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Posts Tagged ‘CTT Solutions’

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

The Pool of Time Concept or, “How to Shoot Faster Without Physically Moving Faster.”

One of the most useful things I learned from shooting USPSA and competing on the same range with the best shooters in the world is what I call “the pool of time concept”. It is nothing new but it had never been explained to me but now that I figured it out it has been a staple in all my shooting lecture at classes. To make it short and sweet here’s the Cliff Notes:

Every action you take has a pool of time associated with it. When you are trying to shoot faster but feel like you are at the limits of your physical ability then examine how you are spending your time. Start with the largest pool of time and see if you can get some back by refining and making more efficient that particular action. For me in USPSA I found I was shooting fast and accurate enough but my movement and set-up were costing me 2-4 seconds every time against other shooters. In a match those 2-8 seconds even on the shorter courses of fire which is an eternity and the difference between 2nd and 22nd sometimes. I took out that specific component and began to practice rapid exit from a shooting position and rapid entry into and set-up/shot in another position. I found that in the next few matches I was doing substantially better even though I shot no differently as it related to speed and accuracy. I had refined a particular component skill and taken some time back from that particular pool of time but never moved my physical body any faster.

Above is just an example of a component skill and the pool of time concept. The key is to start with the largest pool of time available and work your way down to the smallest. Final hint, there is no real time to be had with substantial benefit in trigger press. If you shoot .25sec split times for shots and I shoot .15, that is 60% faster. I am shooting at the fringes of control and will be losing points and gaining penalties and you will be shooting great scores without penalties. The big take away in this example is that a course of fire with 10 targets will only give me an advantage of 1 second! So I am shooting 60% faster in splits on the target and losing points and I only gain 1 second. There is no usable time in the trigger overall so before you try and shoot faster, work on doing everything else faster. There is no difference in this from sport to combative shooting; it’s the hits at speed not just speed that wins the fight.

Go to each pool of time starting with the biggest and then work your way down to the smallest taking a little back from each pool while leaving the trigger press consistent. If you do that you will be far more efficient which is where speed comes from and you will shoot faster without physically moving faster.

– Mike Pannone

Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

CTT Solutions

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

Cover, Concealment and Vehicles

It is important to have common definitions of common terms or further debate is senseless. Below are the definitions for cover and concealment taken from FM 21-75 COMBAT SKILLS OF THE SOLDIER:

COVER- Cover gives protection from bullets, fragments of exploding rounds, flame, nuclear effects, and biological and chemical agents.
CONCEALMENT-Concealment is anything that hides you from enemy observation. Concealment does not protect you from enemy fire”

Below are generally accepted definitions-

Obstacle- any item or thing that blocks one’s way or prevents or hinders progress
Terrain- the physical features of a tract of land
Vehicle- A device or structure for transporting persons or things; a conveyance
***From a tactical perspective this is only true when it is moving. If static, a vehicle is an Obstacle and can be either Cover or Concealment. ***

From RTC 350-1XX (Ranger Regimental Training Circular) at the unclassified level.
Close Quarters Battle (CQB)- As per 75th Ranger Regiment “Close Quarter Battle is a planned or well-rehearsed surgical small unit tactic, technique and procedure which encompasses the 4 principles of surprise, speed, violence of action and a fail-safe breech on a built up or enclosed structure.” This is separate and different from a vehicle ambush where the vehicle once stopped is dealt with tactically no differently than other terrain.

