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Thread: AAR - Defensive Carbine I - 1/28/2023 Culpeper, VA

  1. #1

    AAR - Defensive Carbine I - 1/28/2023 Culpeper, VA

    In the opinion of Barnabas Pike

    This After-Action Report is aimed at the newer gun owners who are just getting into firearms and trying to get the training that they need. Once you have secured a decent firearm and have managed to acquire more than the minimally-required ammunition, it’s time to learn some good skills from some awesome instructors.

    Defensive Carbine I is an eight-hour course put on by the Green-Ops team in Culpeper, VA. This class “covers the basic defensive use of the carbine (AR platform 5.56/.223). It begins with the fundamentals of marksmanship and moves into more advanced drills.”

    To attend this class, at a minimum, students must know and should be able to follow at all times the 4 Cardinal Rules of Firearms safety. Students should be familiar with the manipulation of an AR (loading, unloading, locking the bolt to the rear and safety manipulation).

    Our particular course’s instructor/student ratio was 1:5. The Virginia Green-Ops Instructor cadre has a diversity of experience that they bring to the table [Military, Law Enforcement [LE], Contractors, competitive Grandmasters, etc.] and they clearly love what they do. Grandmaster Josh Shaw led the class with an assist from Fred, Luke, and Max. These instructors are all approachable and great resources to glean more knowledge regarding your goals, equipment, etc. Pro tip: feel free to contact Green-Ops at before your class to address any course-related questions that you may have.

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    Equipment used:
    My equipment choices are based on “trusted affordability.” In the end, it’s not necessarily all about the equipment but the skills that you acquire along the way from your training.

    Carbine: Any AR-style carbine, according to your budget, should suffice. At minimum you should be looking at a PSA AR, if money is tight.

    Optic: Most, if not all, students were running some kind of optic on their ARs. Most were Red Dot Sights [RDS] while some were LPVO’s [Low-Power Variable Optics].

    Magazines: Minimum 3 magazines. Magpul brand is good. Avoid Hexmark. Bring these magazines filled with 28 rounds each to class and leave them in your mag pouches.

    Mag pouches: you will want to have a way to carry 2-3 AR magazines on your person, besides your pockets. Your choices are mag pouches on your belt or a chest rig.

    Ammo: Course outline calls for a minimum of 400 rounds of normal 5.56/2.23 AR ammo. Brass is preferred to steel-case ammo. Focus on brands that work reliably with your carbine.

    Again, Green-Ops can help you with your equipment selection process.

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    Course Content:
    The instructors started off by discussing the importance of the five pillars of pistol marksmanship: Dry fire, live fire, shot timers, competition and video analysis.

    We then proceeded to the range and began with loading a magazine within our “workspace”, developing the right stance and on applying those to a Bill Drill which involves shooting six shots at paper targets from the ready position. We worked on improving our reloads, from either the belt-line or the chest, and we went thru various firing positions including standing to kneeling before moving onto some timed carbine standards. I learned that taking a split second to aim better increases your score because of reduced misses.

    After lunch, we learned about the reasons for Misfires and how to deal with malfunctions. The instructors took us thru shooting at multiple targets with the advice to look, then aim [eyes on new target before putting sights there]. Switching from strong-side to support-side is an awkward but necessary skill that we went over, as well.

    Shooting from different positions behind barricades was next. We were taught intricacies such as how far back to stand from it, where to place your legs, knees, toes, etc. For a wrap-up we went thru the timed carbine standards again.

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    Come with an “empty-vessel” teachable mind-set, bring a notebook and take notes!, be sociable, encouraging and make friends and ask a lot of questions. Banish all negative self-talk and, if you’re a lesser-experienced shooter like me, expect to be in the lowest 20%. As long as you are behaving safely and learning from your experiences, you are on the right path.

    Bring lots of hydration and ice, apply sunscreen early and often, bring a backup weapon, if you have one, and extra magazines and ammo.

    If red dot sights are your jam make sure that you sight in your carbine preferably at 50 yards before coming to class. If that’s not possible zero in your sights at 25 yards at the local range. This will save you time, ammo and potential embarrassment during class. Also, don’t forget the instructions and adjustment tool for your RDS, as well as an extra battery, just in case.

    So, look at Green-Ops training schedule, find the classes that you need in order to fill in your gaps, put together the equipment required for the class and sign up today so that you can have the skills that you need when you need them.

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  2. #2
    Dot Driver Kyle Reese's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central Virginia
    Thank you for taking the time to write this outstanding AAR and for training with us!

    We look forward to seeing you again in a future class.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Excellent AAR! Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review along with photos. What a great crew of instructors! Thank you.

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