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Posted: 5/18/2005 2:22:26 PM EDT
I just thought I would check in and let everybody know the class is going very well. Everybody has been great and we are doing ARFCOM proud. Nobody has had a single weapon or gear malfunction of any kind. Today was all pistol training and it went very well. We ended the day with shooting behind cover, shooting on the move, and shooting moving steel targets drills. Tomorrow starts out with more pistol instruction on the Rogers Range, and then switches to transition work and full carbine instruction. Both of our instructors are prior Military/LEO/SWAT. Both have done several tours in Afghanistan and Iraq as contract shooters. They have been purely outstanding. I have to go for now, my kids need attention and my Wilson needs cleaning for tomorrow.
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 2:40:15 PM EDT
Your Wilson may need cleaning, but my Glock doesn't.

I'm jealous. You single stack guys get more reloading training than us 9mm dual stack guys.
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 2:55:52 PM EDT
I am not cleaning my Kimber either. If it dies on me, I will simply switch to the Wilson
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 3:03:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
I'm jealous. You single stack guys get more reloading training than us 9mm dual stack guys.



It's not fun AT ALL. I want a whiz-bang ray gun that never needs reloading. I reloaded 8 times during the mover/plate stage! Seemed like every time the mover was in front of me, I'd be dry.

We couldn't have asked for better weather. This was the best day I've had in a long time.
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 3:53:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
I'm jealous. You single stack guys get more reloading training than us 9mm dual stack guys.




Dude, thats cold.
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 5:11:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 6:00:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/18/2005 9:32:01 PM EDT

I wish I was there....Work sucks....They have me pushing a desk! Something I am not used to.
Pics...lots, and lots of pics please

Sean
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 1:42:52 AM EDT
There were pics taken yesterday. I don't know if they have internet access in the bunkhouse. I got my camera today.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 2:41:20 AM EDT
Can't wait to see some pics tonight.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 3:17:41 AM EDT
I took pictures but have no way to upload them until we get back.

Everything's been great ans I've DEFINITELY learned alot.

Privatejoker took video too, so if anyone who gets too braggy we'll post some clips of them to show what REALLY happened!
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 3:18:01 AM EDT
I got some video of the action too
I'll get some on the web this weekend at some point.

It's raining this morning
Time to break out the poncho for Carbine Day
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 3:24:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:

Originally Posted By dport:
I'm jealous. You single stack guys get more reloading training than us 9mm dual stack guys.




Dude, thats cold.



It's OK, he'll need all of those extra rounds shooting a mouse gun. For the record no problem with my Yost 1911.

Mike
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 3:28:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 6:55:56 AM EDT
Been there done that, but I am STILL jealous.....



Pics, Pics, Pics......
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 7:28:21 AM EDT
For the guys who want a fun pistol match at Blackwater. We only put on this type of match a few times a year.

Steel challange at blackwater this Sunday
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 1:51:52 PM EDT
Great day today as well. Pics I have taken will have to wait till I get home, dialup only here...

One of many lessons learned today... THREADLOCKER is your friend.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 2:03:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2005 2:43:00 PM EDT by dport]
I only got about three pics before my batteries died. Then we were all shooting at the same time in the afternoon anyway. It made it exceptionally difficult to take pictures. We were either shooting or loading mags.

I can't say enough good things about the instructors. And I go the get out of jail free card, ie I'm a lefty.

Mouse gun, huh? Blackwater seems to think it's the cat's meow.
ETA PICS!
Blackwater Range 4. Steel Plate racks and mover in the background.

A few of us in early to load mags.

Relay two on the firing line.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 3:22:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JC_:
One of many lessons learned today... THREADLOCKER is your friend.



That can't be emphasized enough. My day was nearly ruined by loose screws on my Aimpoint mount. Went to my backup gun with iron sights and not one hiccup.

