Vehicle Gun fighting in Waco
Date: April 2013
Instructor: Mark Human
Location: Waco, Texas
Length: 16 hours
We where very lucky to have Mark Human from South Africa spend a weekend with us and teach us all about Vehicle Gun Fighting. Mark Human is one of the world’s most premier instructors who truly enjoys what he does for a living and you can see it in all the energy and knowledge he brings in to his seminars. This is one of those seminars that is hard to write about because it is something everyone should experience first hand.
People spend a lot of time in and around vehicles but we spend so little time actually incorporating it into our regular training. This truly was one of the classes I have been looking forward to the most in 2013.
The general order for the Vehicle Gun Fighting weekend was we would be spending Saturday fighting towards and around our vehicles and Sunday fighting our way out of our vehicles. We used airsoft based force on force, along with paintball to show marks on the vehicles through out the whole weekend. Which is something that we love here at Fort Worth Combatives. We started with how to flank while covering our flanks along with the importance of crouching, snapshots, turtleing and moving. People were learning real quick on how to best keep their head down while still being able to quickly pop up, acquire their target and return fire. Since we where using airsoft and paintball it was very easy to find and fix mistakes that otherwise could have been glossed over with just talk. We ran these drills on a full size pick up, small car and small truck to give us a bit of variety. Every so often we would run these drills through out the day with live rounds against cardboard targets. This added a interesting bit of tension to the day because no one wanted to be the one who hits a vehicle unintentionally.
There are a lot of opinions on how vehicles interact with bullets. So one of the things I was looking forward to most was a set of experiments on a car that was not going to make it through the weekend. We set up cardboard targets throughout the vehicle in different locations. The trunk, front seats, back seats and in a locations on the other side of the vehicle. We all wanted to see first hand what happens when a vehicle is shot. First we started with the trunk: 9mm, .45s, .40s and .380s went through the trunk with no issues hitting not only the target inside but targets on the outside. Then moved to the rear seat with mostly the same results, only the .380 had some trouble going clean through the vehicle. Then the front seats from the passenger side, here if the rounds hit the electronics on the drivers side door it would have a pretty good chance of not going completely through and hit the outside targets, which was not much help to the targets inside. Next was the windshields, the angle of the glass along with the material it is made out of can and does effect the bullets trajectory. This is not just for shooting straight at it but also shooting across it on the sides. We where able to ricochet rounds off the windshield and hoods to get some interesting trajectories.
The next morning for Vehicle Gun Fighting we started learning how to bounce a round underneath the vehicle. Depending on the ground and the round, you could get some good “shot patterns” low in the leg area of the card board targets.
Most of the next day was spent working our way out from inside the vehicle. The differences a vehicle makes in quickly exiting was very interesting. Bench seated trucks was much more easier and quicker to deal with than a car with a center console between the seats. This is also where some of the differences between left side drivers (US) and right side drivers (other countries) along with right and left handed shooters started to really pop up. To then throw in seat belts and concealed carry positions made this very interesting experience. If your right handed and carry right and your sitting on the left drivers side, to access your firearm and undo your seat belt while leaning over to the right to get cover was a pretty tall order. With airsoft and paintball we got to experience some very interesting positions trying to get it all to work. Do you stay upright for easier access? Do you dive to the side for more cover but harder accessing? Do you hide into the door frame, access, then move? What about seat belt positioning? What if it is in your glove box? Center console? Lock box under your seat? We ran countless scenarios with both dry and live fire.
We then started adding another person to the mix, what if your passenger was another CHL holder? Even worse, what if it was some one inexperienced who just freaks out? And how do you safely get them out along with yourself? We got to spend a few hours covering these scenarios as well.
Every so often we would run the events live fire. Shooting from inside the vehicle against different targets feeling how the concussive blasts from the handguns bounced around in the enclosed vehicle. One thing of note was shooting through the doors from the inside, now more and more vehicles have more and more electronics though out the vehicle. One of the first guys up was shooting 9mm and he did not have any of his rounds leave the vehicle, the door lock and windows mechanisms had no trouble catching all of his rounds. So we learned early that it is important to very your shot placement. Another good note was we had a lot of people running 1911s with short round counts. It was very common for people to run out of ammo before they even got their door open!
The last main topic to round off the Vehicle Gun Fighting day was working a bit on vehicle hold ups and carjackings from both inside and outside the vehicles.
Overall this was a great class and a great experience. Mark Human taught the course with great knowledge and enthusiasm with lots of great stores from incidents in South Africa. I am know much more conscious of my position and how i carry in and around vehicles. A lot of the drills here are drills that I now practice much more often. I highly recommend taking this Vehicle Gun Fighting course, it was a lot of fun and a excellent learning experience.
+ Great energy and knowledge by Mark Human
+ Shooting up a car from inside and out is a blast
+ Paintball to safely mark up cars for Force on Force is a great idea.
– We don’t do this often enough!
FINAL – Highly Recommended
This is something every CHL holder should partake in, and it doe snot get much better than Mark Human instructing.