KR Training April 2018 newsletter

Welcome to the KR Training April 2018 newsletter!

Check the schedule page on the KR Training website for the full list of upcoming classes.

If you aren’t already a subscriber to receive this newsletter each month, you can subscribe here or follow this blog. You can also follow KR Training on Facebook or Twitter for more frequent posts and information.

DEFENSIVE PISTOL SKILLS PROGRAM

We have created a 40 hour certification and challenge coin that will be awarded to students that have completed 40 hours of training with us. The core curriculum is Texas LTC (from any trainer), DPS-1, DPS-2, DPS-3, Personal Tactics Skills, Beyond Basics Handgun, AT-2 Scenarios, Low Light Shooting, and at least one from a list of elective courses.  We are offering several of the rarely offered classes in this program  (Personal Tactics Skills June 9, Defensive Pistol Skills 3 August 11) over the next few months so students that are close to completing the program requirements can earn their coins.

MAY & JUNE DISCOUNT OFFERS

May 19 Defensive Pistol Skills Small Gun – two slots for $120. Bring a friend!

June 9 Defensive Pistol Skills 2 & Personal Tactics Skills – take both for $130.

June 16 Handgun Coaching & License To Carry – take both for $125.

50% off refresher slots in any course you’ve taken before.

Payment in full in advance required for discounts.

Register here

MAY-JULY CLASSES

We’ve added more classes to the schedule, including:

Basic & LTC Courses

Defensive Skills Program

Advanced Classes & Guest Instructors

A GIRL AND A GUN 2018 CONFERENCE

Team KR Training is back from the 2018 A Girl and a Gun National Conference, held at Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet, Texas, April 2018. Three KR Training instructors (Karl Rehn, John Kochan and Tracy Thronburg), assisted by Tiffany Johnson from Tom Givens’ Rangemaster school, presented 12 sessions at this year’s conference.  A full AAR is posted on the KR Training blog.

RANGEMASTER TAC-CON NORTHWEST

Karl and Ed Vinyard will be representing KR Training at the NorthWest Regional Tac-Con, July 26-28, 2018, to be held at the Firearms Academy of Seattle in southern Washington state.  Haven’t made summer vacation plans yet? Join us in the Pacific Northwest for cool weather and great training.

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2018 SCHEDULE

The KR Training schedule shows most of the classes we plan to offer through late October 2018 and even a few already scheduled for 2019. Registration is open for everything listed.

We look forward to training you!
Karl, Penny and the KR Training team

A Girl and a Gun National Conference 2018 AAR

Team KR Training is back from the 2018 A Girl and a Gun National Conference, held at Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet, Texas, April 2018.

350 A Girl & A Gun Members
65 Brilliant Instructors
40 Generous On-Site Vendors
16 Dedicated Staff Members
12 Hard-Working Range Donkeys
67 Event Sponsors
35 Simultaneous Training Sessions
185,000 Rounds of Ammunition
210 Rolls of Toilet Paper
1 Incredible Sisterhood

Three KR Training instructors, assisted by Tiffany Johnson from Tom Givens’ Rangemaster school, presented 12 sessions at this year’s conference:

Wednesday: NRA Range Safety Officer (Karl Rehn), “Should I Stay or Should I Go – Preparedness” (John Kochan)

Thursday: I performed an hour of pre-banquet music (solo piano and vocals) for about 400 people.

Friday: Skill Builder (Karl and John, 2 sessions), Handgun Skills and Drills (Tracy and Tiffany), 2 sessions)

Saturday: Correcting Common Shooting Errors (Karl and John), Historical Handgun (Karl and John), Everyday Carry Guns (Tracy and Tiffany, 2 sessions)

Sunday: Pushing to the Next Level (Karl and John), Precision Pistol (Tracy and Tiffany)

Teaching Skill Builder at the national A Girl and a Gun conference.

A post shared by KR Training (@krtraining) on

Pics from Historical Handgun class for A Girl and a Gun conference today.

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DOING IT RIGHT

I’ve been a presenter at the conference every year since year 2 (this was the 6th year).  Everything about this year’s conference was professional grade.  A short list of things they do very well, that deserve recognition:

1) For the 3 days of the main conference, there were 35 different training events running in parallel, involving dozens of instructors teaching a very wide range of students.  The scope of that effort is equal or greater than a major match like a USPSA or IDPA National championship, particularly since many conference attendees have never attended anything beyond a local chapter event before.  The event organizers and range support staff do an incredible job with logistics and support for all the activities.

2) On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the main conference, AG&G provided continuing education and development for their local chapter facilitators, who serve both as club leaders and trainers at the local level.  The level of shooting skill expected from those facilitators is higher than what is required for NRA basic pistol or our state level “license to carry” instructor program.  In a perfect world, the NRA would offer regional annual instructor continuing education similar to what AG&G offers for their facilitators.  It’s a significant level of commitment for the facilitators to invest 6-7 days each year for both the facilitator training and the main conference.

3) AG&G sorts participants into different “tracks” based on their experience and ability.  Early attempts to have participants self-sort encountered the same problems that exists everywhere in the firearms training industry: the tendency of people to over-rate their abilities and enroll in courses that require skills beyond their actual capabilities.  In recent years they created a check in “gear check” process with a clearly defined set of performance standards that participants have to demonstrate, to earn their track.

