From: email@example.com (John Gilman)
Subject: Chapman Advanced Handgun notes (LONG)
Date: 29 Jun 1995 22:32:46 -0400
Chapman Advanced Handgun notes
by john gilman 5/95
Abstract: Chapman Advanced Handgun class is a little more challenging
than Basic class. Night shooting, CCW, and shooting from moving
vehicle were new. Other topics were more thoroughly covered: near/far
sight picture/trigger control, indexing, shooting prone, stress
reloads, barricades, shooting while moving, shooting movers, using
cover. I had anticipated far more emphasis on tactics for individuals
and small teams than we received. Ammo req'd: 2500-4000 rd.
Notes: Class of 8 students - four of them in our group. All
civilians, no firearms instructors (well, one part-timer). All were
already good shooters. Five had Glocks, one Firestar, two 1911s.
Three of us had been the best shooters at prior basic classes. One had
limited prior practical training. One had attended Cooper, and LFI
1,2,3. I was the only IPSC shooter. And the only one with a valid CCW
in home state ;^(
Opening exhortation - concentrate this week on keeping body under
control and avoiding unnecessary motion. Think about what doing while
doing it, to program mental computer. By end of week, should not have
to think about shooting - just like driving to work. You automatically
choose appropriate sight picture, speed for each specific target.
Active mind works on solving shooting problem.
Review of color codes - five colors by Jeff Cooper. Live in condition
Shot placement critical. Every round well controlled.
Concealed carry tradeoffs of size/effectiveness. Loose clothing, at
least one size over.
Four things: Best position (review of - everything solid/locked, weak
foot a bit ahead of strong). Control weapon thru good grip (handshake
grip, strong grip). Use appropriate precision for shot. Press trigger
For first shot, concentrate on firing stroke. First exercise will be
Day 1: Essentially a compression of first two days of basic class.
Double taps to cardboard silhouettes from 10-25 yd. Steel plates from
10-25 yd. Silhouettes from 2,4,7 yds. Multiple silhouettes from 2-25
yds. Gong from 85 yd. Burned easily 500-600 rds.
Observations: My IPSC experience has given very bad trigger habits for
the 10- 25 yard shooting. Like many others, I caught myself constantly
milking the trigger, shooting low and left (I'm a leftie). Actually,
most of the left was diagnosed as squeezing my weak hand just a bit as
I pressed the trigger. Also, I had over time convinced myself that
C-zone hits are just fine. Speeeed is what counts. John and Ray
Day 2: Essentially a compression of Wed and part of Thursday, in Basic
Handgun. Strong and weak hand shooting drills from 2-10 yd. Tactical
reload drills Engage targets left, right, and behind. Combine the
above. Fire from 50 yd prone. Fire from 50 yd, lying on strong and
weak sides, with handgun horizontal. Fire at 50 yd from between legs,
with handgun upside down. End day.
Observations: Strong and weak hand drills, reload drills were standard
fare. Pivoting on ball of threat-side foot, and on weak-side foot for
behind, ditto. 50 yd rollover prone position was likewise a repeat of
basic class, tho haven't seen the position much discussed in gun rags.
New and interesting was the long-range shooting lying on side, with gun
horizontal to ground, as near as possible to ground. Ideally, you want
your shooting eye right against the ground, giving you the max field of
view and shooting window from say, underneath a car. Now, at
close-quarters distance, you can probably just put sights on c of m and
squeeze. At longer range, you must realize that moving the sights 90
deg out of plane, means you now have a vector sum of gravity, and rise
of bullet above sights normally counteracted by gravity. This means
aiming diagonally on target. Advice on stress reload: don't drop mag
until you have new one in hand, do it when you thinks it's time, keep
old mag if have time for it. Surprised they didn't cover creedmore
position, for long range precision shooting.
My milking disappeared early in day. I was able to put most shots
touching/within the four-inch bullseye. One thing that reimpressed me,
was all the claims I see in rec.guns of, "my out of the box (insert
brand pistol) will shoot 2" groups at 50 yd all day." B.S. If anyone
is actually foolish enough to brag this to you at the range, make him a
large bet, and hang a target out there, with a smile on your face.
Groups from my hand-fitted STI were easily half the size of anyone
else's - ten shot groups averaging five inches, with usually a flier.
