Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tactical Carbine

Okay, so there's an explosion of tactical carbine classes lately and lots of folks are asking questions about which classes are the best, and which one to take.

The US Army and the US Marine Corps offers some great courses.  The tuition is free and you'll get to train with the best instructors in the world, but they require a time commitment of four years.  That's the short answer.  Even the best operators in the world need tune-up skills, which is why we re-train our troops before a deployment.  If you really want to learn these skills, see your local recruiter and sign up.  The training is the best in the world and you'll train with the greatest people in the world.

However, not all of us are ready for this level of commitment, So, the first question you'll have to ask yourself is: Will I have a carbine readily at hand during a self-defense scenario?  If you're not willing to strap it on and have it with you at all times, (and by that I mean in the shower and in the bed with you) the answer is Probably Not.  Better you should practice the skills with whatever you'll readily have at hand during a practical scenario.  Lots of us forget that running away is a legitimate self-defense skill.  More than anything else, you should think about disengagement techniques, staying safe while you run away to a safe place where you can call the police. 

I've trained with lots of good folks over my career.  The very best.  I've never heard the phrase "Big Boy Rules".  If you ever hear an instructor use that phrase, run to the nearest exit.  Yes, I've been in courses where I ran the course with other people behind me with live firearms.  It was part of team training, but the instructors were absolutely anal about muzzle discipline and team fire control.   Yes, it is possible to do this safely, but at that stage of training, you are operating as a team who has trained together for many, many days and the members know each other intimately.  Still, sweeping a team member with a muzzle is a huge no-no.  Don't point your gun at friendlies.  Period.  This is advanced training, with the emphasis on advanced.  A good instructor doesn't want to get to that level of instruction over the course of a simple weekend carbine class.  Or a week-long carbine class.

If training is your goal, then train with the scenario that's most likely to present itself.  With the tools you are absolutely going to have at hand.  Then, keep those tools with you always.

If, on the other hand, your goal is to have an enjoyable weekend with like-minded people, by all means, sign up for a gun course and go have a ball.  Make sure that your instructor is safety oriented and remember the Four Rules. 


Old NFO said...

Thanks Paw, very succinctly stated and dead on point.

Rivrdog said...

Excellent advice, PawPaw. Short of "tactical" carbine training, which should boil down to A. carbine practice B. Movement under fire and while firing, there's nothing to learn that you don't already know if you are well-trained with your handguns.

Basically, the defensive situation with a carbine simply means that you have the same choices, but can project fire to a longer distance, so the range CAN BE longer. It can also be very short, and will you be prepared to deal with a target at arm's range while wielding your carbine? Can you do non-firing personal defense with your carbine? Yes, I mean swung-object parry and counter-stroke (buttstroke).

There's a lot more to this than just getting an AR, dolling it up with all sorts of Tommy Tactical gizmos and calling yourself tactical.

There's another issue. The Average Joe/Jill has just so much time he/she can devote to training with arms. If you devote all that time to handgun training, you will probably get good with the handgun. Now, let's say you want to split your time into handgun AND carbine training? Or how about you add shotgun training (it's different enough to stand as it's own level of training)? Now you probably won't be adequately trained in any of the weapons, because you just won't put the level of increased time in to STAY trained, even if you take extra time to GET trained.

Sit down and plot it out on paper. If it's doable with your lifestyle, by all means, do it. If you have ANY questions, don't even start it, stay with your handgun training and practice.

Justin said...

I have to disagree with you about runnin when you hear "Big Biy Rules". The first time I heard that was when I took the Marine's High Risk Personnel course back in 2003. The Master Gunnery Sergeant that ran the course used that phrase with the explanation that we were responsible for the safe conduct of the course. If anyone broke a safety rule, they were to be immediately dropped from the course and sent back to our units with a negative page 11 entry in our record books. In other words, we were to be held accountable for our own actions.

Now some of these jack ass instructors have twisted the phrase to condone inward practices in the name of vein tactical.

Justin said...

Auto corrections on my iphone are horrible sometimes. The last sentence should be:

"Now some of these jack ass instructors have twisted the phrase to condone unsafe practices in the name of being tactical."

Tam said...

As a point of fact, I replaced the Remington 870 I kept loaded in the house with a 16" AR carbine some six years ago. If anybody tries forcing an entry at Roseholme Cottage and I have any warning at all, I'll be durned if I'm going to use a pistol to repel boarders...