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Posted: 6/6/2003 6:58:18 AM EDT
OK, in the discussion of why a lightweight carbine is desirable, I've heard several times now someone cite attending Thunder Ranch as the experience that reinforced this for them.

They discussed having to hold down on a target for two minutes and how everybody was shaking, wobbling and groaning at the end of it - even professionals.

I had a theory about this, so I tried it at home. From about 6' I held my sights on the upper half of the switch on a light switch (not the entire wall plate - just the upper switch portion - about 0.5"x0.5"). Rifle was a 16" HBAR with TA11 ACOG with full mag - so weighing in close to 8.5-9lbs.

After I while I got bored, so I glanced over at the clock - 3 minutes had passed. I could feel it in my shoulders but I was still nowhere near fatigued.

I am pretty sure I am not more physically fit than most of the other people who found this test illuminating. So the only other thing I can come up with is stance. What kind of stance were they teaching for this and have any of you tried it with a stance that relies more on the shoulders than the arms?
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 7:23:14 AM EDT
I can personally attest to the defensive handgun class at TR. You'd shoot some, listen to him talk, reload, shoot some more, get in the low ready position, he'd start talking about something. Repeat many times. I was there in June, so it's 95+ degree Texas heat. This is with a Beretta 96. The first time wasn't that tiring, it was the 5th, 10th, 20th etc. I'm going to the Sept urban rifle class. I got myself a 16" fluted barrel AR, minimal other stuff on it. I talked to Heidi when signing up for the class, she says by the 2nd day everyone is ripping off all the extra stuff from their rifles.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 7:37:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/6/2003 7:42:40 AM EDT by lee446]
This drill was done after some other drills, shooting while moving, shooting while moving at a moving target, going prone, then jumping up to get to cover. Basically, attempting to simulate conditions that would commonly be encountered BEFORE you get to take the suspect into custody. Put on your gear, with at least 5 mags, run about 50 yds, drop to prone, fire at moving target, recover to standing, while at all times covering your target, or firing at it, at the instructors whim, also at the same time covering your partner and keeping aware of what is/could be going on around you besides your particular problem. After the initial adrenaline dump when the action starts, you can get a little rubbery when trying to do a simple task like holding down on someone. I can tell you from my limited experience from Urban Rifle 1, that as the day and training progressed, every ounce was a pound! Also, people tend to forget that the class is URBAN rifle, not Iraqi Battlefield rifle. The longest range is 100 yards and you are mainly simulating door to door battle. Hope this helps! Vote Republican, get a decent surefire or maybe a Tac3 touchpad operated flashlight with weapon mount, not handheld, trust me! You will thank me when you are doing the night training!!!
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 8:02:53 AM EDT
The main reason for fatigue is the ready stance you take. The Blackwater facility teaches the same body stance as the isocoles from the armpits down, meaning your knees are flexed and you are bent well forward at the waist. This is sensible, as it controls recoil very well, making for instant second shots as the weapon moves very little. In this position you are also pulling stiffly on the pistol grip to drive the butt of the gun back into the shoulder. (The front hand should only be there to steady and steer the gun, so not much force should be used up there lest you pull your shots..) This position is the most effective position at close and intermediate range shooting as it is mobile and flexible. The stance places the weight of the weapon and your upper body well forward of your natural standing position, meaning your biceps, triceps and deltoids are working overtime. Even more so for your obliques and other back muscles. You must maintain the crouch because the coach will call out "THREAT" and you are expected to put rounds on the target to deal with that threat. The instructors talk and at the same time watch for people to begin to relax their stance and to fidget with their grip, then they call out the threat. Why do they do this? In a real life situation, if your weapon is at the high ready it is because there is a threat in front of you. The threat is not yet so great that you must shoot, but it could get that way in a fraction of a second. Therefore you have no time to waste in getting on target and getting an accurate shot off should you need to do this. Thusly you must already be in your shooting stance and the weapon must be ready to fire with a minimum of movement. Movement = time. Time = opportunity for the bad guy to get you good and dead. So the less time you use, the more likely you will come home that night. This is why they teach that way. In a good Camp Perry standing position using bone and sling support, I can hold a 9 or 10 pound weapon comfortably for extended periods of time. But in a fighting stance where you are hunched over your weapon for maximum speed and control, you can tire very easily because it is an unnatural position to be in. Muscle support vs. Bone support really. That is why those of us who have held down on a target for 5 minutes have come back hating the idea of mounting stuff on our rifles.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 8:18:15 AM EDT
