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June 4th & 5th Defensive Carbine Course

Posted by JFranz On June 6, 2011 1 COMMENT

Had the pleasure of instructing 7 great shooters in the June 4th and 5th Defensive Carbine course.  It was two great days of shooting and learning.  Everyone saw an improvement in accuracy and efficiency.  Weather was blistering hot, but a storm rolled through Sunday afternoon and cooled us off a bit.   I hope the students enjoyed it as much as I did. 

Pictures are up in our Photo Gallery.

See you at the Range.

One Response so far.

  1. KZero says:

    Aesir Training Basic Carbine Course, Jeff Franz and Steve Sellers instructing.
    4 and 5 Jun 2011
    FOP Range, Troutman, NC

    After taking a couple of handgun classes with Aesir, I was looking forward to taking a carbine class with them, and I wasn’t disappointed. I have never been able to shoot long guns anywhere near as much or as often as a handgun, so I was looking forward to learning and retaining as much as I could to hone my proficiency with a carbine. I wasn’t disappointed on this count, either.

    Day One:
    The day started off hot, but thankfully the humidity didn’t feel that high. Before the day was out, the heat would become brutal. Luckily, we’d brought a ton of bottled water and a lot of Gatorade, so neither myself or anyone there got dehydrated, although there were a couple of times when I thought I would overheat. Fortunately, no such thing happened.
    We started with the normal safety brief, the appointing of First and Second responders, and the “group hug.” Jeff then gave us a quick rundown of the things we would be covering during the day. This included a ballistics chart showing the difference between a 25yd, 50yd, and 100yd zero point.
    The shooting started with us prone, getting our rifles sighted in, starting at twenty-five yards and eventually back to one hundred yards. Once we had that down, the drills started, with instruction covering grip, stance, and trigger control.
    We were shown the trigger reset drill, and instructed in the proper way to do administrative reloads with rifle magazines.
    Later, we did some work with shooting from different positions (kneeling, supported kneeling, prone, and even a little urban prone.)

    Day Two:
    The second day started off hot, since we started in the afternoon instead of the morning. The festivities started with a little refresher on handgun basics, since today’s instruction would include transition drills. After the handgun primer, we did indeed move on to how to safely do transitions to handgun, when and why to do them.
    This day also covered moving off the line of attack (moving out of the way of a threat before shooting at them) and some shooting-on-the-move instruction, and drills.
    Then the day was cut a bit short by a rather large storm moving through. If it had been rain only, we would have kept shooting, but there was a lot of lightning as well, and nobody in their right mind would want to be out in the middle of an open field holding a three-foot metal stick during a lightning storm. So we retired to the range’s covered patio to reload and wait out the storm. This led to a lot of jawing about gear and such, and I actually learned a few things just by standing there and talking gear and techniques with Steve. So, even though we weren’t out on the range shooting, I was still learning.
    Unfortunately, by the time the storm had blown over, about half the class had left. Those of us who were still there got to shoot a few more drills involving cover, and even a little shooting on the move exercise. Then we helped tear down the range, policed trash and brass, then headed back home, tired but happy.

    Summary:
    Heat aside, this was a great class. We learned the tools we need to take back home with us and use to become proficient with the AR platform. We also (hopefully) learned a lot about gear; what works and what does not.

    I learned that while a single-point sling may be just the ticket for clearing a house, or for use during a short practice session at the range, it is NOT (for me) appropriate for a ten-hour carbine class, or any other time when you may need to carry your weapon for an extended period. The sling I have is a quality sling, but it made my light-weight rifle feel like it weighed a ton by about half way through the first day. It’s too narrow, and to keep it from almost choking me out, it had to be opened up to the point that the charging handle was almost down to my belt buckle. Something that always bugged me, even before this class, is the long tail that stays on the rifle when the sling is detached. It’s always in the way. This system is coming off my rifle very soon, to be replaced with a wider, two-point style.
    One piece of gear I bought with this class (and my own shooting practice) in mind is the Spec-Ops Brand T.H.E. Gun Belt. If I am only going to practice with a pistol, then threading a mag carrier or two and a holster onto my pants belt is aggravating, but doable. But trying to carry two pistol mag carriers, two rifle mag carriers, a holster, and thread all of these on while trying to skip belt loops, etc. is just too much to think about. Hence the Gun Belt. A belt-on-belt design, it makes life so much easier, and you can put everything on the belt and just leave it there. It’s %100 made in USA from USA materials. Mine worked great, and I can recommend it without reservation.

