"It's not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
I have taken different classes, some tactical, some technical, some LE specific. The last class I took was the end of summer '11, so I would call myself "rusty" going into this class. I also try not to leave my home state for any reason so this was an easy to and from trip from my googling. I figured it was worth the time, effort and money to see what the cool kids are doing now a days. I sent a few emails to Chris and after having my questions answered quickly I knew I wanted in, thankfully the class was not full since like many others, my schedule is not something I have much control over. I was told I would be the only one running anything different than a AR15-type rifle. No issue there, always down for a challenge. I went into the class open minded, knowing that I would have to do things differently than I am used to. This class was exactly what I thought it would be and more. Slow at the right times, fast in other times, did not notice any dull moments and had a great time. I have shot with a lot of people, and this group was a bunch of great guys. Jack made this class one to remember with how he injected humor in a manner which kept our attention and kept us working on a specific goal. My primary goal was to learn how to operate the SCAR system more efficiently, effectively, under pressure while utilizing the zero which was adopted in the class. I am going to leave out certain specifics and parts on purpose.
SCAR 16s w/ H1 and bi-pod vertical grip, smith vortex muzzle device, Troy Ax grip
MS2 and MS3 sling (ms2 on day 1, ms3 on day 2)
TAG Banshee PC (removed for day two)
ATS warbelt (kept on both days)
Wolf .223 62gr HP
The First Half (Day2)
Up on arrival we setup and the safety briefing began. Everyone was cold, since it was in the low 30's and snowing (partially), but it cleared up early it was still cold and very windy. The safety briefing was direct and to the point. We did not do the pledge of allegiance or prayer for the day, this however is dependent on demographic, so no issues here and I doubt anyone wanted to listen to me be thankful about the locals not finding the hooker bodies. Jack went over standard functions, how to fix the gun if it stops working and demonstrated each technique. This was not a beginners class so there was no drawn out explanation, which was good. The zero calibration for the class was explained with pity for anyone who did not do it this way, and off we went to zero our rifles. This part took a good amount of time, almost most of the morning. I personally had no issue since a proper zero is required to move forward with training.
Once we were setup we did an aggregate, which included the 1/2 & 1/2. This was the first time I had ever run the drill and it was obvious by my fail-boat performance. The entire aggregate was designed to show us how much we sucked at specific aspects. This was a good starting point because it setup points we all wanted to hit during the class.
During the initial 1/2 & 1/2 drill it was very obvious I was going to have issues with seating the SCAR properly if I kept my armor on (TAG Banshee). I kept it on for the rest of the day to get a feel for the PC (different thread to come).
The Second Half (Day1)
"Shoot him in the neck!" - or something like that.
We started off the second half of day 1 with distance shooting. I remember Jack saying something about the first position to consider shooting someone from should be prone, if you can hit steel at 300, hitting under that should not be much of an issue. So we walked up the hill, setup and started dinging steel. It was almost like music. Jack told us to pay attention to the wind, which calmed down significantly, but kicked up during the 300 shoot and it was noticeable because it got really quite all of a sudden. We readjusted quickly and the hits continued. Optics did play a role in this, but not as great of a role as many would believe, I had no issue getting good hits with my H1. The zero Jack set us up with made it extremely manageable. After we tore up the steel for a few magazines we went down and started to work on fundamentals. Rifle placement, hold and accompanying drills to embed this instruction, sending it home.