RDS INSTRUCTOR, AAR
Instructor: Scott Jedlinski
I recently attended a two day Red Dot Sight (RDS) Handgun Instructor course hosted by Texas Tactical Police Officer Association (TTPOA) in Bryan, TX. The course was provided by Modern Samurai Project, LLC. Which specializes in the fundamentals and performance use of red dot equipped pistols for responsibly armed citizens, law enforcement officers and to teach the optimization of the AIWB concealed carry position.
The course was taught by MSP instructor: Scott Jedlinski who is a Master class shooter in USPSA and the 16th recipient of the F.A.S.T Drill (#15) coin and who is a Lifelong martial artist (TKD, Muay Thai, BJJ) currently with a three stripe Purple Belt under Tony Passos. Full disclosure, Scott comped me a slot for this class however I will do my best to be non-biased and give a full thorough review of the course, solely on Scotts ability to teach and the program itself.
We started off the day bright and early in class at 0800 with a total of 16 shooters including myself. Ranging from numerous law enforcement officers new and experienced to running an RDS system on their handguns. The day started with a quick introduction of the instructor, followed up by students introducing themselves. Scott then explained the goals for the course and what was expected, and not expected from students. Scott clearly lets students know at the begging of the class that this is not a tactics driven class but solely a performance based program and an instructor development class in diagnosing inefficiencies in the students attending and their students beyond the class.
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 or demonstrate the material back to their departments. However, no teach backs were conducted during the two day program. Depending how you view teach backs that may or may not be a thing for you. Typically, in a two day program there is simply not enough time for teach backs and on top of that most students are generally already nervous. So, trying to learn the material, new equipment & teach it back can be very problematic at times.
Scott covered various topics in class ranging from, why be an instructor, how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu correlates with shooting and his journey through reaching master class in USPSA. He also discussed various training methods and RDS models & preferences. He explained each one well all while providing real time data to back up his experience with each system.
Red Dot Sight Instructor covered various aspects ranging from gear selection, mounting procedures, focal plane & zero theory, RDS fundamentals, movement work and USPSA stages. Think of this course as more of an accelerated course covering multiple aspects of RDS shooting elements tied in with workshops. Which at the end of the day is Scotts goal of helping students become proficient RDS shooters, but most importantly safe & competent instructors behind the RDS system.
RANGE TIME (TD1)
After a comprehensive classroom session. Scott covered various zero distances before going live. How he prefers a 10 yard zero as a base to allow students to quickly check hits and correct adjustments on the fly vs starting from 25 yards. Shooters than went live confirming zeros at 10 yards. If hits needed to be adjusted, we corrected them than moved on. Scott reinforced that if the hits are there, either confirm at 25 if you’d like or move on with the class as there are more pertinent things to work on.
Scott than went into body mechanics and how they play a role in each fundamental aspect. Breaking down each element such as the stance, bent elbows vs locked elbows, grip, recoil control, draw and vision. It was impressive to see Scott break each one down and apply a BJJ concept to each element and how certain body mechanics effect each shooting fundamental.
One big take away for me was his version of gripping the gun. He called it the Wave Concept. It’s difficult to explain on paper, but essentially its torquing the grip up during presentation to really lock those hands in. Whether you like to drive thumbs forward and press down on the frame was left up to you. Scott did preference he prefers leaving his thumbs up in order not to apply any counter pressure from the thumbs, solely focus on locking in your pinkies and squeezing inward and up with palms. Thumbs are just hanging on for the ride.
During each element that was covered Scott reinforced to measure things by a metric and not by how it always feels or ways we’ve done it. The metric of certain techniques shows if its working or not for each student. Of course, after sufficient reps and practice.
Each element was given a metric which all tied in with national standards and his black patch standards. So, throughout class you were working on various standards in order to be ready for his black patch standards if you so accepted the challenge at the end of day 2. Combining speed, accuracy and real modes throughout class in order to measure and see improvement from each shooter, more on that later.
Scott did a great job of demoing each standard he set at 25, 50 and 75 percent modes in order to drive home the importance of meeting standards and of course demoing. Instructors should always demo. By the end of the day Scott had most if not all students either meeting national or his standards.
We ended the day with a little friendly competition. One of the standards was from the draw, hit one round in the A-zone from the 25 yard line under 1.5 sec. Scott setup two A/C zone steel downrange and had two groups of shooters in a head to head style competition. From each match up the winners went to the winner’s bracket and the losers well, went to the loser’s side until there was only one champion left. I think I won most if not all competitions during class (humble brag ha). If you would’ve asked me that I would be hitting A zone hits back at 25 yards under or at 1.5 sec I wouldn’t have believed you. I was consistently between 1.3-1.4 sec, fastest time was a 1.18.
RANGE TIME (TD2)
The following day Scott dove into what he calls Speed, Accuracy and Real Mode. Explaining each one is separate when isolating certain objectives such as cadence, sub second draw and so forth. However, they do intersect and combine when performance on demand is required. We started the day with accuracy mode in a shooter/coach format. Students were at the 10 yard line and needed to hit 10 rounds in a 2 inch square. Shooters focused on the process while coaches looked for any inefficiencies or bad habits that arose. We did this several times, working through trigger prep, press and not pinning the trigger.
We than went into speed mode working on the bill drill at 7 yards for those not familiar a bill drill is 6 rounds inside the alpha zone under 2 seconds. Reinforcing what we learned on day one and combing it all together. Scott reminded us not to forget about real mode as well. Real mode is simply applying your hits in realistic manner. So, for example the bill drill, 6 rounds in the alpha under 2 sec. Let’s say you hit 5 Alphas and 1 Charlie. Realistically that’s good shooting in real life mode. Don’t dwell on the negative, focus on the positive and reinforce with positivity to your students in order to help drive improvement & performance.
Keep in mind that during each block of instruction there were two simple objectives, pay attention to the feedback of the gun, tracking, feel and dot movement and secondly was the metrics.
Scott then setup a USPSA style competition stage at the end of the day to combine everything that we learned. From the draw to movement, to near and far transitional work with cadence. Of course, hits were accounted for and fastest time with minimal misses wins the game. Scott barely beat me just saying.
BLACK PATCH STANDARDS
At the end of the day Scott offered if anyone wanted to take a run at his black patch standards they could. Unfortunately, I DQ out at stage 3, stupid one Charlie. The standards were as follows:
1. 3&2 Drill. 3 yards. 3 shots to the COM Alpha then transition to 2 rounds on a 3x5 card in the head box. Par is 2.0 seconds.
2. 1 Shot Drill @ 7 yards. 1 shot to COM Alpha. Par is 1.0 second.
3. Bill Drill. 7 yards. 6 shots to COM Alpha. Par is 2.0 seconds.
4. 1 Shot Drill @ 25 yards. 1 shot to COM Alpha. Par is 1.5 seconds.
In closing Scott ran a solid two day red dot sight instructor course. I’ve been to a couple of RDS instructor programs before and I must say I learned an incredible amount of information on increasing performance not only for myself but for students. Scott is a great instructor with a great teaching method and good sense of humor. I can’t recommend this course enough for the amount of information you will receive and great instruction.
For more information on Modern Samurai Project or his standards check out their website at: www.modernsamuraiproject.com/
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.