SLR15 / Defensive Edge's Carbine-1
Location: Princeton MN
Weather: Day started about 39F with slight wind. Ended the day with 49F with slight wind. Cloudy all day, and dry. Was a very nice day to be on the range, as it's fall in Minnesota.
Weapons: For carbines we had 4 SLR15, 2 Bushmaster, and a Huldra upper on a Palmetto State Armory lower. For pistols with was Glock 17's & 23's, and Smith and Wesson M&P's in 9mm.
Gear was a mix of plate carriers and chest rigs. Pistols were holstered mostly in Safariland thigh and hip holsters in SLS/ALS type units, and a few Blackhawk Serpa's.
Gear note: One student had his Safariland thigh rig set up too low, the the point the holster was by his knee. He had to dip to the side just to get his hand on the pistol, and press the thumb release. During a break, I had him shorten the height so that he could reach his fingers under the holster without dipping his shoulder, which worked better for him.
We conducted a 1-day (8-hour) Carbine-1 Course at our home based range in Princeton MN. The Carbine-1 Course is designed to give the user a solid fundamental base. Our day started with an introduction of our staff, and everyone doing their own introduction. From there we went through our safety rules, procedures, and our medical protocol (to include our rule of “Don’t Shoot The Medic”).
We went through a short session on maintenance and lubrication, making sure all rifles were lubricated with Slip2000 "EWL" Extreme Weapons Lube. We checked for gas key staking, and everyone's was staked fine.
Weapon Note: One students Huldra rifle had the gas key screws staked with a center punch in 4 spots (Basically in a N. S, E, W, fashion). This staking was adequate, it is generally not something we see.
We did a zeroing check. Everyone was zeroed for 50yds, except for an ACOG that was zeroed for 100yds. One student had just mounted a Nikon P223 scope on his rifle that wasn't zeroed, with a few rounds on paper and a few adjustments, it was quickly zeroed.
We went through a session of weapons handling, manipulations, loading, unloading, and shooting fundamentals. Our first shooting exercise started at about the 10yd line (what we refer to as room & hallway distances) going through a series of standing & shooting fundamentals. This standing position session is done to show everyone what is natural vs comfortable, what recoil is and how the body works with or not with it, and how to manage recoil, and shows everyone the differences between bladed vs squared up. We also introduced concepts of hammer vs controlled fire, with our emphasis on controlled fire.
Once everyone was finding their own preferred standing platform, we showed all the uses and differences between sling systems and mounting options. The sling type set ups included single point, traditional two point, tactical two point, and three point slings. Once everyone was good on sling usage, we did a transition drill to drive the point home of how and why to use a sling, and how and when to transition from the rifle to something else. This transition also shows people and our staff of where peoples pistol skills are at, and who needs pistol work. A few more drills were done for skill building of getting the rifle mounted, shots on target, and follow through procedures of our doctrine.
After a short lunch break, we met on the 25yd line and went through traditional and alternative shooting positions. This session started from different ground positions of prone, sitting, kneeling, squatting, etc. The shooting position session allows everyone to see what a good stable shooting base allows for accuracy, and then we offer some alternatives that allow combat accuracy while using cover or concealment. We run through the shooting position session several times to make sure everyone is squared away.
We then moved back to 100yds on steel targets. We put out some 1/3 sized silhouettes, and a steel target that we have that is full sized IPSC shaped silhouette. At 100yds we allow everyone to use as many of the shooting positions and variables of them on the steel targets as they wish. The shooting on steel drives confidence home that you can hit targets with a rifle (even iron sighted) if you do your job, and it shows that all the positions work, that some positions are more stable than others, but all of them work if the shooter does their part.
Once hits were obtained at 100yds by everyone on the 1/3 sized steel, we did the same thing at 200yds, and 300yds. This group had a lot of great shooters, with only a couple of misses at 300yds. I showed them that even the old iron sighted A1 will allow consistent hits on the 1/3 sized steel, that if the shooter does their part then the iron sights will work just fine. We moved back up to 100yds and allowed everyone to shoot at the full sized steel with their pistols.
We had a great group that was switched on, which allowed us to move the pace right along, so we were able to cover some things we generally get to in a 1-day course. We moved up to 25yds and introduced several types of forward movement. Everyone got to run numerous relays on the different types of forward and lateral movement, and were able to hone things in until we were seeing very small controlled groups.
Weapon Note: One student had a Huldra rifle. In the middle of shooting, the entire free float tube slid forward, separating from the barrel nut assembly. Had the shooter stop, and we took a look. It appears that the screws at the bottom that run perpendicular on the free float tube were not tight enough or had come loose, which allowed the free float tube to slide forward, and when the free float tube slid forward there is a 2-piece insert that goes around the barrel nut had also came apart and fallen off as well. It was reassembled, and the two screws screws were retightened, and the shooter continued the rest of the day with no issue.
Greg Sullivan "Sully"