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Over this past weekend I had the pleasure of attending John Boyette's CSF Carbine Introduction course. This was my second formal training class other than CCW with the first being one on precision rifle by an instructor at ENC firing range. But overall this was my first carbine class. I have done much informal Kalash training over the past few years so I felt well prepared for a intro to carbine class.
When the course got started it was well known that safety was of paramount concern. The first thing we went over has sling usage. There was a quick chamber check to ensure all the rifles were empty. Most were using 2 point slings of various types. I was using a standard combloc ak-47 sling on a modified AMD-65. Once everyone was comfortable with the usage of their slings we worked on reloads. The Kalash manual of arms is very simplistic and John taught for the 3 Kalash shooters the method of knocking the magazine out with the fresh mag,insert, and rack the charging handle.This was very familiar to my me and my fiance as unless we are training for magazine retention this is the primary method we use.
After we went over reloads he went on about stance. He spoke quickly about stance with body armor. Between both classes I'm not sure how many people were wearing plates carriers with plates installed but I know my fiance and I both wore level 4 icw plates. He made it clear the difference between a regular stance and a stance in which body armor is used. Again through research and other sources I've heard of this before but it's always good to confirm again. As John went down the line he had us form, I knew there probably wasn't going to too much he would be able to tell me about my stance. Stance is something I've worked on in the past and have a pretty good stance with body armor since usually when I train informally I wear body armor.
After stance John went over malfunction clearing through the Ar-15. As the Ar-15 is very popular this is what most guys were using and I feel it's something every Ar-15 should know how to do. Although the manual or arm's on a Kalash is different we still went over how we would clear a malfunctions.
Then we worked on the handgun some.Because I was in the Carbine class anything handgun for me was just more out of the class to be absorbed. The first thing John has us do is unholster our handguns and lock the slide to make sure all handguns were clear. Again John went down the line checking each shooters grip as he did with slings usage and stance. Pistol for me personally is a weaker point than the rifle. I just turned 21 last year and don't have time on the handgun like I do on the carbine. I would've taken the handgun class but it was more expensive to go out and get 400rounds of 40S&W than use 7.62x39 I had already had. I have a pretty good handgun grip as he didn't make many critiques when it came to be my turn in line.
After grip he went over sight picture. Sight picture for me is my weakest point on the handgun. The way he put it was there should be equal space around the front sight when you look through the rear sights. As I looked through the sights I found that this was the most accurate way I've heard it put. After he spoke on sight picture we worked on draw and dry fire. Dry fire is a great method to practice of both incorporating draw,sight picture, and trigger control.
When we finished dry fire on the handgun we began working back with the rifle. The first thing we picked up on was sight picture and dry fire. We did a series of drills with just dry firing and reloading. This was the basis for our first drill when going live. We would keep our rifles unloaded dry fire then after 4-5 dry fires we loaded a magazine with a few rounds and took shots live.
We worked on several different drills all of which I will not go into but other than the first I will go into my two favorites. The first being a thinking drill. Different people had different targets but all targets were labeled with 1-6 in different orders with two triangles,two circles, and two squares. These shapes were different colors I believe it was red,yellow, and blue. He started off slow going through the shapes and colors. Then he progressed and went through numbers. Then he incorporated all three and made us think about what we had to shoot to come up with a specific number while also keeping with the shapes and colors. We only had a limited round count per magazine so my fiance and I were thinking we were doing the drills wrong when we ran out of ammo, when after completing the drills those who still had rounds left were doing it incorrectly, or slower than those who had already ran out. This to me was the most difficult part of the class having to think about a lot before I have to take the shots, as I usually only shoot at silhouette style targets. The second drill I will go into was a shooting on the move drill. What he had us do was line up, vertically, one person at a time he would take us on the course of fire. One by one we walked forward then when he said turn we would turn our bodies to walk horizontally and shoot at two targets spread out a few yards apart. While keeping your shots in a circle smaller than a dinner plate this is a hard drill to do correctly. We did this drill one going left to right first, then again going right to left.
Overall this class was not meant to teach you any particular skill set.While listening to some of the other students give feedback on the course I believe some were wanting to do some things a little more "advanced" that they've seen on a training DVD or on youtube, but for new learners the way the class was setup was spot on with the drills we ran.Not too difficult, but difficult enough where it took effort and thought. Of all the different things people were getting out of the class my biggest gain is that for all informal training I do I will now be incorporating both dry fire and warm up drills.To anyone who hasn't taken formal training I urge you to do so. It will give you many different ideas as well as different instructors trains of thought. This was my first class by Trace Armory but it will not be my last.
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