Modern Samurai Project Scott "Jedi" Jedlinski
As the course title states, this was a LE Only RDS Instructor class. It was help outside at a federally owned facility in North Chicago. The class consisted of Fed instructors, Chicago PD Range Instructors, and guys from other various county and local departments throughout the state, and one out of state guy. We had 14 of us in total.
My background: I'm a city cop in central IL for three years now. I've been running an RDS G19 on duty and off duty pretty much since I got off FTO. While I've been shooting most my life I only finally started having the funds to really train since I became a cop. Its become my goal to take three classes per year to improve what I don't get at inservice training. I've now trained with Bob Vogel in a one day LE pistol class, Jim Dexter in a one day RDS Class, and a couple other northern IL instructors.
Gear: Almost the whole line was running some flavor of Glock and RMR. We had one SRO and one Sig P320 that I can remember and maybe one other type of dot that I can't remember. We also had a mosh of milled and factory optic setups in this class. Personally I ran with my off-duty/Training gun for the whole class. This is a G19.4 w/ Type 1 RMR milled by ATEI, Ameriglo Suppressor Heigh Sights, X300U, Overwatch Precision Magwell. I also ran an Overwatch Precision PolyDAT Trigger for this class. I'm now at 2000 rounds in class settings on this trigger with no issues, while I love it I think I am going back to a stock Glock trigger with just a - connector instead after this class. My backup gun is the exact same minus the OP Trigger and milled by L&M instead, it wasn't used.
Weather was low 40s into the 30s both days, right next to the Lake and it was COLD. The line was covered in your flavors of Dead Bird and Outdoor Research to the point it probably rivaled the cost of the guns on the line. I bounced between a Cold WX LT, an Atom LT, and an OR Winter Ferossi over Under Armor Base layers and once again was reminded why good gear makes a world of difference.
Never mind the delay in me writing this AAR, life has gotten in the way and I haven't given myself the time to do it.
Anyone who runs a dot in a serious capacity these days I think has heard of Jedi, but if you haven't Jedi is a USPSA Master class Carry Optics shooter. Jedi is not a cop or mil and he tells you in the first 5 minutes of the class this is not a tactics class, this is a how to run the dot class and for our group it was also a how to teach others to run the dot class as well. Jedi also has a background in BJJ and has some high level belt (Not that I know the differences). Jedi's background in BJJ plays a large part in his teaching of running the gun which not only works for the Dot but will also work for iron sight guns as well.
We started off TD1 in the classroom. This was very brief and to cover an introduction of everyone, their experience with RDS guns, and what they wanted to learn from this class. It was very surprising to learn we had all flavors of experience in this class from guys who had just picked up a RDS literally a couple days before to guys who were taking their third class with Jedi. For me, this was my second RDS class with my first being with Jedi's protege, Jim Dexter. I knew from Jim's class the general idea of a lot of the methodology and courses of fire but Jedi teaches in a slightly different way and being a two day class more in depth. As for me, I came to this class to be more consistent in both finding the dot on the draw and tracking the dot through recoil. Needless to say by the end of TD2 I had achieved both. We also covered some common topics including zero'ing, use of Cat Crap, battery type, which RDS are good to go and which aren't, mounting type, etc. We also covered policy considerations, needless to say if you need a policy get with Jim Dexter.
We next hit the range, as far as range stuff goes I wont cover every string of fire we shot for two days and my stuff will probably be slightly out of order. I also might relay what he states slightly wrong so don't take this as verbatim quotes.
To start we went over zero'ing the RDS. Jedi advocates for a 10 yard zero for a RDS for a couple reasons. The first is ease in getting a zero. It took the 14 of us split between two relays right around 5 minutes to zero. The second reason being that at 25 yards with quality ammo a 10 yard zero only has a POI change of approximately .7" Since this was a LE class, the logistics of getting a whole line to zero at 25yds and be able to group reliably enough to make changes just isn't that feasible so a 10 yard zero is entirely sufficient. For note I've been running a 10 yard zero since I first got into RDS.
We then went into recoil management, basically the components of eyes, grip, and stance. This is truly where Jedi's background in BJJ comes to shine in his teaching. Most of this component is best seen on the range as its a little tweak here and a little tweak there but the basics are moving your feet to have off hand side foot slightly forward, bending the elbows instead of locking them out, the importance of using your pinkies for grip strength, and the importance of the eyes. Jedi had everyone do a drill with their partner (we were partnered with someone for the duration of the class). Basically with your hands together looking straight ahead have someone push on them from the top and from the bottom while resisting them. Then do the same with your eyes looking slightly up and slightly down. The gist of this is if your head posture is slightly up or slightly down and you are not looking through the center of your eye you lose strength and the recoil has much more free reign. Jedi's teaching revolves around structure, not strength. We ended this segment with the berm drill.
