WRSA: AAR: Max Velocity Combat Rifle/Contact Drills Class, 31 August – 1 September
Thank you to ‘Concerned American’ at WRSA for this AAR:
Link to information on upcoming classes HERE
En route back from a terrific weekend with Max
and a group of other patriots at his WV training facility. AAR follows:
1) Safety: The first consideration anyone attending any sort of non-square-range live-fire shooting class must resolve is safety. You are, after all, trusting a group of likely strangers – that is, every single one of your fellow students and your instructor(s) – not to get you hurt or killed during repeated dynamic small-unit movement exercises – all using live ammo.
Max’s handling of this issue was impeccable. He said during the initial brief that his primary job on day 1 was to observe, and if necessary, correct potential safety issues as the students began their training. Corrections, when needed, were made in a professional way and followed by the students. All attendees were cleared by Max for the more involved exercises on day 2. My personal take was that while everyone (including me) started as completely unknown safety risks to each other at first exercise, that issue was settled without any reservations at all by halfway through day 1.
2) Required Level Of Physical Fitness: Max says on his blog that:
…Tactical training requires a basic level of mobility. Instructors will tailor the level of physical intensity to the capabilities of the trainees and rest will be incorporated into the training day. A moderate level of physical activity will be involved with the training. You will be required to walk over rough wooded terrain carrying your rifle and battle load; fire your rifle from the standing, kneeling and prone positions; make short rushes and get up and down from standing to kneeling and prone positions. You will be exposed to the prevailing weather conditions at the training site and there is no air conditioning and limited shelter…
Our group ranged in age from 65 to 29, and in general fitness level from very good to “needs work”. While realistic tactical training requires stepping out of the comfort zone of the typical 21st-century American, at no time was anyone pushed beyond what they were willing to do. Max was very attentive to everyone’s hydration, rest, and cooling needs, and the few minor injuries that occurred (minor facial contusions due to the intersection of gravitational forces, inexperience in assuming reactive prone positions, and various AR components) were swiftly assessed by Max and treated appropriately. Pretty sweet to have not only your instructor cross-trained as a combat medical trainer, but also have any back-up available, if needed, by an experienced paramedic/fellow student.
3) Fellow students: A great mix of former .mil and non-former-military types, each of whom contributed in material ways to the other students’ understanding and experience. Simply put, the class was a group of modest, personable Americans – all with grave concerns for our country, our families, and our futures – who spent the weekend working together to learn more about helping ourselves and our loved ones in the event of calamity.
Don’t let for a minute your lack of previous non-square-range or military experience keep you away from these classes.
You will be treated well, regardless of your background. Just bring your teachable mindset.
4) Instructor evaluation: My primary objective in attending this weekend’s class was to meet Max and assess him as a potential future trainer for tribemembers.
Not to sound like a shill, but Max is a genuinely decent and humble guy, who knows a boatload about individual and small-unit tactics but who is also willing to listen to, evaluate, and where appropriate, incorporate student feedback as part of the lessons. He was patient, passionate, and persistent, especially in his insistence that one must learn and then practice the basics of simple team movements repeatedly before progressing to more complex maneuvers. His subject matter knowledge, combined with his presentation skills, got all students immersed in the classroom sections, and his use of the “crawl/walk/run” model allowed veterans to utilize their prior training while at the same time permitting new students to progress at a more elementary pace.
In short: A born teacher. I’ll be back with others asap.
5) Subject matter evaluation: As someone who has done only the slightest bit of live-ammo fire and movement drills in the past, I can tell you that this class was far superior to the “read the FM and/or book and then try to emulate same without killing anyone” model in my prior experience. Mosby says it, Max says it, and I have lived it:
You cannot learn this stuff adequately on your own.
Learning and then doing the building blocks of small-unit movement, repeatedly, as explained and demonstrated by an experienced, competent instructor is simply the most efficient (i.e., the quantity of time/money/ammo spent to attain a given skill level) way to get this essential education now while mistakes can be made, corrected, and redeemed without casualties and the resultant heartbreak.
Please note that I am NOT saying don’t read the canon (e.g., FM 7-8, Ranger manual, etc.).
I am saying just the opposite, in fact:
– Read and re-read the manuals (even if all you get out of them is some of the nomenclature), AND
– Also get as many days of practical training from competent folks as you can beg, borrow, or sell/trade guns/ammo/other stuff while you still can.
Or you can simply do OTJ training trying to get your family out of post-Collapse New Jo’burg and see how that works out. Good luck with that.
More than adequate; think early-stage G camp in permissive area. Latrine is open-roofed but side-secluded and well-maintained/situated; brand-new open-air training pavilion with tables and benches is quite nice; ground is steep and filled with lots of good micro-terrain for exploitation; tent/hammock camping area is small but sufficient; the pop-up firing courses (with potential targets front, left, and center) on two distinct ranges rock; transport, water, and other support from Max is hospitable and friendly.
7) Personal lessons learned:
– Leave enough time for the approach drive; insufficient rest is not a study aid
– Have not only plenty of water, but also salts/electrolytes for rehydration and small snacks/”pogey bait” for energy; you will be moving a lot
– FLIR works well in daylight
– Read, understand, and follow Max’s recommendations regarding the physical training environment; there’s lots of minor but still potentially ‘ouchy’ hazards such as rocks, tree stumps, etc.
– Kneepads. Kneepads. Kneepads!
– NSAIDs work well if you take them in the original prescription dosages
– Experiment with your gear and sling combo before class by doing fast reactive assumptions of both kneeling and prone positions on irregular ground; don’t be afraid to adjust, modify, or even toss your sling into a pocket
– Make sure you know where both your small and large sight apertures hit at 100, 50, and 25 yards
– Red dot. Red dot. Red dot!
– Pop-up targets rock!
– PT escalations including more aerobic non-impact work, “I’m up – he sees me – I’m down” sprints with weight vest, and much more leg/lower back/core strength training
Unless you are a no-shit Ranger ninja right now with a squad or more of trained-up Gs, you need this kind of hands-on education. Be smart and get in contact with trainers closest to your geographic area of interest.
Your lifespan in the increasingly-probable event of North American hostilities depends on it.
Your family’s survival depends on it.
Sell a gun. Sell some ammo. Sell some useless consumer krep that is meaningless as Darkness falls.
Raise the money for tuition, ammo, and travel expenses.
Get hands-on, non-square-range, no BS training.
For both you and your likely teammates.
While you still can.
Tempus freaking fugit.
PS: Easterners, get in touch with Max here. For most of you, it is less than six hours away.
How much is your life worth?
You won’t regret it.
Live Hard, Die Free.