As many who have attended MDTS courses know, I am not a big fan of tactical gear for the average citizen who is primarily interested in protecting themselves or their family. Often I get questions from students about why I do not advocate or utilize some type of “Chest Rig” or LBV during carbine training courses and classes. Frankly, I never saw a realistic utility in them for me since, as a citizen, I will rarely, if ever, utilize the carbine or shotgun outside of my home. This is of course my opinion and don’t misunderstand me, I love gear as much as the next guy. I simply believe resources and time are better spent on skills training and practice, not gear. However, proper gear selection and set up is an essential part of being prepared and ready for whatever situation may face you. Recently, I have been investigating, testing and utilizing a more generalized gear set up for home defense/protection.
My primary concern is some type of home invasion or burglary while myself or family is home. Rapid response time is critical in a situation like this and many people select guns and gear, have a gun near their bed but never consider how fast something like this occurs. See this article for some info on Home Invasion Burglaries: How a Burglar Robs Your Home in 8 min
I also spent some time this year investigating crime in my immediate area in order to justify this project. It is no real news that crime is going up in many communities in response to the declining economy and job losses. Here are just two recent incidents that influenced my decisions: Burglary/Home Invasion, Syracuse NY, 2012, Burglary/Home Invasion, New Hartford NY, 2012.
Having witnessed the PFC testing on the new Victory Tactical Gear Special Pistol Threat hard plates I was sold on their lightweight yet extremely effective ballistic protection. VTG SPT Test Vid
SPT Testing all rounds shot at same point on plate:
.45 ACP 230 GR. FMJ
.45 Speer Gold Dot JHP
9mm 125 GR. FMJ
12 GA 00 Buck Shot
12 GA Tactical Slug
Brian Hartman of PFCTraining recommended plate carrier, pouches and accessories from Specter Gear.
Specter PriMAC Mag Pouch : $36
Specter/PFC TQ Tri-Fold :$20
Specter Universal Pistol Mag Pouch : $20
Specter Modular Plate Carrier :$160
Raven Concealment ModuLoader Shotgun Shell Carrier and Panel : $35
I integrated this new set up into my home readiness plan: Safe At Home
The Specter carrier and VTG plate are extremely lightweight and due to the side buckles I can literally grab this carrier and throw it over my head not even bothering to buckle the final buckle, grab a firearm and GO. With this single piece of kit I have essential gear to include:
Overall I am quite happy with this piece of kit. Under timed drills I can be out of my bed, corrective lenses on, gun in hand and have this carrier over my head in less than a minute on average. $450 may seem steep to some and granted, its not cheap however I believe when considering the current state of things that this isn’t a bad investment in ones home protection planning and preparedness.
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.
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