TYR Tactical

Posts Tagged ‘Bravo Company’

Gunfighter Moment – Kyle Defoor

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

The Long Run

“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.”
– Steve Prefontaine

Long is of course up to everyone’s interpretation, but for the most part here’s a good way to train for any running event longer than 800 m. I use this formula when I am preparing for ultramarathon of 50 miles, a unit’s PRT test of 1.5 or 3 miles, or a local 5K.

Some terms to familiarize yourself with;

Casual pace- typically two to three minutes per mile slower than your race pace. For example if the fastest mile you can run is a six minute mile your casual pace is around an eight minute 30 sec or nine minute per mile pace.

Race pace- just what it sounds like. As fast as your two little legs can pump for the distance that you going. That last part is important. My race pace for a 1 mile PRT is not the same for three-mile PRT.

Threshold pace- typically a pace that is one minute to two minutes per mile slower than your race pace.

The Long Run

Saturday and Sunday- this is perhaps one of the more important combo training days when running. For the ultra marathoners, this is the key to the kingdom. Saturday and Sunday are back-to-back long days. For the 5K and PRT people these are still back-to-back long days with less mileage. Ultra marathoners should be running for a minimum of two hours each day initially, toward a closer time to race date ultra marathoners should be running somewhere around four hours each day not to exceed 18 miles each day. I’ve never seen any benefit to doing a run longer than 18 miles when preparing for an ultra. The only exception is if you’ve never done an ultra before you need to get a 25 or 30 miler in four months or so before the race. For 5K and PRT folks, Saturdays and Sundays should be a minimum of a one hour run initially each day, and runs no longer than two hours each day not to exceed twice the race distance ( i’m putting this in here for some of the units and organizations to do a 10 mile time to run for their PRT. ) The pace for PRT and 5K folks is a casual pace. The pace for ultramarathon at the fastest is a casual pace, but realistically is somewhere around a 9:30 to 10:30 min pace.

Monday- off (remember that somewhere around 50% of all physical activities gains are from recovery. This is true for lifting weights, running, cycling, anything. This is difficult for runners to adhere to who are training especially after they begin to get runners high.)

Tues- 5K and PRT guys threshold pace for one hour. Ultra marathoners, casual pace for two hours.

Wed- 5K and PRT guys 1 mile repeat sprints at race pace. It will depend on how many of these you can do as to the total work out. For a 5K I will typically work up to doing four or five 1 mile repeats with the amount of rest in between the runs the time that I ran that 1 mile in. I have found way more success in PRT and 5K races using this formula for my “sprint” day as opposed to the typical 800 m, 400 m, 200 m, ethos of old. Ultra marathoners- two hour run at a casual pace preferably doing hill work if possible. I have never found hill work to be a necessary part of of an ultramarathon even when I ran ultra’s in the mountains like the iron Mountain 50. However, with that being said keep in mind that without hell work you will never keep up with the guys from out West.

Thu- 5K and PRT guys one hour casual pace then one hour at threshold pace. Depending on the distance you’re running, this could be 30 minutes and 30 minutes or 45 minutes and 45 minutes, etc. Ultra marathoners three hours at a casual pace.

Fri- off

Throughout the schedule ultramarathoner’s need to constantly be running with full kit (full water bottles, all gus, and salt tablets), and also experiment with wet socks, different carry methods, different clothing, body glide, sunglasses, hats, etc. Shoe choice can also be fine tuned during this. PRT and 5K guys should be occasionally training in a racing flat that they will run in on the day.

Kyle Defoor is one of the world’s most committed and passionate shooting instructors. Literally growing up with a gun in hand he took his talents into the military where he was combat decorated as a SEAL assaulter and sniper. Kyle helped to create and define modern training while along the way personally teaching thousands of military personal and civilians from around the globe. His shooting prowess led to appearances on multiple TV shows including Shooting Gallery, Tactical Arms, and Tactical Impact, and guest appearances on History Channel. Kyle’s outdoor athletic lifestyle includes shooting, ultra running, stand-up paddle surfing and climbing. He  is a sponsored athlete of MultiCam and runs his own company, Defoor Proformance Shooting, which offers tactical training, wilderness navigation, TV and film consulting, and motivational speaking.

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 – Mike Glover

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

The Battle Rifle
Evolving at the Speed of War

In 2007, during the height of the war against extremists in Iraq, I was a sniper with the Commander In-Extremis Force (CIF)[a] operating out of Baghdad. We conducted unilateral operations against HVTs, targeting these as part of a larger task force known as TF-16. While conducting these operations we began identifying inefficiencies in the way we executed our roles as snipers.

An immediate issue was the multitude of different weapon systems and equipment necessary to carry out our main duty during different phases of missions – as snipers, we were tasked with containing the objective prior to a raid, which meant seeking high ground and containing from the top down providing coverage for the assault force. We used .300 Win mag MK13 sniper rifles, which were cumbersome but effective against enemy personnel. However, it was impossible to assault with these weapons, meaning we had to bag them in rifle packs and use carbines to make our way to high ground – complete with accessories and combat loads of ammunition.

