U.S. Delta Force Veteran Teaches REAL Gunfighting Skills ~ Range Werx

Range Werx Florida
Range Werx Florida

Florida, USA – (AmmoLand.com) – We live in the Golden Age of firearms training.

There has never been a better time to learn gunfighting – not defensive-pistol or tactical-shooting, but honest-to-Pete gunfighting.

Our never-ending wars have produced a small cadre of incredibly experienced Tier One Military Veterans. These elite shooters have, literally, won hundreds of gunfights, and now a few of them are teaching the skills and techniques that kept them alive to SWAT teams, street cops, and a few lucky civilians.

Gunfighters teaching real gunfighting? Things were not always this way.

For decades, new shooters had to learn from gunfight theorists – good, well-meaning instructors who taught what they thought would work – what they theorized would work in a gunfight.

Adherence to established dogma was important. More than a few gimmicks were created, copied, and passed around. Range theatrics – which we’ll delve into later – ruled the day.

But now, we’ve got actual, Tier One guys, teaching what really works. They never learned the dogma or the zany gimmickry of the past. They relied solely on what works.

Retired MSG Bob Keller spent his entire career in Army special operations, including the last 12 years in Delta Force. (Photo courtesy Bob Keller.)

Retired MSG Bob Keller

There are few soldiers in our entire military who’ve been shot at more times than retired MSG Bob Keller, who spent his entire career in Army special operations, the last 12 years in Delta Force, where he became a team leader and then acting-troop sergeant major.

I need to disclose that Bob and I are friends. We co-host a [must listen to] podcast together and we’re working on a couple of books. I also need to add a quick note about my use of the D-word: Bob doesn’t use it. I can.

Bob has been on more than 1,000 missions or “hits on target” as he calls them. Many of these turned into gunfights – hundreds of gunfights.

That’s what the Tier One guys do.

They don’t patrol endlessly or man static defensive positions. They hunt bad guys.

“We’re going out to a gunfight every night,” Bob said. “And we’re not ever gonna back off when we get there. We’re going to the target and we’re not leaving until the dude we’re going after is dead or tied up.”

Sometimes, his team would go out three or four times a night.

“It was nonstop killing. That’s what it was,” he said. “The killing part was easy. It’s the hunting part that’s hard – working with intel and trying to find them. The hit is the easy part. When it comes to the shooting, that’s easy. We were hunting humans and we’re the best in the world at it.”

Range Revelations

The first time Bob and I went to the range was a humbling experience. I was a good shooter, or so I thought.

I’d been to good schools in the Army and as a cop. The NRA even certified me as a law enforcement instructor. I was ready.

Pretty much nope to all of that.

I may have been a good shooter by a street cop’s standard, but these Tier One guys shoot at 3-inch dots faster than I can get around in the A, B, C, or even the D-zone of an IPSC target, and they can do it all day long, on a flat range, on the move or while bad guys are shooting back.

 

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Turns out I had a long way to go, and that I had picked up a lot of bad habits – I’d been taught a lot of bad habits, mostly by the aforementioned gunfight theorists.

During the first eight hours, we spent at the range, the lightbulb over my head that flashes when I learn something new must have looked like a strobe.

A Few Takeaways:

  • Shooting at this level – keep in mind hostage rescue is one of Delta’s core missions – is incredibly precise. It redefines “surgical precision.” Cops used to say there’s a lawyer attached to every round that’s fired. For Delta, it could be the life of a hostage or a friendly. That’s why they’re so precise with every single round.
  • Tier One guys are the safest shooters on the planet. We didn’t even touch a gun until after a 30-minute safety brief.
  • While it’s good to know what a stance is, it really isn’t that important, because you’re likely not going to have time to adopt a classic flat-range stance during a gunfight.
  • Don’t waste your time learning a 3-or 5-step draw. It will only slow you down. Focus on getting the gun out and oriented toward the target in one continuous motion as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t waste too much time learning different shooting positions either. In every single gunfight Bob has ever won, he fought from the standing position, so he could see the bad guys. I really wish I’d learned this sooner. I can still feel the gravel in my knees and shoulders from the cool-guy-shoot-under-the-car schools.

And then he told me the secret – the secret to shooting like a Tier One guy.

And here it is ~ Mastery of the fundamentals.

That’s it.

If you want to really improve your shooting, you must first achieve mastery of the fundamentals.

It’s pretty simple, really.

Before you can fast-rope from helos, blow doors off the hinges and start learning the true Delta artform of CQB, you have to master the fundamentals, because the shooting needs to be automatic, so you can focus on the threat, not your selector switch or red dot.

How do they achieve this mastery? That’s pretty simple too. A hell of a lot of practice – both dry and live.

Range time should be focused on the fundamentals, which need to become automatic: Get the gun up, get a sight picture, take the shot.

Until you can do that without thinking, that’s how you should spend your time at the range.

The problem with a lot of other instruction out there is that it’s designed to keep students entertained.

“If I had my way, students would do nothing but Ready-Up drills for an entire two-day class,” Bob said.

To be clear, he doesn’t make his students do Ready-Up drills for two days straight – even I might rebel at that – although when he joined the Unit he did them for months on end.

Photo courtesy Bob Keller.

