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Larry Vickers: Observations From a Combat Marksmanship Trainer

This is a discussion on Larry Vickers: Observations From a Combat Marksmanship Trainer within the Gun Tactics forums, part of the Gun Forum category; Think what you want about Vickers, he makes some very good points here. https://www.blueforcegear.com/Combat...manship_Advice The following are some thoughts I would like to share based ...


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Old 04-19-2016, 06:41 AM   #1
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Larry Vickers: Observations From a Combat Marksmanship Trainer

Think what you want about Vickers, he makes some very good points here.

https://www.blueforcegear.com/Combat...manship_Advice

The following are some thoughts I would like to share based on traveling the world while training various military, law enforcement and civilian personnel in pistol and carbine marksmanship. Some of you may agree, some may disagree, but my goal is to really get you thinking about what I said when youíre done reading this.

Muzzle Brakes
Muzzle brakes are great in a three gun match, but almost completely worthless in the real world. If you ever need to use your carbine while in confined spaces, as part of a tactical entry team, or during nighttime fighting, then you have no business putting one of these on your gun. Period. If you just go to a class and pound a bunch of rounds down range trying to look cool then it is tailor-made for you. So are Ronald McDonald shoes.

Electronic Hearing Protection
I honestly still have people show up to classes without electronic ear protection if you can believe that. This creates a borderline dangerous situation as you have a student who isn't hearing half of what the instructor is saying. Bottom line: if you can't afford good electronic hearing protection then you can't afford to be in the class. Instead, you should stay home and scrounge the neighborhood for soda cans and bottles until you get enough pocket change to buy a pair.

Sacred Cows of Training
Two of these come to mind: students who do tactical reloads nonstop, and those who constantly close the ejection port cover on their carbine. These two techniques are valid at the right time and place, but many of the students I see who are proficient at these sacred cows actually suck as shooters. Here's a tip from your Uncle Larry: work on being able to hit your target first, and then worry about secondary tasks like closing your dust cover. You may find out that in the real world the first makes the second largely unnecessary.

Skill
You can't buy skill. This is where students put every accessory known to man on their carbine, or have the so called 'combat' pistol they are using tuned with a stupid light trigger or some other heinous modification. Try saving your money you spend on stupid gadgets and apply yourself in a more productive way, like mastering sight alignment and trigger control. You will be amazed at how well you can shoot with even a box stock weapon.

Quality Over Quantity
Try to get the most out of every round you fire. You are better off going to the range and shooting 150 rounds and executing well designed drills that hone your skills than shooting five times that amount in a high round count 'entertainment' class where you run around like youíre in a first person shooter video game. In the real world, youíre accountable for every round you fire and only effective hits on target count. The bad guys don't give out style points for your dynamic mag dump in their general direction; they just return the favor with lead.

And last but not least,

Competition Shooting
Competition shooting is fun and exciting, but can actually be hazardous to your long-term health should you ever get in a gun fight and apply some of the 'match winning' techniques to try and win the gunfight. You don't get a staged walk-through in a life-or-death situation, and there is no range officer to tell you to load and make ready. I bring this up because I have seen students in classes who shoot a lot of competition and repeatedly begin a drill with an empty weapon. This in an era when over 40 states have concealed carry! Unreal.

That's all for now. I'm sure Iíve ruffled some feathers with these comments and some of the people reading this are probably cussing me right now. I couldn't possibly care less. Where I came from, we trained to enter hijacked aircraft and save lives- not win matches or impress people with Ninja gun handling skills. My goal is to get you thinking about what I said and hopefully some of you will make changes in how you train that could make the key difference some day when you need it most.

Larry Vickers
Vickers Tactical Inc.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:49 AM   #2
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Great post! I agree with every comment made!
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:54 AM   #3
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Routine training is dangerous. Training for the real deal should be routinely unroutine.
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:20 AM   #4
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sounds like good advice for new shooters..to a jr. shooter like me, he sounds kinda like an old fart trying to be controversial
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Last edited by Blast3d; 04-19-2016 at 08:21 AM. Reason: i spelled advice, advise
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:37 AM   #5
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Your observation has merit. There's only so many ways to hold a gun. There's only so many positions to shoot from. I think more than an old fart being controversial, these guys try to just think of something new to bring to the table. Many times its BS. I would refer to the Yeager event in which a ND occurred while demonstrating that a gun is strictly a tool by throwing it on the ground and stepping on it. BANG! A exercise in silliness. But quite dangerous.

The real tactical training will be scenario based so that it is "problem solving" but the fundamentals of gun-handling remains the same. When we start getting cute and get away from the fundamentals is when trouble comes to us. One of our top SWAT shooters is a plain guy with a plain Jane load out. The guy out shoots 'em all with iron sights. With a red dot and scope he's Olympic quality.
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:08 AM   #6
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Tacticle Warrier!

Did he finally get a kitten to claw his appendix out?
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:27 PM   #7
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Unlike the vast majority of the Instructors out there, Vickers is the real deal. Retired Delta Team, Special Forces most of his time in the military.

He's been there and done that and knows whereof he speaks.

The one thing about him is that he is absolutely painfully blunt when he talks. No pussyfooting around, no political correctness, he says what he believes from his experience and let the chips fall where they may.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:37 PM   #8
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Most certainly is!

Gruff - talking, gun - wielding, tells it like it is he - man...

Along with Spetsnaz Kalashnikov Pooshup Pooziker.

