1911Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Every year, my company brings in a guy to run us through a FATS shooting program. Basically, for those who don't know about it, this is a computer projection on the wall that you shoot at with a specially equiped gun. They are real guns with lasers in the barrels. The laser's impact on the projected movie is pickep up by the computer and marked as a kill hit, marginal hit, or miss.

Well, last year we used 870's and I came in dead last. I was a little bothered by it because there were some serious discrepencies in how the game was played. People beat me that didn't know anything about shotguns, let alone how to shoot. It was interesting, to say the least.

This year, we used revolvers and autoloaders (a revolver that didn't match our standard-issue S&W 686's and a Glock). I was given the revolver just because that's the type of gun the man thought I would be most proficient at (no idea where he came up with that notion).

LSS, I scored perfect. 16-0. Bad part is the man that outshot me is a complete imbecile. I took him down to the range one day and witnessed some of the worst shooting it has ever been my misfortune to encounter. At the 25yd line, he was unable, literally, to put a hole in the target with fifty rounds fired. How is that possible? He was chewing up the dirt ten feet in front of the target!!!!!

Is this related to the Idiot Savants? Is it possible that he is horrible without the pressure of moving targets and time limits? I've heard of such things, but I can't imagine it being real.

To top it off, he's just a bad person.

How can the FATS system be made more fair? How can it, or the system of judging, more accurately judge the skill of the shooter? How can you be certain that one individual isn't being given a better chance than another?

I have serious questions regarding this training aid. Don't know if it's just how it is presented to us or if this is pandemic.

Thanks for the vent space.

------------------
When reason fails...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
I think you've got an excellent point, but the key to your question lies in the FATS itself.

Do you recall before you shot, calibrating the gun to your sight picture? Essentially, before you shot the scenarios, you shot at a cross on the screen a couple times till you could hit the center of the cross,,,remember that?

From what I understand that process gets the everything calibrated to your sight picture.....you could have a horrible technique, but as long as you are consistent with it, you should shoot pretty consistent on FATS.

That is something you can't do with a real gun as easily as with FATS. I guess you could do it to some extent with adjustable sights, but FATS makes all the adjustments for you.

Don't get me wrong, FATS really has helped me cure some problems,,,,through the muzzle trace capabilities it has, I've learn alot about trigger control and follow through.

Don't take my story as gospel, but that is just my opinion.

I wish I could shoot bowling pins in real life as fast as I can on FATS, my best time with a stock 1911 is about 6 seconds,,,,I haven't shot in many of the matches.

But, on the FATS version, if I really hustle, I can do a rack of 5 in about 3 seconds.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,856 Posts
I suspect that the guy has a terrible flinch in live fire, but not with the FATS system.

------------------
TB., NC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
H4444, we didn't get any type of calibrating screen. He simply turned it on and we went to shooting. I didn't know that was even possible.

One of the biggest problems I saw, aside from the differences in weapons, was that the room was very dark, so you could see the movie, and we don't train in low-light shooting. What little training I have personally been able to give the people by taking them to my gun club has always been in good light. Trying to hold that sight picture, no tritium or even paint on the dang things, was very difficult for me and I'll have to work on that.

As to being sandbagged, TR, that implies intelligence. I'll forgive you that assumption because you don't know the individual. You cannot use the word "smart" in any sentence describing the man in question. A snow ant has more intellectual capacity, and their aint no such thing as a snow ant.

Definitely agree with the flinching under live fire, though. The man is rather cowardly, Tim, so the lack of fighting back (recoil) could have been the difference.

What gets me about the FATS, as the guy explained to me, is that there isn't any standard. You might see me as a young guy and assume that I have an interest in guns and can handle some harder scenarios. An older man, with the slower reflexes, or a woman with little knowledge of guns in general, again an assumption, is given less challenging scenarios.

For example, did ever shooter have to engage multiple hostiles? Did they get the scenario in the parking garage with four bad guys? Or did they get the one with the guy in the park? The man changes the scenes to some degree so we can't help later testers, which I agree with, but it can be used to bolster his numbers.....justifying his program in the eyes of the company.

