Newsletter 8/2006STRIKE Tactical Solutions had a real busy training calender last month.
I would like to welcome each and everyone of the 86 people, who trained with us in August, to our ever-growing family! Working with professionals like you, make what we do, worthwhile! The training standards are being elevated. Shooters are getting smoother in action and faster in application on demand. We are proud to be part of your survival training program!
Chief Jeff Chudwin shares his extensive experience with us in his article " Check your gear/ Save your life!". All too often we take things for granted. I use factory ammunition exclusively. Hardly EVER do I check the primers of the ammunition that I load into magazines. Jeff is sending a wake-up call to all of us! Let his lesson be part of our training. Professionals ALWAYS check their gear!
IN THIS MONTH'S ISSUE
1) Are you ready for the fight? By Henk Iverson
2) Trainer of the month: Ernest Emerson
3) Check your gear/ Protect your life! By Jeff Chudwin
4) The " Sleeper" by Victor Garcia
5) Quotation of the month
ARE YOU READY FOR THE FIGHT?
By Henk Iverson
More and more Law Enforcement Officers are being killed in the execution of their duties. Criminals are becoming more violent. These criminals are arming themselves with assault rifles and other weapons and they do not hesitate to use them against Police Officers.
When Police Officers strap on gear and badge, they enter a world of danger to protect the innocent from anarchy. When others run away from disaster, Law Enforcement Officers run TOWARD the danger. With this said, we have to answer a simple question - honestly: Are YOU ready for the fight?
THE 9 P’s OF PERFORMANCE PREPARATION
All of us have heard of the “9 P” principle. If you have not, here they are again. Proper Preparation, Planning and Practice, Prevents Piss Poor Performance under Pressure! This may sound a little harsh but in reality this can be very true. Let’s look at this saying a little more closely.
Proper Preparation = Training
Proper Preparation revolves around training. In the USA today, there are numerous top-drawer instructors that have the knowledge, experience and the ability to teach modern techniques to those who want to learn. Modern Training is split up into working, defensive layers. The first layer of defense is what we refer to as “Core Skills”.
Core skills are just that. The very basics of weapon training, empty hands training, defensive spray training etc. When we talk weapons, this type of training should include firearm safety, practical marksmanship skills, presenting the pistol from the holster, target identification, verbal exchanges with your adversary, stoppage reduction, magazine changes etc. Get the pistol on target from the holster in a safe manner and fire accurately. These skills are MANDATORY for officers that carry such defense items with them on duty. Are these core skills enough to keep you alive on the street? Enters defense layer 2.
Mental preparation is just as important as practical defense training. The world’s top athletes have used mental visualization techniques for a long time. The same techniques can be applied to your daily regimen to great, positive effect.
My wife, Caren Iverson, introduced me to mental visualization as a winning technique. These skills are easily learnt and applied. Here follows a simple example. Sit down in a comfortable chair in a quiet room. Breathe deeply a couple of times. Relax. In your mind, see yourself on duty, aware of your surroundings. Visualize a bad guy that you want to place under arrest. Breathe deeply. Hear yourself give commands. The bad guy resists. In your mind, see yourself take control, see yourself physically putting the bad guy on the ground, holding him as he helplessly tries to get away. You cuff him. See yourself WINNING this encounter. You have just mentally prepared yourself for a similar situation in the real world.
The important aspect of this type of imagery training, is to place yourself mentally into that situation, AS IF IT WAS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. Always see yourself as the winner.
With core skills and mental preparation in the toolbox, defense layer three comes into play. Now we move onto reality based training. Here is where students learn to APPLY the core skills under stress situations. TACTICS are added to the equation. Wounded person skills are added, so is low light situational training. All this type of training is built ONTO the solid foundation of core skills.
Next to follow is Force-on-Force training. Force-on-Force training can be a HUGE tool, if used correctly. I teach an INTEGRATED Force-on-Force system in my school. This simply means that we integrate effective empty hand skills directly into close quarter defensive shooting skills. The integration of combative tactics and defensive shooting is absolutely necessary for street survival. FACT: Most street encounters are at very short ranges with a lot of movement from both the good and bad guys. FACTPhysical encounters occur more readily during the dark hours.
Does you personal training reflect these types of realistic scenarios? My good friend and master trainer, Jeff Chudwin says, “we have to bring the street to the range!” I fully agree.
Defensive skills are perishable. I have trained enough “high speed” people to know that this is true. If you do not rehearse your learnt skills, they will deteriorate to a level that could get you killed in a confrontation. A Special Forces friend once told me, “we are good because we do the basics faster and smoother than others do”. Fast is smooth, smooth is fast. How do you get smoother and faster? Repetition. These guys train months on end to master lifesaving skills.