After reading this thread I've come to realize that I need more training, proper training. I need to save $$ for a combat training course.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 8:24:50 AM EDT
Vote ... Heidi is correct. I saw this at Blackwater too. There is a tendancy for people to show up with 3 types of equipment: 1. Good 2. Awful 3. Un-Necessary People will come to class with a 1500 dollar custom 1911 and a 3 dollar flashlight and 4 dollar magazines to feed their custom pistol. They will put this 1500 dollar pistol in a 9.95 Wal-Mart special holster and look shocked when the holster tears off their belt, or worse, drops their expensive gun on the concrete or gravel. By the end of the second day they are buying out the pro-shop to replace all their gear. Some will come with a rifle with all sorts of gizmos and doodads on their weapon that look killer but have little practical use. You will often see expensive pieces of equipment in the trashcan on the ranges at places like BW or TR. People use them, find out they are useless, and then toss them. (Usually the class executes them will mass fire and THEN they get thrown away...) Things like fiber optic front sights get busted and extended magazine releases keep getting hit in strings of fire, dropping magazines from the weapon and leaving the poor suckers defenseless against the steel. Some will come with a rifle that is one brand lower, with another brand upper, and another brand of bolt carrier, and a special titanium firing pin, and a complicated 2 stage trigger system, etc. Their weapons will break down the first day. In my Carbine Operator's class, Ken Cashwell, our instructor and the BW armorer, spent the entire day getting half of the classes guns to work. One guy who showed up with an old Olympic had to have almost everything but the bolt carrier replaced in that gun, and it STILL choked consistently. The thing kept firing on trigger release and even went full auto near the end of the class. Another dude from a Missisipi SWAT team showed up with an M16 (11 inch bbl...) so old it didn't even have a forward assist on it. One of the Anchorage PD SWAT guys showed up with a weapon that choked constantly. Classes like the ones at Thunder Ranch and Blackwater will give you a very good idea of how well your equipment works. I was very fortunate in that all the gear I have purchased has been very good gear because I put a lot of thought into it. My weapons (Beretta 92's, Les Baer 1911, Bushmaster 16" A2 carbine) were all among the most reliable in the classes I took. My holsters (Blade Tech, Eagle Industries) were fast and secure and I never worried about them. After the 2nd day of my pistol class (when I was beating guys who take 3 or 4 of these training classes a year and who are on a SRT team) the top two shooters from that SRT team came out of the pro-shop wearing gear exactly like mine. My ammo was decent quality (PMC and Lake City 5.56) and I never had a dud, squib, or any other ammo related malf. I used to use Wilson's Ultima-Lube until my Beretta 92 got too much mud in the action and ran out of lube. I shot some Tetra in the 92 and it ran like a champ for the next 2000 rounds without even a hint of a hiccup. I now use Tetra exclusively for all my guns. I ran into problems with Break Free as well, as it sucked up sand and dirt and my Bushy started to cycle with more difficulty. Tetra never induced this problem. A good training class will show you what works and what doesn't, and it is worth going to one for that alone. That's why people should listen to what guys say when they have been to this type of training. You can learn a whole lot with all that trigger time...
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 8:25:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bvmjethead: After reading this thread I've come to realize that I need more training, proper training. I need to save $$ for a combat training course.
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Ditto that bvm... Add to that maintain proper physical conditioning if not already in decent shape.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 8:34:32 AM EDT
BVM -- I couldn't agree more. When I got done with the Tactical Pistol II class at Blackwater, I was a 300% better shooter than when I got there. I shot so well, especially on reactive steel range, that I could not believe I had been the one shooting. It was amazing...
