Pages

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ALETA Speed & Accuracy COF and Alternative Scoring for Performance Tracking

In the state of Arkansas the ALETA Speed & Accuracy Course of Fire (COF) is kind of the standard Law Enforcement handgun qualification course. Other qualification courses can be used, but they have to be submitted for approval and some other red tape. To my knowledge, most departments just use the Speed & Accuracy COF. It is shot on the standard B-27 with a maximum score of 500. Hits inside the 8, 9, 10 and X ring are 10 points each. Everywhere else is 6 points each. It is broken down below.

Distance   Commands
  Rounds
  Time
  25yd
  From Holster
  2rds
  6 sec
  25yd
  From Ready
  2rds
  5 sec
  25yd
  From Ready
  2rds
  5 sec

  Distance
  Commands
  Rounds
  Time
  15yd
  From Holster
  3rds
  5 sec
  15yd
  From Ready
  3rds
  4 sec
  15yd
  From Holster
  2rds
  4 sec
  15yd
  From Ready
  1rd
  2 sec
  15yd
  From Holster
  2rds
  4 sec
  15yd
  From Ready
  1rd
  2 sec

  Distance
  Commands
  Rounds
  Time
  7yd
  From Holster
  5rds
  15 sec (R)
  7yd
  From Holster
  3rds
  4 sec
  7yd
  From Ready
  3rds
  3 sec
  7yd
  From Ready
  3rds
  3 sec

  Distance
  Commands
  Rounds
  Time
  3yd
  From Holster
  6rds
  12 sec (R)
  3yd
  WHO From Holster
  2rds
  3 sec
  3yd
  WHO From Ready
  2rds
  2 sec
  3yd
  WHO From Ready
  2rds
  2 sec
  3yd
  SHO From Holster
  2rds
  3 sec
  3yd
  SHO From Ready
  2rds
  2 sec
  3yd
  SHO From Ready
  2rds
  2 sec



As with most Law Enforcement qualification courses, it is not difficult to pass. I wouldn't even say it is difficult to score 100%. I do think it is a useful COF if used correctly though. If you cannot score 100% on it every time all the time, that is a good goal to start with. If you can, then track the amount of time it takes you to complete each string of fire as you go through the course. Once complete, add up the total time of all the strings and divide your points scored by the total amount of time it took you to shoot the COF. For example if it takes me 50 seconds to shoot a 500 point score I would divide 500/50 and my metric would be 10. I could then shoot the COF again in a few weeks or months and see if I have improved my metric by shooting faster (since I can't score anymore points).


Monday, April 21, 2014

Playing Chase

Last month when I took Defensive Handgun Level 1 for the second time I approached the class differently than the year before. The first time, I came into the class as a shooter. I wanted to learn ways to shoot better either through new techniques, or mastering techniques I already used. This second time I came with an entirely different goal, and that was to learn new or better ways to teach. Unbeknownst to me at the time, but Mike is planning the release of a book on firearms instruction later this year. It is on my short list of books to read now.

While I was working through a progression drill as part of the class, Mike stepped up beside me on the line and started shooting. My movement to draw, would signal his start. I called it playing chase. He then explained the purpose of the exercise and its use to motivate skilled students in a class to push their shooting ability. Thinking back on my past two classes with Mike, he used this technique in both of them. I even secured "grandmaster of the day" on one drill, only to lose it later.

video

I am a very competitive shooter, so for me this instructional technique works well. I think the key to using it is to identify the skilled and/or competitive shooters in the class and target it towards those people. I could see it not working so well with students who might be intimidated by the competitiveness of the technique. It just goes to show that there is more to putting on a good class than knowing how to shoot a gun well. I would say there is even more to it than knowing how to transfer information from yourself, the teacher, to the student. You have to be able to identify where the student is and meet them where they are at  in order to pull the most out of them from a performance standpoint. This is just a tool to do that.



Monday, April 14, 2014

The Tale of Two Textures: The non-Stipple Option

If you go to a firearms related forum and search "stippling" you will find stuff like this. Some of it is pretty good, some of it isn't, it all probably works for what it is intended for, which is to improve traction on the firearm. I have done a little bit of stippling (and here, and here) and I learned one thing really fast, it is tedious and takes a lot of time to do well. Because of the time involved, some things I just didn't stipple.

You also have to be careful about how you stipple because when carried against the skin, or certain types of fabric it can be abrasive. It wears out the body, or whatever fabric it is rubbing against.

So I starting thinking that there has to be a better way. Something that isn't as time consuming at the very least. A while back, I found it. It is called Marine Tex. There are other products out there that from my understanding you can do the same thing with, and some I hear are even better at it, but this is what I have used. Marine Tex is a two part epoxy that is intended for the repair of boat hulls. So it is a fairly resilient epoxy.

The way this works is you make up a little batch (it doesn't take much) and spread it fairly thin on whatever surface you want to add texture to (I recommend cleaning the surface before hand) and let it set for 20-30 minutes depending on air temperature, humidity, etc. Once it has become a little tacky, you can use a sponge, rag, or whatever you want to tack the surface of the epoxy. It ends up looking like this.
 
 
There will be some sharp peaks, that is okay for now. Once you have all the texture you want/need, let it sit for about 24 hours until the epoxy is completely cured. Once the epoxy is cured, use a piece of sandpaper to take off the sharp peaks and get it to the texture you want. Once you are satisfied, hit it with a little water to wash all the dust away and the grip is done.
 
Depending on what you use to "tack" the surface you can go really gnarly like this.
 
Chopped G22
 
Or something more subtle like this.
 


Gen2 G21
 
Remington R1 w/Mako Magwell Grips

If you end up not liking the end result, just sand it off and start over. Unlike stippling, if you screw this up, odds are you aren't going to ruin your gun in the process which is what I think scares a long of people away from stippling with a heat tool. I have also found that even though you can end up with a very aggressive texture like the chopped G22 pictured above, it doesn't abrade the skin like normal stippling tends to when worn in a holster against the skin or grab clothing. But when you grip it to shoot, you definitely notice a difference.

As for the Magpul grip pictured above, this is the finished product. Total working time start to finish is about 30 minutes with 24 hours or so of curing time.