1911Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is the report, originally posted on Prodigy prior to their discontinuation of the BB support. Replies to the original thread have been edited out, except when quoted in my posts. Some answers to questions posed in the redacted replies appear in my posts. References to other P* members have also been edited out.
__________________________

As mentioned elsewhere, I've just returned from the Rogers Shooting School in Ellijay, GA. While they teach a variety of weapons, the course I took was their combined intermediate/advanced handgun course. They also had a short segment of optional shotgun drills offered in conjunction with this class.
We arrived Sunday evening for the introductory lecture. Bill Rogers was the lead instructor, through Thursday. The shotgun, homework, low light shooting and Friday session were led by Andy Langley, who also assisted the rest of the week. Rosie Rosel also helped instruct and administer the class.
Rogers believes that most schools teach "precision" shooting, which he defines as "the shooter makes the gun go off in his time frame." The essence of precision shooting is lining up the sights, and carefully pressing the trigger to get a surprise break, without disturbing the sight picture. He advocates "reactive" shooting, in which one is forced to shoot during the target's time frame. Shooting skeet was an example. When shooting skeet, one has a very limited time to shoot the target.
In order to train people to hit the target during the target's time frame, he has a steel target system tied to a computer that displays the targets for a limited amount of time.
We were given a copy of the testing protocol he uses. It is a 9 stage, 125 shot test. The test is given everyday, and twice on Thursday. Scoring is solely based on # of hits. 69 or less is failing. 70-89 earns a basic certificate. 90-109 earns an intermediate certificate. 110-125 earns an advanced certificate. The target system is composed of a body and head @ seven yards (T1). To the right, @ about 9 yards is a second body and head (T2). To the left, at about 10 yards is a large, 6 feet high, steel wall, with a window cut on both the right side, about 3.5 feet off the ground (T3 appears here) & the left side about 20 inches off the ground (T4 appears here). T5 appears over the top of the wall. Between T1 and the large wall is a small wall, about the dimensions of a mail drop box. It is about 12 yards from the line. T6 appears over the top of it. Visible between T1 & T2 is another body and head target, @ 18 yards (T7). In all cases, the heads are 8" steel plates.
Test 1- From low ready, T1 body shot, T1 head shot, T5 head shot in 1.5 seconds. 3 cycles, for 9 possible hits. Start in double action mode. Freestyle.
Test 2- Head shots only. From low ready, T1 is exposed for 1 second, then 3 other targets at random for 2 seconds, total exposure, 3 seconds. 4 cycles, for 16 possible hits. Start in double action mode. Freestyle.
Test 3- Head shots only. From holster, T1 to T7 are exposed, and then withdrawn, in order. Total exposure is 6 seconds. 2 cycles, for 14 possible hits. Freestyle.
Test 4- From holster. Load with 6 rounds. 2 to the body and one to the head of T1 and T2. Reload behind cover, then T3, T4, & T5. May not reengage T1 & T2 after engaging the other targets. Total exposure 7 seconds. 9 possible hits. Freestyle.
Test 5- Head shots only. From holster. Strong hand only. T1 and one other random target. Total exposure 2.5 seconds. 7 cycles, for 14 possible hits. Reload between cycles, off the clock, may use both hands.
Test 6- Head shots only. From holster. Load with 5 rounds. Strong hand only. T5 appears for 1.5 seconds, then T4, T3, T2 and T1 for the same interval. Five seconds is provided to reload strong hand only behind cover, then the sequence is reversed. 10 possible hits.
Test 7- Similar to test 4, but weak hand. Since it is weak hand, the starting position is retention, rather than holstered. Reloading is weak hand only. Total exposure is 12.5 seconds. 9 possible hits.
Test 8- Head shots only. From retention, weak hand only. You are assaulted by 3 waves of 7 or 8 targets, with brief pauses between the waves. All 7 targets appear at random. Total exposure is 30 seconds. Reloading is weak hand only behind cover. 23 possible hits.
Test 9- Head shots only. From holster, shot freestyle. You are assaulted by 3 waves of 7, with 2.5 second pauses between the waves. All 7 targets appear at random. Total exposure is 21 seconds. 21 possible hits.
