Thursday, April 28, 2016

Concealed Carry Essentials Class

In keeping with my promise to do more training this year, I took a Concealed Carry class. I first got my CCW in college, but then let it lapse (at the time I couldn't afford the renewal fee) after about eight years. It took me a couple of years to get around to getting it again, but I finally did and have been carrying ever since.

Despite the fact that I carry on a daily basis, I thought I could learn something from a class that focused on CC. I was right.

The class was small, which lent itself nicely to good discussions. Instead of a lecture/range class, it turned into an idea exchange, full of discussion. We followed the course outline to guide our discussions and I feel as though students and instructors were treated respectfully. The beauty of classroom discussion is that it allows people to examine things from different points of view. Our instructors acted more as moderators and allowed us to teach ourselves through discussion. Of course, they introduced new concepts and taught us new skills, but the most striking part of the class in my mind was the free-flowing discussion.

It was most excellent.

In addition to the outline and discussion, we did a few classroom drills. One was the Tueller drill. An instructor lined up 21 feet from us and attacked with a training knife, while we attempted to draw and "fire". It was a good experience and an effective way to show not only how quickly you can get cut, but also a quick test to see who could move off the X. We all would have been cut, but the majority of us were able to "shoot" our attacker while moving away.

One of our discussions was on clearing malfunctions, which lead us to practicing clearing double feeds. I've done it before, but by the end of the day got a lot more practice than I wanted.

Once on the range we shot a variety of drills including the Dot Torture. I do love that drill. Can't shoot it clean yet, but I do love it. We shot at distances ranging from 1 yard to 25 yards. Initially, I was worried about shooting out to 25 yards because I was shooting my G42 and I only had about 300 rounds through it. I shouldn't have worried; the distance wasn't too much of a problem.

We ran a drill that was similar to many of the match stages I see every month: shoot the hostage taker in the head; step to the side, two to the body of the next bad guy; another step to the side and two to the body of the last bad guy. All three targets were at ranges varying from 3 - 7 yards. I've seriously shot similar scenarios dozens of times. I had this. The Shooting God must have thought I was feeling a bit too cocky, because She had some tricks up her sleeve for me and my Baby Glock. Primarily double feeds. Not one, not two, but three. I'd clear one, slap the magazine back in and end up with another one. I might or might not have said bad words.

I had trouble with double feeds while we were shooting from the line, but thought I was limp-wristing or doing something dumb, so I really focused on my grip, but continued to have problems. One of the instructors ran a magazine through with no problem, so I knew it wasn't my gun or my ammo. It was me. I am fairly certain that I wasn't seating the magazine well enough when I changed mags. Sure enough, I started really slapping my mags in and my double feeds cleared up.

That is, until we did the POST qualification test. It was smooth sailing for most of the test, but when we got to the part where we had to clear a manufactured double feed I had problems again. I got the fake double feed cleared, slapped the mag back in and - WHAMMO! - another double feed, this time for real. I got it cleared, got back on target and the buzzer went off. I was half a second too late to get my round off, so I failed the POST test. I most definitely said bad words at that point. Luckily, it's not required for my job, it was just another skills test for us - our final exam on the range, essentially.

That last double feed cemented my thought that I was the cause. If I had taken the extra quarter of a second to really seat the magazine, I would have finished with time left, but I got in a rush and it bit me in the ass.

During our class debrief, the instructors asked how we felt about using the POST qualification. All but one student loved it. Despite failing the test, I loved it. It was a challenge and gave me something to strive for - a feeling shared by most of my classmates. The one dissenter thought that it might cause some students to be discouraged, which I can see, but I think it's all in how the instructor sells the drill. I'm all about challenges and learning from failures, but I understand not everyone is wired that way.

All in all, it was yet another excellent class put on by Double Tap and I look forward to the next one.

1 comment:

Momma Fargo said...

Sounds like a good course. I don't think the ones around here are that whippy. Glad it was good training. Boo on the double feeds.