This process solved a lot of problems trainers presenting at previous conferences had with mismatches between student equipment and skills and course curriculum.  This year was the first time that every course I taught was attended by students with the correct background and gear for the session. Previous years always had 1-2 that were not ready for the higher level courses.

John Daub and I have written extensively on minimum standards and methods each shooter can use for individual assessment (and goal setting).  AG&G has done an excellent job of creating a structure for their members that describes a clear path to developing handgun skill.

4) Equipment selection can be a challenge, particularly holster selection for ladies.  AG&G required all ladies attending to have an outside the waistband holster, regardless of level.  Additionally, they had requirements for holsters similar to what we use in our classes, so most ladies showed up with good quality kydex holsters, instead of cheap nylon, or “gimmick” holsters that are appealing for concealed carry but are problematic when used on a firing line during a group class.  This year the only gear problems we had in any session were guns that were too big for the shooter’s hand. That’s a significant reduction in gear challenges that occurred in earlier years.

5) Overall level of shooting skill and consistency in prior training.  Over the past 5 years, I’ve seen the overall level of shooting skill, even at the lowest track, move up.  Similarly, the level of safe gun handling and understand of proper range etiquette (how to use a safe table and handle guns in a training environment around others) has significantly increased.  I’ve also observed that the information being given to local chapter members by facilitators is much more consistent than it was in the early years.

All of those things are happening because the national organization has put a lot of effort into developing their local facilitators, and the local facilitators are doing an excellent job of passing good information down to local chapter members.

The end result of this is that the majority of women I trained at this year’s conference had better gun handling, better technique and were shooting better than the vast majority of shooters that only have their state carry permit who attend my Defensive Pistol Essentials or Defensive Pistol Skills 1 course.

Everyone associated with the AG&G organization deserves recognition and attention for that significant accomplishment.   AG&G’s created its own new shooter course, that facilitators were trained to teach during this year’s conference, and I expect that will be yet another step forward for the excellent work being done, particularly by the local facilitators.

 

 

 

A-Zone Range Maintenance

We built the KR Training A-Zone Range back in 2001, with grand opening on 02/02/02.  Pics and info from the grand opening event are still saved on the archive.krtraining.com site.

After 16 years of regular use on the range, we had the lead from the berms extracted, and the berm faces rebuilt.

We pulled more than 10,000 lbs of lead out of the berms.  A few years ago, a group of reloaders extracted about 1500 lbs using shovels and manual labor.  At 7000 grains per pound, that’s over 80 million grains of lead, over 650,000 rounds fired over the past 16 years.  That’s not counting the rounds fired on steel targets that fragmented, or the rounds fired into side berms and in the shoothouse bay that we didn’t extract.

After the lead extraction was complete, we added some erosion control barriers (railroad ties) to keep the berm dirt from sliding back down.

Book Review – Newhall Shooting (Mike Wood)

Over the past year I’ve been developing a new course for KR Training, Historical Handgun, that teaches the history & evolution of defensive handgun skills.  Part of that effort has been seeking out and reading old books on shooting, purchasing copies signed by the authors when possible.

Newhall Shooting – A Tactical Analysis – Mike Wood

https://www.amazon.com/Newhall-Shooting-Enforcements-Deadliest-Shootings/dp/144024099X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517501742&sr=1-1&keywords=Newhall+shooting

The Newhall shooting is a famous incident in the annals of firearms training, best known for the widely repeated, but incorrect legend that the fallen officers were found with spent brass in their pockets.

Mike Wood’s father was an officer with the California Highway Patrol, and his book was written with significant input and contributions from current and retired CHP officers.

He wrote a recent article on the incident for Police One, and Claude Werner also wrote about the incident recently on his blog, if you want brief introductions to the history of this incident.

The first section of the book is a very detailed narrative and reconstruction of the gunfight, including crime scene photographs, and drawings.  Section 2 of the book relates to my Historical Handgun program, as it discusses the state of CHP training in 1970. Section 3 is an analysis of the gunfight, and Section 4 assesses how the Newhall gunfight affected firearms training in the years after it occurred, with Appendix A of particular interest to me, as it provides a history of CHP firearms, equipment and training.

Section 1 – The Gunfight

The book includes a lot more details, but here’s the shortest possible description of the incident, for those unfamiliar with the incident: Two criminals, Jack Twining and Bobby Davis, were driving around Southern California with a carload of guns, planning to steal explosives and rob an armored car.  They threaten another motorist with a gun. The motorist calls 911, and two CHP officers (Gore and Frago) respond.  During the initial contact, Frago is shot by Twining as he stands by the passenger door of the criminal’s vehicle.  Officer Gore is killed by Davis, all within the first minute of the stop.

Two more officers, Pence and Alleyn, arrive on scene and are immediately fired at as they call for more units on the radio. An extended gunfight occurs, with Pence and Alleyn both dying, with minor wounds to Twining and Davis. During the fight, an unarmed citizen/former Marine, Gary Dean Kness, attempts to assist, using a shotgun and a revolver from fallen officers, to engage the criminals, hitting Davis before retreating.

