Green Ops – Defensive Carbine I AAR

This is my second review for Green Ops. It’s also my second class I attended with them. This after action feedback and review will be about the rifle class taught by the team. Being mainly a pistol person for four and a half years, I’m starting to venture on to learning how to use a rifle correctly, effectively and efficiently. In particular the AR platform. Most all civilians in the United States who carry a firearm daily for self protection carry a pistol. It’s imperative that we spend more time and money to train and practice on the tool we carry daily. On the other hand, many of us also own the most popular rifle in American known as the AR-15. AR doesn’t stand for Assault Rifle, it stands for ArmaLite after the company that developed it in the 1950s. The AR-15 rifle platform is very versatile, you can use it for hunting, target shooting or self defense. Whether you already own one or plan on acquiring one, you should know how to effectively and safely use this rifle. You probably don’t use it or carry it everyday with you but it’s good to know how-to when needed. For this class, students are not limited to just bringing an AR-15, there was one student who brought a Tavor 🙄 😀 .

Mike and Brett are great instructors with abundant of knowledge from their years of experience in the fields. Massive loads of knowledge dump in-coming. You better get ready to work out your mind and body for this class.
I decided to take the Defensive Carbine Class I, since I’m not a newbie due to the fact that I took the Minute Man Rifle class with FPF Training by John Murphy.

The range where the class took place was in Culpeper Virginia. We started out with Brett discussing the legal aspects of self defense. Two thumbs up for this. Not all instructors will cover this in every class or unless it’s related to the topic or whatnot. For the most part, I already knew lots of the legal side and the responsibility of being a gun owner that Brett lectured. There might be others who don’t know and students come from many backgrounds, I think that’s very beneficial to address the legal side too.
Besides the well known three rules of self defense (ability, opportunity, jeopardy), Brett talks about preclusion. This piece of information was somewhat new to me and very essential. Example, the judge can asks, “was there anything else you could have done to avoid using lethal force?” You might go, um… Maybe. Now you just admit that there could be a better option. Instead, your answer should be NO!

Brett discussing the legal aspects of using lethal force in defensive situations

Up next is some two and a half hours of shooting action before lunch. Out on the range to soak up the sun on a 90 degree plus humid day. The temperature was way above average for this time of the year being the end of April but I took it like a champ since I’m used to this weather. Apparently at the same time on the western part of the country, and in particular the rocky states were experiencing below average temperature with freezing rain and snow.
We started out at the 50 yard line to to confirm our rifle zero. Mine was perfect since I already did my homework 🙂 . One student was using iron sights. The rest were using some type of optic, most common was the Aimpoint PRO.
Rifle targets were setup with different squares. We were instructed to shoot three sets, standing, kneeling and prone. Mike emphasizes on the stance which is very important and valuable. You may ask why? Because it helps you control the recoil which keeps you stable and on target. When you fire a string of rapid fire, you will be able to easily control the recoil and your shots won’t start to crawl up. I’m always checking my stance in every shooting drill set I do, Mike and team were making sure we have a good stance all throughout the day.

We all paused the action to have lunch and a break in the shade. Mike showed us on paper that had an illustration on how the 5.56 bullet trajectory path and it’s relation to the 50/200 yards zero. This information was already in my head from reading what others published on ar15.com and pistol-forum.com and so forth. By the way, lunch was included and provided by the range folks. Thanks for the tasty burger!
One free Green Ops T-shirts was given to every student.