The concept of a vehicle as some special item is often misplaced. From a tactical perspective it is only a vehicle when it is moving. When static it is part of the terrain and may offer cover, concealment or just function as an obstacle. Overwhelmingly in engagements around vehicles the best option is to move from it. A non-armored vehicle affords different and inconsistent levels of ballistic protection based on the angles of engagement and the weapons system being employed against them. Since a vehicle sits off the ground, aside from upward or downward sloping terrain, high curbs or other manmade features on the threat side, they do not protect the feet and lower legs. Injuries to the lower extremities will cause what the military calls a “mobility kill”. Once mobility is lost the likelihood of success is slim without outside intervention. The experienced combatant i.e. military member, LEO or trained citizen for that matter must understand that a vehicle, except in the narrowest of circumstances does not afford cover as defined. There is no such thing as “pretty good cover” or “partial cover” there is “cover” or what I will call enhanced concealment which means you can hide behind it but it may or may not stop incoming fire reliably. If it cannot definitively stop bullets, then by definition it is not cover… that’s just a fact. With that established, anything between you and the threat is better than nothing, so I am not saying a vehicle can’t protect you in some ways. What I am saying is that a vehicle should not be viewed overwhelmingly as cover nor as some special item in the scope of tactical considerations. Another topic I hear talk about is the idea that glass can be cover in some instances. If we teach people to shoot out through glass at threats, then I think that neuters the argument right there. The concept of pillars being points of cover is patently false as well since one cannot claim that pillars though they may afford a level of enhanced ballistic protection will keep you from being shot. They are too narrow and are surrounded by either glass or open air if the windows are down or have been shot out. If you can’t hide your entire body behind it, then it’s not cover. Outside of luck and bad threat marksmanship, hiding behind a 3”-9” wide pillar for any length of time will likely leave you injured or dead in a combative engagement. For those that shoot pillars and say “see, it stopped x or y round” here is my 2 cents; bullets generally don’t come at you in ones and twos but by the magazine. There is not enough area covered by a pillar to make it worth loitering behind as though it is genuinely safer.

From the tactical perspective there are 6 principles I adhere to in open air engagements around vehicles. These should be common sense:

  • A vehicle is terrain unless it is moving, then it’s a vehicle again.
  • Fighting around vehicles is outdoor fighting and uses standard basic infantry tactical principles. THIS IS TRUE NO MATTER WHO SIGNS YOUR PAYCHECK, WHAT UNIFORM YOU WEAR OR WHERE YOU ARE i.e. RAMMADI IRAQ OR RICHMOND VIRGINIA. This is too often conflated with Close Quarters Battle (CQB) which is a more refined form of fighting “on a built up or enclosed structure”. It requires much more training, specialized equipment and detailed rehearsals when possible.
  • Anything is better than nothing but very little on a soft vehicle is cover.
  • Use every bit of ballistic protection that the vehicle may offer but don’t assume it is cover.
  • Keep the biggest chunk of metal you can between you and the threat as long as you can and be looking for the next best piece of terrain. As the threat moves you move keeping the vehicle as close to directly between you as makes tactical sense.
  • Move as soon as you can, move before you get pinned in a spot from which you can’t move.
  • That’s why the second of the first three steps of the SOF targeting methodology F3EAD is (Find) Fix and is followed by Finish. If you fix someone in place, then the finishing part is only a matter of time. If you were attacked in a certain spot more than likely it’s for the distinct advantage of the attacker. By moving and changing the angles you are disrupting the plan and can regain the initiative. If it is chance contact and you are losing the initiative, again the best course of action is to change the angles on the threat to regain it.
  • Don’t fight from the ground unless it is the last option you have. It is too easy to lose track of an adversary and across the hood or around a car it’s really just “who gets seen first gets shot first”. If an adversary rushes the vehicle you will not be able to counter his actions in a timely manner while trying to get up. Know how to do it but understand that fighting from the ground is a last resort.
  • A vehicle that is not in motion is terrain and should be treated as an obstacle with enhanced concealment that provides an unpredictable level of ballistic protection. The best course of action is to immediately return the best suppressive fire you can to blunt the attack and then move as soon as is tactically prudent to regroup and counter-attack or withdraw. Changing the angles changes their plan and changes the fight.

