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Posts Tagged ‘BCM’

Gunfighter Moment – John “Chappy” Chapman

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Building Judgment

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. The question for most of us is how do we make the bad decisions we need to make to get the experience we need to develop good judgment, given that “experience” in our line of work generally involves life threatening violence and is fairly rare here in the US. We can learn from the experience of others, but none of what we see, hear or read is “our” experience. While this does serve an intellectual purpose, it does not create the kind of visceral imprinting necessary to serve as a reliable wellspring of judgment under stress.

So, we are left with a quandary of sorts: in order to be the most capable gunfighter you can be for your mission (be that family protection, police work, etc) you need to experience circumstances requiring rapid judgments, while also being able to make mistakes and learn from them and not be killed.

By now, most of you know where I’m going. Application level training focused on judgment is an absolute necessity, in my opinion, if you desire to grow into a truly capable fighter. Standing up and shooting fast and accurately is only about 10% of gunfighting. While the skills learned, honed and maintained on the square range are of vital, foundational importance, they are merely the price of admission to learn the things that really count… judgment, mindset, and fortitude.

Procedural level CQB, Vehicle Tactics and ECQC courses involving force on force, taught by experienced teachers, is a good start down the path of developing judgment. This is nothing new; every modern military gunfighter was in dozens if not hundreds of simulated gunfights before they ever fired a shot in anger. This does not mean you stop training the fundamentals on the square range, it means you are able to better focus that training on areas you identify as deficient.

After seeking this kind of training, you may find your priorities shifting. What the plate carrier you are wearing looks like or the brand of your pants will seem far less important than working hard to maximize your brain’s processing speed and dialing in your precise shot placement. The lessons learned after receiving a belly full of UTM are not soon forgotten, and serve as the “bad judgment” experiences which will form the core of your good judgment, if you can turn off you ego long enough to internalize them.

Stout Hearts

Born and raised in the tony suburbs of Sacramento, California, John Chapman (Chappy) joined the Navy at 18. After an enlistment served on the USS Memphis, Chappy returned home to Northern California and embarked on a law enforcement career while attending college.

After 16 years of service spanning 4 agencies, with service in Patrol, SWAT, Investigations, Training and Administration, Chappy left full time Police service and began training police officers full time in 2008.

A police firearms and tactics instructor since 1994, Chappy founded LMS Defense as a part time private venture in 2006; and with the help of an amazing team built LMS into a full time venture by 2008. After serving in Iraq as security specialist, Chappy returned to LMS full time and spent the next 5 years servicing domestic and international police and government training requirements, and consulting SWAT teams in Procedural Issues and Equipment Acquisition.

In 2009, Chappy also became a part time adjunct instructor for EAG Tactical, working for his mentor and friend, Pat Rogers. It was through Pat’s mentorship and guidance that Chappy developed his skills as a teacher to the level of becoming a BCM Gunfighter.

In addition to his position as CEO of Raven Concealment Systems, Chappy is best known as a SWAT and Night Vision Instructor and continues to teach at Forge Tactical.

He also maintains his police commission, and serves as an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Alliance, Ohio Police Department, where he serves as a SRT Team Leader.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Glover

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

WARFIGHTING OPTICS

The Hindu Kush mountain range spans 500 miles along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border with the highest point being over 25,000 feet above sea level. Literally meaning, “Hindu Killer”, the range was the site of the Bamiyan Buddhas, later obliterated by Islamic terrorists. Post 9/11, it was where US Army Special Forces would hunt them down and kill them.

During my time in the Kush, I was the primary gunner(18 Bravo – Army Special Forces Weapon Specialist) on all of my team’s mobile operations. My weapon system was typically a MK-19 40mm grenade launcher, or a M2 .50 Cal machine gun. Both weapon systems have ample power and the ability to reach out and touch the enemy with catastrophic effect at distance.

Dismounted, I ran my issue Colt M4 carbine with a full suite of optic, laser, and accessories that everyone in SF carried. On mission, there were many opportunities to employ magnification to take advantage of the maximum ranges of the 5.56 55-77gr ammunition we were issued, but our options for weapons optics was limited. The M68 Aimpoint and the Eotech 511 were both red dots, with no magnification. The Trijicon ACOG offered a fixed 4x magnification but was not ideally suited for close-in immediate threat encounters.

