OPS Tactical Carbine AAR

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Jan 6, 2004
Denver, CO
OPS Tactical Carbine:

This was my third time through this course as a student & like every other time I picked up some new info and, most importantly, learned a few things about how I work with my gun. This class is not a replacement for a multi-day class from EAG, Tactical Response, Magpul Dynamics, etc. It is a good one day rundown of a lot of the fundamentals of fighting with your rifle. For some people the learning curve was pretty steep & as you’ll see we more or less started at zero & worked our way through team movement over the course of the day.

The day started off with a lecture covering Andy’s perspective on mindset, tactics, skill & equipment, including the must have items for a carbine, where the class fell in the hierarchy (tactics & some skill) & a safety/med briefing. Andy isn’t much of a gear guy so student input was solicited on things beyond the basics of sling & light. He moved on to basic manipulations of both the AR & AK platforms & the why behind the techniques.

We had a variety of students from a former SF soldier to a brand new Sheriff’s Deputy & civilians of all training, skill & gear levels.

The range time started up close with a demo of sight-bore offset to get people a little more in tune with having to take that into account with closer range shots. The bottom of the EOTech reticle seems to be a good reference point from about 3-10 yards. After a few sets to get comfortable with the offset we went straight into transitioning to the handgun. Our general rule for the day was anything within 25 yards means transition to the pistol. Later in the class it was interesting to watch students who would have some sort of issue (out of ammo, malfunction, etc.) with the carbine try to go straight into fixing it as opposed to transitioning. This seems to be something most people need more work on.

We also worked on forward & rearward movement while shooting. The guys that accepted the fact that the gun was going to wobble seemed to have a much easier time of things than the guys who tried to fight the wobble.

Before lunch we proned out for a sight in session to confirm (or for some to actually get a) zero on the rifles. Coming to class with a zeroed rifle will save a lot of time for everyone- DO IT! We weren’t looking for a super precise zero since we were going to be working at about 15-25 yards for the rest of the day but I think a lot of the guys got the point that it can be hard to hit anything with an unzeroed rifle at even modest ranges.

After lunch we started shooting from various field positions including more prone, sitting, kneeling (braced & speed) squatting & standing. We also did a few reps of urban prone & braced against a barrier of some sort. We included a few switching position competitions for bragging rights, first on body shots, then on head shots at about 15 yards.

After that the barriers came out. We had a variety of high & low cover options & we shot a few drills from both strong & support sides. We worked on solo movement (parallel to the firing line) between pieces of cover & again there was a timed competition.

The final drill was a team movement drill between the 6 pieces of cover we had set up. This was a pretty standard leap frogging drill that required at least one person to be shooting at all times. I was Andy’s demo monkey for this drill & after we ran it one of us monitored each of the students during a dry run & then their live run. This was the most stressful part of the class for me because I had to keep an eye on my student, try to stay out of the way of both students & Andy on the move & try to pick up some teachable moments during the process.

We only had one rifle go down early in the class because of a lost buffer retainer. It was quickly fixed & back in the fight with a good lesson learned for the student. Two of the guys ran the GSG-5 carbines. It looks like a neat gun & neither had any real function problems beyond typical rimfire ammo issues. I’m not sold on that platform though since most of us don’t have MP-5s as primary weapons. For training benefit I think you’d get a lot more out of a dedicated .22 like the Colt, Tactical Solutions, etc. ARs or, depending on the range a plain .22 conversion. I will say that the guys shooting the GSGs spent a lot less in ammo than the rest of us.

Most people shot around 300-400 rounds for the class & everyone left with the same number of holes they showed up with. We ran into a couple of mag malfunctions with aluminum GI & no-name mags that were promptly either destroyed or relegated to the training only stack by the owners. It really makes me happy to see other students who are quick to lend a hand or gear to those who are having issues with what they brought. Especially if the person in need is new to training. This kind of attitude will go a long way toward cultivating our culture & creating more training junkies.

I ran a Bushmaster Dissipator with one of the newer YHM rifle length free-float rails, an EOTech 512, Ready-Mag & a few other nice to have items. Mags were P-Mags & the gun ran without issues as usual. Granted, 300-400 rounds isn’t a very strenuous test of a gun.

It was great to get out & train again with Andy & some good students. If you were at the class please feel free to fill in any blanks or add your commentary. I’m sure I didn’t cover it all.

I'll try to add some pics as they become available- I lost my camera a few weeks ago :banghead: so I'm a little dependant on others at this point.
Thanks for the AAR, YM. Do you have a POC for Andy? I'd like to get it posted in the list here...

His email is [email protected].

Andy is based out of CA, but there are a couple of us here in Denver that are OPS instructors. Let me know if you're interested in some training. We're running everything from NRA level classes to the OPS curriculum & hosting guys like SouthNarc, Progressive FORCE Concepts & hopefully Tactical Response.
Wish I could afford it - asked the Dept once if I could use our educational subsidy, was told it wasn't job related.
Sounds like a blast!
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