We were warned that it frequently takes until Wednesday to get the hang of his technique, that Monday is demoralizing and that Tuesday is worse.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You've described the POI, but what are your impressions of the school, instructors, and the class? How did you do? What did you use for the class? How many were in class?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Relax, xxxxx. I can only type so much in one day before I get hungry and dizzy. To address your questions in order: impressions will come at the end. I didn't shoot myself. I shot a Springfield 1911 in 9mm. There were ten of us in the class, demographics listed below.
On Monday we show up at the range at 0900. It's a cool morning, bordering on cold, but very clear. Within the hour I'm in short sleeves. We are introduced to the target system, and very quickly start going through a series of progressive drills that will be repeated throughout the week. Each body target has a painted red dot on it to serve as a focal point... Aim small, miss small is a concept that predates The Patriot.
We start doing drills from the extended ready, which looks like the low ready, but is more tense and locked in. The first drill is to dry fire the T1 dot during the period of time (0.5 seconds) that the head is presented. Most drills involve around 15 shots or so. The second drill is to live fire the dot while the head is presented. The third drill we would live fire the head. As we progressed, the drills would become more complicated. As they required more shots, more time was allotted. If a follow-up body shot was required, an additional 0.25 seconds was provided. If a transition to another target was required, then an additional 0.5 seconds was provided. The drills would proceed in a structured manner, becoming more complicated. 2 to the body, one to the head (1.25 seconds). 4 to the body, staying in an 8" circle, one to the head (1.75 secs). 6 to the body, also with an 8" circle, one to the head, aka the Bill drill (2.25 seconds). 2+1 on T1 then 2+1 T2 (2.5 secs). These drills would be repeated several times over the course of the week. Sometimes they would be performed from the "transition," which looks a lot like the retention position. If started from there, an extra 0.25 seconds was provided (except on the T1 head). If started from the holster, an additional 0.75 seconds was provided.
We were instructed in the school procedure for one handed reloading from slide-lock. In it, the shooter crouches, and the pistol is jammed between the thighs, butt up, muzzle forward. After the magazine is seated, the pistol is racked by raising the gun to vertical, muzzle down, and using one's knees to grip the slide. I had a very difficult time with this, and used the suggested alternative approach of pressing the slide release. Throughout the course I had problems with the slide not locking back, but, IIRC, it only occurred when I was using two hands, leading me to suspect that it might be technique induced. It is good that it didn't occur with one hand, because my preferred one hand rack the slide technique is to use any available barricade, and that wasn't taught there. I suspect it would be frowned upon.
We also spent a fair amount of time practicing the components of the test. At every stage of the way, Rogers demonstrated the drills for us before we performed them. This was essential to this course, because much of what we were being asked to do seemed unreasonable at first.
The draw was covered, but not in great detail, since everyone there was fairly experienced.
There were 3 Florida cops (2 from the WPB area, one from further north). 3 snipers from the police department at VA Beach. A local deputy, a Chattanooga SWAT cop, a cop turned UN advisor who had been there several times before, and me.
We broke for lunch in the middle of the day, and sometime later we started the testing process. The first day, Bill Rogers demonstrated each piece of the test for us immediately prior to our shooting it. He was scored along the way, and shot 124 out of 125. We didn't do quite that well. The UN advisor, who already held an advanced certificate from Rogers, shot 94. Two guys (not me, xxxxx) failed the test entirely, and the rest (7) of us shot basic level scores. We then cleaned up brass, and the two guys that weren't taking the shotgun portion left.
The shotgun instruction was rather perfunctory. Mostly, it was supervised drills. There was a load one, shoot one drill that was pretty straight forward. 8/8 was not hard, 7/8 was expected unless you had a meltdown. There was a 2-1-3-1 drill, in which one starts with two rounds, shoots the, loads 1, shoots another, and the loads 3, and shoots three, and then loads one. I was not a fast enough loader to clean this. I either only got two rounds in for the 3 that appeared at once, or if I got the third one in, I used up too much time and cound only hit 2/3. The final drill was load 5, shoot 16. 5 targets would be presented at once, and then you had to keep the gun topped off for the rest of the drill. Since targets would appear for brief periods of time while you were loading, this was an easy drill to screw up. I was doing good to get 8 most of the time on this drill. The test consisted of these 3 drills, with the 2-1-3-1 shot twice, for a total of 38. 25 was basic, 30 was intermediate, and 35 was advanced, IIRC. The test for score was on Thursday and was shot with buckshot. Practice runs were with 8 shot. Having been tortured by these head plates all day it was cathartic to hit them with a load of shot and see the paint just blasted away. If I took the course again I wouldn't take the shotgun portion, but it was fun.