Not having the ability to positively ID a targets, spot threats, or shoot out to long distances severely limited our capability to accurately engage the Taliban and AQ during the early part of the war.

When magnifiers became available, they became immediately popular with the force. The 3x pushed our ability to ID and spot out further without sacrificing the speed of our EOtech 511s. Magnifiers also were a game changer in urban warfare, and became part of must have kit on a combat rifle. However, they were far from perfect. The ergonomics required an off hand manipulation to bring the sight inline behind the optic, in real settings the 3x magnification only extended the PID range a slight distance and finally, it added a not insubstantial amount of weight.

Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain.

Fast forward a decade and the new go-to warfighting optic has transitioned from the red dot to a variable power optic. With an objective lens that the eye can immediately pickup without shadowing, they can be run on 6x when contact from a distance is the expectation, or dialed to a true 1X for CQB ranges. Today, with true 1x in a variable scope, there is no difference in performance between the red dot and a good 1-5, 1-6, 1-8 variable.

Right now, I use a Vortex Razor HD 2 1-6 on my BCM4 carbine and a Vortex 27X on my Surgeon .308. They have both the flexibility, ergonomics and utility necessary for a real-world engagements. If only we had them in 2001.

– Mike Glover
FieldCraft LLC

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A former Special Forces disabled veteran with more than 18 years of military service, Mike has operated at the highest levels of Special Forces. Deploying 15 times to combat theaters, he has served in the following positions: SF Weapons Specialist, SF Sniper, SF Assaulter/Operator, SF Recon Specialist, SF Joint Terminal Air Controller (JTAC), SF Team Sgt, and SF Operations SGM.

Mike is a certified U.S. Government federal firearms instructor, and has also has trained mobility with Team O’Neil Rally School, BSR Racing, and BW drivers courses. He is medically trained every two years in Advanced Medical Trauma and continually maintains his re-certifications for consultation practices.

Considered a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in planning and executing Special Operations in a myriad of complex environments, Mike has taken his 18 years of experience and is giving the American citizen the applicable training tools and training necessary to better protect themselves and their families here and abroad.

Mike has a Bachelors degree in Crisis management and homeland security with American Military University and is pursuing his masters in military history.

Mike currently lives in northern California, where he continues to consult for the U.S. Government in security and firearms instruction.

www.fieldcraftsurvival.com

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Glover

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

This week’s Gunfighter Moment is a little different. Rather than a lesson from one of the Bravo Company’s Gunfighters, I’m going to tell you about Mike Glover’s podcast, “FieldCraft Survival” which offers even more access to this BCM Gunfighter.

Already in its 20th episode, “FieldCraft Survival” covers a wide range of subjects such as kit, tactical medicine, nutrition, weapons, and mindset. In fact, mindset is one of Mike’s strong suits and his talks are very insightful as he relates personal experiences into the podcasts. When he is joined by others, the interaction is engaging as one tip builds on the next. For those interested in pursuing a career in special operations, these podcasts offer excellent insight.

This isn’t Mike’s first go at podcasts. Previously, he’s been featured on the Global Recon podcast and had short go at a predecessor to his current endeavor called, “FieldCraft Survival Presents“. To subscribe from iTunes, visit itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fieldcraft-survival.

Mike’s podcast library offers a whole new dimension to his features here on Gunfighter Moment. It’s definitely worth a listen and I will put it on in the truck while driving. It is a great way to pass the time and pick up a new perspective along the way.

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A former Special Forces disabled veteran with more than 18 years of military service, Mike has operated at the highest levels of Special Forces. Deploying 15 times to combat theaters, he has served in the following positions: SF Weapons Specialist, SF Sniper, SF Assaulter/Operator, SF Recon Specialist, SF Joint Terminal Air Controller (JTAC), SF Team Sgt, and SF Operations SGM.

Mike is a certified U.S. Government federal firearms instructor, and has also has trained mobility with Team O’Neil Rally School, BSR Racing, and BW drivers courses. He is medically trained every two years in Advanced Medical Trauma and continually maintains his re-certifications for consultation practices.

Considered a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in planning and executing Special Operations in a myriad of complex environments, Mike has taken his 18 years of experience and is giving the American citizen the applicable training tools and training necessary to better protect themselves and their families here and abroad.