    – Mike Pannone

    GFmomentpic

    Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

    In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

    CTT Solutions

    Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

    Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

    Saturday, February 13th, 2016

    On use of the M4 selector:

    The principle to be adhered to is that you initiate the dismounting of the rifle by initiating movement of the thumb to the selector. By doing so you are beginning the largest least critical movement with the smallest and most critical movement so it does not get forgotten or more commonly, overlooked because something has drawn your attention and broken the mental continuity. From an instructional perspective, if I see a rifle brought out of the mount with a time gap of 1 second or more and then put on safe, I can nearly guarantee you that individual will forget to safe the rifle under pressure of time or threat. It must be a learned pattern of response (motor memory, procedural memory, automated neural control…whatever you want to call it except for muscle memory, please.)

    I safe my rifle on reloads because if I am so close that I need to immediately reengage and have a sidearm I will transition (the only time I don’t care if it is placed on safe or not), If I don’t have a sidearm I would be seeking cover not reloading in the open and then reemerging in a different spot. If I have distance, then I would be dropping behind cover and finding another position to reemerge from as well, so other than a transition I can put the rifle on safe without any real effect on my re-engagement speed. I use “the jumpmaster theory” of learning what “right” feels like. I put my rifle on safe every time it leaves the mount and I don’t even realize it but if I miss the selector it will jump out at me because it is wrong. Just like when I was a jumpmaster I didn’t even notice if I walked by a jumper with a properly rigged parachute but I could spot a misrouted static-line or twisted strap in my peripheral vision because the picture was wrong. I could also trace a strap and never see it but immediately know it is misrouted or twisted by feel.

    Again, I had patterned in the right feeling along with the right picture and it would immediately jump out at me if incorrect but be invisible when correct. I had patterned in the correct picture and feeling so when it was present it was seamless and when it was absent it was obvious. Even if I don’t take the time to place it on safe or miss the selector when I attempt to, I realize it is in the fire position and can act accordingly at the next opportunity. Learning is patterning behavior and I want to pattern my behavior in the proper manner every chance I get. In my opinion you are either learning a task in the best possible way or one of all the other ways; it’s up to you to figure out which is which.

    – Mike Pannone

    GFmomentpic

    Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

    In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

    CTT Solutions

    Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

    Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

    Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

    “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state …”

    2016 is here and if you are a lawful carrier of a concealed pistol I ask you to do yourself, those in your charge, and the country a favor. Think of it as one of your New Year’s resolutions for every year you plan to carry a gun. Below are the minimums but the point is that it is not a great expenditure in time or money considering how important the skills are.

    1. Seek training or sustain the training you have already sought. Going to a good shooting course is like taking a college class, if you don’t use it you won’t retain it. You can go to most Walmart stores right now and buy 9mm for about $10 a box so for 100 rounds “taxes, tags and dealer prep” I’m in it for about $25. I often see American made 9mm for under $9.98 and foreign for that or less at times on the internet as well. Now I have 100 rounds to practice so I would split that into two 50 round sessions like I have written of before on SSD:

    · Freestyle slow fire- 10 rounds

    · Strong hand only- 10 rounds

    · Support hand only- 10 rounds

    · Draw shot slide-lock reload shot 10 rounds

    · Draw shot-magazine-exchange shot 10 rounds

    (All shots are fired from the holster alternating the start position from hands at sides to surrender position and all ending with the pistol returned to the holster.40 draws (10 with transition to support hand), 50 precision shots (30 freestyle, 10 strong hand only 10 support hand only), 5 slide lock reloads, 5 magazine exchanges.)

    2. Make the time to practice. Not “find the time”, MAKE the time! What would those skills be worth to you in time and money if they were needed and not present? If you exercise the right then you are obligated to be responsible and proficient…otherwise leave it at home. I will run the above course of fire several times a week if I am working a rifle emphasis just to keep my skills current and it works. It usually takes well under 20 minutes. Another thing I do and it should be a must, like not leaving the house without your wallet and phone is my “Morning minute” this in truth might be more important than the range time but I see both as crucial.

