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Wasn't sure where to put this, but figured this was the best spot.

Specialist Research and Training

This was my third class with Bill Regina's SRT, and thus far all of them have been excellent. Going into this, Bill told us that it would be a small class, and he wasn't wrong. We ended up having 5 people in the morning/Pistol portion, and added one for the afternoon/rifle portion. This class was different than the last class I'd attended in that I didn't know anybody there very well. The class make up could almost have been the intro to a joke, "A redneck, an architect, and a giant Russian walk on to the range"... The diverse group turned out to be a very good thing, as we all had varying levels of experience and skill, and Bill worked with that so that everybody learned, and didn't fall behind. Due to the small size, everybody got pretty comfortable working together fairly quickly. After the first few drills, we were joking, razing each other, and suggesting drills that Rambo and Arnold Schwarzenegger would find difficult. The relaxed atmosphere helped with the drills, as everybody seemed to be comfortable enough with each other enough not to be nervous, but there was enough tension from "par time" competitions to make you want to perform.

The weapons used were almost as varied as the shooters. For the pistol portion, we had a mix of Glocks, a S&W M&P, a Walther, and I ran an FNX. Calibers were mostly 9mm and .40 S&W, and I was the only Neanderthal using .45 ACP. Rifles used were mostly AR variants, but two AK variants made an appearance. Egor, our Friendly Giant Russian, used a Century AK pistol with a Sig brace, and another shooter switched out his AR for an Arsenal AK side folder for the last few drills of the day. I started out the rifle portion with a Daniel Defense Mk 18 pistol build, but ended up switching out to my SCAR 16S for most of the afternoon.

The class started with pistol drills. We did a brief warm up, and then started shooting at various ranges, each stretching it back a bit further, and eventually started doing this for time. 30-35m doesn't sound very far, but with the relatively small steel targets we used, this turned out to be difficult, at least for me, especially for time. The various drills were excellent, and covered things I do not normally practice. We eventually covered shooting and moving, as well as reloading on the move, and CQB drills. The CQB drills were very different for me, and added variables that I'd not trained with before. In the scenario, we were closer than an arms length away from the attacker, and had to grab or block with our off hand, and draw and engage the attacker with our dominate hand only. Things we had to consider were where and how you positioned you off hand, how you held and aimed your weapon with one hand, and how to disengage from the attacker. It was interesting to note here how the different weapons affected the cardboard target. With the guns pressed more or less into the target, the muzzle blast destroyed the targets in short order. However, with the weapons pulled back, even just to the hip/side, only powder burns were evident on the targets (except for my FNX, it still tore up the targets).

After the initial CQB drills, we started on more unusual drills, such as fighting from the ground, and I took to calling these "Push down/Knock down" drills. I partnered up with Egor, and broke out my action camera for some video.


I thought these were very good drills, and forced you to do things that aren't commonly practiced, like drawing when laying on your dominate side, and reloading from your back or with your magazines in the dirt. Besides how awkward this was, who wants to fight from their back? We focused on engaging from the ground, then fighting our way up. The wonderful rainy conditions of the day made it interesting, as everything became very slick about this time, and I know I wasn't the only one to slip and nearly fall when trying to get up. Fortunately, this was our last set of drills before lunch, giving everybody the time to recharge from playing in the mud.

After lunch, we were joined by another shooter, and jumped right into the rifle section of the class. We again did a quick warm up/confirmed zero, and then we were off to the races. Since I was already over dressed for the occasion, wearing MultiCam Tropic combat pants and a battle belt, I decided to test out the plate carrier, and ended up running it for the rest of the day. I'll admit, it did get pretty warm, especially after the Sun decided to make an appearance, and turned the range into a sauna. The rifle drills were ones I was much more familiar with, but Bill still managed to throw a few curve balls at us. One of the drills I learned from the most was the Chaos Drill (firing at targets 1,2,1,3,1,4,1,5, and then back), as it gets pretty complicated when you throw in a reload or malfunction. We also covered alternate firing positions, and using cover, both of which are topics that I should practice more, but don't. This was especially evident when trying to do things that are normally simple from these positions. For instance, I had to actively think my way through an off-hand reload with my SCAR while prone, simply because the muscle memory just isn't there. Transitions were also covered, and it was nice being able to snap back to the pistol stuff we had covered in the morning. The last drill we covered for the day was the "Over Under Drill". As I said before, I was still in full kit, and this presented a few extra challenges for me, but thankfully wasn't too terrible. Unfortunately the "over" portion was the biggest hurtle (literally), as I'm just not quite tall enough to jump over the barriers, and they weren't quite stable enough for me to brace myself, and throw my legs over like I would on a wall. This led to me stumbling, and we got a nice video of me almost going down face first. Thankfully, my hopping skills were up to the task.


