Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Train like you fight?

How come when you attend a high-level handgun course, half everybody is using full-size pistols in offset holsters with double and triple mag carriers, but when they leave, all that crap goes back in the range bag and they revert to a Kel-Tec in the pocket of their khakis or a J-frame in their purse?

Similarly, if you take a shotgun or carbine course, the students are slathered in MOLLE-encrusted plate carriers and dump pouches like they're getting ready to retake Fallujah, rather than wearing a bathrobe and slippers, or pyjamas and bare feet, like they would be if they were repelling boarders from the bedroom at 0300 hours.

ToddG ponders on this topic as well...


Anonymous said...

Depends on what classes you go to as some instructors encourage it, have no comment or actively discourage it. However for many people gun skul is for playing dress up.

My favorite are the "operators" in their gloves, dump bags, thigh rigs and Camelbacks. They are 25 yards aways from water and yet they have a Camelback on.

Carbine class=the flypaper for the common Mall Ninja. :-)

Shootin' Buddy

Retardo said...

That's what I told them when they threw me out of the club for running around the range nekkid without my glasses.

You can't reason with some people.

Caleb said...

Hey, maybe some of those guys are taking the course to become better USPSA shooters and that's their competition gear!


Anonymous said...

I took my first DTI course with a Sig 239 and the rest of the courses with John using a G19 using a FIST IWB holster.

Same G19 set up at Rangemaster, Trident Concepts, Metro Firearms and MidWinter Tactical.

I do admit using a low vis chest rig for one course but you were to have 5 loaded mags at the start of every drill. After two days I knew I would never carry this way again.


Joanna said...

Jam jams might provide a little more realism than is stricly necessary. There would inevitably be the big fat hairy guy who insists he sleeps solely in the nude.

But yeah, for a handgun course, I would bring the gun I shoot with. If I could afford it. And if I had a gun. *broke-ass facepalm*

Flight-ER-Doc said...

When my wife and I go to gun schools, we usually use our CCW gear. We'll take extra mags and whatnot in the range bag but we do try and train as we fight.

BTW, I usually sleep in gym shorts or sweats, and keep a pair of shoes at the bed so I won't be repelling mutants nekkid ;)

Caleb said...

Joanna, do you need a gun? I have spares.

ZerCool said...

Last year at one of our club IDPA matches, a guy showed up (walk-ons are welcomed) curious about how it all worked and wanted to shoot the match with his S&W Bodyguard.

The general reaction was mostly disbelief. No speed strips, no speed loaders, just a handful of cartridges in his pocket.

He ended up on my squad and I paid attnetion... He was slow and methodical and his times were about triple anyone else's ... but by gum, he was using his daily carry gun, instead of a race-gunned 1911 or tupperware.

I have to respect that. I intend to try a match with my 642 this year, just to see how slow I really am.

Bram said...

Ha! Next time I take the carbine to the range, I shoot barefoot with a spare mag shoved down my boxers.

Anonymous said...

"wearing a bathrobe and slippers, or pyjamas and bare feet,"

The AFHF class this October just got real interesting...

staghounds said...

We all need Kato!

I don't think that you are woman enough to show up on the line in pajamas, a bathrobe, and fuzzy slippers.

I certainly am not.

But I agree with your point and see it illustrated constantly.

Unknown said...

Live and let larf. What next, ridicule SASS playas?

DaveFla said...

All right then. But if anyone takes a picture of me wearing Michigan pajamas and Crocs whilst I groggily attempt to unfold the ATI stock on the Win 1200, then camera breakage is not my fault!

Anonymous said...

"Live and let larf. What next, ridicule SASS playas?"

BTDT. They don't have glass jaws though like the mall ninjas.

I ref'd a couple of SASS stages and a vocal revolt broke out when I was calling their weapons weapons. They all cried like babies but I asked them what "SAA" meant as I met with silence.

No further objections from the peanut gallery transpired.

Dress how you want on the range or off, but remember it reflects on you and people get to comment.


Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

" running around the range nekkid without my glasses.

There's your problem, not putting the glasses on. All of us blind as a bat eyeglass wearers know that before you reach for the bedside gun, you reach for the glasses so you can see WTF is happening.

the Nekkid part...that's just to distract the goblin long enough to get a sight picture. That's one thing I do not need to practice, and frankly unless you are female and have the agent that handles lingerie modeling on speed dial, I'd prefer no one else practices at the range either.

If the above is true, call me, I have a private range.

Anonymous said...

