I figure this is appropriate here because of Rob’s involvement in our site and training extensively in NY.
This is the first in an eleven-week video series designed to introduce you to Daniel Defense, and provide practical tips and techniques to defend yourself, your family and home with your Daniel Defense M4 Carbine. Over the next several weeks, Rob Pincus, owner of I.C.E. Training Company, will take you to the factory floor at the Daniel Defense headquarters in Black Creek, GA. Rob also demonstrates many of the techniques taught as part of his extensive training courses.
You want to be ready to protect yourself, your family or perhaps someone else? How do you go about becoming ready to do this? Do you just take a class? Does it take a lifetime of martial arts or do you simply read the latest gun magazine or buy a DVD? A lot of people want to learn how to protect themselves but don’t know how or where to begin. At MDTS we have a prescription (the MDTS Rx) that prepares you to protect yourself and others:
1) Harden Up
Fighting, even under controlled conditions, is not easy. The chances of getting bruised, scraped, cut or worse are extremely high. So, the first step is to harden up and I don’t just mean physically. Are you a good boxer who can’t shoot, a shooter who can’t box or the guy who shoots great but cannot run a mile? The point is to challenge yourself, do something you hate to do and then do it again, do this every day. Do things you aren’t good at before you train or practice the things you are good at. This will test your will power and will power is an underdeveloped mental attribute. Will power often separates those who can and will from those who can’t and won’t.
Training is where you learn a set of skills or gain knowledge about a particular subject. There are a number of personal protection training courses available to include firearms, physical defense, edged tools, impact tools, less lethal, awareness, verbal & physical boundary setting, the list goes on. What ‘s important is to realize that we learn a skill, especially physical skills, by doing not just seeing. It is also important to realize that training is not the same as practice. Going to a handgun class one time may mean you have been “trained” however physical skills are extremely perishable. To achieve and maintain proficiency you must practice.
Now that you have attended training it’s up to you to practice those skills perfectly and frequently in an effort to gain proficiency. Practice is like homework, nobody wants to do homework but its a good idea if you want to pass the class or a test. In terms of personal protection that test may mean your life or someone else’s. Practicing a skill can be as little as five minutes a day of dry fire pistol work or jab-cross combinations. For the highly dedicated it could be several hours a week. Regardless of which practice method fits you practice should become a priority as much as your lifestyle allows.
4) Pressure Test
Once you have learned and practiced a skill to the point where you have developed good safety, mechanics, consistency and aggression its time to pressure test. Pressure testing is performance of a skill or skills under certain training modifiers such as physical stress, cognitive mental stress, time pressure, increased accuracy standards, reduced light etc. How you pressure test depends on the skill being tested. For a physical skill pressure testing may include some type of force-on-force like sparring or working against a padded assailant. For shooting skills it may involve competition using a timer to measure speed and challenging targets to measure accuracy or force-on-force with air soft, UTM’s or simmunitions. Finally, some standards should be adopted as an on demand test of current skill level in that subject matter. Standards provide you with a means to evaluate the skills you spent time learning and practicing in order to maintain proficiency thus freeing up time to work on other necessary personal protection skills.
This prescription is a developmental road map for any physical hard skill or mental soft skill. Consider it and consider how you have approached your personal protection development up to this point. Now, consider the current and common criminal problem you may have to face: close quarters, multiple assailants with weapons. Right now, today, are you ready or not?
About the Author
Chris Fry is the owner and director of training and curriculum development for Modern Defensive Training Systems in Utica, NY where he conducts courses in reality driven practical combatives skills, extreme close quarters physical defense, tactical folding knife and edged weapon combatives and combative pistol, carbine and shotgun skills. Chris has been an active instructor with Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts in Nevada since 2003, servicing law enforcement, military and select government agencies. Chris is a certified AR15/M4/M16 and Glock armorer, contributor to various online firearms resource websites and a frequent presenter at national and international personal protection and small arms training conferences for both citizens and law enforcement.
