Sunday, August 15, 2010

Round count.

How has the number of caps busted in a firearms training class become, in certain circles at least, a measure of its worth?
"Oh yeah, Joe Blastum's "Extreme Close Quarters Tactical Pistol Fighting II" is the best class I've ever taken; we shot over fifteen hundred rounds!"
...and you go look at the video linked in the AAR subforum at MallNinjaForums.net and think to yourself "He charged you $350 for that? I'd have let you guys dump a case and a half into the berm shooting from the hip for free if you let me keep the brass."

These days, when the cost of ammo can easily exceed the class fee, I'd want to make sure I was actually learning something worthwhile for all that dough.

19 comments:

Old NFO said...

Excellent point! 50 rounds and a learning experience is worth a LOT more than 500 rounds of BS shooting...

Anonymous said...

I took a high round count carbine course from Jeff Gonzales. He was a good intructor but my problem was keeping focus for every round.

I ended up shooting poorly because my concentration shifted from learning mode to survival mode at times. Had to shift into gut check once or twice to tell myself to do the drills correctly.

Consider this a personal failure and not Jeffs fault. Too old for the grinder anymore.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

That has actually led me away from certain schools - I don't want to shoot bunches, I want to shoot better...

Al T.

Eck! said...

What was that crap?

I learned in PA a long time ago from guys in the local hunting/fishing club. Not a lot of rounds and a whole lot of try this, try that. They got me to me shooting well
with .22 and shotgun. None professionals and all good shooters that enjoyed the sport.

That left me with one round on target beats a whole box scattered. A result
was my first firearm was a 12ga single.

Eck!

Mike said...

I have learned from some of the finest instructors in the country. IMHO round count is secondary to learning, and as Gerry ponted out: in a high count course you go from learning mode to survival mode. At that point, I think you're wasting ammo. I know some will say being able to do the drill under the stress of fatigue is training, but I disagree. As a Law Enforcement trainer for many years, I know students stop learning when they stop paying attention (regardless of the reason) and that is usually when accidents happen..

Tam said...

Eck!,

It all depends on what you are using the gun for.

Obviously, squirrel hunting, repelling boarders from your home at 3AM, and taking down a house in downtown Fallujah all require different tools and skill sets.

trackerk said...

" I know students stop learning when they stop paying attention (regardless of the reason) and that is usually when accidents happen.."

But that happens at different times for different people. What might fatigue me would just be getting you started. You can train so that your fatigue point is harder to reach. You can also train your response to fatigue. But you do have to train it.

As far as high round counts go, sometimes its good and sometimes bad just like everything else I guess. Clearly it was bad for the people in the video we're talking about. But a high round count where we work on a few fundamental skills is OK with me.

As an adult and male this is hard to do, but you also have to be willing to bow out of a class when you've had enough. I trained with some guys in Texas for 2 days, first light to dusk. There was an instructor for about every 5 students so we were closely monitored to lower the chances of an accident.

Near the end of the second day the instructors said that they didn't have to leave Texas for a couple more days and we could extend the class a third day (for free!). My brain was full and I was exhausted. The three of us that rode together made the collective decision that we had gotten all from the class we were likely to get. We declined to stay for the 3rd day.

Tam said...

trackerk,

Oh, I wouldn't say a high round count is necessarily bad, either. It's just that in some discussions I've seen, the number of rounds fired becomes some sort of yardstick for how good the class was.

Justthisguy said...

I get the opportunity to go shooting so rarely that I just about have to retrain myself starting from zero each time. Ammo is expensive, too, so I stop and think and observe after every shot, trying to figure out what I did wrong to make that hole in a place I thought I was not exactly pointing the piece at.

Eck! said...

Tam,

No argument. Different situations require appropriate tactics. Equipment available influences that.

But when it goes from tactical training to uncontrolled, it's broke.


Eck!

jumpthestack said...

Awerbuck mentions this in one of his tactical tips in SWAT mag.

http://swatmag.com/tips.htm
"Range Accuracy Vs. Battle Marksmanship"

Every round down range should have a purpose.

DirtCrashr said...

I don't have enough money to buy all the ammo a carbine class would require, so I'm gonna miss taking one. Maybe I can take a pistol class though.

D.W. Drang said...

I won't say that our current obsession with simple "metrics" is what's wrong with society today, but I will say that it is a distractor from some things that aren't easily measured, but more important.

Earl said...

Every round should count, the time spent training isn't about making lots of exciting noise, but really hitting the targets effectively. Often there are multiple targets, so you can't afford to miss one while trying to do a double tap - seconds count while the police are minutes away.

No one is as good as The Expendables, thankfully.

Boat Guy said...

One more confirmation of Bride's carbine matriculation with Clint Smith and our decision to return this year for pistol.
Bride came back with ammo last year. She shot a LOT, but not too much and the emphasis was ALWAYS on every round shot making a hit on your target.
Clintism; "Don't shoot fast, shoot good"

Bubblehead Les. said...

1500 rounds into a 30 round AR mag equals 50 AR mags. Figure the time spent reloading mags alone would reduce the actual trigger time sending lead down range, and the student is paying for the time. This seems to verify the saying "Quality vs. Quantity", don'tcha think?

Tam said...

I plan on arriving at my next carbine course with a bunch of mags already loaded...

Anonymous said...

"equals 50 AR mags" Uh, I have more than that.. Last carbine class I had to load mags once as the ammo I was using may have been steel. So, had to down load and get into my Federal.

With a bit of shopping, a case of .223 should be less than $400.00. Wal-Mart has Federal for 40 bucks per hundred. It sucks for accuracy (PMC much better), but goes bang and is available in easy to digest chunks.

Al T.

TriumphRat675 said...

I come down on the "less is more" side of the fence, at least where I'm concerned.

I took a ToddG class w/ about 1200 rounds expended in two days. By day two I was slipping back into bad habits because of exhaustion and actually performed worse than on day one.

No slam on ToddG - that's just too much shootin' for someone with wrist problems and a sissymary attitude towards training.