Friday, December 30, 2011

Increase Your Push Up Potential


In 1993 I signed my life away and swore allegiance to the Queen and joined the Army. After passing the Rifleman and Infantryman qualifications I had my eyes set on becoming Special Forces. I had to complete several fitness standards in order to meet the criteria of being awarded a green beret and joining the ranks of the Commando Regiment. One of these physical fitness standards was called the BFA or Basic Fitness Assessment. The BFA at the time consisted of minimum of 60 push ups, 100 military sit ups to a cadence, 20 dorsal raises, 20 pull ups and a 5km run under 26 minutes.

When I began my Commando Training Induction Course which lasted 12 months, I was surrounded by a bunch of guys that ranged from ultra marathon racers, body builders, Triathletes, boxers. artial artists you name it. I thought to my self how can I compete with these guys? Sure at that time I was a bit of a rock climbing junky climbing sustained 5.11a routes during the weekends, but would that be enough to get me through?

When it came time to perform the elements of the BFA, I was quite nervous as I didn't really train for it and never really knew enough about fitness training to prepare. Typically the sit up test is performed first then the push ups, dorsal raises, pull ups and the run. I was pretty sweet during the sit ups, smashing out 100 without any issues, onto the push ups. These tests are normally done in pairs, your partner goes first then you go. Looking around watching the first group, I saw a some guys smashing out fast push ups and finishing with 100 odd while others struggled to make the required 60. It was my turn and soon after adopting the push up position I was under way. The first 30 is always easy, then the second 30 I noticed that lactic acid burn and when 50 came around I was really struggling, I managed to complete 60 and did a few more to show some dedication to the cadre watching and circling like buzzards waiting for one of the cadindates to fail.

After receiving my green beret, I wanted to have a crack at SAS selection. It took me several years of personal development prior to me getting the nod to attend the course. In 1999 I was given blessing by my unit OC and CSM to attend the course. My preparation was approximately 6 months of training daily. A combination of gym circuits, beach weights, long and short runs, battle PT, ruck runs and endurance marches. I attended the selection course at the peak of my physical conditioning. Although petrified of what I had gotten my self into, I was well prepared physically to meet the challenge. The one thing that became a constant frustration to me throughout my years of service and training was how to increase my muscular endurance and increase my maximum push ups? I ended up passing the selection course and after joining my Squadron I began a quest for knowledge particulary about fitness.

PT in the Squadron is a daily occurance, performed on a routine basis and is very competative. Essentially you are judged, based upon your level of fitness. It forms a pecking order of acceptance within the troop. If you are fit you are gold, if you are a slug that continues to make excuses why you can't attend PT you are targeted and outcast. It pays to be within the top 10%. You never want to be first and you never want to be last!

A couple of cycles later, we received some re-enforcements into the troop. These guys were lean fit, hungry and cut like a cheetah. One of the boys Paul was a fitness freak. He lived and breathed training. He was selected to attend Australia's premier intitute of sport, a competative endurance racer and adventure racer partnered with yours truly! During push up testing Paul held the record within the unit for maximum push ups in 2:00. He would routinely crank out 120-130 push ups in 2:00 minutes. A push up animal. I wanted to be able to pump out 100 push ups so I decided to pick Paul's brain on the subject.

Paul began to inform me of his method of increasing your push up potential. It is relatively simple and easy, the best thing is that it works! I immediately adopted it. Paul's system of increasing muscular endurance now resides in the Redback One Fitness Book.

The System

Let's say that your max push ups until failure is 60. You would perform 60 push ups and then select an amount of recovery time. Let's say 1:00 minute. At the completion of the minute you would imediately attempt to perform half of you max. In this case, it would be 30 push ups. You will then continue to reduce the rest period by X amount until you can perform your max set and the half max set without recovery. Let's say that you reduce your recovery time by 20 seconds every week. By the forth week, your max push ups would be 90. Your training cycle would look like this.

