Here we go!
Instructor: Frank Proctor
Location: Angeles Shooting Range
Dates: October 19-21, 2012 (3 Day Shoots 2 Night Shoots approx 31 hrs)
Students: 11 (Civilians w/ mixed background in competitive shooting and training)
Frank has served 18 years in the military and 11 of those in the US Army Special forces. He has served as the instructor for the Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course and is also a Grand Master in the limited division as well as holding a Master rank in the IDPA stock division.
This is a review of the 3 days of training I took from him and is focused on giving you a feel for the instructors goals, ideas and mindset. It is unfortunately really long but there should be some video and photos up later on that might be easier to digest or encourage you to look into Frank's classes.
Day 1: Pistol only with Night Shoot
We started the class with the range rules and safety brief then Frank started into his class. He talked about getting into the programming mode as we approached each lesson and he talked about what I believe is one of the main core aspects of his shooting and that is seeing.
“See fast, “
Frank talks a lot about seeing, seeing is everything and everything starts from there. He talked about seeing your sights flip and how they flip. Seeing your target or seeing things that were coming in from the peripheral and driving your sights to them. The more you can see, the faster you can shoot and the more corrections in your shooting you can make. Situational awareness is also seeing and something Frank incorporates that into drills that he would describe as “working on seeing”.
So, on that theme we started into dry firing with a pistol. We used some zip ties to keep our pistols out of battery and worked on seeing, just the sights on the target to practice seeing.
“Shoot fast, “
Next we got into the grip of the pistol. It basically had the universal concepts of having your firing hand as high up on the gun as possible and your support had thumb was parallel to the frame. But Frank went into further detail and talked about each hand and what exactly it was doing to minimize the recoil of the gun. All of which would translate to more control over the gun and faster follow up shots.
He also talked to positioning the gun to align with our shoulders, both arms slightly unlocked and hanging a bit (not the aggressive elbows up). Also stretch your neck out instead of tipping your head down so you can look through the center of your eye pro and eye sockets.
Frank focuses a lot on fast follow up shots. The stance and grip are both designed to maximize the speed of your follow up shots as well as maintaining mobility.
Now that we got everything down we went back to dry firing again with sights only and no triggers looking at the target. Frank went down the line looking at everyone’s grip and stance adjusting anything out of place. Lastly we talked about an efficient draw stroke to complete our shooting platform. This also received as much attention to detail as the grip. The focus of his draw stroke is speed to get the gun into a position to fire and speed to get the sights aligned. Then we shot a few magazines of single fire working on seeing, and the draw stroke.
I liked the individual attention he gave to everyone each time we started working drills. It wasn’t cursory either as he would stick with you until he was fairly satisfied with your shooting. Since the drills were run at an individual pace everyone got a great deal of practice and personal instruction.
After a break to reload we got into recoil management a little deeper. We started off by running a recoil management test which was shooting a 3x5 card as fast as we could run the trigger. Frank went down the line individually and adjusted each student’s mechanic. Frank had the student fire 2-3 strings with him watching and adjusted anything he saw that could help.
After he finished going down the line we shot three round strings into the 3x5 card. At this point if you remembered everything that was taught so far on this drill we worked on.
- Grip and Stance
- Efficient draw stroke
- Seeing the sight come into your peripheral as you present the gun
- Executing: Target + Sights = Trigger
As well as managing the recoil correctly.
After we worked through some more drills that dealt with shifting focus on paper and steel targets Frank got into his take on efficient speed reload and tactical reload. If you ever see Frank reload you can tell it is very efficient (i.e. no wasted movement) but still practical in the sense that your eyes are mostly on target except for less than a tenth of a second. His tactical reload also has similar efficiency and minimizes the time a magazine is out of the gun.
During this time he touched on scanning after your engagement. I won’t get into the entire details of the what’s and whys but his deal was this. “Your world was THIS big (arms and hands making a large circle), you got in an engagement and it became this big (fingers making a small circle) now your needs to get THIS big again… Train that.” I simply nodded to myself and thought /thread.
He set us up again and we worked reload drills and he went down the line assessing everyone. The drills are setup to work on the concepts we just learned. There is no actual limit to the repetitions so normally we would go through 2-3 normal capacity magazines worth of the drill.
“Get gone fast!”
The next topic we touched on was movement. First he talked about efficient movement techniques, mainly about shooting and then moving to another position to setup another shot. He went into details of how the torso should move as well as how the feet should move to cover ground. We also talked about shooting on the move and worked on that. He said a 2-3 mph pace as you are shooting is a good pace to train at and nothing less.
Frank is big on using competition to shake out what lessons we learned up to that point. Anything that hasn’t soaked in is going to break down when you are competing so it’s a great way to sand down the rough points or correct something out of place. It is also a lot of fun when you have students with great attitudes.
So he put together some man on man competition to put together all that we had learned about moving efficiently and shooting on the move and then we broke for dinner.
After dinner we returned for a night shoot with pistols. Frank went over a few hand held techniques and what he has seen people do with weapon lights. Then he described how he used his weapon light and integrated turning it on into his draw stroke. The rest of the night was drills and working on weapon light manipulation. The drills ranged from target ID and shooting (i.e. 3x5 index cards on paper targets with letters or numbers on them) to more weapons manipulation + light manipulation. Such as moving from barricade to barricade while squeezing off a shot in between, or working in a reload as well. I had a holster with a light loaned to a friend so I ran with a handheld and did not do as bad as I thought I would but I could see the clear advantage to a weapon mounted light.