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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    2,592

    Thumbs up Close Range Gunfighting, March 6-7, Chattanooga, TN

    Close Range Gunfighting, March 6-7, Chattanooga, TN

    Although Chattanooga, TN is the closest city, this course was taught on a farm in Alabama close to the point where Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee meet. This leads to an interesting effect: if you stay in nearby Trenton, GA you will arrive at the farm in Alabama before you leave. The reason is that you change from Eastern to Central time on crossing the border. So leaving the hotel at 9:00 EST gets you to the range around 8:30 CST. The directions were excellent, and I had no difficulty finding the farm. Be weary, however, of trusting your GPS. The roads in this area are all named County Road aaa, where aaa is some number. This particular county road exists in two counties.

    As the participants gathered, the range owner told me about problems with his creek. Last class, the creek had risen to the point where he was offering students to ferry them across. Everyone in that course declined the offer and just waded through the creek! Luckily, the creek was low during our weekend at this range. In fact, the weather was just about perfect both days.

    There were 8 students in the course. One used a Springfield Armory 1911. One used a SIG P239 with a DAK trigger. The rest used Glocks. My fellow students made this course a genuine pleasure. Unlike at some other “advanced” courses that I have attended, they were without exception competent gunmen already. The after-action assessment we learned in this course involves looking behind you to check for threats while holding your gun in the Sul position, so having competent students on the line is VERY comforting for the students and the instructor. I felt totally at ease doing this with my fellow students. I guess it’s a sign of the proficiency of the Suarez International community in general that the skill level was already so high at the start of this course.

    Once Randy Harris arrived, we took care of the paperwork and got started. To kick things off, Randy gave the best description on how to grip your handgun I have ever heard. It perfectly described the way I experience it, but I had never heard anyone else explain it quite like that. I’m not going to try to reproduce it here. You’ll just have to get it from Randy. Randy also explained the different steps of the draw.

    Randy, who is an experienced Cowboy Action and IDPA competitor, also demonstrated how typical match-based solutions are not your best bet in the real world. Take, for example, the common IDPA drill with three targets facing you at the same time, and no cover available. Instead of standing on the X, and shooting it out with three threats at the same time, you are better off moving to the flank of the threats while shooting them. See Randy’s Warrior Talk News article (http://www.adjunct.diodon349.com/Attack_on_USA/idpa__will_it_get_you_killed.htm) for more on Randy’s take on IDPA vs. gunfighting. Unlike a lot of folks, who I suspect just don’t have the shooting skills necessary to do well in IDPA matches, or who use a tricked-out competition gun that gets locked in the trunk on their way home, Randy actually has credibility when it comes to this topic: he’s an IDPA Master who uses the same gun and the same concealment method for matches and for concealed carry.

    We also went into the need to avoid stupid places, stupid things and stupid people, common defensive scenarios, ways to improve your home’s defenses, how close is too close, the sequence of events during a successful defense, and ways to spot threats.

    We broke for lunch, some folks went to a local Meat-and-Three-Veggies place, and some stayed at the farm to enjoy the sunshine and their sandwiches.

    When we got to the range, Randy reviewed the safety rules, the need to let the gun fall if it were dropped, and some quick malfunction drills.

    The first drill started with your forehead to the IDPA target, your hand on his shoulder, and your gun in the #2 position (at your pectoral muscle). This was close range gunfighting, all right! We built on this by firing from this position, stepping back, firing again, stepping to the right, and firing into the head from full extension. We also practiced shooting along the line of extension with both hands on the gun, and with one hand on the gun.

    After some more drills, the IDPA targets were covered with a photorealistic target of a bad guy aiming a gun. Randy introduced the Sul position, and we started doing close-range malfunction drills: punch the bad guy in the face with the malfunctioning gun.

    Randy introduced working from the fence (both hands up in a gesture defending your personal space), and we ended the first day working with our handheld lights and discussing the need for handheld lights to enable threat verification rather than for marksmanship.

    At some point that day, we also started moving to our 9 and 3 o’clock positions while shooting, and started using the complete after-action assessment (does he have any friends, are they behind me, is he still down, how’s my ammo, how am I?)

    Day 2 started with an interactive discussion of low light scenarios. Randy made the point that you really don’t need a retina-scorching handheld light to get good hits under low light conditions. However, the lack of available light changes everything because your visual input is reduced so much. A stationary threat will likely go unnoticed until he moves if your eyes haven’t adjusted to the dark yet. This is definitely something worth practicing more. Randy offers an entire low light fof course, which sounds like a VERY good idea.