Another problem I've had with it is there's no classification of the competitors. Last year was my first time ever and I had to go up against people that had been doing it for three years. One man was a former competition shooter, another was a 20yr vet of the Force Recon Marines. Is that fair? And how is it possible that both of them were beat by a girl from nowhere? How is it a girl from our other office was able to score perfect when firing a shotgun from the hip? That is never as accurate as shoulder-aimed fire!

Maybe I'm just acting like a spoiled brat. Maybe there are some problems with the system. I don't know. But I do appreciate your input.

------------------
When reason fails...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
The Ga. Army National Guard uses the FATS system as an alternative to live fire in preparation for Annual Weapons Qualification. I too have misgiving with this form of training, as a substitute for live fire. For instance, to prove my point to my CO at the time, I shot the 40 round CoF perfectly, with all head shots. I don't know many people that can do that on a 400m range, myself included.
Supposedly, they can simulate several normal factors, ie. crosswinds, weapons malfunctions, etc. I have personally never seen this done.
I do like FATS for situation training. I think it is a good alternative for shoot/no shoot scenarios.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
853 Posts
Well, although I understand your frustration you must understand that FATS has that effect on many people. Those who think they are hot shots on the range find they are not as good as they thought when you add in role play. Decision making, stress, and destraction all add up to degrade skills.

You didn't mention if this particular model of FATS was the shoot back variety. I really love that model. After one gets stung several times they begin to learn to move and take cover rather than attempting to make the adversary "stand and deliver."

This is why I shake my head when I hear folks say "I shoot Senior Distinguished Master Grand Foobah in, (Fill in your favorite Pistol Competition Society/Association Here), so I know I'm ready for a confrontation on the street."

I notice someone else mentioned that they don't like the dark lighting. I do cause that's usually where it's gonna happen. Some FATS machines have a laser flashlight that will illuminate the screen just like the real thing so all you see is what the beam shows, just like real life. Now you have to fumble with the light and gun and make a decision to shoot or employ less lethal means.

People who fool themselves into believing that they are good in competition thus they will be good in a real life and death situations are fooling themsleves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Well, I wasn't gonna post this, but what the heck. I've lived through a real life shooting and I also shoot as many "matches" as I can. Patrick, I don't know if you intended it, but you sound like your resentful, for lack of a better word, of IDPA, IPSC and other action shooting games. My response would be this, many of us are not currently leo's, or active or reserve members of our military. As "civilians", most of us don't have access to FATS training and other such systems. Shooting sports like IDPA are for many, the closest they will get to any form of "training" other than your normal slowfire, punching holes in paper kind of shooting. There's a good many of us out there who don't have the time or money to just take off and attend one or more shooting schools such as Thunder Ranch or Gunsite. I'm a perfect example, I shoot alot of IDPA, and I survived a real world "fight". I've never shot a FATS course, never been to Thunder Ranch, but yet, I'm still here... My point is that anything that teaches you how to shoot accurately and quickly is better than nothing at all. I know alot of IDPA and IPSC shooters who do believe they are better prepared for having been involved in those sports and I have no arguement with them. In fact, I believe they are better prepared than someone who's never attempted to shoot under some form of pressure, be it a clock, or whatever. Granted, IDPA is not Seal training, it's just a game, but it's a more realistic game than punching holes in round targets at 25 yards. And for some shooters, IDPA or IPSC is as good as it will ever get. I totally agree that there's a fair share of "gamers".. but overall I don't think we are "fooling ourselves", we're trying to be as well prepared and as ready as we can be with the resources at our disposal.

I'm sorry if this comes off as a flame.. it isn't intended as such. All the best..

mavrick

[This message has been edited by mavrick (edited 10-27-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
853 Posts
Maverick,

I am not resentful of IPSC or IDPA and I didn't start shooting them until after I survived my first encounter on the streets.

