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Thread: AAR: 2/25-2/26 - F2S Consulting 2-Day Practical Carbine Course

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    Feb 2011
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    Vienna, VA

    AAR: 2/25-2/26 - F2S Consulting 2-Day Practical Carbine Course

    This past weekend, I attended the F2S Consulting 2-day practical carbine class in High View, WV. The following is my collection of notes, thoughts, and recollections.

    The Trainers
    F2S Consulting is Jack 'Failure2Stop' Leuba and Chris 'Smash' Abernathy. I’ll spare you a restatement of Jack’s bio – suffice to say that his military and instructional creds are the equal of anyone in the industry. Chris is an active duty Marine, who took time off from his real job to handle the class administration and do additional teaching.

    Me
    My shooting background is almost exclusively competition-based. I’ve competed in 3-gun and practical pistol shooting for around seven years, reaching the USPSA classification of Production master. Over the past few years I’ve trained with Max Michel and Travis Tomaise, Blackwater/USTC, Ernest Langdon, Todd Green/Pistol-Training.com, and a few other instructors. The vast majority of my training has been with the pistol – this was my first multi-day rifle class.

    TD1
    Pro tip – drive to the range the night before the class starts. This will help avoid getting lost on the way to the range, and getting your car stuck on a backwoods fire road ten miles from nowhere, and twenty miles from the nearest cell tower.

    The class started off by going through Jack’s very detailed zeroing procedure. Jack strongly recommends a 100-meter zero for a general-purpose carbine. He also suggests zeroing your iron sights with the optic detached from the gun, then reinstalling the optic and checking for any zero shifts.

    Once everyone had something approaching a zero, the class moved into a short series of drills designed to evaluate our current skill levels and identify any weak areas. We discussed stance, grip, and trigger control, and worked on shooting rapid groups, offhand, from 5 to 75 yards.

    From there, we jumped right into shooting on the move. Shooting on the move is kind of a tricky subject – it’s not easy to balance range safety, realism, and time. Jack and Chris kept a close eye on the line, and did a good job of keeping anyone from wandering in front of a muzzle.

    Dusk approached, and we broke for an hour to warm up for the night shoot. I spent most of that hour hiding in the back of Chris’ crew cab F250 with the heater running. Did I mention that it was friggin’ cold?

    Anyway, we spent a few hours working on lowlight shooting, figuring out hand placement and such. We re-ran a lot of our speed drills out to 75 yards, which was about the distance that target identification, became really difficult. Everyone’s light setup seemed to work pretty well.

    By 9pm, everyone was pretty well whipped. We broke for dinner at Outback and called it a night. I headed back to the hotel, soaked in the hot tub for twenty minutes, ate a handful of ibuprofen and fish oil (that’s another pro tip,) and sacked out.

    TD2
    TD2 opened up bright and early, and a little warmer than TD1 – much appreciated, God. After quickly confirming our zeros at 100 yards, we trudged up the back hill to work on some mid-range steel. Jack gave us a quick rundown on position shooting, holdover, and wind calls, and then we paired up and got to the shooting. This is where all that time spent refining our zeros really showed it’s value – everybody was getting consistent hits on 300-yard pepper poppers in short order.

    We did some work on alternate shooting positions, kneeling, sitting, reverse kneeling, and so on. We also got seriously into what Jack calls ‘bilateral shooting’ (insert your own pun here.) We spent a lot of time switching hands and shoulders, both with and without cover.

    Finally, with dusk rapidly approaching, we did some lateral fire-and-movement work from cover, and then a repeat of the skills eval from TD1. After a short post-class discussion, we broke up, ate dinner, and hit the road.

    Lessons Learned
    I hope that I don’t sound like too much of a douchebag when I say this, but I think that I’m reasonably competent with a carbine. I came away from this class having learned quite a bit more. In particular, I identified a couple of small tweaks that help when shooting at high speed, and got to work on my left-side shooting, which was and is a weak point in my game.

    I also got to spend some time refining my zero. We spent a solid couple of hours refining our carbine zeros on the first day, and it was time well spent. I see this over and over again at 3-gun matches – guys come out with a rifle that has been zeroed with ten rounds at fifty yards, and they burn magazine after magazine at anything out past ~100 yards. If there is a secret to successful rifle shooting, it is to KNOW YOUR ZERO. Everyone at this class, now knows their zero.

    Jack is a firehose of information, on the line and off. He’s gone very, very deep into the mechanics of rifle shooting, and it shows in his training. Take a notebook and pen, and keep it in your pocket during the class. Also, hang around during lunch if you possibly can. It’s a great time to pester Jack and Chris with any questions you might have.

    Gear
    I ran my primary 3-gun rifle – MSTN 17” upper with rifle length gas, Lancer L15 lower with an ARGold drop-in trigger, Swarovski Z6i-BRT scope. Ammo was Federal XM193 brown box, fed through old-school Lancer magazines. My pistol was a Glock 34 with Warren sights. I used a Wilderness CSM belt, Ready Tactical OWB holster, and Ready Tactical kydex magazine carriers. The combo ran very well, save for a couple of failures to lock back on an empty magazine. I trashed two of my old Lancers at the range, and will be replacing the rest of them in the next week or so.

    There were two guns (that I saw) with functional problems during the class. One was a DPMS carbine that had been upgraded with a Bravo Company BCG, which had major feeding issues. I suspect that the mag catch or mag catch cutout was out of spec. The other rifle was a Bravo Company lightweight middy, which had some short-stroking issues with Wolf ammo. For these kinds of high-round-count classes, I strongly recommend using full-power, brass cased ammunition. My experience with Wolf ammo is that it will function fine in a properly built gun, right up until it won’t.

    One interesting gear warning – another student had a bottle of Slip 2000 EWL that he left in his car overnight. On the morning of TD2, the bottle had frozen into a solid lump. This might be something to watch for with water-based lubes. I generally lube my ARs with Shooters Choice FP-10, mainly because I like how it smells, and it worked perfectly.

    Useful Links
    F2S Consulting
    Pics from the class. I'm the one with the hat.

    -C

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