Gabe’s class and the Swampfox Kingslayer RDS

On October 19-20, 2019, KR Training hosted Gabe White’s Pistol Shooting Solutions class. John Daub’s AAR provides a lot of background on Gabe and information about the course. Gabe runs long days on the range (10+ hours each day), and I was performing music Friday and Saturday nights, so I attended about 14 of the 20 hours total in the course. Six KR Training instructors attended the class, all earning pins (5 Dark, 1 Light).

The pins were earned by shooting qualifying scores on Gabe’s Technical Skills Tests.

Gabe’s tests are heavily weighted toward first shot draw time. Each one is 2-6 rounds. Gabe’s scoring allows a 0.25 second bonus for drawing from concealment.

I started out working the drills from appendix carry but once again found carrying in that position uncomfortable enough that I switched back to strong side concealed for the afternoon of the 1st day. The rough grip tape I had put on the Glock 48 I was using for class ended up tearing a hole in my undershirt. We did a lot of draws to build that skill during the first part of the course. Gabe’s explanation of all the steps in concealment draw was very complete, discussing garment length and material, hand position relative to carry mode/garment style, and the fine details of clearing the garment for different garment and carry position types and establishing the initial firing grip. For me that information was the biggest takeaway, as I’m going to spend some time this fall exploring the relationship between some of those factors and draw time.

I tend to use classes I attend as a student as an opportunity to evaluate gear under stress. For the past month or so I’ve been working with a Swampfox Kingslayer optic mounted on a Glock 48 with a Dueck mount. The Dueck mount replaces the Glock rear sight and provides rear and front back up sights and a place to mount anything that fits the RMR footprint. It comes with two set screws to help hold the mount in place. The set screws are Allen heads. I used loctite to secure the mount, and discovered (after I wanted to remove it) that the little Allen heads are easy to strip. So for now the Dueck mount is permanent on my ‘testing’ Glock 48 until I decide to resort to extreme measures to remove it.

I had to do some additional cutting on my Comp-Tac CTAC holster for the G48 with Kingslayer to fit. The holster is actually a G19 holster that I modified to fit the G48 by replacing some washers with thinner ones to make it close up tighter. I also replaced the factory belt clips with Discrete Carry Concepts belt clips, which are thinner and hold the holster to the belt much more securely.

The version of the Kingslayer I am using has a green “circle dot” reticle with a 65 MOA outside circle and 3 MOA internal dot. This is basically the concept I recommended at the conclusion of the red dot study we did a few years ago, and I was eager to try it out during class.

The Kingslayer is still a relatively new sight, and the model I had was a manual on, timed off unit not ideal for concealed carry. The next model to be released will have “shake awake” and other features more suitable for daily carry use. So far I’ve put about 2000 rounds through the gun with the sight on it, with no problems or failures. The Gabe White class was really the first time I really pushed my performance using the reticle.

Sight Deviation Drill

One of the drills Gabe runs is the classic Sight Deviation drill, where you deliberately get a flawed sight picture and learn how much that affects shot placement at varying ranges. We did it at 5, 10 and 15 yards. The version in the NRA materials keeps the rear sight stationary and moves the front sight. Gabe runs the drill the way I prefer it: leaving the front sight stationary and misaligning the rear sight, so it looks like this:

What I did for this drill was use the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock points on the circle reticle, and misalign the optic that way:

Normal alignment
using 3 o’clock on the big circle on the desired point of aim
6 o’clock offset
9 o’clock offset
12 o’clock offset
10 yard sight deviation results
15 yard dot deviation results

Results from this process yielded results very similar to what students using iron sights achieved, indicating that the big reticle can be used the way a sloppy sight picture can be used for closer, faster shooting.

I shot the drills during class with the Glock 48 w/ Kingslayer, and then during a break I shot the drills again using my other Glock 48 with XS F8 sights. Same holster, same day, drills shot in the same order. While this isn’t enough runs or data to make any major conclusions, here are the numbers:

Penalties were my primary problem, keeping me from earning a Light pin, mainly a result of pushing for speed. I shot fewer penalties with the dot than I did with irons overall. When I get back from this weekend’s teaching trip to Georgia I intend to replace the KingSlayer with a Trijicon RMR with red dot and reshoot the drills, to get a better feel for whether it’s easier or harder to track the big circle vs the smaller dot.

I’m still carrying the Glock 48 with irons for now, but in my practice the remainder of the year I’m going to continue running the circle-dot KingSlayer.

Interesting side note: Prior to Gabe’s class I developed some painful tendinitis in the muscles around my right elbow, which was further aggravated by the 5 hours of piano playing and 14 hours of drawing and shooting I did that weekend. During a doctor’s appointment after the class, we measured my grip strength. My left hand had about 100 pounds of strength, which is normal for me, but my right hand, due to the tendinitis, only had around 50 pounds. I think that definitely affected my drawspeed and shooting during the class. In practice prior to class day, pre-tendinitis, I was consistently shooting Light-speed runs with the occasional Turbo run. On class day, best I could manage was a Dark pin, with one Turbo run out of the 8 scored tests. Earning a Turbo pin in a future Gabe class will be a training goal for me in 2020.

KR Training will be hosting Gabe again in September or October 2020, date to be announced soon. Due to high demand for his courses, those that have earned challenge coins in our Defensive Pistol Skills program will have first opportunity to register, and any remaining slots will be opened to general registration later.