Vehicle Defense Seminar by Gunfighter Training Group
Date: March 15th 2015
Instructor: Gunfighter Training Group – http://www.gunfightertraininggroup.com
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Length: 8 hours
Getting to shoot in and around vehicles is not something many of us get to do every day, so when the opportunity in presented I usually jump at it. So on Sunday March 15th i got to spend the day training with the local Gunfighter Training Group for their “Vehicle Defense” course. This is a one day course to get people acquainted with shooting in and around vehicles. The group’s instructors are made up of current and formal Police SWAT officers. Our instructors for the day was: Trey Phillip, Chancey Pogue, and James Kouns.
You can generally tell what type of event you are in for by basing it on how the instructor is dressed. These three being SWAT guys where of course wearing kitted out plate carriers with outside the waist band retention holsters, none of them where in all black luckily. All of which is something your run of the mill civilian won’t have when they are defending their vehicle. But after a rather brief introduction it seems like I was one of the few actual civilians in the group. I want to say there was three of us running concealed out of about 10, and I was the only appendix guy. When meeting these three you can tell they were a pretty laid back but serious group of instructors, a very friendly bunch who was joking around with new and formal students. I would totally go have a beer with these guys.
We started up Vehicle Defense with a basic proficiency drill to make sure we can safely and accurately handle our selves and our firearms. We shot some large paper targets at about 5-7 yards, first from low ready then from concealment. Their motto was: “Speed is fine, but accuracy is final”. So for pretty much the rest of the day we shot small steel targets that where much father away than the distance we started at. Well out of what I view to be a ‘defensive’ distance, I was a bit surprised at the distances we where shooting at. Most vehicle defensive ambushes are at a much closer distance, this was more clearly a: we are proactively approaching a suspect and things go south quick. For pretty much all the drills we ran as partners, this was a great way to keep everyone participating by having one as a driver and one as the passenger and then switching. If it was not your turn you where either watching or reloading magazines. There was almost no down time and no long waits. Gunfighter Training Group did a excellent job spacing everyone out.
Exiting the Vehicle
The first drill we started with in Vehicle Defense was exiting the vehicle and moving to the rear to engage targets from the front. They discussed how they as officers are used to closing the door as they exit the vehicle but understand that most people will leave it open on their escape. This lead into the talk about concealment vs cover and how bullets usually have no issue going through doors. They discussed when exiting the vehicle to the rear, when you kneel for better cover to kneel to the knee on that opposite side of the vehicle for better stability (i.e. if your on the left side you will be kneeling on your right knee, sticking out your left) you can see in the pictures. You then lean over that knee to take your rather long accurate shots. This of course i had some issue with and i got to start being “that guy.”
I brought up the point that by doing so your sticking not only your knee but a good portion of your body out behind cover to take a long difficult shot that would be hard to justify in a civilian setting. This type of disagreement was something I expected coming in. Long distance aside, I told him, I would recommended switching hands for more cover and just do quick peeked shots instead of sitting out for a long accurate one. I also told them i understand how their priorities as a “approaching officer” is different than those as a “Fleeing/defending civilian”. He said that he believe that the extra risk for the more accurate shot is worth it for him and most people can not shoot both sided (right and left handed), but if i can do it i was welcomed to.
To me these types of discussions really shows a instructors true self, to have a student come up and “well if I was you…”. All three where very open to suggestions with good discussions. They where all able to back up their views and justify their methods. There was no display of egos and no one was argumentative. In the end we all civilly agreed to disagree. Based off that alone i would be willing to train with them again, and slowly turn them to my side of thinking.
We started with exiting a vehicle and going to the rear to engage against some pretty far targets. These difficult targets would cause a lot of people to focus on accuracy than good use of cover. After each run the driver and passenger would switch and run it again. We then worked on exiting to the front of the vehicle firing rearwards. Shooting out from the insides and exiting to engage on the side. Moving from vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to structure (blue barrels), front vehicle to rear vehicle and etc. All as both the driver and the passenger. Accuracy and speed was the name of the game with cover as a after thought, at least as it felt to me.
I went in to Vehicle Defense wanting to work on shooting in and around vehicles that I did not have to clean up afterwords, I expected some style disagreements but i would be happy as long as i was not “my way or the highway”-ed. With that in mind i had a great time training with them. If your looking to experience what its like to shot live fire in or around a vehicle than this is a good group to do it with. But i felt that was rather one way in its thought, almost sport and competition like than truly defensive course. Some oppositional work with airsoft and simmunitions would do this course wonders I think. The instructors where very knowledgeable with low egos and seamed like the types of guys you would want to hang out with. Great flow between drills with very little down time waiting around while also keeping a pretty low round count. I would go and train with them again.
Here is their website: http://www.gunfightertraininggroup.com
+ Low round count but lots of action
+ Very little down time
+ Vehicles we could shoot at
+ Good down to earth but skilled instructors
– To much emphasis on accuracy and not enough on cover
FINAL – Recommended
If you have never shot in and around vehicles with live fire then i do recommend you give this one a try.