Week 1

  • 60 push ups
  • 1:00 recovery
  • 30 push ups

Week 2

  • 60 push ups
  • 40 secs recovery
  • 30 push ups

Week 3

  • 60 push ups
  • 20 secs recovery
  • 30 push ups

Week 4

  • 60 push ups
  • Nil recovery
  • 30 push ups

Effectively you can now achieve a max of 90 push ups before failure. You will then apply the same theory and routine to increase your max push ups further.

Note: This is an example only and individual results may vary. You will have to experiement with the times and frequency of performance in order to determine your success timeframe.

This is the best way to increase your muscular endurance and can be applied to a variety of exercises.

Let me know how it goes for you!!

Train Hard Boys.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Field Trials - Redback One Combat Pistol Sights

Several people have asked us about the difference in POA/POI with the RB1 sight on a Glock 19 as apposed to a Glock 17. (I have been using our combination front post and rear notch for quite a while on a standard Glock 17 with excellent results but never on a G19). This was an interesting question that deserved a little field testing to ensure that we were putting out the correct information to our customers. So I had Carlo, our resident Glock armorer install a set of RB1 Combat Pistol Sights onto a Glock 17 and Glock 19 and have them ready for field trials.

For those of you that are not familiar with our sights, here are some specs. They were designed by myself in conjunction with 10-8 Performance. The sights features a serrated front and rear with a small .60 tritium vial positioned high in the front post. The front post is .215 high and the rear is .156 wide with a square notch. We believe this to be the perfect combination for combat shooting and the Glock 17 platform. (We are working on other models including HK USP).

The rear sight features the Redback One abbrieviated brand name stamp RB1 on the top under 10-8 so you will know that you have a set of Redback One originals!

We arrived at the range in the early afternoon. The weather was overcast with 100% cloud cover with heavy precipitation on the ground from earlier in the day. The temperature was negligible at approximately 65 degrees.

The range was 80 yards in length with the option of pushing back into the weeds another 20 yards to ensure that were able to shoot from 100 yards for the final part of the trial. The target used was a steel plate cut similar to that of a 'C-Zone' of an IPSC cardboard target. The width was 12 inches and the height was 15 (not including the head).

The ammunition selected for the comparison field trail was as follows:

1. Mil-Spec M882 9mm Ball (Grain weight unknown, 115 or 124.) This info was not available at the time of the trial.
2. Speer Lawman 9mm Ball 115 grain.
3. Speer Gold Dot 9mm JHP 124 grain
4. Speer Gold Dot 9mm JHP 124 grain +P

The intent of the trial was to determine any Point Of Impact (POI) shift between a Glock 19 and a Glock 17 using the same set of RB1 Combat Pistol Sights, the same Point Of Aim (POA) and using the above ammunition fired from distances of 25 yards through to 100 yards.

Knowing that there is a difference in the muzzle velocity due to the decreased barrel length of the Glock 19, we wanted to determine if the difference in barrel length would create a change in the POI and become an influencing factor of accuracy degradation during the comparison even though we are using the same sights.

During the trial, the same POA was used. The POA was midline, slightly high of center. (Upper thoracic cavity-UTC).

We began the trial by loading the Glock 19 with 5 rounds of M882 and fired one round at 25 yards from the standing position. The initial results would determine that the rear sight needed to moved to the left IOT impact the center of the steel plate. After a quick re-alignment of the rear sight thanks to Carlo, we were back at the 25 yard line.

Results: The next series of rounds impacted the steel at the intended POI. Time to switch to the Glock 17.
As expected, the G17 performed in the same fashion, POI was UTC. Time to change loads.
All ammunition listed above performed flawlessly and impacted the same POI.

We moved back to the 50 yard line and continued the same series of tests.

Results: We determined that at 50 yards, all ammunition and weapons performed the same regardless of grain weight or barrel length. All rounds impacted in the UTC with the same POA.

The next distance was 80 yards, the edge of the actual range. All rounds were fired from the standing position, weapons and ammunition changed out as per the previous tests.

Results: All rounds impacted at the same POI using the same POA regardless of grain weight or barrel length.

