Edition 60

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I hope you and your team had a blessed Easter!

It has been a long time since the last newsletter, so I have a lot to talk about below.  Note that the MAY Carbine Operator class is a FRIDAY / SATURDAY class.

Please continue to train and get ready; physically, mentally and spiritually!

Train hard; put God first!



New Class: Designated Marksman

I’ve been asked many times over the years to conduct a long range rifle class.  In a previous life I was a Designated Marksman on a military ERT and I spent over ten years in the SC Marksmanship Training Unit, regularly competing out to 600 yards, occasionally  to 1000.  So, I’ve got the background, but it’s been decades since I was active in long range work.

While the fundamentals haven’t changed, equipment sure has.  When I last competed, .30 cal was King, variable power scopes were  not to be trusted on serious rifles and a Kestrel wind meter was real cutting edge technology…  we’re talking slightly more technical than throwing rocks at each other.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point:  I don’t feel qualified to teach a modern intermediate or long range class, nor do I have time to get up to instructor level speed on all the new gear.

So, i was delighted a few weeks back when good friend and Paladin alumnus Scott Windham called to let me know he and his shooting partner,  Ashton Johnson, have developed a two day curriculum for an intermediate range (out to 600 yards) class.  They call it a Designated Marksman class.

I’ve had a chance to look over the outline and I’m excited about it.  You can bet I’ll be in the first class I can make.

The final details are being hammered out as to location, cost, etc., but the tentative date for the first class is 5 & 6 JUNE.

Short bios are here:  ASHTON  /  SCOTT

To learn more or register, Scott can be reached at 843-858-0360.

Looking for a Webmaster!

We’re way overdue for a complete redesign of Paladin’s website.  Anyone out there willing to donate their talent?
Paladin Training is a tax exempt non-profit under Section 501 (c)(3).

Have a Gun!

A friend recently told me he and his wife were having dinner with friends at Ruby Tuesday’s when the recent shooting took place at the mall.  He confessed that, even though most of the people at the table had CWP’s, none were armed that evening.  He described a chaotic scene with people fleeing the mall, some entering the restaurant to hide in kitchen.  Some people were getting under tables.  I imagined a herd of panicked Wildebeests fleeing a predator.  Probably not too far off the mark.

As a general rule, I recommend against getting under a table.  You lose your ability to see and maneuver.  Getting under a table in an active shooter situation is the adult version of pulling the sheets over your head when you think there’s a monster under your bed.  Unless the tablecloth is made of Kevlar, not productive.  If you don’t have any other options, better to grab a steak knife, turn out the lights and wait by the door to ambush the attacker.

My wife asked what my plan was for such a situation.   Here it is:  If I know which direction the shooting is coming from, I’m heading in the opposite direction.  If I don’t know where the shooting is coming from, I’m probably going to stay in place.  If I just have to leave but don’t know where the shooter is, I’ll consider enticing a stranger to be my rabbit:  “Hey, buddy, we need to get out of here.  Go.   I’ll be right behind you.”  If he doesn’t get shot (or shot at), then I’ll have a better idea how safe it may be in that direction.

You may think that is ruthless.  It is.  I won’t do that to an elderly person or most females, but healthy male strangers are not in my care group.  My responsibility is to get my wife and anyone else I’m responsible for to safety.

All of that changes if I believe it’s a terrorist attack.  These people are killing Americans and, in this context, EVERYONE is in my care group.  I’m going hunting and I’m going to kill until I run out of ammunition or BG’s.

Sad my wife had to ask about our plan.  That means we need to discuss some things.  Maybe you and your spousal unit need to discuss some things, too.

I digress.  The point is:  Have a gun.  You may recall the name of Tom Givens.  He’s a friend and trainer who runs an outfit called Rangemaster in Memphis, TN.  68 of Tom’s students have had to use deadly force.  65 won their gunfight with, at worst, non-life threatening injuries.  3 lost.  The reason?  They didn’t have a gun.