Putting your time in on the range, going to the gym, smashing the bags with hammer fists should be part of your repertoire. Your motivation – the will to win! Each and every time you face bad guys, you fight to WIN! Remember, there is no second place winner in a fight for your life! A few weeks ago, I trained several really good shooters. We were getting ready for qualification, so I stepped up the pressure levels. One of the students was using a Safariland Level 3 security holster. When he was under severe pressure to perform, he failed, blaming the holster. I asked him how much he trains with that holster. His answer was not surprising, “twice a year when I qualify”. Do you think this is adequate? Enough said.
Dry fire practice (done with an EMPTY gun, checked several times, physically and visually, ammo stored in a separate room) is a great tool to hone skills. The only cost to this type of training is your time and the effort you invest. You will not always have an instructor to watch over your performance, so slow down until you are smooth in execution, then take small steps in becoming faster.
Master instructor, John Farnam, teaches “failure to plan is planning to fail.” Nothing can be more true. Speaking to hundreds of Law Enforcement friends, I regularly see shortcomings in planning for life threatening situations. The “it will never happen to me” syndrome is alive and well. Why do we wait until a brother officer dies before we sit up and take notice?
Do you plan your yearly vacation? Why? You want things go well when you get your much earned rest period. Then why not plan for life threatening events such as a close range gunfight? Talk to your partner about tactics. E.g. how can the two of you use the placement of your vehicle to put an adversary under duress?
If one officer is on a higher skills level than their partner, you can share that knowledge verbally. Plan your actions. Plan for every eventuality. Who goes where when this or that happens? Not “rocket science”, just plain common sense!
Planning also pertains to the gear you buy, the placement of that gear on your body and the application of your gear in a tactical environment. I have always been a “minimalist”. I only carry the gear I really need. Nothing more, nothing less. We are in an age of gadgets. Gun and knife magazines are filled with the latest and greatest, “super killer” gadgets. Keep your gear simple and smart.
Checking your gear for proper function BEFORE going on duty is planning. Never assume anything. Professionals always check their gear.
REALITIES OF FIGHTING
Combat is totally unpredictable. We can train really hard, plan as much as we want, carry the very best in equipment and still lose the fight! Combat is an EXTREME, high-stress, environment. With this in mind, remember that the ultimate examination you have to pass is going home to your family, unscathed, from a deadly force encounter. You only get one chance to perform. You are on the stage of life …. or death.
Your child’s laughter, the smile on your wife’s face when you walk in the door after a tour, is your reward.
Are you ready for the fight?
TRAIN AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, BECAUSE IT DOES!
TRAINER OF THE MONTH: ERNEST EMERSON
Ernest R. Emerson is the owner of Emerson Knives Inc., recognized as the professional's choice in tactical folding knife. I met Ernest at the Chicago Custom Knife Show a couple of years ago. Immediately impressed with the total professional aura that surrounds him, Ernest and I spent the next few hours talking tactics, gear and related subjects.
His knife designs have won numerous awards and are used by elite military and law enforcement groups throughout the world. For years, I owned and used an original Emerson CQC 7 and replaced that knife with the "Commander" model, which I still carry on a daily basis.
Ernest is one of the top hand-to-hand combat instructors in the world and he has instructed thousands of military and police members in surviving violent attacks and the use of knives as a tactical edged weapon.
Ernest started his martial arts training at the age of 16 in Korean Judo. While attending high school he was an outstanding wrestler and athlete being drafted to play pro baseball at the age of 17. While attending the University of Wisconsin, he double majored in World History and Physical Education. While there, he earned a brown belt degree in Kykoshinkai Karate and a black belt in Shotokan Karate.
After graduating, Ernest moved to Torrance, California to train, fight and compete at the prestigious Filipino Kali Academy run by the famous Dan Inonsanto and Richard Bustillo. While studying there for five years he was trained in Jun Fan Gung Fu, Jeet Kune Do, Filipino Kali and Escrima, and a plethora of related arts. Ernest went on to train in Gracie Jiu Jitsu for three years at the original Gracie Academy in Torrance, California and was fortunate enough to train with the founders of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Rorion and Royce Gracie. Ernest travels extensively around the world to teach and train in various martial disciplines and has studied with top combat arts instructors from various European and Asian countries.
Ernest is a respected authority on ancient warfare and hand-to-hand combat systems. He has undertaken an extensive study of ancient hand-to-hand combat systems from the ancient Roman Gladitorial and Legionary fighting systems.