This video includes interview footage with Gary Kness, the citizen that used dropped CHP guns to fire back at the attackers.

 

Other officers arrive.

Twining retreats into a nearby building and eventually commits suicide rather than surrender to CHP; Davis flees on foot and is captured.

Section 2 – CHP Training 1970

This section details the behind the scenes situation at the CHP academy, as competing agendas between CHP and FBI programs fought for their part of the available training time provided to cadets. A 36-hour CHP tactics course on felony car stops was 30 hours of classroom and 6 hours of field exercises. CHP photos included in the book show some of the tactics that were taught.

Firearms training in 1970 was one handed bullseye shooting at distance, and one handed hip shooting at distances 7 yards and closer.  Single action (thumb cocking) was advocated for shots past 7 yards.  As the author notes:

Courses of fire began with the gun in hand, not in the holster. Officers mostly fired at match-style bull’s-eye targets in training, and they loaded from trays or cans of ammunition that were frequently located on a waist-level table in front of the shooter. They were expected to police their brass during the course of fire and neatly collect it for disposal later. The whole affair was a rather orchestrated and orderly process—a test of marksmanship perhaps, but bearing no resemblance to the chaotic conditions encountered in a real gunfight.

They did use a “Drawmeter”, a device developed in the 1930’s to time quick draws, to measure draw speed.   During the 1960s, drills were expanded to include some shooting at night with a flashlight, some two handed shooting techniques.  Non dominant hand shooting and gun manipulation, and shooting on the move were not taught. Shotgun training included both hip and shouldered firing.

According to the book, three of the four officers killed scored well in training, and Officer Gore was top shooter in his academy class.

This video was produced by CHP after the incident for use in police training.

Section 3 – Gunfight Analysis

Author Wood uses Ayoob’s priorities of survival as a framework to analyze the gunfight, starting with Mental Awareness and Preparedness, Proper Use of Tactics, Skill with Safety Equipment, and Optimum Choice of Safety Rescue Equipment.

Under Mental Awareness and Preparedness & Proper Use of Tactics, Wood postulates that Officer Gore was using tactics appropriate for a high risk stop, where Officer Frago appeared to be treating the incident as a low risk stop.   In both cases, proximity of the officers to the suspects was a key element in their deaths.  The officers arriving later in the incident already knew it was a very high risk situation and adjusted their actions accordingly.  For Pence and Alleyn, it appears that marksmanship was a key factor, as they fired many rounds but failed to get effective hits. The most effective hit on either criminal was fired by the citizen who stopped to assist.  Wood’s analysis also addresses the myth regarding “brass in pockets”, explaining that what actually occurred is that Officer Pence was trying to reload his revolver pulling loose rounds from a dump pouch, while wounded and crouched behind cover. He dumped his spent brass on the ground and did not put the cases in his pocket.  Certainly higher capacity firearms that were easier to reload or backup guns (Optimum choice of equipment) would have provided some advantage to the officers. The criminals had multiple loaded guns in the vehicle, and simply discarded empty guns, grabbing others, to stay in the fight.

Wood’s analysis is far more detailed than I can recount in this review.

Section 4 – Where Are We Now

After the incident, CHP changed tactics for felony stops, required officers to wait for backup before doing a felony stop, treated reports of brandishing more seriously, and increased training in tactics.  Firearms training changed, to eliminate policing brass during a course of fire and add instruction in weak hand firing, reloading, night shooting, malfunction drills and movement, both for pistol and shotgun.

Duty ammunition, not target ammunition, was used for training after Newhall. CHP began carrying speedloaders, replacing dump pouches.  Methods for how shotguns were carried in cars were changed. Car radios were updated.

The Newhall incident was a turning point in the evolution of firearms training, a key step in the major transition away from the status quo established in the 1930s and 1940s, leading to more realistic and dynamic training conducted today.

Appendix A – History

The Appendix is a great summary of one agency’s evolution from the 1920s to the present day – a subset of the material I’ll be covering in my Historical Handgun course and book. It uses a similar format to mine, breaking down history in blocks of time, discussing the guns, gear and skills used in each era.

SUMMARY

Anyone teaching firearms, at any level, and anyone that carries a firearm for self-defense should read this book.  The level of detail it includes about the Newhall incident is significant, the perspective it provides on the history of firearms training is essential.   It’s an extremely well researched, well written book heavy with footnotes and references.

 

 

 

2018 Rangemaster Tactical Conference AAR part 5 – The Match

\From March 16-18, 2018, several of us from the KR Training team (myself, Dave Reichek, and Tracy Becker) attended the 20th annual Rangemaster Tactical Conference, held at the Direct Action Resource Center near Little Rock, Arkansas.  This is part 5 of a series of posts about sessions I attended and taught, the match and products I evaluated as part of the conference.

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here. Part 4 is here.

Today’s post is about the 2018 match and the evolution of the match format.

MATCH HISTORY

The Conference began as the IDPA Winter Nationals, held at Tom Givens’ Rangemaster indoor range in Memphis.  The match consisted of standard IDPA stages.  When the event evolved into the Tactical Conference, the live fire match changed to an all-low-light, all-surprise-stage, multi-stage event.  Competitors received very little/no information about the stages, and were instructed not to discuss the stages with others after shooting them.  The stages used reactive 3D targets designed by John Hearne. I purchased 4 of them to use at my own range. They use the plastic 3D Tac-Man shells, attached to a pepper-popper type steel target that must be hit in the 6″ chest plate or small head plate to fall.

