Condition: Yellow - responsible preparation, and fun, for an unpredictable world

Category Archives

35 Articles

Playing With a Pivotal Trainer

Last week I got to play with a couple of Pivotal Trainers from Triumph Systems while at Proactive Defense. The targets were 2-sided and I was shooting only Target Side #2.

The action was random and the timing was set to 5 seconds, so it was super easy, but having to monitor both targets made it interesting. This is just a small clip of what I got to do. These are cool tools with wireless remote control and adjustable settings. I can see how they could be of use in shoot-or-no-shoot and multi-target drills. The price of these guys is not too bad!

Aggressive Defense Drill

In this drill, the scenario is that you are force to defend yourself against two armed individuals where you have no cover and you cannot outrun them. In such a situation it is best to overwhelm your attackers with aggression.

You draw and advance in an aggressive manner while stopping your attackers’ ability to do harm. In this case, 2 rounds on target one and 1 round on target two. Here I’m starting at 20 yards and beginning engagement at about 15 yards.

Notice that when I run empty, I immediately change direction (get off the line/X) while performing the reload. This action should be an unconscious, automatic response to an empty gun. Train to make it so.

You’ll see that I miss a couple of shots in a couple of instances, due in this case to rushing the shot; going to trigger break before my sight picture is perfect (also, walking and shooting can be tricky). This is why it’s called training. The point is to get better!

Range Zero Drill

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

Here’s a drill I try and do every time I go to the practical range. It assumes a close-quarters confrontation that suddenly turns deadly and you’re forced to defend yourself. This is a drill for when a close-up confrontation quickly turns deadly and you are forced to respond. Shot placement is basically the same as for a Mozambique drill, with 2 to the body and one to the face.

As is evident here, I was having a bit of trouble clearing my shirt this morning. Stuff happens; you power through it and complete your objective.

Notice that on the last one, my pistol ran empty after only 2 shots, so I immediately changed my movement direction while performing a reload and finishing with the last shot. That habit of moving off your X or off of your movement line is vital and should be an unconscious, automatic response to an empty chamber.

Left-Hand-Only Drills Day

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

I spent almost 2 hours this morning working nothing but left-hand-only drills at the range. Never touched my pistol with my right hand for drawing, shooting, magazine exchanges, or re-holstering. Trying to gain more skill and accuracy with my left-hand shooting, but want to ensure my manipulations are good to go, too.

You’ll notice that my draw puts the pistol upside down in my hand, so I have to press it against my thigh and reorient my grip. Same for re-holstering. This position for the grip change is safe and muzzle is always pointed at the ground.

Here I’m shooting 8″ steel at 12 yards.

X Fire Pistol Drill – Winter Training

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

It’s cold now, so time to train in winter clothing to ensure EDC drawing and manipulations are good to go.

One of today’s range drills is one I first saw Pat McNamara doing. He calls it “Blaze X,” but since I’m not blazing as well as he, I call this one “X Fire.” 5 cones setup in a box with a center cone. Center cone is 10 yards from the 10″ steel plate. Shoot right-side positions with right hand, left-side positions with left hand, center position with both hands.

This was about my 12th run through the drill today. I had been doing pretty well and got cocky for this run, so it’s a bit jacked up—just in time for the camera! Second shot was a hard primer, so did a tap/rack drill and rushed the next shot. First lefty shot I was rushing and had to take 3 stabs at it. That’s what I get for getting cocky! The point is to get better.

25-Yard Heart-Rate Drill on 7″ Steel

Any good shooter can take their time and get 100% accuracy, but this is exploring boundaries. With this drill I’m working to get fast, accurate shots while moving dynamically between them and while my heart rate is climbing with each shot. My six misses (!) in this drill are testament to the difficulty of managing fatigue and speed at the edge of my current ability. The point is to push boundaries and improve with time.

7″ steel plate from 25 yards.

– Draw from concealment while moving off the X and put 1 round on the 7″ plate,
– Run around the obstacle and put another round on the 7″ plate,
– Repeat until magazine runs dry,
– Perform a speed reload while moving away, scan an assess, re-holster.

You can do a 1-mag (15 shots) or 2-mag (30 shots) drill. It’s important to ignore fatigue and any frustration from misses and continue no matter what, until you’re empty.

Breaktime

Spent the morning working move-draw-shoot drills from concealment today. At 15 yards I’m averaging 1.34 seconds for consistent half-A-zone hits. At 10 yards, I’m hovering around 1.15 seconds. Had a couple at 1.07 today (w/o the move off the X).

I carry my Glock 19 as deep as my holster will go, so I really have to horse the gun out of my pants with little more than thumb and pinky. If I carried with the full grip exposed above my belt I’d want my times to be a bit faster. As it is I’m pretty happy with these times from concealment.

gun, holster, ammo, timer

Simple 25-Yard Concealed-Carry Drill

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

6×12 steel target at 25 yards. Run from concealment. I like to repeat a lot of 25-yard+ drills as they are a good indication of my accuracy. At this range, the little A-zone steel plate looks like a grain of rice. After scanning and assessing, I typically do an administrative reload, as shown here, to ensure my gun is fully charged.

Ha, as you can see from the awful sweat stains, I had been training a while before doing this video!

Escape Drill #2

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments
Escape Drill #2

I tend to use escape drills often because it’s likely that my first response to real danger will be to try and get away. When/if I discover I cannot escape because of pursuit and/or being under fire, I may have to stop the threat from cover and/or while moving.

The Drill

  • At the beep, run away from two bad guys toward cover
  • Draw from concealment and defend with two rounds on each while standing behind small/thin cover
  • Gun runs empty
  • Exchange magazines while running to better cover and defend against a third bad guy you didn’t see earlier

My time here was 11:38.