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Tactical

Combat Focus Shooting: Resolve to Protect… and Survive

Kevin shooting5

By Kevin Reese

Glock2It’s no secret, stories of home invasions, car-jackings, armed robberies, murders, assaults and even domestic violence are never-ending and the themes, eerily familiar, as they relate to the victims’ inability to protect themselves in one way or another; often, for gun owners, the shortcoming is a lack of effective defensive training. This New Year’s I challenge you to a resolution. Rather than focusing as much as we do on weight, finances or the next big promotion, try something a bit more selfless and impactful. Resolve to be the protector… and survivor your family may depend upon. For me, this critical commitment was launched by Rob Pincus’ life-changing Combat Focus Shooting program; in fact, consider CFS, as it relates to ending threats and surviving, the gift that keeps on giving.

Kevin IwoJima93The basic premise of Combat Focus Shooting, like many training programs, is survivability. I was familiar with this logic, first, because I want to survive just as much as the next person and second, my extensive Marine Corps handgun training, through countless hours of instruction and range time, also preached the same – we just didn’t train the same. Unlike my military training and qualification with a 1911, and most other training programs, survivability, pursuant to Combat Focus Shooting, hinges on distinctly different cornerstones, chiefly among them, a balance of speed and precision, and beginning with fundamental principles of defensive handgun shooting; the operative word being “defensive”, shooters should certainly possess at least basic handgun experience and study which equipment is deemed most appropriate for defensive shooting – walk on the rocks I stumbled on! Let me explain…

As a professional in the hunting and shooting industry, I knew Rob in advance but had no concept of the premise of the I.C.E. Firearm Training Combat Focus Shooting program. Like most of my Marine Corps buddies who had trained and qualified (I proudly qualified Rifle Expert, 6th Award, and Pistol Sharpshooter) and, indeed, all veterans exposed to concentrated handgun training, I thought I knew precisely how to defend myself and what gear I needed to do it. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

My first CFS experience was to have Pincus condemn my holster before my first drill.

“Put this on.”

ICE RAC7He handed me a new I.C.E. RAC Kydex OWB Holster and I did as he instructed, quickly changing holsters and joining the rest of the class for “balance of speed and precision” drills. This is the overwhelming theme of Combat Focus Shooting and a primary factor in survivability. The rest comes from instinctive, aggressive movements both in firearm manipulation and sustained fire without ever losing sight of the threat. In Pincus’ words, “If you’re looking down you’re not focused on the threat and if you’re not moving, you just might stay that way. Simple as that.”

Like a broken record, “balance of speed and precision” played on through every intense, physically grueling exercise from repeated, advanced versions of our first online drill to exhausting live-fire wind sprints and unnerving high-stress figure-eight drills. After two full days and 1,000 rounds of mentally and physically intense training, we survived. Of course, it’s worth noting the I.C.E. Kydex holster was a complete game-changer – the best I’ve ever used and still on my belt.

By the close of training, I was battered and bruised with rock-tape, expertly applied by CFS Instructor, Alessandro Padovani, running its X-pattern of support down the length of my strong-arm but I never broke… only persevered, learned and earned. I learned that before Combat Focus Shooting when I thought, as a concealed carrier, I knew everything I needed to in order to protect my family, I actually knew very little. I learned that the best way to protect my family is to train to stop a threat and survive to do it again if need be. Sadly, I also learned my beloved Marine Corps does not adequately equip my brothers-and-sisters in arms with training conducive to engaging an active shooter and surviving the experience.

CFS Coin6After training, Rob asked how I felt about Combat Focus Shooting. I chewed on his question for a moment, never truly answering. How does someone sum up a life-changing gift like CFS training in words that do it justice? You don’t. I was elated to have graduated the course, the prized CFS coin in hand, but my emotions were mixed. While elation was present so was humility and sadness. It wasn’t enough to acknowledge I knew much less than I thought, or even that personally, CFS was impactful beyond measure. I struggled with memories of the inadequate combat-focused handgun training I received as a Marine and that I suppose is still a disheartening reality.

