Western Rifle Shooters Association

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Monday, May 2, 2011

AAR: Airsoft As Training - Part II


More from the reader who previously filed this report:

Having caught a little more rest, I’ve got a couple of more observations from yesterday’s activities.

1) Rifles with vertical fore grips are a real PITA to carry and don’t help shooting. They also hang on brush constantly, as do big mags like AK mags.

2) In order to use cover properly, be prepared to shoot weak hand 50% of the time.

3) Often, a good shooting stance has to be sacrificed for cover and concealment. To offset this, however, the rifle usually can be braced against something solid to compensate for the poor position.

4) Rifle mags tend to get lost easily, as do pistols. If you have a pistol, you had better wear a lanyard loop for it.

5) PT is worth its weight in gold. The better your PT, the more you can think about other things while on the move.

PT is worth its own discussion. The most important thing is, of course, to do something strenuous regularly. As it stands, I see a need for a blended approach. We’ll take my fat ass as an example of OK, but with some obvious weaknesses.

First, given the circumstances, one must be able to cover a long distance, a/k/a bugging out. Note that the US Army, until recently, put an emphasis on this aspect. This means distance running and hiking. This endurance will also carry you through a long day of other activities. It also burns calories efficiently. I’ve got this part down OK.

The next area is sprinting, from distances of 20 to 200 yards. I haven’t practiced this one enough. I was fast enough at first but slowed down as time went on.

Crawling is an undertrained area. I’ve practiced this some, but need to do a lot more. It is hard physically and will wear muscles that you never knew you had. The best place to practice crawling is in the field.

High and low crawl theory should be used as the basis, but in the real world a blend of the techniques work best. A true high crawl is too high in woodland and will get you shot. A low crawl is too slow and will not allow you to see what is going on in a wooded environment.

Also, I rolled from my front to my back constantly, depending on what I needed to do.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Mark Matis said...

Just one more time:
If you feel a need to be in better physical shape than is needed to carry a few bags of groceries from the car to your kitchen, and you plan on operating BEFORE Bad Guys air support is deleted, your life will be short but not sweet. Airborne infrared helicopters have been WIDELY distributed to local "Law Enforcement" around the country, and the Bad Guys know how to use them. You WILL stand out against a rural environment, and the Bad Guys air will vector the Bad Guys to your position, and may even mark your location with smoke and such. Once you're SURE that air has been deleted, it's another story. But until then, PT is VASTLY overrated.

On the other hand, if you can get into a vehicle and get a few miles away from the point of action BEFORE the Bad Guys' air arrives, it is a different story. That pretty much assumes you have a vehicle within a short waling distance of your point of action...

May 2, 2011 at 1:29 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...

How many people are noting where LEO air wings are stationed and provisioned?

FFTAFR.

May 2, 2011 at 1:41 AM  
Blogger Arctic Patriot said...

Good point about crawling.

Everyone wants to run or walk. Crawling is definitely a skill, and a different form of physical demand.

As an NCO in the Army, I recognized this, and the most common form of disciplinary action for my squad members wasn't to "drop and do pushups"-

It was to low crawl. Whether mud, snow, sand, gravel, water, snow, and ice.

"No, private, I don't want you to do pushups."

"Low crawl."

AP

May 2, 2011 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger Arctic Patriot said...

Unsure if this went through first time...

Also:
"1) Rifles with vertical fore grips are a real PITA to carry and don’t help shooting. They also hang on brush constantly, as do big mags like AK mags."

-Yes, true, unless you learn how to run them. I hated mine at first, too. Personal preference, really. They're helpful in MOUT settings, IMO. I've working with a Magpul AFG now.

2) In order to use cover properly, be prepared to shoot weak hand 50% of the time.

- Exactly. Hardly anyone trains for this, though. Shoot from your weak side half of the time. Its awkward, but it'll get smooth the more you do it.

3) Often, a good shooting stance has to be sacrificed for cover and concealment. To offset this, however, the rifle usually can be braced against something solid to compensate for the poor position.

- Again, right on. Get of the freaking bench at the range. Do it. GET OFF THE BENCH. Zero that rifle, and never again shoot from the bench. This is vital. I know good bench shooters who cannot hit a torso at 100m while standing, kneeling, or shooting from any sort of contorted position. Also, shoot after cardio. It's a "whole new world".

4) Rifle mags tend to get lost easily, as do pistols. If you have a pistol, you had better wear a lanyard loop for it.

- Yes. Dummy cords are your friends, if managed well. Don't get carried away though. A rule of thumb is that if it's not tied down, you'll lose it, at 3 AM, in a creek, in pitch black darkness.

5) PT is worth its weight in gold. The better your PT, the more you can think about other things while on the move.

- Again, right on. This cannot be stressed enough.

My $.02.

Local(ish) air wing noted. Good call, Mark and CA.

AP

May 2, 2011 at 2:32 AM  
Anonymous GardenSERF said...

A few comments:

Vertical grips are nice if you're carrying a rifle day after day for months on end. It's easier for some people on the wrists.

I carried an M9 for an entire deployment --often without a lanyard-- and didn't lose it. This comes down to a good holster with a properly set insert and retaining strap. You get what you pay for. The $15 ninja special will twist around on your thigh.

Walk and/or run no less than 1.5 miles per day. Run at least 2x per week and still do a cool down walk of 1.5 miles after that. Makes sure this involves hills and valleys. Your legs are your second heart.

PT is NOT "vastly overrated". People who don't stay in shape bleed out faster and suffer from shock sooner. Bottom line: it improves your health in general and betters your odds of survival when hit.

When stuff is bad enough, everyone gets hit.

May 2, 2011 at 2:39 AM  
Anonymous Mark Matis said...

If you're not POSITIVE that there is no Bad Guys' air in your AO, you should assume that proximity to a Fusion Center guarantees air:
http://publicintelligence.net/fusion-center-locations-revealed/

While an initial action MAY NOT get a rapid response, the smart bet is that Bad Guys' air will be on scene in a matter of minutes. These are fun toys, and they get used as much as the Bad Guys can afford to use them. And when Uncle Shithead is paying for a Fusion Center, the cost for air ain't that much more.

Again, until the air is gone, planning an action that requires ANY significant level of physical fitness is a suicide mission. But if that's what ya want...

I will add the caveat that a SINGLE (lone wolf) actor MAY be able to get far enough from the action area to be indistinguishable from the air by the time the Bad Guys arrive. A group? Ain't no way!

May 2, 2011 at 3:52 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

Better yet, and to better train, try low/high/modified crawling under air soft fire, preferably with a couple of sadistic characters doing the airsoft shootiing. You won't believe the results and revelations. III.

May 2, 2011 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Crustyrusty said...

A few points:

When you low crawl, you will find out if you really want to wear that high-dollar tactical vest that holds all your stuff in front, or if you want to go old-school and get you a web belt and harness.

30 round mags? Too high. Prone is not prone with big mags like that. It might not matter in a MOUT situation, but think about if you're going to actually be clearing buildings, or if you're going to be out in the woods. Personally, if it hits the fan, I'm going to be as far away from population as I can get. I trained mostly for woods when I was in. They train (as far as I know) for desert and urban terrain. Think about that.

Range fun: get a gas mask, preferably an M-17 series, and slap that bad boy on. Run in place for 30 seconds. Drop to prone and fire 10 rounds. Block out the laughing as you curse yourself for missing paper. Repeat as often as necessary. After you improve, run for a minute.

May 3, 2011 at 11:58 AM  

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