Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't Be A Victim - Firearms Training With Reston Group (pt.1)

Ever been in a firefight? They don't last long, only seconds, maybe three if you're lucky. If you aren't prepared you'll miss the whole show, but you won't know the difference.... cause you'll be dead.

I recently encountered my first firefight. I stood 21 feet from my "attacker", locked my eyes on his, waiting for him to make his move. He went for his firearm and I went for mine. I drew first, and in a rush of adrenaline I put one bullet in his right shoulder, then a second in his sternum. Less than two seconds and it was over. With a bullet wound in my side I would survive. Had I hesitated I would be dead.

I survived two more assailants but took one bullet from each. Finally, slowed by my wounds, my fourth "attacker" hit center mass and I was done. But at least I went down fighting.

No I didn't actually shoot anybody or get shot. This scenario was part of a Concealed Carry Deployment course I took at Reston Group Critical Solutions in St. Augustine, FL.

Founder Jared Reston
Founder and Instructor Jared Reston is a detective with the Department of Homeland Security/Gang Investigations Unit and the lead firearms instructor for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office S.W.A.T. Team. Jared is also the survivor of a 2008 life-or-death, close quarters firefight. He was shot 7 times but lived thanks to his situational awareness, training, and 'Don't Be a victim' mentality. Losing that firefight was not an option.  
Click Here to See Jarod's Story

Jared has pulled from his day-to-day experience in the field to develop a training program focused on empowering responsible firearm carriers, with as much focus on the mindset to win as the tactical skills to successfully deploy a firearm.

Americans love guns and action movies, and we all think we know how to use a firearm to take down a threat. Most armed encounters are over in 2.5 seconds or less. Identifying a threat and effectively deploying a firearm in that amount of time requires the proper 'know-how' and ongoing practice.

Deployment drills - concealed

Jared reviewing targets
I am familiar and comfortable with firearms so I was confident this course was right for me. My experience turned out to be enlightening... and humbling. Our first drill was to fire 10 rounds from 15 yards at our own pace. I checked the target to add up my shots; 28 out of a possible 100 score. I hit the target with each but not all were scoring shots. 

As Jared looked over my grouping he paused, looked a little puzzled, then said, "You gotta get better", and moved on.

I got the hint, I needed work, in pretty much every area. After four more 10 shot drills and some specific pointers from Jared and his partner Michael Hiday, my scores climbed; 50, 68, 71, 82. I was moving in the right direction.

Multi-target drills show my improvement
Eight hours on the range, in the Florida sun, trying to remember and apply all the tips and instructions was a lot to take in. But I took notes and tried to think through the whole process with each drill.

We went through a variety of scenario based drills, and some timed drills. In the end I was a different shooter. I'm not competition worthy but I'm much improved. 

I highly recommend you participate in this class if you do or wish to responsibly carry a firearm. I'm looking forward to improving my skills and participating in the 2 day pistol course, then hopefully the Performance Gun Fighting courses.

7 yard multi-target drills

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'Don't be a victim'!

The Range
Ready for drills to begin

Working on maintaining a Sight Picture through multiple rounds
Deployment drills - unconcealed
Michael providing instruction during drills
Simulated close quarters firefight

One handed drills

- David West

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  1. Nice write up. (I think I'm the guy who killed you--I'm the scruffy, fat guy who ended someone's streak, before losing on my fourth Shootout as well.)

  2. Thanks! Yeah, I think so. I was happy to make it through 3 then you took me down. Good job. It was a great class. Looking forward to taking more in the future.

    Thanks for checking out the blog! Feel free to share it online.

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