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Realistic Range Work for CCW

Discussion in 'Tactics and Training' started by swotivated, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. swotivated


    Apr 14, 2009
    I've observed a vast disparity between my military training and personal training at the local range.

    While attending certain schools I've run through complex obstacle courses on the range and in "kill houses" practicing critical skills such as shooting on the move, transitioning from rifle to handgun, rapid target ID, force on force engagements using realistic "sim rounds," low-light/tac-light shooting, etc.

    At my range all I can really do is punch holes in paper. I do get a lot of practice drawing from concealment, which is great training, but I'd like to work on some of the other important skills critical to winning a real life gunfight.

    My mil training has centered around squad sized engagements and while some of the training carries over I feel I need a lot more in the way of what to do if I needed to engage someone as a lone CCW'er.

    My questions:

    *What's the best way to get realistic experience on how to handle yourself in a CCW engagement?

    *Does anyone know of private schools or facilities in Southern Virginia where this is possible?

    *What about helpful live fire drills that are range-legal? My range allows drawing from a holster and rapid fire; not moving, shooting multiple side by side targets, or transitions.

    *Any good blogs or sites with a compilation of first hand CCW shooting accounts? I've read a few legit ones here and there, but not many.

    I know dry firing and doing goofy stuff at home by yourself helps (I do it myself quite a bit), but I also know that live fire/ force on force drills are much much better training.
  2. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

    Mar 26, 2003
    Sounds like you need some competition going to hone an keep your skills nicely edged.

    Also, do not discount those opportunities that exist at your range. Every single drill you can think of under the sun is based on those really basic shooting fundamentals, and it looks like your range not only allows rapid fire, but also presentation from concealment.

    A lot of your military training (long gun<>hand gun transition, team drills, dynamic entries) does not STATISTICALLY apply to non LEO defensive/conceal carry/gun in home shooting.

    I suspect it's more of a "I have an itch for stuff I used to do in the military" more than "stuff that could possibly save my life, but my range disallows it".

    To be clear, I am not saying that any of the training you wish to endeavor is not good, solid training...I'm saying based on information available about non-LE shoots, those things you want to practice for are not any of the typical elements in a self-defense situation.


  3. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    Sounds like you're serious. So let's expand this from CCW to personal defense.

    First, realize that not every problem is a gun problem. Seek out something to-the-point and effective for unarmed and knife defense. I'd recommend Krav and AMOK.

    For the firearms, look into an Airsoft copy of your carry. Set up a duffle bag wrapped in butcher paper in your garage, and go nuts with punch/move & shoot drills.

    For the live-fire, contact G30Jack, who posts here. He runs excellent FoF and firearms drills in VA.
  4. swotivated


    Apr 14, 2009
    Drew: I completely agree that many skills like dynamic entries and transitions aren't applicable to CCW. The skills I wish I had more practice with are low light/tac light work, engaging multiple targets, and shooting from non-traditional positions (lying down, on my back, seated, and behind cover). I practice all this stuff at home but obviously never have to opportunity to do it with live rounds.

    Sam: Great point, the defense tactics they teach us are based on Jujitsu but I think there's other stuff thrown in there. I think hand to hand is very important for a CCW. I'll have to look into knife training because I have absolutely none to speak of and it certainly can't hurt to have more tools in the tool bag.

    I'll PM Jack, thanks for the tip.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  5. PhoneCop

    PhoneCop TeleDetective

    Jan 6, 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    I think you can get some trigger time doing many of these shooting IDPA and USPSA.

    For even more dynamic practice- just seek out guys doing paintball and airsoft.

    No, it's not a school. But what you save in paying for a class can equal a lot of practice/play.
  6. IDPA,if available to you, is a great way to train CCW. It's a bunch of fun too. We shoot all sorts of stages. From the shoot house, to steel, paper, advancing, retreating,to and from various types of cover. Lots of good practical training. Just bring what you carry and a cover garment(i.e. vest or jacket), and go to it.

