Vehicle Tactics Training – Practical and Applicable Training for the everyday person that carries a firearm for self-defense
I believe we can all agree that 2020 has been unpredictable to say the least, especially in our nation. One area that is cause for concern are the violent riots and protests that are happening in many cities. No matter what your political stance is, we must put emotions to the side and realistically accept the fact that the possibility of a threat situation happening to us has increased. Now is the time to become an advocate for your own protection by seriously planning for home and self-defense. This is not living paranoid; it is in fact living prepared.
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One area most people overlook is vehicle tactics training. This is not training that will ready you to be a skilled special forces operator. It is training to equip you with the fundamentals and knowledge of what to do should your safety be compromised while in or around your vehicle. This training is not something that can be learned via video or on the internet. Training with a professional instructor and incorporating live fire is the only way to get a good grasp on what to do, when to do it and how.
Finding a vehicle tactics class can be difficult depending on where you are located. Additionally, it can be rather expensive. This is something that should be viewed as a valuable investment that could save your life and the lives of your loved ones. Additionally, there are some crucial points that everyone should educate themselves on and begin incorporating, no class required. First and foremost, we need to remember that the goal is to avoid having to utilize a firearm and avert a threat situation. This can be done with good situational awareness. Avoidance is the most important aspect when it comes to self-defense. Please watch the above video for examples of utilizing and understanding vehicle situational awareness.
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Another aspect you can begin to practice on your own are vehicle carry and dryfire drills. You must determine the safest way to carry your firearm while in your vehicle. This needs to be a method that is safe and works best for you. Some people prefer an external storage device for their vehicle such as a magnetic holster mounted near the dash or something similar that fits into the console. There is a wide variety of external storage devices available that are safe, secure, and provide quick access. When the carry method is determined you can then begin to work on your draw. Drawing from your vehicle is very different as you are in a seated position. It is important to be sure not to muzzle your legs or anyone else in the vehicle. This is more difficult than it sounds which is why dry fire practice is very important.
Exiting your vehicle is another aspect to practice. You may find yourself in a situation that forces you to exit your vehicle. Under stress, fine motor skills diminish, and in this type of situation that will put you at an extreme disadvantage. Becoming familiar with drawing your firearm, maneuvering the seatbelt, and exiting your vehicle while still maintaining awareness of your situation will help you maintain an advantage.
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The importance of live-fire training when it comes to vehicle tactics is to fully experience and comprehend the application. A good vehicle tactics class should cover key fundamentals most people do not think of. The safest point on a vehicle to utilize for coverage is one aspect. Your vehicle is large and weighted; therefore, most people will use this for cover when parts are only good for concealment. Cover will possibly stop a round from penetrating, concealment will only hide you. An example of this would be a car door. This seems to be a good choice for cover; however, a .22 caliber round will go right through. Engine blocks and wheel wells provide a much better option for cover. The reality of shooting through a windshield is another eye-opener. This is not merely point and shoot. When you shoot the round, it is going to deflect quite a few inches above your point of aim. There are so many things that we can never begin to realize until going through proper training. Mentally learning will only bring you head knowledge. Physically taking a class will not only provide the knowledge but the application and skill as well.
I would strongly recommend this type of training to everyone. Again, this will not turn you into tactical operator ready to engage the world. It will however provide you the training to be vigilantly prepared within your vehicle should an unfortunate situation arise. Having the ability to protect yourself and the ones you love is priceless. To be a true advocate for your own protection you must be well rounded in all aspects of training.
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Karen Hunter is the senior firearms instructor for Force Options and the co-instructor for U.S. and international training. Read more about her.