I decided to push into the weeds and low hanging tree branches IOT to get the final test completed. 100 yards. All tests at this range were conducted as per the previous set.

Results: Yet again, all rounds impacted the same location, high to middle of the steel plate. Only one round was low on the plate due to a poor set up on my part!

Conclusion: After completing this trial we were able to determine that there is no significant point of impact shift using Redback One Combat Pistol Sights on either a Glock 19 or Glock 17 regardless of barrel length or round selection (given the test rounds).

We are now even happier with our latest product and would recommend these sights to any and all Glock 19/17 users that want a robust combat sight replacement for their service weapon or carry gun.

I will be testing a Glock 27, 22 and 37 soon!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Redback One's Combat Training System (CTS)

Over the past 6 years I have been designing and developing a systematic approach to combat marksmanship that builds a shooter from the ground up. This system is designed to train a shooter to handle, operate, carry and control a pistol, carbine or shotgun in a tactical environment. The application of this system is very robust and can be applied to the military, law enforcement and private citizens. This system is called the Combat Training System or CTS.

The techniques that are taught in CTS have been designed, developed, tested and evaluated by RB1 SME's prior to being incorporated into our training courses. Our SME's have extensive real world combat experience. All have multiple combat deployments to the Middle East and other areas of operations as members of Australia's Special Operations Task Group and U.S Special Operations Command.

Our CTS training techniques are unique in many ways. We have evolved current techniques to be faster and more efficient and developed our own techniques bringing new methods of deploying weapons and accessories to the tactical shooting world. The CTS techniques have been designed to teach a shooter how to systematically and subconsciously apply the fundamentals of combat marksmanship and weapons manipulation to maintain high hit probability and lethality and, to keep the gun running in a tactical environment.

Some of our unique training techniques include:

RB1 Power Turns - This method of turning to engage a threat is based on our asymmetric shooting platforms and allows the shooter to turn and engage a threat from 90/180 degrees up to .50 sec faster than standard turns and pivots. A saving of .50 sec in a gun fight can mean all the difference! The principle action in this technique is driving the outside hip towards your threat. This creates speed of movement and power similar to a boxer throwing a straight right punch. We incorporate angular momentum from the upper body to increase the speed of movement. The shooter needs to be comfortable shooter on the natural side with both the left foot or the right foot forward. This technique has direct cross over to our barricade shooting method and combatives program, allowing the shooter to perform strikes and parries to incapacitate or control non-combatants as required.

CTS: Power Turns

Transitioning to secondary weapons - Our method of transitioning from primary to secondary and back to primary have been developed for speed and efficiency as well as to allow the shooter to perform visual checks to determine why the weapon failed! Key points in this technique are tuning the primary weapon palm down with the support hand, and recovering the primary at the balance point of the weapon allowing the shooter to visually inspect the chamber as he re-holsters the secondary.

CTS: Transitioning from Primary to Secondary Weapon

System Check - Our system check allows the shooter to visually inspect the position of the bolt after an engagement by rolling the carbine/shotgun to the left or returning the pistol to the high ready. This check verifies the condition of the weapon, an important procedure under extreme combat stress where the shooter can unintentionally fail to recognize a weapon stoppage preventing him from engaging.

CTS: System Check

Flashlight Deployment - Our method of incorporating a hand held flashlight during low light engagements is an adaptation of another well known technique. However, with the RB1 method, the shooter is able to illuminate the sight picture and the threat at the same time. This aides the shooter to easily check the sight package prior to engaging. The flashlight is held in the support hand, hammer fist style, indexing the fist against the cheek bone. This aligns the light source with the shooters eyes, sights and target, giving him an excellent view of the situation. This technique does rely on being competent at shooting with the strong hand only.