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 9:29:00 AM EDT
I've got to agree with JohnWayne777. I'm a cop and when we qualified with Patrol rifles, I walked away terrified. I showed up with my old Eagle AR-15A2 with issue iron sights. I saw guys release magazines when they really wanted to close the bolt. Groups? No they were patterns! At 25 yds. with ACOGS, Aimpoints, etc., 2" groups were the better groups. When my shots were all touching, they suspected evil "handloads", but was issue M193 ball out of my 1/7! I told them I had shoot a couple of train loads of ammo and new the basics of marksmanship. One of these idiots got in a shoot out with a robber and with his high speed, low drag CAR-15, he missed the crook and his car with 45 rounds at less then 15 yds. Oh, he did kill a SUV 100 yds away and a sandwich shop. When I offered the opinion of firing this maniac, I was told it's tough to judge someone's shooting under stress. Makes ya just feel soooo safe. Thank God six more month and I retire.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 10:29:46 AM EDT
The main reason for fatigue is the ready stance you take. The Blackwater facility teaches the same body stance as the isocoles from the armpits down, meaning your knees are flexed and you are bent well forward at the waist.
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OK, I'm familiar with what Blackwater teaches and that is the same stance I use. So I guess the difference isn't stance. Guess for now I'll have to chalk it up to adrenaline and end-of-the-day fatigue.
A good training class will show you what works and what doesn't, and it is worth going to one for that alone. That's why people should listen to what guys say when they have been to this type of training. You can learn a whole lot with all that trigger time...
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Doubtless you can; but my experience is that a good training class shows what works for the person receiving the training. You can't always extrapolate that to every person. For example:
I ran into problems with Break Free as well, as it sucked up sand and dirt and my Bushy started to cycle with more difficulty. Tetra never induced this problem.
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I've had just the opposite experience in my training - so which of us should people listen to?
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 10:32:34 AM EDT
John Wayne, Great Post.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 11:02:16 AM EDT
i hate it when everyone has touched on all the points i wanted to make. 308wood out...
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 6:59:05 PM EDT
John Wayne 777 are you going to the NRA patrol rifle class in sep in stafford va.??????
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 1:43:29 AM EDT
There's some nice info contained in this thread! Now this is some stuff I would like to see posted more often. Thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 6:26:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dcoke76:
Originally Posted By bvmjethead: After reading this thread I've come to realize that I need more training, proper training. I need to save $$ for a combat training course.
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Ditto that bvm... Add to that maintain proper physical conditioning if not already in decent shape.
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I have my own grounds maintenance company, so I'm in pretty good shape. Now and then I'll get all my gear on and go for a 5 mile hike through the woods, just to see how many ticks I can pick up!!! [;D]
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 5:49:47 PM EDT
Bart -- If you are using the stance I use and holding a 9 pound weapon with no problem for 3 minutes, then more power to you. I can hold it for 2 minutes before my back starts screaming though my arms could keep going. As to CLP, I am glad to hear that you had good experience with it. My time at BW was in miserably foul weather complete with mud and rolling around in the sand and mud of the known distance range. Everyone on the line started having problems with grit in the guns, but the guys using CLP (inlcuding me) started having trouble long before the non CLP guys. It is also possible that we over-lubed, which will also draw in muck. But the CLP needed to be touched up after a couple of hundred rounds if you used the proper ammount. (I have used CLP with my Berettas and found the same thing...) Failing to touch up would leave the guns running sluggishly on the range. But adding more lube eventually drew more dirt, etc. There was no alternative really. Tetra, however, seems to just keep running even if you use only a little. I never had to add aditional lube to my gun when I used Tetra. I now use Tetra grease sparingly and have had phenominal results with it. TW-25 (or whatever it is called) is also good stuff, used by most of the instructors at BW. John Russel uses this stuff and the Colt M4 he was teaching with never malfed, even though he had fired over 7,000 rounds since its last real cleaning. Poboy -- I didn't know there was a patrol carbine class in Stafford. Now that I do, I probably can't get into it since I am not a LEO. I would like to though.
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