Help me develop a curriculum!

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DannusMaximus
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Help me develop a curriculum!

Post by DannusMaximus » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:21 pm

I am NOT attempting to be a paid instructor - - I don't have the desire or the background. However, a buddy of mine who knows I have some training has asked me to run him through some basic pistol training, so he can see if he wants to come off the coin for a more formal class. Sounds like fun, and I agreed to it. He has very little experience with firearms.

I've taken several MilCopp classes, a few other classes locally, and have a USMC background as well. I have no intention of trying to make my buddy some eleet operator, so we wouldn't be doing advanced stuff that is out of my lane. I do, however, feel comfortable teaching basic gun handling, basic movement, basic marksmanship, clearing malfunctions, drills, etc.

So, care to help me develop a logical curriculum? We're probably looking at 1/2 day or so, at a range where we can move around at will and will likely be deserted on week days. What are the basics I need to cover, and what is a good order to proceed in? What are some good drills to include in each section? I'll start making the list, and add to it as guys / gals chime in.

1. Safety brief
2. Marksmanship intro (sight picture, sight alignment, trigger control)
3. Grip and stance (I use modified Isosceles, but feel okay teaching Weaver as well)
4. Ready positions (low-ready, high-ready, Sul)
5. Draw and present from holster
6. Reloads (admin, speed, tactical)
7. Malfunction clears (stovepipe, FTF/FTE)
8. One hand (strong side) shooting

If we get to it, advanced skills would be

1. Weak hand shooting
2. Weak hand draw
3. Weak hand reloads
4. Weak hand malfunction clears
5. Basic movement while shooting
6. Shooting from cover
7. Contact distance shooting

Others?
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Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

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Murph
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Re: Help me develop a curriculum!

Post by Murph » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:49 pm

With a half day, it would be more reasonable to expect to only get to half of the fundamentals you mentioned in the first 1-8 section. Here's what I'd suggest:

Safety Briefing
Loading, Unloading, and Verifying Weapon Status
Stance
Grip
Sight Alignment & Picture
Trigger Control
Recoil Management

For a beginner everything in that list up to recoil management can and should be done with dry-fire / snap-caps. It will give them a chance to get use to handling a weapon safely, and allows you to make sure they are handing it safely, and correct any problems before the weapon is really loaded. After you've done it dry-fire, go through the same stuff over again with live-fire. I know it sounds boring, but it builds the right foundation of fundamentals.

As for teaching live-fire trigger control and recoil management here is a series of drills that build upon each other:
Drill 1: Aim, slow starting taking up the trigger slack, notice the point where there's no slack left, gently press through, shot breaks, keep the trigger pulled back, get sight picture and alignment, slowly release the trigger feeling for the reset, finish completely release the trigger. Repeat 5-10 times.
Drill 2: Like Drill 1 but as soon as the shot breaks, get your finger completely off the trigger as fast as possible, get sight picture and alignment. Repeat 5-10 times.
Drill 3: Like Drill 2 but as soon as the shot breaks, release the trigger as fast as possible but only to the reset, get sight picture and alignment, then completely release the trigger. Repeat 5-10 times.
Drill 4: Like Drill 3, but fire a second shot from the trigger reset, then completely release the trigger.
These four drills build up the fundamentals to be able to shoot controlled pairs using the trigger reset. From there shooting sustained strings is simple.

Hope that helps!!
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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DannusMaximus
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Re: Help me develop a curriculum!

Post by DannusMaximus » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:07 pm

All very good advice, Murph. I appreciate it, especially the drills you detailed.

A lot of how quickly we move will depend on how comfortable my buddy is. He has fired guns before, just not that much and with no formal training. I do think that proceeding very slowly will help remove any training scars he's built up, and don't want to overwhelm him.

Thanks again!
Holmes: "You have arms, I suppose?
Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Re: Help me develop a curriculum!

Post by Trebor » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:03 am

DannusMaximus wrote: 1. Safety brief
2. Marksmanship intro (sight picture, sight alignment, trigger control)
3. Grip and stance (I use modified Isosceles, but feel okay teaching Weaver as well)
4. Ready positions (low-ready, high-ready, Sul)
5. Draw and present from holster
6. Reloads (admin, speed, tactical)
7. Malfunction clears (stovepipe, FTF/FTE)
8. One hand (strong side) shooting
You'll be lucky to get through all 8 of those in a half-day, with someone who is pretty new to guns.

My advice:

Focus on safety and the basic fundamentals of marksmanship. More specific:

Grip - Teach thumbs forward, if you are comfortable shooting it yourself and understand it well enough to teach it. (Hint: The important thing is the angle of the weak side wrist, not the thumbs)

Marksmanship: Basic of sight picture with an emphasis on "FOCUS ON THE FRONT SIGHT." Demonstrate that good hits can be made with less than perfect sight picture, but the farther the distance, the more precise the sight alignment needs to be.

