Sam July 2013

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        July 20/21 2013 – Sam

        “I am never going to give up. I will not bend knee to these people.”

        Eight students were sitting around two tables shaded by a tarp as Max Velocity’s voice competed against the pouring rain. We all listened intently as Max gave one of the most forceful and convincing talks on resistance to tyranny that I’ve ever heard. He offered to end his tirade as we all looked around at each other, eyes wide in amazement that anyone would want him to stop. As if we needed any further proof, Max is balls to the wall on Liberty, understands the Constitution, and is willing to fight and die (and teach) for both.

        We all arrived on the first day at the meeting point around 0745 and had a few minutes to introduce ourselves. After introductions, we loaded up into our trucks and followed Max down a winding dirt road through backwoods West Virginia.

        Once we all unloaded our gear at the training site, we received the safety brief and range orientation. Max has a really great set up back there; three ranges, each serving a different purpose. On the first range we practiced reaction drills as we engaged reactive pop-up targets. After ensuring that each student had the fundamentals to engage the targets timely and accurately, we went down to the drawing board.

        Max used the white dry erase board to explain the basics of fire and maneuver: cover, suppressive fire, bounding, and the three to five second rush. After the instruction, we went back to the range to practice live fire and maneuver in pairs. At no time during live fire exercises did I feel unsafe, and Max stayed nearby to observe movements, maintain safety, and call a cease fire if conditions became unsafe. After each team achieved the standard, we went back to the white board for a lunch break and then to learn the next drill.

        After lunch and some good conversation, Max explained the React to Contact drill. Although the training shared the same style and content as military combat training, the context of the training was more realistic of homestead defense, irregular warfare, or other post-SHTF scenarios – in short, really useful drills. Max walked us through the buddy “peel” before we went back to the range and practiced it with live fire. Max was quick to answer any questions and ensured that each student understood the drill before being expected to perform it.

        Sometime after 1700, we convened back at the drawing board for an end of training day brief. The students decided to all meet up at a local Italian restaurant after some time to clean up. Two students camped out on site, and Max brought them solar showers. During dinner we talked about the reasons why were all there, the myriad of blogs and websites each student followed, and where the future might lead all of us. Dinner was good, the camaraderie was great, and, after a tiring day running uphill in the heat and multi-cam uni’s, that night of sleep was even better.

        Day Two started in the same manner as Day One. After an explanation of the Jungle Walk, we went to a different range where each student walked up individually and engaged the different pop-up targets. We again practiced the “RTR” drill that we had learned the day before. Max pointed out any deviations from the correct course of action after contact, which most often seemed to include an immediate return of fire followed by seeking solid cover. Next came the Jungle Walk in buddy pairs where we were given the scenario that the two of us had been cut off from the patrol after a TIC, and had to make our way back to the rendezvous point. My teammate and I patrolled up the Jungle Walk and engaged each reactive pop up target using all the fundamentals of React to Contact that we previously learned.

        Next we moved to the third, larger range where we practiced React to Contact drills with a team (two sets of buddy pairs). By this time we were all winded and tired from fighting up hill for the past day and a half (where the idea of defensible terrain was solidly reinforced) and Max ensured that we were keeping hydrated and still safe to continue. We ran though a few iterations of live fire buddy pairs and teams where we practiced both breaking contact and assaulting through the objective. Max explained when a pair or team would assault through an objective, and when we would want to break contact and just haul ass away from the enemy to live and fight another day.

        Just as we were finishing up team drills, we noticed the heat moving out and the clouds moving in as thunder boomed in the distance. Within a few minutes it was raining cats and dogs, and the group met up again under the tarp. After seeing that the storm wasn’t letting up anytime soon, we began pelting Max with questions about various aspects of training, his experience, and theoretical scenarios. At some point, Max opened up and let us know what he really thinks. You should ask him sometime. I knew that Max was a Patriot before I showed up but after his impromptu speech of Liberty, tyranny, and the safety of his family, I knew that he had a commanding grasp of what the promise of Liberty and the threat of tyranny represent, and that his feelings toward the two are authentic. I really just wish that everyone in our community could have heard it.

        After the rain subsided, Max walked us through the squad assault on a fixed position. Max gave us a foundational understanding of the eventual if not immediate folly of the fixed position, and then we kitted up for the final assault, most of the crew still wet from the rain. Max acted as the squad leader and led each fire element through their roles and responsibilities, from the first element as the base of fire, to the maneuver element as the intimate fire support and bunker assault team. We assaulted through the bunker twice and had the opportunity to be on different teams. Mission accomplished.

        We finished up with an AAR and then some more discussion. After the training, each of us had an understanding of the drills and their purpose, and their employment in a post-SHTF situation. Many of the drills and doctrine are explained in Max’s several books. I don’t read a lot of fiction but I’ll soon be reading his fictional novel Patriot Dawn, as well as his two others, Contact and Rapid Fire. I’ll finish up this AAR with one universal truth and then two other takeaways.


        I’m definitely not in the best shape I can be. Running a couple times a week is altogether insufficient training for sprinting during an uphill assault with gear and a weapon on defensible terrain. By the second day my legs weren’t as strong as Day One and my in-training performance suffered as a result. “Train how you fight” is the standard mantra for many units so I need to begin all-terrain hiking, running, and sprinting in kit and/or ruck. Period. (And cut back on beer.)

        Too much square range.

        “After this, I’m never going back to square range training,” one of the students said. I agree. The bench is great for developing good shooting fundamentals but nothing takes the place of shooting on uneven ground, in unfamiliar positions, behind cover, and out of breath. It’s much more realistic of on-the-ground conditions when you can expect to shoot for your life. The harder we train, the easier the fight will be.

        Team training.

        We did some of the same drills and were taught some of the same doctrine in Army training. That knowledge, like shooting, is perishable. For the uninitiated, those who are only starting to train, or for others for whom this type of training is now relatively ancient, we all need to learn and practice under supervision of a qualified instructor like Max. The only thing worse than getting killed is killing your buddy, and post-SHTF fire and maneuver is a good way to experience both. If your wife is your teammate, if your brother-in-law, or cousin, or father is your battle buddy, then you should be training with that individual. Each teammate should have an intimate knowledge of team SOP and have the same training under the same conditions so you operate as a team instead of just being on the same theoretical list.


        My advice after experiencing Max Velocity Tactical’s Combat Rifle/Contract Drills is to take the course for yourself. If you live in the mid-Atlantic/Appalachia or Ohio Valley area, then go. Max is a prolific blogger and writer, and you can learn so much from his blog. Max is a super nice guy, an adept trainer, and is authentic in his desire to train Patriots in the skills that will save their lives or the lives of someone they know. Do yourself a favor: read his books and take his training. I did and I’m a better gunfighter for it. Max Velocity Tactical.

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