Good point. As a general rule, I think people spend much more time thinking about "worst case" vs. "most likely case". The former leads to the SWAT rigs that you describe: "ZOMG! What will I do if there's a nuclear war on the morning of Zombie Day AND a pack of Hell's Angels on PCP shows up on my doorstep???"

The most likely case is rather more along the lines of, "Some stoner tries to rob me" or "some nutjob tries to break into my car or house". In such a case, while it would be (ahem) handy to have an MP-5, a small pistol would probably work well enough.

The gentleman described by ZerCool has the right idea.

Weer'd Beard said...

Won't distract the goblin or anybody else at all. Remember, Gunnies are gunnies because we are sans man-meat and we need to compensate!

TheRock said...

Eh, I wear my bat belt when I'm at a carbine class, which is pretty much all I've done in the last couple of years.

An actual concealed carry focused class would be the cat's pajamas to take.

Anonymous said...

From Joe in PNG:

I wonder what the Brady Freudians would make of the fact that my main CCW pistol is a Baby Browning .25?

Anyway, my home range has hosted a few "BUG" matches- ie, featuring the Back Up Gun. A good idea.

wv- deniz: the bloke what fixez yer teefz

atlharp said...

I am the anomaly in that I typically shoot matches in clothes that are not really competition clothes (no tight Under Armour- Jeans, T-Shirt, Cigar). Overall, I still pull up into the teens and make the top 5 in accuracy. In fact, my carry gun shoots better than my Competition gun. I agree, when I shoot a class I am wearing my carry stuff.

The Raving Prophet said...

If you'd get REALLY realistic, you'd only be shooting off a box of ammo in one of these classes, not a thousand rounds.

Let's face it, organized training is still a compromise- the situations you practice there are not likely to be the situation in which you find yourself. Heck, if we'd train for what we're most likely to face, we'd just go about our day normally and never draw the sidearm with the intention of adding to someone's lead intake.

It's possible to get too tactical and ridiculous. It's also possible to get too dismissive and curmudgeonly.

Robert McDonald said...

Sadly, my gun school cash fund has been extremely limited so I've only taken an NRA course that was very very very very basic. More good information than anything, but anyway...

I do a lot of training on my own improvised range at home. I use what I carry, and where what every I was going to wear that day. Certainly adds a bit of challenge on the draw if nothing else.

As for carbine training...well...I'm not going to lie, I like to get tacticooled up from time to time, but I do more shooting just running around in jeans and t-shirts.

Grey Mann said...

Some people are just Tacti-Tools.

Hecate said...

I recall hearing of a woman who shot an IDPA match in her business suit, hose, and heels. That's more nerve than I have.

Too often, training classes don't let you train the way you normally carry, insisting on strong-side OWB holsters worn at 3:00 when you normally appendix-carry IWB. We end up doing the best we can with what they allow.

Geodkyt said...

If I went to a carbine class for actual, ya know, learning?

I would have my carbine and a bag slung over my shoulder to carry mags at my left hip. 'Cause that's the MOST I would have at home.

Now, if I'm taking a class to have fun pretending it's Katrina Zombie Day Neighborhood Patrol Day? I'd dig a set of (basically) USGI ALICE webbing out of the footlocker in the garage and load the buttpack like I was a 23 year old squad leader in the field again. Including maps, chow, water proofed spare socks and t-shirt, poncho liner, and toilet paper and a Tom Clancy novel in (seperate) zip lock baggies. {chuckle}

Cause if you're gonna have a circus, might as well bring ALL the clowns. (Hell, I've got a UHF Sabre I can hang on there in lieu of the PRC126 I don't own. . . ) Why be half-assed if you can be an asshole?

zeeke42 said...

I choose gear based on the class. If it's a pure shooting class, I run my IDPA/USPSA gear. If it's a more defense focused class, like ECQC, I run my carry gear.

In any case, they're pretty similar. Comp gear is an M&P 9 Pro in kydex OWB under a jacket/vest. Carry gear is an M&P 9 compact in a kydex/leather IWB under an untucked shirt.

theirritablearchitect said...

I don't own a bath robe, so I guess the shotgun course will have to be...adjusted for my usual attire in the boudoir.

Now that I think about it, I'm not looking forward to taking a bunch of hot brass on bare skin, so I might make a switch to complete PJ's or something for bed.

The Jack said...

Tacticool is "cool", and as the first post said there's the dressup factor.

Cowboy action shooters dress up like cowboys afterall...

But yeah, if your training is for... training, dress and carry what you'll actually use.

Now, dump pouches and extra mags are handy simply so you don't have to keep pausing to reload 'em

Weer'd Beard said...

