AAR # 2 – CRCD Class 12/13 Oct
Max Velocity CRCD Oct. 12-13 Class AAR
I attended the Oct. 12 and 13 Contact Drills class at the site in WV.
Over the last couple years I’ve been seeking training in how to better deploy myself and my weapons if needed, and have done some formal shooting, both classical and tactical. Each time the training I did, or things I saw during it reinforced the need to get training based more in real-life. Much as I hate to say it, some of the “cult of personality” that goes along with the usual tactical training actually ended up making me less inclined to attend, so the search for something realistic, yet still at my skill level turned into something of a wild goose chase.
Anyway, to make a long story short, having stumbled across WRSA’s blog a year or so back, and having read over material by folks like Mosby and LizardFarmer, it was an eye-opener to how much you’re missing in the mainstream tactical shooting community. I was like “I’ve got to find some way to do stuff like this!”, and lo and behold, Max shows up with a training program right in my backyard.
I put off signing up for a long time, not just because ammo is bloody expensive right now, (not to mention gas…), but because at my skill and fitness level, I had some serious reservations about my ability to attend. However, after reading over every AAR about ten times apiece I decided f*** it, I’m going. So there I was on October 12 standing in the rain with 12 other attendees….
Overall, the class was exactly what I expected- a real f***ing reality check. Seriously.
Everyone talking about fending off the “cannibalistic sanfranciscans” or “fighting tyranny” with their group of buddies they’re never trained with, or gear they’ve never used or think that they’ll simply “sling up and pick them off” and that “that’s all you need to know” are Fubar’d. If you’ve just read an FM or watched a DVD- it’s so simple until you get out into the open.
In fact, there’s a little song from band of brothers will probably start running through your head about halfway through day 1…. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMU5x3–h4E)
I don’t mean that in a defeatist way- I just really don’t think people in the shooting/patriot community (myself included) realize exactly what it would take to actually be effective (or at least not get completely massacred in the first 30 seconds) in a real-life engagement. Once you get out there by yourself on the Jungle Walk portion for example, and realize that as you were looking the other way “Ivan” popped up and had all the time in the world to line you up and shoot you before you finally looked over, spotted him and actually started firing back (not to mention getting “off the X”), any delusions of tactical ninjary you may have had will go right out the window… And of course if you listened to Max’s explanation of how a well-prepped ambush would go down, or realized that in real life you’ll probably be taking fire from more than one enemy from more than one direction and that what you thought was good cover really sucks…. Well, you get the idea.
Anyway, enough soap-boxing-
Some things I took away from the class;
1) It rained a lot both days. However, even though I was initially a little annoyed, it was great value added. Because in real life it’s always going to be clear and sunny when s*** happens, right? No- it’s going to be wet, muddy, and miserable and you’re going to slipping and tripping all over everything. If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training! Having trained in rain and snow before, it wasn’t that big of a deal, and once you get into it, it’s actually more fun this way too.
For the folks getting a frowny face here, even though there were plenty of spills, there weren’t any safety issues- if it got too hairy, either the drill was paused, or people were moved during the drill to a correct position.
3) Targets; One thing the rain did was mess with the target electronics, so sometimes they wouldn’t pop up and down. Frankly, I didn’t see this as an issue as it was relatively intermittent, and since you never knew when one would pop up and stay up, it was a good exercise to break out of the “one shot and it’s down” cycle when suddenly you’ve shot it six times and it’s still staring at you.
One thing I had a small personal issue with is that sometimes if your buddy pair is providing suppressive fire on the target, if you’re both firing at it rapidly and/or simultaneously sometimes you can’t tell if you’re hitting the target or the other guy is – so something I tried to do if this happened was to alternate shots with my buddy – it wasn’t something we planned, just something I did if I was having hard time spotting where my rounds were hitting. It also helps keep your fire rate down to an applicable level, if you find yourself laying on the trigger to much.
4) Knee pads- some folks in other AARs have mentioned this, and I’m going to second it. My knee pads were worth their weight in gold this weekend, as you’re always on your knees or on your belly.