The system that he now presents is a hybridization of that system and is based upon many of the gladiatorial and legionary techniques, principles and concepts. You will find that this course and system are like no other and do not represent a rehashing of techniques as taught by so many others. What is contained in his system is 2000 years of distillation to what represents an original style of fighting - original meaning from the origin. These are combat techniques. They are raw, savage, simple and brutal. They are designed for survival.
Ernest Emerson was a martial artist and fighter many years before he was a knife maker. Starting at the age of 16 and continuing rigorously to this day, he has accumulated over 30 years of "hands on" practical experience.
Ernest has developed a highly specialized and unique fighting system that has revolutionized the way in which fighting skills are now taught. His hybrid system has been taught to Navy SEALs, FBI, SWAT teams, government operatives from a variety of government agencies, prison guards, High Risk Entry teams, and hundreds of civilians.
His system is based on simple truths and effective, proven techniques unencumbered by dogma, ritual, or sportorized versions of various fighting arts. Ernest Emerson is one of the most sought after and respected instructors of reality based combat in the world.
His resume includes instructor positions at some of the leading professional training facilities in the world and a virtual "Who's Who" of seminars and courses taught to many of the world's elite military fighting units. There is really less than a handful of instructors in the world qualified to teach "real world" combat fighting skills. Ernest Emerson is one of them.
Check Your Gear / Protect Your Life
by: Jeff Chudwin
Police officer’s lives depend on serviceable equipment. Officers have direct control over equipment and direct responsibility for its care. A few minutes spent on care, cleaning, and maintenance of your gear will go far toward reducing the possibility of failure at a critical moment.
This article illustrates different methods for inspecting and testing ammunition, magazines, and firearms to ensure proper function. All mechanical devices are prone to failure, usually at the worst moment. ALWAYS have a back-up plan , and back-up equipment. An old saying more true today than ever is, “forewarned is forearmed”.
AMMUNITION: Do not presume a factory loaded metallic cartridge or shotshell is serviceable simply because it came out of a factory box. Ammunition should NOT be loaded into a magazine or cylinder without an overall inspection for the following:
1. Check to see that the primer is fully seated, flush with the case head, and right side up. I display two factory rounds produced with the primer upside down or crushed in sideways.(metallic cartridges, 9m/m, .380 auto.) Always do a visual and physical check of the ammo in the factory box. Run your finger over the primer to be certain it is fully seated. If it is not, you will feel the raised primer cup. Dispose of the round, as it will likely fail to fire. DO NOT use WD-40 or any penetrating lubricant on or around ammunition. Such lubricants can penetrate into the primer pocket and deactivate the primer. Ammo does not need to be lubricated.
2. Check that the case head is round, without dents or "overstrikes". I have .38 spec. rounds that were double struck on the rim during the case forming process. This caused the rim area to be raised and out of round. These cartridges would chamber in the open cylinder, but because of the raised case rim, the cylinder could not be locked into the frame. In an emergency, an officer reloading with this defective ammo would find the revolver useless. Shotshells should be inspected in the area of the top of the brass base to check for "roll over".
This occurs when the loading die catches the thin edge of the brass and rolls it over. This will cause the round to fail to fully chamber and can lock up the shotgun. I have never seen the brass base of a shotshell torn away by the extractor of a shotgun, even after a shotshell has been reloaded many times. I have seen the rim of totally plastic shotshells torn away by extractors. This is true of the imported shotshells that do not have a metal support inside the rim area of the base. Street ammo for shotguns should have a brass base.
3. Check the case mouth or crimp. On metallic cases, check the case mouth for cracks or "roll over". Again, I have examples of factory handgun ammo that have a portion of the cases mouth rolled over during the bullet seating process. These rounds fit in the pistol magazine, but upon chambering will not fully chamber and cause a stoppage. With shotshells, check to see that there is a heat sealed star crimp if you are using buckshot. If it is not heat sealed, any buffer material in the shell that surrounds the pellets will works its way out of the crimp after being carried under spring pressure in the magazine. The buffer material gets inside the magazine and action inviting problems.
4. Check for powder. Only with rifle cartridges is this usually possible. Shake the cartridge to determine if there is powder. Unfortunately, you can't do this with small case capacity ammo such as pistol ammo or shotshells.
5. Check for stubbed rounds. After a pistol or rifle round is fed into the chamber, the force of the bullet impact with the feed ramp can cause the bullet to be pushed back into the cartridge case causing a "stubbed round". If the round is not fired and ejected, dispose of it without shooting it. The manufacturers state that pressure in the chamber is greatly increased upon firing due to the compression of powder and reduced air space.
