PATROL RIFLE INSTRUCTOR, AAR
Cadre Instructor; Bones
Range 35, Grandview, TX. June 15-17, 2019
In today's day and age, it can be often overwhelming and difficult to choose a firearms training program to invest your time and resources into. The cost of admission, travel, ammo etc. can add up quickly. Hence why it's very important to pay your due diligence especially when looking for a training company that is offering credible instructor level programs.
I recently attended a three-day Patrol Rifle Instructor course at Range 35 in Grandview, TX. The course was provided by Centrifuge Training, LLC. Which is a law enforcement driven company which specializes in vehicle-based tactics (VCQB), low light and structure problem solving, K-9 integration, performance-based skill building, range development / management / operations, instructor development and product consulting.
The course was taught by cadre instructor: “Bones” if interested you can learn all about his real name when signing up for a course. Bones is a full-time law enforcement officer in the Dallas Fort Worth area serving as a full-time instructor for an extensive period. Full disclosure, I am also a cadre instructor for Centrifuge Training, but I will do my best to be non-biased and give a full thorough review of the course, solely on Bones ability to teach and the program itself.
We started off the day bright and early in class at 0800 with a total of 6 shooters including myself. Ranging from numerous returning students to intermediate level shooters seeking to improve their craft. The day started with a quick introduction of the instructor, followed up by students introducing themselves. Bones then explained the goals for the course and what was expected, and not expected from students. This is after all an instructor level course and not a fundamentals course per say, albeit fundamentals are discussed to ensure students are on par & have the ability to teach the material back to their departments. However, no teach backs were conducted during the three days. Bones said there is simply not enough time for that in a three-day course and on top of that most students are generally already nervous. So, trying to learn the material & teach it back can be very problematic at times.
Bones covered various topics in class ranging from, why be an instructor, what makes an instructor, creating valuable programs, various training methods, priorities in training, admin concerns, logistics, liability concerns & various other topics. He explained each one well all while providing real time data to back up his program. Which is something I look for in an instructor, learning more behind the scenes of what it takes to be a national level instructor. At the end of the day anyone can shoot, but not everyone can teach or present material in a way that is easily relatable to various demographics of students. Bones does this extremely well.
Patrol Rifle Instructor covered various aspects ranging from gear selection, zero theory, advance rifle fundamentals, cover/concealment on traditional barricades and 3-D objects; weapons manipulation, basic team movement & low light applications. Think of this course as more of an accelerated course covering multiple aspects of shooting elements tied in with instructor level material & workshops. Which at the end of the day is Bone’s goal of helping students become proficient shooters, but most importantly safe & competent instructors.
After a comprehensive classroom session. Bones covered various positions & various methods that would allow shooters to zero efficiently & comfortability. Explaining the importance of demoing various methods dry and then live fire to set the precedence for the students for the remainder of their programs. Bones really pressed home how important it is to lead by example because most students will emulate what you show them whether it’s a good or bad method, loading procedure, technique, process etc. So, you have to be able to demo correctly, yes were human and make mistakes, but you have to be able to quickly recover and correct that demo.
We spent a short amount of time zeroing & confirming our iron/optics setups at 50 yards. Bones gave us three attempts to zero before we moved on. Afterwards, he re-adjusted everyone’s iron/optics and gave everyone another students rifle. Driving the importance of being able to zero various guns with varied iron/optic setups. Most students had no issues and were able to dial back in the rifle setups in three attempts or less.
The following day Bones covered the safety/med brief again in classroom and on the range before any workups began. He discussed how important that procedure is and how it can be often overlooked. Having a thorough safety/med brief in classroom and on the range helps protect the department, range & instructor from liability concerns or allegations that safety rules somehow only applied to one particular training day and not the others.
Bones then ran us through his patrol rifle instructor qual, which can be tough, but is also very doable with solid time hacks. Side note: Bones naturally is a left-handed shooter. So, of course he demoed the qual using his “support side” and used a bone stock rifle to pass his qual. He likes living in hard mode apparently. With our egos already crushed, we had one attempt first thing in the morning and another later in the afternoon if we didn’t pass the first time. Good thing I passed on the first attempt, phew.
It’s a little-known fact that at any Centrifuge Training you should expect it to rain, of course mother nature did not disappoint! We had about a two-hour rain delay, but Bones used that time to cover more range & teaching concerns in the classroom.
After the rain delay Bones discussed implementing blocks of instruction such as cover/concealment, tac-reloads and other teaching topics including the pros & cons that come with each block of instruction. He demoed each block of instruction both left-handed & right-handed methods. Giving students options to help out wrong handed shooters. I’m sure we’ve all been to schools where we witnessed an instructor simply tell a lefty shooter to “figure it out”. Bones stated that a good instructor will be able to instruct a lefty or righty and not leave them to figure it out on the fly.