Stage scoring was simple.  Total time to knock down all the shoot targets, with penalties for hitting no-shoots and a few other IDPA-ish tactics rules about use of cover.  No limit on magazine capacity. No reload restrictions.  Simply “solve the problem using your actual carry gear”.

In 2005 the conference was featured on an episode of Shooting Gallery.  A sample of what the stages were like that year are in this video.

When the Conference moved to the Memphis police academy, the match began to evolve, combining a standards stage (simpler to run for more shooters in less time), with a decreasing number of surprise scenarios.  In 2010, when the match was held at the US Shooting Academy in Tulsa, the match included a run in their shoot house.

The importance of the live fire match began to decrease, as the number of presenters and sessions increased.  When the conference became a traveling event, logistics of the host facilities became a factor, as did the increasing number of participants. This resulted in a transition away from scenarios to a pure standards/qualification course of fire approach using a challenging course of fire intended to be very difficult to shoot a perfect score for a Master or Grand Master level shooter.

2018 MATCH

The 2018 match was shot using turning targets, and the first event was a variation of the FBI qualification course used in many courses taught by Rangemaster certified instructors.

You can see a simulation of the match course of fire by visiting dryrange.com and selecting Tac-Con 2018 as the course of fire.

186 shooters completed the defensive pistol match this year (many attendees opt not to shoot the match). This total included 160 males and 26 women.

38 of them shot a perfect 200 on the first stage, and progressed to the shoot off, which used the Five Yard Roundup drill I described in a previous blog post.  All those in the top 16 were IDPA Master or higher level shooters. Under the stress of competition, only one shooter (Massad Ayoob) fired a perfect 100, and many shot less than 90 points.  Scoring 90 points or better on this drill, with the small 10 ring on the NRA B-8, can be challenging even for the very skilled shooter.

(photo Tamara Keel)

from Tom Givens: The man vs man shoot-off pitted two contenders against each other on a mirror image problem based on the old Middle Race shoot. Each contestant had two mannequin type reactive targets, one at about 8 yards and one at 10 yards, plus a Split Popper at 9 yards. Shooters began while holding an empty cartridge box in both hands, chest high, to simulate a cell phone. On signal, the shooter must drop the cell phone, draw, knock down the closer mannequin, knock down the farther mannequin, then knock down his side of the Split Popper, all before his opponent could finish on his side. Two out of three falls wins the bout, and advanced the winner to the next level. This continued until the only two undefeated shooters met for the championship, when their bout was for best three out of five.

After that final stage was completed, Gabe White was the match winner, with Spencer Keepers 2nd and KR Training student KA Clark 3rd. Here’s video of their shootoff runs. Here’s more video of the shootoff that shows the 3D targets. For the ladies, Melody Lauer won this shoot-off, with Lynn Givens in second place, and Sarah Ryan took third.

The match staff tracked competitor equipment this year and found the following trends:
Calibers
9mm- 89.6%
.40- 4.8%
.45- 3.6%
.38- 1.2% (2 revolvers)
.357 SIG- 1 example

Handgun Type
Glock 70.5%
M&P 23.2%
1911 4.4%
Other 1.9% (Beretta, SIG, HK, Kanik, CZ)

Holster Type
IWB 58.4%
OWB 41.6%

Optic on pistol- 9.6% (Top 3 in both Open and Ladies Championship standings had no optic)

The top 3 male competitors all carried in the appendix position.

The One Point Down Club

I don’t practice as much as I used to, because 99% of the time I’m on the range I’m teaching, preparing to teach, or cleaning up from a class.  It’s the irony and the joy of owning my own range.  But I always use the TacCon match as motivation to tune myself up and evaluate gear. This year was no different.  When I was on Mike Seeklander’s American Warrior Society podcast discussing red dot sights, I stated that I had planned to shoot the match using a slide mounted red dot.

When I started doing practice sessions using the previous year’s match course of fire, however, I found that I was consistently shooting better scores with iron sights using an OWB holster, so that’s what I used on match day.  The performance losses were occurring at 3 and 5 yards, with one hand presentations and occasional failures to find the dot quickly.  I went back to my notes from the 2017 match and focused on improving my “IDPA gamer” slide lock reload technique.  Instead of using my dominant hand thumb to work the slide lock lever to release the slide, I experimented with using both thumbs, in a technique Massad Ayoob taught in MAG-40, and with simply using my non-dominant hand thumb, pulling down.  That practice time paid off, as I not only figured out a technique that was reliable for me 100% of the time, but improved my understanding of variations on that technique I can teach others.

The other area I worked on that needed improvement was clearing an open front cover garment.  When really pushing for speed I found myself sometimes getting the cover garment tangled up and fouling the draw.  Again through lots of repetition, with attention paid to what worked and what did not, I cleaned up that movement so that multiple different cover garments that I wear on a regular basis were all clearing cleanly and consistently.

