Sunday, July 27, 2008

Review: CQB Reed's Range in San Jose with Louis Awerbuck

There were 13 people in the course which is quite a lot of people to be taught in such a small space such as an indoor range. The student teacher ratio was too high and it was felt throughout the duration of the course. This is compared to the previous courses I took where there were 7 -10 people.

Louis checked everyones draw stroke and then we moved to shooting the angled targets shown in the picture above. Louis checked out our targets to see where we needed improvement. This went on for two shooting sessions where targets were checked and taped and everyone's skill level was accounted for.

We then moved to curved targets to simulate a person from straight on and at an angle. Louis discussed the best place to make shots that would stop opponents and as the distance varies you need to change the shot placement. The farther the target the least amount of corrections need to be made for shot placement. He also stressed that the shot placement changes as the angle changes to to the target.

We got some feedback after our shot strings during this drill. The problem was there were two strings of students shooting the same targets. It would be nice if we kept our original targets and just swapped them out during our turn. This would allow us to see if our shots were hitting anything good.

Next, the students lined up for shooting on the move drills. The first string of students would line up and shoot then the second string, taping any shots out of the hit zones on the paper targets. We would shuffle to the left and shuffle to the right. I didn't get the sense that we could really move properly because there where six to seven people lined up which left approximately 5 feet on either side of the line up for movement. All I could muster was a shuffle as I didn't want to bump into the next shooter. At times the shooters were so bunched up that it didn't look like something I would allow.

As for QCB we only touched on it for one drill where we would draw the pistol from the holster and not extend it. The pistol remained at our hip and one shot is fired, then we would move off the line of attack extend the arms and continue shooting three or four rounds. This was excellent and I wish we did this drill a lot more.

We did a little hand-to-hand pistol disarm which should have been left to the end or not done at all and instead added more to the QCB drill and skills diagnosis. The hand-to-hand was a waste because it was to complex for the students that had absolutely no previous exposure to any martial arts type movements. I have a few years of Aikido under my belt and could handle it but the other students were simply lost. Plus, like I said, it shouldn't have been even part of the course. Louis even said that this alone is a 10 day course.

There was not enough CQB type training. Much of it was a repeat from the previous two prerequisite courses.

The facilities climate control was not working to the temperatures reached to the high eighties and there were insufficient breaks to allow the students to rehydrate. You could only rehydrate if you brought your own water as Reed's range didn't have any bottled water for the sale.

The course could have been a little better organized and focused on the subject matter.

Here are some pics:

The guns used by the students were S&W M&P9, HK .45 cal, 1911s, Glocks and the only failures involved the .45cal 1911.

If there were less students in the class I'm sure it would have been a lot better, as it was Reed's packed in more people than they said was the max students!

I got some nuggets out of the class anyway.

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