I'm bringing my Glock in tomorrow. I'm tired of reloading all the damn time.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 3:30:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Subzero:

Originally Posted By JC_:
One of many lessons learned today... THREADLOCKER is your friend.



That can't be emphasized enough. My day was nearly ruined by loose screws on my Aimpoint mount. Went to my backup gun with iron sights and not one hiccup.

I'm bringing my Glock in tomorrow. I'm tired of reloading all the damn time.


Feel the power of the DARK SIDE!

Just to add some gear that seems to work well:
First Samco G27 grip. Fills up the palms well. I'm going to have to get one.
Gas-blocker charging handle.
Magpul trigger guard.
Safariland 6004 holster. By far the most popular holster in the class.
Magpuls or Ranger plates.

That's all I can think of right now.
Link Posted: 5/19/2005 7:43:59 PM EDT
Rain sucks.....
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:35:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:
Rain sucks.....



But hey for the maritime zombies, you can shoot Glocks under water!
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 6:54:55 AM EDT
Soooooo, how many hostages has Aimless popped?

Sorry Bob, couldn't resist
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 3:34:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:
Rain sucks.....



Y'know, normally I'd agree, but today it was kinda awesome! It was coming down enough to make stuff harder, not enough to make the day suck.

I'm a little tired, a little sore, but ready for more. That was the best vacation I've had in a loooooooong time.

Quick notes:

- LOCTITE. Did I mention Loctite? If you aren't using it, don't wait until later to put it on. Log off and do it now.
- Under Armor and Coolmax stuff rocks hard.
- Gear you're familiar with kicks the ass of whiz-bang stuff you don't know that well.
- Never piss off dport, cuz he'll shoot your X-ring out.
- Iron sights shooters can keep up with optics guys quite well. It's the shooter, not the gear.
- Backup guns are a necessity. Not just for you, but in case other people have problems.
- Who said factory bought guns are more reliable?
- 45 ACP is fun to shoot, but I'm starting to love 9mm. Reloading less often and guns that go pop instead of boom can be fun too. Maybe I can get a 1911 in 9mm..
- Motrin IB, applied liberally, is your friend
- You can't miss fast enough to win. But the only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss. A bad place to ponder that conundrum is when you're halfway through trying to knock down a bunch of poppers. Breathe. Squeeze.
- Workstations!
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 3:44:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/20/2005 3:54:25 PM EDT by Va_Dinger]
It was truly an outstanding class. I'm working on a nice review, but thought I would post these two photos to start things off.

Bladerunner ("The Colonel") loading mags:


PrivateJoker and MAP loading up for the next drill:


Everybody knows I suck at photos.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 3:55:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 5:46:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 6:15:06 PM EDT
Wish I was there.....wish I had all the gear....
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 6:26:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/20/2005 6:27:25 PM EDT by Va_Dinger]

Originally Posted By Templar:
Lookin' good.

I'm glad my buddy The Ferret could keep up. I recommended that he take a 20" iron sighted rifle to start with to get the basics hammered in and then later progress to an optic if he thought he could use one.

Looks like a great facility!



He did you proud. Ferret was an excellent addition to the class. He actually got me all misty eyed shooting that 20" with irons.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 7:27:41 PM EDT
Excellent instruction overall. There is something to be said about being trained by guys who have recently returned from Iraq. Instant credibility. They taught what worked with experience. However, they weren't dogmatic. I can't wait to go back.

Closing thoughts:
-KNS Precision pins are good. I had problems with my trigger pin walking. I now have KNS pins on order.

-LULA is THE most ingenious device ever designed. Also if you're using a LULA come to the class with your ammo loosly packed.

-Tac reloads with two magazines are a pain in the ass when you're left handed. I haven't figured the solution to this one yet.

-I didn't feel like I was that much slower using an ACOG. I used the bottom BDC mark at 7yds, the bottom of the doughnut at 25, center at 50 and top at 100. I had no problems. 25+yards is where this thing really shines, just like everyone says. However, you can be fast closer in on IPSC type targets. Start shooting 3" dots and you have to use the bottom BDC mark.

