Sunday, May 24, 2009

Introduction to Vehicle Tactics

Just completed a two day vehicle tactics course where we learned among other things:

  • How to defend against someone using a car as a weapon.
  • Maneuvering around the car and utilizing various firing positions.
  • How to defend against a threat that is inside a car.
  • How to defend against a threat while you're in a car.
  • Where are the places in a car that can be used as cover while defending against a threat.
  • In reality, how practical is a car when used as cover.
  • How to maneuver inside a car to successfully defend against threats from the front and side.
  • What amount of vehicle ballistic protection is there in a typical car and where is it.
  • When a vehicle hood is struck by a round, how much ricochet or skip is there typically and and how much does it vary depending on the round type.
  • What penetration does each round type have and in what areas of the vehicle being struck.

We had two cars available to use, a Crown Victoria and a Ford Taurus.

The course was a combination of practical vehicle tactics and ballistics demonstration to show vehicle vulnerabilities and safety zones.

10 students in attendance and there there was an assortment of AR sport rifles plus a Robinson Arms XCR. All the rifles performed well, there were no major issues with any of them. The Robinson Arms XCR was chambered in 7.62X39 and it was a fun gun to watch.

Shooting around a car

Initial Set Up

Some informal ballistic test results

Entry hole on a door

The biggest hole is a 12 gauge slug which didn't make it through the car of even go into the passenger compartment.

Exit hole on door opposite side of car.

All rounds passed through the car. The rounds tested were .223, 7.62X39, 9mm,10mm,.45cal. Basically, if you are in a car and someone is shooting at you from the side: Get Out and Get Out Fast! Some more ballistic tests

There is more protection from the front because of the engine and such. But if you want to defend against incoming deadly force do not use a door for cover. The A pillar is the only place that was found to stop incoming rounds. Not much room there to use as cover while returning fire but that is the best place.

The highlight of the class was shooting my rifle through the front windshield of a car. That was pretty darn fun.

We had an interesting drill to wrap up the day where we simulated an injured dominant eye by blocking it with paper. We then had to engage a target at 100 yards. We then had to run up to a barricade and engage threats from three positions. At which point we had to load 10 rounds into a magazine and then run to the next engagement but with our support side injured. The final threat was engaged with an "injured" eye and support side. We had to engage two steel targets with our rifle only using the support side eye and the dominant arm. Pretty interesting.

Most of the drill we did during the weekend involved an injury and having to improvise and fight through the problem. This sure caused a lot of thinking to happen but in the end was a great way to teach what is possible when you only have limited rescources.

It was a very informative weekend packed with practical knowledge not readily gained anywhere else. I'm very happy I took this course. All the students were top notch as was the instructor, Jeff.

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