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Our carbines utilized SOPMOD accessories – but on a 16-inch long M4 with a 6-inch picatinny rail, fitting a light, optics, BUI sights, lasers, and pressure pads as well as a universal night sight proved difficult. We had to work out how to overcome this issue, and work out a way to optimize and evolve our equipment to allow us to conduct an offset, assault a target and provide adequate coverage in and around a 300-meter area, even at night.

We began work on optimizing a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR), chambered in 5.56mm, that not only met but far exceeded these requirements. We purchased and mounted free-floating 15-inch rails, and had the JSOC armor optimized to in order to keep a 75g Hornady round as flat as possible. In testing at Accuracy First in Canadian, Texas, we found the rifle successful at a thousand meters, after deciding on an optic setup that brought the whole package together.

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After extensive testing we had a rifle that gave us a platform allowing us not only to assault, but to effectively engage targets at a distance, at night. This was put to the test on a rooftop in Sadr City in 2007 when my senior and I, a legend in the sniper community named ‘Irish,’ took a shot from a couple of hundred meters out on a maneuvering insurgent after clearing the house. I looked at him, he looked at me and we shook our heads in mutual agreement. Our hard work had paid off.

– 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 – The Colonel

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

m_thecolonel

Click to view .pdf

Designed by Al and Nico Salvitti with AAR input from multiple Special Operations End Users, The Colonel is a fighting knife, through and through, working around the shooter and utilizing existing muscle memory to produce an effective stabbing and slashing weapon that requires no special training to maintain effectiveness.

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The Colonel is designed to be drawn the same as a handgun, while striking with the blade is the same as throwing a punch. The grip angle, which mirrors that of a pistol, allows The Colonel to sit low in the hand for positive retention.

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The shape of The Colonel’s blade makes it virtually impossible for a user to stab themselves while the blade is in use, something that can happen when fighters employ stabbing motions with other kinds of blades, and miss the target.

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The Colonel Blade is hand forged in Italy with American made G10 grip panels; sharpening and assembly is completed in the US. Each blade is QPPed (Quench Polish Quench), a nitrocarburizing case hardening that increases corrosion and wear resistance. Simply put, The Colonel is designed to be durable and effective.

bravocompanymfg.com/thecolonel

Gunfighter Moment – Jeff Gonzales

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

Intermediate Positions

Recently I had the privilege of attending my good friend Pat Roger’s memorial weekend hosted by the Alliance PD to provide some blocks of instruction on the rifle and one of my favorite rifle drills.

Priorities

While getting setup for the rifle drill we spent time reviewing positions and specifically the kneeling position. I love a good kneeling position, but I am surprised by how little work most people put into the positions. First, this is how we look at any of the positions for use on a battlefield, they are designed to help take advantage of available cover. Kneeling is a great intermediate position, high enough to shoot over some taller oddities and low enough to get under some. The mistake people make is thinking a kneeling position is there to increase your accuracy. It is not, it is there to take advantage of cover first and if possible improve your shooting your position second.

Stable shooting platform

Since we focus more on the cover aspect we have to rely on good technique to improve our marksmanship. There are so many different forms of kneeling out there, but don’t get hung up on whether it is a double knee, high knee, speed knee or some other crazy kneeling position. The body is still broken down into two parts, the upper and lower units. So many focus only on the lower unit, how they are kneeling and forget to work their upper unit. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what type of kneeling position you use as long as you can take advantage of the cover you are trying to use and are stable enough to get your hits on target.

Pulling power

The key to the kneeling position has to do with your upper torso. Most folks just “hold” the weapon in their shoulder pocket. You need to pull the weapon into your pocket and not with just your arms. You need to engage the muscular chain of the upper back region. All those large and intimidating muscles that have tremendous pulling power compared to your wimpy arms. Let’s face it, if all you have to work the rifle is your arms you are missing out, now image recruiting the larger muscle groups to see the range of your effectiveness.

Muscle recruitment

Through years of frolicking about we discovered the benefits of muscle recruitment as it relates to shooting, it is hard to find a better example than kneeling. While you might be able to assume a stable lower unit on the flat range, the battlefield is less forgiving. As long as you are balanced and won’t fall over, you need to concentrate on retractor your shoulder blades, almost pinching them as if you are holding an object between them. That is were you see the stability you need to make hits at the extended ranges. While most folks don’t play with the kneeing at extended ranges you may not have a say in your gunfight. If you have to hit a target at 75, 100 even 200 yards while taking advantage of cover you may have to rely on technique alone.

You can opt to employ other techniques such as resting on objects, sling use or even aftermarket devices to help with recoil, but those are not a replacement for skill. I have seen folks engage targets well outside the normal range, they did so because they took what God gave them and exploited it on the battlefield.