We broke about 1630, and then had homework at 1930, after dinner. The homework portion of the course really covers the techniques that they teach... grip, stance, trigger manipulation. One of the keys is that they stress that, while one may fire before the weapon is stabilized, one must immediately stabilize the weapon after the shot breaks and follow through on the sight picture. The idea is that by seeing the sight picture, and seeing the hit, that one trains the subconscious to recognize the sight picture needed to make the shot. He says the only repetitions that result in learning are those that you hit the target and you follow through on the sights. He also believes that to train the subconscious, one must get immediate positive feedback on a shot to shot basis, hence the use of painted steel. Now, in some of the high speed drills, there isn't a lot of time for follow-through, but you are still supposed to follow through enough to recognize if you hit the target. In all of the drills, we are supposed to shoot the targets from near to far, and finish with the near targets before we transition to the far targets.
Well, that pretty much summarizes Monday. That's enough for now, I'm getting light headed.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'm not sure if the stress is a necessary part of the teaching technique, or just a natural by-product of the approach. He does say that he believes that once you get into a fight that it is impossible (or at least very difficult) to concentrate, and that your subconscious takes over. His intent is to train the subconscious to be able to make the shot without input from the conscious mind. Perhaps the stress helps this process, since it mimics the situation in which he envisions one using his technique.
Tuesday-
Once again we arrive at the range @ 0900. Weather is much like Monday, maybe a little colder, but once again, within an hour or so I was in shirt sleeves. In fact, the weather was pretty consistent throughout the week. Cold and crisp on arrival, clear skies, requiring a jacket for only the first 60-90 minutes. We immediately started into the same series of progressive drills. IIRC, we either started or quickly converted into shooting them from the holster once we were warmed up.
We also practiced a number of the test exercises. The draw was covered a little more thoroughly. I failed to mention earlier that when Bill Rogers shot the test to demonstrate it for us, he did so out of a Level 3 retention holster with all the retention devices engaged. The additional exercises that were added today included shooting on the move. When Rogers has you shoot on the move, he means while running. We started in the doorway, and backed up, shooting two to the body ASAP. Once we had hit the body, we were permitted to pause for a moment to make a head shot. We ended up about 5-7 yards from the doorway. We also shot moving forward, starting about 10 yards from the doorway. At the signal, we ran forward firing two body shots, and then firing a head shot, from beside the door if necessary to get the hit. We also fired this drill crossing from right to left and from left to right, firing the head shot from around cover. After lunch, we warmed up and shot the test again. A second guy shot intermediate, but no one else changed categories. We switched to shotgun and repeated the drills. The shotgun drills were primarily loading drills. None of the shots were difficult, it was just a matter of having your gun loaded in time to make the shot while the plate was visible. My score didn't change; it was barely passing. xxxxx, you can do the drills, but without the time pressure it won't be quite the same. The load one shoot one can be run with the goal of minimizing the total time to shoot eight, but the other two drills rely on providing you with enough targets simultaneously to run you dry, and then restricting your time so that it requires a high level of skill to reload sufficiently for the next presentation of targets.
We broke about 1545. Homework after dinner, ~ 1930. Flashlight technique was added during the homework session. Finished around 2100.
A few words on the technique. They gave us a list of what they consider to be the 7 fundamentals of handgun shooting:

* Mindset and breathing
* Stable grip.
* Locked in position.
* Weight forward and down.
* Front sight clear.
* Trigger manipulation.
* Follow through.
They advocate an isosceles platform, with a very strong grip. The arms are locked into position with muscular tension, and the gun moves with the arms like a tank turret.
They break trigger manipulations down into 4 types...

* the DA stroke, which is to be started while the pistol is being presented.
* In and out, where the trigger is moved very rapidly. This is what they advocate for follow up shots on the body.
