One of my students was kind enough to do a complete review of his last course. I always enjoy hearing from my students and try to maintain contact with them. They all know that I’m just a phone call away.
AAR: Archetype of the Gun – So You’ve Been Shot
Instructor – Erik Tweedt
Gear – Glock 17 w/ RM09 and frame stippling, Eidolon Holster, Blackhawk Mag Pouch
Location – Article II Range, Lombard IL
Personal Background: No previous formal medical education, taken various pistol courses
AotG caters to individuals and small groups, offering training that accommodates their schedules and that can be personalized to their needs.
“So You’ve Been Shot” focuses on the aftermath of getting shot. Students learn how to handle mental, medical and ballistic issues. Specifically, types of injuries and their treatments as well as how to fight while injured, with a heavy emphasis on the lone responder and concealed carry holder/off-duty officer.
Started in the classroom, 1 other student and myself. Erik introduced himself, gave some of his background and training resume, and went over his plan for the 2 day course.
Beginning with a power point presentation covering the medical side, Erik went through the common treatable injuries including how to assess and treat them with the appropriate tools. The presentation was broken up with either personal anecdotes or tactile exercises (finding a pulse, lifting the jaw, etc).
Students had a chance to practice packing a wound and applying a tourniquet. Experiencing the full 3 minutes of pressure needed to allow a clot to form really drove that home more than simply hearing it. Gear selection and gear to avoid was covered as well as “improvised” options if the ideal gear wasn’t available or had already been used.
After ensuring we had a solid understanding of the material and sufficient practice reps on the gear, Erik covered the course of fire for the next day. We then ran a couple dry fire drills meant to get the students comfortable with using their non-dominant hand only as well moving into and out of different positions. This also gave Erik a chance to assess our handling/safety skills and make some improvements/adjustments before we got into the live fire portion.
Started on the Range. 2 other students and myself. Erik gave a safety brief and reviewed the planned course of fire/expectations.
We began with all 3 on the line, roughly 3-5 yards working from the holster. Once Erik got a sense of our accuracy and draw fundamentals, we began working with the non-dominant hand only. After a couple strings of fire, we began shooting non-dominant hand from various positions (standing, kneeling, prone, laying on back).
We then moved on to shooting individually with simulated injuries (tennis balls and duct tape). Erik used a spray bottle with stage blood to simulate bleeding, which really drove home the important of staying focused despite distractions as well as having aggressive grip texture on your firearm. For me personally it also validated that the RMR will function in adverse conditions as Erik did not hesitate to give my dot several direct “arterial” sprays.
Erik also began using a wooden stick to instigate malfunctions in our firearms so that we were able to practice getting them back into the fight while injured.
Finally, using Triumph Systems pivoting targets, we individually ran a threat engagement drill where we stopped a threat and then treated an injury behind cover under the timer. This was great to combine all the components we had practiced while also reinforcing the important of maintaining awareness because threats may reappear and are always the first priority.
Overall I thought Erik did an excellent job teaching us valuable, life-saving knowledge and skills in a fun/engaging manner. We also got to see how our various gear choices held up under hard use and in compromising circumstances. I left with medical knowledge I didn’t have as well as some identified weaknesses like support hand only shooting, but also confidence in my abilities and gear choices.