OPS - Defensive Handgun Class review
This is a discussion on OPS - Defensive Handgun Class review within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I spent the day yesterday screaming at cardboard. Then, when the confrontation escalated, I shot it. Several times.
No, I am not off my rocker. ...
April 30th, 2006 09:05 AM
OPS - Defensive Handgun Class review
I spent the day yesterday screaming at cardboard. Then, when the confrontation escalated, I shot it. Several times.
No, I am not off my rocker. Well, not any more than I was before yesterday. I was at a Defensive Handgun class presented by Options for Personal Security, along with 10 other students of the art of defensive pistol craft.
Our student group ranged from experienced IDPA shooters to new shooters just getting their first range experience outside standing stationary in a booth at a conventional range.
The course was divided between lecture and discussion sessions and live fire time on the range. The beginning of the course covered range safety and the rules for handling firearms on the range. Then, a presentation on defensive mindset brought us to the first break. As we used to say in the fire service, your mind can only absorb what your seat can tolerate.
Following the break, we moved into the defensive drawstroke. The draw is broken down into four distinct positions, with a specific index to the body at each position. Position 1 is the grip on the pistol in the holster. The pistol is withdrawn smoothly to position 2, with the thumb of the shooting hand indexed to the upper side of the chest, by the pectoral muscle. The hand and pistol remain in contact with the body from the holster up to the position 2 position. Re-holstering works the same way, with the hand sliding down the body to find and insert the pistol into the holster. Keeping the wrist locked and the hand in contact with the body naturally positions the muzzle in a safe orientation clear of the shooter’s body. During all of this movement, the non-shooting hand is kept flat on the shooter’s upper chest, out of harm’s way.
Position 3 involves bringing the gun hand up to the centerline of the chest, in tight to the body, and wrapping the support hand in from beneath to establish the two handed, thumbs forward grip. The gun is moved smoothly up and out to full extension of the arms to complete the draw and presentation.
Once the fundamentals of the draw are mastered (on the range, in a safe direction, with unleaded firearms), live fire begins. The first shots are fired from position 4, and then exercises begin to work in fire from position 3 and finally close contact from position 2. Emphasis is on safety (first and foremost at all times) and technique. Close supervision is provided to help shooters new to the skills of drawing from a holster and re-holstering a loaded firearm do so in a safe, controlled manner.
After lunch, we returned to the range to add in the essential elements of communication and movement. The instructor played the part of the assailant, standing behind the student and providing the dialog as we tried to defuse and de-escalate the conflict. Then, on the command “fight”, we executed a draw and fired from the appropriate position (2 if touching the target, 3 if very close, extending to 4 as we moved away). Emphasis on communication as a tool to both interrupt the assailant’s though process and cultivate potential witnesses along with movement off the line of attack and to create space (while shooting at the same time) was discussed and practiced.
Then, we moved back to the seats and discussed post-confrontation management. We discussed calling for assistance and being prepared for the arrival of the police (i.e. don’t turn around with the gun in your hand to talk to the officer).
Finally, we went through the final exercise of the day, which tied it all together. With the instructor providing the voice of the assailant, a confrontation scenario was played out, with attempts at defusing and de-escalation failing. With the instructor providing stressful stimuli, the students performed a draw to retention and fired on the target while moving off the line of attack and back toward cover. Once at the covered position, verbal commands to the assailant as well as bystanders “Call the police! Stay back, he has a weapon! Someone call an ambulance!” continued during a reload, and then a simulated call to the police. During this process, an instructor playing the role of the police began issuing commands to the student, and a brief role-play of interaction with the police took place.
Having been shooting for a while, I had to un-learn some habits, and came away with both a good deal of new information and some new ways of thinking about things I already knew.
One thing is certain – I will definitely be going back to train with OPS again in the future.
April 30th, 2006 11:18 AM
Good write-up, Matt
Was Andy Stanford conducting this class?
"I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York
"They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper
April 30th, 2006 11:25 AM
I was hoping to meet Andy yesterday, but the class was presented (quite well, IMHO) by Jim Clark.
April 30th, 2006 12:40 PM
Good write up Matt - thanks.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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April 30th, 2006 12:44 PM
I took this same class with Jim Clark back in February and also had a great experience. I'm glad Matt was less lazy than I and actually took the time and effort to write it up for the forum. I learned a great deal, and plan to repeat the course in a few months ( after many more repititions of the skills learned).
April 30th, 2006 01:23 PM
im noticing in my combat hand gun class that its a bit difrent than in the corps i have to try to defuse first ect.. moving away is kinda hard for me in my martial arts classes and in the corps i was taught to atack a threat and to move trough an ambush now im learning to move away but ill get the hang of it thanks for posting the drill will have to work on them thanks
April 30th, 2006 05:49 PM
Yeah, the civilian rules of engagement are a bit different, and you have to be aware of how your actions will look when examined at length by both a prosecutor and maybe a civil jury.
Originally Posted by ssssthesnake
That's why the OPS program advocates loudly yelling "NO" as to begin the drawstroke, and "stay back, he has a weapon" after the threat is neutralized. You are subtly calling attention to the bad guy being the aggressor, and you trying to avoid the confrontation. You're also focusing them on his weapon, so they'll remember to tell the police (or jury) about it.
May 1st, 2006 01:41 PM
I have gotten a LOT of info from Stanford's book: Surgical Speed Shooting. However, a LOT of folks from my IDPA club know him from the IDPA State matches held in the past (since I'll be shooting in this summer's match, maybe I'll get to meet him, myself) and came away singularly UNimpressed. Most folks in my club think he's a total jerk. To be fair and honest given the personalities of the detractors...well let me say that it takes one to know one..... and leave it at that. However, even those who didn't think he was a personal "downer" shall we say also said he has nothing to voice independently. He parrots what other instructors say. Well I guess if it works and has been validated by the likes of Clint Smith it would be suspect if he said anything else! Like I said, some of the personalities in my club....well I left that board to come over to this board. I'm one of the founding members of my club. Yet I only have a couple hundred posts over there. Here I'm up over 2000 and that's in just over 16 months.
Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
May 5th, 2006 02:29 AM
thanks for the insite i always yell dont you touch me every time i have ever had to get physical with some one so that folks standing around have always reported to le after the fight that he atacked me so im guesing that it should work the same if you had to use your fire arm
May 5th, 2006 10:47 AM
Exsoldier, I wound up meeting Stanford at the LV airport (he was checking in a Glock and carrying an accordion . . . you've got to talk to a guy like that! ). Anyway, he was a great guy, and was very decent to me even though I was a confirmed Weaver-beaver and he espoused a modern Iso position (his books have convinced me of the merit of his views, BTW, and Gabe Suarez has convinced me of the inherent absurdity of clinging to any one stance for fighting).
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I suspect you're right about the caliber of the guys who found Andy to be a jerk. He strikes me as a heckuva guy.
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