CTS: Flashlight technique during our Night Fighting Course

Combat Grip
Pistol: The RB1 method of gripping the pistol gives the shooter greater recoil management than any other technique currently being taught. The grip looks similar to other grips being taught however the arm placement is the true key to the RB1 pistol grip method and recoil management. Having the arms parallel with the axis of the barrel increases the grip pressure at the top of the frame, limiting the weapons natural fulcrum action when fired. Our carbine grip leverages of the principles taught for the pistol, however the support hand is forward on the hand-guard.

CTS: Pistol Grip

Carbine: Our carbine grip will see the shooter with the support thumb indexing the target as per the pistol grip and therefore clear from the IR beams of the laser/illuminator. The alternate grip gives the shooter the option of wrapping the support thumb over the top of the rail interface further decreasing the fulcrum action during firing. The support arm should be parallel with the axis of the barrel as per the pistol grip allowing the shooter to draw the weapon into the shoulder pocket with both strong and support hands, increasing recoil management. This technique allows the shooter to drive the weapon faster from target to target by pulling and pushing the front of the gun. Accuracy is also increased as a greater portion of the barrel is being stabilized by the support hand. The elbow of the support hand should form a slight obtuse angle allowing the shooter to employ RB1 Combative techniques when required.

CTS: Carbine Grip

Y-Factor - We a true believers in providing the reasons why our techniques are taught as well as how and where they are applied. Giving the student a reason for learning increases the desire to learn and is seen as the crux of the adult learning process.

These are some examples of the methodology and techniques that form the RB1 Combat Training System.

RB1 - "innovation not imitation!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Carbine's for Duty Carry, Which One and Why?

The United States is the center of gravity for all things tactical. The U.S market represents 90% of the world market and because of this the world's premier weapons manufacturers have set up shop here in continental United States to sell their wears to the military, law enforcement agencies and private citizens.

However, after world events such as 911 there has been a huge demand for weapons in the U.S. This placed massive strain on quality control systems of weapons companies as demand overtook supply. As a result, manufacturers produced what could only be seen by the end user as lower quality products that failed to meet the expectation of the consumer.

Another issue to compound the existing problems was the injection of new companies looking to capitalize on the buyers market. This has become the biggest issue for end users as one weapon looks much the same as another, yet one is priced to meet the budget of most civilian shooters and law enforcement agencies struggling with budgetary constraints and the other priced for high end private users and military units. To the layman, both weapons meet the specifications of the end user and price then becomes the deciding factor.

I would like to focus this writing towards the law enforcement officer looking to purchase a weapon for duty carry or an LE department looking to outfit the department with a patrol rifle for general patrol use or for tactical SWAT applications.

Here is a list of considerations when selecting a weapon for duty carry/use.

1. Mil-Spec: I am a firm believer in buying a carbine that meets Mil-Spec standards. The military operates in the harshest environments on the planet and if it's good enough for them, it's definitely good enough for domestic use. All of my AR15's/M4's are fully Mil-Spec, as are the parts kits and accessories. I will not have anything on or in my weapons that do not meet these requirements.

2. Manufacturer: (This is a contentious issue as the industry is full of 'experts' looking to capitalize on promoting themselves by promoting a weapon manufacturer. Bottom line is, business is business, but don't fall foul of believing the hype! Remember, the U.S market is 90% of the world market. Everyone is out to make a buck!)

Stick with high end manufacturers that build guns for the military. Colt has been supplying quality M4's to the military for a long time. I used one while serving and it ran like a charm. I now have two H&K 416's. I have had nothing but success from both of these guns and don't believe the hype that's out there about the problems with this weapon. I have LMT guns all are Mil-Spec and all run like a charm. My latest project is a collaboration with Monty from Centurion Arms to produce a fully Mil-Spec carbine for Redback One. Centurion Arms is a small and up coming company that produces excellent quality Mil-Spec carbines. Monty has put together rifles and carbines that closely resemble those currently being used by Special Operations personnel. An example of this is his Mk 12 SPR.

3. Direct Gas Impingement or Piston: I have used all of the quality DGI and piston guns on the market today. I like both operating systems. My advise is this. Stay away from piston driven guns that are not currently in wide spread use by U.S Special Operations. I have seen all of the issues such as heat transfer to the hand-guards, reliability issues, excess recoil, accuracy problems, vibrations causing accessories to rattle loose and so on.

