RANDOM THOUGHTS ON SHOOTING COURSE DESIGN, or LUMINOSITY FOR THE GUN-SLINGER
Who is training? A cranky one-eyed fat man, 60 years old, stroke damage to left arm/hand, various disabilities, advanced shooter; 50 year old female world class martial arts instructor, excellent physical condition, intermediate shooter; 41 year old executive protection professional and MMA fighter, excellent physical condition, intermediate-advanced shooter.
What is the goal of training?
- Promote the attribute of fluid transfer from hand to hand
- Promote cross-lateral neurological activity in the brain to increase the context of the experiential learning and promote greater retention under stress for embedded shooting skills
- Refine accuracy and speed
- Promote trigger control during multiple shots
Why are we training this specific goal?
Effective real-world use of the combat handgun requires the ability to engage multiple moving targets with either hand under stress. All three participants practice Dave Harrington’s Iron Cross drill, one of the best dry-fire/live-fire drills to promote ambidextrous firing of the combat handgun from non-standard (i.e. square range 90 degree fire angle range safety restricted) positions…these are the positions that one encounters in real fights in the world. We want to drill this attribute for it’s generalization to all aspects of integrated fighting.
What are the limitations on the training?
Public range: cannot shoot from holster, cannot move outside of the immediate booth, may not engage more than one full size target.
Financial limitations mandate no more than 100 rds (two boxes) of commercial ammunition.
What are the presuppositions for the design?
- Participants are capable of safe handling of weapons
- Participants are aware of range limitations as to movement
- Participants have previous experience (martial arts, stick, knife, empty hand) with transitioning from hand to hand with a primary weapon; cross-lateral movements are embedded in their physical skill set and have been tested under stress both real-world application and high-stress training.
Course logistical requirements:
- Target hanger capable of being set at different ranges from 3 yards to 25 yards.
- 6 inch pie plates
- 3×5 index cards
- Sharpy Marker
- PACT timer/iPhone stopwatch
- Pistol, 3 magazines, 100 rounds of factory ammunition
START COLD, NO WARM UP.
Target is FLETC Transtar with a six-inch pie plate taped on the head and upper chest. In center of six inch pie plate is 3×5 card.
25 yards. From ready position with both hands, fire 5 rounds in 10 seconds at either head or upper chest target. Mark target hits.
From ready position with right hand, fire 5 rounds in 10 seconds at either target. Mark target hits.
From ready position with left hand, fire 5 rounds in 10 seconds at either target. Mark target hits.
3 yards. Cloverleaf drill. With both hands fire one shot at target of choice. Transition to right hand only, fire one shot into existing hole; transition to left hand, fire one shot into existing hole. Fire as fast as you can while moving smoothly. Record time with stopwatch.
Repeat 3 times.
7 yards. Cloverleaf drill. As above. Repeat 3 times.
7 yards. From ready position with both hands, fire 3 shots in 2 seconds at target of choice. Goal is to keep everything on the pie plate, preferably on the 3×5 card.
Repeat 3 times.
7 yards. From ready position with strong hand. Fire 3 shots in 3 seconds at target of choice. Goal is to keep everything on the pie plate, preferably on the 3×5 card.
Repeat 3 times.
7 yards. Cadence drill. Both hands on gun. Fire 15 rounds in <11 seconds in this sequence: 1 to the head, 2 to the body, 3 to the head, 4 to the body, 5 to the head. Goal is to keep a steady cadence with no hesitation between shots. Record total time with stop watch or Pact timer.
7 yards. Transition from hand to hand. 3 magazines of 5 rounds each. Start with strong hand, fire one shot at target of choice, transition to off hand, fire one shot at target of choice, continue to transition and reload as needed (note if slide locks back in off hand, drop magazine with off hand and reload with strong hand; if in strong hand reload as necessary. Range does not allow holster work so stage magazines on booth shelf.) Record time and accuracy (all on pie plate, preferably on 3×5, total time elapsed, focus on smooth transition and no hesitation…flow drill)
7 yards. 15 round Bill Drill or Shaw NOW drill. 15 rounds < 11 seconds. As fast as you can on pie plate.
3 yards. Cloverleaf/head shot. For time – at beep fire both hands one shot, transition to right fire one, transition to left fire one, transition to both hands and fire one head shot. Accuracy and time.
TOTAL 100 rounds.
Write times/picture of targets in range training book/iPhone record
Note subjective impressions of
a) increased fluidity in transition from hand to hand
b) increased accuracy while increasing speed
Specific cognitive/neurological improvements:
Cross-lateral transitions of the weapon platform requires increased coordination between the brain’s hemisphere through the corpus collosum; promotes retention of the skill set while moving and in dynamic situation; increases stress inoculation due to pace/uncertainty; enhanced ability to engage with either hand while working in a 3-dimensional fighting environment. Enhanced/reinforced cross lateral processing of brain function generalizes to greater ability to utilize either hand in non-trained for events as well as promoting better whole body agility and proprioception.
Specific applications in:
CCW self-protection scenarios – allows for enhanced one hand use enabling flashlight, close quarters protection of weapon/weapon retention, control of pets or children that may require switching hands.
Executive Protection applications – allows for enhanced one hand usage so as to enable better control of protectee or penetrating crowds and clearing lines to engage targets,