LMS Defense Force on Force Course Recap

By Mike Searson

LMS Defense Force on Force Training teaches fighting through the Pain
LMS Defense Force on Force Training teaches fighting through the Pain
Mike Searson
Mike Searson

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- You can shoot at your local range every day for a year, and run USPSA and Three Gun matches on alternating weekends, to make you a better shooter.

But will it help you all that much when it comes time to use your firearm in self-defense?

We all know that targets don’t shoot back (unless you catch a ricochet off a piece of steel), and firing at a moving target that is shooting back at you, while your mind goes through OODA loops and adrenaline reduces you to gross motor skills, isn’t something that can be practiced. Or can it?

One of the best ways to augment your self-defense training is to take a force-on-force class. The problem is that until recent years, this sort of training was only available to law enforcement personnel. Civilian shooters, and even some LEO agencies, and military units, had to rely on MILES, paintball, or even airsoft.

However, none of those substitutes live up to the realism of shooting Simunitions or UTM where shooters fire a real firearm with special ammunition to replicate an actual shooting.

LMS Defense Force on Force Course

Mustang Ranch Gate Sign 2017
Mustang Ranch Gate Sign 2017
Simunitions or UTM Firearms and Ammo
Simunitions or UTM Firearms and Ammo

Fortunately, training outfits, like LMS Defense, have been bringing these courses to the masses, and we were lucky enough to attend one hosted by Daniel
Bales at the LMS Training Facility in Fernley, NV.

We had trained at LMS Defense for a pair of lowlight courses in the not too distant past.

If you have never taken a force-on-force class, and are considering it in the near future, we found a few things that may help you on your journey. Keep in mind that the Sim gun will not be your actual carry gun, but a modified pistol designed to be used safely in these courses.

Bales teaches an excellent course of study, and after the safety brief and gear check, we went on to our first scenario. As for the gear check, yes, you will be frisked before entering any classroom area to ensure you are not carrying any knives, impact weapons, back up guns, grenades, ninja stars, etc. that could be used to injure or kill another student or an instructor, the simulation is that real. It is also to ensure your safety equipment is in place.

Early scenarios are typically uneventful. This reflects everyday life, but also gets you into the mindset of not shooting everybody up Hogan’s Alley style. By the second or third scenario, situations are escalated and are realistic “shoot” or “no shoot” situations.

LMS Defense Force on Force Training Shoot or Don't Shoot Scenarios
LMS Defense Force on Force Training Shoot or Don’t Shoot Scenarios
LMS Defense Force on Force Training Don't Shoot Scenarios
LMS Defense Force on Force Training Don’t Shoot Scenarios
LMS Defense Force on Force Training Real Life Scenarios
LMS Defense Force on Force Training Real Life Scenarios

After each scenario Daniel Bales, of LMS Defense, gives a complete debriefing to point out errors and shortcomings, as well as strong points, and what went well. Most importantly, his experience, as a local law enforcement officer, has him giving important feedback on whether a shooting may or may not have been Kosher.

We also liked the fact that Daniel Bales, of LMS Defense, presents an excellent briefing up front and encourages students to “fight through the pain“.

All too often, Simunitions instructors would take students that had been shot out of the scenario and make them play dead. This may be a holdover from MILES training in the military, but it does absolutely no good to help students train to be dead when they are shot.

In a large scale law enforcement/first responder class this might make sense, to gauge evacuation of injured personnel, but in a force-on-force lesson, when it’s your life on the line, you can think back to how some real life heroes or even bad guys have survived and fought through a gunfight, in some cases in spite of being riddled with bullets or shot through the heart or the head.

So why take a student out for being shot in the hand, leg or stomach?

Self Defense training with Simunitions
Self Defense training with Simunitions
LMS Defense Force on Force Training Shooting From Cover
LMS Defense Force on Force Training Shooting From Cover
LMS Defense Force on Force Training
LMS Defense Force on Force Training

Other scenarios mirrored “active shooter” incidents, with some students armed, and others without a gun. In a way we found this a bit more realistic, or should we say of real potential, over the typical self-defense scenario.

The second half of the class was what we appreciated a little more as a shooter. We were able to let loose with Simunitions on each other OK Corral style. Because training sucks if you are not having fun with it, and instead of noodling through whether the scenario you are inserting yourself into involves a scruffy looking undercover cop fighting with a well-dressed bad guy, and you might shoot the wrong person; you can let loose and play “cops and robbers” with Simunitions, like you did as an 8 year-old armed with a cap gun.

LMS Defense Learning to Clear Rooms with Simunitions Handgun
LMS Defense Learning to Clear Rooms with Simunitions Handgun
LMS Defense Force on Force Training with Simunitions Rifle
LMS Defense Force on Force Training with Simunitions Rifle

At the end of the day, a training course like this points out your strengths and weaknesses. If you ever get shot with a UTM round, the pain, for the few days following, serves as a strong reminder.

We find LMS Defense to offer some of the best instruction in the US, and even if force-on-force is not on your immediate radar, take a look at some of the other courses they offer to round out your skillset: www.lmsdefense.com/schedule.html

About Mike Searson

Mike Searson’s career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.

Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

  • Home page: www.mikesearson.com
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Hardy Spires

Over my years as a correctional officer our training evolved a lot. One of the things that they did to help us to understand the amount of energy it takes to defend yourself in a hand to hand battle was to go through push pull exercises. We paired up and had to push and exert as much force against our partner and them do the same thing back for 60 seconds. It showed a lot of folks just how out of shape that they were. If you couldn’t defend yourself in a hand to hand battle for a minute what… Read more »

Mike0369

While I’ve had no experience with LMS Defense, I have taken a 3 day class from Distributed Security, Inc (known then as Pulse Firearms Training) and I can say there is no training like force-on-force training. It give you all the things that a square range or a shoot house can NOT give. Stress, apprehension, and pain are powerful teaching tools, and the reasoned confidence that comes with success can’t be overstated. As the old saying says, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Reality based training is simply the best.