At this time of year, when we search high and low for the right resolution to add depth and breadth to our lives, why not consider becoming the protector… and indeed the survivor, in the event of a threat, you are called to be? What better gift to your family is there than survivability? It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

CFS TargetAB-2CFS TargetC-2Side note – Balance of Speed and Precision is a simple concept. When engaging a threat your primary focus should never be precision accuracy, nor should it be to spray bullets in the actor’s general direction. Your best strategy for stopping an aggressor is somewhere in the middle, what Pincus refers to as the balance of speed and precision. Your goal should be to fire as rapidly as possible while maintaining a reasonable degree of accuracy; that is to say, keep your shots contained in an area referred to as the high-center chest.

CFS_Logo_GreenSpecial thanks to Combat Focus Shooting’s expert instructors Rob Pincus, Alessandro Padovani, Ken Crawford and Michael John Lowe, as well as fellow students and range hosts, Ken and Maggie Ortega.

I_C_E-Firearms-Training-Logo2Visit I.C.E. Firearm Training at http://www.icetraining.us or the Combat Focus Shooting website at http://www.combatfocusshooting.com for more training information and scheduled classes. More information about the best OWB holster I’ve ever used, Pincus’ personally designed I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster can be found here at http://www.nrablog.com/post/2014/08/21/The-ICE-RAC-Kydex-Holster-Range-and-Carry-Holsterse28099-Finest-Hour.aspx and in the following video. The I.C.E. RAC Holster can be purchased at I.C.E. Training (http://icestore.us/Holsters/I-C-E-RAC-Range-and-Carry-Kydex-Holster.html) or Global Outfitters (https://www.globaloutfitters.com/pages/Proshop/ProductDetails.asp?ProductID=499).

More information can also be found in the following video:


Tactical Hunting: Sir, Yes, Sir!

Much to the dismay of piers morgan, diane Feinstein and willie nelson

(names intentionally not capitalized out of respect… or lack thereof)

By Kevin Reese

BR10-smMy pop once told me I might fit into my dress blues if I used bungee cords; the truth hurts. Looking at me it’s hard to believe I spent eight years in the Marines. In all honestly, I’m not that bad off… I’m just not that well off; I could stand a few months of nonstop treadmill work. Beyond reminiscing about my life as a Marine and wishing I still looked the part, I miss many aspects of active duty life – chief among them being camaraderie and my trusty M-16 A2 Service Rifle.

I wasn’t a huge promoter of 62-grain 5.56 Ball NATO ammunition but it seemed to be sufficient. I qualified every year as a rifle expert and later in my second enlistment as a pistol sharpshooter, qualifying with an original Colt 1911 that had been in Marine Corps service for over 75 years and was still a sweet shooter.

Kevin 3d SRIG-editedAssimilating to civilian life, including civilian shooting was a tall order. On the firing line, I had difficulty adjusting to traditional hunting rifles. I began looking at AR-15 rifles to regain that comfort level I had with my M-16 A2. As an avid hunter on an extremely tight budget, I recall how badly I wanted to purchase one of the Colt AR-15’s I drooled over as I passed by them in the PX. It looked exactly like my M-16 but was semi-automatic; it even had the bayonet stud. Perhaps I arrived at my justification before my time but I thought, back in the late 80’s, the AR-15 would make a great hunting rifle. Certainly, when I was honorably discharged in 1996 and searching for that comfort level I had achieved with my M-16 A2, the AR-15 was my only reasonable option.

chriskevinSeveral years ago, good friend and fellow Marine Corps veteran, Chris Reed, History Channel’s Top Shot season 2 winner, talked about his desire to do more tactical-styled hunting. We talked about tactical hunting often and he eventually restored my fervor for AR platform rifles, something I hadn’t experienced in years. I had been too immersed in bowhunting to stop and realize my passion for modern sporting rifles had slowed to a low-crawl. in the end, I can thank Chris for drawing that passion back to the surface once again, this time for the long haul.

Long range Bolt Action by Kevin ReeseWhile I still bowhunt religiously, I have expanded once again to rifle shooting. My CZ-USA Model 3 .300 WSM is back in the game and more importantly, so is my Smith & Wesson (S&W) MP15T Tactical 5.56. For long range shooting, my Alpen Apex 6-24x50mm scope is the only way to go and I’ve dialed my S&W MP15T Tactical in at 600 yards; however, here in Texas most shots are much closer and my routine hog hunting is predominantly at night.