Somebody should show up to a defensive class with a rape whistle and a cell phone to dial 911!

That's really all you need!

jimbob86 said...

That's why I liked the IDPA mini-matches they used to run locally here- short stages that took no more than 24 rounds (18, usually), so you could walk in off the street, change magazines in the ready room (no sense in sending dallar-a-pop Personal Defense Ammo down range to slay paper BGs!), get a safety briefing, fill out a score sheet, put yer eye and earproon and shoot the match.

Alas, it was too good to last.... the range did not sell enough ammo to justify closing 1/2 the bays for 3 hours on Tuesday nights....

Anonymous said...

Here is the flip side, though.

Are instructors doing what they can to encourage realistic training, to include using little guns people are actually likely to have on 'em?

Think they're going to be cool with you "slowing down" the drills with a pocket holstered J-frame revolver and a couple of speedloaders?

IMHO the answer is dedicated snubby/mouse gun classes. Different tactics, different course of fire. TEACH people how to optimize pocket draw and make five shots count. Etc.

And the sooner the industry gets on this the better.

Anonymous said...

To continue my point for a sec -- I've noticed lately that some instructors are starting to offer "Defensive Folding Knife" classes that teach folks some basic knife fighting doctrine as adapted to the smallish, innocuous-looking folders we are most likely to ACTUALLY HAVE ON US. This is a wonderful development and is just the kind of thing we need.

Now where are the snubby revolver classes?

Fred said...

Because it's all about looking good. Der.

As for the pistols, I can only OC here, so I do rock the full sizes anyway.

Mad Saint Jack said...

I predict a MOLLE covered bathrobe at the next SHOT Show.

Anonymous said...

Outbreak Omega III zombie shootthis weekend at Deltone Gun Club in Saint Cloud Minnesota this weekend. You should see some of the outfits and rigs these people carry. From sharpened entrenching tools to OMG!

Stranger said...

Well, what I can get away with on the range is not too practical in my real life.

The 4" Smith 57 in a cop style break front with four speed loaders I prefer does not go over well in the boardroom. And it's uncomfortable in those overpadded chairs. Especially when the chair drones on and on, like a preacher with his sermon stuck on continuous.

If I wear a coat, I can usually get away with a 1911 and a couple of extra clips. When I have no excuse to wear a coat the pistol must become pocketable or small enough to hide behind a fake cell phone case.

The Remington 51 swings both ways, and I can let enough of my shirt hang over the butt to get away with IWB. The PPK in Micheal's ( "Executive" works well either way. And there are more.

But there are a lot of differences in playing Rambo and carrying on the street. And between combat range time, and hunting down a burglar in your building.


Anonymous said...

When Colorado became a "shall issue" state back in 2003, one of my co-workers came to me for advice on buying her first handgun. (Well, she went to another co-worker first, who came to me).

After letting her try several of mine, she purchased a Ruger SP-101 (with 3" barrel, and added Hogue grips, a configuration that became popular with several of my co-workers). She also bought some Bianchi Speed Strips.

When she was taking her CCW class, she was told that she could not use her revolver for the qualification. One of the stages involved shooting strings of 6 shots, and then re-loading. The SP-101 holds five rounds.

So I let her borrow my Walther P-5. For some reason, the instructor would not let her use that (possibly because I had only two magazines, which didn't fit with their tacti-cool training scenario?). The instructor ended up making her use one of his 1911s for her qualification.

She later told me that she felt like they didn't want women in the class.

Mark said...

Regarding the Camel-Bak and the chest harness at a carbine class, the hydration carier lets you stay out on the relay longer, i.e. you get in more repetition of whatever drill you are running because you don't have to keep running back to your cooler to hydrate.
Same with the chest harness, you have more magazines on you to continue the training you are paying for.
Now, the part that you have to decide for yourself is how you use such equipment.
For example, if your scenario is that of a homeowner repelling boarders, where you will have the carbine and a maybe one extra mag in a back pocket, train that way. Use the chest harness to keep that back pocket full.

MrWolf. said...

I recommend night shoots, if we are talking 'most likely to happen'.

In which case, a Surefire with one of Mr. Malkoff's blinding 'Road To Damascus' LED's will be of more value than any amount of spare mags.

Best wishes.

TW said...

OK, that does it. I'm sewing extra mag pouches into my Garanimals.

Julie said...

Hey I've shot a IPSC match in business skirt suit, stockings & heels ... it was bloody uncomfortable i can tell you. (Picking up brass in a short skirt is an experience i wish never to repeat ... although I'm not sure the guys felt the same way).

global village idiot said...