Most previous years were scored in Time Only format, with speed being a factor in the match score and time added for shots outside the center zone.  This year’s match was shot on points using par times – par times that were slow enough that 38 people shot perfect scores.

I had a perfect score going until the final string at 15 yards, where I pushed my first shot up and right, maybe 1/2″ into the -1 zone, shooting a 199/200.  There were a lot of us in the One Point Down club this year.  The level of shooting required to finish in the top 10, or top 16 (this year), continues to increase, as does the number of attendees (most of whom are trainers) shooting at a very high level.

Tom Givens, on the full match results:

We’re not going to post the full results, but let me explain why.

First, for the men, this was a three-tiered match, which can get pretty confusing. The paper match was a series of standard skill drills, fired on turning targets, which increases the stress a bit. We had 186 shooters complete the match, and we needed to narrow the field. The average score was 188.86 out of 200 points possible.  Of 160 males, 38 shot a perfect 200 out of 200 score on this paper match. Those 38 then shot a preliminary elimination round on a scored drill, again on the turning targets.  The Top 16 shooters from this elimination went on to a man vs man shoot-off.

As you can see, especially for the men, the full results would be confusing, at best. Among the 38 men who shot 200 on the paper standards, for instance, that does NOT mean a 38 way tie for first place. Some of those men did not survive the preliminary cut and some who did were eliminated on the first round in the man vs man event. So, this year the only scores that really mattered were the top 3 in the men’s shoot-off and the top 3 in the ladies’ shoot-off. Congratulations to these six intrepid contestants who clawed their way to the top of a contest full of talented and dedicated shooters.

Raising the bar for handgun skills performance is one of the main legacies of the Rangemaster Conference – one that I expect to continue as the 21st annual conference happens in 2019, at a new facility near New Orleans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KR Training March 2018 newsletter

Welcome to the KR Training March 2018 newsletter!

Check the schedule page on the KR Training website for the full list of upcoming classes.

If you aren’t already a subscriber to receive this newsletter each month, you can subscribe here or follow this blog. You can also follow KR Training on Facebook or Twitter for more frequent posts and information.

DEFENSIVE PISTOL SKILLS PROGRAM

We have created a master certificate and challenge coin that will be awarded to students that have completed 40 hours of training with us. The core curriculum is Texas LTC (from any trainer), DPS-1, DPS-2, DPS-3, Personal Tactics Skills, Beyond Basics Handgun, AT-2 Scenarios, Low Light Shooting, and at least one from a list of elective courses.  We are offering several of the rarely offered classes in this program  (DPS-3 April 14th and Personal Tactics Skills June 9) over the next few months so students that are close to completing the program requirements can earn their coins.

APRIL DISCOUNT OFFERS

April 15th: Handgun: Beyond the Basics and Defensive Long Gun Essentials. $160 ($40 savings). Must pay in full in advance. These two courses cover material not included in other courses.  Taken together they are a great foundation for defensive skills on any platform. Visit the class links for full descriptions and prerequisites.

April 21st: Basic Pistol 1 and Gun Selection Clinic with John Daub. $100 ($20 savings). Must pay in full in advance. Learn the basics of safe gun handling, accurate shooting, and what to look for when purchasing a handgun.

50% off refresher slots in any course you’ve taken before.

Register here.

INSTRUCTOR / RANGE SAFETY OFFICER CERTIFICATION CLASSES

In April I’m teaching and hosting multiple instructor and range safety officer classes. Many of them are weekday courses associated with the national A Girl and a Gun conference and Tom Givens’ instructor course.

APRIL-JUNE CLASSES

We’ve added more classes to the schedule, including:

Basic & LTC Courses

Defensive Skills Program

Advanced Classes & Guest Instructors

RANGEMASTER TAC-CON 2018

Karl, Dave Reichek and Tracy Thronburg represented KR Training at the 2018 Rangemaster Tactical Conference.  Karl has been posting a series of after action reports on the KR Training blog: part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4, with more parts to be posted soon.  Registration for the 2019 conference, to be held at a new facility near New Orleans, is open.  It’s the best value for your training dollar available.  I’d like to see more KR Training students attend in 2019!  It’s open to everyone regardless of skill level – not just for instructors or top tier shooters. The event sells out quickly so I suggest registering soon to ensure you get a slot.

Karl and Ed Vinyard will be representing KR Training at the NorthWest Regional Tac-Con, July 26-28, 2018, to be held at the Firearms Academy of Seattle in southern Washington state.  Haven’t made summer vacation plans yet? Join us in the Pacific Northwest for cool weather and great training.

BLOG-O-RAMA

2018 SCHEDULE

The KR Training schedule shows most of the classes we plan to offer through early July 2018 and even a few already scheduled for 2019. Registration is open in everything listed.

We look forward to training you!
Karl, Penny and the KR Training team

Five yard Roundup Drill

At KR Training, one of our ongoing efforts is to identify acceptable minimum standards and drills for defensive handgun skills.  In the February 2018 issue of SWAT magazine, Justin Dyal wrote about a drill he designed, called the Five Yard Roundup.

FIVE-YARD ROUNDUP: Timed Close-Up Shooting Drill

THE DRILL

The 4 strings of the drill require 10 rounds. It’s shot on an NRA B-8 target at 5 yards.  I’ve broken the drill down with shot by shot par times.