Training Target

A few months back Ted Deloach of Multi Drill Targets asked me to develop a training target.  Here’s the result, the PTI Target:

Looks complicated, but it’s not.  Here’s what we’ve got:
  1. For precision or warm up drills, two 6″ bullseye targets are on either side of the ‘head’.  The X ring is 1″ in diameter, the 10 ring 2″, the 9 ring is 4″ and the 8 ring is 6″ in diameter.  Knowing these distances can be helpful when getting an initial zero at close range after installing an optic or red dot site (RDS).
  2. The head is 5″ in diameter.  Target 1 inside the head represents the Ocular Window / Nasal Cavity.  The dimensions are based on actual measurement:  2.5 inches across the top is based on the pupils, center to center;  1.5 inches top to bottom on the centerline between the pupils to the bottom of the nose.
  3. Target 0 below the head represents the front of the upper and lower jaw.  Not a good target, hence the ‘0’.
  4. Target 2 is the cardiac triangle.  The distances between the corners are based on actual measurement; nipple to nipple to jugular notch.
  5. The colored circles at four corners are 4″ in diameter and numbered, targets 3 thru 6.
  6. The colored shapes inside are 2″ across and lettered A thru D.
  7. The three vertical bands inside the ‘chest’ represent aiming points for spine shots or a ‘zipper drill’; Target 8 if from the front, Target 7 if the shooter is offset to the left of center and Target 9 if the shooter is offset to the right.
  8. The two targets at the bottom of the page are useful for zeroing AR type rifles (or any platform with a similar sight-line / bore-line offset).  The space between the three dark bands is exactly 1″ across (or roughly 4 MOA).  This spacing is optimized for a 4 MOA red dot sight at a distance of 25 yards.  Center the red dot in the 1″ square and adjust your group inside the desired circle.

The center of the upper circle is 1.125″ below the center of the aiming point.  A zero here at 25 yards should give you a 50 / 200 yard zero with the typical AR15 equipped with RDS.  The center of the lower circle is 1.5″ below the center of the aiming point which should give you a 100 yard zero. 

The target itself is 23″ x 35″ and printed on heavy, weather resistant paper


Endless.  Here’s one example of a combination of drills you can do with the target (a timer, better yet, a buddy and a timer, are necessary to get the most from the practice):

  • Warm up (slow fire) from holster to target, 2 shots on the upper left bullseye target.  No time limit.  Static. Focus on technique.  Repeat x 3
    (6 shots)
  • Failure Drill (2 + 1) from holster or ready using the cardiac triangle (T2) and the ocular window / nasal cavity (T1).  No time limit.  Static.  Focus on technique.  Repeat x 3
    (9 shots)
  • Draw and fire 2 using one of the 4″ circles (T3 thru T6).  Static or with movement off the X.  Introduce a time limit to start emphasizing speed.  Repeat x 3.
    (6 shots)
  • Draw and fire 2 using a 2″ shape (TA thru TD).  Static or with movement off the X.  Use the timer.  Repeat x 3
    (6 shots)
  • Failure Drill, from the holster, with movement.  This is where a buddy comes in.  To introduce a little stress, he (she) could call the preparatory command, ‘Failure drill’, followed by ‘Standby’ then, after a pause, ‘RED!’  The shooter would draw and place two hits in Target 3 followed by an anchor shot in Target D.  Repeat alternating color combinations.
    (9 shots)

Typically Failure Drills (Mozambique) are performed on static targets by lifting the sights straight up from the chest to the head, but in reality a Failure Drill might be fired on a Threat that is moving or falling to the side.  This is the rationale behind staggering the colors.

A perfect cinematic example of a failure drill on a falling target is at the 1:15 mark here (Warning:  Language):

Zipper Drill, from the ready, 3 shots, static, no time limit.  The shooter delivers 3 shots into Target 8.  Repeat x 3, increasing speed with each iteration.
(9 shots)

Cool down (slow fire) from holster to target, 1 shot on the upper right bullseye target.  No time limit.  Static. Focus on technique.  Repeat x 5
(5 shots)
Total 50 shots

The above is just one example of a set of drill combinations you can do in one session on one target…  seven workouts, multiple iterations, one box of ammunition, one target.  You’re limited only by your imagination.

Finally, it might surprise you to learn that the PTI Target is based on the dimensions of an actual person.  If you were to superimpose this IALEFI target on top of PTI, you’d see that the various target numbers line up with skeletal features on this guy:

You can get the PTI target at MULTIDRILL .

Ted is also on Facebook at Multi Drill Targets.

A portion of the proceeds from every sale goes to support our mission.

Fundraiser 2015.1

  • Prize:  1 seat in any two-day defensive firearm class and 500 rounds of carbine ammunition (5.56 or 7.62 x 39)
  • Cost per ticket:  $20

Number of tickets:  50

The drawing will be held when the 50th ticket is sold.


