Article By Chris Fry / MDTS Training
We possess a number of ways to move in a combative environment and it is well documented that movement is a life saving tactic. Movement almost always helps us except maybe when attempting to engage a target with accurate gun fire. This guide will focus on the varied methods of vertical displacement taught in the MDTS level 1&2 course work. Vertical displacement in this context is movement along the vertical line or up and down through varied shooting positions. Vertical movement can aid us by making us a hard target when in a location where horizontal, forward or backward movement is inhibited, such as in a hallway. Vertical movement also aids us when attempting to establish a desired angle of fire or achieve maximum cover and/or concealment behind an object such as a vehicle, postal box or concrete Wal-Mart lamp piling in a parking lot.
Please note: This is meant to be a quick study guide not a treatise on positional shooting so adapt what is useful and discard what is not.
The following are (5) shooting positions along the vertical plane of movement:
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
With the boom of the AR-15 in popularity amongst firearms enthusiasts, many people have little to no training in how to use such a firearm in a tactical situation. I have always been interested in tactical training not only because of the cool factor, but it can benefit my shooting, and hone my skills for personal protection.
I stumbled across LMI Inc and their tactical training offerings. Ron Lauinger, owner and instructor at LMI, was extremely helpful over the phone and quickly made my decision for me to give the class a chance. At around $200, the class is very reasonably priced, especially for an 8 hour training class (Try that in the IT world). However, there is a significant expense in ammo needed for the class. I ended up using 750 rounds of .223 ammo which cost me close to $400. Overall, the expense was well worth it.
The class was held at Canandaigua Sportsman’s Club, where many of Ron’s classes are held. The layout at this range is perfect for classes like this and provides a large amount of room to move and shoot.
After a little practice shooting at different distances, and differing body positions, we started really diving into the tactical situations. We learned responding to malfunction and reloading situations as well as a big emphasis on moving while shooting. The concepts are not hard to grasp, but under pressure, it can be very difficult to remember to do certain things. Additionally, we worked with barricades, multiple threats, and working with a partner for room-clearing techniques.
For anyone interested in enhancing their skills and firearms experience, I encourage you to check out the offerings by LMI, Inc. They have a wide range of classes from pistol and rifle training to close quarters combat training. Also, Ron and LMI have recently become sponsors of this site, and are here to help support all of us. I am glad I was able to participate in this class, and I’m looking forward to taking another with LMI.