The mid-1990s Mazda 626 has special place in my heart. Many memories, like breaking a belt and getting stranded just outside of Washington DC on my first day at the new job, dates I went on with my future wife, etc.
Then I watched Mr. Petty destroy a poor Mazda during his class. I cried like little girl…
Most folks don’t train around passenger vehicles with firearms. It’s just that simple. We take courses, we regularly go to the range, we dry fire to perfect our trigger execution mechanics, but we rarely – or never – practice with our firearms around cars. We spend a significant amount of time in our vehicles – much more than what we spend on a range. But when was the last time you dedicated a day to sitting in a car and engaging targets through a windshield? The answer for most of us is, “never”.
Back in the old country I acquired Spetsnaz ninja skills to address any kind of threat around a vehicle (see below). But even with that, I thought Will’s training video was very educational and provided a great foundational knowledge for firearm operation around a passenger vehicle.
Actually, it works better after they set you on fire and let you dual wield shestopers or shashkas. And wear good boots.
Right from the start Mr. Petty makes you wish you were attending his class in person – opening with a video of some delicious-looking streak grilled by the hosts for their students. Nicely done, Comrade…
Vehicle – Firearm – Engagement.
“Short Duration, High Intensity Conflict”: that is how Will opens the class, and it is brilliantly nuts on. Any time a person draws a firearm for a threat response is an extremely stressful event; when you compound additional factors such as low light, confined space, or in this particular case, a vehicle, the stress can easily take over your ability to effectively manage the situation. Thus, one must train for different scenarios they may encounter in daily life. Firearm operation around a passenger vehicle is probably one of the top three situational skills for anybody carrying a firearm. Will does a great job with his training, and this video does an exceptional job capturing the course.
Here is the breakdown of the training video:
– Main principle: get your rounds on the target, don’t sweat the small things, train and be prepared, but at the end of the day, regardless of anything else – GET THE ROUNDS ON THE TARGET
– Did you know that a typical sedan has 16 “safety” zones where you have a much better chance of being protected from incoming fire? And it’s not just the engine block. Will does a great job explaining how to move and leverage these “cover zones” during a conflict.
– Motion efficiency. This is not Spetsnaz breaking bricks over their heads, it’s is about the quickest and most efficient way to position yourself and your firearm around a vehicle.
– Gear selection: the best holster for a handgun in a car is a thigh drop rig (easy access). I wear a suit to work and visit downtown Chicago offices every week, so unfortunately a thigh rig is not an option. Mr.Petty covers realistic scenarios of your “kit” placement.
– Situational guidance: what should you do after an active engagement? There are potentially seconds before LEO squad is on the scene. Our brothers in blue experience the same or even great stress levels, so let’s not give them another challenge at an active “shots fired” scene. The course does a really nice job guiding the student on the “after you pulled the trigger” part.
– Body positioning and stabilization: this section is rather comprehensive. If you think just kneeling behind your bumper is a good thing, you need to watch this video!
– “Act sooner rather than faster”. Great methodology: access/think/act, don’t just pull the trigger. Yes, we know how fast you can make those steel plates ding. But there is no “beep” from a timer in real life.
– Ballistics: an excellent overview of how rounds behave when fired through vehicle component like doors, pillars, or windshield. This section is followed by the ammunition selection (huge spoiler – ball ammo is bad for real engagements, so don’t fucking use it outside of training).
– Firearm-specific scenarios: this video is not just about handguns, it also covers carbines and slug guns. Will’s rifle is dead sexy. Just saying…
– Realistic reloads: you may be reloading on a freeway surrounded by a school bus and minivans, so use your fucking head. Even if you trained to reload in one particular way, reloading in/around a vehicle changes all of that.
– Dynamics of movement around the vehicle. Spetsnaz are experts at jumping and sliding on a hood of a car, but if you have never visited Odessa Oblast VVS base for that training, it’s probably a bad idea. In fact, it might be a bad idea no matter where you are (*shrug*). Will covers movement in/out/around the vehicle in detail.
A few more points about the video:
– Video is occasionally interrupted by a visualization of a concept, with Will recapping it right after; its a great way to summarize a section.
– David Reeder “impersonates” either somebody’s wife or a trailer park warrior with a mullet. It is truly disturbing.
– If you are offended by the real English language, you should probably write to the production company and ask for a PG13 version (then again, if that kind of shit bothers you, you would not be reading our fucking publication).
– Students provide unfiltered feedback and commentary. It’s great to hear their first-hand thoughts and reaction to training.
– Comrade Petty loves his “dynamically tactical” broom stick. Lets just leave it at that.
– Camera angles, coverage, etc. are just awesome. I don’t know who the camera guy/girl were, but I am buying them beers. It’s that good. Same goes for sound – exceptional.
In summary, 88 Tactical/Firelance VCQB video was a really good training tool. If you drive a passenger vehicle and carry a firearm, this video is for you. It’s not a beginner training; in my humble assessment, one needs to burn through 20-30k rounds before this video becomes tremendously useful. That said, it would still be a really good introduction to “vehicle engagement concepts” for somebody new to carrying a firearm.
Download it here.