By A.J. Holst
Last weekend I drive to the Ridge in Dayton, TN to assist and participate in Defensive Concepts for Low Light Environments.
Randy Harris, founder of Harris Combative Strategies was our instructor.
Class start was 6pm, we had 15 students, including 3 ladies.
Having never shot at night, i was looking forward to it. No fancy gear, my trusty CZ 75B with 10 year old OEM night sights, Safariland accordion-style universal single mag pouch (works like a champ) and new Fenix UC35 flashlight with up to 1000 retinal burning lumens.
This particular flashlight was $89.95 at SMKW, selected based on previous experience with the LD05, on board USB charger, and 2 battery choices.
I am NOT a light expert, so this is opinion.
A good flashlight runs $60+ depending on features.
A good flashlight makes for an excellent striking weapon or use to break glass.
Combination of classroom and range work.
Here's what I learned:
It is not illegal anywhere in the world to carry a flashlight in your hand.
As a rule, people don't like to get flashed, so a blast of light from waist down with a firm, "I'm sorry, I can't help you," should be pretty effective.
For me, I get to see his hands
For him, I've added a huge question, who carries and uses a flashlight?
At the very least, not your typical antelope.
If unable to disengage, a blast to the eyes, with, "hey buddy back off," gives about 2-3 seconds of time before the potential bad guy has clear vision. To know is from experience, so we all got blasted in low light, but not dark - that was later.
If a light blast to the eyes doesn't dissuade the predator, and he's close, strike him in the face with that well made, machined aluminum with fantastic gripping surfaced cylinder of hurt.
Sounds really John Wick like, but really a simple gross motor skill.
Then it was dark and time to shoot.
I discovered there was enough ambient light from the other shooters illuminating their targets, I didn't really need more light.
I also discovered positioning the light is important to avoid losing my front sight from splash along the top of the slide.
When I would step to the rear to hydrate, I was about 25 yards from the firing line. As 8 students were shooting and flash illuminating at different tempos, it was chaotic to experience. Point being, a running gun battle at night is scary.
I came to the realization that I've been approaching this shooting thing the hard way; day light, two hands, can easily see the target.
10 yards, move to cover, engage strong hand, flashlight however you want to manage it, 6" steel, don't hit the bystander or The Suit.
Ding ding ding
Ding ding ding (Randy didn't say exactly how many) ding.
I'm also pleased with my overall progress with slide lock reloads.
If nothing else, a fun confidence booster.
Feedback from the class: start earlier due to volume of content, convert dry erase to PowerPoint for classroom.
Last drill, a little after midnight, only ambient is starlight, no moon, and it's dark in Dayton.
After I flash you in the face, when you can see the target, draw and fire.
I'd estimate 20-30 seconds in my case and almost a minute for full night vision.
Tremendous amount of time to do a variety of things.
Tips from Randy: Turn off the lights when practicing dry and add your light. Hit a mirror to experience what the BG will experience in different light levels.
I am an unpaid spokesperson and talented valet for Randy Harris and Harris Combative Strategies.
By Cruel Hand Luke
CRG-1: PISTOL GUNFIGHTING
July 13-14, 2019
Chattanooga Area (Range is 40 min SW of Chattanooga)
Instructor: Randy Harris
Price : $350
All training must begin with fundamentals. This comprehensive fundamentals class is designed to prep you for the more advanced courses such as Close Range Gunfighting. Through a carefully designed and detailed curriculum we are able to bring you up to a level of skill in a short two day class that previously would take over 4 or 5 days to achieve at other schools.
You will learn a complete presentation of the modern combative technique of the pistol which will put you in good standing for any defensive situations you may encounter in the real world.
We will also be incorporating fundamental Point Shooting techniques which will prep you for more advanced courses. You will learn the components of various point shooting methods and integrate them into your existing skill sets. This knowledge will put you in good standing for any defensive situations you may encounter in the real world.
No experience or prior training is needed to attend this class and it is specially suitable for beginners, or as a tune-up for accomplished shooters.