* Flip and press, where the finger comes quickly all the way back to the starting position, and then quickly takes up the slack, pressing when the time is right. This is what is recommended for transitioning to another target. They teach this, rather than just resetting the link, so as to prevent short stroking the reset, and I think they think it is faster than just resetting the link.
* Flip and squeeze, which is the precision shooting technique when you aren't under time pressure.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Wednesday-
We arrive at the range at 0900, and after a short warm-up, start running through the drills again. However, we do them all strong hand only, today. I have failed to mention that we do a fair amount of ball and dummy work every day; there are 3 or 4 drills that utilize dummy ammo. There are two drills that we do today only. One I called the bank robbery drill. It's another shoot on the move drill. In it, you back up about 10 yards from the doorway, and there is an ammo can placed on your weak side. You have 1.5 seconds to draw and make a head shot on T1 (now about 17 yards away). Then you pick up the ammo can in your support hand, and walk toward the doorway. Every so often the head on T1 would pop up, and you are supposed to shoot it on the move. When you reach the doorway you kneel, and either fire a shot (double stack) or reload (single stack). Then you stand up, carrying the ammo can, and retreat, again periodically shooting the head target as it appears. The other drill was dubbed the MacDonald's drill. In it, one approaches a solid window that is hinged on the top, open it with the support hand, and engage the T1 & T5 heads one handed through the window.
After lunch, we tested again. A third shooter made intermediate (that would be me, xxxxx) and one of the two that had not yet qualified made basic. Still no one has shot an advanced score, 3 intermediate, 6 basic, 1 nogo.
After the test we go to the shotgun portion of the course. My performance is marginal, I think I dropped a couple of points, which would be a non passing score. We broke around 1600. That afternoon, one of my classmates gave me a 10 minute lesson on the mounting and reloading of the shotgun. Homework ran from 1930 to 2030.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thursday-
0900 and we are at the range again. The format is different today, because we shoot the test twice, and do the night shoot. After a short warm-up, we shoot the test. Still no advanced scores, but we have another person shoot intermediate, and the guy that had been failing shoots a basic score. After the test, we start running through the drills again. Today we do them all weak hand only.
After lunch, we tested again. A fifth shooter made intermediate, still no advanced scores.
After the test we go to the shotgun test. The Vang modification is impressive. The buck shot at 18 yards had a fist sized pattern. When it hits a plate, the plate responds with some enthusiasm. I do about what I have been doing on the first 2 drills, but the little bit of instruction the evening before results in me managing to get 3 more hits than my previous best on the final drill, giving me just enough to qualify at their intermediate level in shotgun. We break about 1515, and eat @ 1700. Right after we eat, we return to the range for the night shoot. We did some eyes closed drills before the light faded completely, then shot without flashlights in dim twilight. Then we shot without flashlights in the dark, and used our muzzle flashes to correct our sight pictures. Finally we shot a variety of drills with the flashlight. We finished up around 1930.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Friday-
0900 and we are at the range. it was colder than usual last night... there was a layer of ice on the paint pan. Today is scheduled to be a half day. After a warm-up, we shoot the test, and that's it. We are done shooting. After the announcements of the final results, we leave the range around 1130. The guy that shot an intermediate score on the first day shoots an advanced score today (114). One more person qualifies at the intermediate level. Final tally: 1 Advanced, 5 Intermediate, 4 Basic. This is pretty close to the prediction Rogers made at the first lecture, which was, roughly, 1 or 2 advanced tickets, 4-6 intermediate, 4-6 basic, 0-2 failures.
They also keep a tally of the running total of all the test scores, with special recognition to the shooter with the highest total. The lead had changed during the week, with the second guy to make intermediate holding it after the Tuesday test, only to barely lose it to the advanced shooter on Friday's test. I was 3rd overall, but there was a big gap between 2 & 3, and 3-6 were relatively close. They spaced out a bit at the end.
Total round count was around 2300 for the handgun, and around 200 for the shotgun. This technique was rather different from what I usually use, so I didn't get it completely down. Even on Friday I could feel it was still coming together. However, I don't think the class would benefit from being longer... I was exhausted by the end of it. Mentally I was fried by the end of each day. I might benefit from taking it again, but I need to recover first.
