Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

Here are a few thoughts about force-on-force training that I think are important to the overall training regime that we use to increase our combat shooting skills. While training on the range using live fire will always be a critical part of the overall training necessary to maximize our skill level, it is a part of a bigger picture. I always use the analogy that shooting at a piece of paper, cardboard or steel plate is much like hitting a heavy bag in our unarmed combat training. The heavy bag and range training helps us develop the mechanical skills needed to more effectively fight, but if the skills developed by using these two training tools isn’t taken into an environment where we can practice the application of those skills in a realistic way, our training is incomplete. Here are a few quick thoughts about this issue.

FORCE-ON-FORCE TRAINING CONCEPTS

Training conducted on the range helps an individual learn the life-saving methodologies essential for dominating the tactical scenarios that he/she may confront in a real world encounter. The range is where the individual can develop the psychomotor skills required to hit the threat with combat accuracy. The range, however, is only one element of training. It is necessary to take the psychomotor skills developed in range training and integrate those skills in an environment that simulates conditions found in the combat environment. It must be understood that it is very difficult to fully simulate combat in a training environment. The element that will always be missing in a training environment is that the individual is not in fear for his/her life. This means that there will be a difference in the physical and psychological impact on the individual depending on how each individual views the training environment.

A main objective in force-on-force of training is to create a training environment that will allow for a realistic application of the methodologies that have been presented on the range against a “human target” (role player). The individual can use the skills developed on the range in a manner that will be consistent with the way the individual will use his/her firearm in a combat shooting. This training evolution allows the individual to work in an environment of increasing intensity. By operating in an environment of increasing intensity, the individual will become accustomed to using his/her firearm in a manner consistent with the way the it will be used in a real word encounter.

Whenever possible, try to integrate force-on-force training into your training. It will provide you with a way to more fully develop your combat shooting skills.

Be safe!

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.  

First, I wish all who are reading this a great 2016 and I hope your training is productive. This will not be a long article but I want to discuss an issue that will most likely be more geared towards the law enforcement community but the principles that I will discuss can have application to anyone who is training for the real world.

During the past couple of months we have seen many incidents of violence that has targeted the civilian and law enforcement community. When analyzing many of these incidents, there are some common circumstances that seem to be reoccurring and many have similar characteristics. Of course, each incident can have variations, but there are also similarities that cannot be overlooked. 

I wrote an article that is in the achieves in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com, that discussed the issue of patrol tactics that need to be analyzed to ensure they are giving officers the greatest ability to win the fights that are becoming increasingly more brazen. All tactics must be periodically evaluated and modified as necessary to meet the threat environment.

At various times in history, the adversary’s tactics and/or equipment have caused significant problems and casualties because the tactics of the friendly forces are not modified to take into account the capabilities of the tactics or equipment used against them. A vivid example of this is the arrival of crew-served machine guns on the battlefield. In World War I, tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides of the conflict were killed because the tactics used (frontal assault over open terrain right up the middle) just didn’t work against entrenched machine guns in well-protected positions. The commanders continued to order these assaults even though the loss of life was beyond imagination by today’s standards. 

So what does this have to do with law enforcement tactics and for the civilian community? On April 5, 1970, my former agency, the California Highway Patrol, suffered significant loss in the infamous “Newhall Incident”. I have no intention to rehash the dynamics of the incident but use it as a means of bringing you the main point of this article.

The “Newhall Incident” caused agencies throughout the country to analyze their training methods, enforcement tactics and equipment. Better training methods, safer patrol tactics, and better equipment were developed after the incident. In conjunction with this, agencies changed policies and procedures to support the new developments and provide sounds guidelines for the officers in the field.

I believe we are in a similar position now. All agencies need to start the process of analyzing EVERYTHING in their policies and procedures in relation to patrol tactics, equipment and training. I must add that merely adding equipment isn’t enough. The equipment needs a person to operate it. A handgun or rifle is only as good as the person who will fight with it. Also, great equipment without sound tactics will simply get an officer killed or wounded while deploying that great equipment.

As an example, if we are seeing the vast majority of officers being killed or wounded that are in a patrol car by themselves, adjusting the policy of one officer patrol units to mandating two officer patrol units can should be entertained in an attempt to change the outcome of some of these incidents. I worked a two-trooper patrol car for my entire career and I can tell you without ANY hesitation that it stopped many incidents from developing before it could begin. The mere presence of two-troopers and using contact and cover tactics put the suspect in such a disadvantaged position. In many instances, they didn’t attempt to fight and for the times that they did, having immediate cover from a partner is exponentially better than having a unit at an unknown distance from you trying to get to your location to help. I have heard the arguments about coverage and fewer visible patrol cars out etc. Sorry, for me, those are illogical arguments against changing policy. Dead officers, deputies or troopers can’t patrol again. The department has to pay death benefits, rehire another person to fill the vacancy, and, more importantly, suffer the loss of a department member. If more officers are needed, then management needs to demonstrate to the city, county or state why it is needed and fight for it.

Another critical issue (and one I am intimately involved in) is the training of the officers. Whenever I hear that there isn’t time to do the training from someone, all I can think about is that they aren’t making use of the time that they have to do CRITICAL training. Many entities that control peace officer standards create so many training requirements that valuable time that could be available to do “critical “ training” gets eaten up by doing training blocks that could either be done in more condensed formats (way too much time is required given the subject matter) or the training block could be broken up into smaller sections and simply done as briefing room training at the beginning of a shift. Time is gold and we don’t have time to waste. So, I would recommend analyzing the time allocation of training that is being required and work to correct any unbalance in time spent conducting training.