Each month, Chris will be providing our great website with one of these editorials, called The MDTS Rx. Keep checking the site for great informative articles by Chris and others! (M. Centola)
While I’m down here on vacation, I’ve been watching various firearms DVD’s so expect more of these reviews from me! Anyways, I watched this latest one from Personal Defense Network. PDN is one of the premier websites to find personal defense video and training. They offer many DVD installations of various training installments and more. PDN’s managing editor, Rob Pincus, owner of I.C.E. Training, is very well-known in the industry as a professional firearms instructor, author and consultant. PDN has some very talented and nationally known contributors such as Cecil Burch, Mike Janich, Claude Werner, and our own Chris Fry of MDTS.
On this 2011 PDN DVD, we explore Carbine Retention and Combatives as taught by Chris Fry of MDTS Training. Chris is one of our contributors right here on NY Firearms, and nationally know for much of his combatives training content. The content on this DVD is taken directly from his Combative Carbine Skills 3&4 where you get hands-on training of this exact material.
The information on this DVD is great and I recommend it for anyone who train’s fairly often with a carbine platform. It is important, especially for people who are utilizing a carbine platform as their primary home defense firearm. One great benefit of Chris’ approach to training is the focus on defensive tactics from a civilian or citizen standpoint. Another overall comment I can make is that the information is very concise, yet complete, and there are great recaps of information after each chapter.
Additionally, Chris goes over some great information about gear choices and it’s relation to carbine retention and combatives. I think there’s so much focus on picking equipment and arguing on the internet over whats better than what, and it’s refreshing to see suggestions for gear based on a very real situation. As I said above, I would absolutely recommend this DVD to anyone who is into firearms, defense, and carbine practical usage as a whole. I was very impressed with the quality of the video, and I look forward to watching the Combat Focus Shooting one from PDN next!
DVD Topics of Instruction
4. C.O.R.R. Drills
5. Additions to C.O.R.R.
6. Direct Action Combatives
7. Direct Action Combatives Drills
8. Retention Drills
9. Alternative Strikes and Fending
10. Integrating Response with a Handgun
11. Retention of a Secondary Tool
Additionally, Jim Emmick of Firearms Training of Western NY, who is one of our sponsors and regular contributors, has written a review of the DVD as well. You can view that here: Thread: Personal Defense Network DVD titled “Carbine Combatives and Retention”
I’ve had the opportunity to attend Combative Carbine Skills 1&2 twice now, so I feel I can accurately review this class. First off, Modern Defensive Training Systems (MDTS) is run by Chris Fry, a well-versed training instructor as well as a great contributor to our forums, here at NY Firearms.Chris does not claim to be some crazy military, special forces, and he is especially not a ninja. With this said, he has had many years and several thousands of hours training, which can easily be seen in the way he carries himself and speaks to the class. He is always more than willing to help students throughout the class and is very knowledgeable in what he teaches.
To quote the course description from MDTS, Combative Carbine Skills series “emphasizes three critical elements of defensive shooting: Mindset, Skill-At-Arms, and Tactics.” CCS 1&2 begins the series with the fundamentals needed to operate the carbine in a combative and defensive manner. What I love, personally, is the focus on the class from a citizen perspective, which 90% of us who take these classes will be using the training for.
The first hour of the day was classroom-based training, which went over firearms safety, range safety, some carbine history and zeroing, accessories and rifle modifications, as well as some initial administrative firearms handling and platforms. Once the initial classroom training was complete, we moved out to the range and jumped right into zeroing our rifles.
Once all of the rifles were zeroed, training began. Without divulging too much of the course, there was a great deal of information thrown at the attendees. Personally, I enjoy “drinking from the firehose” as they say, but I can see how some people may not like that approach. However, most everyone rose to the occasion and stepped up their game to learn.
I also noticed that there were several people attending the class who had just bought their AR-15 or similar carbine, and by the end of the class they were engaging targets out to 75 yards, and clearing complicated “triple feed” malfunctions. Considering how some of the newer shooters were picking up the information, I have to say that speaks louder than I can about Chris’ proficiency as a trainer.
As I said above, this is the second time I have had the chance to take this class from MDTS, which has joined my resume of several other carbine training classes, and I have to say that I would highly recommend anyone with carbine rifles to give this class a shot (no pun intended). From the basic fundamentals to some advanced weapon malfunction clearing, the class provides a great deal of valuable information to the average shooter.
