We conducted our first Force on Force training course in January I and wanted to share a couple things I noticed.
#1 Takeway-Scan!!!!! Make sure you are training to scan 360 deg. I’m not talking about the going through the motions range-ism Owl impression. I’m talking about actually turning around (muzzle control) and seeing what is behind you. Under stress (even the milder stress of FoF), you will be focused on the threat you are dealing with. You have got to break that “tunnel vision!”
In the more complex scenarios at the end, those who did scan didn’t end up getting shot by any “sleepers” or accomplices. If they were aggressive enough in their scan, role player #2 just stayed put and decided to live to fight another day. Those who didn’t scan, probably got a welt for their trouble, then addressed threat #2 (everyone “lives” in a properly run training scenario, students don’t get “killed” for fun, besides “shot” doesn’t automatically equal “dead”).
Here is how I suggest to train to scan properly. I’ll break it into 2 steps. Step #1 can be done anytime on any range in any training environment. Step 2 can be done at home dry-fire, in FoF training and at any informal shooting environment (home range, woods etc.)
Step 1: Lower the gun to a low ready position to get your own gun and arms out of the way because you just shot the threat in front of you to the ground (otherwise you’d still be shooting, moving to cover etc.). Ensure the threat in front of you is handled. Now, scan the front 180.
Step 2: if you are somewhere that will allow it, bring the gun back into a compressed high ready position (finger off trigger, I decock and/or go safety ON now), and physically turn around and look behind you. Dip the muzzle to not flag any non-hostile people as you do so.
The crank your neck while facing forward is just an ineffective “range-ism”, leave it behind. Always practice step 1, practice steps 1-2 as much as possible (which is theoretically infinite) at home dry-fire and anytime where it would be allowed.
Shoot while moving laterally to the side. The vast majority, of even those with lots of prior defensive handgun training, shoot while standing still. If you are being charged by someone with a knife, or just in a gunfight, lateral movement can make a massive difference in the outcome. I know there is a line of thought that says to shoot then move to maximize shot placement. In a dynamic environment where the action is taking place at 15ft or less, I call BS on that theory. Bullets aren’t magic, you had better be moving while shooting to avoid getting hacked or beaten before the perfect placement can matter.
Like scanning, you can practice shooting while moving to your heart’s content at home dry fire or with airsoft and/or laser systems. In addition to when shooting in less-formal range environments.