Mike has a Bachelors degree in Crisis management and homeland security with American Military University and is pursuing his masters in military history.

Mike currently lives in northern California, where he continues to consult for the U.S. Government in security and firearms instruction.

www.fieldcraftsurvival.com

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Glover

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Before the Global War On Terror, quantifying specific variables in a gunfight was like quantifying quantum physics. It’s a difficult undertaking without specific data – and any data was better than “I heard from a buddy that knew a guy.”

Now with the acceleration of the war on terror and concurrent advances in technology, we have a plethora of case studies, video, and stories from the men and women who were literally there. There is no more “theory,” but a wealth of the specific data we’ve been missing, and with that data we can begin to determine and extrapolate what works versus what doesn’t.

I remember getting into my first contact with the enemy. Looking back on it, it wasn’t what I expected – it wasn’t dynamic, it didn’t involve complex thought or replicate the things I was taught at the range. When analyzing this process I realized I didn’t even apply the basics I had been taught, it was all a reflex, all second nature and slightly reckless. I was confronted with a threat; it was him versus me and I realized afterward that I didn’t have time to prep my trigger, seat my stock, or even acquire a sight picture. The only things I had time to do were align and press, get my bore in line with the closest thing I could get to center and smash my trigger as fast as I could.

As I developed my skillsets in war the realization dawned that in an offensive action I only had milliseconds to react if the enemy I was hunting was ready and waiting for me, and that everything I had been taught was far more difficult to apply in reality. This is a stark contrast to other occupations – in a gunfight outside of deliberate actions and raids in the military, you react to or counter threats, which puts you behind the living curve.

For example: let’s say you’re a police officer, reacting to a domestic violence call. When you arrive the suspect is nowhere to be found. As you sweep the residence the victim of the domestic violence advises you that the suspect is armed and acting erratically so you are now expecting contact, and behind the living curve. Let’s say you clear into a corner-fed room, feeding into a bathroom that has visibility on the corner-fed room’s door, but your focus is on the blind spot of the dead space in that room. As you move your eyes and gun into position you see something, a flash of what you think is a light but instead it’s your eyes recognizing a foreign entity – in this case, the barrel of a revolver pointed right at your head. Your eyes get wide, your adrenaline tsunamis your being. Everything is in slow motion. Your eyes and brain see the threat, and the barrel of your gun is still in dead space…

Ok, let’s stop there, and consider what we know from our training. In training, we’re taught that once we step through a threshold we need to check corners and clear dead space. Right or wrong, that’s a fundamental – but every time I’ve done force on force or UTM/Sims training, if a bad guy sits one room deep he can kill every good guy who steps through that threshold, time after time.

I remember the first time I was taught to think outside of the convention in small-arm tactics – a team-mate of mine, who belonged to an elite CT unit, told me “don’t be in a rush to just clear and commit to a room. Clear a much as you possibly can prior to entry, even if you have to go prone.” That latter part of his statement really stuck with me, “even if you have to go prone.” This wasn’t advice being taught from theory, this was being taught from reality, from truly unpredictable situations experienced in warfare, and it made absolute sense. Committing to a fight in which your opponent is aware of and can take advantage of your weaknesses is committing to a losing battle, and there will be no second chance, no opportunity to learn from a fatal mistake.

Back to our earlier scenario. When someone has a gun, and they have it pointed at you, you need to be able to send rounds toward that threat and neutralize in immediately. Seeing a threat with your eyes that you’re not instantly ready to deal with puts you at the mercy of your enemy’s reaction time. Clear with your eyes with your gun in tow; and when expecting contact you must clear methodically and thoroughly prior to entering the breach point. Never race in unprepared, that leads to mistakes and sets you up for ambushes. While training is necessary, it doesn’t always reflect the situations we find ourselves up against, and can ultimately hamper our perception of reality. As long as your training institution understands this logic, and can work toward providing you with the tools necessary to get closer to reality, you’re with the right venue. Remember, experience is always better than theory.

– Mike Glover
FieldCraft LLC

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A former Special Forces disabled veteran with more than 18 years of military service, Mike has operated at the highest levels of Special Forces. Deploying 15 times to combat theaters, he has served in the following positions: SF Weapons Specialist, SF Sniper, SF Assaulter/Operator, SF Recon Specialist, SF Joint Terminal Air Controller (JTAC), SF Team Sgt, and SF Operations SGM.