No Scenarios

While there are drills in Bob’s classes, they’re designed to reinforce the fundamentals. It’s not LARPing fun-time. Besides, no two gunfights are ever the same, and you’ll never be able to predict what will happen, so why waste precious range time with scenarios?

And here’s the real reason, regardless of what you encounter, the shooting part doesn’t ever change: get the gun up, get a sight picture, take the shot.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in a car, whether you’re armed with a pistol or a carbine, whether there are multiple threats, whether you’re moving or static, or whether you’re dangling from a rope upside-down.

The shooting part never changes.

When you have mastered the fundamentals, when the shooting is automatic, you can win any possible scenario, because regardless of the threat, the shooting will never, ever change.

So, instead of wasting a lot of class time running scenarios, Bob prefers to get his students shooting while he walks the line coaching one-on-one. And he doesn’t miss a thing – trust me on that.

In my humble opinion, it’s a good tradeoff.

Future Stories

Over the next couple of months, or until I wear out my welcome at Ammoland News, I plan to dissect Bob’s training – with his permission and assistance of course – and examine his take on each of the fundamentals, and a bit of other stuff.

He’s made me a better, faster, safer, and more accurate shooter, which is his goal for everyone – our goal, actually.

I hope you will find the stories worthy of your time.

For more information about Bob Keller, visit his Instagram Page or go to Gamut Resolutions or Range Werx.


About Lee Williams

Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer”, has been writing about the Second Amendment, firearms, the firearms industry, and the gun culture for more than 10 years. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.

Lee Williams
Lee Williams
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Buster
Buster
22 days ago

“Range time should be focused on the fundamentals, which need to become automatic: Get the gun up, get a sight picture, take the shot.”

Sounds like welding…ten minutes of instruction and thousands of hours of practice.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
23 days ago

Ex-government employee teaching government employees how to kill Americans more efficiently.

Bob, do you train BATFE employees? FBI employees? US Marshals Service employees? State police employees? City police department employees? County Sheriff’s department employees?

Does your pre-training vetting process for students include asking government employees what orders they will not follow?

Tier one.

RoyD
RoyD
23 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

I liked you better when you weren’t a one trick pony.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
22 days ago
Reply to  RoyD

It’s a gun rights discussion board. It’s clear that there will be more gun control laws. There are too many voters who are not familiar with crime, the lies that underly the arguments for never-ending gun control laws, and history. Too many LEOs/LE agencies are publicly supporting gun control laws, arguing against efforts to reduce infringements, and arguing against efforts to prohibit them from cooperating with federal authorities to enforce future gun control laws. Not enough LEOs/LE agencies are publicly voicing disagreement with their outspoken colleagues. When the new gun control laws are passed, it will come down to the… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by JSNMGC
RoyD
RoyD
22 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Perhaps I am just jaded because I live in the most Red county of the most Red State of the Union. Speaking of which, it is hard for me to use the term “Red” when referring to what used to be considered Conservatives. The Left was very sly when they pulled that one off.

Last edited 22 days ago by RoyD
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
22 days ago
Reply to  RoyD

The media had to switch the colors of the parties. It was just too damning looking at a map showing red in every location that was pushing the socialist/communist agenda. At a time when socialists/communists were refered to as “Reds,” it confused people who believed the Democrat party was for the “working man.” Ask Shannon Smith, Brent Sugg, and Louis Flowers what they think about legislation that would allow citizens residing in Oklahoma to sue individual state and local LEOs for cooperating in any way with federal LEOs who are enforcing federal gun control laws passed after 1/1/21. The legislation… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by JSNMGC
RoyD
RoyD
22 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

You know, for 22 & 1/2 years my job’s “governing authority” had the same phrase at the end of all operating instructions. That phrase was, “Nothing in this order should be considered a substitute for common sense or good judgement.”

And that is how I have, for the most part, lived my life and will until the day I die. No matter what others may do or not do.

Chuck
Chuck
22 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

I agree with most all of what you wrote JSNMGC…however, this is NOT a gun rights discussion board. It is a Competitive Shooting Comment board. You did get your gun out, however, your Sight Picture is not clear and you emptied your magazine at the wrong target. Move your comments over to the correct section of Ammoland and you will have a much improved “score”.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
22 days ago
Reply to  Chuck

Ha! – that’s true Chuck. Thanks for pointing it out.

Think for yourself
Think for yourself
24 days ago

Good article. Only thing I would suggest out of respect is to exchange the word civilians to citizens.

Bob
Bob
23 days ago

Face it. If we’re not military or police, we’re sillyvillians.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
23 days ago
Reply to  Bob

There are government employees and non-government employees. As groups, I view DMV people, TSA people, and “Tier One SWAT” people in a similar light. A growing number of Americans (who pay the salaries, benefits, and pensions of those people) share my opinion.

Lee Williams is behind the curve.

HLB
HLB
23 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

You need people you can trust and rely on. You need to hold common ground. You build this by long association and good results. I did not find that many people overseas who were on my side that I could trust. Here at home, I find a similar situation. Maybe we can build this trust. I am willing to try.

HLB

gunnerdd517
gunnerdd517
23 days ago
Reply to  HLB

ive seen panic & him aint pretty. Found meselff all alone. i survived anyway. one panics & they all run. Them types get people killed.

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
22 days ago
Reply to  HLB

You find those people meeting in gravel pits and other similar locations these days. Build your network from like minded people.