Glock shooters had particular trouble, IMHO due to large trigger travel
and somewhat mushy letoff. Fired easily 500 rd again today. Running
low on ammo ;^}.
Day 3: Began with 2-50 yd review, two at each range. Then move to
barricades from 10-35 yd. Std flat hand against barricade at first,
then step back and expose only enough to see all of the target's head.
Then pie the corner drill, each side. Then start 35 yd, move forward
to ten. Lots and lots and lots and lots of repetition of, "move
quickly, shoot carefully, and stay under cover!" Next, shoot on move
drills. Moving forward, moving backward, running strong and weak
sides. After lunch. moving targets. 10 and 15 fps, 10 to 25 yd. Then
some fun stuff: you are guarding two bad guys from 4 yd, they take off
in opposite directions, double tap both in <3 sec. Next, one 10 fps,
one 15 fps, begins running away from you. Chase them down, enough to
Observations Always move up on side of barricade that you shot safe.
Keeping back from barricade gives more maneuverability and better
ricochet protection, at price of less stability for shot. If step out
too far when pieing, step back! Brief mention of search technique -
peek high, shoot low. Ditto for barricade shooting from kneeling.
For shoot while moving forward, lean forward, rolling short step. Made
case that this is really disorienting/frightening to bad guy. Analogy
to a tank with stabilized turret, for shot placement. Advice to use
sight picture as only signal of when to press trigger.
For shooting movers - remember to lead target. Quite a bit, especially
for a real human sprinting at 25 yd or more (lead about 2 ft for 1000
fps avg vel bullet). Also, don't try to run away from someone already
covering you, from close range, in the open. A good shooter will
plaster you before you go 10 ft.
Day 4: Lecture focusses on moving quickly, shooting carefully, and
staying under cover. CCW draw lecture emphasized vigorous fling back
of jacket prior to draw stroke. Shooting begins with CCW practice.
Draw fire from 25 yd, 2 yd 2 tgt, ctr 2 yd w/ 2 more at 4 yd. Then
Scenario 1: Seated at table, gun on table under cloth. Shoot one
target across table in head, then one 10 yd, two more around cover,
then a running target.
Scenario 2: Man against man, five poppers, 5-20 yd; two behind
no-shoots. Stop popper.
Scenario 3: Start with three poppers thru brush at 7-12 yd, then a
whole bunch thru a window - exposing only one target at a time. Then
run across to a door. Open, enter and shoot two poppers. Then, open
another door, engage a popper near an auto, run along wall, engage two
poppers at five yds. Then, around far side of wall, engage three more
poppers, ten to 40 yd. Then push open window, engage popper at three
yds. Then, push open a third door and engage a final popper at 7 yd.
Scenario 4: Driver and passenger in jeep. Passenger engages same
three initial poppers, runs to jeep and jumps in. Driver engages
initial popper, and drives while shooting four add'l poppers, about 200
yd downrange. Passenger engages 8 add'l poppers as go downrange.
Night shooting follows supper break. Start with 25 yd draw/fire with
targets only, illuminated. Next, target only is backlit. Next, move
to 10 yds, and fire more quickly. Then, move to four yds, and fire
more quickly still. Then, move to a new range. Start two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Driver and passenger in jeep, lights out. On signal, turn on
headlights and engage five poppers each, some of which are illuminated by
Scenario 2: Seek and destroy mission, with flashlight. On command,
engage popper to side, at 12 yd. Then, open door, enter, and engage
two poppers at 10 and 35 yd, respectively. Move along wall, avoiding
headlights, engage two poppers at five yds, and around corner of wall,
engage two more poppers at 10 yd. Then, swing open window and engage
single popper at three yd. End exercise.
Observations: Everyone had an adequate concealment rig, provided worn
under vest or light jacket. Actually, depending on movement, a trained
observer (me) could occasionally make a compact Glock in SOB and Milt
Sparks' very good IWB holster, under light jacket. Lesser holsters
still did not show thru heavy canvas or leather photographer-style
vests. The only truly summer concealent rig was my own AMT Backup, in
a pocket holster. (It sounded like a misfire, compared to even 9mm
Jacket draw increases draw time by about .5 sec. 9mm and .45 will not
reliably penetrate all the way thru Detroit's finest. Twigs < .25" can
turn a center hit into a miss, from 7 yd with a .45. Exposing only one
target at a time, requires knowing where those are. Shooting over the
top of a barricade, gives a LOT of exposure - head, shoulders, and arms.