We then moved into the draw, except we did it backwards. We started with high ready presentations to find the dot. Then we added in the marrying of the grip. Jedi advises using the off hand pointer finger to touch the knuckle of your strong hand middle finger. It is easier for your body to touch another body part without missing as opposed to getting your off hand to find a point in space (on the gun) consistently every time. Jedi showed us "the wave" grip where your off hand "waves" itself in starting at a 45 degree angle to build that structure of your grip. Then we added in the rest of the draw. Jedi gives a couple different variations of ways to find consistent points on your holster to draw from so that each draw can be exactly the same.
As far as shooting to a timer, go on the B not the P of the beep. "Sooner not faster" by removing useless frenetic motion, IE turtling, shoulder shrugging, leaning, punching out. None of these make you faster and they make it harder to find the dot consistently. Also stop over confirming the dot, "The red dot is a serving spoon not a scalpel" you wouldn't do it with iron sights so why are we doing it with a RDS? If the dot is in the acceptable zone of accuracy why are we waiting for it to be perfect?
We then ran full presentation one shot drills for time. I of course apparently didn't write down my times but they were faster then I have been by just being more consistent.
Post lunch break, we worked on Red dots up close IE 3 yards and in and the use of ghost ring of the RDS, back plate use, and the "Guillotine" of the RMR ears. Work all three and see which one works best for you. For me that was ghost ring or Guillotine.
We then moved on to transitions using 2" circles at 10 yards. We started with seeing each circle individually and then seeing them all at once by seeing a spot just in front of them. This was an ah-ha moment for everyone and being able to seemlessly track all three circles without going "eyes, gun bang, eyes, gun, bang, eyes bang" it was more like "eyes, gun, bang, gun bang, gun bang".
We then did some time on movement and incorporating transitions into the movement. Again both are spots where running a RDS really shines over irons.
TD2 started will zero confirmation and some warm up on 2" circles. We then moved to starting bill drills. We started at the 5 yard before moving back to the 7 and started with lower round counts before moving up. We ended it doing a contest where I shot 2.73s with 1C zone hit. Not terrible but I know I can do better.
We then did Jedi's draw and fire 1 at 25yard steel. In the four run throughs we did before the shoot off I hit 1.68, 1.5, 1.45, and 1.6x. I didn't get my times in the shoot off but my best run at 1.45 downright felt slow. Jedi asked me on that one what he thought my time was and I guessed around 1.75. I was downright shocked.
Post lunch we did SHO/WHO where Jedi showed different thumb positions and which one would work best for you. Thumb stretch, thumb bent, or Delta thumb. Having never had those shown to me this was a huge change in my SHO/WHO game. I should note Jedi is a big proponent of the strong hand thumb being "stupid" during a regular grip and the weak hand thumb applying all the force. I changed this and saw a dramatic improvement compared to when my strong hand thumb worked its way back in.
We did a couple run throughs of a mini USPSA set which was fun in that it brought everything together. We then did Jedi's patch standards. His standards have four parts all from the draw:
1) 3&2 drill at 3 yards in 2s
2) 1 shot at 7 yards to A zone in 1s
3) Bill Drill at 7 yards in 2s
4) 1 shot at 25 yards to A Zone in 1.5s
Coming into this class I had a pretty slow draw due to inconsistency with finding the dot so I was plenty surprised and thrilled hitting 2.48s on the 3&2, 1.28s on the second, DQ on the bill drill by only firing 5, and hitting a smoking 1.45 A zone hit at 25.
By this time it was well into getting dark up here and we needed to police brass still. Round count ended up being at 688 for me. Not a high round count but at no point did I feel like I was wasting reps or had too much down time, we were always learning or jamming mags.
I realize this was extremely long and I know I missed a bunch but the reality is if you run a RDS in any sort of capacity where your life depends on it you need to get to a Jedi RDS class. I had decided by mid day of TD1 I would be returning to another class of his in 2020 to pick up more nuggets of information. This isn't a drinking from a fire hose type class this is small nuggets that make huge improvements type class. Jedi had guys who had never picked up a dot before cleaning COFs in two days and plenty of us hitting personal bests. Take his class, you'll be glad you did.