The fact is, good piston guns are more reliable than DGI guns because they will run without much lubricant and gas and carbon is not being deposited back into the bolt, bolt-carrier and body of the weapon which contributes to weapon malfunctions. FACT: piston guns need to be lubricated. Don't think that you will get away without lubing your weapon. Piston guns run better after a good cleaning and a light oil. This will not only enhance performance under normal conditions but it will prevent excess wear and tear on all parts, saving the bottom line of the department.

All piston guns recoil harder that a standard DGI gun. When I began shooting my HK416's I wasn't sure that I was going to like them due to the excess recoil. But, after only a short time I was able to manage recoil using our recoil management system just as effectively as any DGI gun.

4. Barrel Length: I believe that a 14.5" barrel is the best barrel length to issue patrol officers for duty. This length is perfectly suited for all conditions from rural to urban operations. Muzzle velocities are high enough to stabilize the projectile out to 200 meters, the lethal range of the weapon system. It's not too long so patrol officers can deploy the weapon quickly and effectively for active shooter response.

For tactical SWAT applications, I would encourage the decision to purchase a 10.5" barreled carbine. This will allow the officers to maneuver the weapon efficiently when conducting missions involving room clearing and CQB. Although terminal performance is compromised due to the much lower muzzle velocities. The 5.56 round can still be just as effective but relies more on shot placement that the terminal performance of the round selected. (The previous statement is true across the board, however training is the biggest factor effecting the lethality of the patrol officer.)

5. Round Selection: For law enforcement use I strongly advocate using the Hornady 75 grain TAP round as the preferred round for patrol and SWAT applications. This round has been tested and approved for use in U.S SOCOM and gives terminal performance similar to BH 77 grain OTM LR ammunition.

6. Accessories: I am a big believer in aiding the abilities of the shooter by equipping him with accessories that enhance his capability and lethality.

A. Having a quality weapon mounted flashlight is of paramount importance and should be seen as a standard accessory permanently mounted to the carbine. My preferred manufacturer is Surefire. No other flashlight compares, or comes close to them. I use scout lights on all of my carbine in various configurations from 3V, 6V, IR V series, low profile mounts to standard mounts. This is the best carbine flashlight on the market!

B. I believe that all tactical SWAT personnel should be issued with an NVG and Laser for there weapons. This force multiplier enhances the teams capability and enhances lethality by being able to target individuals without the need for visible light which can lead to mission compromise, potentially effecting a successful outcome.

C. Having a quality red-dot sight on the weapon is an obvious enhancement to the targeting capability of the officer during daylight or low light operations. I choose Aimpoint as my preferred combat optic and the T1 micro and the preferred model. You can't beat the battery life and how robust they are.

D. Keep a quality pair of iron sights on the weapon just in case the optic fails!

E. A sound suppressor can be an effective tool to enhance command and control at the tactical level. It also provides a silent entry capability for the assault team with the right set up and training. This is a desirable feature not an essential one. Go with a reputable brand such as Surefire or AAC.

F. You will need a sling for the weapon. Slings can be used for tactical use and for administrative purposes. Choose a sling that will best serve your purpose. The sling must NOT prohibit the maneuverability of the weapon or restrict the user from accessing the control features of the weapon. There is way too much industry hype on sling choice. Don't believe the hype! A two point sling will allow you to sling the weapon on your back to climb, go hands on, conduct admin, attend to a casualty etc. It will also allow you to operate the weapon tactically and transition to your secondary weapon as required. A single point sling is purpose built for CQB only and you will not be able to perform the functions mentioned of the two point sling. I have designed a two point sling that is low profile, only 1" wide, is adjustable for tactical use and administrative use. It will be available soon through RB1 and SORD USA.

My final thoughts are this. Buy quality and buy once! Don't believe the hype! Seek advise from unbiased people that know what they are talking about.

