Friday, February 4, 2011

3-DAY GRAHAM COMBAT Operator's Course, 05-07 MAY, 2011 Whidbey Island, WA

Oak Harbor Police Department is hosting a 3-day Graham Combat Operator's Course, from Thursday, May 5th through Saturday, May 7th 2011 in Oak Harbor, WA.  Cost is $485 and space is limited.  First come, first served.  The Graham Combat Operator's Course is a dynamic 34-hour pistol and carbine training course that stresses the fundamentals of marksmanship while integrating intensive individual & team movement, fighting while wounded, low light and no light operations, multiple threat engagements, and vehicle operations.


In addition to introducing the skills necessary in mastering basic pistol and carbine fundamentals, this course will give you the ability to operate pistols & carbines in adverse tactical conditions while recognizing the key indicators to success in a high-threat environment. This course gives you an understanding of how to effectively fight with the pistol and carbine in a 360° world.

This course introduces modern pistol & carbine combat applications through intensive repetitive drills, dynamic threat engagements, and live fire scenarios. This pistol & carbine course is unlike any other.


The training course is limited to 14 students.  Payment, via Paypal, secures your slot.  Training costs are refundable to 50% if cancelled 30 days in advance.  Within 30 days of course start date tuition is forfeited.  Training will take place regardless of weather conditions.  Please be prepared for inclement weather; we do not stop for weather.  We do not stop for darkness.  We minimize break time and down time.  Come to train or don't come at all.


A reliable, functional handgun with 3 magazines, a rigid belt holster and sturdy belt with 750 rounds of jacketed ammunition is required as well as a reliable carbine, in 5.56mm or 7.62mm affixed with a retention sling, and a minimum of 3 magazines and 750 rounds of jacketed ammunition.  In addition a billed cap, hearing protection and wrap around eye protection are mandatory.  Ballistic plates and or body armor are highly recommended.  Clothing should be suited for firearms range training, including solid and sturdy boots suitable for outdoor wear and extended movement.  Training will be conducted regardless of weather conditions and should include a lightweight cover garment for outdoor surveillance and counter-surveillance operations.   Elbow and knee pads, as well as hydration carriers, are optional but recommended.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A friend wanted my advice about a carry's the copy of my response...

Ok, lets see what we got...

As far as the XD goes, I've never really worked with one or shot one enough yet to have an educated opinion. But as far as a general opinion, I know the guy that shoots competetively for Springfield and I know his operational skill set and standards and if HE likes it, I'd like it.

Now on to the Glock. Probably the single most effective combat pistol ever made. Hands down. We carry Glocks here and have put Glocks into the field since the 80's. I'm a little biased since I'm currently issued a Glock, in that I feel Glocks are fine. I've never seen an actual operational malfunction in the field with a Glock; though I have seen quite a few on the range. As a range instructor I see close to a million rounds a year go downrange, through various weapon systems, and have no reservations at all about Glocks. The majority of the time that I have seen malfunctions they fall into two categories: shooter induced and ammunition. Shooter induced breaks down into a variety of other issues, whether it's grip, trigger manipulation, wrists, or off/support-hand. Only proper training and adherence to the fundamentals can fix that.

Ammunition mostly affects non-government or non law enforcement personnel, in that they try and buy the least expensive ammunition possible to cut costs and therefore end up with substandard ammunition. We had some frangible ammunition that just caused us fits, but other than that I haven't seen any operational or functionality issues with the Glock. I'm headed off to a shooting school next week and have loaded about 50,000 rounds of 9mm for our Glocks...there are 12 of us going. I will take note to catalog any of the malfunctions and failures and let you know what attributed to them, but I'm not anticipating any.

