WIN THE FIGHT

LMS DE­FENSE OF­FERS A RANGE OF TAC­TI­CAL TRAIN­ING TO HELP GUN OWN­ERS SUR­VIVE DEADLY EN­COUN­TERS

Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - STORY AND PHO­TOS BY MIKE SEAR­SON

LMS De­fense of­fers a range of tac­ti­cal train­ing to help gun own­ers to sur­vive deadly en­coun­ters.

By Mike Sear­son

As a firearms writer and in­struc­tor, a com­mon ques­tion I of­ten hear is, “I have X-amount of dol­lars. What should I get for con­cealed carry?”

My an­swer is usu­ally to find a re­li­able hand­gun with which the shooter is com­fort­able, a good con­ceal­ment hol­ster, sev­eral hun­dred rounds of am­mu­ni­tion and, most im­por­tant, train­ing.

I do not hawk my­self as a trainer and have not taught a firearms class in more than a decade, so I usu­ally re­fer them to LMS De­fense, my pre­ferred school of choice, or an­other good in­struc­tor that I know of in their area.

The dilemma is of­ten, “Which course should I take?” I would imag­ine that many other stu­dents of the gun have the same quandary.

COURSE SE­LEC­TION

At LMS De­fense’s 2018 Cus­tomer Ap­pre­ci­a­tion week­end, shoot­ers could sam­ple as many as 10 dif­fer­ent cour­ses to get a feel for what they wanted to try next.

I au­dited a num­ber of these and while some were more ori­ented to­ward tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions such as shot­gun, low-light car­bine, night vi­sion and pre­ci­sion ri­fle, I found plenty if your main con­cern is bol­ster­ing your con­cealed carry pis­tol train­ing.

Here is a sam­pling of some of the most per­ti­nent cour­ses from LMS De­fense:

HAND­GUN FUN­DA­MEN­TALS

On the sur­face, this may seem like a ba­sic course and for some ad­vanced shoot­ers it may be. How­ever, even with 30 years of shoot­ing, train­ing and in­struct­ing un­der my belt, I still picked up a few tips in this ab­bre­vi­ated course.

The in­struc­tor was Ma­jor Jim Carter, USMC. Much of his course dealt with proper grip and pre­sen­ta­tion. I saw this as good for rank am­a­teurs as well as points of re­fine­ment for more sea­soned shoot­ers.

A ques­tion about “head shots” came up and it was agreed that it can be a po­ten­tial fight stop­per, but shot place­ment is crit­i­cal. A shoot­ing ses­sion

“...CRE­AT­ING DIS­TANCE AND ES­CAP­ING A PO­TEN­TIALLY VI­O­LENT EN­COUNTER ARE PRE­FERRED TO BLASTING YOUR WAY THROUGH EV­ERY OP­PO­NENT.”

il­lus­trated that a shot too high or to low may not stop the threat.

CON­CEALED CARRY FUN­DA­MEN­TALS

If you are like most peo­ple who have at­tended a CCW course to ob­tain your per­mit, chances are that the course in ques­tion dealt more with where and when you could law­fully carry your hand­gun and an ex­tremely ba­sic han­dling ses­sion cou­pled with a min­i­mal shoot­ing re­quire­ment.

Josh Jack­son of LMS De­fense came up with this course af­ter see­ing too of­ten that those ba­sic cour­ses barely cov­ered the min­i­mum amount of train­ing re­quire­ments for real world CCW ap­pli­ca­tions.

Draw­ing from con­ceal­ment was an eye-opener to some stu­dents who may have been run­ning their CCW piece in a hol­ster for the first time in a train­ing sce­nario. Get­ting the cover gar­ment out of the way by us­ing one hand or two hands if nec­es­sary was demon­strated as was repo­si­tion­ing of the hol­ster for some shoot­ers.

An­other point Jack­son drove home was per­form­ing a re­al­is­tic scan af­ter shoot­ing a threat and en­sur­ing it is down. Rather than an ab­bre­vi­ated turn that ex­poses your back to the threat. Jack­son en­cour­ages stu­dents to scan while mov­ing, keep­ing the threat in sight while look­ing for other threats.

Sev­eral drills were per­formed in which the stu­dents would ver­bally en­gage a threat while hav­ing to re­spond to an­other threat in the vicin­ity as well as stu­dents stand­ing side by side and one draw­ing and fir­ing in re­sponse to the shooter on their left as if they were the threat down­range.

RED DOT SIGHTS ON PIS­TOLS

Daniel Bales of LMS De­fense taught one of the more pop­u­lar cour­ses as mount­ing a red dot sight is be­com­ing the thing to do with pis­tols these days—and we are not talk­ing for com­pe­ti­tion but con­cealed carry.

One of the draw­backs of shoot­ing a pis­tol with an elec­tronic sight is the po­ten­tial for equip­ment fail­ure. A dead bat­tery or a cheap one can cause any­thing from a slight de­lay in ac­qui­si­tion of the dot to an out­right fail­ure.

At a match or train­ing ses­sion you may have the lux­ury to swap bat­ter­ies, sights or even hand­guns, but what do you do when you draw your pis­tol in a life or death sit­u­a­tion and there is no dot?