The last issue that I think is important to this discussion is ensuring proper equipment is available to the law enforcement officers that will be the first to deal with the various scenarios confronted in the course of their duties. The first responding officers need the immediate ability to engage the suspect(s) and end the confrontation as rapidly as possible. Whenever we see an incident of terrorism or an active shooter happen, we see the well equipped, and trained SWAT personnel arrive on scene. These tactical teams are an outstanding resource and an integral part of a total law enforcement response. The problem is that their arrival on scene can often be after the first responding patrol units have arrived on scene. Those first responding units will generally bear the brunt of dealing with the active threat. While is an impressive sight seeing armored vehicles arrive with heavily armed SWAT teams that bring with them an incredible capability, the officers that will be the first ones to arrive on scene will only have the equipment with them to deal with the threat.

Exactly what do they have with them? As a lone officer or possible one of a small number of officers present you generally have the same gear you have with you on any given day. You have a basic police uniform, your duty pistol and what can be carry on your duty belt and, if you are fortunate, a patrol rifle. This is what the vast number of patrol officers will have with them to deal with any threat they face during any given shift. What would you want to have with you when you are the first to confront a threat, or in some cases, multiple threats? Here are some useful items that would bring a higher level of safety and capability to the patrol officers that would mostly be the first to deal with the threat: 

  • Ballistic helmet
  • Ballistic shield(s)
  • Patrol rifle
  • A ballistic plate carrier with plates designed to stop rifle rounds
  • Spare magazines, emergency first aid kit and other personal equipment attached to the plate carrier
  • A small mirror to clear around corners without exposing any part of the body (I have one that is virtually unbreakable and can fit into a uniform shirt pocket. There is a folding handle that works exceptionally well 

I am sure there are other items that individuals would want and this is only a list of a few items that can make a difference in many of the scenarios that we can face. These items can be kept in the patrol car and upon arrival on scene be immediately brought into service. On a side note, when responding to active shooter scenes or scenes where there are shots fired prior to arrival, rather than pulling up in front of the scene and running rapidly into an unknown situation, a patrol officer can stop short of the location where the incident is happening and gear up. It only takes a few seconds to put a vest and headgear on. Pulling directly in front of a “hot” area is never a good idea so you are not sacrificing anything by taking these few seconds to be ready. Remember, nothing says that you don’t have to confront an exterior threat prior to entering a building where an active shooter is located. So driving up directly in line of sight of the location exposes you to potential rifle fire form an external threat. You have to be alive to do anybody any good.

I want to end by addressing the non-law enforcement readers. This is my opinion and I state it in that light. We always hear the term “first responders”. This describes the law enforcement, fire service and paramedic/EMT responders. I would like to put this thought out to you. Simply stated, YOU are your first responder. A main reason why there are victims is because there ISN’T law enforcement there to immediately provide protection. The other is that the ”victim” doesn’t have the means immediately available to stop the threat. Do everything in your means to get proper equipment and training so you can use that equipment effectively. Having firearms, and unarmed combat training is a great start to make your “first response” effective and timely. If you have a concealed carry permit – carry your firearm. It doesn’t do you any good locked up at home.  

There are many other issues that can be discussed in relation to what is in this article. This is merely a part of a larger picture. I hope everyone has a great training year in 2016.

Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

Over the past couple of days, I have read some postings that have been dealing with the topic of “reloading” our semi-automatic handguns. This topic comes up periodically and there are many views and opinions about it. The ONLY thing I intend to do is pass on a few thoughts about this topic and YOU can decide how you want to handle it.

As with many topics in firearms related training, various terminology is used and from time-to-time change. Here are a few of these terms:

  • “Speed reloading”
  • “Emergency reloading”
  • “Tactical reloading”
  • “Administrative reloading”

My advice – get rid of them all and replace them with “loading and reloading”.

Ok, why replace them? If you use a semi-automatic handgun, one of the first things you learn to do is safely load and unload it. The process of loading or reloading the semi-automatic handgun doesn’t change – the circumstances that lead you to load or reload it can vary but the “mechanics” of loading it are the same. Here are two conditions your semi-automatic handgun will be in if you need to load or reload it:

  •  The handgun’s slide will be in battery – slide forward 
  • The handgun’s slide will be out of battery and locked to the rear

In either case, the loading process requires a fresh magazine to be placed into the handgun and if the slide is forward, rack it to the rear and release it or if the slide is out of battery then either use the slide to rack it forward or use the slide release to move the slide forward. THAT’S IT!!

Now, regardless of WHY you have to use either of those two ways to get a round in the chamber, the process is the same. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be. From my past writings remember the guiding statement to training – “Our goal is to perfect simplicity”.

After years of study by many people, there has been no evidence to show that the speed of reloading has determined the outcome of gunfights in the law enforcement or civilian community. Fractions of a second may have something to do with outcome in the competitive shooting community, but in combat, it just hasn’t had any impact. What DOES have impact is putting bullets into the person trying to stamp out your life or those around you.