    Noner’s Morning minute-ENSURE YOUR GUN IS CLEAR. DO NOT DO THIS WITH A LOADED GUN!-

    *Put your holster in the location you intend to carry and for one minute draw from that holster at a progressively faster rate. What you are doing is dry-firing the garment/holster location and trying to find a failure point i.e. some manner in which your current garment and holster location are not compatible and might cause you to have a bad draw. You can easily get 10 good draws in 1 minute and you are now ready to go out into the world with a properly donned gun and a proper mindset.

    All together I can go to the range twice a month for $25 and dedicate 40
    minutes of actual shooting time. Let’s say total prep time to and from range
    is 30 minutes. That puts me at 200 minutes a month and add in the 30 minutes
    of dry Morning minute draws and we are at 230 minutes a month or round it up
    to 240 or 4 hours of the 720 in a month. Put it all together and in the
    entire calendar year for $300 and 48 hours of my entire year . I did the
    following and all on a consistent basis which is crucial.
    * 1200 good quality training rounds fired
    o 720 freestyle
    o 240 strong hand only
    o 240 support hand only
    * 120 slide lock reloads
    * 120 magazine exchanges
    * 3600 dry draws (at only 10 per morning)
    * 480 draws live

    * There are 8766 hours in a year and 48 of them adds up to .5% of my
    year. So I still have 99.5% of my year left over to do all the other stuff.
    * $300 is the cost of five Grande Mocha’s at Starbucks a week on
    average or one decent sit-down lunch for one.
    * 1 minute out of every 24 hours is 1/1440th of you day. You spend as
    much time waiting on one long light by you house.

    THIS IS ONLY WHAT I WOULD CONSIDER THE MINIMUM BUT IT IS STILL VERY
    EFFECTIVE ON A LIMITED BUDGET.

    It doesn’t take a lot of money or a lot of time and it’s worth every penny, every minute and every bullet expended. Do the math and do yourself and all of us a favor. Times are tough and if San Bernardino and Paris are indicators, it will get a lot tougher. We need all able-bodied men and women on deck and ready for inclement weather. It’s not too much to ask in this, the greatest country the world has ever known.

    – Mike Pannone

    GFmomentpic

    Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

    In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

    CTT Solutions

    Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

    Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

    Saturday, November 21st, 2015

    Entering A New Time

    We are entering a new time and we as good Americans need to act accordingly. The attack in Paris should have been the largest and most recent wake-up calls to the general populace that we are entering a new age with a different threat. This threat not only seeks to but is capable of projecting power in a different manner. It an ideology that says the price of admission and to get “credentialed” all one must do is lash out at the innocent who does not believe in their ideology.

    Talk with those in your charge about reactions if there is an attack and agree on it. What is our immediate plan? Who goes where and does what? These decisions will not be arrived at under the tremendous stresses of potential death or grievous bodily injury. Without planning it is just luck and as I have said countless times and is Noner Rule #1 “Good luck is for novices; bad luck is for everyone. Bank on skill, at least you control that.”

    In preparation I encourage those who understand the legal and moral ramifications and can legally carry a firearm to do so. Before taking on that responsibility, seek genuinely competent training. Make that CCW a life preserving tool and not an expensive good luck charm. Once that proficiency requirement has been met you have demonstrated your seriousness and should carry everywhere you are legally permitted.

    If you don’t already have it seek first-aid training and have medical supplies in your vehicle. This is just the right answer regardless of current threat levels.

    Finally, understand that the biggest threat you will face relative to ISIS related terrorism is the “lone wolf” attacker or what I more specifically call the “non-aligned sympathizer” (NAS). That term is exactly what the ideology commands and encourages due to the inability of any security apparatus to effectively monitor them. The reason this is important is that if you just avoid ball games and large populated public venues or the likely “soft targets” understand everyplace you go without a very obvious security presence is a soft target. The NAS can strike anywhere any time because he is only concerned with becoming a name of note in the “cause”. For that reason, we must remain what I call “professionally vigilant” or in layman’s terms acutely aware of our surroundings. Make sure you know what “right” looks like as far as behavior. If someone stands out don’t come unglued and immediately call 911 but look and listen. All over the multiple war zones we have been engaged in are sign’s in one place or another that say
    “Stay alert, Stay alive.”

