Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 3/10/2005 7:07:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/11/2005 11:35:17 AM EST by Code_3]
I just finished a 4-day police carbine class conducted by Giles Stock (the guy who invented the "Giles" sling for the AR15).

Giles is a retired SWAT Sgt. and current Gunsite instructor.

After being authorized to carry a personally-owned Colt AR15 I decided to take Giles' course in Phoenix to learn some advanced tactical techniques.

Giles emphasizes movement...move quickly into position...place the shots carefully and then move off line (particularly at night).

By the end of the class most of the students could go from low ready, manipulate the safety, get on target and place a shot in about 0.5 second. I was amazed that I could place two rounds into the center of mass and one into the head in under a second from a low ready position. The Aimpoint really helped me make accurate and rapid shot placement. There were three of us in the class with Aimpoints and a couple of other students had other kinds of red dot sights. In low light (without flashlights) the red dot meant we could place a shot when the guys with iron sights couldn't see their front sights.

Giles urged everyone to get a tritium front sight and an Aimpoint. He is a consultant to Surefire and brought several of their newest products to the class for students to try out on their rifles. I had a bayonet mounted M3 light that worked fine out to 50 yards or so (after I got it aligned with Giles' help).

One of the reasons I wanted to take his carbine tactics class was I had heard he would show ways to use the sling. Most of the students in the class had Giles' slings or a variant of it. He adjusted up our slings so they fit properly and then showed us several methods of carry and transition from the carbine to the handgun and back. I was amazed at how quickly I could manipulate the carbine.

My weakest area was in rapid fire (try 8 rounds from low ready into a T21 center of mass from 15 yards in under two seconds). There were several guys who could stay on target, but my 135 pounds seems to work against me on this technique. This is something I need to work on. I need to buy a shot timer so I can measure my improvement when I practice this on my own.

One of the most interesting techniques he taught was similar to what I had learned years ago with the M16 to shoot under a car. He taught a more refined position where I was prone with my rifle laying on the ground on its right (exjection port) side flat agaist the ground. The left side of my head was flat against the ground and the muzzle was raised up maybe an inch or so. This was an incredible stable position. Even though my sights were 90 degrees off axis I could place shots within a half inch or so at 50 yards. This position seemed more stable than a bench rest and one I could stay in for a long period if I was waiting out a suspect. (It would allow me to take advantage of available concealment/cover like a depression in the ground or a wall.

Giles teaches classes like this across the U.S., but you are most likely to find him teaching at Gunsite in Paulden. I plan on taking another class from him in October and would encourage anyone who wants to learn advanced tactical techniques with the AR15 to take one of his classes.

We shot about 1,500 rounds in the class (I used the loose packed XM193PD from Ammoman) and had zero ammo problems. I did have a couple of magazines that caused some jams. Once I tossed them out my rifle ran perfectly (thanks to TW25B and FP10!!!!!). A couple of the student rifles broke during the class. A Colt developed a loose barrel and a Bushy (I think) broke a firing pin (we only found the rear piece of the firing pin...no idea where the long piece disappeared).

One of the students had a 11.5" barrel AR and it was totally unreliable...about half the time he would get off one or two shots and then it would short stroke. POS rifle!!!

The most reliable rifles in the class were the 16" Colt and Bushy factory rifles. His talk on the ballistics of the 223 gave me a thorough understanding of the trajetory of the round and its wounding characteristics.
Link Posted: 3/10/2005 7:23:13 PM EST
Thanks for the report.

Giles also teaches in Pittsburg PA several times a year with the FIRE Institute (he sits on the board). I've had the honor of taking a couple of classes with him (handgun and carbine), he is a great instructor. If anyone gets the opportunity to train with the man please do so - Giles was one of the early proponents of using 5.56 carbines over 9mm sub guns.
Link Posted: 3/10/2005 7:38:48 PM EST
Good post. Feedback on classes is most welcome here; I wish more would share their experiences!

What type/brand of magazines gave you the problems- Were you able to tell what caused the malfunctions? Are there any accessories, reliability mods, or tactical gear that you are going to change as a result of the class? I'd suggest a cross post in the ammo forum about your great success with XM193PD.
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 2:41:07 AM EST
As far as your 135lb problem, I recommend bear and chips. Consummed in large quantities, this method will bring your ballast weight up rapidly :>)

Curious info about the 11.5" gun. Mine is also prone to that but I am trying to get it where it will work all the time because it is a very useful barrel length.

Link Posted: 3/11/2005 3:07:41 AM EST
good post!
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 3:52:53 AM EST
Is there a source of info (website) for Giles' schedule??
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 4:46:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By mcgrubbs:
Is there a source of info (website) for Giles' schedule??