    +1 concerning the Krav. I actually train more in DT than firearms. Twice a week to be exact. Krav, Tang Soo Do, jiu jitsu and a little Mui Tai. I just expanded on what the state trains us in. Weapon retension and disarming drills are good to know too.
  7. swotivated


    Apr 14, 2009
    Just Googled IDPA, looks like good stuff. How much does it typically cost to participate?
  8. The club I shoot at charges $8.00 a shoot.
  9. PhoneCop

    PhoneCop TeleDetective

    Jan 6, 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    Membership Fee. If I recall correctly you have to join IDPA and join a local club- maybe wrong.
    Match Fess typically around $20
    100 rnds of ammo
  10. It's $10 a match here. I think benefit of IDPA/USPSA is that while it is not tactical training, your gun handling skills will become second nature. Draw, grip (strong/support side), quick sight acquisition/trigger press, shooting from cover, shooting on the move, reloads, muzzle control, etc., will become hardwired, so that safe gun use becomes secondary and you can use most of the hard drive (or would that be RAM...?) between the ears to concentrate on the threat(s).
  11. swotivated


    Apr 14, 2009
    Yeah, I agree, IDPA isn't "tactical/ realistic" in the sense that it allows you to tunnel in and run the course without any situational awareness (searching, scanning for other threats, navigating a hot area, improvising). It wouldn't be good to use IDPA as your only CCW training for that reason. Still, it's a hell of a lot better than standing on the 15 yd line and plinking off a few hundred rounds at a bullseye.
  12. IDPA is a start. But it's not the matches that help you so much as the practice you have to do in order to do well at the matches!

    Drawing from concealment (standing, pivoting, moving in different directions.)
    Shooting on the move.
    Shooting moving targets.
    Shooting behind various kinds of cover.
    Starting from odd positions like sitting behind a desk, car, recliner, etc..
    Speed reloading/tac reloading.
    Weak/strong hand shooting
    Low light shooting
    And much more!

    What is more when the match comes you have to do all that in front of alot of people and try to look good (or at least not like an idiot.)

    So you see the matches are really just a test, it's the trigger time you are forced to use practicing that matters.

  13. Deaf's right. Shooting in a match adds a little pressure... When the beeper goes off, my IQ drops about 25 points...and I was barely into 2 digits before it started...:rofl:

    Seriously, it helps you focus on the task at hand. If you've been doing all the other stuff he discussed, grip, draw, etc., then you can focus on the stage. Besides that, it's fun!
  14. K. Foster

    K. Foster

    Feb 19, 2002
    Can you find a more permissive range?
    As far as the things you can&#8217;t do at your range: You might be surprised how much improvement you can achieve from quality dry-fire practice. Movement and multiple target drills can be done in you living room. Following proper safety procedures, of course.
    Since your range allows working from the holster, a very beneficial drill is: Draw and fire a non-standard response (3 or more rounds). Practice breaking tunnel vision by consciously breathing and scanning left and right before re-holstering.
    If there isn&#8217;t a school close by, you might look at some of the mobile instructors. Tactical Response would be a start. They also have DVD&#8217;s
    Hope this helps.
  15. swotivated


    Apr 14, 2009
    I wish man. I miss AZ. I used to drive out into the desert and do everything you could imagine. My favorites were:

    -shooting out my driver and passenger side windows (rolled down of course) while seat belted then leaving the car and moving to cover.

    -shooting on my back then jumping up and moving to cover while still engaging the threat.

    -have a buddy set up several targets marked "shoot" and "don't shoot" behind my back, then execute a 'look, turn, shoot' drill to engage the 'bad guys.'

    IMO, very realistic stuff. If I had any balls I would have gone out and done all that at least once while it was pouring out just to get the practice in bad weather conditions. Fortunately, the Navy has afforded me the pleasure of some very cold and wet range time :upeyes:

    I'm very jealous of anyone that has access to open space like that for shooting. The benefit simply can't be overstated.
  16. mortpes


    Oct 1, 2006
    I do admire those close group shots down range. I suggest the best skills in CCW include very close in basic gun control. That is, within the five foot circle, it is hard to miss the target but easy to shoot your foot.