Thursday, February 16, 2017

Shooting From The Ground Up

I was at the range the other day. I go through a workout that I’ve created for myself that involves several drills. I change up the drills from time to time for variety and for training in many different positions and situations. For me it is more fun too.
Most people look at me strange when I train. The typical face the paper target and shoot is what most people do. For defense, I believe you will never be called upon to shoot like that. So why do we always train that way?
I’d like to talk about shooting from the ground.
Why the ground, you say? There are several reasons you may have to shoot from the ground. Often down is where the cover is. You could be knocked down by a mob of people fleeing. During an ambush you may go to ground. There are many ways for you end up there.
If you can at your shooting range, try it some time. Lots of thing change from that perspective. To train with this in mind there are a few ideas for you to consider.
Drawing from the holster on the Ground
Reloading on the ground
Dry firing from the Ground
Live Firing from the ground (If possible)
Clearing Malfunctions from the ground
One Handed / Weak handed engagements
The above should be practiced with each position.
Traditional Prone
Like standing and kneeling, firearm training on the ground has a variety of different techniques and ideas. If you are on the on the ground to use cover then you are best served on your stomach, in a traditional prone position. This allows you to rest your elbows on the ground and steady your shot. Being on your belly makes it possible to hide the majority of your body, while retaining a comfortable position. This position is easy to roll from if necessary, and very easy to get up from.
Back to Ground
Most likely this is the position you will find yourself if knocked down. Rolling to your back presents you with the widest field of view of all positions. You can engage easily to your left and right, and directly in front of you. This position also allows an easy draw, reload, and fix malfunctions. In this position your back is to the ground and you are doing a sit-up to lift your back off the ground and take a shot. This position allows you to react rapidly and engage targets in front and to the sides.
Side Left or Right
If knocked down on your side in an engagement I suggest rolling to back or stomach if possible. However, some situations may make laying in a sideways position necessary to maximize cover and concealment. Depending on which side you’re dominant and which side you’re laying on, drawing and reloading can be difficult. Your legs should not be stacked on top of each. They should be slightly kicked outwards to the front and rear. This allows you to remain a stable platform for firing your weapon.
Getting Up
It’s great that you can fight from the ground, but it’s important you take the time to learn to get back up. Getting up while holding a firearm in a safe and effective manner can be difficult. By safe I mean following the four rules as much as possible. This includes finger off the trigger, and avoiding pointing the weapon at yourself and other innocent people.
Being effective while standing means keeping your weapon and your eyes orientated towards the bad guy. At the same time you want to move rapidly and get to your feet and to cover as fast as possible.
Throughout these drills, your goal should be to keep the weapon pointed at a target, with your eyes on the target. When practicing this a simple paper target is an excellent frame of reference to remind yourself to maintain visual on the target. These can actually be good drills to put into a workout, the up and down nature makes them breathtaking when done for speed. At the same time, keep your weapon pointed down range while rushing up.
Traditional prone
Lift yourself up to your knees. Keep the weapon pointed down range with one hand, as the other helps you get up. Bring one of your knees up and put yourself into a kneeling position. Reassess the threat from the kneeling if you have cover. If not, come completely to your feet and find cover.
On Your Back
Do a forward rock or a full sit up. Place your non-dominant hand on the ground behind you. Shoot your non-dominant leg behind and under you and push up with dominant leg until you can kneel. Then move to a standing position while assuming full control of your weapon with both hands.
On Your Sides?
I suggest rolling your stomach or back and getting up from there.
Ground Fighting Ground fighting with a gun can suck. You lose a lot of maneuverability. However, it can happen, more so if you are knocked to the ground during an engagement. You want at least some familiarity with these positions before you find yourself on the wrong side of gravity. Put this into your workout and you’ll be more versatile. Plus it’s fun!
Semper Paratus
Check 6