More importantly, if you reload the stubbed round back into the magazine, it will very likely not feed correctly and cause a stoppage. Do not keep using the same round to charge the weapon. Repeated chambering can loosen the bullet in the case and batter the case head. After several chamberings, dispose of that round.
6. Check ammunition for chamber fit. Some officers cycle each round through the weapon to test feed and chambering. I consider this is to be an unsafe practice. One method of checking ammo for chamber fit, is to remove the barrel from the firearm and drop each round into the chamber. It should fully seat without pressure. With a revolver, check all rounds in the cylinder chambers for flush fit and proper ejection.
This method can’t be use with firearms that do not have detachable barrels, like the MP-5 or M-16. For all firearms, the easiest and safest method to chamber check ammo, is to purchase a chamber test gauge from Brownells Shooters Supply.(tx. 515-623-5401) This device is a metal cylinder bored to the same specs. as the chamber of your weapon. You simply drop each round into the chamber gauge. The round should fit flush and fall out the gauge when turned up side down. This device is used by most competitive shooters and is a must have item.
MAGAZINES: Aside from bad ammo, the most common failure of detachable magazine fed firearms is bad magazines. A magazine by definition is a spring loaded ammunition feeding device. A clip on the other hand is a piece of stamped metal or plastic that holds ammo for feeding into a magazine. I suggest numbering all magazines with an indelible marker and testing all mags. on the range. Magazines should be tested fully loaded and about a quarter full. Some mags. work fine fully loaded and for some unexplainable reason, fail when only partially loaded. This is particularly true of M-16/AR-15 30 round mags. As to M-16 20 and 30 round magazines, I recommend loading only 18, and 28 rounds maximum.
Some say it doesn’t matter, but I have seen numerous bolt over base failures with fully loaded M-16 mags. The bolt does not strip the round from the mag. but rides over the top. The bolt dents the cartridge case and causes an irregular shape. It will NOT chamber and all attempts to force the round into the chamber will seriously jam the weapon. A bolt over failure requires clearing the weapon and recharging with a fresh round. You may never see this problem, but I have experienced it, and seen it occur in the courses I instruct. Additionally, anyone who has attempted to lock in a magazine when the bolt or slide is forward and in battery, knows that it can be difficult.
This is because the fully loaded mag. has maximum spring compression. As the magazine is inserted in the mag. well, the top round is pressed against the bottom of the bolt or slide. If the top round can’t be forced further down into the magazine, because the spring will not further compress, the magazine will not engage the magazine catch and is not locked in place. The first sharp movement, or firing the round in the chamber, can cause the magazine to fall from the weapon and be lost.
Have separate range and duty magazines and mark them accordingly. Test your duty mags on the range but don’t throw your duty mags. on the ground, step on them, or allow dirt and sand to get inside. Periodically, disassemble your magazines, inspect and clean them. When you find a bad magazine immediately mark it, then REPLACE it. Your life is worth a $25.00 investment in a new magazine.
FIRING PINS: Dry firing shotguns can break firing pins. I display a firing pin from a Remington 870. During a SWAT firearms day, one officer returned from his squad with his duty shotgun. He chambered a round and attempted to fire. The result was a click. After determining that there was no hangfire problem, the round was ejected. When inspected, there was no primer strike.
Taking the shotgun into the armory and disassembled it, we found the firing pin had broken sometime in the past. The broken ends were laying over one another. The shotgun was useless. To check a shotgun firing pin, remove the barrel (extended magazines makes this more difficult) and hold a penny over the firing pin hole as you dry fire.
The firing pin will strike hard against the penny and indent it, if all is working properly. If the barrel cannot be removed, another method to test the firing pin (once you are CERTAIN the weapon is unloaded) is to drop a large diameter wooden doll rod down the barrel and let it rest against the breech face. When the firing pin moves forward during dry firing, it propels the doll rod forward. Avoid excess dry fire of the shotgun.
If your preference is to carry the pump action shotgun with the slide unlocked, you must drop the hammer by dry firing the weapon. Keep this to a minimum. While I have not seen or heard of a modern centerfire pistol breaking a firing pin as a result of dry fire practice, I strongly suggest monitoring the condition of the firing pin on all weapons, particularly those subject to repeat dry firing.