In training, simply focus on developing smoothness of reloading every time you go through the process of reloading your handgun and you will develop the necessary skill when needed in a real incident.

One thing you can do to help improve your ability to smoothly accomplish a reload is to analyze the positioning of your spare magazine(s) to determine how accessible it is and how smoothly you can clear your clothing or its carry pouch. Each person’s requirements may vary due to concealment issues or if in active law enforcement that allows open carry of the magazines. The issue of accessibility can be far more important than merely how fast you can do a magazine change under ideal conditions.

In order to accomplish a reload, you have to have a spare magazine!! First, if you are carrying a semi-auto handgun, you NEED to carry a spare magazine. Why?? You may need the ammunition to stay in the fight. Another important reason is because many stoppages are due to a magazine issue. As part of stoppage clearing procedures, if you replace a defective magazine into your pistol after clearing the stoppage, you have just wasted time and possibly your life. Since we have no time to determine if the magazine that was removed as part of the stoppage clearing procedure is either good or defective, simply reload with the spare magazine and don’t risk having further problems.

It all boils down to knowing the simple process of loading and unloading your semi-auto handgun. Please don’t get sidetracked into unproductive thoughts and training. Keep everything as simple as possible and spend time training to put bullets on target.

This is not a “how to” article about loading your handgun. It is all about keeping the simple process of loading and unloading the handgun in perspective.

 Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

 

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

I hope all is going well in your training. This won’t be a long entry but I think an important one. I want to discuss a topic that integrates with your training. Whenever I check into the various gun-related media, I am inundated with articles that deal with the “hardware” and corresponding support gear. It is absolutely stunning to see how many companies offer every possible type of support equipment like holsters, magazine pouches, belts, load bearing gear ammunition and so many other choices that it can be hard to sort it all out.. The positive side of this is that we are able to find what we are looking for and meet the particular needs for our personal use. The competition is great because it continues to bring out the best products and the market sorts out what isn’t working well or needed.

As to the “hardware” (the firearms), there is an equally endless amount of choices placed in front of us. Many new handguns, long guns and shotguns come into the market. I see articles that are written by many sources that tout the merits of the new firearms and do their “review” of these new arrivals. It is almost like there is a template that is followed and the check boxes need to be checked to support the new firearms.

I would like to discuss these “evaluations” briefly. I have often questioned in my mind the methodology of these evaluations. For example, I see evaluations done on a small, concealable revolver that focuses on its 25-yard accuracy. Well, how about doing an evaluation that focuses on how it is going to work when deployed in an environment that it is designed to work in – concealed carry and deployed and shot at a rate of fire that is consistent with a life and death close-range fight. So, if someone wants to carry an ultra-light small revolver, how will they be able to control it at a rate of fire consistent with what happens when people fight for their lives at close range. THAT TYPE OF EVALUATION will have significantly more meaning than worrying about 25-yard accuracy. So make sure that when you read any evaluation it has relevance to your particular needs.

One other point is that there are many new designs that are marketed by a number of manufacturers that are constantly being brought to the marketplace. This is a natural part in the industry’s quest to bring their products to the consumer. I will make this one point that I think has relevance to selection of the equipment that we will use to save our life in a fight. You need to ensure that the firearm and its design has proven to be a solid an reliable system before you trust it with your safety.

One guideline that I pass to those who attend my classes is to look at the various local, state and federal police agencies and see what they are using as duty pistols, rifles and shotguns. If there are problems with a particular system, it becomes very clear since the systems are being used under field conditions by a wide variety of people. Once you can determine the reliability issue, then you can start to narrow down what particular system best suits your needs.

I will conclude by saying once you determine what system is best for you, training is the next critical issue to consider. No matter what firearm is being used, it is only as good as the person using it. Training in relevant methods will allow you to maximize your performance with your firearm. Don’t get sucked into the “tacticool “ trends that I see in training. Developing solid basics to the point where you can’t do them any other way except the correct way will serve you much better than practicing in a manner that is inconsistent with the reality of real fights. As I stated in prior articles, “Our goal is to perfect simplicity”. Make good use of the limited training time that most people have and use a proven firearm while practicing for reality. That simple model in the previous sentence will hold up under the conditions present in combat.

Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

 

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

First, I wish all who are reading this a great 2016 and I hope your training is productive. This will not be a long article but I want to discuss an issue that will most likely be more geared towards the law enforcement community but the principles that I will discuss can have application to anyone who is training for the real world.

During the past couple of months we have seen many incidents of violence that has targeted the civilian and law enforcement community. When analyzing many of these incidents, there are some common circumstances that seem to be reoccurring and many have similar characteristics. Of course, each incident can have variations, but there are also similarities that cannot be overlooked.

I wrote an article that is in the achieves in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com, that discussed the issue of patrol tactics that need to be analyzed to ensure they are giving officers the greatest ability to win the fights that are becoming increasingly more brazen. All tactics must be periodically evaluated and modified as necessary to meet the threat environment.

At various times in history, the adversary’s tactics and/or equipment have caused significant problems and casualties because the tactics of the friendly forces are not modified to take into account the capabilities of the tactics or equipment used against them. A vivid example of this is the arrival of crew-served machine guns on the battlefield. In World War I, tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides of the conflict were killed because the tactics used (frontal assault over open terrain right up the middle) just didn’t work against entrenched machine guns in well-protected positions. The commanders continued to order these assaults even though the loss of life was beyond imagination by today’s standards.