That said, my AimPoint H34S Hunter is the perfect lowlight/night optic for hunting and shooting within 300 yards and now rests atop my AR-15. The Alpen Apex scope, trusted for long distances precision accuracy, reclaimed its 600+ yard throne to reign over my CZ-USA . Both are topped with HHA Optimizer Horizon mounts. The Horizon allows me to calibrate for bullet drop out to 600 yards and is incredibly accurate. Once the Horizon is calibrated I simply dial in the range within 5 yards, up to 600 yards out, and put the crosshairs on target; there is no need for hold-over or mil-dots. I’ve also outfitted my S&W MP15T with a Crimson Trace Rail Master CMR-201 Laser smithwessonmp15t-2and Hawglite Helios H250. The Helios H250 is a rail-mounted lighting system with a remote switch that delivers a blinding red, green or white led light with a remote switch I’ve attached to the handguard. I also ordered a Harris bipod from Brownell’s to round out my tactical hunting rifle and have since set out on a series of new adventures that send memories of days gone by flooding back into my brain-housing-group.

Like many of our Sportsman Elite loyalist, I cut my teeth shooting every can I could as a kid and honed my skills with military training that has carried over well into my hunting success. More importantly, it broadened my perspective on modern sporting rifles like the AR-15 and the diverse ways we can employ them for self-defense as well as recreational shooting and hunting.

smithwessonmp15tI’ve heard arguments on both sides of the fence, from Piers Morgan backers like Willie Nelson who believes semi-automatic AR-15’s should only be used by military and police (I’ve since thrown all my Willie albums in the trash – sorry I just can’t stomach his position on gun ontrol!), to the well-thought-out ideology of our Lone Star State Senator, Ted Cruz, who educated a nearly catatonic diane feinstein on the differences between a semi-automatic rifle that happens to be black and a bolt action rifle… rather the lack of differences between them!

BHbipod5My pop also once told me “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything” – well, he told me many things and I tried to remember the important ones. This is an issue I do take a stand on. I choose to roll my eyes and the irresponsible of ramblings of people like Morgan, Nelson and feinstein (I never dreamed that I would group Willie with California’s waste of a senate seat – Willie’s always been wasted anyway) while I stand with my brothers-and-sisters-in-arms who undoubtedly would love to venture into the hunting woods with an AR-platform rifle that, while offering only a single-shot firing option, does cater to those creature comforts we identify with through service to our beloved country. It’s also worth mentioning that a while back, California senator, Leland Yee, a staunch supporter of gun control even arguing for outright gun bans was arrested and indicted on serious gun-trafficking charges. What’s wrong with that picture?

Read more about Senator Yee here:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/26/california-state-senator-arrested-in-fbi-sweep/

So, what’s my message to my fellow Navarro County hunters and shooting enthusiasts on AR-15’s and other modern sporting rifles in the woods? Take ‘em if you got ‘em! I choose to unify our front rather than divide our ranks with ignorant rhetoric and feinstein fascism. I suppose my position came with the commitment to uphold our Second Amendment, along with every other word in the Constitution, unlike some other folks. Of course, I also happen to believe an AR-15 is perfect for more than personal defense, it’s also great for hog and predator hunting!

comeandtakeitThat “Come and take it” perspective was born from military training and the knowledge that “we the people” rule the roost. Equally as important, it came from my proactive approach to real freedom. Whether you choose to shoot a bow, bolt action rifle, AR-15, 1911, revolver, muzzleloader or even Crosman’s ridiculously cool Benjamin Rogue .357-Caliber Air Rifle, get out there and do it! While you’re out there, thank every past and present warrior in our nation’s illustrious history for preserving your right to do so!

Hunt hard, hunt often and hunt with a modern sporting rifle like the AR-15, or better yet, with an ol’ Remington 700 BDL .300 resurrected with a McRees Prescision BR10 Chassis if that’s what turns your rotors! Whatever you choose, just get out there, enjoy God’s creation and eat well.

BR10-3-edited

A standard Remington bolt action rifle fitted with a HUNT READY McRees Precision BR10 Chassis (www.McReesPrecision.net)

 

 


The I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster: Range and Carry Holsters’ Finest Hour

How much innovation can you fit in I.C.E. Training’s new personal defense holster? Maybe enough to save a life!