    Once we got back to the range, we added transitioning to your backup weapon (knife or gun) in case of a malfunction with your primary weapon during a close range gunfight. All students had knives as their backup weapon, but I also had my trusty Model 442 that I keep in my left pocket for just such an eventuality. :D

    Next, we practiced picking up a “dropped” gun with our support hand, starting standing and starting prone, and the use of cover. Randy was nice enough to let us use the back of his SUV for cover while we were shooting around it. I was VERY careful not to accidentally put a round through the car. A box of targets simulated a telephone pole to make the point that your distance to such skinny cover items matters a lot.

    After lunch, we got a chance to see how the “firing squad” scenario would play out: the student faced three targets, while Randy faced a single target. Could the student double tap each of the three targets before Randy drew and shot his target in the head? Randy didn’t start drawing until he heard the first shot. Most of the time, the outcome was a close draw. Here I learned that even though the targets may be close it’s still entirely possible to get poor accuracy if I crank my speed way up. In general, shooting the targets just once made the outcomes a little better, but still not great. We practiced the best solution (moving to the targets' flanks) repeatedly.

    At the end of the course, the discussion turned to ground fighting and knives. One of the students was a local Jiu-Jitsu instructor. Randy used this student’s expertise for this part of the course. It’s really nice to see a martial arts instructor who has integrated handguns into his martial art. Randy showed us his collection of fixed-blade knives and their training versions, and urged us to get good gun skills, and then broaden our skill set.

    Overall, I felt that this was an extremely useful course that builds well on the skills taught in the DPS course. Randy Harris is a very competent instructor that I can recommend to anyone. I’m already looking forward to taking the Extreme Close Range Gunfighting and Zero To Five Feet courses.
    Last edited by Alex Nieuwland; 03-22-2010 at 03:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
    Posts
    3,499
    Thanks! I really had a good time in this class.

    As you mention, everyone was VERY competent to begin with and we could move right along.Several in the class had been in the DPS class with me previously and one was back to take the CRG class again as a refresher. And if any of you were wondering.... IDPAlex can shoot;).

    Sometimes you get questions about things like ground work and it is always a bonus when you have a Gracie Jujitsu blackbelt and one of his students in class. That way I can stand by and lecture on the concepts and they can roll around demonstrating some options for getting out of different predicaments on the ground while the students can watch and ask questions. It works out for everyone:D. The point is that while we carry guns we know that not all problems are gun problems and some gun problems do not start out that way and it really hammers home the need for classes like Zero to Five Foot and ECRG and FOF.

    Again, this was a great group to work with and I look forward to seeing you guys again!
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor
    NRA Certified Instructor
    Tennessee State Handgun Carry Permit Instructor
    Glock Factory Certified Armorer
    IDPA Master Class SSP, ESP,CDP, CCP, BUG, CO
    Gung Ho Chuan Association

    TRAIN with me....https://suarezinternational.com/sear...h_query=harris

    Fundamentalist Christian Man at Arms

    AKA - CRUEL HAND LUKE

    Joel 3:10 - Beat your plowshares into swords , and your pruning hooks into spears; train even your weaklings to be warriors.

    Through HIS power I can walk on water..IF I just have the faith and courage to get out of the boat.

    A good man who's done a couple of bad things along the way....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Wichita, KS
    Posts
    6,091
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Harris View Post
    That way I can stand by and lecture on the concepts and they can roll around demonstrating some options for getting out of different predicaments on the ground while the students can watch and ask questions. It works out for everyone:D.
    Every class I've taken with you somebody seems to end up rolling around on the ground.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    2,401
    I thought everyone seemed to be getting alot of good info from the class.
    I hosted and am really glad the weather held out and thus the mud was at a minimum.

    I have taken CRG and DPS many times each and always seem to find new twists and info that give me better perspective on the ways of surviving and winning a fight.

    I like the quote from Denzel Washington in Man on Fire:

    "There is no such thing as tough...there is trained and untrained....which one are you?"
    Just because you cant imagine it doesnt mean I can't do it.

    Most people are not looking for answers....they are looking for approval.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
    Posts
    3,499
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    Every class I've taken with you somebody seems to end up rolling around on the ground.
    Just lucky I guess.....:D
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor
    NRA Certified Instructor
    Tennessee State Handgun Carry Permit Instructor
    Glock Factory Certified Armorer
    IDPA Master Class SSP, ESP,CDP, CCP, BUG, CO
    Gung Ho Chuan Association

    TRAIN with me....https://suarezinternational.com/sear...h_query=harris

    Fundamentalist Christian Man at Arms

    AKA - CRUEL HAND LUKE

    Joel 3:10 - Beat your plowshares into swords , and your pruning hooks into spears; train even your weaklings to be warriors.

    Through HIS power I can walk on water..IF I just have the faith and courage to get out of the boat.

    A good man who's done a couple of bad things along the way....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Retired in the Gun Room
    Posts
    103

    Default CRG March 6-7 Chattonoga, Tn.