For his Pittsburg classes go to FIRE Institute
There he teaches Handgun 1, Carbine 2, Tactics 2, Revolver (new course this year - he won the Police Olympics in Revolver several times), and he will be teaching a special Carbine seminar course this year as well as precision rifle.
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 5:34:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By Code_3:

One of the students had a 11.5" barrel AR and it was totally unreliable...about half the time he would get off one or two shots and then it would short stroke. POS rifle!!!

You know I hear about all these problems with 11.5" ARs, but it really baffles me. My DPMS 11.5" Upper has been extremely reliable. After over 3,000 rounds that I know of for sure (proabably more) I can't recall any failures to cycle. Why are some reliable and others not, really mystifies me.
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 7:57:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/11/2005 8:04:29 AM EST by Rmplstlskn]
I see Giles will be doing a "Special Carbine" class in early July at the FIRE Inst. in Pittsburg, PA. I will have to keep an eye on this... Although I have over a DECADE of AR experience as a civilian, I still have not attended any Carbine classes yet...

Link Posted: 3/11/2005 9:14:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By Rmplstlskn:
Although I have over a DECADE of AR experience as a civilian, I still have not attended any Carbine classes yet...

Then you won't be allowed in the Carbine Seminar. There is a pre-requisite that you need to have taken an approved (by them) carbine course prior to taking the seminar (same rules as their Carbine 2 class).

Part of the class will review what you learned in earlier courses, then move onto bigger things.

I suggest taking Carbine 1 in June (3 day course) so you'll be eligable to attend the seminar. Trust me it's worth it:Read My Review Here Read the NY Crew's Review Here

I know I'll be there along with some of the NY Crew that attends FIRE courses.

ohh If you want to see my review of Gile's Carbine 2 class (with photos) Click Here
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 9:45:06 AM EST
Giles Stock is one of those immortal legends whose name will live on forever. Sort of like if John Wayne were a tactical instructor.

I would love to have the opportunity to attend one of his classes. Think of all of the lives Giles has saved by providing such quality instruction-it must be in the thousands.
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 11:34:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/11/2005 11:40:55 AM EST by Code_3]
The 11.5" barrelled AR was a Colt that had been built up by a Phoenix SWAT team member. An armorer taking the class suggested that the gas port under the front sight probably needed to be enlarged to allow more gas to flow into the gas tube. He said that probably would fix the short cycling problem.

A couple things I learned about equipment in the class:

1. Keep the toys on the rifle to what works and no more. It was amazing how heavy an AR could get after having it slung for 4 days. Giles said I had a good set up... Colt AR15 A3 Tactical Carbine 16" with Giles sling, Aimpoint and M3 bayonet mount (built by Ken Elmore at SAW in Arizona...same guy who built Giles' rifle). He suggested I consider replacing the HBAR with one of the lightweight barrels to shave a pound or two off the front of the rifle.

2. Carry a spare parts kit (like the one Bushmaster sells) with all the stuff that's likely to break. Giles said, better yet, to carry a complete bolt and a parts kit. One rifle broke a firing pin (only found part of it) and others had transient failures that may have been related to inadequate lube.

3. Magazines were my biggest problem. Most of mine are surplus LEO Colt mags. Apparently, I had at some point dropped one and it slightly bent in one of the rear tabs. The top round was held slightly ahead of the others and it double fed on me (on the firing line while I was being timed). At least I got my chance to do a clearance drill under pressure! I also had two LaBelle mags that were just out of the plastic bag and were marked as being manufactured in 1988. These appear to be teflon coated? Anyhow, they worked for about two or three loads and then the follower would bind when loading them. Maybe they got dirt in them or something. I'll look at them this weekend and try to figure out what happened. Another Colt mag (dated 03-04) loaded fine and doesn't appear to have any other problems, but would jam my rifle. I'll take a look at this one too and let you know what I learn. I took 10 mags to the class and had 4 of them choke on me. Before I take my next carbine class I'll going to take every mag I plan on using to the range and fire at least one loading out of it. Once I set these aside my rifle ran fine. It was sure frustrating to do a tact reload and get a double feed! I'll probably remove the followers and springs from these 4 mags and destroy the bodies if I can't fix them.

4. I also learned that the Aimpoint was superior as a sighting system to the other red dots used in the class. Having 10K hours on a battery meant I could turn it on and leave it that way for 4 days (other red dot folks were switching theirs on and off and sometimes forgetting to turn them back on). I heard the new Aimpoint ML3 has something like 40K hours on a battery...nice! The Aimpoints used in the class were 100% reliable in the dust and heat and students with them did especially well in the night exercises.

5. Get a good weapon-mounted light that allows you to identify an adversary at 35-50 yards. I'm using the M3 (which cost about $110) and there are light systems that work for ARs costing from about $100 to more than $800. This is a necessary item if you can ever imagine needing your rifle in a structure in the day or night. The light will help you identity the target and possibly blind the target.