Here's a couple drills you'll never get at the schools but which probably passes as close to "train as you fight" as you can get.

-One day, clear and safe your "house gun," whatever it is, set your alarm clock and take a nap. When the alarm goes off, get out of bed, present your gun as though it were loaded, then dial up a friend you mentally decided on calling while keeping the gun presented and/or trained on a target. This replicates getting wakened by an intruder, bringing your firearm to bear and dialing 911 all at the same time.

-Place a dining room chair against a wall so it's facing sideways and your strong arm is up against the wall, then figure out how to draw your sidearm. You've just replicated drawing from a booth with a friend/family member sitting next to you. For extra credit (if you have daughters), sit a second dining room chair next to yours and prop one of your daughter's HUGE stuffed animals on it (admit it - she's got one). This is the unhappy yet inevitable likelihood of your being scrunched in the "inside" seat at said booth. Now try to draw your sidearm WITHOUT flagging Teddy.

-If you have a recliner, try to draw your sidearm from it. It's no easier drawing while in the driver's seat of your car. The ideal holster for driving is the M7 military chest holster but I rather doubt many people use it thus.


Anonymous said...

I notice all the posters here assume none of us actually DO sleep wearing a full chest rig, curled up around our rifles.

The zombie clowns will never get me.

staghounds said...

Julie, that's because you weren't using a TACTICAL skirt!

Think of it, 18 denier black cordura with drop down knee guards, Molle attachment points, and special ruching to conceal extra magazine / brass pickup pouches.

Oh no, I just used ruching.

And Anonymous, when he wouldn't let her use the Walther I was remembering that literacy test joke.

This is the funniest bunch of clever people's comments I've read in a while. And full of product ideas!

Quick, Tam, call your chums at ¡BlåckhàwK! with these ideas. The Co-worker and Boardroom specials, brass pick-up skirt, tactical garanimals, crordura Molle bathrobe... you'll get free training for life!

Grey Mann said...


Mikee said...

When my kids were toddlers, and left their hard plastic toys scattered around the living room floor like caltrops from Happy Meals, I became adept at moving through the house barefooted & half-asleep & in the dark without stepping on them. That's realistic training.

When my kids were in elementary school, they would drop their school backpacks somewhere between the front door and their bedrooms, making natural obstacle courses out of the house that changed patterns nightly. Putting the cat out without tripping became second nature to me. That's realistic training.

When my kids were teens, my pajamas had to change from boxers and t-shirts to include a bathrobe, as they might be in the living room at 12am with friends who did not want nor need to see my knobby white knees. Practice makes perfect.

Now that my kids are in college in a nearby town, I have to remember that they come home without warning every once in a while, unlocking & walking through the front door without knocking at any hour on a Friday or Saturday night. I never was one to react to a bump in the night with a full-on deadly force scenario, preferring to escalate from my own loud noises to safely investigating to defense if necessary. But being sure of my target is no longer just a rule, it is an absolute necessity.

I have my kids to thank for the most realistic training I have received.

Moriarty said...

The last three coyotes I shot were taken in bathrobe and bare feet. (Fortunately, I didn't have to step off the porch.)

I finally wised up and recalled my Heinlein. ("Always keep your clothing and firearms where you can find them in the dark.") I have a pair of coveralls under my side of the bed, next to my tactical house slippers.

Unfortunately, I seem to have run out of targets. For now.

(As an aside, keeping several pairs of cheap slippers around is a good idea, especially if you live in earthquake country. Broken glass can severely limit your options in bare feet, as a friend learned in the Northridge quake.)

Ed Foster said...

Kinda like skiing. Old song "his clothes they were fast, but the slopes they were faster, that's the last of super skier we shall see".

Interestingly, the NRA has determined that the best footwear for pistol or offhand rifle shooting is none at all. It seems most folks shoot better barefoot.

The macho, tight lace-up ski boots make your leg muscles relax, rather than make all the minute corrections constantly needed.

Failing bare or stockinged feet, hard soled shoes or low boots are closest to nature, sneaks and crosstrainers the absolute pits.

Picture people showing up at the match wearing oxfords. Terribly uncool, but they would likely win.
Particularly if they did something really silly, like take all the money spent on uber-commando gear and put it into ammunition they actually shot.

staghounds said...

Moriarty, were the coyotes wearing reversed shearling bathrobes?

Tam said...

"Interestingly, the NRA has determined that the best footwear for pistol or offhand rifle shooting is none at all."

I'll lose an inch or two off my groups in order to avoid cutting my foot wide open, thanks. ;)

Sigivald said...

