22 October 2011

Train Like You Fight

and fight like you train (except for Sean S. No one wants to see that).

I used to hear that a lot from the Chiefs, and they are right. What you learn to do in training is what you will do under pressure, and if what you learned is wrong (or if you never learned the right way at all) you will do it wrong when it counts.  Training is all about practicing how to do it right.

The bad news is I have trained myself how to do a lot of things wrong. The good news is now I know what I have to do to fix it.

Among the things I learned:

Serpa holsters, to borrow a phrase, are miserable balls of suck and fail when it comes time to rapidly draw. No I didn't shoot myself in the leg (never even came close) but having to activate the release certainly delayed my presentation. It is now in the box of rejected holsters.

My Grok does not like to go through more than about 100 to 150 rounds of white box Winchester before it wants to be cleaned.  I got a lot of practice clearing malfunctions. Good for the training I suppose, but not so good for the shooting.

Doing it the right way includes a lot of things you have to think about in the proper order, and by the time we had worked up to number three or four my brain was frazzled.

Doing it the right way hurts in places I didn't know I had.

Practice, practice, practice.

I need to shoot more.

If you ever get a chance to attend the basic pistol class at Tigerswan, leap at the opportunity.  It's money well spent. Just be warned, if you don't shoot a lot, or if you have never taken a formal class, be prepared to be humbled.  These guys are good, and they will show you how to be good, too.

All in all it was great getting to put faces to names, the camaraderie was good, and the training was, too. There were six bloggers including your humble scribe and four non-bloggers, including a father/daughter team in which Daughter out-shot Father and Father is all kinds of proud over it.

Bloggers in attendance were Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun Blog who was also the instigator of all this madness, John R. of No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money, fellow former Tomcat airdale squid Rich from Knitebane Manor,  fellow vintage military bolt action rifle aficionado Paul from Arms are the Mark of a Free Man, and George from Newbie Shooter. Those worthy gentlemen who were not previously on the blogroll (John, Rich and George) are now there.

Also in attendance were husband/wife Sean and Lynell (who don't have a blog, they make them) and retired Army Special Forces medic George and his daughter Erika who, as I mentioned above, had a very good day.

And now, if you don't mind, I'm off to get a bit of the shut-eye. I really shouldn't, I have to work tomorrow night and I really should stay up all night tonight so I can sleep tomorrow, but I've been up since 4 AM and I'm about to fall over.

I hope your day was equally productive.


James said...

Thanks for the AAR. I was wondering how it went. Glad it went (mostly) well. Sorry about the SERPA. I like mine, but mostly because I like to have a little extra retention when I OC. I've done some, but not a lot of draw and fire from it. I'm glacially slow anyway, so that's probably why I don't notice the presentation delay so much.

Larry said...

I suck at this game. I think I'll take up another hobby. Like needlepoint.
I'm sure I will have a better perspective on it tomorrow, but my performance on the range was less than stellar to put it mildly and I'm a tad unhappy about it.
I'm thinking there may be an Europellet in my future. Cheaper to feed, less recoil, better to practice with.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by James, too bad you weren't here for it.

James said...

Perhaps you shouldn't look at it as a hobby. Look at it as a necessary life skill. At this point you probably can't see yourself as a competitive pistol shooter. So what?

You have taken the step of arming yourself so that you can properly protect yourself and your family should the need arise. You've also taken it upon yourself to seek training in order to improve your skills, so that you will be better prepared to protect your family.

Shooting is also therapeutic, even if you suck at it. And if you do it long enough, often enough, you'll eventually suck less.

I wish I could have been there, for the camaraderie if nothing else. However, if I am to be perfectly honest, I don't know that I would have gone even if I hadn't had other plans, had had the time off and had the money. I've intentionally avoided formal training, despite my desire to improve my skills.

Simply put, I'm afraid that after over a quarter of a century of shooting with pretty much zero training of any kind, I've developed so many bad habits that I'll embarrass myself completely and be unable to break any of the habits and do it right.

Larry said...

I haven't had that much experience shooting, but yeah. It was kind of like that.
I will get better, I know how to do it now. I was just disappointed in my performance.
Thanks for dropping by James!

Sean D Sorrentino said...

I am thinking about getting a Europellet launcher myself.

For those who don't get Larry's joke, I said that I can't train as I intend to fight. I assume that the most likely time I would have to defend myself with a gun is against an intruder at night. Since no range will allow me to shoot naked, I really can't train as I plan on fighting.

Don't worry about the suck and fail part. The testing was designed to be difficult so as to teach you where you could improve. Now take what you learned to the range and practice what you learned. I felt that I shot reasonably well at this class. I sure didn't shoot that well the first time I took it.

Larry said...

If you could find a range that would let you shoot naked I would not envy you the brass burns. I was getting hit with them pretty regularly all day, mostly in the leg from my next-door neighbor but occasionally one of mine would launch straight up (when it didn't stovepipe...dammit) and hit me on the brim of the hat.
Practice practice practice.
Thanks for setting this up Sean, it was...instructive...and thanks for dropping by!

Laura said...

I am glad to see you're training for the zombie apocalypse. You can be on my team with a little more practice.

Larry said...

It would have to be a lot more practice. Head shots for zombies, and I sucked especially bad at the head shots.
But I'll work on it.
Thanks for dropping by Laura!