Back out to the range for the rest of the class. Time for a lot of shooting! We started doing more reloading drills. Then briefly touch on the types of malfunctions and how to properly resolve it. Their time spent on malfunctions topic was on point and didn’t spent half day on this which is how it’s done.
We did some training on shooting multiple targets, just like with handguns, your eyes quickly moves first follow by your arms and gun as a whole.
We did shooting from cover in the standing and kneeling position, similar to how I did in their handgun class.
What was new for me and really stood out in this class was how to deal with your natural body movement which translates to your rifle sight being in constant motion. Let’s be real, we can’t be 100% still like cement stature due to our blood flowing and partially the respiratory system. Don’t fight it! Holding your breath does helps, but that’s mostly for precision single shots. At first I would waited for my dot to be at the center of the circle, then bang on the trigger 😮 ! This of course messed up my shots. Instead they showed me once the dot is about to come on target or “just” crossing the borderline of the target to then pull that trigger. This helped with accuracy but that’s with proper stance and the rifle stock firmly pressed against my shoulder.
Next was moving back to the 50 yards line shooting standing, kneeling and prone. Then we finally moved back to the 100 yards line. It gets harder since it only takes very little movement for your shots to not be on target. The best shot are always in the prone position due to the rifle being the most stable. I did notice one student didn’t have his proper foot position while shooting prone and wasn’t corrected or notice. Both feet should be flat like either one of these two positions in the two pictures below. 

But instead his heels were pointing up and toes on the ground which makes it harder to be stable and steady due to the nature of this posture. Maybe in depth of proper body position  during prone is cover in the Defensive Carbine Clinic course which is their entry basic level rifle class.

As the time progresses towards the end of the class, we did steel target shooting from the 100 yard line on all three positions. One neat thing was to make use of the wooden pole when shooting standing, thus helps keep the body still. I was ringing steel on every shot from the prone position.
Last but not least was time for the Northern Virginia police rifle qualification drill. To sum it up, the drill incorporates shooting from the 50 yard line with various position, moving closer to the target, timed, and shooting from cover. Basically this drill is for those officers who wish to carry an AR-15 rifle in the trunk of their car. Us civilians are responsible for every bullet that comes out the barrel. Cops do have some leeway but still, they have to be accurate since rifle bullets travel much faster than handgun bullets which in turn does a lot more damage to flesh and bone. Rifles are great power stoppers but on the unintended person is really something we don’t want. I had a flying score on this drill, only missed two shots!

Northern Virginia police rifleman qualification drill result

If you live in Northern Virginia and looking for to build up a good solid rifle foundation skills, Green Ops is your starting point.

Mike demonstrates proper stance and rifle manipulation.

 

Mike demonstrates how to do a proper rifle reload

 

Students getting ready for live firing drill

 

Performing a tactical reload

 

 




Green Ops – Defensive Pistol II Review

greenops-photoshoot

Are you looking to advance your defensive pistol training skills to another level? If you live in Northern Virginia or vicinity, give Green Ops a shot. I’ll guarantee it’s worth your time and it will definitely upgrade your skills to a whole new level. Seconds is life, why not train with the best?

After taking several courses over the past three years from the area’s sought after defensive firearms training factory FPF Training, I was offered by Mike Green from Green Ops to be their special guest. It was an honor to partake in their Defensive Pistol II course. This is my first class with them.

Michael who is the director of training was the point of contact. He has years of training multiple military government agencies such as Special Forces and Ranger in the US and over seas.
Brent, who was a former LEO is the lead instructor of Green Ops and was already on the range getting ready when we arrived in our convoy with Micheal.

In Defensive Pistol II, you will be mainly shooting open carry. I started out shooting from the concealed with an open jacket since it was pretty chilly in the early morning. But as the sun came out and action heated up, I removed my cover garment. Started off the class with some few accuracy drill tests to see where everybody’s skills stand at. They had us stand at the 5 yard mark shooting at small circles using various different drills. Since it was a bit on the cold side, it’s a good challenge to see how well can I put rounds on target in such conditions. I did pretty well BTW.

We tackle some one handed shooting, both strong and weak.
Demonstrated a few methods of how to effectively and safely transfer your pistol from your strong hand to your weak hand and vise versa.
We were shown different tactical reloading methods, and how long would it take to complete each. Students get to try out each method. I really like the part where you are not just programmed to always reload a certain way. Our options are presented, we get to pick and decide what works best depending on the situation. It is always good to have more than option.