The instructors were good, and they definitely know this program. I have a hard time formulating a critique because it is so different from what I've done before. I'm not sure how well this stance would perform if one had to engage targets 45-60 degrees off from straight ahead. That question didn't occur to me until after the course. I'll continue to work with this technique and see what happens.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
For the purpose of comparison, I'm going to break the schools down into 3 categories:

* Modern Technique (Weaver)
* Gunsite
* Thunder Ranch
* Cumberland Tactics
* Yavapai FA
* DTI
* Isosceles, as taught by InSights
* Rogers
Most of the Weaver instruction has been pretty similar... asymmetric stance, isometric tension; front sight focus or flash sight picture depending on the circumstances; & follow through. Most teach to prep the next shot by just resetting the link. Most of the instruction has had me reloading with the weapon high, so as to allow me to keep my eyes on the threat, peripherally, if not directly. This is what I'm most comfortable with, still.
The InSights version of isosceles is pretty close to what some describe as Modern Dynamic Isosceles. The stance is almost symmetric. The strong side foot may be set back a bit. One attempts to have both hands hold the gun, but not displace the gun laterally. Grip is relaxed, and the left hand squeezes a little more than the right. There is a progressive forward lean in the stance, but it is a relaxed stance. No effort is made to limit the recoil... the goal is not to limit recoil, only to have the gun recoil straight up and down, and return to the same spot. Speed comes by learning the rhythym with which that occurs, and shooting again as soon as it does. At higher levels, they talk about different focuses, but I still use front sight focus with this. The goal is to track the site during recoil. You still have to follow through, and the trigger is prepped by just resetting the link. Reloading at InSights is not dramatically different from my Weaver.
The stance at Rogers is isosceles based, but more aggressive, and not relaxed at all. Randy Cain taught me to lean into the weapon, as if throwing a punch, and Rogers is similar in that regard, but I seemed to always end up lower, in a bit of a crouch. The grip is very tight, and the overall pectoral girdle posture is very tense. The idea is that the entire gun mount swings as a turret. The problem with a really tight grip is that it becomes harder to move the trigger finger independently, and makes it more likely to milk the grip. The solution to that, as I was initially shown by Randy, is to grip tightly with the middle finger, and let the 4th & 5th fingers on the strong hand just relax. That's what I tried to do at Rogers, and it seemed to work OK. I did squeeze the gun grip rather tightly with the left hand, as they wanted. Focus was on the target as the weapon moved to it, and then transitioned to the front sight as it came into view, with the idea that one would be focused on the front sight and break the shot as they lined up, but without stopping the gun to refine the sight picture. It was imperative to be working the trigger betweeen the shots, even as you were moving to the next target, so that you could break the shot as soon as you got your sight picture. The trigger manipulation I've described above, and it differed in that one did not just reset the link, but one let out all the slack too. This is to prevent you from short stroking the trigger reset. There was no effort to obtain any sort of surprise break, although a few times I found myself shooting on autopilot, which was a surprise. As mentioned earlier, there was a strong emphasis on follow through, even when the times were severely restricted. When this came together, it seemed to work. I certainly thought it was faster, and speed is what I was trying to achieve. Making head shots @ >15 yards in 1.5 seconds from the holster was pretty cool. However, sometimes it didn't come together. And if one got a tad behind the power curve, one could fire shot after shot on serial targets just as they disappeared. If you kept up, you had just enough time to make the shot, but get a half beat behind and you were screwed, unless you skipped a target to get caught up.
There was a strong emphasis on one handed shooting. By the middle of the week, I didn't mind shooting one handed, as long as I could reload with both hands. By the end of the week, I didn't mind reloading with one hand. This by itself probably makes the course worthwhile.
The only piece of the doctrine that I thought was flawed was reloading. Rogers teaches to bring the gun all the way back in to reload. He also teaches to bring the gun up and watch the top round feed into the chamber, even during a speed load. I object to taking my eyes off the threat, and I object to spending the time learning to do it that way, when it won't work in poor lighting. My press check has evolved into doing the tactile check first, then I look, if there is light. If there isn't enough light, then I'm done. In short, my technique is optimized for the worst case.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top