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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.

New Surefire XC1 on My Glock 30s

Got another Surefire XC1 light, this time for the Glock 30s. I love this gun (really fits my hand) and have come to really like this light. I say the XC1 is the best pistol light for concealed carry, bar none.

Interesting note: the G30s frame’s picatinny rail has but one slot and it is very far forward. This puts the XC1 a few millimeters beyond the frame; needlessly.

Glock 30s with Surefire XC1

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.

Run Your EDC Weapon System

EDC weapon system

You carry concealed: pistol, holster, mag pouch, extra mags, weapon light. You carry every day without fail and train so that you can hit what you’re aiming at should the situation require it.

I maintain that this is not enough.

Your EDC rig is a complement of components that you HAVE to know how to run and manipulate given any circumstance and under all sorts of conditions. Ideally this means:

  • Knowing without a doubt—without thinking—what condition your weapon is in at every given moment should you have to draw and engage (Should never vary. Ever.)
  • Ability for immediate draw from concealment and first shot(s) on vital target in less than 2 seconds (less than 1 is better)
  • Ability to exchange magazines (reload) and fire accurately again in under 2 seconds
  • Doing all of this after your strong (or weak) arm has been incapacitated
  • Ability to manage your weapon light and place rounds on vital target under duress in darkness while maintaining tactical advantage
  • Ability to immediately manage any malfunction and get back into the fight in under 2 seconds: one-handed or two handed
  • Ability to hit small targets (eyes & nose) at 25 yards quickly (less than 2 seconds is best)
  • Ability to do all of this while running oblique towards or away from your target, while being shot at, while seeking or from behind cover
  • Knowing what your holster feels like when there is the slightest obstruction while re-holstering

The times referenced here are optimal. They’re what you should work toward. Regardless of the strict times, If you cannot do these things like a boss, you need more training from qualified instructors and heaps and gobs of practice. Continually.

Or what was it you thought you were doing, carrying a gun?

Harsh? Not near as harsh as what’ll happen if you’re ever required to depend on these skills you in no way possess.

If you’re in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, hit me up and I’ll try and direct you toward proper resources to set you on the right path. Happy to help!

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