Students were taught how to effectively and efficiently clear various types of malfunctions. Most of the malfunctions we did are the more common ones, all the way to some less common. How a stovepipe looks on a 1911 vs a Glock. The focus wasn’t to much on the malfunctions which is great since more time can be spent on shooting straight and fast.
Speaking of shooting, we used a minimal of 450 rounds.
We learned how to shoot from cover, kneeling and prone. Shooting steel plates with speed and focusing on trigger control. Closer to the end of the class, we got to put our trigger control and grip to the test by shooting steel plates at a little over 50 yards.

fbi qualification test
FBI Qualification Test drill

Last but not least, how about the FBI Qualification Test? Getting a 57/60 score was pretty impressive with the help of all the food that was fed to my brain during the course.

Despite all the training and how many gun course you can attend each year, it won’t really matter if you don’t practice. Dry firing is the most important piece of your training. It doesn’t cost you anything, five minutes a day will really improve your drawing skills. Download some Shot Timer apps on your phone, once you can beat your last best time, decrease the time a notch.
Then go out on the range and do the same thing. Make every round you have worth it.




Kenai Chest Holster Review

Kenai chest holster review
Kenai chest holster review

The Kenai chest holster from GunfightersINC is any outdoorsmen essential holster.
They say, “someone in every neighborhood throughout the country makes holsters these days”, but some make great holsters that fit your needs, activities, appeal and so forth.

GunfightersINC was founded by a US Army Veteran in 2010.
The company’s key points of commitments are;
– All products are handmade in the USA with US made components
– To treat our employees, customers and vendors with fairness and integrity
– To maintain our high-standard of above average finish work and quality designs
– To push innovation in all aspects of holster design and production

GunfightersINC makes all types of holsters, but the focus will be on the chest holster in this review. Also note that the review is based on the Kenai chest holster with a Glock 20. Because a Glock 20 is my choice of carry for the woods here in Virginia and West Virginia. One of the primary reasons of this review is there are not too many great solid chest holsters out there and few reviews on them. Most handgun instructors of all levels never cover chest carry. Presumably because most of us are city folks and is where we spent the majority of our lives. Crime is always higher in the city than in the forest or wilderness. But sometimes out in the wild, there are the bigger four legged threats you might run into such as, bears, hogs, coyote and even the two legged crystal heads can be looming out there. Which is why we should carry everywhere and all the time.

What holster and position you should carry? For the most part, any IWB, OWB, AIWB won’t be suitable. That’s because it gets in the way of your full size hiking backpack if you carry on your 3 or 4 o’clock and it can get obstructed with your backpack kenai 4straps if you appendix carry. I first carried on my 3 o’lock and the side of my backpack was bumping and rubbing the gun as I walked 😐 . I then tried appendix carry and it got in the way of my backpack straps 😡 . So I started to do some research for an outdoor carry solution which I’m pleased that I came across the Kenai chest holster. 🙂
Notice the position of the gun in the picture to the right (above for mobile version). The gun sits perfectly in the center of my chest and doesn’t get in the way of my backpack straps, backpack, Ka-Bar USMC knife and any other gear I might be carrying anywhere on my waist. When you’re hiking, backpacking, hunting or fishing, the Kenai chest holster is the solution and the way to go.

Let’s move on to features and usage. 
You can keep the same straps and just buy the holster for another gun without having to buy the whole set again.
The holster is made out of high quality kydex. Upon reholsering, the gun snaps right in place with a nice crisp clear sound and feel. It’s not to tight or loose. The tightness is perfect!
Unlike leather holsters, which water is their enemy, kydex material are for all weather conditions. No need to worry about the holster collapsing since kydex retains its shape all the time.
The nylon straps can be easily adjusted to how tight you want, accommodating all types of jacket thickness and adjustable for any body size. I wore this chest holster for about 10 hours a day for two days during my hiking adventure trip in the West Virginia National Forest. I have to say, it felt the most comfortable method of carry unlike any type of waistband holster carry. I just didn’t want to take it off and switched back to my IWB holster for the concealed carry setup (although my concealed carry setup is super comfortable, and I’m actually carry the Glock 19) when getting ready to head back to the big city.