So what does this have to do with law enforcement tactics and for the civilian community? On April 5, 1970, my former agency, the California Highway Patrol, suffered significant loss in the infamous “Newhall Incident”. I have no intention to rehash the dynamics of the incident but use it as a means of bringing you the main point of this article.

The “Newhall Incident” caused agencies throughout the country to analyze their training methods, enforcement tactics and equipment. Better training methods, safer patrol tactics, and better equipment were developed after the incident. In conjunction with this, agencies changed policies and procedures to support the new developments and provide sounds guidelines for the officers in the field.

I believe we are in a similar position now. All agencies need to start the process of analyzing EVERYTHING in their policies and procedures in relation to patrol tactics, equipment and training. I must add that merely adding equipment isn’t enough. The equipment needs a person to operate it. A handgun or rifle is only as good as the person who will fight with it. Also, great equipment without sound tactics will simply get an officer killed or wounded while deploying that great equipment.

As an example, if we are seeing the vast majority of officers being killed or wounded that are in a patrol car by themselves, adjusting the policy of one officer patrol units to mandating two officer patrol units can should be entertained in an attempt to change the outcome of some of these incidents. I worked a two-trooper patrol car for my entire career and I can tell you without ANY hesitation that it stopped many incidents from developing before it could begin. The mere presence of two-troopers and using contact and cover tactics put the suspect in such a disadvantaged position. In many instances, they didn’t attempt to fight and for the times that they did, having immediate cover from a partner is exponentially better than having a unit at an unknown distance from you trying to get to your location to help. I have heard the arguments about coverage and fewer visible patrol cars out etc. Sorry, for me, those are illogical arguments against changing policy. Dead officers, deputies or troopers can’t patrol again. The department has to pay death benefits, rehire another person to fill the vacancy, and, more importantly, suffer the loss of a department member. If more officers are needed, then management needs to demonstrate to the city, county or state why it is needed and fight for it.

Another critical issue (and one I am intimately involved in) is the training of the officers. Whenever I hear that there isn’t time to do the training from someone, all I can think about is that they aren’t making use of the time that they have to do CRITICAL training. Many entities that control peace officer standards create so many training requirements that valuable time that could be available to do “critical “ training” gets eaten up by doing training blocks that could either be done in more condensed formats (way too much time is required given the subject matter) or the training block could be broken up into smaller sections and simply done as briefing room training at the beginning of a shift. Time is gold and we don’t have time to waste. So, I would recommend analyzing the time allocation of training that is being required and work to correct any unbalance in time spent conducting training.

The last issue that I think is important to this discussion is ensuring proper equipment is available to the law enforcement officers that will be the first to deal with the various scenarios confronted in the course of their duties. The first responding officers need the immediate ability to engage the suspect(s) and end the confrontation as rapidly as possible. Whenever we see an incident of terrorism or an active shooter happen, we see the well equipped, and trained SWAT personnel arrive on scene. These tactical teams are an outstanding resource and an integral part of a total law enforcement response. The problem is that their arrival on scene can often be after the first responding patrol units have arrived on scene. Those first responding units will generally bear the brunt of dealing with the active threat. While is an impressive sight seeing armored vehicles arrive with heavily armed SWAT teams that bring with them an incredible capability, the officers that will be the first ones to arrive on scene will only have the equipment with them to deal with the threat.

Exactly what do they have with them? As a lone officer or possible one of a small number of officers present you generally have the same gear you have with you on any given day. You have a basic police uniform, your duty pistol and what can be carry on your duty belt and, if you are fortunate, a patrol rifle. This is what the vast number of patrol officers will have with them to deal with any threat they face during any given shift. What would you want to have with you when you are the first to confront a threat, or in some cases, multiple threats? Here are some useful items that would bring a higher level of safety and capability to the patrol officers that would mostly be the first to deal with the threat:

  •  Ballistic helmet
  • Ballistic shield(s)
  • Patrol rifle
  • A ballistic plate carrier with plates designed to stop rifle rounds
  • Spare magazines, emergency first aid kit and other personal equipment attached to the plate carrier
  • A small mirror to clear around corners without exposing any part of the body (I have one that is virtually unbreakable and can fit into a uniform shirt pocket. There is a folding handle that works exceptionally well

I am sure there are other items that individuals would want and this is only a list of a few items that can make a difference in many of the scenarios that we can face. These items can be kept in the patrol car and upon arrival on scene be immediately brought into service. On a side note, when responding to active shooter scenes or scenes where there are shots fired prior to arrival, rather than pulling up in front of the scene and running rapidly into an unknown situation, a patrol officer can stop short of the location where the incident is happening and gear up. It only takes a few seconds to put a vest and headgear on. Pulling directly in front of a “hot” area is never a good idea so you are not sacrificing anything by taking these few seconds to be ready. Remember, nothing says that you don’t have to confront an exterior threat prior to entering a building where an active shooter is located. So driving up directly in line of sight of the location exposes you to potential rifle fire form an external threat. You have to be alive to do anybody any good.