Combative Carbine Skills 1&2 Course Details
The MDTS Combative Carbine Skills curriculm is designed for the new rifle owner, individuals who have owned a rifle but never attended formal training as well as the seasoned operator. A solid grounding in safety and fundamentals of gun handling is presented with a heavy emphasis on the students ability to manipulate the carbine platform while mult-tasking or under stress. This is a fast paced, challenging course. Course content will include but is not limited to:
CCS1 Firearm Safety/Range Safety
History & Zero
Modifications & Sling Options
Personal Equipment Selection & Placement
Carry & Carbine Ready Positions
Shooting Response Theory
After Action Assessment Concept
Bilateral Weapon Operation
Transition to Handgun
Combative Shooting Positions
Vertical and Lateral Displacement
Multiple Target Engagement
Fundamental Use of Cover & Concealment and more…
A serviceable carbine to include M4, AR15, AK47 or pistol caliber rifle, a minimum of 3 magazines, 500+ rounds rifle – NO GREEN TIP OR AP AMMUNITION, 50 rounds pistol, eye and ear protection, pistol and minimum of 2 magazines (if you own a pistol), appropriate clothing for weather, water, hat with brim, optional equipment- sling, gloves & knee pads.
*A pistol is not required to attend this course
Additional Equipment Considerations:
Weapon mounted illumination tool, knee & elbow protection, note taking materials, lunch for full day class
I have noticed several questions on the forum recently focused on lubrication and maintenance of the carbine. So, I thought I’d post some generalized guidelines for maintenance, cleaning and lubrication. If followed, these guidelines will keep your carbine functioning optimally with minimum time expenditure.
The AR15/M4/M16 family of firearms has gotten a poor reputation due to the bad experiences and poor information provided to operators in the past. This weapon platform is highly reliable when maintained properly. Some general guidelines to follow to insure reliable function and life time service from your firearm:
1. Attempt to field strip and quick clean your carbine after each shooting session. Even if this only means you have time to de-grease the bolt carrier, bolt face and clean out the chamber and bore. This will go a long way toward maintaining reliability.
2. Soak small parts such as the charging handle, bolt carrier, bolt and its small parts in a Tupperware container of Hoppe’s #9 overnight. This will make cleaning these small, hard to reach surfaces much easier and save you time and trouble in the long run.
3. Attempt to fully field strip, inspect and thoroughly clean your firearm after every 3000 rounds. Note “witness marks” or where metal has rubbed on metal wearing away finish. These are important lubrications points. Look closely at the gas key on top of bolt carrier and make sure it is still tight.
4. Keep a close eye on components that are critical to the proper operation of your carbine such as the extractor and spring, ejector and spring, gas rings, firing pin and buffer spring. It is a good idea to have back ups for all of these essential parts in a range bag or kept at home.
5. Inspect the extractor claw making sure there are no cracks where the metal is thin or chips and that the claw is not filled with carbon or debris.
6. When lubricating remember that “less is more”. Your bolt and carrier do not have to be soaking wet. Extra lubricant will attract dust, dirt and debris when firing your carbine. A light coat or sheen is all that is needed.
7. Make sure the charging handle is not bent. Lateral stress is put on the charging handle during aggressive cycling and over time they will bend and the finish will wear on one side creating witness marks.
8. Utilize a q-tip, tooth pick or dental pick to clean carbon or chunks of debris out from around the trigger group. Visually verify the legs of the trigger spring are the same length and not broken.
9. During dedicated field stripping remove the action spring/buffer spring from the receiver extension and inspect. Remove the buffer from the spring and degrease along with spring. Lightly lubricate the spring before replacing buffer and spring into receiver extension.
10. Learn and understand the “Cycle of Operation” for your carbine: Feeding, Locking, Firing, Unlocking, Extracting, Ejecting, Cocking, Chambering. Understanding this cycle will aid in recognizing and diagnosing any malfunctions or problems experienced while firing your carbine.
Recommended Cleaning Tools, Solvents & Lubricants
Listed in the order I use them. No fancy cleaning tools are necessary to maintain a carbine. Field expeidient items found at any small mini-mart or box store can be utilized for 99% of carbine maintenance. However, good cleaning kits such as those manufactured by Otis are a good investment and can make the job easier. http://www.otisgun.com/
There are numerous degreasers and lubricants available on the market today ranging in price. Over the years I have tested/used pretty much all of them. The best degreaser I have found is Mil-Comms MC25. http://www.mil-comm.com/. For lubricants I now use and recommend Mobile One motor oil found at any box store, if these motor oils work in high performance vehicles and motorcycles they will certainly work in my carbine. A single container of Mobile One ($2.oo) will last several years. Use sparingly, apply a very small amount to the tip of a finger and then apply to common lubrication points.