-Don't forget the follow through. I was shooting at the last popper from the prone position. I got over-confident. I fired the shot and had engaged the safety to move to the next position when I noticed the popper still standing taunting me. I had to disengage the safety and get back into rythm to engage that popper. It cost me valuable time. Had I done a proper follow through, I would have been able to re-engage the target right then with minimal loss of time.

-I didn't feel the need to wear gloves. But the knee and elbow pads were invaluable.

-I think I could have gotten by with 5 30rnd magazines, and 7 was plenty.

-120 rounds of 9mm on you is a beautiful thing, but you get tired shooting it all in one string.

-The kneeling position sucks for me. I definitely practice it the least. I would prefer to shoot offhand before I would want to shoot from the kneeling.

-Everyone is different. For instance, MAP kicks some serious ass shooting from the kneeling position.

-Finally and certainly most importantly, ARFCOMMERS are excellent people.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 7:56:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/20/2005 8:06:52 PM EDT by Va_Dinger]

Originally Posted By Irish317:

I wish I was there....Work sucks....They have me pushing a desk! Something I am not used to.
Pics...lots, and lots of pics please

Sean



You were certainly missed. MAP would have enjoyed the LEO company. It's a shame you had to miss the class due to an injury, but don't worry this will be a yearly event. Actually, I would like to hold two Phase I's and two Phase II's a year if enough guys are interested.

Don’t worry about pictures; there will be a ton being posted soon. Mine sucked, but we had some damn near professional photographers in the class to save the day. They just had a longer drive home.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 8:26:32 PM EDT
Just got in @ 1145 pm. Boy am I tired. Great experience. Wish it was a longer class. Have some great photos. I won't be able to post them until (at least) until Sat. night. As far a good shooters . . . . . .


Go Navy !
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 9:13:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 4:29:08 AM EDT by Va_Dinger]

Originally Posted By VA-gunnut:
It looks like they have put up some new buildings.



Blackwater has certianly grown since my last trip down there. All of the new trailers you see are for the State Department security details.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 4:24:37 AM EDT
Time for one photo. My new Dell in down so I'm working on my wife's notebook.



I'll get more posted tonight.

All photos copyrighted 2005 Muzzel Blast Productions
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 4:53:46 AM EDT
There was one of these on either side of range 7. They have 5 popper targets infront of each. They are used to instruct the shooter in the proper use of cover in the various shooting positions.

Dinger's best side.

Relay 2 banging away at steel. Notice the cover in the middle of the range. We used that to engage the mover during the stress portion of the course.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 5:27:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 6:09:15 AM EDT by Va_Dinger]
Before this thread gets too far along we need to thank VA-gunnut for all his help in pulling off another successful Blackwater class. He helped me out by sending out the information & sign-up emails. It was a big help and let me work on other issues with the class.

Thanks for all your help.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 6:13:31 AM EDT
Just crawled out of bed and I wanted to say that I really had a good time and really enjoyed spending the past few days with some stand-up, good guys. The instructors were kick-ass, the facilities were superb, and I learned so much both from the instructors and from my classmates... my wife is already tired of me standing around the house with my shoulders square, elbows in and hands at my workstation

I'm happy to say that I didnt have any real problems; 1 doublefeed with my SIG, morning Day 2 (probably from over lubing), and a round that didn't fire from the carbine that I had trouble ejecting, took about 5 racks of the charging handle. Who was talking shit about Franken-ARs?

I don't have stills but I just finished watching the video but I won't be able to get it posted until AT LEAST tonight... the wife has some yardwork for me to do.

Anyways, thanks to Dinger for all his hard work in coordinating this, and giving all us an opportunity to experience training of a 1st-class facility.

All your THREAT are belong to us
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 6:25:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
...but we had some damn near professional photographers in the class to save the day.



