Thursday, January 07, 2010

Trying new stuff...

One thing for which I've been using my AR carbine blue gun is experimenting with the forward support hand hold that has emerged from 3-gun competitions. It does indeed seem to allow for a steadier front sight while moving. This differs from the Modern Technique/Gunsite/Pat Rogers school where the support hand is further aft, perhaps even gripping the mag well.

If you look at the photo of the guys doing VBSS training in the Force Recon article at Wikipedia, you'll notice that the VFG's on their carbines are way aft; as close to the mag well as you can get it without fouling mag changes. In the footage in the alleged SFOD-Delta video here, note that most of the guys have their VFGs way out at the far end, a la the VFG on Todd Jarrett's three-gun carbine. (If you are using a VFG, which is totally optional and not there to look cool, and you have it somewhere in the middle of the handguards where it interferes with moving your support hand around on the weapon, you're doing it wrong.)

A lot of newer material, such as the Magpul training stuff I've seen and the book Green Eyes and Black Rifles, teach the forward hold. I've been airgunning it steadily for a couple weeks now, and need to get out and start trying it side-by-side with what I have been doing, which was parking my support hand on the magwell. I need to get a rimfire adaptor for my carbine, because I know where there are some plate racks and the only way to find out how well this works for shooting on the move is to, well, actually go shoot on the move.


TheRock said...

Having trained with both Pat Rogers and with Magpul; I feel the Magpul technique works better.

However, if you are my age (and I'm pretty sure we are pretty close in that regard Tam) you are probably so use to the old 'marksmanship' hold that it takes LOTS of practice to get used to holding the rifle a different way.

Extra points if you can do it with a Garand.

Weer'd Beard said...

"I need to get a rimfire adaptor for my carbine"

Or buy the S&W M&P15-22. I have SUCH lust for this gun, but Mass law forcing me to accept a pinned m4 stock is a deal breaker, given that the M4 stock is not the most comfy shooting stock out there, and the gun would have to be set up to fit only me...and I don't intend to be the only user of such a great training tool.

Plus if you get a dedicated, and inexpensive .22 carbine if you don't have to worry if you don't feel like cleaning it right after a range trip, and your SHTF carbine will always be ready to eat the good social candy!

Anonymous said...

Just an observation. In the process of dialing-up, dialing-down, it's not just what comes out of the hole in the barrel that's supposed to be dangerous to your enemy. At smell their breath distance, your carbine gives you many strike options.

You move your body, tools and whatever load you're carrying as a balanced whole. So you carry yourself a bit differently depending on where you are and distances to possible threats.

Your brain is the weapon, all else are tools.

Boat Guy said...

Haven't ever used a VFG and probably won't at this stage of the game. The combination VFG/bipod seems to have some promise, but even at this "stage of maturity" it seems to me that muscle and bone with technique should provide sufficient stability. The rearward grip does have one advantage in keeping your hands/arms in closer.
It really comes down to "What's the object of the exercise?" Are you training for matches? Are you really gonna be part of a stack kickin doors? Most of us will be alone and on the defensive if/when we engage, yeah you need to know how to clear a space, but knowing how to avoid the requirement to do so is at least as valuable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - something new to mull over.

Erich Martell
Albuquerque, NM

Joseph said...

Has anyone tried an HFG? If anything, you could get your Sten fantasy fix.

Anonymous said...

I was taught (DTI, Trident Concepts) the far forward hand position. It's easier to track moving targets, to keep your nose over your toes and to protect the rifle from gun grabs. I have tried the rear grip rifle position and it may help in locking the rifle in place it does seem to tie me up when I want to shoot and move. I'm not a 3 Gun shooter but do shoot tactical rifle matches at SSCC when they have them for practice.

Mileage and result may vary.


Frank W. James said...

Being an old guy, I'm always slow on the uptake, but my view on positioning the VFG thinks some of this is dependent upon the length of your arms. Silly notion, I know, but I've been aware of this size thing most of my life.

Years ago (and I mean YEARS ago) we did this fully extended arm thing and I was glad to ditch it because fatigue soon became a factor for me. Simply put bending the elbow on the support arm (for me) is less tiring, but then I still think the 'Weaver' stance is the way you are supposed to shoot a Magnum caliber full-load revolver.

I also found when hunting hogs from a vehicle (door gunner position) the shorter reach location (for me) was more 'natural' and hence quicker.

Just my 2 cents...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Chris said...

What's a blue gun, Tam?

Is it a plastic practice gun?

Tam said...

"Is it a plastic practice gun?"

Yes; in this case one from Ring's.

I can leave it lying about and pick it up to try something out without having to worry about clearing it or setting the neighbor on fire.

jeff said...

What Frank said about arm length. I have long monkey arms, the close in magwell grip doesn't work for me at all. I'm still working out what VFG I might want and where I want to put it. I'm thinking some running around in the desert shooting at stuff may be called for.

Anonymous said...

I'm no expert (I tend towards milsurp instead of EBR) I notice in your picture from Todd's that you're grip would seem to natually favor the new not-quite-vertical grips. Didn't you pick one of those up? A comparison of position and style of grip would be interesting.

Tam said...

I'm not currently using a VFG; the MGI QCB upper on my housegun has the barrel latch mechanism right where I'd put the foregrip if I had one on the gun, and so for close-range stuff and SOTM, I've just been using the magwell.

In the picture you linked, we were shooting at an 8"-12" gong at ~100 yards, and hence I was holding it differently than I would if I was shooting targets 7-10 yards away while coming down a staircase, for instance. (Plus, I didn't want to chance missing any shots and embarrassing myself further in front of my fellow gunbloggers.)

Noob said...

A noob's late response to older post here..

And how will you make absolutely, positively, definitely, 100% sure that the weapon used for a retention drill will have an inert round in it, and not a live one?

As a noob, I was taught that the proper procedure for handling firearms when not in an emergency is
a) pick up, finger off the trigger, aim at a 'safe' place
b) take out magazine
c) check for round in chamber

if there is no round in the chamber:
d) do whatever you wanted with the firearm
So, I hope that if I stick with this sort of procedure I won't end up shooting anyone while practicing drawing, dry-firing, or anything else involving inert ammo.

Captain Tightpants said...

Tam, might want to check out Magpul's new "not vertical foregrip" - I'm ordering one to test myself and see if this makes a difference as well with the far forward game.

Fred said...

I put one of Magpul's new AFGs (Angled ForeGrip) on my carbine a few weeks ago. I like it, but it's deffinatly not for everyone.

Rick R. said...


Better go buy the spackle now.


Seriously, if you're using "the Real Deal" for non-firing gun handling drills, check it once, twice, thrice. If, after that, you wish to be extra paranoid, be my guest.

Look at training barrels as well.

Has them for many popular pistols, and I understand there an equivalent for AR15s. the idea is that these WILL NOT chamber a round, even if you slap a loaded magazine in place and work the action -- but they work in YOUR gun, so it's configured teh way you are going to use it.

Tam said...

"So, I hope that if I stick with this sort of procedure I won't end up shooting anyone while practicing drawing, dry-firing, or anything else involving inert ammo."

Even if you're really really sure it's empty, the four rules still apply.

Sure, I dry-fire, but I do it n the basement with a brick wall as a backstop.

I used to be a lot more casual, but I've been present for too many ND's to not be a little anal about this stuff nowadays.