By Kevin Reese

I_C_E-Firearms-Training-Logo2As someone licensed to carry a concealed firearm, with a ridiculous number of hours of handgun and shooting training over eight years of Marine Corps service and of course, concealed-carry training under my belt, I thought I was well-equipped for personal defense and survivability; I was wrong. I showed up to personal defense expert, Rob Pincus’ two-day Combat Focus Shooting training with a soft-sided outside the waistband (OWB) holster complete with Velcro strap, my Glock 17 Generation 4 and 1,000 rounds of my personal favorite factory ammunition, Federal’s American Eagle.

Just as quickly as I walked onto the pistol range, Rob Pincus himself escorted me back to the prep table. He didn’t smile or say much at all. He simply un-holstered my handgun and asked me to remove my holster. As I removed my personal holster, he handed me a new I.C.E. Range and Carry (RAC) Kydex Holster and instructed me to put it on, re-holster and join the other students for the morning’s training brief.

ICE-RAC Holster-smWhile I was familiar with molded holsters, including the one I owned for my standard-framed Glock 20 Gen 1, I was not a huge fan. In my experience many had clumsy releases I always fumbled with during drawing exercises. While I’ll acknowledge that showing up with such a poor excuse for a training holster and having it changed out in front of the class was a bit embarrassing (no one has ever accused Rob Pincus of being shy) I later counted it as the most positive equipment change I could recall in all of my handgun training experience.

During my Combat Focus Shooting training, I fired over 850 rounds with an average of four shots per repetition. Crunching numbers revealed I rapidly drew and holstered my Glock 17 Gen 4 at least 200 times without a single glance down to my side. Doing so or fumbling would have resulted in compromising drills and losing sight of my targets, especially during wind-sprint and figure-eight drills.

My first observation of the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster is that while it hugged my Glock and kept it passively secure, there was no inhibiting release mechanism. The result was a seamless, lightning-quick draw every time; in fact, my draw was more efficient than ever before! The outer wall is also shorter allowing for quicker clearing out of the holster, although the trigger assembly and magazine release are still protected. Throughout over 200 drawing and holstering repetitions, the holster’s passive grip design significantly improved vertical drawing and forward driving of my gun into a firing position.

rolled lip court ICEI.C.E.’s RAC holster also integrates a higher sweat guard against my body and rolled-back upper edge from front to back, something I’ve never seen on competing models, although I’m sure others will attempt to emulate this innovative feature. The rolled upper edge, combined with raised sweat guard keeps the gun higher and closer to my body while creating a funnel to accept my handgun in a safer, more vertical and efficient manner; I don’t have to fish for the opening like many holsters that may cause an unsafe habit of pointing the barrel towards my hip to avoid a collision with the holster’s top edge. Tins innovative design allowed for seamless, efficient holstering as quickly as I could possibly holster my handgun. From the beginning, I had never holstered more efficiently than with the I.C.E. RAC holster. The fact still holds true today.

The I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster was easy to install on my belt with the molded belt loops and wide platform and with 80-percent of the gun’s contour to the holster’s exterior face, it was comfortable all day long. Considering the extreme drills and physical movement I encountered throughout Combat Focus Shooting training, I can’t recall a single uncomfortable moment or instance of impeded mobility; at least, not from the holster although I’m sure I wasn’t the only one taking a few Ibuprofin in the evening! But, then again Rob Pincus doesn’t pull any punches. Your joints might hurt but survivability… and Combat Focus Shooting bragging rights are worth it.

I also noted minimal protrusion of my Glock 17 from the bottom of the holster. This open design still protected my handgun in any position while allowing for variations in length. For example, I can carry a Glock 17 and Glock 19 in the same holster.

Since the moment Mr. Pincus asked me to put it on, it’s been the only OWB holster I’ve carried. Simply put, while it’s certainly not the most expensive OWB holster I’ve owned, I’m a huge fan. Of course, after two days with Rob Pincus, I would expect nothing less than near-perfect “awesomeness”. His quest for perfection is about protecting what’s most important – truth be told, it’s not your handgun but this holster might disagree. Yes, it’s that good.

MSRP for the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster is $59.99 and, in my opinion, worth every penny.

To learn more about the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster and other great personal defense gear, visit the I.C.E. Firearm and Personal Defense Training Store at http://icestore.us/.

Click here to watch a video about the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster ( http://youtu.be/KG8tQrO3wLM)

CFS_Logo_GreenTo learn more about Rob Pincus’ life-changing Combat Focus Shooting personal defense courses, visit www.CombatFocusShooting.com.