Sunday, April 4, 2010

Alpha Dog Tactical Pistol Course - AAR

I attended the Alpha Dog Tactical Training "Intermediate Tactical Pistol" one day course last Saturday (March 20).

It was a great learning opportunity and a lot of fun.

I went through over 300 rounds during the 8 hours of training.

We covered a fair amount of material and Jeff Patane and his assistant watched over all nine of us students giving us all excellent instructor coverage.

We started off by seeing how well we all could hit a target with a cold gun. That was pretty interesting since when will we have an opportunity to tell the bad guy to hold up while we warm up a little. The targets were 15' away and were to draw and fire 1-3 shots at the upper 'D" area.

Jeff likes to throw in some friendly competition amongst the students so he throws in some timed events and at the end of the day calculates who had the best time and gives out little prizes.

So, without further ado Jeff threw in the first timed drill. We lined up and drew and fired out pistols as quickly as we could at the target. Par time was 2.0 secs or under.

The course focused a lot on using the support side to defend oneself.

If you were injured during a altercation or simple had a injury or problem with your primary side in general Jeff went through the procedures to draw, reload, clear malfunctions from the support side.

I found this to be very helpful and will definitely practice this at home to get more comfortable manipulating my handgun with my support side.

Many in the class, including me, were a little out of their comfort zone especially when some students handguns and equipment were clearly not geared toward support side manipulation.

I didn't realize how much I take for granted that my magazine will pop out when I want it. But, what happens when it doesn't? One students magazine would not budge and Jeff showed us that in a desperate situation takes clever improvisations such as even using your teeth to help extract the suborn magazine, because your primary side hand is not in the fight.

Jeff showed five different ways to draw your weapon from the support side and three ways to reload and clear malfunctions that involve the heal of your foot and inner part of the knee joint.

Throwing in a double feed clear into the mix really made me think. I'm glad I was practicing that in a training situation rather that having to figure out what to do during a real fight. Just nice to have in the back pocket, so to speak.

During the day we also learned to shoot on the move, shoot from behind cover, from both primary and support side.

Did a lot of switching to the "mirror image" for shooting.

Jeff likes to push students and put then in slightly uncomfortable situations just to get the student to get comfortable in those situations because that is most likely going to be the "normal" condition.

There were nine students total so the teacher/student ratio was perfect.

We had a few breaks during magazine reloads to grab some food and water and Jeff stopped to talk about the "Combat Triad" and the OODA loop.

He also stresses to use every opportunity to be a training opportunity. That is don't do anything you wouldn't do that is not a manipulation of the weapon that won't strengthen a training tenet. Such as a reload. You can do it by just getting your new magazine and putting it in your weapon and putting your gun away then putting the empty magazine away. No! Why not reinforce training by doing a proper tactical reload with proper situational awareness. That way your muscle memory ( or whatever the latest buzz word is) is reinforced and beaten into the unconscious mind.

All in all it was a lot of fun, I learned a lot and got to shoot a lot too!

As usual I highly recommend Alpha Dog! (Some training company names can get a little corny but that's a different story!)

Can't wait for the next course!

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