Equipment issues were relatively minor. There were occasional pistol malfunctions, but they seemed to be the exception not the rule, with most performing flawlessly all morning, rain or shine. I'm happy to report that my FNX ate everything I fed it, and asked for more. rifles seemed to be more problematic, as Egor's AK pistol had stove pipe issues pretty early on. At first, we thought it was being caused by a double mag clamp he used, but we eventually decided it was one of the mags that was actually the problem. After dumping that one, I don't remember seeing him have any more issues. The Arsenal AK I saw was almost malfunction free, the only issue being the most common malfunction AKs have: it ran out of ammo, and I'll agree, that "click" on empty is the loudest sound on the range/battlefield. My major gear issue was with my Mk 18 build. Started off fine, but very shortly started having FTF issues. I'd cycle in a new round, but that didn't always solve the problem. Still haven't narrowed it down to the ammo used or the weapon itself, but after I switched to the SCAR, I didn't have any more issues. That has me thinking it's an issue with the Mk 18.

All in all, it was an excellent class. I recommend SRT's classes to anybody looking for a quality training at a good price. SRT is a small group that conducts classes around Kansas, and for anybody in the area, I highly recommend them.

A couple of action shots from the class:


 

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That looks like that would have been fun:shock:.
 

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Cool write up! Not sure how I would have hopped those barriers either, did they give some pointers on that afterwards?


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Wow. Super write-up, Alpha-17. Now you've got me looking for local classes. The "Go Pro" view was awesome.
If you're down in Texas, you've got quite the selection of big name classes within a few hours drive. I've been eye balling some of those classes this fall, if I can find a way to work my school schedule, work schedule, and a buddy's schedule to make it happen. Even if you can't make any of the big classes, I've found the smaller, locally based ones to be worth the time as well. (As this thread should show).
That looks like that would have been fun:shock:.
Oh, it was. Any time when you're forced to stretch the SCAR's legs and yours at the same time is always a blast.


Cool write up! Not sure how I would have hopped those barriers either, did they give some pointers on that afterwards?
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
A few, the general gist of it being to not try and hop over them, but go slow so you don't end up busting your arse. Not sure I agree with that, but I can see where he was coming from with that line of thought.

Thanks for the comments everybody!
 

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If you're down in Texas, you've got quite the selection of big name classes within a few hours drive.
Excuse my ignorance, but which do you think are favorable here? Understand that there are gobs and gobs of classes offered near me, but I'm not trained like you - I don't have a good B$ filter for this stuff. I just like to shoot. I've paid money for classes before that would've been much better spent on raw ammo and practice.
 

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Excuse my ignorance, but which do you think are favorable here? Understand that there are gobs and gobs of classes offered near me, but I'm not trained like you - I don't have a good B$ filter for this stuff. I just like to shoot. I've paid money for classes before that would've been much better spent on raw ammo and practice.
I would check out Alias Training. They have a lot of big name shooters, so I'd assume most of their classes are legit. They're who I'm looking to get a class with later in the year. Pricey, but hopefully worth it. Smaller groups with cheaper classes are the ones that usually hard to judge. Some are excellent for the money, while others are a waste of time. Hard to tell which is which without going to one, or knowing somebody that has.

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There was an ismid? our group did many years back 203s m4s and 249s in Germany where we did all this moving from foot to vehicle to foot with crawling that was fun, this kinda reminded me of that.
 
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