Drawing

kenai chest holster draw
Kenai chest holster draw stroke

It’s very fast and efficient, if you’re open carrying it’s even quicker obviously.
Q&A taken from GunfigthersINC Facebook page:

Can you draw with one hand?
How fast can you draw the firearm?

Answer is:
Yes. Adjust your straps so they are snug. Give the firearm a sharp jerk when drawing, not a slow pull. It will work, promise.
Fast, with practice.


A slow pull will work but it’s not the recommended drawing method.

How about driving? I have some great news for those who are curious and with questions.
Pros: access to your gun will be the fastest and easiest, AIWB comes in second place. As you can see in the picture below, the seat belt rides right under the stock of your gun.
Cons: Haven’t find one yet. You can argue might not work well when concealed. But this setup is mainly for open carry while you’re in the woods. Fortunately most states that have national forest, parks do allow open carry.

Kenai vehicle carry
Kenai vehicle carry

Concealed Carry

If your state doesn’t allow open carry, you should be able to concealed it depending on several factors. Although I did try concealing it briefly, the butt of my Glock 20 was sticking out of the side of my chest a bit, printing was obvious. One, is because the Glock 20 is a massive gun. Second, I’m not a big person, if you have a wide torso, you’d probably be able to fully concealed a large semi-auto handgun or if you wear a thicker, wider jacket would definitely help. Or a the Glock 29 might concealed just fine if that’s what you carry. But since this setup will be use only in the woods, and the states I travel to for the wild outdoor activities (including my home state) does allow open carry. That being said, I do not plan to conceal carry with this setup.

Summing it up. With great comfort, the ability to fast and efficiently draw, reliability, quality, highly adjustable and suits a wide range of outdoor activities, the Kenai chest holster from GunfightersINC is any outdoorsmen essential holster for his or her gun.
One slight complaint is the high price of $150, but you don’t have to pay $150 if you need another holster for a different gun. You just buy what they call “the shell” which is the holster and the three connectors for $85 which uses the same nylon straps. This holster setup should last you a very,very long time.




Minute Man Rifle Course By FPF Training – Review

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You just bought your first AR-15 rifle, or owned one for sometime but have a shallow knowledge of it’s fundamentals and defensive use. You heard about some fun carbine defensive tactical courses but knowing you don’t qualify because of not having the basic solid foundation skill set require to operate this rifle platform in the way it’s meant to. Are you a concealed carrier who want’s to know how to use a rifle in self-defense efficiently?

Minute Man Rifle Course is the gateway course to other intermittent and advance defensive AR-15 courses such as, course offer by Green-Ops, the legendary Pat Rogers (unfortunately who left our world 😥 , and many more well known advance rifle classes and training companies. The class takes place on a private outdoor range in Culpeper Virginia.
Minute Man Rifle class is taught by the skilled and humorous John Murphy who is the lead instructor and owner of FPF Training, he also teaches other handgun courses on this private outdoor range.

fpf rangeJohn starts out the eight hour training course with the classroom portion first. This is where he feeds your brain with AR-15 anatomy, functions, history of the AR platform, how it evolves and advances through time, and the vast optional accessories. He also goes over the few top quality AR-15s and his personal recommendation. I pretty much knew who are the top 4, BCM, Smith & Wesson, Daniel Defense and Colt,  any of these are mil-spec or exceeding. Pretty much every armory in the country makes AR-15 these days, but those above are well known and are proven. Sure, there’re other brands out there that are just as good too. The Smith & Wesson will cost you around a grand (speaking of the T or Tactical model which is the one I have) and the best bang for the buck when it comes to quality along with the few Colt models in the same price range as the M&P T model.

fpf minuite rifle

Up next is out on the range. First starting with a non-live firing drill. John drills you down on the fundamentals; how to properly load, reload, grip, safety, sling usage and the various types of malfunctions and clearing them so you can rapidly get back in to the fight. You’ll be provided with dummy rounds for this portion. Basic rifle manipulation might sound and look easy but it’s not quite as brisk as you might first think, especially if you’re a beginner such as myself, this really gets your brain cranking.

