Many of you are probably very similar to me. You may know how to operate a firearm, but need to learn to take it to the next level.
Many don’t realize that tactical training for civilians is a option available to nearly everyone.
Luckily most criminals don’t practice marksmanship, let alone take tactical training courses, but every degree of skill-margin you can put between you and them, the better your survival chances.
Tactical Training for Civilians
I’ve been shooting for as long as I can remember. I know my way around a gun and never forget firearms safety, but this is no way, gives me any form of tactical edge.
We need that edge. That’s what I’m all about, giving you and me the Edge, in any way we can.
I know I could get tactical training in the military, but I am 44 years old, and in a well established career. Even if I was in awesome shape, I can’t afford to quit my job and live off military pay alone. I tip my hats to those brave men and women, who serve, and put their lives on the line for very little money. Thank you for all you do!
The military isn’t an option for me, so let’s look at the problem of finding some tactical training for civilians.
As I break this down, I see this large issue can be broken down into a few smaller issues, that are easier to digest:
- Shooting from different positions – most ranges only allow you to stand or sit and shoot. You don’t get to shoot from a prone position, you don’t get to shoot from your back and you don’t get to shoot from behind objects (cover and concealment)
- Transitioning between weapons – Most ranges don’t allow you practice drawing from a holster and shooting, so forget about transitioning from your rifle or shotgun to your sidearm.
- Tactical training – Where can we get some experience in Close Quarters Battle, room clearing and having a solid professional instructor, who has been there, put you through serious drills?
At this point we have 2 options.
- Video training – you can find many many Tactical Training DVDs on Amazon.com. I do have one tactical training dvd, called “Own the Night”, that I’ve posted on Tactical Training for Preppers. You can also leverage Tactical Training Videos on Youtube. Let’s be honest here, video training may not be as good as in-person instruction, but it is better than nothing. If this is all you can do I highly recommend that you start doing it now. Watch the videos, then practice what you can with training guns.
- Find a school that offers tactical training for civilians – Is there such a thing? There sure are.
Where can a Civilian get some training?
I’ve looked at all the players like Thunder Ranch and Front Sight, but who can afford to take off work and fly across the country and then spend thousands of dollars for a training course? Sure people do it, and I was saving up to do it, until one of my buddies, pointed me to a more economic option in the DC, MD and VA area! Thanks, Lester!
Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy in Fredericksburg, VA offers a full line of courses for Civilians,and their prices are very manageable.
I’m one of those people who knows that “talk is cheap”, I needed to validate this.
I signed up for their Carbine 1 and Carbine 2 course, each of which is a full day (each class was $200, that’s not bad for 1 full day of training).
Day 1: Carbine 1
The day finally arrived for Carbine 1.
As I expected we started out with classroom lecture, and it was very good. I grew to see, that these people knew what they were talking about, and had real world experience.
- Firearms Safety Rules
- Fundamentals of Marksmanship Focusing on Front Sight & Trigger Control
Then we moved on to Armorer Maintenance & Proper Lubrication (field stripping and proper lubrication of our chosen carbines). This was very fortunate for a few of the class participants, because it was apparent, that these were brand new rifles, and had never been any lubrication on them.
Those bolt carrier groups were bone dry. If you know anything about the AR-15 platform, then you know those students would have had a pretty crappy day, full of malfunctions and a potentially ruined rifle.
Day 1 Bonus: We got to meet William Bethards, from Top Shot, season 5, as well as a couple of ex-special forces guys, who stopped by the facility to show off some new toys to one of our instructors.
We broke for lunch and headed to the outdoor range.
At the range the instructors assisted those who needed to zero in their rifles.
Time to start the training drills, and because I was there, it started raining, hard.
We got some very solid training for a Carbine 1 class, I didn’t expect this level of thoroughness.
- Magazine Changes & Weapons Handling Skills
- Malfunctions Drills Type I, Type II, Type III & Status Check
- Shooting behind cover and from barricades
- Transition from Carbine to Handgun
At the end of day 1, I was exhausted, but thrilled at the sheer amount of training and drills that we did. It was a long day, and the instruction was top notch.
Day 2: Carbine 2
Day 2 was horrible weather, it was raining, sleeting and freezing cold. I was sure I’d die.
The instructor gave the class a choice. We could head to the range for Carbine 2, in the rain and cold, or switch classes to Entry Level Room Clearing (Day 1 of a 2 day course) and head over to the indoor “Shoot House”. The students voted and it was unanimous, we all wanted the “Shoot House“!
Day 2: Entry Level Room Clearing
This was the kind of class I was really really interested in. They train with the Simunition FX marking cartridges, which means you get some experience with trying to identify and engage targets while potentially being shot at and potentially shot.
We were trained on the principals of Entry Level room clearing, the methodology and theory around it,t hen put through countless dry runs and the “footwork” you’d expect from training.
Then we went hot.
We broke up into 2 person teams and did single room clearing, and on to 2 rooms, 3 rooms, etc.
You never knew what to expect. Sometimes the bad guys were complacent, sometimes some were belligerent but unarmed and would not cooperate. There was scenarios where you’d come flying into a room read to go, and the one of the bad guys would be holding a baby. Come on, a freaking baby?
“Drop the baby and get on the floor!”…. really? Geeze these guys were good!
Another time a bad guy came in the open front door behind us when we’d moved on from the first room and were deeper in the house, so you had to be aware of threats on all sides of you.
Let me tell you that Simunition FX marking cartridges sting and you really don’t want to get shot, so it makes the scenarios really intense! It’s amazing how adrenalin can cloud your mind, there were times that things had happened so fast, that I couldn’t provide any details about what really occurred. That’s exactly the high caliber of training I was hoping to get
I came home bruised up, and a bit bloody from the gunfights, but it was well worth it!
Was this Tactical Training worth the money?
I’d say “Heck YES!”.
I learned so much, that it took me 2 days to get my head around how I was going to put this post together. Even better I learned that I don’t know what I don’t know. The instructors all have real world training and service. I’m not going to get into their credentials, but I was flattered, to be getting training from this caliber of instructor.
I am going back to Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy, I plan to take every bit of the Tactical Training for Civilians, that they have to offer.
Even if you don’t live in the DC, MD and VA area, the cost of the classes totally justify the expense of traveling to take these courses. There are hotels close enough for non-local students. If you think you might be interested in taking some courses check out the Courses and Training (oh how I wish I could take more than the Civilian courses) then check their calendar to see when the course you want is being offered.
If you think to need more training than Tactical Training DVDs, “Own the Night”, and Tactical Training Videos on Youtubes have to offer, check out the local training options, and if there aren’t any close, then maybe Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy might be able to help you out. Aaand if you’re still hungry for more, check out SERE training courses available to civilians.