I want to end by addressing the non-law enforcement readers. This is my opinion and I state it in that light. We always hear the term “first responders”. This describes the law enforcement, fire service and paramedic/EMT responders. I would like to put this thought out to you. Simply stated, YOU are your first responder. A main reason why there are victims is because there ISN’T law enforcement there to immediately provide protection. The other is that the ”victim” doesn’t have the means immediately available to stop the threat. Do everything in your means to get proper equipment and training so you can use that equipment effectively. Having firearms, and unarmed combat training is a great start to make your “first response” effective and timely. If you have a concealed carry permit – carry your firearm. It doesn’t do you any good locked up at home.

There are many other issues that can be discussed in relation to what is in this article. This is merely a part of a larger picture. I hope everyone has a great training year in 2016.

 Train hard and be safe.

 Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

 

 

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 by

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

First, I would like to wish everyone a great Holiday Season and all my best to you and your families. In this posting, I want to present some thoughts that I hope will be helpful in forming your training for 2016. This year has passed by very quickly and as I have discussed in prior postings, we don’t have any time to waste when it comes to our training. Busy schedules put a premium on training time.

One of the methods I use to develop a training program is to lay out the entire year month by month. Here is how it is done:

  • I list all the objectives I have for the training year and what I want to accomplish during the year.
  • Once I have determined what I am going to focus on in training during the year, I need to honestly determine how much training time I will have in each month.
  • The next step is to organize the training objectives in a way that establishes a methodical way the training will progress so that the appropriate amount of training time is devoted to each objective to maximize performance and effectively use the training time. This is an important step in the process because most people and agencies don’t have unlimited training time. We never want to waste training time due to disorganization. Having a well thought out training plan will help keep our program on track and ensure that the training objectives are met.  

By creating a master plan for the year, we can ensure that we are not wasting training time and ensure that we are constantly moving forward and developing higher skills. I have postings that are archived in my website that can provide direction about what should be included in training programs. If you get a chance, visit them and it may help you form your plan. Here is a point that is important to stay focused on:

I want to be better each time I train and at the end of the training year be better than the previous year.

Moving forward and gaining skills can often be measured in small increases in performance. This is especially true for those who have higher skill levels. ANY increase in performance is a welcome one. Stay positive about your progress and over time the little increases collectively become larger ones.

I would leave this posting by saying that 2016 will be a critically important year for all of us. I feel very comfortable to say that those who take the time to read my postings are very serious about their safety, their family’s safety and the safety of our country. If you haven’t been able to keep up with the day-to-day political news, our gun rights and, in essence, our right to protect our families and ourselves is in the balance. ANYONE who cares about having those rights must first understand that those rights are being attacked. If some in elected positions get their way, all of us will have our ability to benefit from our Constitutional right to self-protection decreased. You will potentially be affected no matter what political party you support. Criminals care less what political party you belong to when they are attempting to make you a victim. Let your conscious be your guide and I hope everything works out in our favor. Have a great Christmas and Holiday Season.

 Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

In this posting, I would like to discuss the integration of airsoft equipment into training. I have written about this topic in the past but would like to put a little more out about using this tool with the goal of producing a better-prepared individual that can meet the challenge of a combat shooting.

There is much written about using airsoft in the many places by a diverse group of authors. So there are many sources of information available to learn about this topic. The problem that I have seen in some of the information presented is that there are some misconceptions about where this equipment fits into the training program and how it is used to get maximum training value from integrating it into a training program.

I have extensively used airsoft equipment while conducting training within my former department as well as in my private company programs. During this time, I was able to fine-tune how I used airsoft equipment. What I am about to write is a summation of that information and, as with anything I write, it is my opinion based upon my experience. What I would just ask you to do is to keep an open mind as you read through this posting since opinions from previous readings or experience with improper application of the airsoft equipment can taint one’s opinion of this equipment. Let’s first discuss how we can use airsoft as part of training prior to integrating it into force-on-force training.

Whenever skills that require the integration of motor skills and our mind are desired, repetition is an important element of developing increased skills. It is critical that the particular methods and/or movements practiced are appropriate for the desired application of those methods. If we are going to practice a method that isn’t appropriate then all that will be accomplished is devoting training time practicing something that could potentially fail in combat. So, ensure that what you intend to practice is correct so that the repetition and time spent in practice will be valuable.

Once we have selected the methods we want included in our training program, frequent, repetitive practice will allow us to increase our ability to perform at our fullest potential. Here is where airsoft training can be a tremendous tool to achieve that objective. Repletion using live fire can be an expensive proposition. When it costs anywhere from $14-$20 for a box of 50 rounds of ammunition for our handguns or the same amount of money for only 20 center fire rifle rounds, the cost of doing much repetition can be out of the reach of many people and police departments.

Airsoft equipment can help develop our skills without having to spend an excessive amount of money to accomplish the desired repetition in our training program. The airsoft industry has provided airsoft handguns and long guns that are a replica of our duty/carry handguns and long guns at a relatively low cost. So, selecting the “hardware” is not difficult. Once purchased, all that is required is purchasing the BB’s and propellant to make the systems work. This cost is pennies on the dollar when compared to live rounds.