    I was also relived to find that the carbine that I built had no problems that I can trace back to the rifle itself. I had one problem, back-to-back, with one Pmag (which I have separated from the rest for further evaluation,) and on the second day I had one failure to return to battery. I transitioned to my Glock and finished the drill, then looked at the rifle. The bolt wasn’t in battery, but it wasn’t open enough to see into the chamber area, so I treated it like a double-feed. I had no more problems, and when I got it home and took it apart for a detailed cleaning and inspection, I found a popped primer down below the trigger group. I suspect that this had something to do with the previous failure. So, I feel really good about this rifle and the parts I used to assemble it.

    One other shooter had constant trouble out of his DPMS 308. Between the rifle, the mags (DMPS and Magpul) and the ammo (Brown Bear,) it’s hard to know where to find the culprit. Some of his Brown Bear was soft point, and a lot of them just smashed up against the feed ramps and jammed without feeding. He had one stuck case about two hundred rounds into the first day, in which the extractor ripped a chunk out of the rim and left the case in the chamber. It had to be knocked out with a rod. This was the only stuck case problem with his rifle, but there were many other problems, a lot of which I wasn’t close enough to see or diagnose.

    Optics were mostly Aimpoint, with a couple of EOTechs. I didn’t hear or see anyone have any problems from their optics. Myself and the above-mentioned .308 shooter shot with iron sights. My biggest problem with this sight setup is not the sights themselves, but with the fact that to properly grasp and sight my carbine, my sight picture is always obscured, to one degree or another, by the frame over the top of the lens on my safety glasses. This was incredibly aggravating, and I fought against it all weekend. I handled Steve Sellers’ rifle, which has an Aimpoint Micro with lower 1/3 co-witness, and this gets my head up just enough that my sight picture is not blocked my the frame on the glasses. I’ll probably go with this or a similar setup.

    As to the Aesir organization themselves, as always, they were very professional, very knowledgeable, and did a great job of communicating this knowledge to us. They were right out there with us in the heat, and were perfectly willing to demonstrate any drill that they wanted us to do. They were very hands-on with the students, very capable with their skills, and yet very approachable. These guys are constantly going to classes themselves, and bringing what they learn back and integrating it with what they already know to bring a great value to the shooters who come to train with them. I cannot recommend them highly enough. If you live close by, do yourself a favor and get a class with these folks. In fact, even if you don’t live very close, if you can get enough people interested, get in touch with them anyway; they will travel to you to put on the class.

    So, all in all, this was a great class, I had a wonderful time (aside from the heat, I HATE this time of year,) and I learned more than I would have imagined. Definitely a case of getting far more than you pay for. I would love to take this class again, and if it comes around sometime when it isn’t so hot, I will.

    Thanks for reading.
    Cheers, jeers, and questions welcomed.

    My gear:
    Carbine: The Spikes/BCM build that I finally finished in January.
    Pistol: Glock 17, 4th Gen.
    Mags: P-mag 30-rounders
    Mag carriers and holster: Kydex, that I made.
    Sling: Gear Sector, single point.
    Belt: T.H.E. Gun Belt for the goodies, 5.11 Tactical Operator’s belt, my everyday pants belt.
    Ammo: Federal XM193 55gr. 5.56 NATO, 9mm Blazer
    Lube: Slip 2000

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