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The Combative Pistol class this past weekend at Eagle Creek Range in Indy was great. We had 12 students and all but 2 were MCS Alumni. The alumni had all taken Edged Weapon Survival to include Spontaneous Attack Survival for Edged Weapons and Inverted Edge Tactics but were new to Combative Pistol. Here is what we covered-

Day I

Use of Force

Combative Anatomy

Combative Fundamentals

Introduction the MCS Drop Step

Pro & Cons for defending with one and two-handed grip against CQC attacks

Drop Step with drawn gun

Drop Step draw, shoot, move

Drop Step draw, shoot, move while taking control of another person

(All drills done with Blue Guns, Airsoft, and live fire)

Force on Force

Day II

One Gun Drill

Vertical Bracing (fighting off vertical surface)

Fighting off your back

Fighting off your stomach

Gun Grappling (fouling the attacker draw)

Panic Push & shoot

Fight off back live fire

MCS 21 Foot Drill

Force on Force

Thoughts- with the exception of one M&P, students were carrying Glocks or 1911s. Most concealment garments were t-shirts or button down shirts. On the second day some were wearing jackets as well. One student was left handed, the rest right. Most guns were carried strong just behind the hip using IWB holsters.

While using a traditional two hand grip and attacked with the open hand, knife or club students were slow to release the support hand to defend themselves. They also seemed less likely to move at all.

When moving with a loved one (spouse, child) they need to be on your reaction/weak side and about one 1/2 step behind. If they fail to be in that position the chances of being able to take physical control of them are very slim. Most students found that the best way to access their pistol was using their entire right hand to pull the conceal garment up as far as it would go and bringing the hand back down to the pistol. Using the thumb had a very high failure rate and resulted in one dropped gun and several guns being drawn with the pistol wrapped over the gun. The only safe way to remedy the latter is to grab the slid with your weak hand and then regrip the grip with your strong hand.

During force on force with 100s of rounds fired one head shot was recorded and no engagements occurred outside of 10 yards. One student was very adept and putting the first round into the head during live fire but was unable to do so during FOF. The vast majority of rounds struck the arms/hands and belly button to high chest.

Students found that a gun concealed by an open shirt or jacket can be easily exposed if forced up against a vertical surface or the ground. Drawing the pistol requires the rearward movement of the elbow. The farther the gun is carried behind the hip the more room needed and the higher the elbow must travel. This becomes problematic up against a wall/vehicle or on the ground.

Movement to the rear is a luxury often not afforded by our “back against” the wall mentality. And if you can move backwards you are likely to loose your balance especially when moving to the side since this encourages you to cross your feet. If confronted in a confined space (between cars, in and ally) with a knife, impact weapon your best bet is forward movement in and hard 45-degree angle to your left, your attackers right.

At no time during the call was an audible que used to provoke drawing the pistol or to fire. All drills and Force on Force started with a visual que. No students were ever told to go faster or timed yet they always tried to go as fast as possible.

I am sure more will come to me later but that is it for now.- George

51 Posts
First class with George and will train with him again. Everything he teaches he can back up with facts and can explain why it works. Not all techniques will work for all body styles but he knows from experience what modifications need to be made to make it work efficiently for the individual. Many instructors teach a certain movement but can't explain why it works or have the ability to modify it.

Unfortunately, I was the slug who dropped their gun while trying to clear my shirt with my thumb. Under the pressure of accessing the gun while simultaneously holding on to a simulated loved one, moving forward at a 45 degree angle with a classmate bearing down from the side to test your reaction and peripheral vision. That was a first for me, after years of shooting IDPA and several tactical classes without a hint of dropping a gun some pressure and holy **** look what happens.

Force on Force is a completely different animal than standing on a square range and shooting at a stationary target that means you no harm. As George said, at no time did he try to impose time limits, we did that ourselves.

I had switched over to AIWB months ago and I am glad I did. This class really hammered home the fact that a gun carried past the 2:00-2:30 position was a hindrance in accessing the gun especially in a clinch or with your back against the wall. Those that wish to stick with behind the hip carry really need to put in extra time getting to the gun in awkward positions.

Length of the slide also came into play. Those that had longer slides (5" 1911) and used behind the hip carry were sometimes challenged when trying to draw smoothly under pressure. Leather vs Kydex, kydex is king for a smooth, fast draw, leather can grab at the gun if the angle is not right.

Fighting off the ground, even though necessary to practice, sucks. You do not want to go to the ground unless you have to. Nothing is guaranteed but this class will help teach you what to do in the event you get knocked down and have to fight for possession of your weapon.

The long and short of it, get some training because I guarantee it will not be like the movies or on the range. With money being tight in this economy most have to be careful where they put their training dollars. I can't recommend Mercop highly enough.

I am out of time right now but will add more later.
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