Let’s examine how we can use this equipment to increase our skills. Here are ways to integrate the airsoft equipment into your training program:

  • Select a particular skill that you want to develop (as an example, drawing from concealment)
  • Create an airsoft safe environment. All firearms and ammunition are removed from the training area. Ensure that you have an appropriate location and backdrop.
  • Complete your repetition training with the airsoft equipment. You can determine how much time and/or shots you want to take with the airsoft equipment based upon your particular constraints in time etc.
  • Once you have done your repetition training with airsoft equipment, then you can do your “verification training” using live fire at the range. As an example, let’s say I did 200 repetitions of drawing from concealment and discharging one shot per draw with my airsoft equipment in my repetition training. The next step in training I can do is to go to the range and complete 10-20 repetitions of the same drill with live fire to monitor my progress and determine what future drilling is needed to make more progress.

By using a model that I described above with ANY particular skill I want to develop, the cost as compared to doing it all live fire is at a minimum. Also, I can do the airsoft training in locations that I could never discharge a live round. As an example, I train daily with airsoft in my garage. In a given month, I discharge approximately 3,000 shots practicing ALL elements of the programs I have developed. I can make a trip to the range for live fire and “test” those elements by doing the “Task-Oriented Combat Qualification Course” I developed to “test” those skills. I can do all of this for about 36 rounds of live ammunition. The beauty of doing the repetition training with airsoft is that my skill level in live fire still increases even though I have been at this for a long time. As I learned in martial arts, there is always a higher level of skill that can be attained through practice.

When I hear that an agency has curtailed firearms training due to budget concerns, I suggest using this type of format for their training. Of course, getting people to listen is an entirely different matter. Those that DO listen have benefited from this training protocol not only on the range but also in live combat shoots. For individuals, just think of the amount of training time you can have WITHOUT the cost of transportation to the range and expense associated with doing volume shooting with live rounds. CAUTION! I am not suggesting replacing live fire or regular range training. I AM suggesting that whatever amount of range training you are doing, it can be supplemented with airsoft equipment in addition to any live fire practice you are doing. What I do is use the range to VERIFY that I can perform equally to what I am doing with the airsoft training I am doing. I hope this point is clear because it is not an “either or” proposition. You can use airsoft to make the live fire better.

Now let’s look at integrating airsoft into your force-on-force training. The first step that I use to help develop an individual’s ability to apply their training is to work them through a series of drills using airsoft while using their training partner who becomes their target. First and foremost, a completely safe environment is created where all firearms and ammunition is removed from the training area and the training area is isolated from anyone not involved in training. Once this is accomplished, appropriate safety gear is used to protect the face and head area. Since these drills require significant repetition, enough protective clothing is worn to absorb the shots taken on the body.

Here is an important point: This IS NOT a full force-on-force scenario based format that will come later in the process. So the issue of not feeling hits is not a consideration. These are drills that substitute paper, cardboard and steel targets with a “human target” so that the individual gets comfortable with shooting at the “human target”. I can alter the angle to the target, teach shooting at a moving target and ultimately have the “human target” project shots at their partner in a controlled way to teach critical points in training. So, the purpose of these drills is to learn application of principles against a target that looks and reacts like a person, not a piece of paper or steel plate. This drilling is a critical step in the process to allow an individual to work in a three dimensional environment against a real person.

As training progresses, the “human target” is “programed” to engage the trainee is a more aggressive manner. This process is conducted in the classic “crawl, walk and run” manner. Once this process is competed, then the training will focus on using the airsoft equipment in spontaneous drills in which the trainee is unsure of what will happen and must react and apply their training to solve a problem. The beauty of this training is that it is still controlled (the “human target” does a particular action that is pre-determined) so that the learning curve can be monitored but the intensity is increased. This is still “drilling” so the same protective gear is used so that many drills can be run numerous times to add depth to the training process. The purpose of this portion of training is to add the spontaneity element into the process.

The final step in this training process is to add full force-on-force drills in a scenario based training format. The “human target” provides the trainee with a problem to solve but can aggressively “fight” the trainee. This allows for a spontaneous attack that causes the trainee to apply his/her training while under the duress of being attacked by the “human target”.

One issue that is sometimes brought forward is that it is can be difficult to determine hits on target with airsoft when running the full force-on-force training as outlined in the last paragraph. These full force-on-force drills are the “final exam” drills that are done to ensure the principles taught are being applied by the participants and are also applied at full speed. These drills ARE NOT the repetition drills where a high volume of repetitions is done to develop skills. So one way to increase the ability to determine when hits are made is to have less protective clothing on the body during the drill. Head and facial gear is always maximized and should not be altered for these drills. The impact of the BB’s will increase as participants use less protective clothing.

Another viable way to help determine hits is to use one of the other products available such as Simunitions for these final drills. If this is done, we can gain the benefit from using a low cost way of developing skills by using airsoft for the high volume repetition training and use the more expensive system and its marking ammunition to do the final tests in the training sequence. This can save money and maximize on training time.

The final thought I would like to leave you with is to always keep an open mind to how you are training. Maximize the benefits from each training cycle and the equipment you are using. In times when budgets are tight, we can still train and gain skills by using every means available to continue the training process.

 Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

 

 

Product Information

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Simply Rugged Holsters

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Robert Leahy

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rob@simplyrugged.com

Facebook: Simply Rugged Holsters

All my best and be safe!

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

 

Tactical Tip Of The Week

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Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

Well, this has been a hectic week and one that has been filled with violence happening in many places around the world such as in France. For those of us who deal with these issues by training people to have active ways of trying to surviving these violent incidents, the events are absolutely no surprise.

