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Old 09-30-2012, 21:29   #1
Big Bird
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Vicker's Shooting Clinic Notes

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.
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Old 09-30-2012, 21:38   #2
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Great recap, lots of interesting info.
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Old 09-30-2012, 21:47   #3
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Cool, thanks for sharing. I agree I like thin rails like the Troy VTAC over anything else.

Also I zero my red dots at 25 yards so the hold over at shorter distances is not as great.
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Old 09-30-2012, 21:48   #4
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Thanks for taking the time to share that info, it makes sense.
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Old 09-30-2012, 21:57   #5
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Thanks for that. I think a lot of that important stuff gets left out in lue of shaing more of the "cooler" stuff. Well atleast I do.

One thing I learned from the last class I took was to bring some empty magazines. It's easier to load magazines to a certain capacity than peel rounds off in a rush while others wait. I stayed up late the night prior loading all my mags.
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Old 09-30-2012, 23:11   #6
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Nice review and 99.9% of shooters who have never taken formal instruction from a quality source really don't understand what they do not understand. Even people who have been shooting 35+ years with thousands of rounds fired are usually astonished about learning from a quality instructor such as a Vickers SM course like you attended.

A few things to note....Offset of the height of the optic over bore on an M4/M16/AR15 is generally 2.5". So no matter the zero distance your offset at contact distance out to about 10 yards is 2.5". So to hit the person between the eyes in the snot box, your POA is about at the hairline of a normal 18 year old or 2.5". Also unless if he has changed it (which is quite possible), the circle size used to be 8" at 7 yards, which is the standard IDPA "A" zone of which Larry was a founding father of the sport.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:16   #7
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Thanks!! Great review of the class.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:09   #8
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Good notes big bird.
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:56   #9
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Good report. Lot's of good and important details.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:31   #10
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Great reiview! One thing I do not understand is 5-6 inches of hold over at 7 yards. Seems to me that it should be closer to 2.1 inches with the described zero.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:48   #11
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Thanks for the AAR. Much appreciated.

You stated that some guys were really fast.... Did you note whether those guys were running brakes/comps?
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Old 10-01-2012, 14:59   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plouffedaddy View Post
Thanks for the AAR. Much appreciated.

You stated that some guys were really fast.... Did you note whether those guys were running brakes/comps?
Nope the one guy was running an A2 flash hider...

The equipment wasn't the difference. If I could have bought my way to proficiency with a carbine I'd have been champ of the world a long time ago...

13 shooters in the class and we only had one guy with a muzzle brake and we all hated him. (too loud and obnoxious--the gun not the shooter)

Quickness is a 98% a function of technique.
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Old 10-01-2012, 15:34   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Courtney View Post
Great reiview! One thing I do not understand is 5-6 inches of hold over at 7 yards. Seems to me that it should be closer to 2.1 inches with the described zero.
Matthew. I know I'm off on that. It just seemed like it was bigger than it really is. I recall measuring the offset with my fingers on the target and after measuring my hand sitting here at the desk its probably more like 4 inches. Its still a lot.

I was getting hits on the 1" dot in the middle of the head on the target and aiming at the top of the target.

Same with the black in the center of the chest. Aiming at the top of the black I shot out the center of the target and made a hole I could put my fist through.
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Old 10-01-2012, 16:14   #14
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Quote:
Quickness is a 98% a function of technique.
I concur and the A2 is a good muzzle device; but some of those breaks really make the gun handle different.
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Old 10-01-2012, 16:30   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
Matthew. I know I'm off on that. It just seemed like it was bigger than it really is. I recall measuring the offset with my fingers on the target and after measuring my hand sitting here at the desk its probably more like 4 inches. Its still a lot.

I was getting hits on the 1" dot in the middle of the head on the target and aiming at the top of the target.

Same with the black in the center of the chest. Aiming at the top of the black I shot out the center of the target and made a hole I could put my fist through.
Well, we all see the sights and handle our rifles differently. The numbers are just starting points on the path to learning what works for each individual and his rifle. Heck, my holdovers seem to change in different lighting conditions. Great to see folks enjoying quality training! Thanks for the report.
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Old 10-01-2012, 16:48   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Courtney View Post
Well, we all see the sights and handle our rifles differently. The numbers are just starting points on the path to learning what works for each individual and his rifle. Heck, my holdovers seem to change in different lighting conditions. Great to see folks enjoying quality training! Thanks for the report.

There's an old saying among service rifle highpower shooters--"lights up--sights up" Meaning if you zero on a sunny day you probably need to drop 1/2 MOA in elevation when its cloudy and vice versa. AT 200 and 300 yards it never really mattered as 1/2 MOA is 1" and 1.5" respectively and you can hold the ten easy with a 1/2 MOA shift in POA that you get with irons under changing light conditions. But at 600 yards we are talking 3" and now you can notice a difference.

On REALLY bright days I often found it impossible to get a good hold at 6 o-clock on the black and often went to holding the front sight on the bottom of the target frame.
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Old 10-01-2012, 21:05   #17
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how about course cost & location please?
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Old 10-01-2012, 21:18   #18
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Course was $150 for the day and was held at Knob Creek gun range in KY
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Old 10-02-2012, 00:49   #19
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Course was $150 for the day and was held at Knob Creek gun range in KY
That's not bad at all.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:00   #20
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It sounds excellent bang for the buck!
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