by Ash Hess via thebalisticblog.com
Why do I train so much? Why do I spend so much money? Why do I practice so much? Why do I want others to do the same?
Here is the answer.
I have a total of 52 months deployed to the best combat zones in recent history. That’s 52 months of being in the big game and plying my skill, along with my brothers to my left and right, against the best the enemy can field. I am talking about real ones, not perceived ones. Many hours of fighting the enemy and thousands of rounds down range have left some facts imprinted on my brain. Those facts drive the train. Pun intended
First and foremost, in the fight you don’t think about breathing, trigger, stance, grip, or draws. You think about speed and sights. Some fights the sights even disappear. It happens. You would be hard pressed to find a Vet that will talk about doing that in the fight. A shooting, however, or starting a fight yes, but once it turns into a two-way range most of that goes into the background. It’s there but you just DO. For me, it was “there he is, BANG, BANG, BANG” Now, this being said, my first deployment didn’t see many hits. My hit ratio was abysmal. The first went like this:
Bang. Uh, BANG….UH BANG. BANG. What the….. B-B-B-B-B-B-BANG!
Over the deployment we learned a lot about combat shooting and running the gun. It was never broken down into skillsets, nor explained. We just got better. We learned where the bullets were in relation to the red dot, got passed the aim center mass and everything will be great taught at the range training scars. But then, the deployment was over.
Before my second tour I attended one of the premier regular Army schools of the day, the 10th Mountains Mountain Leader Advanced Rifle Marksmanship course. MLARM for short spent days on the distance range shooting paper and moved on into short range work. This was followed by 2 weeks using sims in force on force training. Here I learned how good shooting went to bad shooting during the fight. We simply did not have the reps to be able to apply the techniques for real.
During that following deployment, things began to sink in. We needed to practice. A lot. And then practice more. I was unable to articulate why I felt this way, but it was because under stress, I was still unable to reproduce what I could do on the range. I have never been a bad shooter. I was only getting better, but it was still beyond my grasp.
I realized we were not trained how to run a gun in combat. The army qual is and was based on the defense. We were conducting offensive operations and despite the propaganda, one shot one kill wasn’t the way. We didn’t practice, we didn’t train.
On the 3rd deployment, it finally began to sink in what exactly was going on. I, like many others, hadn’t connected one of the old truisms to shooting “The more thou sweatest in training, the less thou shalt bleed in combat” Once I made this connection I began my quest.
I know what I do in combat. I know how I react and why I do it. I don’t want to think about the fundamentals. I don’t want to think about the draw. I want to think about where the next shot is going, who is maneuvering, who is stopped. I NEED to know where my team is, where they are shooting, what their status is. I also NEED good shots. Accuracy is final as they say. So how do you get to be accurate without focusing on the shot?
I have spent many hours working through my methodology. What works, what doesn’t? I have been accused of being obsessed with shooting. While on the surface this is true, in reality I don’t want to think about shooting. I want THE shot just to happen. I have found few ways to make this reality.
Appling this same thought process to concealed carry is actually harder than a deployment. There is no build up, no inspirational speeches, no warning. In the event I am using a firearm, I am already at a disadvantage and I will probably be alone. I will not have seven magazines, a rifle, and armor. It will be me and whatever I have with me. In that case, I had better be good and fast. I will not be thinking about even height, even light. I will not be thinking about how much grip I need with support hand. It will be a case of MAKE THE SHOT! NOW!
Over the past few years I have done my best to train as many Soldiers as I could on this exact process. Those 1500+ students have received the best training I could provide. Many of those may soon be back in combat. I hope that they practiced.
Will I be ready if, if I have to deploy my CCW? I don’t know, but I am sweating in training and in practice to make sure I am. I want to train “how to shoot” beyond conscious thought and just be able to do it. Accurately under stress.
Lastly I issue a challenge.
Go to your local range with your weapon of choice. Have a friend set up a target or a few that you are unaware of. Have them fill a magazine with 2 rounds per target. Cover your eyes and have them walk you to the firing point.
Open your eyes, load and put 2 rounds on whatever target is up as rapidly as possible.
That is your capability. That’s what you can do cold. Was it good enough?
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Combat Shooter’s Handbook. Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first. So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU This Handbook is intended to help you exercise that right and meet that responsibility. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.