My vote would be, if it's a carry pistol and used for defense, a sub-compact 9mm Glock, like a Glock 26. The 26 is small enough to conceal easily, has a standard 10-round magazine, and is able to accept the +2 butt caps for a total capacity of 13. Plenty of rounds to get you to safety. It's easily concealable on the body or in a bag, and its sub-compact size allows for use by both you & your spouse. The +2 magazine extension will give you an extra finger on the grip as well. Controlability is key in fighting, especially at lunge and grab distance: you should plan to have someone's hands on you, clawing, scratching, punching, stabbing, and shooting you as well. In that plan, controlability of your weapon is critical. If an extra +2 buttcap gives you that edge, then take it. Night sights or no night sights is a moot point: the distance that you are commonly engaging will not be affected either positively or negatively by the sights, regardless of if they light up. Simply, it's this: if you can't see your hand, at extension, in front of your face (which is how far your sight will be) then you probably shouldn't be slinging rounds...since you don't know who they're going.

A 9mm is fine. Size doesn't really matter. Shot placement matters. Shooting somebody in the face with a 9mm probably feels a lot like getting shot in the face with a .45....since neither one of them will survive for you to ask them how it felt, it's really a moot point. If they do survive, and they're still able to answer, cognitively, your question about how it felt, YOU DIDN'T SHOOT THEM WELL ENOUGH.  Save up more money and go to a good school that teaches you to shoot better. Take shot placement over size everytime. I've never known a sniper that spent his time training to shoot a guy in the calf.  A bullet is a bullet; learn to shoot for shot placement. 

Capacity factors in there as well. If I have a choice to carry 13 rounds of 9mm over 8 rounds of .45 then I'd choose the higher capacity. I try to program myself through training to shoot a minimum response of six rounds; carrying a weapon with a capacity of 13 rounds allows me the opportunity to send two strings of 6 rounds each, and then reload. But it's all theory. I know what works for me, you need to base your decision on what works for you. Also, 9mm is readily available throughout the world. Carrying an obscure round will limit your ability to pilfer for necessary gear and equipment, if and when that time comes. The entire US military carries 9mm, therefore at every roadblock and at every vehicle checkpoint you will have the ability to get ammo to feed your weapon system. 9mm is generally inexpensive which translates into training on the weapon system more often, since it's not something that is cost prohibitive. Again, shot placement comes through practice, both live fire and dry fire. Practice comes during training, both live fire and dry fire. Training can be cost prohibitive, so make it both live fire and dry fire.

Holsters and holster selection, bags and bag selection, and how you carry and employ the weapon are all considerations as well. Tons of advice out there; again, what works for me might not work for you.

The Number #1 Rule for Fighting is don't get in a fight, because the results may not be what you want or expect. Nothing good can come from a fight.  The days of chivalric fighting are gone.  In todays world you need to avoid conflict and even the appearance of conflict.  To absentmindedly provoke or goad someone into conflict cannot end well for you.  If you find yourself in conflict, you need to create distance.  I've heard it said jokingly, but I also agree with it: use the curvature of the earth to your advantage. Do you know how far away you need to be from something in order to actually SEE the curvature of the earth? No? Neither do I, but I know this: if I've created enough distance where I can actually see the horizon sloping away then I've created enough distance so that nobody can punch, stab, or shoot me.

The Number #2 Rule for Fighting is fight with what you carry, not with what you want to carry or wish you'd carried. That means you have to know how to fight with the tool available in your hand, at the time you're fighting.  Weapons of opportunity: learn to recognize them and use them.  Obviously, if you're now fighting, the distance you tried to create in Rule #1 didn't work.  So whether you're carrying a gun, knife, pen, comb, light, or even a leather belt or a book of matches, it doesn't matter: you had better know how to fight with it. If all you have is a hair pick then you better be a hair-pick-slayin-fool.

And finally the Number #3 Rule for Fighting is fight or die.  Simply.  He's prepared, willing, able, and attempting to kill you.  To viciously snuff out your life.  The choice is being made for you: fight, or die. 

Off the top of my head that's all I've got. Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you. -Matt