TLDR: Get training, frens.
I thought I knew what I was doing. I mean I own all the gear and play Call of Duty, which basically means I’m a certified badass operator, right?
Wrong. Lemme tell you why…
Mom’s been begging me to get out of the house more, so she can clean my room. (Apparently the smells bother her.) So I go to the range a few times a month and get pretty good at killing cardboard. (Again, I’m a badass. Believe me) At the range I see a sign advertising an advanced rifle class coming soon at my local PD. I sign up, because who can resist a chance to put on all their kit and LARP around for a day?
So the day finally arrives. I suit up like GI Joe and leave my house for realz. Neighbors see me and gawk. Can’t tell if they’re jealous, turned-on, or considering calling Po-Po’s On me. Whatever, today I’m completely justified in wearing level IV plates outside. If the SWAT team arrives because my neighbor complains, I’ll just bum a ride with them to their training center. Thanks Karen!
I arrive early, sign all the waivers, eat a donut with some cops and hit the range. First shots I stack a dime-sized 5-shot group - my best performance ever. FUCKIN’ BOSS. I’m basically Robin Hood with an AR15. Spend a moment staring at these swat guys with my “suck on that shit” grin.
Then the teacher starts the first lesson: Shoulder transitions. It looks super easy: shoot two with your dominant hand, then switch the rifle to your offhand and shoot two more as fast and accurately as possible.
Teach yells “Ready…FIGHT!” I pop of two lightning fast, then attempt to transition and choke the shit out of myself with my sling. Hmm that’s not how that was supposed to go…
I give myself some slack and try again….
This time I get the rifle in my left shoulder, but where is my fucking dot? I can’t see it. I’m bobbing my head around like I’m Stevie Fucking Wonder…. After what feels like an eternity I finally get a sight picture. Ready to shoot and - wait! My safety is on. My gun isn’t ambi. Shit ok, I adjust my grip so I can flip the lever annnnnd I’ve lost my dot again…. HOLY FUCK, I’M RETARDED.
I finally get it figured out, but it’s awkward as hell. I get a bunch of reps in and start to become more comfortable with it…. Ok, cool. I still suck off-hand, but now I know what to practice. Right on.
Then we move onto footwork. Neat. Never done that before. We practice turns, running with rifles, transition to prone, kneeling, etc. DAMN THAT FEELS GOOD! Is this that exercise thing people keep telling me to try?
Then we learn about cover and concealment, different ways to shoot behind barriers. we basically spend hours pretending we’re in Gears of War. I hope nobody noticed my throbbing erection the entire time. #BooletsBetterThanBoobies
Alright. Feeling confident again. Now they want us to put it all together and clear some rooms. FUCKIN-A LET’S DO THIS!!!
It’s my turn. Heart starts pumping. Adrenaline kicking in now. Teach yells “Ready.. Fight” and….
I freeze. Suddenly I forget everything….
Teach yells “Move it dude! People are depending on you!”
“Ok, I’ve got this” I whisper under my breath (I don’t actually got this tho.)
I start moving my feet. First doorway I’m approaching from the right. Shit, I need to transition shoulders. How do I do that again? I then proceed to fuck it all up like I did earlier in the day. Finally get it sorted and realize I’m just standing out in the doorway looking like an idiot.
“You’re dead guy! All the bad guys see you.”
It was way harder than I would have ever expected. There are so many things to think about: situational awareness, footwork, safety, weapon manipulation, target identification, cover, concealment, and so much more. Then there are all the distractions: distant gun shots, yelling, commotion, other people (non-targets), etc.
I did it several times, getting slightly better each rep, but I still suck at it.
So to sum up - I’m a dogshit operator. Like really, really bad. Give a monkey a shotgun, and it would almost certainly do better than me. BUT NOW I KNOW AND I’M GETTING BETTER.
Moral of the story is get off your ass and train for realz. You are nowhere near as good as you think. You are not John Wick. You’re barely better than John Wick’s dog. (Spoiler, the dog dies Instantly without a fight.)
So get out of your momma’s basement and make it happen, frens. Become the Boogaloo Badass of your dreams.
Very well written and interesting story.
With that being said, I’m more of a “lie in waiting, shoot a guy before he sees me then run away type of operator “
Valid strategy, bro. You do you when you play with a pew pew.
One things for damn sure, I won't be clearing rooms.
Close combat guerilla tactics win insurgencies
Work on cardio. Dont forget the run part of hit & run.
Salty yet sweet, with a hint of bourbon and smoke.
Wait, a PD had a class in how to use guns better?
So you hung out with cops at a range?
Huh. I didn't know that was a thing.
I didn’t know either! Yes, it was awesome!
Great Story. Compelling and Rich.
Aww shucks. Thanks fren.
There's a reason flannel daddy always says get training. I remember my first sling choker... didnt know I was into that kinda thing. Jk.
Next good one to practice is moving while aiming with both eyes open and keeping reticule in focus. It's actually not too bad once you get the hang of it, but really easy to lose focus. Also, great thing about practicing footwork is you can do it at home.
There is no way you expect me to read all that.