticool surplus wool pants.

For gloves I was using Outdoor Research Omni Gloves and I must say I loved them. I'm not sure what melting temperatures were but my hands were perfectly warm (no numb fingertips) after 4 hours outside. They're form fitting so they're actually excellent for shooting.

Since when is 13 WC not cold...?!?!?! Hell, I wont get the mail in those temps...:D

GSJ thanks for the tip on gloves. Would the Vickers gloves work, or are they not suited to help with the cold? I will get working on the pair you recommended.... I am GTG with anything else I might need to stay warm.

Jay Cunningham
01-14-10, 08:53
I was wearing the short Vickers gloves and my hands were okay. I am not recommending them for cold weather wear but my hands did not freeze.

Jay Cunningham
03-07-10, 20:43
Been a while since we got a study session in, but this morning me, GSJ and his wife, pah151, Aray and a regular lurker got together for knocking some of the thick winter rust off.

Quick note - the Dot Torture (http://pistol-training.com/drills/dot-torture) is a great drill, but it goes to a whole new level when you introduce par times. On dots 3&4, 6&7, 9&10 we used par times. Think you can't miss at three yards? Think again!

Jay Cunningham
05-17-10, 20:08
Over the weekend Gutshot John and eagle5 met up with me to help validate some portions of the drills I am lining up for the Summer Pistol Workshop.

We got to shoot in a creepy basement - but it was air conditioned!

Thanks guys for helping me tweak some par times and providing me with other feedback.