What I am trying to explain is that just because you do good on the range does not necessarily translate into good performance when you factor in real life problems.

Vaughn is frustrated because his performance on FATS was not what he is accustomed to on the range. That's because FATS brings in a whole new set of problems that are not encountered on the range.

While we are on the subject just because one performs good on a FATS simulator does not mean that they will be good shots on the range or in real life. FATS does not simulate recoil, muzzle flash, or report anywhere near what real life is like. You also know for a fact that you can't get killed either.

I am sorry that you feel that I am resentful but I have had much experience with those who compete on regular basis try and tell me they know they are prepared for real life. Since you have survived a real life encounter and so have I we both know that what they think and what is real is not necessarily the same thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Patrickl, I'm not resentful of my performance. This is only my second time with the FATS system and I took fourth place. Considering that my only training was at the gun club, shooting from the 25yd line, I think that's very good.

I learned a lot from the run through, like low-light practice and multiple target action, but I would like to see it be more fair.

I doubt the people in our company consider this a competition, but everyone in our base does. Everyone was hoping to be number one, for bragging rights if nothing else, but only a few really stood a chance.

What has quite a few of us in an uproar is that there seems to be quite a bit of leeway in how the program is administered. The man who won was allowed to keep his weapon trained on the suspects while others were told to hold the weapon at Low Ready. Is it any wonder that his reaction time was better? I held my weapon at a high ready with the barrel just below the picture, but wasn't chastised and feel that I could have kept the bad guys sighted and done better.

What we are considering is a proposal to overhaul the methodology. Using our qualification scores to classify the individual shooters (36-40=Class 3; 41-46=Class 2; 47-50=Class 1). We believe that competing in your class would offer a better chance of placing well and it would identify employees that need assistance in firearms usage. This would give three people the chance to win a 1st Place, and would motivate them to improve their skills so they could move up the ladder. Kinda like the Rifleman/Marksman/Expert designations used in the military.

I cannot stress enough how demoralized a large segment of our workforce is and I think breaking things down into classes would go a long way to alleviating this in the future.

Also, I should note that we are talking about reworking our training to incorporate multiple targets and low-light situations. We readily admit that our training to date has been less than realistic preparation for this type of competition and are interested in working to improve where we can.

How do you practice shooting a tight group without using sights? The distances might be short, but the target area available is often quite small so you still have to be accurate.

What drills would you recommend for overall "combat" training? The El Presidente? The Mozambique?

Any and all thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

------------------
When reason fails...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Hey Patrick,

I guess resentful was the wrong term to use, what I was trying to say is that, at least in my experience, the guys, and girls I usually compete with don't feel that shooting IDPA automatically "qualifies" them for a real world shootout. But, many of them do think it's at least a better form of preparation, or practice, or "training" if you will, than your usual trip to the shooting range. I apologize again if it seems like I was attempting to flame or argue with you, because that truly wasn't my intention. It seems we've just had different experiences with the "attitudes" of competitive shooters.

Also, I'm the very first person who'll agree with you in saying that what happens on the range doesn't necessarily equal what happens on the street. But again, my point was that competetive shooting, like IDPA or IPSC, is better than nothing, and it's the only option available to alot of people. I guess it gets back to that "attitude" thing.

I for one won't even attempt to guess as to why Vaughn or anyone else for that matter didn't score well on the FATS course, and I'd be out of line to try and comment on FATS since I've never done it.

In the end, I'll admit to being a bit "defensive" because in truth, I've been on the other side of the fence. I've seen alot of "professional" people that talk a good game, but could no more win a real world fight, or an IDPA match for that matter, any more than I could fly the space shuttle. Along with that, I've been fortunate enough to end up shooting with an excellent mix of people, who, as a general rule, seem to have very different view of "competitive shooting games" than those you've described. Again Patrick, all the best..good luck and great shooting!!

mavrick



[This message has been edited by mavrick (edited 10-27-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
853 Posts
Originally posted by VaughnT:
Patrickl, I'm not resentful of my performance.............SNIP............What drills would you recommend for overall "combat" training? The El Presidente? The Mozambique?