About Chris Fry
Chris is the owner and director of training and curriculum development for Modern Defensive Training Systems in Utica, NY where he conducts courses in reality driven practical combatives skills, extreme close quarters physical defense, tactical folding knife and edged weapon combatives and combative pistol, carbine and shotgun skills. Chris has been an active instructor with Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts in Nevada since 2003, servicing law enforcement, military and select government agencies. Chris is a certified AR15/M4/M16 and Glock armorer, contributor to various online firearms resource websites and a frequent presenter at national and international personal protection and small arms training conferences for both citizens and law enforcement.
For more information or to locate carbine, shotgun or pistol training in your area see: http://www.mdtstraining.com
Stag Arms is quickly becoming widely known as a great manufacturer of reasonably priced, quality AR-15 rifles. They are also very well known for making left-handed models of their AR-15’s. When I heard they were going to be releasing a Gas Piston rifle, I needed to get my hands on one to review. Well, thanks to Allstar Tactical, one of our site sponsors, I was able to borrow a Model 8 rifle to check out and review.
The direct gas system of a typical AR-15 rifle has worked well for decades, but it has is drawbacks with reliability and cleaning. The gas tube can become clogged from carbon buildup, especially when used with lower quality ammunition. Many manufacturers have answered this call with a gas piston system, which is exactly what it describes; the action moves based on the gas transferring its energy to a piston, which, in turn, moves the bolt rearward.
There are several other manufacturers of Gas Piston AR-15 rifles, but many of them are fairly pricey and extend upwards of $2000. The Stag Arms Model 8, with it’s MSRP of $1145, comes in a great price-point, and definitely competes very well in the market.
The gas-piston system on the Model 8 is actually quite simple. Gas bleeds off through a hole in the barrel, through the regulator, actuating the piston which pushes the bolt carrier back, cycling the action. There is a spring in the forward section of the piston system which keeps the piston in the forward position until the rifle is fired. The regulator also has two positions, ON and OFF. The ON position allows the rifle to function normally, while the OFF position will allow the rifle to fire, but will not cycle the action. This system is considered a short-stroke gas piston system.
Besides the enhancement of the gas-piston system, the Stag Model 8 is everything you would expect in an AR-15 rifle. From standard carbine handguards to a forward assist A3 upper receiver, this rifle is ready to go right out of the box. Another great benefit of this rifle for us NY residents is that it can be ordered right from the factory as a NY-compliant AR-15 rifle. In fact, the one that Allstar Tactical lent us was already NY-compliant. The benefit of this is that there is no extra costs for pinning the stock or the muzzle brake.
Another great feature for the Model 8 is that it comes with a pair of $200 flip-up iron sights from Midwest Industries. Midwest industries is highly regarded for their Back Up Iron Sights (BUIS) and other AR-15 accessories. Including these with the rifle only makes the price-point of the Model 8 that much more attractive!
We tested the rifle with 55gr Armscor 5.56 surplus Ammo, also donated by Allstar Tactical, and found that every round fired flawlessly. No failure-to-feed’s, no failure-to-eject’s, and certainly no jams of any sort. I was also very surprised at the accuracy of the rifle, even when using surplus ammunition. I was able to average 3-4″ groups at 50 yrds using iron sights, and I’m not that great of a shot!
So, great accuracy and ridiculous reliability combined with an MSRP under $1150 produces the Stag Arms Model 8 Gas Piston rifle, an AR-15 for the masses. Manufactured in the USA (Connecticut), the Model 8 also comes in a hard plastic case, and carries Stag Arms’ standard warranty. I would have to say that I definitely recommend this rifle to anyone looking for a gas-piston AR-15 and doesn’t want to break the bank!
|Caliber:||5.56 NATO Chamber|
|Upper:||Forged and Mil-Spec|
|Sights:||Midwest Industries Front & Rear Flip Up|
|Barrel:||16″ Chrome-Lined, 1:9″ Twist|
|Stock:||6 Position Collapsible (Pinned for NYS)|