Stage One consisted of two barrels placed approximately
10 yards apart, with two arrays of 5 targets each. Each array was
placed in two lines parallel to the line of the barrels. Shooters
began with 10 rounds loaded in the carbine and a second, fully loaded,
magazine on the second barrel. At the signal shooters engaged the
first array of 5 targets and then moved to the second barrel to
retrieve the reload and engage the second array. There were no
non-threat targets in this stage.
Since the first array could not be re-engaged after the
reload, the intent was to require shooters to ensure that they got good
hits with only two rounds per target. Additionally I was interested to
see if shooters chose to stand still and engage the entire first array
or if they would shoot on the move to the second barrel.
everyone shot the first array from the starting position. Many
shooters then took their sweet-ass time getting to the second barrel
and the reload. Moving to the second barrel quickly was key to having
a good time on the stage. Many shooters also chose to fire hammers at
the first array and wound up missing and having Failures to Neutralize
on at least one target. Controlled pairs were only incrementally
slower but ensured good hits.
speaking, I think I should have shot on the move from the first to
second barrel. Standing still and shooting left a long period of time
(relatively speaking) with the carbine empty and no shots heading down
range. In reality I think that if you knew your only reload was 10
yards away you would shoot on the move and simply try to get shots some
hits on each threat.
ran a similar stage before where we had three barrels but the shooters
had enough ammunition to engage each target with three rounds each. I
think this encouraged a more "real world" approach in that shooters
were more inclined to shoot on the move. We'll do this again with
three barrels, enough ammunition in each magazine to engage each target
with three rounds, and some non-threat targets interspersed.
Stage Two consisted of 5 targets in a row with the
firing line 5 yards away. The firing line was delineated by two
barrels with a rope stretched between them. Shooters could engage the
targets from any point behind the line and between the barrels. Each
target had one 3"x5" Post-It note horizontally on the head, and one
vertically on the chest. Shooters began with 10 rounds in the carbine
and a spare 10 round magazine somewhere on them. The course
description required two shots on each Post-It, for a total of 10
potential Failures to Neutralize. There were no non-threat targets in
Accuracy at close range. We find that many of our shooters do not
truly know holdover. Many know it exists but have not worked with it
enough to really get a feel for their POA vs. POI at various
distances. This is something we have been working into virtually all
of our drills sessions and this stage was intended as a "test" of sorts
to see who has been paying attention.
Since the course description did not specify a starting or ending
position, and did not require shooting on the move, the best solution I
saw was to begin standing directly in front of T2, engaging T1 through
the body of T3, reload on the move to standing in front of T4, and then
finishing the stage. This allows you to take advantage of the reload
time to get a better position on the remaining targets. If the shooter
has a fast reload down, the entire stage shot standing in front of T3
was an alternate solution.
I have been trying to use a Blue Force Gear Redi-Mod,
which is a lightened version of the Gen II Boonie Packer Redi-Mag.
I started using this because Travis Haley of Magpul Dynamics gave me one of his Battery Assist
to T&E, and I think it works best in conjunction with the
Redi-Mod. What I'm finding is that the change in manual of arms is a
big training issue for me as I'm used to my emergency reload coming
from the belt. You can audibly hear my frustration at not getting the
reload right in the video for this stage. It's just a matter of
getting more practice in, but I am concerned about how it will affect
my use of a non-BAD/Redi-Mod equipped AR.
Bring 5 times more targets than you think you
will need. I brought out 60+ Post-It notes expecting to use 2 per
shooter for 30 shooters. After a single squad of 8 ran the stage we
were already down to 1/4 of the total. I guess that public school math
didn't do me much good, since it should have been TEN notes per shooter
(2 notes times 5 targets) for a total of 300 I would have needed to run
30 shooters. Fortunately Squad Two that followed us figured out a way
to make it work for them. Painting the targets is another option, but
I really wanted to present each shooter with a clean aiming point,
hence the notes.
Stage 2 Video (you can see my fumbled Redi-Mag reload in this one)
Typical Stage Two target. Post-It notes are 3"x5" and two shots were required in each note.
Layout of Stage Two
Cole going for his reload
George working the Aug
Paul engaging targets
Stage three consisted of a Bianchi barricade errected
vertically with 5 targets available to be shot from each side of the
barricade for a total of 10 threat targets. Non-threats were
interspersed such that the potential for shoot-throughs was pretty
great, and to require shooters to shoot from both sides of cover.
Rule 4. Always be sure of your target and what's beyond it. I
have also been working on stages to reinforce the utility of a
weapon-mounted white light, and this was one of those stages.
While having a light can't really be considered "gaming", it
clearly helped. Additionally, knowing that there were 5 targets to
engage from either side and having the mental capacity to count the
number of targets engaged really helped.
The Surefire X300
I have mounted to a Midwest Industries MCTAR-04
front sight base light mount was a fantastic asset on this stage.
However, as you can see in the video even when not crowding cover there
was some light bounce off the barricade which led me to move forward to
get the light past the wall. This is really strengthening my belief in
the 12 o'clock mount for white lights, and I want to work on a way to
accomplish this without a rail system.
I always consider a stage a success when a shooter gets done and
says something along the lines of "damn, that was hard". That happened
a lot on this stage. Some of it, however, was not intentional.
Typically I like to mark the non-threat targets by putting an "X"
through the entire body and then outlining the body in the same color
paint. This allows the shooter to see where a non-threat stops and a
threat starts. We didn't do the outline on these targets. An
un-intentional side effect of this was that the need for the white
light REALLY became apparent, which isn't a bad thing at all.