I won’t take up too much of your time with this article but want to discuss a few points that could be useful for you. There are a number of great resources available that provide information about active shooter scenarios and I will no rehash that information here. Please seek out as much information as possible from as many sources as you can so that you can gain varying perspectives about the nature of these active shooter incidents. Some suggestions may work for you and you may not like some of the suggested responses. Knowledge is power and use your judgment to sort through it all.

So, let’s set up the discussion. You are minding your business enjoying a night out in any venue you want to place yourself. You hear what you think are gunshots. What should you do?? If you have waited to figure that out until then, you may be in trouble. Under the type of high stress that comes with being in the middle of a nightmare like a mass shooting, many people will have a hard time figuring out what the best course of action is to respond to the scenario. As many of you already know, some responses may not always be the best and making decisions under duress doesn’t always give us the best responses. Our perceptions may be distorted due to the perceptual narrowing (tunnel vision) that can present. Other affects of the “sympathetic nervous system “activation may cause us to make decisions void of the ability to think clearly and perform physical tasks with the same acuity and dexterity that we normally have available when not under duress.

As in all that we do when preparing to deal with violence, prior preparation will greatly determine how we respond in a critical incident. As I have mentioned in past articles, “our goal is to perfect simplicity”. Applying that statement to these acts of raw violence will lead us to simple principles to follow that will help minimize our exposure to violence and increase our ability to survive. I am sure many of you already incorporate prior planning in your training protocols. Let’s look at a few ideas that can help us be better prepared. If you already do some of these suggestions, GREAT! Then rehearse and practice them more. Immediate action drills (the execution of planned responses to given scenarios) need to be practiced often and ingrained into our mind and body. The more practice the better. Try doing your responses in a force-on-force environment (safely and professionally done under competent supervision by those who know how to supervise these training events). This will help you iron out any issues that may arise when done in real time and with real people.

One important consideration that we can examine is what our actions should be when the moment of truth happens and shots are fired. Here are a couple of things we can do in our prior planning that will be extremely helpful when the attack is initiated:

  •  If indoors, where is the nearest exit to leave the “kill zone”?
  • If outdoors, where is the nearest point of cover and concealment that can be used? Cover by definition should be able to stop incoming bullets. Concealment keeps us out of sight of the attacker(s). Even if cover is not immediately available and concealment is the only choice, it is better to be unseen than out in the open. Remember, a firearm is a “line-of-sight” weapon so the attacker needs to see you to determine you are a target.

Please feel free to add any other consideration to the above. What is listed are but a few considerations that should be included in your “prior planning”.

In your planning, you should include adhering to the principle that creating distance from the attacker(s) will be a significant way to improve your chances of escaping the “kill zone” and avoid injury. It will be more difficult to hit you with gunfire if you are moving and you have to remember that even if you get behind cover, it doesn’t mean that at some point their bullets won’t penetrate your cover. How much damage can your cover take before it is incapable of stopping bullets. We have seen block walls disintegrate with multiple hits. So if there is a way to create distance from the attackers, if should be a priority.

Another issue that I think needs to be considered is if you are armed, should you engage the threat or not. First and foremost, YOU can be the only one to make the decision about engaging the attacker(s) with your firearm (in virtually all cases, it will be a handgun since it is portable enough to carry concealed). You have to understand a few things that might help you in forming your decision to engage with your handgun as part of your immediate action plan.

If you are with your family, what is your primary consideration? I would think that the first thought we have is that their safety is paramount. So, if there is an exit that can be immediately used to get out of the kill zone, how should that affect your decision? Well, if you engage that threat and fail, what happens to your family? If you open fire on the attacker(s) and your family is directly near you, you will become a bullet magnet. If there is an immediate exit and you can leave, is that a better overall plan to better your family’s chances of avoiding injury or death? Only YOU can make that decision. Try to work through a variety of scenarios prior to having to make that sort of decision when the event is happening. Try to decide when you would elect to engage the attacker(s) or simply leave the area. If you are attempting to evacuate your family form the “kill zone”, I would suggest engaging only if necessary to stay alive because your ability to leave is no available. Another potential reason to engage the attacker(s) is to try to delay the attacker(s) while the remainder of your family continues to create distance from the attacker(s). In essence, you are engaging in a delaying action to allow your family to escape. This will be YOUR decision and the scenario will dictate what is the best option.

The point of this discussion is to get us to think of courses of action PRIOR to being in a position that these decisions must be made while under the duress of an attack. Simple plans well executed work better under stress especially if you have had the opportunity to rehearse those plans under realistic conditions. Of course, the true reality of being in a direct assault by heavily armed terrorists cannot be completely duplicated in a training environment, but we can at least test out our plan and make whatever adjustments need to be made to make the plan more viable.

There is no way to plan for every event. Our prior planning developing realistic plans will greatly enhance of survivability. I hope this helps stimulate your thoughts on this issue. It is up to YOU to determine the best course of action that works for YOU. Prior planning and being prepared both mentally and physically is our best chance of avoiding injury or death in the type of terrorist events that have been unfolding world-wide.

Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

 

 

Tactical Tip Of The Week

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Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

In this article I want to explore the drilling that we use to develop and hone our skills with the various firearms we use for self-defense. I think it will be beneficial to discuss what drilling is designed to do and how we can maximize on our time spent in practice.