Please feel free to contact me or Redback One at any time for any advise on training, tactics or equipment.

Stay Safe.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Redback One Combat Pistol Sights

Our custom designed RB1 Combat Pistol Sights are now in production and should be ready in a few weeks. At this time they will only be available for Glock model handguns however, we may expand the line based upon demand.

These sights have been the product of several months of T&E to find the perfect match of height, width and depth to produce a pair of combat sights that shoot Point Of Aim/Point Of Impact at all ranges out to 100m.

Special thanks to Hilton Yam of 10-8 Performance for taking on this project and getting the sights to production.

I will have more information regarding Specs and pricing soon. To reserve your set of RB1 Combat Pistol Sights please email me with your request. JF

Monday, July 11, 2011

Physical Fitness & Nutrition

A few years ago I was training twice a day seven days a week, I was on a great nutritional plan designed by a professional nutritionist, seeing a sports therapist on a regular basis for massage therapy and had a physical therapist on standby for any injuries. I was playing Australian Rules Football (AFL) at a professional level and was a team member of one of the best counter terrorist units in the world. I was is in peak physical condition and feeling great.

When I discharged from the military and arrived in the U.S, I tried to maintain this training regime and eating plan. During the first year I was able to keep up the fitness with regular visits to the 'gun shop' and plenty of pounding pavement. The one thing that I was struggling with was the nutrition! I was bombarded with fast food, eating out, too much processed foods and way too much saturated fat.

The one thing that I noted was how difficult it was to buy everything that I wanted from one supermarket! I had to drive to sometimes three different supermarkets just to buy what I needed. One didn't have very good fresh produce, the other didn't have very good fresh lean beef. This was very frustrating and made shopping days difficult.

Being a civilian, managing a business and balancing a family, I find that time is my worst enemy. It's hard to eat clean every day because of such a busy lifestyle. I have fallen fowl to a cheese burger and nacho cheese on a far too regular basis.

I don't think that I am on my own here, so I thought that I'd write some notes on some good PT workouts that gets results and for the most part are low impact, so joints will be preserved. I will also cover some good clean eating tips that will help the waistline!

Most of what I will write is either common sense or proven methods that I have not designed. I find that he biggest problem with fitness and clean eating is US! We make too many excuses for why we can't do it rather than reasons why we should do it. Then we look in the mirror and say "I should go on a diet!" or "I really need to work out!"

Eating 101

The first thing you need to do is clean out the pantry! Get rid of anything that will contribute to your physical demise! If you don't have it, you won't eat it! Keep the kids healthy too, they don't need ten different types of high fat cereals or snacks either. Keep plenty of yogurt, bananas, berries, and juice. No soda! I will cover what supplements are worth investing money on later also.

PT 101

Start to plan now for your PT sessions. Keep it at the same time everyday, make it part of your day and treat it like a business meeting and you have to attend! Log it into you electronic diary so that you don't forget about it. Have your PT gear ready and any other equipment for your training. Most of us have bits and pieces of home gym type equipment at the house and that's what you will need for the training that I will outline. If you have a gym membership and go, you can do all of these workouts also.

There will be more to follow!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Redback One - SWAT Magazine Cover & Article

We recently had Ed Lawrence one of SWAT Magazines writers attend one of our 3-Day Tactical Pistol Carbine courses. Ed called me prior to the class and asked if I was interested in the possibility of getting the course covered in SWAT Mag. I was pretty excited about this opportunity as I have been a fan of SWAT Magazine for about 20 years! I remember driving across the city of Melbourne Australia to a local news stand that sold the magazine to pick up a copy every month. At that time I was a fresh faced 18 year old looking to join the Army!

After the course concluded I spoke to Ed on several occasions clearing up some doubtful points regarding the course curriculum and in-particular our training methodology and what we call our 'Y-Factor' the reason WHY we do what we do.

Not only did the article turn out great but we also made the cover!

The guys at SWAT Magazine sent us the link to the article as a sneak-peak. To read the article please click on the link below.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Shooting 'Molly-dooker'!