    It has made the difference in many a soldier, sailor, Airman and Marines life….It will for you if you heed that simple and sage advice.

    “I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones
    Enough to make my systems blow
    Welcome to the new age,
    to the new age”

    Imagine Dragons, Radioactive

    – Mike Pannone

    GFmomentpic

    Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

    In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

    CTT Solutions

    Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

    Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

    Saturday, October 17th, 2015

    Magic and the Easy Button

    The firearms and tactical training trade is rife with people “selling magic”. By that I mean being a vocal advocate for the newest “great idea” that hasn’t really been vetted but looks good on YouTube. It’s always amusing to see these new ‘groundbreaking’ techniques that are either poorly thought out or have been preceded by better techniques years and sometimes decades prior seem to get overnight popularity.

    One I have addressed previous is the Temple Index and the inherent flaws of it. Another example of selling magic is the widespread use of vehicles as a prop for a shooting class. This is done in complete contrast to vehicles being a useful training aid for teaching sound tactics associated with open air conflicts around vehicles. The point is missed completely because many are trying to entertain more so than teach.

    When I played lacrosse in college, my coach Bill Tierney (probably the most successful lacrosse coach in history) rode us hard on the simple things. He reminded us that controlling the ball and consistently working hard on offense as well as defense would win over a more talented but less disciplined team that made mistakes on simple things like catching and throwing. We spent lots of time on ball drills because if you can’t scoop a ball, pass and catch then the rest was a waste of time. The principle was what Brian Searcy from Tiger Swan (also my first TL at JSOC) called “brilliance in the basics”. Greatness is the basics done flawlessly and on demand.

    On the shooting side I have often been asked what special techniques SFOD uses or favors. I find that a bit amusing since there are no secret techniques nor any secret tactics. There is only one principle that guides the best units or sports teams or for that matter anyone to repeated success. That is a mastery of the basics and the ability to replicate them on demand precisely and consistently. In life and in training there is no Staples “Easy button”, there is only hard precise work.

    So in the end, the magic is…that there is no magic.

    – Mike Pannone

    GFmomentpic

    Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

    In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

    CTT Solutions

    Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

    Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

    Saturday, September 19th, 2015

    SARAH MCKINLEY INCIDENT AND MINDSET

    On New Year’s Eve 2011, alone except for her infant son and scared for her life and the life of her child, 18 year old Sarah McKinley still had the composure to give her infant a bottle to keep him quiet and ask a dispatcher if it was okay to shoot an intruder if he entered her home before she did in fact shoot and kill him. She never had a mindset brief; she got it done just the same.

    Mind-set

    Noun

    1. The ideas and attitudes with which a person approaches a situation, especially when these are seen as being difficult to alter

    I’m often asked why I don’t put greater emphasis on mindset in the form of “mindset briefings” or what I like to call “popcorn pep-talks”. I call them that because in the end, they’re really mostly hot-air. The concept of having a proper mindset is crucial in not only a combative environment but literally anywhere that an individual wants to compete, excel and succeed. The desire to persevere, endure, survive and win is a requirement for success in all but the rarest of events that just by sheer chance end positively. That said, here is something to keep in mind with all these flamboyant diatribes about how “you need to be the guy that’s going to get it done” and save the day.

    I’ve been a couple of places and done a couple of things and have served amongst the best our nation, two different services, and three different special units could produce. I have seen what a good mindset can do in a bad situation and how it sometimes is all that saves lives even when the odds are not in your favor. In those dark times of consequence it has never been a briefing that got a guy through. It has never been someone yelling over their shoulder that has gotten them through. It is simple and pretty easy to explain how they got the mindset needed to persevere and win. It was the culmination of decisions and actions long before the event.

    Understand that nobody can convince you to do something that you can’t convince yourself to do first. Mindset is not a brief you get; it’s not a condition of thought that just “happens” to you over time. Mindset comes from the life you lead. Be candidly honest with yourself. Be under no illusions as to who you are and what you are willing to do. Sarah McKinley never got the briefing, but she had the mindset to fight, win and survive.

