Range Training: Outdoor

Range Training – Outdoor Range Work

So last week I talked about my indoor range work.

Two of our clients had been in and were asking about specific live fire training protocols.

Rather than just blasting away at a paper or steel target they wanted to know if I had a specific methodology to my live fire work.

Last week I wrote about indoor range practice. To summarize, the indoor range is an opportunity to check the functionality of my firearm and make sure that my shooting fundamentals are in place.

I do not consider indoor range work to be an opportunity for tactical training.

Outdoor range work is different.

When I arrive at an outdoor range and I begin to set up my targets I am doing so with the intention of recreating a hostile environment.

To begin with I am going to start shooting cold.

(If you arrived here from our email, continue reading here:)

I am not going to have the luxury of shooting a few rounds off to “warm up” if someone decides to attack me… It makes sense that practice my ability to quickly come out of the holster and engage multiple targets “cold”.

I will also make sure that every time I draw I am moving….somehow.

Typically I will take a lateral step off the line before drawing my firearm and engaging the target.

There are times when this is not practical, and for those drills I have other movement elements to the training.

As a general rule though I want to constantly be moving while shooting. I also want to practice shooting fast.

Col. Jeff Cooper stated that statistically it will take a minimum of two rounds to stop a threat. It only makes sense to practice consistently placing two rounds into a target. I will do this using both “controlled pairs” as well as “hammer drills”

(A controlled pair are two shots fired using three sight pictures, a hammer is two shots fired with two sight pictures…. that may sound confusing… basically it means that I’m usually using a hammer when up close, and a controlled pair when there is distance.)

I also want to practice shooting from cover and concealment.

This only makes sense.

My first order of business in a use of force situation is to get the hell out and call for back up.

If that is not applicable or advisable I want to move to cover as quickly as possible.

Standing in a static box and throwing rounds into a static target might make for pretty targets, but it does not ensure survivability.

Actually, it can be counter-productive.

The more I perform and action, the greater the likelihood that action will become ingrained into muscle memory.

I live in 2014…. not 1793.

While duels are elegant, and in many respects more honorable then todays methods of dispute resolution… they are not tactically sound.

More to the point I’m not interested in fighting a fair fight.

There are no rules to this game, only aggression and a determination to prevail.

To enhance the chances of survival I want to make it as difficult as possible for bad guy to put lead into me.

There are only two ways that I know of that can make this happen:  Shooting from cover quickly with good hits to stop the threat before he knows my position, and shooting while moving, making it difficult for bad guy to get lead onto me, while at the same time placing stopping shots into his fixed position.

Both of these require practice, and that is what this outdoor range was designed for.

I’m also dropping magazines, crawling, rolling, crying and bleeding… (well…maybe not bleeding)… basically everything that might manifest in a gunfight I want to do my best to rehearse as accurately as possible.

Go to outdoor ranges… practice, practice and practice again.

These shooting bays are proving grounds for you.

Push yourself to your failure point and learn exactly where and when this point manifests.

I really am not all that interested in “how well” I perform under pressure…. I want to know exactly where I “fall apart” under pressure.

This knowledge will help to keep me alive.


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