Took a Vicker's Shooting Method Carbine class today and thought I'd share some thoughts about the class.
We went for about 8 hours total and fired about 300 rounds +/-
I used a home built gun with a Noveski 13.8" NSR rail, Troy BUIS, and an Aimpoint T1 with a Larue tall QD mount. The gun is built on a Noveski N4 upper and lower and a Spike's 14.5 light profile barrel. I had a Vicker's sling and used Lancer L5 AWM mags. and took a case of Federal XM193. The gun was flawless (except for the self induced double feed for the malfunction drills). BTW, the Lancer mags were perfect.
First, fifty yard zero. You shoot a 10 shot group at 50 yards. Not 2, not 5. TEN If you get a nice round group you KNOW where your center is. Shot from the prone and I managed about a 2" 10 shot zero.
Second, learning about mechanical offset and shooting at 25 yards and under was a revelation to say the least. Too much to explain. Suffice it to say that if you want a center of mass head shot at 7 yards (and have a 50 yard zero) you better aim at the top of the head. Same with a center of mass chest hit...aim about 5-6 inches high all the way out to 25. Don't take my word for it or argue with me. Just go try it yourself. I was in the Army 10 years and never saw that taught.
Third, if you shoot a red dot your BUIS should be up all the time. Inside of 25 yards you have no time to put your sights up if your red dot goes down. So keep em up with a lower 1/3 cowitness and you never see them anyhow until you need to transition to them. And at under 25 yards your need them right NOW. If you run the gun dry at 25 and under you should transition to your handgun--NOT reload the carbine. Same with BUIS. I ran another gun with a Daniel Defense 1.5 BUIS that stays up all the time. That's what I'm going to and will get rid of my Troy flip ups. It just makes more sense.
Fourth. I ran all the guns in the course and everyone got to shoot my gun. A couple of observations by most folks in the group: Thin rails like the Daniel Defense, Troy VTAC and Novseki NSR were almost universally preferred to the heavier and bulkier quad rails on some guns. The vast majority of shooter in the class agreed you can drive a gun with a skinny fore-end easier than a big thick quad rail.
There were a couple of piston guns in the class and most people commented they were WAY too heavy and bulky. One of the shooters brought an AK with an optic that was WAY too high to shoot well. Forget the mechanical offset you couldn't keep your cheek on the stock and see the dot. High mounts don't work. Carbine length fore-ends suck especially if you have standard handguards or MOE handguards. There is just not enough real-estate and its too close to your body to drive the gun well. Mid-length was the way to go. Those were general observations expressed by most people. There were a few outliers on those opinions in every category.
Kind of the standard was 5 shots in under 2 seconds from the low ready into the black (about 6" circle) on a Vickers silhouette target at 7 yards. Cadence shooting... Some guys were VERY good and VERY fast. I did OK and got my times down to around 2.6 seconds. The head shot standard was from 2 yards and 7 yards into a one inch black square in the center of the head--under a second (again, you have to aim at the top of the head)
Learned a lot. Aggressively drive the gun. Accurate shooting can be quickly done.
Malfunction, reloading, handgun transition and switch shoulder drills require a LOT of practice and will not be mastered in a day long course. But you learn the movement. The Malfunction drill on a double feed is a bee-otch.
Be sure your handgun skills are up to snuff before you go to a carbine course. I was a little rusty but managed OK. But you need to know the basic draw stroke and handgun reload and malfunction drills as well. We were expected to complete each shooting sequence even if our carbines went down or went dry with our handguns. Mine came out a half a dozen times.
Open your ammo boxes and pour all your ammo in a can or box the night before you go. Also, bring a dump pouch and put it on the back of your belt/vest etc to stash some loose ammo empty magazines.
Bring a small bottle of gun oil. After 200 rounds or so your gun will need it.
Overall, great experience, money well spent, got to play with other people's hardware. Now that I've shot one I know I never want a HK piston gun--ever
Keep an open mind and go to learn. I learned a lot and know I need to practice some things a lot more like the malfunction and transition to handgun drills.