Mike is a certified U.S. Government federal firearms instructor, and has also has trained mobility with Team O’Neil Rally School, BSR Racing, and BW drivers courses. He is medically trained every two years in Advanced Medical Trauma and continually maintains his re-certifications for consultation practices.

Considered a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in planning and executing Special Operations in a myriad of complex environments, Mike has taken his 18 years of experience and is giving the American citizen the applicable training tools and training necessary to better protect themselves and their families here and abroad.

Mike has a Bachelors degree in Crisis management and homeland security with American Military University and is pursuing his masters in military history.

Mike currently lives in northern California, where he continues to consult for the U.S. Government in security and firearms instruction.

www.fieldcraftsurvival.com

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Bravo Company Manufacturing – Mod 0 SOPMOD Stock

Monday, February 13th, 2017

SOPMOD BCM

Click to view .pdf

February 13, 2017 Hartland, WI – BCM introduces the Mod 0 SOPMOD Stock, a drop-in replacement stock for the M4 Carbine, built to be lighter and more durable than base issue equipment with an enhanced contour for an improved cheek weld.

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Delivering a consistent and stable platform, without sacrificing the clean snag free design of the Mod 0 Minimalist Stock released in 2014, the BCM Mod 0 SOPMOD Stock is a product of continued refinement based on end user feedback and close work with leading tactical and weapons manipulation instructors and the end users they prepare for going into harm’s way.

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Both the BCMGUNFIGHTER™ Mod 0 SOPMOD and the Mod 0 Minimalist stocks feature a patented internal latch system*, a built-in buttpad, a VBOS(Vehicle Borne Operations Sling) Tab and both an ambidextrous QD interface port and web slot for sling interface.

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Like all BCM rifles and BCMGUNFIGHTER accessories, the Mod 0 Stocks are designed and made in the USA with the lightest and most durable materials to ensure components that last a lifetime.

Both stocks are available today on BravoCompanyUSA.com

To learn more about the BCM Mod 0 Series of stocks visit http://bravocompanymfg.com/stock/

Note: United States Patent Number: 9,109,855

BCM’s Homage To John Wick

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

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John Wick Chapter 2 is now out in theaters, so it seems an appropriate time to put up this series of photos BCM released as an homage to the John Wick series.

www.bravocompanyusa.com

Gunfighter Moment – Aaron Barruga

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

We Can Do Better At Training Leaders

One of the most important ass chewings I received in the military was at Robin Sage. During the final phase of tactical training in the Q-Course, I experienced a case of senioritis that impacted my performance. As the patrol leader for a routine ambush mission, I apathetically presented an operations order to my evaluating cadre. Because the ambush is the baseline for teaching military planning and tactics, Green Beret candidates are drilled to the point of exhaustion (and boredom) in the science of mission preparation and execution via ambushes. This familiarity led to a presentation in which I tried to demonstrate how confident I was by delivering a halfhearted mission briefing, classic “too kool for skool” behavior.

Critical to these briefings is the execution portion in which every element confirms its specific tasks with adjacent friendlies and the broader scheme of the operation. This requires precise detail so there is no confusion, but is unavoidably dry and boring in delivery. I thought I could speed through this section by using phrases such as “situation dependent” or “context will dictate”. The evaluating cadre let me get about halfway through before he cut me off.

Releasing a sigh, he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “STOP… Everything in life is situation dependent. Stop speaking in generalities like some bullshit chapter from Sun Zsu’s the ‘Art of War’. Everything about a combat operation is uncertain, that is why we attempt to be as precise as possible during planning” (this was an Army ass chewing, so there were of course a lot more expletives). I was kicked out of my own mission briefing and left to wonder if I had just failed the final phase of Special Forces training.

A few months later, I was on an ODA learning SF’s brand of CQB. During breaks, the other new guys and myself would debate the validity of the different CQB techniques being taught. This was ridiculous. The entire time we misused phrases such as “situation dependent” and “shooter’s preference”. We thought we were adding context to our arguments, but were instead failing to clarify our viewpoints. In reality, we didn’t need to have opinions, we needed to keep our mouths shut and learn. Unlike my use of vagueness in Robin Sage to demonstrate confidence, in the shoot house we failed to clarify our statements because we couldn’t substantiate our opinions with any real evidence or experience. This type of behavior is best described as the “contextual fallacy”.

