Hanson does Blackwater USA: DAY 5

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson recently attend Blackwater USA’s 5 day pistol/carbine class.

While attending class, Ken kept a blog of his experiences. Since most visitors to this site take training very seriously, we thought you would enjoy his ramblings.

Ken's five day experience has been published on this website on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the end of the month.

Click on 'Read More' for the fifth and final installment.

Day 5

Last day of class. We’re all kind of dragging, except of course the young 'uns who are leaving for Iraq on Monday. Youth is wasted on the young.

Transition work today. Lots of one shot carbine drills, transition to pistol. We got the timers out and recorded one shot, bolt lock reload, one shot splits with the carbine, then one shot, transition to pistol, one shot with pistol. For all of us we were at least a second faster transitioning rather than reloading. Fascinating stuff. Also a real change of pace switching from pistols to rifles and vice versa. When making ready and clearing, they say to always do the secondary first. The say it is too easy to forget a pistol is there and thus leave it empty or forget to unload it. The transition move isn’t glamorous. Just get it done. Hard to draw a pistol while wearing a tactical vest with magazine carriers, slung rifle etc.

Spent time at 50 yards on a moving steel target with the carbine, transition to pistol. Actually at this point most people are hitting the mover at 50 yds with the pistols.

At the end of a day I finally got to climb a bell tower with a loaded rifle. Cross one more thing off the list of things to do in this life. 6 stories straight up (I *HATE* heights and do not ever do them. I will hire someone to get a Frisbee off our roof. I used to rappel, free climb etc. and had a bad experience, no more. I get paralyzed on water slides.) Just me, a rifle, a bunch of steel at 100 yds, including a mover so we can do our own Kennedy recreations if that is your speed. This was Friday lunch during the high winds, to boot. Man, what a hoot. While you are in the tower, people are down below you doing a 50-75 yard field course so you are partially shooting over them. The field course was to cover, then forward to a car, then back to cover, about 10 rounds each position and each end of the car. The car windshield cracked from muzzle blast. End of the day we did pistols at 100 yards on upper half USPSA steel targets. We then went to the classroom for a final hour where they left us with the mindset lecture, said they were sure we had marksmanship and gun handling down, wanted us to leave with mindset freshest in our mind.

I had a hard trip home, the traffic around Norfolk was hideous, but at least I got to watch F-18s for an hour or so. It took me nearly 5 hours to go about 150 miles so I bagged it and grabbed a hotel, did laundry (including my leather holster and mag holders by accident, gasp!) and had an Oreo milkshake.

I got home about 1 p.m. today. Cleaned guns. I have never seen anything as filthy as the inside of that AR, but she ran like a top up through the last shot. Lube it about every 400 rounds and it just goes. I have come 180 degrees on my opinion of the AR 15 platform, now to get one in 308. My compensator worked spooky good. At 100 yards on steel from prone my dot came off target no more than 6 inches, and that was DOWN. I did a 10 yard mag dump with everything inside 6 inches and it sounded close to automatic, I mean it was as fast as I could yank them off and was about half the time of the nearest student. People literally gasped because the gun just doesn’t move. Several asked to try it that night. Not all ARs faired well. One went bolt action, another had the rear sight come clean off (Tactical weight saving feature.)

I did some dry fire tonight after cleaning the pistol. Holy flinch batman. I’m going to need to work that out. Too much shooting, my hands are sore, I think my body is just in protection mode. Time to get to know the family and kids again.

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