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AAR: F2SConsulting Practical Carbine 2/25-2/26 (2012), High View, WV

"It's not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."


I have taken different classes, some tactical, some technical, some LE specific. The last class I took was the end of summer '11, so I would call myself "rusty" going into this class. I also try not to leave my home state for any reason so this was an easy to and from trip from my googling. I figured it was worth the time, effort and money to see what the cool kids are doing now a days. I sent a few emails to Chris and after having my questions answered quickly I knew I wanted in, thankfully the class was not full since like many others, my schedule is not something I have much control over. I was told I would be the only one running anything different than a AR15-type rifle. No issue there, always down for a challenge. I went into the class open minded, knowing that I would have to do things differently than I am used to. This class was exactly what I thought it would be and more. Slow at the right times, fast in other times, did not notice any dull moments and had a great time. I have shot with a lot of people, and this group was a bunch of great guys. Jack made this class one to remember with how he injected humor in a manner which kept our attention and kept us working on a specific goal. My primary goal was to learn how to operate the SCAR system more efficiently, effectively, under pressure while utilizing the zero which was adopted in the class. I am going to leave out certain specifics and parts on purpose.

SCAR 16s w/ H1 and bi-pod vertical grip, smith vortex muzzle device, Troy Ax grip MS2 and MS3 sling (ms2 on day 1, ms3 on day 2)
TAG Banshee PC (removed for day two)
PIG Gloves
ATS warbelt (kept on both days)
Blackhawk pads
Wolf .223 62gr HP

The First Half (Day1)
Up on arrival we setup and the safety briefing began. Everyone was cold, since it was in the low 30's and snowing (partially), but it cleared up early it was still cold and very windy. The safety briefing was direct and to the point. We did not do the pledge of allegiance or prayer for the day, this however is dependent on demographic, so no issues here and I doubt anyone wanted to listen to me be thankful about the locals not finding the hooker bodies. Jack went over standard functions, how to fix the gun if it stops working and demonstrated each technique. This was not a beginners class so there was no drawn out explanation, which was good. The zero calibration for the class was explained with pity for anyone who did not do it this way, and off we went to zero our rifles. This part took a good amount of time, almost most of the morning. I personally had no issue since a proper zero is required to move forward with training.

 Once we were setup we did an aggregate, which included the 1/2 & 1/2.  This was the first time I had ever run the drill and it was obvious by my fail-boat performance.  The entire aggregate was designed to show us how much we sucked at specific aspects.  This was a good starting point because it setup points we all wanted to hit during the class.

 During the initial 1/2 & 1/2 drill it was very obvious I was going to have issues with seating the SCAR properly if I kept my armor on (TAG Banshee).  I kept it on for the rest of the day to get a feel for the PC (different thread to come).

 The Second Half (Day1)
 "Shoot him in the neck!" - or something like that.

We started off the second half of day 1 with distance shooting.  I remember Jack saying something about the first position to consider shooting someone from should be prone, if you can hit steel at 300, hitting under that should not be much of an issue.  So we walked up the hill, setup and started dinging steel.  It was almost like music.  Jack told us to pay attention to the wind, which calmed down significantly, but kicked up during the 300 shoot and it was noticeable because it got really quite all of a sudden.  We readjusted quickly and the hits continued.  Optics did play a role in this, but not as great of a role as many would believe, I had no issue getting good hits with my H1.  The zero Jack set us up with made it extremely manageable.  After we tore up the steel for a few magazines we went down and started to work on fundamentals.  Rifle placement, hold and accompanying drills to embed this instruction, sending it home.

 One handed? Yes, one handed.

 All instruction was followed up by hands on rounds down range repeating to a point which was required to get a feel for the skill.  This was a repeated aspect of this class, and a welcomed one, since the initial aggregate was a "preview" of sorts for things to come during the class.

By the time the sun started to set and the day was running down we were just starting to have fun.  We broke for an hour or so and when the sun set, and the moon took over we went into the night shoot.  Now there are no pictures, since it would just be a black picture with random white light sources.  I switched over to my backup Spikes/Noveske AR15 with the mossie mount and a TRL1s, with irons.  We did distance engagement in no light and movement drills.  Jack talked about white light discipline, he was correct and it showed if you were too quick on the light.  I have shot in no/low light before, but with pistols and it was eye opening to have the ability to shoot in no light.  First thing I noticed immediately is that iron sights are completely worthless in no light or with just white light, even if they would have been tritium filled I would have still had issue.  We were shooting at an object without the use of white light and I had no point of reference with my iron sights.  Jack explained this in detail and I would have made the trip just for this part because I learned so much.

