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High-Speed Surgical Shooting

High Caliber Training’s Rogers Range Course offers a wide array of training options



Abner Miranda | Thursday, January 13, 2011

In late 2010, I received an invitation by High Caliber Training's (HCT) point man, Steve Reichert, to attend a special session of the world renowned Rogers Range Course (RRC). I dropped everything and headed for HCT.

Accompanying me to the RRC was my friend and fellow writer/photographer Sean Utley, who, upon seeing the facility for the first time, commented on its grandeur.

High Caliber Training is the counterpart facility to Tier 1 Group or, as it's known in military circles, T1G. HCT is located in Crittenden County, Ark., just 20 minutes from downtown Memphis and is a comprehensive training facility that offers a wide array of training options. What's most impressive is that this facility isn't restricted to military clientele only: It's also open to properly vetted civilian and LE personnel. When you attend any training at HCT you'll actually be receiving instruction by the very men who prepare our Tier 1, Special Forces Soldiers for war. I've got your attention now, don't I?

Reflexive Shooting
As cops, pistol craft is our bread and butter, and reflexive shooting is a must have for the modern officer. Reflexive shooting is the condition in which you cease to think about engaging the target and just do it.

The course of fire is comprised of seven, pneumatically operated targets across five shooting stands that are staggered from seven to 20 yards. The shooter stands just inside a framed doorway inset in a wall that runs the length of the multi-bay RRC. From this position you fire nine challenging courses of fire, during which 8" steel targets are only exposed from .5 to .75 second. Those times are tough considering that a precision shooter’s reaction time to hit a target, from a security holster, is about 1.5 seconds.

To keep driving the class forward, the grading is simplified, you hit, you score. When a course of fire is done, you’re offered corrections by the instructors while your shooting partner refaces your targets in white, with a paint roller. There’s no dawdling at the RRC. You’re there to learn, and every second is used accordingly.

Sean and I ran an M&P 9 mm and an XD .45, respectively. I wanted to run a 9 mm too for the controllable recoil. However, I chose to train with what I carry daily.

The RRC can be run with pistols, shotguns and pistol caliber chambered M4s. Bill's program is world renowned for teaching professionals the reflexive shooting skills required for survival. Please understand that reflexive shooting isn’t point shooting. Point shooters can't survive in this kind of environment. To prove this point, Steve invited several top point shooters to an “all expenses paid” trip to the RRC. All they had to do was say “yes.” Nary a one had the chutzpah to come out and try to qualify on the RRC. 

Keep Your Eye On The Ball
Coaches have gone hoarse screaming that at athletes. Through devotion and arduous repetition, the moment finally arrives when the athlete hears the crack of the bat and sends the ball sailing over the outfield. Within 300 milliseconds of the success the mind forms a positive neural pathway and stores the muscle memory.

Bill refers to this similar phenomena in shooting as positive instant recognition (PIR). PIR in shooting, just as in sports, must be recognized immediately or else the mind won't record the success as such. This is easy in sports because you can see, feel and hear the contact with the ball.

In shooting PIR is almost impossible to achieve because a fired shot that misses a paper target sounds exactly like one that pierces the 10 ring. So how does one achieve PIR in shooting? Ditch the paper targets and go to all steel. With the instant feedback of ringing steel the shooter gets the PIR that's desperately needed to form a positive neural pathway.

Aim Small, Miss Small
HCT instructors Dallas Foyte and Phil Aldredge teach in the Bill Rogers style of aim small, miss small. What this means is, don't aim at the threat's head, aim at the tip of his nose. If you miss the nose, you still hit the head.

At the RRC you're taught on a dynamic system that moves and changes. There are several shooting schools that purport to run an RRC, however, they’ve padded their times to coddle the student into a false sense of success. A true RRC, such as HCT's, uses Bill's times, which are inviolate. The RRC is severe, and humbling, however, if you’re willing to be broken and rebuilt you will succeed at reflexive shooting.

When you sign up for the RRC you're immediately sent a copy of Bill Rogers' book Be Fast, Be Accurate, Be the Best. The precepts taught therein aren't difficult to understand, but, they’re bold. Bill Rogers has taken heat for over 30 years for his teaching methods that challenge the status quo. These methods have truly shaken me out of apathy and have taught me new techniques. More so is the fact that Bill's precepts have taught me how utterly useless LE firearms training really is.

Are You Kidding Me? 
Sean and I quickly got a wake-up call on day one when instructors Dallas and Phil demonstrated the times under which we'd have to operate. Dallas activated the system and one of the targets popped up then almost immediately dropped down. A half second is blazing fast especially when compared to the lethargic pace of LE qualification courses.

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Abner MirandaAbner Miranda is currently a patrolman for Signal Mountain (Tenn.) Police Department.


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