There is nothing wrong with adding context by declaring “shooter’s preference” and “situation dependent”. For some instructors, it’s a passive habit developed through public speaking. However, there is a difference between framing a concept through contextual statements, versus hijacking these phrases so that we can weasel out of critical thinking. Although shades of grey exist in every situation, it is the job of instructors to clarify uncertainty. After all, you are paying them in part to do so. When they utilize the context fallacy, instructors typically get a pass because their non-committal stance is perceived as a zen-like state of mind. This appeal to authority fools the amatuer, inhibits the growth of the professional, and shifts the norms of the tactical community as a whole towards accepting mediocrity.

In fairness, it is exhausting to approach all new information through a lense of robust analysis. But if that information is gathered for the purpose of being utilized in tactical engagements, in which our lives or the lives of others will be put in danger, shouldn’t this signal a decrease in our willingness to dwell in uncertainty? The contextual fallacy also fools us when it is used to critique procedural rigidity and behavior that discourages adaptability. Yes, we must remain vulnerable to new concepts, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of declaring what we know to be more true than false. Wallowing in vagueness by proclaiming “context!” affords lukewarm arguments a safety net that deteriorates one of our most critical skills as tactical leaders, decisiveness.

Decisiveness does not imply a willingness to reject new information, and instead establishes a foundation that allows us to analyze new details. If we fail to take a stance, we can confuse good luck with good tactics, and jump to haphazard conclusions with incomplete data. We must always ask: what is the evidence, how good is the evidence, are there real world examples that disprove the evidence? Well rounded leaders ask these questions and do their best to falsify unvetted concepts. This does not always need to be a lengthy task, but it does require scholarship beyond browsing 15-second Instagram videos. Absent of this approach, we simply collect facts that can be contradictory, confusing, and catastrophic when used in real tactical engagements.

During battle, leaders must immediately recognize patterns under ambiguous and exigent circumstances. Acting with too little information can be dangerous (e.g. getting baited into a larger attack), but delaying action, when in fact recognizable patterns have occurred, is just as dangerous. Organizations that permit the contextual fallacy as an acceptable line of thinking will inevitably produce individuals that are incapable of assuming leadership during time sensitive operations or crisis management. In these situations, rarely will you possess the desired amount of information and resources; yet decisions still must be made and acted upon. This indicates the importance of promoting the development of decisiveness as a part of tactical learning. We do not create leaders capable of adapting to harsh environments by shortchanging them in training that discourages critical thinking.

But what kind of organization would willingly permit the context fallacy? Most typically do not, and the context fallacy is an undiagnosed cancer that goes unobserved until an agency participates in large-scale training exercises such as active shooter. This is best displayed when a team spends fifteen minutes running through a scenario, then fifty minutes arguing about how they should have attacked the problem. Although discourse should be encouraged, all opinions are not equal and hierarchies of knowledge must be enforced. Ignoring these truths ultimately fails to develop new recruits into potential leaders. Worse, if left unchecked in an organization’s culture, few individuals will be capable of differentiating between ideas that sound good versus ideas that are actually actionable.

The context fallacy is so seductive because it allows individuals to bargain way beyond their means and level of experience. Even better, the moment firm opposition arises, they can retreat back into obscurity with no consequences. This behavior is the antithesis of attaining knowledge because it doesn’t require any discipline, and more importantly, it doesn’t allow for failure. An individual simply observes what others are doing, stands on their shoulders to accomplish something, and then if he fails, he doesn’t take any of the responsibility for it. We must recognize that context frames a situation, but the context fallacy should not be used to bailout weak ideas and cherry-picked information.


Aaron Barruga is Special Forces veteran with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Pacific Theater of Operations. He has trained foreign commandos, police officers, and militia fighters. He is the founder at Guerrilla Approach LLC, where he consults law enforcement officers on counter-terrorism and vehicle tactics.

www.guerrillaapproach.com
www.facebook.com/guerrillaapproach
www.instagram.com/guerrilla_approach

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Inside The M4 Carbine

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

BCM and Vickers Tactical Take You Inside The M4 Carbine. This is pretty cool.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.