5) F*** fixed rear sights. I attempted to use mine with my face this weekend- it didn’t work out to well. If you have an optic, get a folding rear sight. Speaking of which, if you have the means, get a decent optic and put your rifle under it. Due to monetary difficulties, I’ve spent the last couple years shooting irons only- the increased speed and visual clarity you get with a good optic like an Aimpoint is worth every penny you will spend on it.
6) Communication- this is KEY to successfully executing the drills. If you don’t communicate with your buddy/team the result is chaos and confusion- I can think of at least one drill that I participated in that was a complete cluster because of this issue. This was made even more evident (along with the need for TL/ATL persons in your group) during the final bunker assault exercise- if you don’t have good comms there, the nice fellows in the bunker won’t need to shoot you….
Thankfully, I ended up buddy’d with a previous attendee who helped carry things along when I forgot what I was supposed to be doing. Thanks bro!
7) On day 1 I noticed a strange phenomenon for a shooting oriented class of this type- there was a female attendee! I’m sure some folks reading this may be offended, but given the current crop of women who in situations such as this weekend complain about it being to cold and to wet and their rifle being to loud or the gear to heavy, or how they broke a nail and therefore just can’t go on, and yet soapbox about “empowering women” on the way home, I was prepared to NOT be impressed.
I was wrong.
This female attendee not only ran through the mud and rain with her rifle and gear with everyone else and operated competently without a single complaint for both days, but also camped on site overnight while I scuttled back to the hotel. I was like ‘what is this rarity?’
For any other potential female preppers/patriots- here’s your bar.
8)Fitness. This is super important, and something I need to really work on. Running up and down the hills all day long will really kick your ass if you aren’t in shape- and I wasn’t even wearing plates or a pack. At least I have a high thrust to weight ratio (sarcasm)… .. Even though this is a class that you can tailor to your own speed, you will KNOW when you’re dragging.
Anyway, I think everyone here gets this so, onward….
9) Keep your movements short- the “3 second rush” rule and all that. I found myself over-moving at times to get to “better” cover behind a big tree or such, which of course isn’t really cover anyway…. This is a bad habit from other sports I’ve played where you can literally outrun the projectiles coming at you. Obviously you can’t outrun bullets….
Speaking of movement, something to think about is, if this is your first course, slow down. Many folks (myself included) were trying to go too fast with the drills, and it caused some clusters. There’s a lot of info being covered in only two days, and simply moving faster isn’t going to make your team any ‘slicker’.
10) Gear- I’ll soapbox about this later in my own space, just because I’m nit picky about certain things, but a couple related thoughts;
If possible, use active ear pro, so you can hear better- I just used foam plugs, and while I can hear conversation nearby, sometimes when there’s multiple guns firing and people trying to yell over them, you just can’t make it out clearly.
I’ve found it helps to set up your gear so you have a “go to” mag or two for quick reloads, before you have to dig into a pouch. Really helps to get back to shooting quickly if you run dry or have a malfunction in the first few seconds of a drill.
You’re not going to make it far in real life if you only have two or three mags on your gear like some people like to run these days- you can never have to much ammo, and once you apply the timing of a “Rapid” rate of fire of 1 shot every 2 or 3 seconds, you start to understand how finite what you’re carrying on your gear is. Resupply/cache point, anyone?
11) If you’re a civi who’s new to team tactics, as some other folks have mentioned you need to take this class more than once- you won’t get it all the first time through. It’s also not something you and your buddies can attend once or twice and then go home and be like “yeah, we know this s*** now”. It needs to keep being practiced together as much as possible. If you’re like me and don’t have a “group”, it’s going to be difficult to keep fresh on everything.
And on that note, this course will also show you the importance of having a team to work with. You can’t be or watch everywhere at once by yourself.
Overall- Take this course. Time is getting short (maybe shorter than we think)- get here while you still can. It’s well worth the money and expenditure of ammo. As I said before, it WILL change your mind about many things. The company was great as well- It was good to meet other like minded folks and hear their POVs on various topics.
BTW Max, is there an award for longest AAR ever? :D