Any and all thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Vaughn,

I didn't say you were "resentful," Maverick bestowed that honor upon me. I said you were "frustrated."

First, there is no such thing as fair on the streets. I understand that you don't like how the FATS simulator was run. You may or may not understand this but that's exactly how it should be. Real life is not; let me repeat that, not under your control. You will only be able to respond to the aggressor and if he/she is intent on doing you bodily harm they will take every advantage, which will frustrate you intensely, and not do anything you tell them to do.

Physical skill in gun handling is only part of the game. Time after time when reviewing shootings where the officer was wounded or killed we find that the officer did not recognize the warning signs, or if he/she did, didn’t believe what they saw and therefore did not respond appropriately. So one of the most important things in my mind is to ALWAYS be looking for the clues that tell you it’s about to go deadly or understand the situations that have the greatest potential for a deadly encounter.

Why they let your opponent or you start from an upholstered position is beyond me. Practice worse case scenarios. Usually you will have to draw from the holstered and snapped position thus this should be your start position for most of your practice.

Flash sight picture, flash sight picture, flash sight picture, oh, did I mention flash sight picture? Move, move, move, and move some more. Aggressive attitude, more aggressive attitude and then finally aggressive attitude.

Hopefully you see what I am talking about. Practice getting that weapon out of a snapped holster and on target ASAP, while moving laterally to cover or to gain distance because you are behind the time curve in that the person trying to kill you is already pointing a gun at you or has already fired at least once.

Never ever turn your back on the suspect and do everything in you power to keep you eyes on the adversary. If you duck while he is spraying or turn your back he/she has room to maneuver without your knowledge. Fight the urge to play Turtle, you must FIGHT or you will die.

If you are going to practice real life then DON’T do it from a firing lane. Firing lanes develop the “stand in one place and shoot it out habit.” Go someplace where you have room to move all over the place with different varieties of cover. I don’t even like practicing the basics, such as sight picture and trigger control, from a firing lane.

There are plenty of books on the market that will teach you the warning signs. The only problem is that you need experience on the street to help you become familiar with what we term “non-compliant behavior” in police jargon. You can’t learn that on the range but FATS can help you here.

If you are really serious about self-defense then places like Thunder Ranch and Gunsite are very good but again they focus on mechanical skill. I would also suggest attending an executive protection course. They give you all sorts of insight into what to look for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
We use the FATS in addition to live fire training. FATS is used to determine an officers ability to distinguish between shoot/no shoot situations under various visual and audio conditions. We place a higher value on making the right decision than on any point value for hits. The system will tell you if it is a mortal hit or not and it sure isn't perfect.
The thing is, the training officer has to know and understand the scenarios and what you are supposed to be accomplishing. That officer needs to tailor the scenarios to the trainees needs.
No one but the training officer and myself know how the individual officers compare to each other. Each officer knows if they did good or not and are given enough time on the system to learn from their mistakes. You need a good training officer!
For us it is not competition, it's a training aid to make the right decisions in hostile situations.

------------------
Neil
"I AM my brothers keeper"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
853 Posts
Originally posted by mavrick:
Hey Patrick,

But, many of them do think it's at least a better form of preparation, or practice, or "training" if you will, than your usual trip to the shooting range. mavrick
Without question IADP is exponentially better combat skills development training than ordinary range practice and on average better than most police range training. Unfortunately the police are strapped with time/scheduling and money constraints along with the need for providing continuing training in a vast array of other skills, which non-law enforcement folks are not encumbered with.

I very much support IADP as a fun and practical place to practice skills. I also support paint ball ranges where the enemy shoots back as a place to practice tactics. I would however much prefer that paint ball guns be supplanted with simunitions for police, which we do here. Nothing like getting stung to point out your mistakes or lack of speed and accuracy.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top