- May 16, 2011
- West of Boston
ONSIGHT FIREARMS TRAINING
July 19, 2020
July 19, 2020
Instructor: Ben DeWalt
Location: Cape Gun Works, Hyannis, Massachusetts
Weather: Indoor Range
Round Count: 550+/-
Cost: $175 Time: 10am – 5:00pm
We had our safety briefing, identified medical personnel within the student body. Ben talked us through the range orientation, what to do if there was a training accident and medical services were needed. People were given jobs in the unlikely event something happened. Who to call, the correct words to say and the words do not say to the 911 operator.
We started off with unloaded guns at the 25 yard line, Ben explained the different positions we were going to use on the range, shooting position, high ready, low ready, High port and cross body port. We went over the proper way to load a magazine ensure it is seated and economy of motions to release the bolt to chamber a round. How and when safeties went on and when they came off. Ben made it clear where you finger should NOT BE when not shooting, ANYWHERE NEAR THE TRIGGER GUARD! Make sure we were aware of where our muzzle was pointing at all times! Each of us is responsible for our own safety. No one wants a gun pointed at them! Always be muzzle aware, ALWAYS!
We checked our zero at 25 yards, I made a quick necessary correction as I was using a new optic that I bore sighted in my home last night. Man, shooting 16 Ars inside was really friggin loud! I doubled up on my earpro and found I was having trouble hearing Ben's commands. I ended up with just using one ear plug under my electronic ear-pro. Still very loud. When a 308 Travor fired I felt my teeth shake
We shot from different ready positions into the center circle inside the chest on a Henderson NV PD Qualification Target (shout Henderson NV, I lived there for 4 years!) We worked mostly 15-20 yards from our targets. Being in a state where we are capped at 10 round mags there was a lot of reloading reps during the day, which is always good practice.
Before each drill, Ben would explain it, demo the entire drill and explain it again. I like that teaching approach. I like to hear the instructions and then see it being done correctly and then hear the instructions again.
We shot from standing, one knee kneeling, both knees kneeling, we learned how to turn safely with the gun and engage the target. Face left, Face right and about-face always being aware of where our muzzle was at all times. Many shots to center mass and face of our target. We varied the distance to our target doing mag changes as we needed to and clearing malfunctions if they occurred. Ben walked the line making suggestions on how we could improve our technique and encouragement when we did well. Never was anything negative said or any student called out in humiliation. Not all instructors are like this, Ben understands his students are not recruits and we are human beings that paid for this class on our time off. Not all instructors are like this. Ben is one of the good ones.
After lunch the basic skills we learned in the morning were used with movement in the drills. We moved forward and backward shooting on the move. We concentrated on keeping the gun level, and our sights on the target as we moved, we also had to keep the line dressed so we would not have anyone way in front of everyone else shooting. We did some fast paced drills of moving forward, backward, different levels (kneeling, squatting) as they were called out. It was awesome!
We paired up into buddy teams and one of us would do a mag dump as fast as we could while keeping the shots inside of the chest circle, when we came to bolt lock, we would peal out to our designated side and our buddy would step up and do his mag dump while keeping his shots inside the chest cicle. We continued this until we ran out of mags. I shot 150 rounds very fast, keeping 95% inside the intended area. My gun was HOT! As we recharged our mags Ben setup Paul Howe’s hostage sniper target.
We shot Howes hostage target after running 5-7 yards getting our heart rate elevated and I noticed my zero had shifted like 4” down, WTF? I could not understand what the heck was going on. On the fourth iteration, I noticed that my optic was shaking loose! It was a new optic and I had not gotten around to RED Loctiting it! f*** ME! BAD!. I tried to KY windage the remaining shots but I failed. As Ben was analyzing our targets, I DQ’d all six of them. I killed the hostage every time. I got the “look” from Ben. 100% user fault, rookie mistake. I excused myself from the line and went back to the loading tables to tighten and Loctite my optic. LESSON LEARNED!
We did Tom Given’s Casino drill using carbines, I shot it clean. But over the time limit and shot only four rounds on the number five symbol, (counting is hard with a public school education)
Our last drill of the day was the Blue Falcon, where we shot against each other until there was one winner. I got to the third round and lost when part of my sling was trying to get into the mag well as I was reloading a magazine. That was weird, but shoot enough and weird shit will happen.
We cleaned up and debriefed going around the group saying something we learned. For me it was the Loctite issue and sometimes “All skill is in vain when the Angel pisses in the flintlock of your musket”
I really like Ben. He is super knowledgeable, skillful, funny, humble and sometimes appropriately inappropriate. As the day goes on his jokes go downhill. He is a down to earth dude, that is easy to talk to fun to be around. I like to say I think Ben DeWalt and OnSight Firearms Training is one of the best training companies and best-kept secret within the training community. Absolutely take his class if you have the opportunity.