Tendency to open door slowly, or stand in door on entry - both no-nos
to Ray and John, who throughout day, emphasized that you have a
3-second clock which starts when bad guys first know you are there, to
react to you. Pushing well past doorway puts you in among them, past
their zone of fire. 3-second theory also explains why noise and motion
control are critical, prior to opening shot.
For night shooting, Ray demonstrated several flashlight hold
techniques. He liked Chapman hold best (duh), but emphasized it only
worked well for small- diameter lights...aa's and Lithiums. Ray was a
big fan of the new Surefire lithium flashlights. For larger lights,
recommend Harries technique. (Of course, all of this was forgotten by
me, when I burst open a window, aimed beam with weak hand holding open
window, shot with strong hand.) Ray mentioned that before hostilities
begin, it might be good to shine flashlight in eyes of potential
assailants. Suggested a quick move to right, after firing, because
your muzzle flash gives away your position to other hostiles.
Night firing really showed the advantages of tritium sights. In good
light, they actually slow sight acquisition somewhat. But at night,
with backlit or unlit targets, they allow daylight-type accuracy.
Shooters who lacked them, were able to score only peripheral hits at
ten yards. With them, only a hint of target outline is sufficient,
even at extended range. In most cases, flashlights are made unnecessary
(target ID is another story). Interestingly, the Trijicons on others'
pistols were easily visible to ten yards, for those behind them.
Wilson Nite Eyes were less than half as bright.
Day 5: This is scenarios in am, qualifications in pm. Qual course was
identical to basic class, save for addition of tight time limits. The
three scenarios that ssentially repeated last time:
Scenario 1: Shooter begins in passenger side of jeep. Engages popper
at 20 yd. Exits jeep and engages two poppers from 50 yd, from under
jeep. Runs forward and engages popper around baricade. Runs to
opposite barricade and engages a popper. Then runs forward to window;
sweeps three poppers, and a stop plate. Minimum time here was 37 sec.
Scenario 2: Shooter begins by picking up ammo can full of "gold", and
sprinting to barricade. Engage ballooned silhouette (bal silh - a
balloon at center of a-zone) at 35 yd. Sprint forward and engage bal
silh at 2 yd. Sprint forward and engage bal silh from barricade at 25
yd. Sprint across picnic table, engage bal silh at 7 yd. Continue to
15 yd barricade and engage bal silh from barricade. Sprint forward
again, and engage 2 more bal silh from 10 yd, and a stop plate. Min
time here was 23 sec.
Scenario 3: Shooter engages balooned silhouette at 20 yd. This starts
a running target. Before shooting running target, shooter must run
forward and engage another bal silh. After this, shooter goes thru
door and up steps, to confront the entire North Korean Army - poppers
near and far, around corner and upside down. Min time here was 40+ sec.
Observations: All of us were pretty close to each other in time and
accuracy. Sure, some did it faster, but not all that much faster.
Heck, even 65 year-old Dad did pretty well. Real key to each scenario
was slowing down for long-range precision shooting. Everyone was like
lightning on close-in targets.
Overall asides: Two of us were ER docs. They said nearly all (95+%)
of shooting victims they see, are drug dealers. Most are shot with
.22s or .25s, some with .38s and 9 mms. Many are repeat customers.
Most on weekends. Sometimes, they or friends threaten ER staff with
death if they fail to patch 'em up. This can get pretty scary for ER
personnel. Especially, states that still prohibit lawful CCW. These
guys did note that lots of their fellow MD's hated guns, wanted to see
them banned. They felt it was combination of herd mentality, and media
victimhood. If you want to turn someone about firearms - turn an MD if
you can. They have remarkable influence.
9mm often failed to topple steel poppers. .45 did so only once; .40s
did well, too.
We really did quite a bit better, shooting from vehicle, with handguns
than with shotguns. Handgun is more maneuverable, and has far higher
capacity. .45s offered enhanced knockdown over 00 buckshot, for
peripheral hits on steel plates at 15-20 yd. Far easier to shoot
handgun, and drive at same time - especially for us lefties!
Probably from now on, will concentrate on playing more paintball. I
personally feel combat accuracy is well in hand. If you know of any
school that really focusses on street tactics, and still allows
civilians, please contact me.