Let’s assume you’re a skillful concealed carrier and taken a few advance pistol courses over the years and practice on a regular basis, we all know how smooth and easy is to draw the pistol from the concealment, reload, charge and clearing malfunctions.
How about driving? We don’t really think to apply the breaks or shift gears (assuming you drive manual), it’s called second nature. Learning to use a new and completely different defensive tool is the same thing. You can quickly overcome the challenges and turn it in to an enjoyable day thanks to John’s way of training. He constantly trains and applies what he learned from other rifle instructors such as Pat Rogers and other well known rifle instructors. I’ve observed other students in class who really had very little knowledge on how to zero, reload or marksmanship, and were struggling earlier but excel pretty well in the latter part of the day’s course.
Gary who is John’s assistant instructor was there as usual. Me being an NRA pistol instructor knows that it’s always preferred to have more than one instructor when running a live firing course, unless you’re doing a very small class or one on one. The more eyes the better when it comes to safety and efficiency for any range time of the class.

 

Standing
Standing

Standing
Standing

Kneeling
Kneeling

Sitting
Sitting

Now switching gears to live firing for the rest of the day. You will first do your cycle operation drills that you’ve learned during the dry firing portion of the class at the 15 and 25 yard line. Note that your rifle sling is equivalent to a pistol holster, meaning when you’re not firing or manipulating the rifle, it will be slug, always! Once you got the basic rifle manipulations down, it’s time to zero your rifle. Here is where everyone gets to zero their rifle. Couple of students were shooting iron sights. Fortunately my Aim Point PRO was pretty much zeroed (called it being prepared and doing my homework, hey, but not required 😉 ). I only had to make slight adjustments in my elevation. Others had to spend some more time sighting until their sights were zeroed.

Shooting prone
Prone

Up next it’s time to tackle the big four shooting positions. Standing, kneeling, sitting and prone.
You will be instructed to do multiple drills with each position, various distances and target types that will take up the majority of the class. Call it the “core training”. Here you’ll learn how to control and keep your rifle stable in each position, while trying to improve your accuracy by maintaining proper control of your rifle and minimize wobbling. After each shooting set, it’s what John calls, the moment of shame or moment of pride! Every student will stand in front of their target as John determines what correction is needed or whatnot.

We learned why the POA is about two inches different than POI when you shoot your rifle at close distance (within 10 yards), and why it’s useful in real life defensive situation.

bore over sight
Exploring bore over sight

 

The last drill was shooting at the 100 yards line at steel silhouette targets with each shooting position.

What an excellent opportunity to put your rifle to the test along with your mounted accessories. Light rain nonstop for the whole time we were out on the range. I use Froglube and applied it correctly. My rifle devoured about 400 rounds and ran smooth like butter. I shot the .223 Wolf Gold from Taiwan with zero malfunctions. My Streamlight TLR-1, Aimpoint PRO, Troy backup iron sights all did well without becoming loose or any failures. Only one hiccup that occurred about half way in the class, the sling hook on the bottom of the factory M&P buttstock broke off during manipulation. I should have loop the sling through my A4 buttstock from start, but ended up doing this after it broke and no more problems thereafter. I used the the two point Magpul MS4 sling. If SHTF situation type or bug out day really comes, I’m confident that my rifle with the current setup will live up to the uncertain and unexpected conditions it may face.

Summery:
Those of you who are living in Northern Virginia or Virginia in general and are looking for some solid AR rifle beginners course, I highly recommend Minute Man Rifle class by FPF Training.




If you want to be an effective concealed carry citizen, consider FPF Training

fpft-gunfight

My review and experience with FPF Training.  

