WIN THE FIGHT
LMS DEFENSE OFFERS A RANGE OF TACTICAL TRAINING TO HELP GUN OWNERS SURVIVE DEADLY ENCOUNTERS
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.
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:
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.
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
04: Classes are kept on the small side and split into groups, so each student can receive attention from the instructor. 04
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.