2.5 sec par time

String 1 – one shot draw from concealment

String 2 – 4 shots from ready – 1.25 sec presentation, 0.4 sec splits (1.25, 1.65, 2.05, 2.45)

String 3 – 3 shots from ready, SHO – 1.50 presentation, 0.5 sec splits (1.50, 2.00, 2.50)

String 4 – 2 shots from ready, WHO – 1.75 presentation, 0.75 sec split (1.75, 2.50)

Any late shot (after 2.8) is -5 points (max possible for that shot is 5 points, not 10)

 

HOW HARD IS THIS DRILL?

I had USPSA multi-time national champion Ben Stoeger shoot the drill to benchmark the drill’s difficulty level.

He shot 100 points (perfect score), with 6 in the X ring.

His string times were

String 1 – 1.25 sec (from concealment)

String 2 – 1.63 sec, avg .23 split time between shots, first shot from ready 0.72 sec.

String 3 – 2.07, avg .47 split time, first shot from ready, 0.86 sec.

String 4 – 1.71, .82 split time, first shot from ready, 0.89 sec.

Most of the speed difference between his time and the shot breakdown for the 2.5 sec par time comes in the time from the buzzer to the first shot.  For most shooters at the intermediate/advanced level, the performance gap is in the points (accuracy).

In discussions with Ben and other top shooters, I’ve learned that the general consensus is that the level required to win a national match is between 110-115% of the USPSA 100% standard used in classifier stages.

Using Ben’s times as the 110% standard: 1.25 + 1.63 + 2.07 + 1.71 = 6.66 seconds

Calculating “110%” hit factor = 100 / 6.66 = 15.0 hit factor, so the 100% hit factor is 15/1.1 = 13.636

Shooting 100 points using the 2.5 second par time =100/10 = 10.000

10/13.636 = 73.3%

So the overall “difficulty level” of shooting a perfect score on this drill, with a full size pistol, from concealment, is 73.3%. That means that shooting a perfect score on the drill requires skill at the upper end of IDPA Master, USPSA B class or law enforcement SWAT level.

Those seeking a bigger challenge from this drill should try running it with a 2.25 second, 2.0 second, or faster par time.

RANGEMASTER TACTICAL CONFERENCE 2018 MATCH

At the 2018 Rangemaster Tactical Conference, 38 of the 186 attendees that shot the match shot a perfect 200/200 score on the par time standards.  The Five Yard Roundup drill was used as the tiebreaker, to select the top 16 that would advance to the shootoff.

(photo h/t Tamara Keel)

All those in the top 16 were IDPA Master or higher level shooters. Under the stress of competition, only one shooter (Massad Ayoob) fired a perfect 100, and many shot less than 90 points.  Scoring 90 points or better on this drill, with the small 10 ring on the NRA B-8, can be challenging even for the very skilled shooter.

MINIMUM STANDARDS

How can developing pistol shooters at any level use this drill?

A reasonable goal, on this drill, as a minimum practical standard for a carry permit holder, would be 80 points, using a 3 second par time for each string.

80 / 12 seconds = 6.66 hit factor

6.66/13.636 = 49%. That’s roughly equivalent to the standards for most 2 day “tactical pistol” courses, about twice the difficulty of the Texas License to Carry shooting test

Setting a goal of 90 points is better:

90/12 = 7.5 hit factor

7.5/13.636  = 55%.

POINTS ONLY VERSION

Many ranges do not allowing drawing, and many shooters don’t have shooting timers.  One way to use this drill is to run with it starting each string from the ready, with no par time, and score it purely on points.  That approach will teach proper trigger control and sight alignment. Once someone can score 100 points, start increasing the speed that you run each string.

SUMMARY

This is a well designed short drill that tests a bunch of essential skills using very few rounds.  Because of its design, it does a good job of guiding the shooter to understand the relative cadence of shot to shot speed with 2 handed, dominant hand only and support hand only shooting.

2018 Rangemaster Tactical Conference AAR part 4

From March 16-18, 2018, several of us from the KR Training team (myself, Dave Reichek, and Tracy Becker) attended the 20th annual Rangemaster Tactical Conference, held at the Direct Action Resource Center near Little Rock, Arkansas.  This is part 3 of a series of posts about sessions I attended and taught, the match and products I evaluated as part of the conference.

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

MORE PRESENTATIONS

There were a lot of presentations and live fire sessions at the conference.

Claude Werner taught a revolver session and blogged about his session as well as shooting a revolver in the match.

Here’s the Misfires and Light Strikes blog AAR.

Here’s the Civilian Gunfighter blog AAR.

Tatiana Whitlock, the new training director for A Girl and a Gun, presented on concealed carry for women.  Her talk included material on how the relationship between different body shapes and carry methods affected comfort and concealment.

Eve Kulcsar presented on Business Tactical, and discussed the elements of risk and how they related to carrying in a business/professional environment.

Kevin Davis presented on Officer-Involved Shootings, sharing research into reaction time vs. distance, discussing mindset and other related topics.

Some of the material referenced in Kevin’s presentation can be found in this article and this recently published book.

Much more to follow in upcoming posts over the next few days!