Damn Near

I'm stoked to see some of Bulldogs photos, they should look REALLY good!

What's the holdup Devil Dog?
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 6:31:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PrivateJoker:

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
...but we had some damn near professional photographers in the class to save the day.



Damn Near

I'm stoked to see some of Bulldogs photos, they should look REALLY good!

What's the holdup Devil Dog?



Sorry, I forgot we actually did have professionals.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 7:00:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:

Originally Posted By PrivateJoker:

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
...but we had some damn near professional photographers in the class to save the day.



Damn Near

I'm stoked to see some of Bulldogs photos, they should look REALLY good!

What's the holdup Devil Dog?



Sorry, I forgot we actually did have professionals.



Link Posted: 5/21/2005 7:55:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PrivateJoker:

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
...but we had some damn near professional photographers in the class to save the day.



Damn Near

I'm stoked to see some of Bulldogs photos, they should look REALLY good!

What's the holdup Devil Dog?



Yeah yeah don't get yer dander up I'm color correcting them now, they'll be up sson.

GD whipper snappers.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 7:55:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

-Tac reloads with two magazines are a pain in the ass when you're left handed. I haven't figured the solution to this one yet.




dport...

I too, am a lefty. Have you considered trying a Norgon Ambi-Catch on your weapon(s)? For over 20 years, I had always dumped the magazine using my right thumb. Last year, I bought the Ambi-Catch.
For some time after I installed it, I would still use my right thumb instead of my trigger finger to release the magazine. When I went to Blackwater, I was afraid that, under stress, I would revert to what I was used to doing (using my right thumb). I was surprised to see that I quickly made the transition to using the trigger finger to release my magazines (all of the time).

Having one makes those tac reloads very easy, as you are not fumbling about with a mag in the very same hand you are trying use for releasing.

Try one...you may or may not like it, but try it none-the-less.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 8:27:24 AM EDT
Just a couple of quick pics. Got a ton of errands and have to cut the grass (back to the real world!).

"Two to the left"



"Two to the right"

Link Posted: 5/21/2005 8:53:56 AM EDT
I have some pics also but no time to load them up right now. I have 12lbs of pulled pork on the grill right now . Wish you guys were here to enjoy it.

The class was fun and the arfcomers were excellent. In fact, some of us are State Department Qualified.


Bomber
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 9:30:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MAP:
For the record no problem with my Yost 1911.

Link Posted: 5/21/2005 10:08:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 3:00:25 AM EDT by Va_Dinger]
This probably should have been the first post on the new thread, but I did not want to insert it after the fact.

Well, the second Blackwater Virginia Hometown Forum Phase I class is history. It was an absolute success. Great training, suburb instructors, and Blackwater’s facilities are top of the line. I could not be prouder of the class. Everybody was professional, polite, safe, and eager to learn. What more can I say? We had a truly outstanding group of guys. We had three Blackwater instructors for the class. All three were prior or current: Military/LEO/SWAT/Contractors. Two had recently completed tours in Iraq/Afghanistan as contract shooters for Blackwater security. One was prior active duty U.S. Army Special Forces and still serving in one of the reserve SF groups. He had just recently returned from Afghanistan.

The pistol portion of the class was very similar to the one I took last year, but moved at a much faster pace. We actually spent more than just one day on handguns. We spent at least two hours finishing up the pistol portion on day two. We also covered shooting on the move, use of cover and shooting behind cover, and the State Department overseas qualification test. None of this was covered during my last Blackwater pistol course. dport got the high score in the class on the State Department qualification test with a Glock. So much for the guys who talk bad about Glocks. Thank God, I don’t talk bad about them. I was lucky to barely pass after screwing up and forgetting to do an Admin reload. I started one section of the test with just one round in my mag. We had the usual mix of pistols; Glock, Sig, HK, Beretta, Taurus, production/semi-custom/custom 1911’s, and one CZ. Nobody had any real issues. I did not keep an accurate count on my pistol rounds fired, but it was over five hundred.