The final day of training was compromised of various topics including weapon transitions, verbal commands, malfunctions, low light & other topics. Bones broke down each topic, providing a no-nonsense approach to teaching. Giving the students a simple format to follow when teaching. What are we learning, why are we learning it and how are we going to learn it. Backed up by simple, but effective drills that allowed for maximum repetition to be ingrained into the students. Because at the end of the day what you are teaching someone that day can be used later during patrol to save their lives or someone else’s. It needs to be simple and it has to work. Safety is priority, accuracy is final, and speed comes with efficiency & reps.
In closing Bones ran a solid three-day patrol rifle instructor course. I’ve been to a few patrol rifle instructor programs before and I must say I learned an incredible amount of information on how to run a successful program for your department. Bones is an incredible instructor with a great teaching attitude and a work ethic like no other. Goes above & beyond to make sure he answers all of his students’ questions and if they need to stay and work on certain aspects after class he does so without hesitation. I can’t recommend this course enough for the amount of information you will receive and great instruction.
Don’t forget your rain gear though.
For more information on Centrifuge Training check out their website at: https://centrifugetraining.com/
To find out more about Bones check out his website at: www.instagram.com/lone_star_prep/
Is the idea of Risk applied as a form of currency. I first heard this term from William Petty (Give credit where credit is due) and really thought more on the topic a few months after. Let me take a minute to elaborate. First off there is no certain amount or limit of “currency” you have but is based solely on decisions that you make; that will either aid to your life span or potentially chip away at your time on this earth. For ex; You can opt for full armor coverage, chest, shoulders, groin, neck and side plates (less risk areas per se, but mobility decreases while fatigue can set in faster) vs running a slick plate carrier (more risk areas, but mobility increases with less fatiguing.) Simply put it’s a Risk vs Reward mentality, is the juice worth the squeeze. Just about anything can fall under Risk Currency, such as tactics vs principles, liability vs training, subpar gear vs quality gear. Risk Currency can be determined and implemented at the higher up level such as admin or down to the patrol level base with Officers. In the end you decide where to spend that currency, Risk is a Currency, invest & spend it wisely.
RDS HANDGUN ZERO TARGET
Red Dot Sight (RDS) equipped handguns are nothing new and have been around since IPSC and USPSA competitors started applying an RDS to their handguns during the early 1970's; many others followed suit afterwards. Fast forward to the future after years of trial and evolution red dot sights have dramatically increased. Handguns equipped with red dot sights are now among the rise for various reasons, with that comes commonly asked questions such as: “Where should I zero my red dot on a handgun” or “What target should I use?” Let me add that you don’t necessarily need a “specific” target to accomplish this, a simple 3x5 index card or black circle on a cardboard target would suffice.
When I first started running a Trijicon RMR 06 (3.25 MOA) on a Glock 17, I wanted to ensure I had a proper zero and knew what methods were best to zero. Aaron Cowan from Sage Dynamics helped me out in this regard by providing a solid base line which follows as: get on paper at 10 yards, verify at 15 yards, verify at 25 yards and re-confirm at 25 yards and has been my preferred method since. The topic of “slaving” your red dot sight to suppressor height sights, if you wish to have back up sights and co-witness the two is often questioned. However, this is a topic for another discussion. I am simply providing you with a quick and easy way to zero a RDS on a handgun.
Hence the RDS Handgun Zero Target. This target is designed with a simple process in mind of acquiring a zero for your RDS system quickly and effectively without all the guess work. The grid lines are designed One Inch apart and approximate measurements are marked below target; dependent on which style of RDS system you are running. Most RDS are ½ MOA adjustments, 1MOA equaling 1 Inch at 100 yards. So, at 100 yards “2 clicks” equals 1 inch at 100 yards. The RDS Handgun Target provides you with a baseline measurement process, follow that and you’ll be on target.
A 50/200-yard rifle zero at 10 yards has also been implemented into the target system. This original method was created by Frank Proctor from Way of The Gun to simplify the process of zeroing a RDS on a rifle where ranges may be limited in space. Simply follow the directions on the RDS Target to get squared away. It’s important to note that when capable, a shooter should confirm at both 50/200 yards. When confirming the 50 yard zero a shooter may also use the grey circles above if he/she has difficulty seeing the black dot in the center.
Know your zero, train with a purpose.
Targets For the Everyday Professional
These targets were designed with everyone in mind, meaning that any shooter ranging from an enthusiast level to the professional level can implement these targets into their range sessions. All you need is a printer, some ink and a shot timer (If you want to push yourself a bit more.) They can be ran as is or modified to each individuals needs. There are no shortcuts on the road to mastery.