AAR from Walid B. at Defensive Populace (Defensive Carbine I Class)
This is my second review for Green Ops. It’s also my second class I attended with them. This after action feedback and review will be about the rifle class taught by the team. Being mainly a pistol person for four and a half years, I’m starting to venture on to learning how to use a rifle correctly, effectively and efficiently. In particular the AR platform. Most all civilians in the United States who carry a firearm daily for self protection carry a pistol. It’s imperative that we spend more time and money to train and practice on the tool we carry daily. On the other hand, many of us also own the most popular rifle in American known as the AR-15. AR doesn’t stand for Assault Rifle, it stands for ArmaLite after the company that developed it in the 1950s. The AR-15 rifle platform is very versatile, you can use it for hunting, target shooting or self defense. Whether you already own one or plan on acquiring one, you should know how to effectively and safely use this rifle. You probably don’t use it or carry it everyday with you but it’s good to know how-to when needed. For this class, students are not limited to just bringing an AR-15, there was one student who brought a Tavor .
Mike and Brett are great instructors with abundant of knowledge from their years of experience in the fields. Massive loads of knowledge dump in-coming. You better get ready to work out your mind and body for this class.
I decided to take the Defensive Carbine Class I, since I’m not a newbie due to the fact that I took the Minute Man Rifle class with FPF Training by John Murphy.
The range where the class took place was in Culpeper Virginia. We started out with Brett discussing the legal aspects of self defense. Two thumbs up for this. Not all instructors will cover this in every class or unless it’s related to the topic or whatnot. For the most part, I already knew lots of the legal side and the responsibility of being a gun owner that Brett lectured. There might be others who don’t know and students come from many backgrounds, I think that’s very beneficial to address the legal side too.
Besides the well known three rules of self defense (ability, opportunity, jeopardy), Brett talks about preclusion. This piece of information was somewhat new to me and very essential. Example, the judge can asks, “was there anything else you could have done to avoid using lethal force?” You might go, um… Maybe. Now you just admit that there could be a better option. Instead, your answer should be NO!
Up next is some two and a half hours of shooting action before lunch. Out on the range to soak up the sun on a 90 degree plus humid day. The temperature was way above average for this time of the year being the end of April but I took it like a champ since I’m used to this weather. Apparently at the same time on the western part of the country, and in particular the rocky states were experiencing below average temperature with freezing rain and snow.
We started out at the 50 yard line to to confirm our rifle zero. Mine was perfect since I already did my homework . One student was using iron sights. The rest were using some type of optic, most common was the Aimpoint PRO.
Rifle targets were setup with different squares. We were instructed to shoot three sets, standing, kneeling and prone. Mike emphasizes on the stance which is very important and valuable. You may ask why? Because it helps you control the recoil which keeps you stable and on target. When you fire a string of rapid fire, you will be able to easily control the recoil and your shots won’t start to crawl up. I’m always checking my stance in every shooting drill set I do, Mike and team were making sure we have a good stance all throughout the day.
We all paused the action to have lunch and a break in the shade. Mike showed us on paper that had an illustration on how the 5.56 bullet trajectory path and it’s relation to the 50/200 yards zero. This information was already in my head from reading what others published on ar15.com and pistol-forum.com and so forth. By the way, lunch was included and provided by the range folks. Thanks for the tasty burger!
One free Green Ops T-shirts was given to every student.
Back out to the range for the rest of the class. Time for a lot of shooting! We started doing more reloading drills. Then briefly touch on the types of malfunctions and how to properly resolve it. Their time spent on malfunctions topic was on point and didn’t spent half day on this which is how it’s done.
We did some training on shooting multiple targets, just like with handguns, your eyes quickly moves first follow by your arms and gun as a whole.
We did shooting from cover in the standing and kneeling position, similar to how I did in their handgun class.
What was new for me and really stood out in this class was how to deal with your natural body movement which translates to your rifle sight being in constant motion. Let’s be real, we can’t be 100% still like cement stature due to our blood flowing and partially the respiratory system. Don’t fight it! Holding your breath does helps, but that’s mostly for precision single shots. At first I would waited for my dot to be at the center of the circle, then bang on the trigger ! This of course messed up my shots. Instead they showed me once the dot is about to come on target or “just” crossing the borderline of the target to then pull that trigger. This helped with accuracy but that’s with proper stance and the rifle stock firmly pressed against my shoulder.
Next was moving back to the 50 yards line shooting standing, kneeling and prone. Then we finally moved back to the 100 yards line. It gets harder since it only takes very little movement for your shots to not be on target. The best shot are always in the prone position due to the rifle being the most stable. I did notice one student didn’t have his proper foot position while shooting prone and wasn’t corrected or notice. Both feet should be flat like either one of these two positions in the two pictures below.
But instead his heels were pointing up and toes on the ground which makes it harder to be stable and steady due to the nature of this posture. Maybe in depth of proper body position during prone is cover in the Defensive Carbine Clinic course which is their entry basic level rifle class.
As the time progresses towards the end of the class, we did steel target shooting from the 100 yard line on all three positions. One neat thing was to make use of the wooden pole when shooting standing, thus helps keep the body still. I was ringing steel on every shot from the prone position.
Last but not least was time for the Northern Virginia police rifle qualification drill. To sum it up, the drill incorporates shooting from the 50 yard line with various position, moving closer to the target, timed, and shooting from cover. Basically this drill is for those officers who wish to carry an AR-15 rifle in the trunk of their car. Us civilians are responsible for every bullet that comes out the barrel. Cops do have some leeway but still, they have to be accurate since rifle bullets travel much faster than handgun bullets which in turn does a lot more damage to flesh and bone. Rifles are great power stoppers but on the unintended person is really something we don’t want. I had a flying score on this drill, only missed two shots!
If you live in Northern Virginia and looking for to build up a good solid rifle foundation skills, Green Ops is your starting point.