In the tactical shooting world there are seldom times that a right handed shooter needs to be a 'molly-dooker' (Australian slang) or left handed. So why are more and more shooting instructors, me included, teaching this low percentage skill to our modern war fighters? Surely it makes more sense to train someone to a better standard on their natural side rather than spend time trying to teach them to become a left hander, right!?

Well, it's partly true. It definitely makes a lot of sense to train someone to a higher standard on the natural side before training them to become a steely eyed freedom fighter on their non-master or support side.

So when would I ever need to switch the gun to my non-master side? And even if I did, why would I need to do it so fast?

These are the typical questions that I get asked when training students on this advanced technique. The answer though really lies with the task that needs to be performed by the individual or the unit. For example, an assault team that is dynamically entering a structure using the principle of speed to their advantage in order to maximize surprise, left handed techniques will seldom if ever apply. This is due to the short duration of the mission and use of overwhelming force ratios. This type of approach is frequently used also during hostage rescue or recovery type operations.

But, with the emergence of new enemy tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) designed to combat our modern warfare doctrine, we the good guys need to adapt and develop new TTPs or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to counter our enemies. This struggle or tug-of-war as it were, has been going on for centuries.

How this relates to being a 'molly-dooker' is this. Being able to safely handle and operate the weapon on both sides of the body confidently, provides the shooter with added security when performing CQB/MOUT (Close Quarters Battle/Military Operations in Urban Terrain). Being able to switch the weapon from natural to support shoulder, mount the weapon and accurately engage a target quickly and decisively is a real advantage to the shooter. Shooting from the support shoulder and from support side cover will provide the shooter with more security as he will be less exposed to the threat. These types of scenarios typically present themselves during urban warfare or MOUT operations. Support side shooting techniques can provide the commander with added force protection and flexibility, allowing him to clear enemy held strongholds more methodically while ensuring that the security and protection of his men is still maintained. This is particularly useful when conducting night operations using NVG's and Lasers.

There is another reason for shooting left handed, and that is to maintain combat effectiveness while injured. In line with the principles of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), if injured during combat operations, an individual should apply self aid and attempt to regain the initiative and continue the fight if possible. In situations like this, the shooter may need to employ the primary weapon from the support side should he sustain injuries precluding him from using his natural side.

Some of our advanced weapons manipulations training will involve the students handling and operating the weapon with the support hand and shooting from the support shoulder. This training includes support hand manipulations where the student will need to rectify malfunctions and reload the weapon using only the support hand.

We always stress the necessity for speed and accuracy of movement during the drills. This is to breed the instinctive nature of weapon handling and shows us that the student has in fact learnt the drill, committed the sequence to the subconscious and is able to perform the drill on demand under stress.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Flashlight position & mounting options for your M4

I get asked a lot about where to mount your flashlight to your rifle. I also get asked about mounting options. So I thought that I would drag out some of my SF lights with different mounting options and show you how I mount mine. I am currently running a Centurion Arms full Mil-Spec Cabine. It has a 16" cold hammer forged barrel, covered by a DD M4A1 rail.

I always say that there is never a perfect set up. You will always have to compromise on something. You will always have to give up something to get something. So if you are struggling with the perfect set, just realize that everything is normal. Always remember that if it's tactical, it's not comfortable!


Figure 1 shows my laser (LD D-BAL A2) positioned on the 12 o'clock rail and close to the front sight post so the illuminator beam is not interrupted by the sight housing. My flashlight, in this case a 'V' series SF scout light, positioned on the 3 o'clock rail and forward to minimize shadow created by the light hitting the weapon.

I activate the flashlight by pressing the tape switch velcroed to the rail between the 3/6 rail with my support fingers. My laser switch is mounted in the opposite rail, 12/9 and is activated by my support thumb.

I find this to be the best mounting solution for both laser and flashlight as it is very intuitive and allows the user to shoot day and night while activating both laser and light with the same grip. The grip forms an integral part of the recoil management system and should not be compromised to access controls.


