Pistol Fundamentals

Law Enforcement (LE) Specific Training Modules

This series is lead by Sprout (Steve Gowen) who demonstrates shooting fundamental technique, self diagnostics and how to get high volume training in for law enforcement officers.

Tony Blauer on Flinch Training with Pistolcraft with Mike Hughes 4 of 4


This is the fourth video of MIke Hughes interviewing Tony Blauer.
Tony suggests training fine motor skills at elevated heart rate so they are available for us when our heart rate is elevated. One drill Tony does is hit the treadmill hard and jump off and engage in a combative drill with a partner. 
We can have a ton of training opportunities throughout the day. Even at obscure times during the day we can work on visualizing threats and also work on accessing weapons at various weird body orientations.
(3:40) With regard to flinch training, there are three things to remember, a threat very near will produce immediate head protection, as the distance changes but the protective mechanism will have the hands slightly more extended, thirdly our hands will intercept the threat-line, the trajectory from the threat to the head. If a dog comes at us the threat line may be lower and our hands will be lower. 
The SPEAR is simple is ambidextrous right out of the gate. So our "skills", our complex motor movements, have to be trained in high volume, but be sure to train them in awkward positions.
Blauer cautions that in a role playing course, don't stage the scenario, but rather flash the movement and produce the flinch synthetically to get adrenaline dump, change heart rate change, and other physiological changes. In this manner we are not putting one another in danger to make the training sustainable. In a friendly environment we can induce the adrenaline dump and the physiological changes... then we can train skills from that start point.
During the day a high volume of slow motion drill work can add value but be sure to give the three stimuli of auditory, visual and tactile to start the 1000 mile journey of figuring out what works and what doesn't work.

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LE 1:3 Diagnosing and Fundamentals: Shooting off Reset

To shoot off the reset the shooter must prep the shot, break the shot and then return the trigger finger to the "reset". We want to minimize wasted motion therefore, when we release the trigger we want the trigger finger to come forward enough to hear the click which means the internal seer mechanism has reset and then reapply slight pressure to the trigger.
You can see when the shooter is not shooting off the reset because the red laser comes completely off.
It should be noted that the red laser will only come on when the trigger is prepped but will turn off when we come off the trigger.

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LE 1:2 Diagnosing and Fundamentals: Staging the Trigger

Staging the trigger means prepping the trigger (pulling it halfway) and then breaking the shot. You can see with the SIRT pistol the stage trigger the red laser comes on when the trigger is prepped and when more force is applied to the trigger it breaks and the green laser comes on. So as a first phase the shooter should have the ability to prep the trigger, have a slight pause and break the trigger. This trigger mechanics can be progressed to prepping and breaking more quickly but still not disturbing the muzzle (moving it off target) when breaking the shot.

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LE 1:1 Diagnosing and Fundamentals: Diagnosis

Diagnosing a shooter is critical before coaching. A simple single bullet hole is difficult to determine what the deficiency is. With the SIRT pistol we can diagnose shooter's issues such as their trigger control and initial sight alignment.
Trigger mechanics are a common issue with shooters. With the SIRT training pistol we want to see dots not dashes. A dot is a simple green laser pulse that stays on the target. A dash is generally a sweep from the right to the left (for right-handed shooters).
Testing your trigger mechanics is key in different scenarios. For example under a high stress situation to break the trigger quickly we should exercise the same trigger mechanics. This means dot quickly but use the same basic technique without disturbing the muzzle when breaking the shot.March 11th, 2012

Sprout discusses diagnosing trigger mechanics from a law enforcement perspective. Trigger mechanics can not be overlooked. Law enforcement personnel need to be able to deploy their weapons quickly and exercise the firing sequence on demand. This means that their trigger mechanics needs to be honed it so the gun does not move as the trigger finger is pressing the trigger rearward. See fundamentals of trigger control using the SIRT where Heckens describes using the take up indictor red laser to identify trigger prep.



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LE 1:5 Diagnosing and Fundamentals: Grip and Stance

From a law enforcement perspective grip is critical. Not only do you have to grip the gun to retain the gun in a positive control but you must have a grip which allows you to present for firing on a threat putting you or another in an eminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.
One key element to grip is to prevent recoil, to have a pressure point in the upper rearward part of the grip and the forward lower portion. When you grip a gun you are high up on the back strap with keeping the index finger in the high slide position. In the left hand portion (for right hand shooter) there is a slight gap between the base of the thumb and the grip to feel it with your support hand.
The support hand thumb will basically be pointed along the frame and the strong hand thumb loosely rests on this support thumb.
There is a lot of different stances out there but the **** stance is generally preferred for a law enforcement perspective. In general, our body armor is faced toward the threat (although side panels are now available) but it is a natural reaction to present the arms out in a direct manner towards a threat. In general both arms are substantially straight or slightly bent but allows a lot of versatility in transitioning to the left and right and also allows movement. Rename this drill please.


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LE 1:4 Diagnosing and Fundamentals: Pinning the Trigger

In this video Sprout discusses the habit of pinning the trigger rearward. Pinning the trigger is important when you're first learning but it can be a determinant over time. Basically pinning the trigger is defined as holding the trigger all the way back after the shot is broken. When you first start out this is an important skill set because it teaches full follow through but to progress beyond that we have to reset the trigger as quickly as possible.


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Isolating Pistol Fundamentals with High Volume Pistol Skill Development


How many repetitions do you get at your range? Not just rounds, but real training reps of all the skills to make a shot: decelerating the body to a position, trigger prep, clean break, maintain sufficient sight alignment-picture to make an acceptable hit.  
Have you ever tried to isolate fundamentals (e.g. sight picture, trigger control)?  
This short video shows a typical Tuesday morning training where Britt Lentz and I hit a high volume training session, have accountability to our movements (getting hits), isolate issues in our fundamentals, and make the most of our costly live fire  rounds.
This drill is a derivative of the Progressor where we start at 25 yards and advance 5 yrds per shooting position working left toright on 5 targets.  In this training session we execute in the following order:
First we hit the drill live fire completely cold (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yraIFpFguzI). It is important to access abilities completely cold.  We don't have warm ups if we have to use the pistol off the range.

Tuning-in a New Shooter



This is a series of four train up videos of a shooter, Nate, who is squared away but wanted to get some training.  Nate's background is web developer and has shot recreationally but has not had formal training.  The first video establishes the foundation of grip and stance.  

Grip and stance are critical fundamentals.  We don't need to get caught up in different techniques of grip and stance, but we need to be aware of the objective of our grip and stance.  The stance needs to provide balance for handling the explosion of recoil.  The grip has to 1) allow the trigger finger to exercise trigger mechanics and 2) provide a foundation so the sight comes back to its original position on the 2nd shot.  coach needs to be executed correctly where the force is gradually progressed.


Fundamentals with Mike Hughes: 8 Putting It All Together

Put it all together, low stance, good C-clamp grip, sight alignment-picture, trigger control...

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