Real Training : Painful, Dangerous And Uncomfortable

By John Farnam

Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol
Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- This from a friend in Europe who just finished a week-long Pistol/Rifle Course in the high country.

Good information:

“I used a Colt AR (equipped with Aimpoint M4), and a G19.

Orders were: low profile, no ‘camo,’ clothing, nor equipment. No chest rigs. Much concern here about ‘para-military’ training!

We were located at 3k feet in elevation, and weather was not friendly! Cold for the duration, 30s and low 40s. Non-stop wind. We enjoyed continuous rain for the first two days, hail at the end of the second day, and snow the last three days. Very little sunshine. Oh, and constant mud!

These conditions were ideal, not only to test my carbine and pistol, but my clothing and my spirit as well!

I had a pair of excellent Goretex boots. While my boots rendered satisfactory service, my socks were not adequate, and my feet were constantly cold, a good reminder to pay attention to small details!

I wore long underwear, BDU trousers, and waterproof over-pants. My legs didn’t suffer from the cold. However, condensation dampened my BDUs by the end of the day.

I had a polar undershirt, light turtleneck, fleece sweatshirt, waterproof jacket, and a poncho. By the end of the day, the poncho could no longer stop water.

Protecting my hands was an issue. I had neoprene gloves, wool gloves, and inner gloves. In the constant rain, my neoprene gloves and my inner gloves were wet, but not cold. Wool gloves kept my hands warm, but with them on it is not easy to recharge magazines!

The poncho was less than satisfactory, as noted above. In addition, many times it blew in front of my pistol as I was trying to shoot!

My Glock ran smoothly for the duration. My AR experienced two hiccups during our low-light exercises. I was able to quickly reduce both stoppages, but I’m still not sure what the problem was.

Using my carbine in the open with high, wet wind was challenging! Once on target and ready to shoot, a wet gust would invariably move my sights off target. Rain and snow were also challenging for the optics. We had to wipe them regularly, particularly at night. Aimpoint ran for the duration.

My AR is not equipped with a flashlight, so I used my handheld flashlight and the ‘Harries’ method. It ‘worked’ after a fashion, but the rifle was not stable. A mounted, co-axial flashlight is much better!

The issue of dumping magazines on the ground during the reloading process is something that comes up regularly. Our military instructors assured us that, in a real situation, when it is time to ‘pick up’ dumped magazines, they are probably at least five kilometers away and submerged in mud when you suddenly remember that you want them back! We thus learned very quickly to default to a ‘military’ reload and retain expended magazines, as they quickly become valuable, beyond measure! This applies to both pistol and rifle!”

Comment:

“Smooth seas do not good sailors make!”

All training, worthy of the title is, (1) painful, and (2) dangerous. We can probably add (3) uncomfortable… as we see!

/John

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

  • 9 thoughts on “Real Training : Painful, Dangerous And Uncomfortable

    1. Good article. The only way to know if what you have works is to train on the worst day possible. Brand names don’t matter as much as performance.

    2. John:
      Great article. Glad to see you! I took one of your self defense classes at The Serious Sportsman in New York back in the early 90’s. I still use what you taught me, every day. Thanks

    3. “The issue of dumping magazines on the ground during the reloading process is something that comes up regularly. Our military instructors assured us that, in a real situation, when it is time to ‘pick up’ dumped magazines, they are probably at least five kilometers away and submerged in mud when you suddenly remember that you want them back! We thus learned very quickly to default to a ‘military’ reload and retain expended magazines, as they quickly become valuable, beyond measure! This applies to both pistol and rifle!”

      This has been a thing that worries me most about almost all the tactical training schools that I have ever seen on Youtube and the like – they all teach mag dumps and speed reloads instead of magazine retention. The magazine is as important to the function of a gun as the barrel, and if/when the thing happens that you’re training for there is no way you’re going to go back to find anything you dropped, and a gun with no mags is a club. Standardize to your enemy and this is obviously less of a problem.

    4. Hi John,
      We met during one of your participations at the National Tactical Invitational near Harrisburg, Pa. a few years back. I was one of the guys running the Skills Stage.
      When I read the title of this article, I expected that you would be referring to the kind of force-on force training that sadly so very few self-defense oriented shooters ever have an opportunity to participate in.
      Nothing we can do to train, and prepare for a possible life or death self-defense crisis is any where near as preparatory as a confrontation under unpredictable circumstance against live actors. There’s just nothing else that comes near to measuring up to that.
      Having had the opportunity of participate in eight or nine of these while I was with the N.T.I. Study Group, I can tell you that they were all very stressful. Putting on all of the protective gear, stepping into a room that is unfamiliar to you.
      Being handed props, and given the briefest of description of what this location represents, then off you go, to encounter completely unknown challenges, and treats, and needing to think our way to surviving what we know at some point will be a life threatening event, is about as stressful as it gets.
      Coming directly from International Defensive Pistol matches, where all threats are solved by shooting, I got killed a lot in my early attempts in the force-on-force arena. Here’s a tip, never try to outdraw someone who’s already pointing a gun at you. It never works out well for you. It took many tries to relearn that shooting is the very last resort you want to happen. I learned to observe, think, plan, communicate, and move assertively.
      I wish that more would be written about these things.
      For those of you who have never had the opportunity to observe the tactical skill level of John Farnum, after
      watching him work through the skills stage I was running, I approached him (he was reloading), and I asked how he was able to do what he does. He smiled, and said, I don’t know, I just always have been.
      Best wishes.

    5. Firearms training and being an accurate and consistent shot is a perishable skill. Practice and train as much as possible. I like to train at the deer lease because most gun ranges have their rules that prohibit aggressive training techniques.

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