EXTRACTORS: Check the extractor and extractor spring (where applicable) on your firearms for cracks, chipped hook area, or total fractures. I have seen chipped or broken extractors on Colt Gov. Model .45’s and .38 Supers, Sig 220’s, and Glock 21’s and 22’s. The extractor spring on the HK M-P 5 can weaken after thousands of rounds and needs to be replaced. When cleaning a firearm, visually inspect the extractor for breakage and to ensure that brass shavings or powder residue has not built up under the extractor hook. If an extractor fails, the firearm will not remove the fired case from the chamber and the weapon is out of action.
SAFE LOADING AND UNLOADING: When required to load and unload off range, have a "loading/clearing barrel" available on site. This bullet trap is easily constructed out of a 5 gallon bucket filled with sand. The sides can be covered by old body armor panels. By placing the muzzle of the firearm in the barrel, you protect against the effect of unintentional or negligent discharge. A commercial safety product developed for handgun users, the Safe Direction TM, http://www.safedirection.com/ also allows for a safe backstop for muzzle direction and handling.
Vital equipment can be faulty. Officers must understand how to check for identifiable problems and perform basic safety and function inspection of their firearms and accessories. With all firearms, safe use and operation of the weapon is dependent on the handling skills of the operator. Consideration of your ammo, equipment, firearms, and handling techniques, could save your life.
Stay safe, wear your vest, check your gear.
NOTE: The above inspections require the officer to have basic skills with his or her firearms and accessories. Performing the above inspections without first clearing a firearm of ALL ammunition puts the officer and others at risk of serious injury or death. If unsure of how to inspect your firearm or ammunition, contact your department range master or armorer.
by Sgt. Victor Garcia - USMC
There are many considerations when conducting close quarter battle. An important item is never to make assumptions. Do not be fooled. This is not an uncommon rule. Recently attending several training courses, stressed was the point that you never assume a suspect isn’t present, a suspect is unarmed or poses no threat, and/or a suspect is alone. Never turn your back on anyone who has not been detained, searched, and bound in some manner. Everyone must know there job and cover each other. A prime example is the following:
Our unit was assigned to conduct a raid on a target where several HVT’s (high value target) were supposedly present. On the night of the raid, the unit we were operating with began to clear the building entering several rooms. Two operators breached a room, consistent with that of a large conference room. The room was large and rectangular with a large wooden table in the center of the room. Along the walls was sofa seating that encircled the entire room.
The lighting was sufficient which allowed the operators to observe everything in the room with clarity. The point man that we will call Alpha entered the room with his number two man, Bravo. Upon entering the room Alpha cleared his fatal front and moved his sights on the first immediate threat. The first immediate threat was an Iraqi man in a typical white dishdasha which stood on the right hand side of the room. There was nothing unusual about the individual at first sight.
But this was not an assumption the operators would allow to drop their guard. Bravo entering the room, immediately proceeded to move his sights on to the second threat which was a person underneath a sheet lying on the left side in the back on the sofa seating as if he were sleeping. At the same time the first man in the dishdasha, which Alpha was commanding to get down, raised his hands into the air to show that he had no weapons but at the same time began yelling at the operators in Arabic.
The man was attempting to distract the operators especially Bravo.
Bravo began giving commands to the sleeper. The sleeper slowly got up but still concealed partly by the sheets which covered him. Suddenly a shot burst out from underneath the sheet. The round was perfectly in line with Bravo’s head but was 1 foot to high. The sleeper was unable to fire another shot because Bravo returned fire with 3 shots from his own weapon.
The first round actually hit the hidden weapon and created a catastrophic malfunction. The next two rounds took out completely the Sleeper’s arm which carried the weapon. The rest of the team came in and was able to detain, search, and flexi-cuff the two individuals. This event happened in a matter of a minute if not seconds of the operators entering the room. Assumptions about the sleeping individual in the back could have killed any one of the operators.
Although the Sleeper was able to get off a round from a concealed weapon Bravo’s quick OODA loop process allowed him to fire instantaneously which I am positive was a result of continuous and realistic training and a combat mindset that would not allow him become complacent nor make assumptions about any situation. At the debriefing of the raid we used this as an example for our marines to learn, especially since we conducted raids ourselves.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
The following was taken from the exellent book "Hunting the Jackal" by Billy Waugh. Billy Waugh is one of this country's most elite soldiers. Take the time and read his book.
.... Before I could finish the sentence, Davis got shot across his right hand. The ends of his fingers were clipped clean off, and he was screaming and cursing. His hand spurted blood.
"Goddamnit, I can't even shoot now", he yelled. "I am right handed."
I'm lying there, unable to move, hoping Davis can get out of here alive, and I said, "Well, hell, Paris - you're gonna have to pull the trigger with your left hand."