Student Review: Combat Rifle Nov 8/9: Weber

MVT Group Photo CR Nov 14

Combat Rifle (CR) AAR – November 8-9 – Weber

This AAR isn’t going to deviate much from other AARs regarding Combat Rifle. If you have never taken a formal combat rifle training class, my only question is; what are you waiting for? My follow up statement to whatever your answer is would be; get your ass to MVT’s Combat Rifle class!

A little background on my background. This was my first formal training class on any firearm platform, hand gun or long gun; therefore I bring no former instructional bias to this AAR. I am a civilian with no .mil background.

With that being said I originally signed up for Combat Team Tactics (CTT). However, after reading a couple posts by Max stating that swallowing your pride when you DKWYDK may be the best course of action. I decided to take this course instead of CTT. I do not regret my decision one ounce. In fact, I think if had went ahead and taken CTT, even with RMP, I may have really slowed the pace of CTT for other more advanced students. In other words, I think if you DicK WhY DicK, your incompetence could potentially screw up a more advanced student’s experience at CTT.

Combat Rifle is instructed by Aaron. He is an awesome dude. His tours in the Iraq and Afghanistan give him 100% credibility to teach this class and a lot of real combat experience. From the start he makes it clear that safety is his number one priority for all students. No exceptions. If you make a safety mistake, he will let you know. In front of everyone. Publically announcing a safety mistake is not meant to humiliate you. In fact, it should serve as a learning opportunity for all others in the class. Treat it as such. Tuck your ego away. I honestly appreciated every mistake my classmates made as each one was a learning opportunity for me. I’m sure they felt the same about mine.

As far as rifle manipulation goes, you are going to learn some incredibly valuable lessons over the course of the weekend. One of the first and most important things we learned was clearing rifle stoppages. Tap, Rack, Bang! clears about 95% of your issues and this is the foundation for entire class. But if you don’t know how to clear a bolt override or double feed, you have no place in a theatre of combat and I don’t want you fighting alongside me. You’ll wind up getting us both killed if you can’t clear a jam. Again, forget about your ego and learn the basics of operating a combat rifle and how do deal with Murphy’s shitty sense of humor when it comes to guns.

I’m not going to cover all the different skills that are covered in the class but I promise you, every drill Aaron teaches is value-add. Here’s a list of my personal take-aways from the class;

  1. Be safe. Your classmates are depending on your ability to handle your rifle in a safe manner. Muzzle awareness is paramount.
  2. Tap, rack, bang!
  3. Dress appropriately for the weather. It was 27 degrees Fahrenheit our first day of class but it felt colder than that. This is not a highly physical class and you may get cold quickly. Yes, you will be moving but there will be some periods where you will be moving less. Layer up your clothing. It’s easy to peel off if you get too hot during the drills.
  4. This isn’t to say that you don’t need to work on your PT if you are taking this class. You should still be in good physical condition because you will be shooting from some uncomfortable and challenging positions from the ground. Be physically flexible.
  5. Bring food, snacks, and plenty of water/drinks with you, especially in the summer months when it’s hot out.
  6. Get your web gear in order and try it on before you show up. I brought two different plate carriers with me to try out. I took the time to try them on with my mag pouches prior to class and I’m glad I did. Gear can make you crazy. I didn’t want mine to get into my head so I went with a very minimal setup. Plate carrier, magazine pouches, and a personal IFAK.
  7. Bring reliable ammunition. If the manufacturer of your rifle recommends using 5.56 ammo, that is what you should use. Feed your rifle the best food you can afford.
  8. And one more time; Tap, rack, bang!

Combat Rifle was a great learning experience for many reasons. Primarily because I felt I was being taught correct doctrine and I was being taught in a safe environment. It also allowed me to meet a lot of great, like minded people over the course of the weekend. I’m glad I was able to build a solid foundation on this class. I feel I will be very well prepared for taking the next courses in the MVT progression cycle.