End of First Day feast
Most of us decided that we needed to eat so we went out to a local spot to eat.  In my opinion this a very important part because we get to relax, unwind and shoot the sh!t with the guys we have been out on the range with all day.  Obviously I cannot repeat what was stated, but there was plenty of recap of the days events and drills, also the experiences of those taking the class were made known and I took away a great deal of information. 

The First Half (Day2)
When we got back on the range on Day 2, it was a nice 40-something and got slightly warmer, so most of us shed the thirty layers we put on the day before and were in a more relaxed mood, but still had a long days work ahead of us.

 The theme of the first half of day 2 was how much we had to learn shooting with the other hand/side.  I am right handed (as most normal, non-satanic people), so transitions over to my left shoulder is something that does not come natural.  Jack showed us a technique that I have never used before this class demonstrated in this picture:
 Pretty damn awesome, and definitely we drilled it enough for me to remember how to do it without thought.  We ran a 1/2 & 1/2 using our non-dominant shoulders.  This was very awesome since it put me outside of my comfort zone, something I really enjoy in this class.  My SCAR has ambidextrous controls which allowed me to use both sides of the gun for safety control, it was extremely easy to run the SCAR on my other shoulder with off hand grip.  Also when transitioning hand positions I was able to keep my sight picture and have the ability to fire if required.
 Some guys had issues with their rifles, while bad it still gave them a chance to practice other hand/arm/shoulder reloaded and malfunction clearing.

 The Second Half (Day2)
We started doing random reload, non-fire transition (to pistol) drills while incorporating scanning after shooting which Jack went over.  Since this was not specifically a super ninja-tactical style course scanning was not enforced, I did it anyway, so did others. Jack did however explain it in specific context and gave his personal observations, experiences and related it to conditions that anyone in the class could understand.  Reloading the SCAR was a breeze.  The side charging handle (oem) offered little resistance to racking and I barely had to get off the gun, so my reload was fast and I got back on target to make the shot very quickly.  Jack knew a thing or two about the SCAR so he gave me some pointers and tips, exactly what I was looking for to get the system to run the way I wanted. 

We moved onto positional shooting techniques.  This is very important for me since urban living is what I do and any engagement I do may be under a car, around other urban structures so any chance I have to learn and practice some type of position to shoot from other than standing and prone, I ate this up.

 This segment also taught us something important as well as gave us the skills to excel in the original aggregate we did in the beginning of the class.  We learned that depending on the type of muzzle-device you have there may be issues, as well as people to the left and right of you trying not to get their hands burnt.  All part of the learning experience and I, for one, was happy to have instruction on specifics of each position followed by demonstration on that position accompanied with shot placement for each position.  All of my why's, how's and wtf's were answered.  There was instruction on how to shoot around barricades/cover and the concepts of cover and how to implement different positions for engagement around cover.  Some eye opening stuff.

We all finished up the last part of the class with running the aggregate again.  This was important because we were able to see the difference between when we first started the course and how we ended it.  The second day I took off the PC and ran just a sling and war belt, my times were marginally better and accuracy while shooting quickly increased due to ability of getting a better seat in the pocket of my shoulder for the rifle (no PC to obstruct it).  Once we finished shooting the aggregate, Jack gave out the certificates and level of ability performed at was indicated on each certificate (gives everyone something to shoot for next time around).  With certificates in hand we were all now super ninja operators ready to halo jump into some middle eastern sh!t hole to drop bodies, not really but that is what it felt like.  With the fading light we did not have enough time to run the awesome F2S special course of fire, no issue though, I was tired and I knew others shared in my discomfort and hunger.  Bunch of us went to eat, chit chatted about the days drills, other worldly events/conspiracies/hooker body removal methods and we all parted ways.

I took this class to take the SCAR system to another level, something different than what I was normally accustomed to.  I was very happy with the result and skill set I was able to take away from this class.  All the drills performed had a reason to them and they were all repeated at a rate which would not be forgotten.  While this was not a "tactical" class per-say it did have many aspects which were explained that offered tactical application for those of us who consider that sort of thing.  I learned plenty about my skills and what I had to work on in order to do better next class.  I am not going to talk about what I would do differently or change because this was a class for everyone and the design of it gave everyone who attended plenty to learn and even more to consider.  The best part is that there was not so much thrown at you that you forgot it the next day, but just enough.  I can pretty much remember every single drill we did and how I did on that drill, giving me room for improvement.  The class succeeded because of Jack's ability to put us out of our comfort zone and into a situation which required us to perform above what we thought we could do and into what Jack knew we could by watching us shoot.  So I am highly recommending this class and Jack as an instructor.  His modern approach to instruction and development of skill sets was a step out of the norm and into the superb.