Still most definitely needs intensive kitten therapy to soothe his man - warrier outbursts.
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:20 PM   #9
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I agree completely with Vickers. There are way too many guys out there who haven't evaluated their own needs before jumping into shooting. And when they do jump into shooting, they just want to be as tactical and high-speed/low-drag as possible. Case in point: when I took a shooting course earlier this year taught by Navy SEALs, most of my fellow students were tacticool'd to the hilt. They came with customized glocks with crazy stippling and funky colors, muzzle breaks, Spartan symbols galore, and almost all of them had thigh rig holsters.

I was new to shooting and brought a sensible carry gun in a Crossbreed IWB holster, i.e. what I was actually going to be carrying every day. Some of those guys had their hands ripped up by their custom stippling work. A lot of them couldn't shoot for **** and had a hard time eliminating bad shooting habits. Seems that, unlike me (who had never shot before), they spent a ton of time at the range previously, doing God knows what... I guess looking tactical. A lot of limp-wristing, etc. Just a **** show.

Those other students were very humbled by the experience. They should have gone to James Yeager to get the tacticool faux-operator experience. These grizzled SEALs who taught us had no time for B.S. and wanted to drill fundamentals into us. I absorbed the teaching like a sponge and shot (qual'd) better than the other students. They got their feelings hurt, as they thought our teachers were going to pat them on the back, tell them how wonderful they were, and turn them into operators in 3 days.
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:41 PM   #10
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I agree with almost everything Mr. Vickers has said, based upon my personal point of view... There are those of us that are handicapped. In my case, a stroke, two heart attacks, diabetes 2, and a few other "challenges," make it necessary for me to adapt, and for some modifications to some of my weapons, absolutely necessary...

I can no longer lift my former PTR-91 MSG-SS, nor the way it was set-up for night fighting. Indeed, recoil made it impossible for me to use, hence, "graduating" to a first class 5.56X45 LWRCI DI. Likewise, going from my formerly favorite .45acp G21's and G30's, to a 9mm G34 Gen4, a Sig P938 Extreme, and just two days ago, my new P226 TACOPS...

We adapt, we adjust, and we either overcome our frailties and weaknesses, or we die. I will not be a victim. Unless Jesus Comes, I will die. How I die, will be my choice, if I have any say in the matter... I will not go into that cold, dark night alone, nor will I go into it quietly.

My weapons are suited to me, in an honest attempt to make myself more efficient, compensating for my weaknesses... I can no longer shoot 1,000yd ranges. Nowadays, perhaps out to 600yds, which I'll know for sure, in the next month, at our local range...

I am not the man I was fifty years ago. I will, however, be the best that I can, in spite of my weaknesses, able to some small extent, contribute to the common defense, and defense of family and friends...

I may be weak- but I am not helpless... I hope that Mr. Vickers would approve...

GBY&Y's

Maranatha

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Old 12-01-2016, 06:42 PM   #11
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So what is good electronic hearing protection??
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusader1949 View Post
I agree with almost everything Mr. Vickers has said, based upon my personal point of view... There are those of us that are handicapped. In my case, a stroke, two heart attacks, diabetes 2, and a few other "challenges," make it necessary for me to adapt, and for some modifications to some of my weapons, absolutely necessary...

I can no longer lift my former PTR-91 MSG-SS, nor the way it was set-up for night fighting. Indeed, recoil made it impossible for me to use, hence, "graduating" to a first class 5.56X45 LWRCI DI. Likewise, going from my formerly favorite .45acp G21's and G30's, to a 9mm G34 Gen4, a Sig P938 Extreme, and just two days ago, my new P226 TACOPS...

We adapt, we adjust, and we either overcome our frailties and weaknesses, or we die. I will not be a victim. Unless Jesus Comes, I will die. How I die, will be my choice, if I have any say in the matter... I will not go into that cold, dark night alone, nor will I go into it quietly.

My weapons are suited to me, in an honest attempt to make myself more efficient, compensating for my weaknesses... I can no longer shoot 1,000yd ranges. Nowadays, perhaps out to 600yds, which I'll know for sure, in the next month, at our local range...

I am not the man I was fifty years ago. I will, however, be the best that I can, in spite of my weaknesses, able to some small extent, contribute to the common defense, and defense of family and friends...

I may be weak- but I am not helpless... I hope that Mr. Vickers would approve...

GBY&Y's

Maranatha

Crusader1949
If Mr. Vickers doesn't approve, I would bet that your fellow members do!

I'm not yet your age but I hope to have the same attitude and spirit I have know, when I'm your age.

The fight never ends, until we give up.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:17 PM   #13
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So what is good electronic hearing protection??
Hello, ozzie white.

Artillery barrages ruined my hearing. Once tested perfect in the 1960's, very much NOT SO, today... The set of electronic ear muffs cuts out sharp, loud sounds, protecting your ears, as well as your hearing... You can easily converse with others, yet when a weapon fires, the excess volume of sound is significantly reduced.

I praise God for suppressors. I use suppressors, ear plugs, and yes, sound reducing ear muffs, when shooting...

Minimal cost, to preserve your ability to hear, which IMHO, is necessary to survival...

GBY&Y's

Maranatha

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Old 12-01-2016, 07:18 PM   #14
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If Mr. Vickers doesn't approve, I would bet that your fellow members do!

I'm not yet your age but I hope to have the same attitude and spirit I have know, when I'm your age.

The fight never ends, until we give up.
God Bless You and Yours, WIHunter... You're very kind...

Maranatha

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Old 12-01-2016, 07:36 PM   #15
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i dont get the hate for Larry.

Hes a man using his past knowledge and skill to be a salesman now that his body is ready to slow down but his mind isnt. Sounds like an American to me.

Larry has done things that most people could only dream about when playing their battlefield or call of duty games.
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