Day two. Unlike the previous PSTC courses I’ve taken, PST 102 starts at 8AM in order to essentially cram as much content into a single weekend. Add the Daylight Saving Time change on Sunday morning, and I should have been more bleary-eyed than I felt when we returned to the range. Caffeine for the win.
Since all six students (yours truly included) had passed the class exam, we spent the day working on a slew of drills and exercises that further extended our marksmanship skills in the contexts of environment, situation, and movement.
For the sake of documentation, I’m going to briefly describe some of what we did on Sunday:
- One-handed draw - main and support hand - from concealment to make accurate body and head shots.
- The “precious cargo drill” which obviously requires one-hand shooting. We used a variety of stuffed animals as our “cargo,” and mine was the plush lion pictured above.
- Low light marksmanship without illumination on high contrast targets and with flashlights held in a variety of positions. Again, more one-handed shooting with the flashlight.
- Low light target threat assessment using a variety of random “dummy” targets that may or may not require an armed response. Spoiler: one of the “trick question” dummies had a police badge.
- The Tueller Drill where the class simulated - with cardboard and plastic props - the scenario where a defender tries to draw and (fake) fire before an attacker closes a 7 yard gap to (fake) attack with a (fake) knife. We found that while it is possible to draw and (fake) fire before the attacker makes contact, it’s also likely that the defender will get stabbed at least once and possibly for at least another 5 seconds, depending on how severe the (fake) shot was.
- Drawing while sidestepping and making body and head shots.
- Moving in all directions while making body and/or head shots.
- Add reloading and malfunction clearin while doing moving and shooting. For this exercise, we had 3 magazines that a fellow student loaded, and in that loadout was 1 dummy round. So, while one was moving about an arragement of obstacles, one had to shoot, reload, and clear that random Type 1 malfunction.
- Drawing while retreating from “melee range” of the target, making multiple body and head shots while (or after) moving to cover.
- Moving, drawing, and making body and head shots while clearing a “bystander” (a designated target that’s initially in the line of sight).
I may be forgetting one or more, as it was a very intense day of “scootin' n' shootin'” as the saying went. For the final exercise (and apparently this was the first 102 class to get this far), Gabe hung a set of bowling pins from the overhead rail downrange, and we, in pairs, had to move, draw, and shoot the gently (or not so gently) swaying pins while or after reaching cover.
This wasn’t as much as a contest as a chance to test oneself, successfully engaging a 4-1/2" target that’s in motion while you’re also in motion. Since there were six of us, we ended up pairing in all possible and then repeated combinations, and if student A “beat” student B in one round, inevitably the reverse happened sometime later. Again, it wasn’t a contest in practice, and we all thought this was the best way to wrap up the class.
Remember that case of 9mm rounds from the previous post? I went through about 750 of those during this class. Multiply that six times, and there’s a lot of empty shell casings (as well as unfired rounds from malfunction clearing exercises) on the floor.
In case anyone was wondering, Gabe was assisted by volunteer coaches during each of the two days of class, and all unfired rounds picked from the floor went to the coaches as a small “thank you” gift. Free ammo’s nothing to sneeze at!
I used a Glock G19 Gen5 for the first day, and since I had passed the class exam, I decided to use a Sig Sauer P365 for the second, as that would more likely be the everday carry because of its smaller size. As experienced at the IDPA match in February, the 3" micro-compact is more difficult (for me at least) to shoot at longer ranges, i.e., 10+ yards, and the reduced magazine capacity made for repeated reloading breaks. With all that said, I was able to complete the exercises and drills satisfactorily - in fact, it was quite satisfying to be able to ping that bowling pin with the P365.
To explain the title of these posts, with the successful completion of PST 102, we now have Green Deck privileges, which means that we’re able to make use of the “open format” range at PSTC (as long as there aren’t classes or law enforcement training going on). We’re also eligible to participate in the Practical Pistol League which is something I’m planning on doing soon.