I attended the Rochester Personal Defense – Defensive Rifle/Carbine Operator 101 course a couple of weeks ago at the Square Deal Sportsman’s Club in Maine, NY. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a carbine class for about a year. I thought about going for a week long course at the Gunsite Academy but decided to take a local course instead.
I got to the club a early and mingled a bit before class started. There were a total of 6 people in the class including myself. The class instructor was Loring “Tink” McDaniel. Tink brought a variety of AR-15′s and one AK to show us some of the many different combinations of accessories that were possible on a rifle platform. He said that we should try to find what works for us and talk to our fellow students and handle their rifles. The topics covered in the class portion were.
- Use of Force doctrine
- Equipment selection and accessories
- Difference between administrative skills and combat (Stress Loading) skills
- Malfunction and stoppage clearing
- Operation of your rifle in a defensive/combat mindset
We went over the topics in a little less than three hours since everyone had a military background and was familiar with handling firearms. The most important lesson that I took home with me from the morning portion was to think about where in your home you would stand your ground against an intruder. Tink said that it would be different for everyone and that your choices were dependent on the situation. The decision would be simpler for a single person at home then it would be for someone with children and a panicked spouse. He also said that if you could avoid shooting anyone that would be your best bet. So in an ideal situation once you hear an intruder you would call the police and keep them on the phone. Since the police record all 911 calls you would announce to the intruder that you have called the police and that you are armed and they should leave immediately. Make sure not too curse or use any racial slurs as that would be used against you in court if you did have to shoot the person(s).
After a 30 minute break for lunch we went out to the range. The range portion of the class was about 5 hours long. The topics covered in the range portion were.
- Defensive accuracy and shooting
- Proper defensive rifle or carbine stances
- Skills for shooting multiple targets
- Shooting from cover or concealment
We started off with shooting targets at about 5 yards to see the height difference between the point of aim and the point of impact. We practiced adjusting our aim so that the rounds would impact the center of the target at close range at different distances. After this initial familiarization we started doing drills. I was pretty excited about doing the drills and I tried to explain them as best as I could below.
Drill # 1 – We were broken up into pairs and one person fired a single shot anywhere on a target. The second person was then going to take two shots and try and hit within a quarter of the first person’s bullet hole. After the second shooters attempt the first shooter tried hitting as close to the original bullet hole as possible with two rounds.
Drill # 2 – We started shooting at the targets from the low ready. We concentrated on getting a good sight picture and then firing off 1 round. We quickly transitioned to two well placed rounds in the center of the target.
Drill # 3 – We took a few steps back and started vocalizing commands to a potential home intruder. We practiced by keeping our carbines in a low ready position and bringing the rifles up with the safety on while saying clearly but loudly “put the weapon down” if the intruder did not comply then the safety was flicked off, the command repeated and two shots were fired center mass. If an assailant were to try and get up then we would shout “stay down, stay down” and then fire another two in the chest if they did not comply.
Drill # 4 – We started shooting at multiple targets. The training term used was “turkey dinner”. Everybody gets a serving before getting seconds. The instructor would yell out how many targets we would be engaging. We fired at multiple targets quickly giving every target one round, the last target received two and then each previous target received an additional one. We were also instructed to look to one side and the other after neutralizing the targets to identify any additional threats and to break the tunnel vision that is associated with high stress situations.
Drill # 5 – Was firing behind cover at one target and then multiple targets. We were told to watch our feet and our elbows because they will stick out from cover and provide early warning to our aggressors and potentially get shot by them.
Drill # 6 – Was engaging multiple targets from behind cover, taking cover and reloading and then reclaiming your space and neutralizing targets. It was pointed out that if you have to reload and there are multiple threats still up then you should get behind cover to reload. The downside is that you have to reclaim your territory.
Drill # 7 – Was engaging multiple targets from behind cover, reloading, engaging the same targets and then running over to a new location and engaging targets from behind cover, coming back behind cover to reload and then engaging the targets one final time.
Overall I had a great time during the course and I am looking forward to attending more classes by Rochester Personal Defense.