Friday, April 4, 2014
Defensive Pistol 2, AT-2 Force-on-Force Scenarios, and AT-A1 Low Light Shooting
It was by far the longest day I've ever had at the range. I got up at 6am to get out there by 7:45a. And I wasn't packed up and to my car until 10:15p. That's a LONG day!
The DP2 class was similar to the DP1 course, with additional complexity added in, in particular shooting from cover. It looks easy, but learning how to present around a barrier with a firearm while limiting how much of your body is visible to an active shooter is something you need to practice, a lot. KR Training recently built a shoot house in bay 3 so we had a chance to move and shoot clearing the house with paper targets, dummy targets, moving targets, and metal targets while trying to distinguish good guys from bad guys. We each "manufactured" a double feed and learned how to recognize and clear it. We also practiced swapping mags. Because I'd performed so dismally in my Simunition class at the AG&AG Conference, I'd practice for 3 straight nights during my dry fire time just dropping mags, grabbing mags from my belt, seating mags and racking the slid. I actually broke a blood vessel in the heal of my hand the third night from seating a sticky mag too hard too many times and I ended up working with an injured hand on Saturday. But my mag swaps were noticeably better on the line and Karl singled me out for the first time ever with a "Good!" Woot!
The AT-2 Force-on-Force scenarios class was all about working through encounters with other people in dynamic (semi-scripted) roll playing with Airsoft guns. We were all outfitted in protective gear which KR Training provided along with the Airsoft guns themselves. Some were indoors and others were out in the shoot house. We learned additional skills like slicing the pie and understanding how angle and distance from the pivot point play roles in what you and the target can see in those situations. This work was very different because there were many variables to take into account and there were many potential outcomes with varying degrees of "successful resolution." In the dynamic scenarios, it was really shocking to find myself not reacting the way I knew I should react. I remember thinking, what the hell are you doing standing here, that dude is pointing a gun at that other guy, why aren't you running away and yet I stood there quite dumbfounded . It was really eye opening to see how incongruent what I KNEW I'd do and what I ACTUALLY did really were! This coursework was also really helping in practicing how to evaluate an encounter and to determine the level of threat, the type of threat, the appropriate reaction, and typical traps that you can to learn to avoid. We also had a chance to use improvised weapons and it was amazing to see how doing so could reset the OODA loop and buy you time. It was invaluable, all of it.
The AT-A1 Low-Light Shooting class is where we learned about the various ways to hold a flashlight with a handgun, how to use a flashlight in a way that made you less of an easy target to an active shooter, and also incorporated the use of cover and moving around barriers and even laying under barriers. I'd never shot from a prone position before. It takes some getting used to. We also had a chance to clear the shoot house at night. At the end, I was so tired I had a hard time keeping disciplined to aiming well and pressing my shots instead of slapping the trigger. In fact, my very biggest issue is definitely trigger management. I need to take time at the range and just work on this. It really is the biggest thing between being a mediocre shooter and a good shooter. The disparity of my dry fire work from my live fire work is growing because I'm not getting to the range to practice firing as much as I do dry firing. Practice should be 5 to 1 I think they said. But I'm not 50 and never doing the 1 until I take another KR Training class.
I'm really bummed because the courses I want to take next are all scheduled when I'm taking classes elsewhere, am vacationing in England, or attending the national writer's conference in San Antonio. I'm a bit panicked that I won't be going to the range every other weekend so I may actually have to force myself to go out to a local range and do drills on my own like I'm supposed to be doing. Dry fire is only going to take me so far.