    Mindset – stop talking about it and start living it.

    – Mike Pannone

    GFmomentpic

    Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

    In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

    CTT Solutions

    Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

    Gunfighter Moment – Mike Pannone

    Saturday, August 29th, 2015

    Targets, trash and a Sharpie

    I see a lot of different targets out there, some are very simple and some are quite ornate and expensive. A target is designed and intended to give the shooter speed and accuracy feedback based on historically significant data from other shooters across the spectrum of various shooting disciplines. For that reason I use almost entirely USPSA metric, IPSC classic, IPDA standard, B8 pistol and SR-1 rifle targets. I choose these because I want to know how accurately and how rapidly I shoot in relation to other accomplished shooters worldwide and those targets give me a legitimate comparative scale. If I don’t have them I can draw them with a Sharpie on a piece of cardboard from the trash and voila! I get the same feedback damn nearly.

    I’ve spent deployments in far less developed countries where the targets that were supposed to be there were not. We ended up taking all the 9mm and 5.56 out of the boxes and dumping them back in the ammo cans so we could use the cardboard boxes as targets and used stencils and spray paint for both pistol and rifle targets with whatever target skins they did have. When we ran out of those we cut up and drew consistent sized target areas on any trash that would show bullet holes and we could glue, tape or staple to a backer. In the end it really doesn’t matter what you shoot at as long as you scale it comparable to what is considered a standard for your particular task. I have found LE qualification targets tend to be far too forgiving in the size of their scoring areas so I take my trusty Sharpie and draw a 6”x11” A-Zone, 8” IPDA -0, 5.54” B8 9-ring or 6.35” SR-1 9-ring. I will also use my pen to make non-standard shapes for offset or surgical shot drills and to put numbers in the shapes as well to add another mental component to the drills and training (the picture below is from a recent Marine class where we were exercising sight offset for M4 carbines. The shapes are all smaller than the height over bore). In the end, targets are anything that allows you to print shots and by using standard sizes and distances it gives you legitimate data to base your training goals or evaluations on.

    Last point, it really doesn’t matter if a target has all kinds of scary faces or humanoid looking drawings or looks like a human anatomy char, it just matters that you can put the bullets exactly where you choose or where it is required as fast as possible. Everything else is flair and flair at a cost. Buy a Sharpie, pasting tape and some simple targets, maybe make a stencil or two and then get to the business of refining your shooting technique and spend the money saved on bullets. My last Unit in the Army used USPSA cardboard, NRA B8 and SR-1 targets for more than 90% of our marksmanship training that was not shot on steel for the reasons mention at the beginning of the piece.

    MPTarget

    – Mike Pannone

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    Mike Pannone retired from the Army’s premier assault force (1st SFOD-D) after an explosive breaching injury. A year after his retirement America was attacked on 9/11 and he returned to help serve his country as the head marksmanship instructor at the Federal Air Marshals training course and then moved to help stand up the FAMS Seattle field office. In 2003 he left the FAMS to serve as a PSD detail member and then a detail leader for the State Department during 2003 and 2004 in Baghdad and Tikrit.

    In 2005 he served as a ground combat advisor of the Joint Counter IED Task Force and participated on combat operations with various units in Al Anbar province. Upon returning he gave IED awareness briefings to departing units and helped stand up a pre-Iraq surge rifle course with the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a lead instructor. With that experience as well as a career of special operations service in Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces and JSOC to draw from he moved to the private sector teaching planning, leadership, marksmanship and tactics as well as authoring and co-authoring several books such as The M4 Handbook, AK Handbook and Tactical Pistol shooting. Mike also consults for several major rifle and accessory manufacturers to help them field the best possible equipment to the warfighter, law enforcement officer and upstanding civilian end user. He is considered a subject matter expert on the AR based Stoner platform in all its derivatives.

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    Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.