 

 

2018 Rangemaster Tactical Conference AAR part 3

From March 16-18, 2018, several of us from the KR Training team (myself, Dave Reichek, and Tracy Becker) attended the 20th annual Rangemaster Tactical Conference, held at the Direct Action Resource Center near Little Rock, Arkansas.  This is part 3 of a series of posts about sessions I attended and taught, the match and products I evaluated as part of the conference.

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

SATURDAY – HISTORICAL HANDGUN

I gave a 2 hour lecture on my Historical Handgun material Saturday morning and again Saturday afternoon.  I was honored that many of the trainers that I mentioned in my talk, and many that were there for the major events and matches of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s attended, sharing their own experiences. I took a lot of notes, and received many generous offers to share their own archival material for my book.

The late trainer Paul Gomez was a serious student of the history of handgun training and technique.  An example of his depth of knowledge is this video on muzzle aversion techniques.

For years I had encouraged Paul to write a book compiling the histories of the different techniques for grip, draw, reloads, muzzle aversion, etc. The last conversation I had with him before he passed was about us collaborating on that book.  In 2017 I got serious about moving that project forward, developing a course available in 1/2, 1, and 2 day formats and working on a book.  For my talk at TacCon, I went decade by decade, discussing the important trainers, books, events, and equipment from each era.

Prior to 1930 was the Wild West era, Wyatt Earp, World War I, and the introduction of semi-auto pistols and double action revolvers.

The 1930’s was the gangster era – machine guns, the FBI, the 1934 National Firearms Act, and hip shooters: Jelly Bryce with the FBI, Ed McGivern as well as a multitude of cowboys in films and pulp magazines that dominated pop culture of that decade.

The 1940’s was World War 2.  Millions of US citizens went through the largest firearms training program in US history (military boot camp), and a few books, from Fairbairn, Sykes and Applegate, would introduce concepts that would influence trainers in the 60’s and 70’s.

I’ve written a lot about the FBI qualification course of fire from 1945, which included both hip shooting and bullseye shooting. It set the standard for handgun training until the late 1960’s.

The 1950’s was all about six guns: cowboy sixguns in fast draw competition, TV shows, movies and books, and double action sixguns carried by law enforcement and discussed in books by Elmer Keith, Charles Askins, and a young Jeff Cooper.

The 1960’s was really the start of the modern semi-auto era, as the Southwest Pistol League (Ray Chapman, Thell Reed, Jeff Cooper, Jack Weaver, Elden Carl) took cowboy fast draw and turned it into what we know now as Practical Shooting.  The era of hip shooting and bullseye faded, as techniques for aimed, two handed rapid fire were tested and refined.

The 1970s saw the creation of Gunsite, the Chapman Academy, the International Practical Shooting Confederation – the foundations for all the private sector shooting schools and pistol competitions of the present day. During this decade the officer survival movement in law enforcement training began, as police training adapted to a changing culture and increasing crime rate.

In the 1980’s more training schools began: Bill Rogers, John Shaw, Massad Ayoob, John Farnam, and many other traveling trainers.  Competition diversified: US Practical Shooting Association, Steel Challenge, Second Chance, Bianchi Cup, and other matches.  Shooting timers, progressive reloading presses and custom 1911’s grew in popularity. The Glock was introduced in 1982.

The story of the 1990’s was dramatic expansion in shall issue concealed carry, in reaction to increasing crime and mass shootings.  The other reaction to these trends was the 1994 assault weapon and magazine ban.  During this decade many more trainers and schools became active, including schools that began to integrate gun, unarmed, tactics and medical training (InSights, Tactical Defense Institute, Modern Warrior).  The rise of video sales and rentals created a path for training and competition video to reach gun owners nationwide, and by the end of the decade, Gun Culture 2.0 began to rise, as adults in urban areas, raised outside traditional gun culture attended training, got carry permits, took classes, and competed in the new pistol sport of IDPA with their carry gear.

The 2000’s began with 9/11 – an incident that affected the entire country, causing many that had been complacent about their own personal safety to buy guns and attend training. Tom Givens turned his IDPA Winter Nationals into the Rangemaster Tactical Conference.  The trainers associated with the conference shared ideas and influenced the direction of firearms training all over the US.  The number of firearms training schools dramatically increased, particularly at the end of the decade, as combat veterans transitioning to civilian life brought their experience and drive to the marketplace. The internet, particularly youTube, became the primary source for gun owners to learn about trainers, training, gear, gun laws, and everything else.

In the 2010’s, gun sales and concealed carry permits increased, and gun rights activists scored many wins, from the Supreme Court down to local levels.  The number of people carrying daily in public increased as violent crime dropped, even as mass shootings and increased polarization between coastal urban areas and the rest of the country over gun rights occurred.

If you want more Historical Handgun, I’m offering the full 2 day course at my range near Austin the Tuesday and Wednesday after the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas, a 1 day version in Oklahoma City in June, and another 1 day session in Culpepper, VA in October.  I’ll be doing a 4 hour live fire block of Historical Handgun at the NW Tac Con coming up in July 2018 at the Firearms Academy of Seattle, and presenting this 2 hour block and the 4 hour live fire block at the 2019 Paul-E-Palooza.

Much more to follow in upcoming posts over the next few days!