CLASS AND RANGE DETAILS
DURATION: 2 days TIME: 9:00AM to 5:00PM CENTRAL TIME AMMUNITION: Approximately 300 rounds (Minimum) RANGE & GEAR REQUIREMENTS: Modern defensive pistol and a holster specifically made for that pistol and designed to be worn on the belt. Three (3) magazines and magazine pouch, a belt of the same width as the belt loops for the holster and magazine pouches, and range safety gear (eye protection, and ear protection).
Bring spare clothing appropriate for the weather, including a hat, sunscreen, and bug repellent. Plan to bring lunch, snacks, and water (min 1 gallon per person) for the entire day unless driving to lunch is a viable option from the range location. Bring allergy medication (if needed), a chair (if you prefer), note taking supplies, and a boo boo kit (band aids, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment and tape). You may wish to bring pads such as knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves if the class lends itself to that.
For more info and to register for this class.....https://suarezinternational.com/crg-1-pistol-gunfighting-july-13-14-2019-chattanooga-tn/?ctk=75c79843-c20e-42eb-86fa-76372dc0c876
By A.J. Holst
May the Fourth was great, today is definitely Revenge of the Fifth, I'm a wee bit sore from all the frivolities of yesterday.
Best part - we had a first time attendee, both with Randy and the Group as well as his first class with an instructor.
His biggest concern going in, anxiety from the fear of the unknown. He claimed at the end class, he felt welcome and very comfortable with us and is planning on attending future classes.
Being a rifle class, we were shooting at 50 - 100 yards, on 1/3 IDPA steel targets.
Changes the perspective to 150 - 300, or as Randy told me, "that may be your actual target size at 50-100 if the BG is using cover / concealment.
7 ARs represented, no two alike, and one Mini-14.
I was very please with my SW MP Sport 2. Upgrades include a Magpul grip, Burris FastFire3 with mount, and $3.99 1" Allen sling. The budget sling worked fine, but a heavier duty 1 1/2" sling would be a good investment.
Started with dry fire and manipulations from standing, kneeling, and prone.
Valuable for me being left handed and low time with the AR. I think I want to add an ambi charging handle.
Worked totally from pockets, specifically 5.11 pants.
The cargo pocket can hold 2 mags and I can access pretty easily. They are not secured as Velcro can't be fastened. I didn't have one fall out from changing my up / kneel / prone position or moving to and fro between shooting stations.
The back slash pocket makes it easy (for me) to stow mags and re-access if partially depleted and I just shot to slide lock.
Note to above, shooting 1 1/2 mags and needing to reload with your first mag in a civilian defensive rifle gun fight will get you on the national news and probably into the encyclopedia.
Sights and Optics
I did shoot a few rounds from my M1 carbine, the front blade was about as wide as 1/3 IDPA targets at 50. Hit it a few times, so I feel pretty good about myself.
I have a 3 moa dot and it makes a difference for my aging eyes.
If I did more rifle shooting and routinely shot to 100+, I would probably invest in a some kind of dot / magnifier setup.
As it sits now, just the FF3 and mount represents $300 - $400 on a $499 rifle.
Breathing is hard.
Many of the afternoon drills included changing position and shooting stations, as quickly as you cared to go.
I put forth some effort and got my out of shape hamster running on his wheel.
Here's what happened to me when I was "ready" to shoot after I got into stable platform - that little dot was moving in time with the hamster.
Deep breath and exhale, and again, and again and...what are you waiting for, Alice?
Very eye opening, if I must take that long shot, what's around and beyond my target?
I do need to work on my standing form and best placement of my support arm and hand.
A 30 round AR mag can hold 31, just in case you lose count when topping off.
Great way to carry an extra bullet, but they don't function too well.
Best practice, count and load 27 or 28.
Slinging my rifle to transition to pistol.
Very comfortable flipping the sling over my head and allowing the rifle to drop down my back. Once I was confident with the action and where the rifle ended up, I was good to go.
For this class, when I was shooting, the rifle was not attached to my body via sling. Gave me the ability to switch rifle to right side and shoot one handed. Not optimal. Drop it on the ground (I did) better, two handed pistol grip, but less than optimal, do I really want to "leave" my rifle anywhere?
This was a good class for me, with the nature of the targets, there was less range valet'ing and more opportunities for me to shoot. I learned how to run this rifle and what my current skill level is.