The carbine course was absolutely amazing. It started out with the basics of correct stance/basic marksmanship and progressed on to the obstacle course on range seven over one and 2/3 days. We covered all of the different shooting positions and engaging threats from seven to one hundred yards. To say I learned allot would be an understatement. The carbine portion of the course ended with the State Department carbine qualification test. dport had the best score of the class again with his Frankengun/ TA31 ACOG combo. So much for guys like me who thought the ACOG had issues under 100 yards? It just goes to show you that knowing your equipment and being proficient in its use is more important. Anyway you look at it, dport did some great shooting. I managed to place second in the class with an Aimpoint. Thank God, I was only four points back from dport or he would never let me live down removing my ACOG before the class . Like I said, everything was a learning experience. Frankenguns did very well. We only had a few real issues in the entire carbine section of the course. One guy had a problem with stuck cases. He switched to his backup and moved on. The LMT enhanced bolt&carrier setup gave one shooter problems and was swapped out with a standard. Another shooter had an Aimpoint Comp M go down with a problem. We did have the usual assortment of minor issues. Nothing major and everyone can be directly attributed to lack of LockTite and prep before the class. I asked instructor "F" if our class was having any more equipment issues than a Blackwater Academy or Military/LEO class and he said NO our minor issues were normal. I did not keep an accurate round count for the carbine section, but I would guess around 1,200 rounds.

I did have the top four screws on my PRI Aimpoint mount loosen up slightly. I could just barely rotate my Aimpoint sitting in the mount after day two. I found it late on day two. Luckily tightening it did not mess up my zero. I consider this to be my fault. I should have checked it before the class and applied LocTite.

I will be posting my “Lessons learned” for the class in the next few days.

Edited to add two more problems that occured during the class.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 10:52:28 AM EDT
Here's a taste. I'll post more once I get the chance to rotate some of them.











More to come of different people.

Bomber
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 10:59:54 AM EDT
if anyone has the time I'd love a discussion of VFG position and holding technique, sidearm holster recommendations, best BUISs, best chest rig, best mount for Aimpoint.....just so I buy the right stuff to begin with. How did you store loaded/empty AR and sidearms mags? What's the best barrel specification (length, model, lining)? Thanks.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:40:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Gunner:
if anyone has the time I'd love a discussion of VFG position and holding technique, sidearm holster recommendations, best BUISs, best chest rig, best mount for Aimpoint.....just so I buy the right stuff to begin with. How did you store loaded/empty AR and sidearms mags? What's the best barrel specification (length, model, lining)? Thanks.


VFG: I didn't use one. Unfortunately, it looks like a personal preference issue. The instructors each used a different make of VFG.
Holding technique: I'm not sure what you mean, but the instructors taught an aggressive stance.
Holster: By far the most popular was the Safariland 6004. If I had it to do all over again that's what I would have gotten.
BUIS: We really didn't use the BUIS, unless one of us had a mount failure. Personally I'd get one with two arpetures.
Aimpoint mount: I saw a variety. I used an ACOG, so I won't pretend to know which mount was best. HOWEVER, be sure to loc-tite that sucker. Repeat after me: red loctite is your friend.

I kept my loaded magazines in mag pouches, so I wasn't taking them out and putting them back in. If they were full they were in a pouch. Empties I put in my ammo can for loading. When we were done I put all my mags in the empty ammo can.

Barrel specification: Again a personal issue. Do you like mid-length or dissies or carbine length? I'd go chrome or go home though. The instructors said Blackwater uses both 10.5" and Bushy 14.5". They were pretty sure the 14.5" was 1:9; I didn't ask about the 10.5". They also highly recommended the 77gr loads. Instructor F said he was getting good hits with his Bushy 14.5" with the 77gr load out to 300m.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 12:04:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 12:13:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:
Okay, Here's my pix.




Wow, great pictures.
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