If the hand­gun is set up with the cor­rect sights, you may be able to use your factory irons as a backup. How­ever, this is far from the norm at this mo­ment in time as some red dots re­quire re­moval of the rear sight or the sights are too short. When this is the case, a shooter can sight through the win­dow of the sight or even use the top of the hous­ing as a fo­cal point.

Most im­por­tant is the red dote­quipped pis­tol al­lows the shooter to fo­cus on the tar­get or the threat while su­per­im­pos­ing the dot on the tar­get. Too many shoot­ers make the mis­take of “chas­ing the dot” and de­clare the sys­tem is not for them.

IN EXTREMIS SHOOT­ING

Of all the cour­ses I au­dited, this was per­haps my fa­vorite. When I am not test­ing firearms from man­u­fac­tur­ers and prac­tic­ing my own de­fen­sive shoot­ing, I in­cor­po­rate a num­ber of these drills in ev­ery ses­sion. In­struc­tor Jim Carter taught this course and hit on some of the more crit­i­cal as­pects con­sid­er­ing the ab­bre­vi­ated time frame.

In extremis ba­si­cally means shoot­ing

from a weak­ened po­si­tion and/or one-handed. The premise is that one of your arms is in­ca­pable of hold­ing or sup­port­ing the firearm.

This is not lim­ited to be­ing shot in a gun­fight. You may be hold­ing a child or a piece of equip­ment. Your arm could be dis­abled from an un­re­lated in­jury or surgery.

Ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with place­ment of the non-shoot­ing hand is the key. Let­ting your arm hang use­lessly at your side will throw off your bal­ance while shoot­ing. You can jam your hand into a pocket and “clutch a roll of quar­ters” or make a fist and place it over your heart. Fir­ing from a weak­ened po­si­tion is al­ways a chal­lenge. One-handed on your back or on your stom­ach does not sound dif­fi­cult un­til you try it— and once you empty your mag­a­zine, try go­ing for a reload.

I did pick up on some­thing we had not con­sid­ered be­fore, though, re­lated to a one-handed reload. In the past, I was taught to place the firearm un­der my non-shoot­ing arm or be­tween my knees while us­ing the good arm to jam a mag­a­zine in the well. How­ever, if you are run­ning a Ky­dex hol­ster you can hol­ster the firearm with the slide locked to the rear, reload it and rack the slide one-handed off your belt, mag­a­zine pouches or the edge of the hol­ster if need be.

AN IN­TRO­DUC­TION TO FORCE-ON-FORCE

This is by far one of the most use­ful cour­ses re­gard­ing real-world feed­back and it gives stu­dents an op­por­tu­nity to see how well they per­form in sce­nario-based train­ing us­ing UTM man-mark­ing am­mu­ni­tion in a va­ri­ety of shoot/no-shoot sit­u­a­tions.

The key take­away from force-on­force train­ing is re­al­iz­ing that not ev­ery en­counter while armed is with the “De­mon of Dark­ness.” Not ev­ery sce­nario re­sults in a shoot­ing. Par­ley­ing with an ag­gres­sor, cre­at­ing dis­tance and es­cap­ing a po­ten­tially vi­o­lent en­counter are pre­ferred to blasting your way through ev­ery op­po­nent.

Daniel Bales of LMS De­fense taught this one, and force-on-force train­ing is one I’d rec­om­mend that ev­ery shooter who car­ries con­cealed should take on an an­nual ba­sis.

THE REST

Other cour­ses avail­able in­cluded sub­jects as di­verse as cre­at­ing a firearm trust as well as an overview of tac­ti­cal medicine. LMS De­fense of­fers cour­ses all over the coun­try. Po­ten­tial stu­dents can eas­ily check LMS De­fense’s course cal­en­dar on their web­site for dates and lo­ca­tions. Chances are that you may find one within a rea­son­able driv­ing dis­tance. CC

“A ONE-HANDED RELOAD WHILE IN­JURED CAN BEST BE AC­COM­PLISHED BY PLAC­ING THE HAND­GUN WITH THE SLIDE LOCKED TO THE REAR IN­SIDE A KY­DEX HOL­STER.”

Do you draw against a firearm al­ready pointed at you or do you try to de-es­ca­late the sit­u­a­tion?

01: Sce­nario based force-on-force train­ing en­cour­ages shoot­ers to think ra­tio­nally un­der stress. 02: Stu­dents ap­ply the lessons learned in Pis­tol Fun­da­men­tals. 01

3A, 3B: Firearms used for force-on­force train­ing are mod­i­fied and iden­ti­fied be­fore use. 3A

02

04: Classes are kept on the small side and split into groups, so each stu­dent can re­ceive at­ten­tion from the in­struc­tor. 04

3B

Be­low: In Extremis pis­tol shoot­ing re­quires shoot­ing with one hand and not nec­es­sar­ily your pri­mary hand.

Right: Reload­ing one-handed may re­quire charg­ing the slide off your equip­ment.

Above: As red dot sights on pis­tols are be­com­ing more com­mon­place, it makes sense to take a class ded­i­cated to their use should you choose to mount one on your carry gun.

In Extremis shoot­ing means shoot­ing from un­com­fort­able and un­ortho­dox po­si­tions.

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