I don't think that you are woman enough to show up on the line in pajamas, a bathrobe, and fuzzy slippers.

I'm not a woman at all, but I'm totally (wo)man enough to do that.

For a cash fee in advance (or a larger one if you're not supplying the gear), they can even be pink.

I got no need to compensate.

Ken said...

What TW said. You could sew a lot of ammo pouches on a bathrobe (and mine is dark green, just the thing if I were hiding under a '67 F1 Lotus).

Unknown said...

There is a gentleman in Massachusetts who teaches a course specifically for snub-nosed pistols for those carry these. He has a very good reputation and from what I understand his classes are usually full. But I think you have to be dressed to attend.

For some of us that is a good thing.

Your Correspondent said...

I am allowed to put on some of the IDPA matches up in Chesterton and they're a nice break from all those drearily hip USPSA extravaganzas.
I did the last one as a "carry gun" match and tried to insist everybody use their real-life stuff.
Most did, a pleasant surprise. There were more shirts and few vests.
Out of 34 participants, 24 fit my arbitrary description of carry: four-incher tops, less than two pounds.
For a rare time, the actual spirit of the game was in evidence.
The eight stages were all 12 rounds and very close- the longest shot was 21 feet, the average about nine. No gadgets, just corners to cut. Fast, hyper stuff.
The overall winner put aside her usual high-speed 1911 for her house gun G19. Second was Bob with his G19. Third was a big Sig but fourth was yours truly with a long-barreled Detective Special and Comp IIIs.
The five-shooters were at a disadvantage but enjoyed the opportunity to work the little stinkers under pressure (timer and peanut gallery).
That's the real plus of IDPA matches you don't get almost anywhere else- some kind of pressure and a chance to work in a sort-of defensive environment.
Now, if only we could get the cardboard to shoot back...

atlharp said...

"I'll lose an inch or two off my groups in order to avoid cutting my foot wide open, thanks. ;)"

I hear wearing "Jellies" gets you sick groups at a 100 yards! The best footwear is none at all? Huh? Well at least they didn't endorse Reeboks!

Anonymous said...

I think this illustrates a possible goldmine in the "tac-wear" department: tactical pajamas. Boxers with mag holders, bathrobes with sewn-in holsters, the possibilities are endless.

Word verification: osama. Seriously?

Fits said...

I pretty much pack as I did in the service. Old habits dying hard and all that jazz. Smallest pistol carried is a Glock 27 fed with either Federal or Winchester fodder, smallest revolver a 3" GP-100 stoked to the tune of DoubleTap 158 grainers cranking forth @ 1400 fps or thereabouts. Most of the time at least two handguns (spare mags and/or speedloaders dispensed with in favor of simply another gun) and one flipper orientated blade made from CPM S110v ground to 20 degrees inclusive. Preferably at least a 4" edge.

In other words, lotsa firepower.

It's really really hard to be spontaneous and run out for a quick pie, no matter how much I think I've got it down to a science. Maybe when I get old I'll switch to a mousegun or two. Who knows.

Joanna said...

Wow, was I late responding to this one. Serves me right for taking a day off from teh Intarwebs.

Caleb: I don't have a gun; I wish I did, because my current residence has some crazy serious security holes, and my landlady "asks" that my long guns be bricked and put away. So if you're offering a loaner, I'll take you up on it.

Pop N Fresh said...

I carry a bladetech quadmag which I use to feed my carry mag holder (wilderness single horizontal). It keeps me running drills and able to focus on instructors instead of topping off all the time

Matt G said...

As you know, I've been shooting (and losing horribly at) action-type pistol matches with my airweight J-frame 5-shot, which rides in my right pocket in a pocket holster most of the time that I'm wearing pants.

Today, I got myself D.Q.'d from a stage in a carbine match that required me to shoot left-handed, because I couldn't see my sights with my giant inexpensive magnum earmuffs on, and I shucked them off to continue shooting. That was a no-no, as there was to be no shooting without ear protecton.

Nevermind that I was the ONLY one shooting on the range that minute, and that the previous stage, the timer hadn't been able to hear the shots out of my suppressed M4. :rolleyes:

Handgun World Show said...

The comment about people preparing for the worst rather than the most likely is right on. The Kel Tec or Ruger in the pocket is far more likely to be used than the 1911 in the safe or the AR-15 in the safe. I hear too many people saying they don't pratice with their carry guns. I recently shot IDPA with my Kahr PM9 because it's my most carried gun. A Sig P238 is getting more of my practice these days too.

Bob Mayne