Contact me for details.


Hope to see you at Mike Kent’s Civic Center Gunshow, 2 – 3 MAY.   We’ll be at our usual spot.


The UBC class last March was fantastic.  The week before the class we had two teams (4 students) drop out for various reasons so the final count for the class was only four students.  This turned out to be a good thing.  All had attended multiple Paladin basic and advanced defensive firearm classes and three of the four had attended at least one UBC prior to this one.  Two of the students had multiple combat tours and one is still active duty USMC.  Due to the skill level these four students brought to the class, UBC-V turned into a Beta Class for testing a new curriculum.
The review material that typically takes up much of Friday was shortened and we launched into the scenario after lunch the first day; half a day early.  Over the next two days, the scenario gradually got more complicated (read as ‘realistic’) as we moved from two man teams to four man teams.

Pistols played a more important role in this UBC than in previous iterations, so much so that I’m thinking of adding Defensive Handgun 1 to the list of training prerequisites necessary to attend UBC in the future.

By Sunday, the students were fighting their way from the disabled car, engaging targets as they moved to cover with their sidearms, recovering long guns and other mission essential gear while the BG’s were suppressed by their team-mates, then completing the disengagement.  It was a complicated but beautifully choreographed and executed dance and very gratifying to see performed so well.

Various complications were thrown at them to force them to think and improvise on the run.

We added a second range car to the training.  We moved the two cars around.  First the car with the BG’s was in front of the car occupied by the students.  Later, we moved it to represent a situation where the car containing the GG’s was t-boned on the passenger side by the BG’s and everyone had to egress the car on the driver side.

Also on Sunday, we changed the justification for the scenario from the original, which reflected an historic event involving Private Security Contractors in Kabul, Afghanistan to one unfortunately more relevant to life in America:  Imagine you and a buddy are driving on any Interstate Hwy in America and you’re approaching a typical urban area.  As you near the center of the city, you observe multiple brake lights ahead and you assume an accident has just happened.  You slow down and eventually come to a stop behind a line of cars.  Meanwhile, cars are continually stopping behind you, blocking you in.  Suddenly you realize men armed with AK47’s are walking down the line of stopped cars, in your direction, shooting the occupants and anyone fleeing.

It’s not an accident at all.  Two car loads of ISIS sympathizers have come to a stop under an overpass completely blocking forward  movement.  Everyone behind them is trapped.  You and your buddy can’t go left or right because of lane dividers and sound barriers.  You can’t go forward or backward because of stopped cars.  The fact that YOU left maneuver room between your vehicle and that in front of you is totally irrelevant.  Your vehicle is effectively immobilized.  What do you do?

If you doubt the potential for such an event in America, I urge you to read William Forstchen’s novella DAY OF WRATH without delay and reconsider.

A word about Safety

As with all previous UBC’s, every attempt was made to provide as realistic training as possible.  In my opinion, next to lack of instructor experience and ability, the biggest obstacle to realistic training is a hyperfocus on SAFETY.  We did nothing that was unsafe, but we did things that would be unsafe if done improperly.  We zealously complied with the Four General Firearm Safety Rules.  We did everything we could reasonably do to minimize training scars.

I do not normally give permission for students to post video of the training on public sites like YouTube because, frankly, I don’t have the patience to deal with arm chair experts who don’t understand, or care about, the context of what they’re looking at.  All I’ll say is this:  I felt safer DOWNRANGE of these four men engaging targets past me than I do BEHIND THE LINE of the typical CWP class.  This was partly due to our training, partly due to our ability to set up the target engagement angles properly, partly due to safeguards we put in place, but mostly due to the maturity and skill level of the students.

This is important

The technical factors that made the greatest contribution to safe movement and target engagement were SITUATIONAL AWARENESS and COMMUNICATION.  Think about that.

Finally, I want to thank Kerry Alzner who came down from NC to assist with the class.  Kerry has an SF and PSC background, has seen the elephant more than once, and his expertise added much to the training.

What’s Next?

  1. Future UBC’s will be smaller, probably capped at two two man teams.
  2. They will cost more, probably in the area of $600 for Paladin alumni.
  3. The round count will go up for both long gun and handgun.
  4. Additional training prerequisites will be put in place:  Probably Defensive Handgun 1 and Defensive Carbine 2.
  5. I hope we’ll have more than one a year as is current practice.

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