Trigger control: STRESS THIS. The importance of pulling the trigger, straight back, without pulling the gun off target can not be over emphasized. The only part of the trigger finger that touches the gun is the part that touches the trigger. Emphasis a smooth trigger pull. Slow first and then he can learn to be smooth and fast later.

Trigger reset: If you know how to teach this, do so.

Follow through: Emphasis that he needs to focus on the front sight totally all through the recoil cycle. He needs to watch the sight go up and return. Teach him to not look for the bullet hole as that messes up your follow through.

Ready positions: I'd go with "low ready" and "retention ready." Retention ready is when you pull the gun back in, biased toward the strong side, but still pointed at the target. I would skip SUL as it tends to be hard to teach. (Student's *think* they get it, but when they start using it, they point the gun at themselves. BTDT)

Holster draw: I'd go with the five step draw. 1. Sweep garment back by moving strong elbow to the rear while support hand grounds on chest. 2. Strong hand drives down on gun to establish master grip. 3. Gun comes straight out of holster. 4. Rotate muzzle towards target (now in "retention ready" essentially). 4. Push gun out and towards target - Support hand joins gun. 5. Full extension and fire

Reloads: Just focus on having him reload the same way every time. Grab mag with support hand and make sure you have mag. Hit button and dump old mag. Insert new mag and reach over and rack slide to chamber a round. Do it the same way, every time, and you'll always know the gun is loaded chamber and ready. Worst that happens is you lose a round if one was chambered.

Skip tactical reloads where you retain the mag in the same hand as the new mag. Too easy to mess up and too hard to teach in a short time. Also vastly over rated in terms of real world usefullness.

Malfunction - Tap, rack, bang for 80% of malfs. If that fails, Lock (slide back), Rip (mag out), Rack (slide), Rack (slide), insert (new mag if possible) Rack (to load round), fire.

Teach those two and he's ahead of most people.

Truthfully, I don't think you'll get through all that in half a day, unless you just firehose him.
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Re: Help me develop a curriculum!

Post by mystic_1 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:32 am

His comfort level aside, I would suggest focusing on the basic rules of firearms safety and basic marksmanship and repeating those until he starts to build up some muscle memory.

I'd leave off the movement, holster work, speed and tactical reloading, and one handed shooting.
DannusMaximus wrote:1. Safety brief
2. Marksmanship intro (sight picture, sight alignment, trigger control)
3. Grip and stance (I use modified Isosceles, but feel okay teaching Weaver as well)
4. Ready positions (low-ready, high-ready, Sul)
5. Admin Reloads
6. Malfunction clears (stovepipe, FTF/FTE)
7. One hand (strong side) shooting

That's be a good first day imho. Go out to grab a bite to eat and do a debrief afterwards. Plan your next outing. It'll take several trips before good habits start to sink in, you can't accomplish that in a few hours.

When YOU feel comfortable with his progress, start adding in the other stuff.

Just my opinion, and perhaps I'm underestimating his existing experience, but better safe than sorry yes?

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Re: Help me develop a curriculum!

Post by dtwn92 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:46 am

Taggng this for later. Good luck with the outing, there are some real quality answers and drills around here. I know it was mentioned but don't forget to debrief.
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Re: Help me develop a curriculum!

Post by Trebor » Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:45 am

How'd it go?
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Re: Help me develop a curriculum!

Post by Murph » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:11 pm

Trebor wrote:How'd it go?
Or did it go?
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

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DannusMaximus
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Re: Help me develop a curriculum!

Post by DannusMaximus » Thu May 01, 2014 2:13 pm

Did not go, or more precisely, has not yet gone. I think my buddy is still interested, but after the initial "That would be great! I'll call you and we'll get together!" I haven't heard anything. I see the guy fairly regularly, no need to continue to ask if he's interested (because if I have to keep asking, he's NOT interested... :wink: ). He'll either bring up the topic again, or he won't.

All that said, I appreciate the feedback. I am The Gun Guy to many of my friends (which is kind of sad, because I'm not really that much of a gun guy), and it's not uncommon for them to ask me to take them to the range. I think having a basic number of training points for a first time shooter and some brief instruction will be a marked improvement over the haphazard method I currently use, and I'm going to take everybody's advice to heart and scab together a few notecards with training point.

If the big class ever does materialize, I'll update the thread accordingly.

Again, thanks for the good advice and thoughtful feedback!
Holmes: "You have arms, I suppose?
Watson: "Yes, I thought it as well to take them."
Holmes: "Most certainly! Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions..."

- The Hound of the Baskervilles

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