    +2 on all that have previously posted. I was in the class and learned a lot in areas that I had not seen before. I did beat Randy on the 3 BG's two shots each before he got a chance to shoot me. The class added to my knowledge of Street Presence that I have learned in the years past and new techniques to read others and what is going on out there in the real world now. Shot over 700 rounds in the class over 2 days and it was all worth more than you can ever know. I shoot IPSC B class Major and learned a lot. Go take this course. I am now working up what to take next.
    Stay Safe and Good Shooting if you have to.
    Steve

    Chance favors the Prepared Mind. L. Pasteur
    ECC3: There is a time for everything.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Eastern NC
    Posts
    4

    Default My thoughts on the Close Range Gunfighting Class

    I would like to echo the opinions of the other posters about the CRG Class in/near Chattanooga, TN. Being the “old dog” in the class I was there with an open mind. Everyone present was professional and competent with their elective firearms. Frankly, I was surprised at the competency level of all in attendance. I did feel a bit like the ugly step-child since I was the only one with a Sig. But I must admit that out of approximately 700 rounds…without any cleaning what so ever, it functioned 100%. I ran it wet with slide glide. I believe my 239 SAS/DAK was one of three of the eight guns that did not have at least one malfunction over the two day course. I could have taken my Sig 226 to shoot but did not want to miss the opportunity to train with my carry gun.

    I anticipate taking another class with Randy in the future…maybe the Force on Force. Those of you who have never trained with Randy, you have missed an opportunity to meet a really good instructor and most importantly, a really nice person.
    I am too old for women to care and too young for Medicare! :)

  8. #8
    JohnH11B Guest
    C carry, I see no need for you to feel like a "ugly step-child". You trained with your carry gun. Smart! You took the course, while alot of people took the weekend to bullseye shoot with a museum piece that never gets carried.

    CRG is a great course.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Chattanooga Close Range Gunfighting

    Long time listner, first time caller.
    Just to add my two cents worth, its all true. Close range gunfighting is the class to take and Randy Harris is the one you need to take it from. Its that simple. DPS was the first and great too, thanks Randy. CRG was great both times I took it. Extreme CRG with yes, you guessed it, Randy Harris, just takes it that much further, and its worth the trip. In fact, the only thing better was the Force on Force classes I have taken from Randy. Point Shooting with Roger Phillips (hosted by Rick Klopp) was an eye opener and Zero to Five Feet with Gabe was humbling, very humbling and what got me to take Jui Jitsu (that and the fact that I am lucky enough to have an incredable Gracie Jui Jitsu Black Belt instructor in Chattanooga). My point to the listing of my Suarez resume and praising of All the Suarez Instructors I have had the pleasure to train with is this, If You Want to give yourself the best advantage defending yourself and your loved ones, you should take every one of the classes listed above. You will never know how much you 'don't know' about mindset and tactics until you take these classes. Randy Harris has an ability to articulate the subject matter (which can be quite complex when you add all the variables in dealing with bad guys) in a way that is just plain common sense and easy to understand. It all just makes sense. And even if you are not a "shooter", give him a day and an open mind and he will have you gettin off the x and doing things that you wouldn't have thought possible. Even more, he will most likely have you leaving the class with a new mindset to a way of thinking that the best way to not ever be a victim is to not put yourself in stupid places with stupid people but if, heaven forbid, you ever do need to rely on only yourself to survive, you have the tools necessary. Thats life changing. This is my first post and long over due, Randy (and the rest of the Suarez crew), Thank You. I look forward to the next class.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
    Posts
    3,499
    Wow. Thanks guys.....Where to start?

    Again, this class was to a man, EXTREMELY competent before they even arrived. All I did was polish some rough spots.

    Blue Thunder, you did very well and I hope to see you again some time.

    Concealed Carry, You may have been the old dog but you certainly still have PLENTY of bite. That Sig 239SAS worked perfectly and other than having to change mags a bit more often, there was nothing you were not able to do as well as the glock shooters. Nice pistol by the way.;) We will get that FOF class scheduled ASAP.

    Handlebarz, thanks man, I appreciate the kind words. Maybe don't deserve it , but I certainly do appreciate it. Having you and Mickey in class to demo some REALLY close range gunfighting was an added bonus. And that ECRG class and Low Light FOF you requested will be up on the schedule soon too......
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor
    NRA Certified Instructor
    Tennessee State Handgun Carry Permit Instructor
    Glock Factory Certified Armorer
    IDPA Master Class SSP, ESP,CDP, CCP, BUG, CO
    Gung Ho Chuan Association

    TRAIN with me....https://suarezinternational.com/sear...h_query=harris

    Fundamentalist Christian Man at Arms

    AKA - CRUEL HAND LUKE

    Joel 3:10 - Beat your plowshares into swords , and your pruning hooks into spears; train even your weaklings to be warriors.

    Through HIS power I can walk on water..IF I just have the faith and courage to get out of the boat.

    A good man who's done a couple of bad things along the way....

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