– Jeff Gonzales
Trident Concepts, LLC

Jeff Gonzales of Trident Concepts, LLC is a decorated and respected U.S. Navy SEAL who has worked in a variety of environments and capacities throughout the globe. He specializes in personal protection tactics and training for armed and unarmed conflicts. His motto is “Concepts that meet reality”. Jeff’s goal is not simply to train you, but to better prepare you for the worst-case scenario.

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 – Aaron Barruga

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Natural Instinct

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A “combat snapshot” refers to how much information a shooter can process in his environment. This is both a proactive and retroactive process. For example, if an individual proceeds into a room from a hallway, he identifies the layout of the new room while remembering the layout of the hallway. This mental process is what helped our ancestors avoid becoming dinner for lions, and is what helps us perform other tasks such as texting while driving.

Our minds default to pattern recognition. If we enter an unfamiliar room (whether in combat or at a dinner party), our eyes will be drawn to motion. Our brains then employ a friend or foe heuristic that indicates whether we can remain calm or if other action should be taken (e.g. get out, there’s a lion at this dinner party!).

The quality at which we perceive information determines whether we receive data that is actionable or just noise. Entering a crowded room, you can scan the environment by simply moving your eyes within their sockets. Moving your head left and right may be necessary to gather data at different angles, but if we jerk our heads too quickly, any information about our surroundings becomes a blur. Another gift passed on to us from our ancestors is our body’s preference for expending the least amount of effort possible to accomplish a task. Unnecessary movement expends precious energy, but can also signal to predators our location.

Excessive movement also distracts our ability to obtain a combat snapshot. Recall any time you’ve been in the woods hunting or just hiking with family. Regardless of being a soldier or civilian, if you hear something that doesn’t sound right, you naturally slow your movement and alter your posture to scan your surroundings. Your eyes scan in their sockets, and your head moves in a methodical manner to assess the environment.

Consider that natural behavior in the woods and apply it to range training. Although tactical shooters are taught a variety of techniques for gaining a combat snapshot or regaining situational awareness, some methods tend place greater emphasis on performing pre and post shooting rituals. Unfortunately these movements provide no advantage in the real world, or worse, actually contradict our natural survival instincts.

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Search and assess theatrics are heavily critiqued among instructors with extensive combat or use of force experience. Although it is important to maintain situational awareness, unnecessary head whipping movements do little to provide a shooter with actionable data. The sister action to theatrical search and asses is a movement I’m going to coin as “spider monkeying”. This occurs when barriers or vehicles are incorporated in flat range training. Rather than reading the terrain and modifying their posture, shooters begin to bob and weave their head around obstacles. This is accompanied by excessive pushing and pulling of a pistol in and out of ready positions (e.g. position three to position four, back to position three, etc).

At full speed, spider monkeying looks like a shooter continuously bobbing and weaving like a boxer, combined with the push-pulling of a pistol into and away from his chest. This behavior occurs for two reasons. First, the shooter is attempting to maximize perceived cover while mistakenly assuming that the extra bob and weave movements are causing the enemy to remain reactive. Second, the shooter knows where all of the targets are located and isn’t required to alter his approach. Instead he can just shoot the scenario similar to a USPSA stage with no regards to application of cover and minimizing his silhouette.

Spider monkeying emphasizes the importance of adding blind shoots to range training. When a shooter must interact with a tactical scenario similar to the real world, it decelerates his movements. Instead of exaggerated bobbing, a shooter obtains a combat snapshot through purposeful action and throttle control. Although a shooter might transition between moving quickly and slowly, these are still deliberate actions as opposed to random head jerking. Why? Because in an uncertain environment, excessive movement will either visually give away your position or inhibit your ability to read data in the environment.

Further examination of throttle control can be observed in certain war movies and combat helmet camera footage. This week marked the 23rd anniversary of the events that would become famous through “Black Hawk Down”. Despite the movie’s delineation from actual events, the actors did do justice through their tactical portrayal of Rangers and Delta Operators. Weapon’s handling and fire team movements appeared similar to the real world. No unnecessary head bobbing or peek-a-boo, just methodical clearing of sectors.

Throttle control is also observed by watching helmet camera footage of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. When soldiers make contact with the enemy there is chaos and ambiguity as platoons attempt to identify where the enemy is located. What is not readily observable is unnecessary movement. During the initial phases of a firefight, it is very hard to tell where enemy fire is coming from unless you are amid the enemy’s formation. This is why soldiers minimize their silhouette and scan their sectors to find new data to add to their combat snapshot. Unnecessary movement is not only disorienting, but it might attract the attention of a PKM machine gunner.

Our instincts represent the culmination of handed down survival mindset from our ancestors. Every lion evaded, spear dodged, or musket ball avoided has fined tuned our senses. To our advantage, we are genetically hardwired to avoid threats. In preparing for violent encounters, we should utilize as much of these senses as possible during range training events.

aaron

Aaron Barruga is a Special Forces veteran and founder at Guerrilla Approach LLC. He teaches vehicle tactics and speed shooting for tactical marksmanship.

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.