As an IT professional with no firearms experience in 2012, to taking my first basic pistol course at a local gun range in early 2013 in order to meet the basic requirements for my concealed handgun permit. I said I’m not sure I have what it takes to effectively use my force multiplier on physical threats that may come about my day-to-day life.
Fortunately, I found John Murphy with FPF Training. A former Marine Corps and who is highly qualify in bringing you comprehensive knowledge for the armed citizen. All his courses are taught in mind with the context of a plain cloth civilian who carries his/her concealed handgun every day. The private range is located in Culpeper Virginia. It’s close to Shenandoah National Park/ Skyline Drive, so the view is nice when driving there.

I took three classes taught by John.

  • Concealed Carry Foundation Skills – Day 1

fpftargetstand
In this course, you will spend about half of the time in class absorbing information (make sure you bring something to write or type with) of self defense with a firearm outside your home. He provides extensive multi-media presentations on how to deal with a variety of situations you may find yourself in as you go about with your daily life. What I really like is that he focuses on real life situations and how to deal with them, both physically and mentally. Paying attention of your surroundings and spotting out potential threats in public.
The other half of the class is outside on the range. He emphasizes on safety as one of his main priority. It’s all about handgun marksmanship, and lots of it! He also covers some legality of employing deadly force and how to properly deal with the aftermath.

  • Street Encounter Skills – Day 2

fpft-birdseye

Here it’s about the physical aspects of self defense with your pistol. Not for beginners! A ton of drills with few breaks in between to hydrate and masticate. The provided targets are not your circles and dots targets. He provides man size image targets with the triangle which includes the area of the vitals. In reality, you want to stop the threat ASAP! So hitting the vitals under stress and on the move is key.
Lots of various verbal communication practice when the threat is approaching and after you have shot your attacker. When to shoot and when not to, and dealing with the cops after you stop the bad guy. It’s highly recommend you bring your EDC gun to course and your setup should be almost as close to your daily carry style. This is not your Call of Duty Black-Ops/ Battlefield 4 type class where you need all that tactical gear. I was using my M&P Shield .40 for these two day courses. The first day I wasn’t doing well but the 2nd day, John made my shots tighter and more accurate. But now my EDC pistol is the 9mm Shield and I switched back to the 9mm for various reason. See my previous article “Choosing the best handgun ammo article”  on why I chosen the 9mm above the other two popular calibers.

  • Advance Conceal Carry – two day class

John Murphy FPF Training

Crank up the action and the fun, get your mindset ready for some more advance self defense learning skills. In this class I was using my Glock 19. Class starts off with some warm up drills and marksmanship. You will get to test out your handgun skills on how far you can effectively hit targets and malfunction drills.
Then the class quickly rolls in to engaging moving targets and multiple targets at once. You will learn to shoot with your weak hand and one hand. Dealing with close up threats, such as, what to do if someone were to come up to you with a drawn gun. Getting knock over on the ground and how to prevent the attacker from getting on you, and how to effectively deploy your handgun and neutralizing the threat.

One of the most important skills for me was how to do a one hand reload. I had no clue before I took this class. Such skill is important if your hand or arm is injure. You still want to be in the fight until the threat is no longer present.
I recommend this course in late fall/ winter since you get the night shoot bonus. John finishes up the day by covering some basic skills on how to use a weapon mounted lights and hand-held lights.

I also took two handgun courses by some of his guest instructors. My favorite one is the Close Quarters Gun Fight by Greg Ellifritz, who is such a great instructor with a ton of skills, knowledge and experience. Greg is a 19-year veteran police in central Ohio, his main role is to train the police department. He also offers the Collapse Medicine which I took once. I’ll write an in depth review of his course at a later time.

Conclusions

If you want to be a responsible gun owner, defending your love ones, and a concealed carry citizen who can effectively deal with most common threats that you might encounter two and from home, work, gas station or grocery store. You should consider getting train by John Murphy.
www.fpftraining.com

Some extra advice. Once you have your carry permit, you need to carry your gun every day, except where you’re not allow to carry by law. Why, you may ask? You don’t get to pick when and where the bad guy will attack you. They pick you, you just have to be ready.