As with many endeavors that we do that requires practice to develop skills, combat shooting is no different. One of the first steps in the process is to define what skills you are attempting to develop so that a methodical plan can be formed to guide the training process.

So to start the process, I would recommend that you make a list of the skills that you would like to develop. This is an important part of the process because it is important to define what you intend to use your firearm for so that you can develop drilling that will assist you in increasing performance. There are many reasons why individuals use their firearms that will impact what drilling needs to be included in training. As an example, a person who is using their handgun for concealed carry purposes   will have very specific drills that must be included in training. Likewise, a person who is using their firearms for home defense will need specific drilling included in their program to meet their requirements.

No mater what use we have for our firearms, a baseline set of skills must be developed. These skills will be the foundation of all other applications. The important thing to remember about developing these baseline skills is that they must be based upon simple, straightforward principles that have been tested in combat.

The drills that need to be included in “baseline” training must include the spectrum of starting positions that one can find themselves in at the beginning of hostilities. Also, appropriate methods of engagement based upon the distance to the target must be included in this drilling process. It is important to practice “Target-Focused Shooting” as well as appropriate use of the sight system. However, if you are drilling with methods when at 3 yards from the target that are the same as when you are 20 yards from the target, your drilling may prove to be inadequate preparation if you are involved in a spontaneous close-quarters shooting that someone else starts. Practicing one method and excluding the other (“Target-Focused Shooting for close-quarters engagements and the use of the sight system for extended distance engagements) can be a fatal mistake. Your program needs both and if someone tells you different, simply do what I have done in the past. Throw them into force-on-force training and let them experience what happens when one eliminates methods in their training that are designed to work effectively in specific scenarios. There is nothing like seeing someone who is so adamant about what they believe to be true find out in about one second that what they have believed in simply doesn’t work.

As a quick example (there are many that I can write about), many people do multiple target drills by planting their feet, remain stationary and upon signal draw their handgun. They do a great job putting rounds downrange and hitting the multiple STATIONARY paper, cardboard or steel plates downrange in a known location and distance. They also know the scenario that they are going to shoot. I have seen some impressive shooting done in that mode. The important point is that they know what is going to happen BEFORE they perform “the drill”. Now, I take these same people into a force-on-force- environment (safely done and controlled) where the multiple targets are human, initiate the fight at an unknown time, and have the ability to shoot back. Guess what? The drill doesn’t work like on the range. The point? Drilling is to help develop skills. Those skills have to integrate into appropriate tactics or you may be in for a BIG surprise. Superior performance on known drills doesn’t necessarily translate into superior performance in real or simulated scenarios. I only hope the “surprise” is not in a gunfight with real bullets in the air.

I could go on for a long time with examples of this but I think the point is made. The important thing about training and drilling is that we use that training time to prepare us for reality not fantasy. The real world isn’t a game. The drilling we do must increase our ability to win by increasing skills that can integrate into the scenarios we face and the tactics we use.

So, what should we expect to gain from the drilling we do on the range? I suggest that the range be used to develop “baseline skills” that can be honed by repetition so that when those skills must be applied in unknown and spontaneous scenarios, the application of the particular skill can be delivered with speed and combat accuracy. Here are a few “baseline skills” that need to be integrated into training via the “drills “ we do at the range:

  •  Smooth, rapid drawing of the handgun into the appropriate position based upon range to the threat (extended position when the threat is not close enough to deflect or attempt to take control of your handgun or a close quarters position where the handgun is not extended but remains closer to your body for retention purposes).
  • Develop primary hand only and two-handed grip shooting positions
  • Develop support hand only skills in the event that your primary hand is injured or incapable of controlling your handgun
  • Develop skills in both “Target-Focused Shooting” and sighted shooting methods to cover the spectrum of distance to the threat as well as account for the affects of the sympathetic nervous system on our mind and body during a real confrontation.
  • Develop shooting while moving skills
  • Develop the ability to shoot effectively from cover
  • Drilling that continually develops greater speed of engagement while increasing the combat accuracy at that speed

Please feel free to add any other skills you want to develop in your drilling. This is just a few of the “baseline” skills that are extremely important to develop in training.

The last point I want to address concerns a trend I have seen developing over time that needs to be discussed to keep this issue of “drilling” in proper perspective. I see many training programs that place a significant amount of time using the “run and gun” approach in the training process. While these courses are fun to shoot, they do not do the drilling that is necessary to help a person develop the skills that I have discussed. While there is absolutely noting wrong with adding these “run and gun” courses into an overall training program, they should NOT be used if the “baseline skills” have not been developed. Also, time management is critical because training time isn’t limitless. Many agencies and individuals only have limited time to train. Priorities must be established and the time available must be used to develop critical skills first. Performance in a “run and gun” course or force-on-force scenario based program can only be as good as the person’s ”baseline skills”. If a high degree of skill isn’t attained in drilling of the basic components of the program, much lower performance levels can be expected when a person participates in the “run and gun” type of course, scenario based training, and most importantly, a live combat shooting against a real threat.

To summarize this article, I would simply advise that “drilling” and the repetition that is done developing the “baseline skills” is the gateway to increased performance in any other training that is presented. In past articles, I have referenced a principle that guides the curriculum I use in training programs. I will include it here again:

OUR GOAL IS TO PERFECT SIMPLICITY

I hope the information in this article helps in your training.

Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master