Friday, August 29, 2014

Training: Shoot like SWAT (Part 2 of 2)

8. Integrate one-handed firing of a handgun. Include dominant and support hand, plus drawing, reloading and stoppage clearing. Many law enforcement shootings occur with one hand, and using a single hand is often to your tactical benefit (based on the situation.) Even if you are not injured, a traditional two-handed grip may be impractical or even dangerous if it means giving up too much cover or concealment. Primarily for safety reasons, one-handed skills training is best executed in small groups. Because officers will be presenting and handling their weapons in untraditional and perhaps unfamiliar ways, muzzle awareness is critically important.
9. Integrate close-quarter structure searching and clearing, plus indoor combat tactics. When a family comes home to find their back door kicked in, they call the police. Does the call go to the SWAT team? Of course not–it goes to the nearest officers on patrol. Either alone or with a partner, every single officer needs to know how to perform basic close-quarter techniques like tactical entry, hallway navigation and room clearing. They need to know things like which way a door swings if you can see the hinges (toward you), and they need to know things like: don’t expose body parts around corners, don’t rub you back along the wall as you move and don’t hang out in doorways. A live-fire ballistic shoothouse is the ultimate training tool for these situations. It provides a structure for all the tactical movement and navigation training, plus it escalates the stress and realism of the training by incorporating threat engagement with actual duty weapons. It’s one thing to fire a gun in a nice straight line out on the qualification range. It is another thing entirely when you are inside a building trying to be aware of 360 degree environment.

10. Emphasize dim- or no light situations as much as daylight training. Because 70% or more of law enforcement shootings occur under reduced or diminishing light conditions, significant training with your duty illumination tools is a must. Target identification and threat recognition are critical parts of this training as well. Keep in mind that flashlights are needed in the daytime just as much as at night, because you never know where you may end up. The illumination tools you carry will have a significant impact on how you handle your weapon, and ultimately on how you fight, so you must be extremely comfortable using them under a wide variety of tactical situations. Many departments have adopted the use of lasers, so your training must include the proper use of these tools as well. If you already have a shoothouse that can be darkened, you have an ideal venue for all kinds of low-light training. An indoor range also serves this purpose well. If you don’t have access to either of these facilities, use your outdoor range.
11. Integrate “moving then shooting” and “moving while shooting” techniques. If you maintain a picture-perfect stance during a gunfight, you are not doing it correctly. If you are not moving to create distance, you should be moving to cover. The ability to shoot effectively while incorporating lots of movement gives you a dramatic tactical advantage. It also increases your chances of survival and decreases the chance of hitting something you don’t want to hit. Remember, when shooting while moving you should move no faster than you can hit, see and in some cases, hear. Effective movement techniques can be taught with just about any target equipment. Running man targets and automated turning targets can make the experience more realistic and intense by allowing the trainer to control the scenario and respond to the trainee’s actions.
12. Integrate engagement techniques for moving targets, both laterally and charging. Training on moving targets has become mandatory for law enforcement agencies across the country, and rightfully so. When was the last time you were in a violent confrontation with someone who just stood still? Because running seems to be a part of most gunfights, the ability to fire safely and accurately at moving threats can be one of an officer’s greatest assets. It is important to train for both lateral threat movement and charging movement because each requires a specific skill set and response from the trainee. Some portable moving target systems are very effective and flexible because they can be configured for both types of threat movement (lateral and charging). A heavier-duty track-mounted system can be equipped with a steel target plate to enhance muscle memory through the immediate positive feedback of clanging steel.

You’ll never have a multi-million dollar ammo budget and 8 hour range days, but there are alternatives for us. First and foremost, seek out a good school and take tactical pistol, rifle, and shotgun classes. Look for classes that are designed to help you win a gunfight. Once you take the classes, then you will have the skill set that you can take home to practice. While a video is no substitute for professional instruction, if you cannot afford classes, video is an option. Second, develop a dry fire routine based upon the core skills you learned from your class or DVDs. Focus on key skills like drawing from concealment, weapon transitions, malfunction clearing, magazine changes, and positional shooting. If you can afford it, buy Airsoft replicas of your guns so you can work on shooting and moving, multiple targets, and force-on-force drills. The final, most important step is to shoot competitively. Monthly competitions will build your gun handling skills and accuracy under the stress of time and the competitive nature of the event. Tactical pistol matches are a good start, but Three-gun matches are where you get to shoot rifle, pistol, and/or shotgun in the same stage. This way you get to do live fire once a month with all three guns in stages and scenarios that someone else creates. Shooting and moving, weapon transitions, shooting from cover, shooting in and around vehicles are some of the benefits along with mastering the basic core skills. Don’t get caught up in “gaming” the match, instead focus on using the tactics you learned in your gun fighting courses. Use cover, draw from concealment, and throw some dummy rounds in some mags. It will slow your times down, but will pay off by ingraining good habits. During and after the match, identify weak skills to work on during the daily dry fire sessions until the next match. If you don’t have local matches, you can usually find the stages online, and set up your own match on your farm/range or even in your backyard for an Airsoft match. Time: 1 hour per week (10 min. per day of dry fire/Airsoft) Our local three gun match usually last about 3 hours, but since it is on a monthly basis and is so much fun, I don’t factor that as training time. Cost: $0 for dry fire. $15 dollar entry fee for our three gun match, plus your ammo costs. Our local matches usually require less than 50 rounds of pistol and rifle, and less than 25 of shotgun (birdshot). We also have a .22 division where cheapskates, like myself, shoot conversion kits to save on ammo costs.

I hope this all helps Burn.


Yes my friend I got a lot out of this and I hope you did too. We need to tailor our training to our needs and the most likely of scenarios we will face out there.

Semper Paratus
Check 6