Armed Self-Defense To Shoot Fast, You Have To See Fast

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To gun owners
who think taking a basic course and occasionally shooting holes
in paper prepare them for armed self-defense, let me assure you
nothing could be further from the truth. The fourth in the “Armed
” series, this segment covers Phase I of the
Practical/Tactical (P/T I) pistol course taught by Eagle
Rock Training Systems
veteran instructors
Tom Iradi and Scott Mauldin.

This course
is a perfect transition for the gun owner who has hunted, perhaps
done a little plinking or target shooting, and is now serious about
learning handgun defense. Where advanced courses at “big-name”
schools might be expensive and intimidating, Tom and Scott go out
of their way to make P/T I not only educational and enjoyable but
also, quite frankly, a bargain.

P/T I is
designed to convey basic combat handgun skills, emphasizing:

  • Correct
    handgun grip as essential to rapidly acquiring an adequate sight
    picture to hit your target; and
  • How consistent
    “shooting platform” (position) is essential to accuracy.

The course
began with discussion of combat mindset, including Jeff
Cooper’s “conditions of awareness.”
what he calls the “Kumbaya” aspects of using deadly force,
Scott gave common sense tips on avoiding the “it-can’t-happen-to-me”
mentality by which people surrender themselves to slaughter in places
like Virginia Tech.

that if attacked, you must resolve not only to “survive”
the encounter, but to overwhelmingly win, he discussed how
contingency planning, when encountering potential threats, lets
you remain above the “shock threshold” and get the information
needed to win the fight.

Next came the
range safety briefing, emphasizing the challenges of a “hot
range” environment in which guns stay loaded but holstered
while away from the firing line.


Rather than
demanding “Bullseye” shooter accuracy, P/T I, like all
combat courses, stressed rapid sight acquisition and delivering
fast hits on “combat distance” targets at between 3 and
7 yards. Targets were “IDPA”-style
cardboard silhouettes with paper overlays as necessary.

Students ranged
from those with little exposure to techniques of defensive pistolcraft
to several with extensive experience. Several of us had bad habits
to unlearn. Throughout, Tom and Scott displayed cheerful (and humorous)
professionalism, enforcing range safety while tailoring instruction
to those who needed extra help.

Given my recommendation
that people who don’t shoot often should consider a nice, old-fashioned
revolver instead of the latest semi-auto, I was happy to see revolver
shooter Ellis George smoke nearly all of us on several drills (Slide
Show #1

For “experts”
out there who will scold me over what is missing or “wrong,”
bear in mind that what follows is a brief synopsis of the course,
not its full contents. Moreover, far more will be covered on Wednesday
when we review Eagle Rock’s P/T II course.

the rest of the article

28, 2009

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