Welcome to Part 4 of the Food for Thought series, so far we’ve covered weapons, teamwork, physical fitness. Now I want to talk about training, we will just cover weapons training today.

I want to start with weapons as this is Tactical GUN Review and not gas powered generator review.com. So we need to do some weapons training and some immediate action drills. I realize on a public range some of this may be impossible, my suggestion is to do dry runs in your backyard with your teammates if you can’t do a live fire. Also let’s not forget safety “crawl, walk,run”. Crawl through it very slowly and with great detail, 2nd do your drill with no firing(walk) and 3. time to run, go for it.

Drills to improve your weapons proficiency: 1st access your most likely threats, consider crime and disaster scenario’s, they might be different for each one of us. We are all different, living in different areas and terrains, some city and some folk’s closest neighbor is 20 mins drive. Then make up some drills to practice in the event of this happening. Not sure what to do?? Get some military manuals and see what they say to counter ambush’s, near and far ambushes, counter sniper procedures, cover and concealment, air attack if that concerns you, indirect fire, explosive ordnance disposal or dismantling, also the Internet is full of “survivalist” stuff..

Now let’s cover crime first and that dark theatre parking lot I talked about in part 3. So you’ve got your 5 ass-bags out to get you and your family and you are wisely armed but your not Wyatt Earp and Doc’s not with you either, just a scared wife and 2 scared kids. It’s up to you. So using whatever you have at your disposal place 5 water filled milk jugs up on posts or whatever so they are about head high, now envision different ways this could play out. Figure on a struggle, now using hand to hand skills “knock a couple of them out” all the while scrambling to do a couple things at the same time. 1. Draw and fire accurately. 2. Move your family away and to cover or safety. 3. Escape with family intact. You’ll about crap when you see how bad you shoot while running backwards, with one hand because you’re shoving your family to safety with the other one. You might be surprised how bad a puncher you are, it’s not easy. If I’m away from the heavy bag for a couple weeks it’s like starting over at first. Fist fighting takes regular training just like anything else does. So go through scenarios like that. Give your bad guys some weapons too, when you knock your first guy out if your still “being rushed” and can’t quite draw take his crowbar and smash in the second ones “head” then try backing up, drawing and moving out with the family while giving the remaining 3 some new holes in their heads. Fire from your knees as if you’ve been knocked down, fire from the prone as if you were nearly knocked out, now sprint 100 yards away, do 25 push-ups and sprint back and conduct the drill again right away. It simulates adrenaline and the rigors of close combat, you will not shoot as well sucking air. Just some idea’s. You think it out, get creative and make the drills YOU need. I have an air-soft pistol I use to train for home defense scenarios, the “bump in the night” thing, just an idea for you.

Now onto more “combat” related weapons drills for disaster scenarios. Once you’ve established what your threats may be train, train, train. Now honestly your plan will survive contact with the enemy for about 2 freakin’ seconds. It never works the way you trained, even plan B is generally worthless after 10 seconds BUT that doesn’t mean training is a waste of time. To the contrary it forges basic skills and reactions that paired up with your good judgement will probably get you through when the time comes. I can’t explain it any better than that. I generally knew when we were about to get into it with Hadji, you’ll feel it and if your like most people who have trained then your reactions will come automatically and you’ll just know what to do. You will, it becomes very clear, very fast what needs to happen once the first shot is fired. Your reactions will vary depending on your mission. If your moving somewhere your families safety takes precedence, just fight while doing your evac, then catch up yourself. If you’re defending the perimeter of your camp or home, then defend it with a wall of accurate, interlocking fields of fire. If you need to be on the offensive, then be aggressive but be smart, use cover and concealment, hit where their weak, outflank, “cheat” anyway possible and win. Always “cheat”, take any advantage you can. Using your head though being important!! A phrase I heard from an old Nam vet buddy of mine. “Sometimes discretion is the better part of Valor”. People are counting on you, your no good to them dead over something stupid or of little importance.

Whatever you decide to do though mix it up, shoot after sprints and push-ups, rig pop up targets, design shoot/no shoot scenarios, just anything you can think up. I shoot on mostly “crappy days”. If it’s too cold, raining, windy, ice storms, nighttime, I don’t care, anything to make it more like the real thing. It would be nice if the bad guys stood perfectly still 10 yards away on 75 degree sunny days with a pleasant breeze and allowed you the time to draw, get a good stance with no cover whatsoever and shoot them slowly and at your convenience after a sip of lemonade but it just doesn’t work that way. When I come back from shooting I’m usually any number of the following: pouring sweat or freezing my ass off, covered in mud, drenched, dusty, scraped up and bleeding, bug bitten, sunburned and smiling like the day I met my chick. I love that stuff. Last summer I laid in the edge of a field all afternoon in waste high weeds to put 10 rounds on target at distances out to 700 yards, all afternoon I laid there, practicing range estimation using mil-dots and learning a new scope/rifle. I looked as if I jumped in a pool it was so hot and I was totally sweat soaked. I was eaten alive by ants and had about 6 ticks on me, it was great time though!!! The best stuff, I loved it. This time a year I can’t feel anything by the time I come in, numbed by cold, again this is what happens and you must train for it.

So there it is, there is SO much you can do. I didn’t even scratch the surface here today. If you have a good drill I’d love to hear about it! Think what your threats might be, come up with a plan, then a back up plan, then one more. Be creative and make these plans happen again and again and again. You will be safer in the long run because of it. Last, speaking of safety, crawl, walk, run, safety first.

As always thanks for reading and happy shooting.

By: Cary Kieffer


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Cary Kieffer

USMC Infantry/Combat Veteran/MUESOC/Sniper School - Med Retired LEO w/ 8yrs on job before Iraq wounds caught up with me.

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