Figure 2 shows (4) different mounting options for your flashlight. The 'V' series light uses the proprietary SF QD rail grabber. I have rotated mine around so that it does not irritate my support hand. I always use an IR cover (figure-3)or black cover on all of my light to prevent white light ADs or to ensure that there is no reflection from sunlight creating shine and reflecting back towards the enemy. Another reason I keep a cover over the lens is so that is does not get blacked out by the muzzle blast.


The next light is a SF mini scout light and the body has been replaced by an S&S Precision IMF Hinged mount. This is an early model and the new ones are made from one piece of aluminum. This mount allows the light to be mounted to the rail so that the light sits between rail segments and keeping it as close as possible to the gun.

The third light is a SF scout light with another S&S Precision low pro mount designed specifically for the HK 416. This version like the previous is designed to have the light as tightly as possible to the weapon, keeping it very slick and tight!

The last light is again a SF scout with the standard thumb screw SF mount that comes with the unit.

My preference is still a tap switch over most others and to me honest my favorite switch of all time is the rubber SF on/off switch from the Classic series that I had on my MP5. Sometimes you need constant on!


For more information please visit the following websites:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Redback One Training Trip

A recent whirl wind trip across the U.S took Redback One to El Paso, TX for the 2011 SOG Border Security Conference. We invited SORD USA to join us at the booth to display the latest range of tactical nylon products that included the RB1 Elite Series product range. On the second day we were able to demonstrate our training methodology through a series of live fire drills at McGregor Range Complex. We gave demonstrations of our square range techniques of andvanced weapons manipulation then two live fire demonstrations of Combat Clearance and Hostage Rescue in the Shoothouse. Everyone was suitably impressed with the demonstrations.

From there, it was off to California for the 2-Day Advanced Tactical Carbine course, held at the Eagles Nest range in Angeles, CA. Despite the high winds during the first day, the students had a great time learning advanced weapons manipulations and tactical movement techniques that concluded in a run and gun stress course that incorporated plenty of running, assembling weapons, medium range targets at 150m standing, 225m targets kneeling and 300m targets prone, followed by two surprise targets in the low ground at 100m and 175m. Both of these targets had to be engaged with rifle then with pistol during a change over drill.

From there is was a reload on the run to a support shoulder clearance and engage a close range target from the support shoulder, a quick switch back to strong side and sprint down range to engage an IDPA target with a 6 round cadence drill. High port turn and go, back up range 55m to a prone support side shot onto another IPDA target to finish.

Everyone did a great job completing the course of fire with some really great times that had me putting in the big ones to ensure that I stayed head of the course.

At the completion of the course several of the students went out for an end of course dinner at which we all heard the news of the demise of UBL. There was plenty of celebratory drinks all round!

The next day was a slight change of gears and a change of curriculum for the 2-Day Tactical Carbine Course for Brea SWAT at the Prado Shooting Center in Chino, CA. We had several departments attend this course due to the multi-jurisdictional team. We also had some patrol officers on the course too. The interesting point on this course was that all students arrived with the HK G36 carbine or rifle. There were a couple of shooters that were using M4's also. So I strapped a G36R to my back to ensure that I was able to demonstrate all drills with both M4 and G36.

Everyone learnt plenty of new tricks and tweaked pre-existing skills with the advanced weapons concepts that we put out on our training courses.

We finished up around 1830. I quickly grabbed a shower and change of clothes then off to LAX for the red-eye to Washington DC to prepare for a high level security presentation for an elite group of influential women operating business' in the DC area. This was a change of gears, swapping guns, armor and multicam for a pin strip business suit and tie.

The presentation was a great success for our company's latest addition RB1 Consulting. This side of the business offers security services covering a wide spectrum from Mission Analysis, Risk Assessment, Advisory Services, Provisional services including boots-on-the-ground and full spectrum equipment procurement.

We are very pleased to include former Tier 1 U.S Army Special Operations personnel to the RB1 cadre staff to assist with both the operational and training sides of Redback One. More on this later.