LMS Defense conducted a one-day carbine course at a discrete range in King County, Wash. on 17 Dec 2013. It was an open course consisting of 11 students, which included law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, military veterans and a few civilians.
Weather was cloudy, with temperatures in the high 30s for most of the day. It was supposed to rain, but the lead instructor, fireguy275, did his usual no-rain dance. That kept the precipitation at bay.
Guns and Gear
Optics were mostly EOTech and Aimpoints. The Aimpoints ran without issue, but a few EOTechs had the usual problems, e.g., no incremental clicks when zeroing.
“Get an Aimpoint,” one EOTech user said while sharing his lessons learned at the day’s end.
A few guys ran chest rigs. LEOs, a civilian and I wore body armor. Pretty much everyone else, including the instructor and his assistant, wore battle belts.
Some guys were sporting pistols, but I only noticed one guy shoot his. He’d run out of 5.56mm at seven yards, so he smoked the bad guys with 9mm -- ‘cause that’s what it’s there for.
My PWS carbine and Aimpoint CompM4s ran like champs, as did my First Spear Strandhögg plate carrier. I’ve had all of the above for years, and I expected nothing less. I rocked my Glock 17 with a Surefire X300U and my spare magazines in Raven Concealment Systems kit, all of which I love, on an Oakley SI Belt, which I don’t exactly love.
Icebreaker base layers under my Crye Precision duds kept me warm while active and inactive. Outdoor Research Firemark gloves allowed excellent manual dexterity during weapons manipulation, while also protecting my paws from sticks, stones and my all-too-often bouts of stupidity.
Most important: Everyone was safe. It was a fun group, and everyone seemed to work well together.
A couple of guys weren’t familiar with AR-style firearms, but everyone else was an experienced shooter. Kevin quickly got the novices up to speed, and the course was as smooth as any I’ve taken from LMS Defense -- and I’ve taken a bunch.
Plan of the Day
Each shooter started the course by confirming the zero on his carbine -- except for Kevin’s assistant instructor, jordansays. He brought, like, 19 carbines to zero.
We shot a few timed strings from prone, seated and kneeling at 50 yards, with plenty of feedback and instruction between positions. Then we shot from standing at 25 yards, and returned to the 50-yard line for the Modified Navy Qualification drill.
Before lunch, we got intimate with the targets via close-in work at three, five and seven yards. Most guys forgot -- or didn’t know about -- holdover at the three-yard line. But recent attendance of the EAG Shoot House and CQB Operations courses ensured that I nailed the hostage-taker in the eye, which should make chappy, Pat_Rogers and JS7SFGA happy. For everyone else, Kevin revealed a few tricks to rapidly calculate offset with EOTechs and Aimpoints.
Everyone seemed excited to continue, so we powered through lunch. Students ate while Kevin delivered his signature instruction on malfunction drills.
Kevin has taught immediate and remedial action during every carbine course I’ve taken from him, and he gets better every time. We reinforced his lesson with the Blue Falcon drill, during which students paired up to induce malfunctions in each other’s carbine.
Hilarity ensued. Safety did too.
Our final evolution riffed on a Pat McNamara drill. We had nine rounds spread evenly among three magazines (That’s three rounds per magazine for you math wizards). Each shooter shot at steel from behind a barricade at 50 yards. After each hit, he ran to the other barricade at 50 yards, shot from behind it until he hit again, and repeated the procedure three more times.
Most of the shooters accomplished this in five or six rounds. Only one guy spent all nine bullets without hitting the steel five times.
As always, we wrapped with a debriefing in which each student shares lessons learned. My big one was shooting from a hybrid isosceles and Weaver stance; the key is rolling the weapon-side shoulder far forward (“positive shoulder&rdquo and using the rear leg as a “kickstand.”
In the big picture, I certainly didn’t learn everything about everything while serving in SOCOM. Even if I had, the martial art of gun fighting is constantly evolving.
So these courses are a great way to keep current -- and keep learning.