Handgun V: Spontaneous Assault Course At Sim-Trainer
This past Saturday evening, I took the fifth and final course in Sim-Trainer’s Handgun I-V training series – Handgun V: Spontaneous Assault. As with the previous four classes, we started out in the classroom as Jeff Pedro, owner of Sim-Trainer began discussing what we’d be learning in the course:
Here’s the course description:
The purpose of this course is to provide instruction in the dynamics of violent encounters and to give students an opportunity to apply learned principles in realistic, live fire exercises. Emphasis will be placed on close range, spontaneous defensive instinctive point shooting using both one-handed and two-handed techniques from the concealed holster position.
The emphasis in the course was “Instinctive Point Shooting.” Instinctive point shooting essentially is what most people tend to do in a real-world, close-range engagement. When you’re in a stall at a gun range under minimal stress, you can can focus on getting good front and rear sight alignment and take a very accurate shot. But in a real-world encounter, all that goes out the window. Most people will experience both auditory and visual exclusion (i.e. “tunnel vision”), as your senses lock in on the immediate thread in front of you. Most people involved in a shooting don’t remember looking at their sights or even hearing the gun fire due how the body and brain reacts under high stress.
Knowing how a human being tends to respond to the stress level a real-world life or death encounter, it’s important to train accordingly. Thanks to the classes which precede Handgun V and the practice and training I’ve been doing on my own, essential skills of drawing my hand gun are now second nature – drawing from the holster, my hands automatically come together in a proper grip, as I slack out with the gun and attain sight alignment with a smooth trigger pull. Incorporating “Instinctive Point Shooting” into this process is simply about getting combat accuracy (as opposed to precision range or competition accuracy) by training to take shots with minimal use of your gun’s sites. Think about it – if you’re practiced and trained to bring your hands together in a proper grip and slack out with the gun in front of you, if you fired without looking at the sites, you’ll more than likely hit your target’s center mass at a range of under 15 feet (the statistically probable range of most engagements on record). Since your bodies stress reaction in an engagement will likely negate proper use of your gun’s sites, it makes sense to practice not using them.
Once we went out on the range, we started out in stalls, taking two shots on command at the target in front of us without using our sites. Much to the collective surprise of the class, we were all surprisingly accurate. We then progressed to using just our front sites with the shots we took. After several drills the class went back to the classroom to discuss our progress, and we then returned to the range – this time to practice down range. We learned and practiced techniques like shooting from the hip, and one-handed shooting with just our front sites. All of our drills were again at very close range – in some cases only arms length from our target. Movement was then incorporated into our drills, as we practiced backing away from our target, then lateral movement. Finally, we practiced retreating to and taking shots from cover. Here’s some HD video footage I got with my iPhone 4 from some of the drills:
Of course, the more training you can do with scenarios which incorporate increased levels of pressure, the more you’ll be “desensitized” and prepared for the stress of a real world encounter. Which is precisely what Sim-Trainer does in their Tactical Training Tuesday League (T3 League). The T3 League is a fantastic training experience and is great fun too. But it’s stressful too – and that’s a good thing. 🙂
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.