 

 

2018 Rangemaster Tactical Conference AAR part 2

From March 16-18, 2018, several of us from the KR Training team (myself, Dave Reichek, and Tracy Becker) attended the 20th annual Rangemaster Tactical Conference, held at the Direct Action Resource Center near Little Rock, Arkansas.  This is part 2 of a series of posts about sessions I attended and taught, the match and products I evaluated as part of the conference.

Part 1 is here.

FRIDAY SESSION 3

Friday afternoon was a 4 hour session from Ed Monk of Last Resort firearms training. Ed’s background includes military and law enforcement service, and work as a public school teacher. His topic was active shooters.  I’ve attended a lot of training on this topic, particularly in the past year, as I got certified by the state of Texas to teach the new 2 day School Safety/Active Shooter Response course.  Ed’s presentation went into more detail about many incidents, taking a science and math-based approach to analyzing timelines and casualty rates.  Hopefully he will offer this block at next year’s TacCon, as it’s one of the best presentations on this topic I’ve seen.

This blog post is going live on Saturday, March 24, the day when hundreds of protests all over the country are occurring, demanding more gun laws (and little else) in response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting.  In a perfect world, every person attending or speaking (or funding) those protests should be forced to attend this presentation, as part of the “national dialogue on gun violence” they all pretend to want.  Sadly, none of the data or facts presented in Ed’s talk will be part of any news coverage of the topic or the day’s events.

Some of the sources for the data in his talk are here:

Another source I recommend is Andy Brown’s excellent book Warnings Unheeded, which goes into deep detail about the incident he stopped at Fairchild AFB.  Andy hit a rifle-armed active shooter with multiple rounds at 70+ yards using the M9 pistol he carried as a military policeman.  His book not only covers the background of the active shooter, but also Andy’s development as a shooter and law enforcement officer, the post-shooting events on the day of the incident, and the long term effects the incident on Andy and others involved.

Mike Seeklander did an excellent podcast interview with Andy recently.

In a typical incident, one person is shot every 8-12 seconds.  Ed presented a typical timeline, with some optimistic numbers for time to call 911, and time for police to arrive and take action. (In many incidents, such as the Parkland, FL case, police “response time” was 0, because an officer was present when the shooting began, but the actual time before police stopped the shooter was much more than 7 minutes.)

This slide shows the hard, cold truth.  If no armed personnel are on site to act immediately when the killing begins, the “official plan” could easily result in dozens of casualties.

As Ed asked in class: what exactly is the “acceptable” number of casualties? Any plan that is only run and hide, with ineffective methods of “fight” (one official advocates giving students rocks to throw) may not state a number of acceptable casualties, but any plan that depends on waiting for police to arrive to stop the shooter includes a implied “plan” to allow people to be shot, 6-8 a minute, for however many minutes the police response time is. 

Ed’s central thesis is simple.  An armed person present when the killing begins can stop it sooner and faster, reducing the number of victims to single digits.

Much of Ed’s presentation consisted of very detailed analysis of dozens of incidents, particularly timelines. How long did the killing occur, when was 911 called, how long before police arrived, how long before the killing stopped?  A summary of data from incidents where armed people on site took action shows single-digit death/injury rates.  Just a few days ago, an officer in Maryland stopped an incident after only 2 people were shot.  That incident has gotten a fraction of the media attention the Parkland incident has.

Many incidents with low casualty numbers are not included in lists of active shooter incidents compiled by the FBI, journalists and other groups.  The FBI definition requires four (4) people to be shot in an incident.  Several of the incidents discussed in Ed’s presentation – incidents where active killers were stopped early – fall below the threshold.  (Only studying incidents where responses failed, ignoring those where response was successful, appears to be a pattern with FBI analysis, since they also study incidents in which officers were killed with more emphasis than they place on studying incidents in which officers stopped lethal attacks.)

Omission of that data skews public perception of the issue, such as in this NBC report on the recent Maryland incident, which states that “incidents where school resource officers stop active shooters are rare”.  They can only make that claim by limiting their counting to only incidents involving school resource officers, omitting actions taken by off-duty cops, armed citizens, or even on-duty officers that were not specifically school resource officers.   While the statement is factually accurate, the word choices illustrate how hidden biases of journalists (or their editors) can shape public perception of an issue. (John Lott’s excellent book The Bias Against Guns is a great study of examples of this kind of subtle but ubiquitous media spin.)

When the official “wait for police” plan is followed, the results are far, far worse.

Ed provided strong rebuttals to the standard talking points opposing armed personnel in schools.

People don’t just “snap”. In every active shooter incident, study of the killer’s life history always reveals multiple warning signs (as occurred in the Parkland, FL incident). KR Training’s Howard Nemerov published a detailed analysis of crime rates for Texas carry permit holders vs. the general population.  If the general population committed violent crimes at the same rate as Texas permit holders, violent crime in Texas would drop 96%.

These are the hard facts people need to understand about active shooter incidents.

One final thought – not from Ed’s presentation, but from someone who posted it after the Maryland incident.  It’s relevant because those marching and protesting believe that similar laws passed on a national level would deter an active shooter – yet they failed to do so in Maryland.

Much more to follow in upcoming posts over the next few days!