Link Posted: 3/11/2005 11:48:53 AM EST
Code did you have low light simulator during this course? If so any nasty 'traps' in it?
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 12:47:49 PM EST
No simulators in this class (they do at Gunsite). We did three nights of shooting and it was totally dark out in the desert where were training...no moon. If you didn't have a weapon-mounted light or were good with a handheld light you were SOL...you couldn't even see the targets at 50 yards without a light.

I had been warned that the red dot would get washed out by the light, but I found the opposite to be true, that I could turn down the dot from its daylight setting and it worked perfectly with the M3 light.

I got to play with several weapons lights and as a minimum you need a light that puts out a focused beam of at least 60 lumens, more is better. The high-end Surefire weapon light would light up the target at 100 yards...awesome!!!!
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 4:55:01 PM EST

Thanks very much for posting your observations of the course. If it's not too much to ask, can you post pic of your carbine that you took to the class?
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 5:29:24 PM EST
Thanks Forest for the heads up about the prerequisite for Giles class. I live in VA so I don't see myself taking two classes so close to each other... I may take the Carbine 1 but may also look around if any other training facility may be closer to me... Blackwater maybe?

Link Posted: 3/11/2005 5:34:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By Rmplstlskn:
I may take the Carbine 1 but may also look around if any other training facility may be closer to me... Blackwater maybe?

Depending on where in VA you live FIRE may be close - it most certainly is cheaper as its a not-for-profit organization.

Pat Rogers does a course in Quantico once a year (I'm planning on being there next year). Jeff Gonzallas (a former SEAL) also occasionally runs courses in VA.
Link Posted: 3/11/2005 6:20:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By pnguyen678:

Thanks very much for posting your observations of the course. If it's not too much to ask, can you post pic of your carbine that you took to the class?

The Virginia Hometown Forum is organizing four separate classes at Blackwater this year. Feel free jump in on this thread. Two are being held in May and we still have openings for anybody interested.

Link Posted: 3/11/2005 6:21:37 PM EST
Great post and I enjoy reading reviews of folks who actually train with their rifles/carbines. However, there is a tactics and training section to the forum and I wish more people would post these kind of reviews there. I have found out that few people visit that section, so you'll get alot more exposure here.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:18:11 PM EST
Here's the carbine I used in the class. I bought it years ago from Ken Elmore at SAW in Arizona. It's a plain-Jane Colt A3 Tactical Carbine, Aimpoint and Streamlight M3. The bayo lug light mount is an inspiration: aligns the light perfectly with the bore and makes for easy manipulation of the switch. Giles showed me how to adjust the sling properly and how to use it.

I used Loctite on anything that could come loose and after several thousand rounds (plus being carried in the trunk of a patrol car) nothing has come loose.

Giles stresses keeping it simple and that's pretty much what I have done with this rifle. It works.

Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:27:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 5:33:45 PM EST by Forest]
Code 3 - don't you find it tiring having the controls for the light so far forward, or do you have a tape switch for the light?
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:45:50 PM EST
I activate the light with my left hand index finger. Giles teaches switching it on only long enough to confirm the target, fire and then off and move off line. I was doing this for hours during the class and didn't have a problem with it.

Giles is not a fan of [pressure switches as they don't wear well being carried in patrol cars where they can get mashed.

One caution I should have mentioned in the original class report is if you are going to stress out if your rifle or mags get a scratch...Giles' class is not for you. He treats the AR as a tool and that means the carbine is going to get dirtier than any weapon you've ever seen, it may get down in the gravel and come away with some battle scars.

We were shooting in muddy conditions and my Aimpoint lenses got covered with mud...my mags were filthy after being dropped in the muck. The class is a great way to see what's going to break on your carbine.

I found out I needed to add more lube to my rifle. I had always run it fairly dry so it wouldn't attract dirt between shootings.

I found that TW15B and FP10 were the right combo for my rifle. Kinda pricey lube, but it worked well.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:54:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 6:07:32 PM EST by Forest]

Originally Posted By Code_3:
I activate the light with my left hand index finger. Giles teaches switching it on only long enough to confirm the target, fire and then off and move off line. I was doing this for hours during the class and didn't have a problem with it.

Ok you probably have bigger hands than I do. I found when I wasn't using a VFG I had to have the button between the front to the middle of the handguard to reach it comfortably.

Giles had suggested I try the GG&G Offest Light mount. It works pretty good with my VFG, I can activate my light with my thumb.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:01:14 PM EST
Thanks for the info.

The AZ crew just finished a two day class with Bill Jeans last weekend. We have a CQB class coming up with Phil Hayes in April at the MCSO shoot house.


I think an officer that goes by AZSIG might have been in that class with you.
Top Top