I recently attended the Northeast Shooter’s Summit in Pelham, NH. This is an event featuring several instructors teaching various training blocks. Here’s a wrap up of Day 1.
The first event for my relay was presented by Southnarc of ShivWorks. The block was entitled “Confined Space Shooting” and covered the physical mechanics required to defend yourself with a handgun in small spaces and at close proximity to both threats and innocents. The first part was the basic steps of drawing from a holster. While the pistol draw is something most shooters have a pretty good handle on, Southnarc has some very targeted specifics that keep the gun very close to the body and enable rounds to be accurately fired as early as possible. The focus here was being able to access your handgun while minimizing the opportunities for an opponent to interfere with the draw. We practiced each step of the draw and fired from both the compressed ready and extended positions. We covered the “nose over toes” stance that I’m familiar with and conducted several drills. One very enlightening drill was where we practiced engaging a target while surrounded by innocent bystanders, literally shoulder to shoulder. The mechanics of Southnarc’s draw stroke proved effective here as we were able to draw and fire in these very tight confines without sweeping any of the bystanders with our muzzles. Southnarc is very attentive during these drills, always right there to intervene if there is any hint of a safety issue as well as offering corrections. The session concluded with an overview of how to both shoot from, and properly exit a vehicle. The mechanics of this are way more complicated than you would think. Being able to exit a car without sweeping yourself or any of your (presumably friendly) passengers with your muzzle requires lots of forethought.
The entire Confined space block was very educational. Most of the techniques were small tweaks to what I’ve already learned in various other courses, but these small changes have big results. The only downside of this session was that I managed to slam my holster hard on the seatbelt latch when entering the car and I broke one of the screws. Having a pinwheeling holster isn’t conducive to range safety. Thanks to Chris for stealing a screw from one of his spare holsters and getting me back online!
The next block was presented by Chris Fry of MDTS Training, and I had the pleasure of assisting him. The class was based around dealing with carbine malfunctions. We started with a diagnostic test that shows basic gun handling at very close range. We then covered what to do when your carbine stops functioning at various ranges from contact distance to 25 yards. This included muzzle strikes as well as both one and two handed pistol transitions. Finally Chris described and demonstrated all the common (and a few not so common) carbine malfunctions as well as his simple system to handle them without some of the problems of more traditional methods (like SPORTS). The culmination of this block is an exercise where students get a chance to handle multiple malfunctions under some induced pressure.
During a great lunch provided by the club, we enjoyed a lecture from Andy Langlois about Dealing with First Responders. Some good insights into what will be going through an officer’s mind if they are responding to a defensive shooting. Biggest takeaway from that, when an Officer says “DROP THE GUN!”, do it … now.
After lunch we had an overview of some of the many hardware options available for the AR platform. There are a lot of them.
After this I assisted Chris again with his carbine block for the 2nd relay of shooters, this meant I had to miss the block on Tactical Medicine, but I will be looking for more opportunities in that area.
Overall, it was a great day of training. The blocks of instructions were somewhat compressed, but there is a lot of information to be learned, and the opportunity to train with many instructors is a welcome one.
Thanks to the organizers and all the help from Pelham Fish and Game Club, which, incidentally, is a beautiful club.