HDSOC Journal

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HDSOC Journal

Post  Yoda on Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:53 pm

HDSOC Journal Day-1
We meet in Las Vegas unit HQ. Pick up some rental vehicles for our course, SUV's 2x Expedition, 1x Denali, 1x Suburban, the two senior guys immediately pick the Denali and the Suburbans of course. Rolling Eyes We travel north on Hwy 95 this road takes you to the backside of Nevada past Area 51 on the way to Reno (yawn). Arrive in a really small town called Hawthorne ( too small to rate a Wally world). This town wouldn't exist if not for this humoungous Army Depot ( it's one of the largest ammo dumps Uncle Sugar has). Were booked into a casino/hotel (not that cool it's like rundown motel 6).

HDSOC Day 1
Were introduced to some classroom work, mostly theorethicals, kit setup, intro by the instructors ( your typical SO types, SEAL, FR, Sct-Snpr, SF. The types who wear goatees in/out of uniform). Course expectations and the like. So far so good. After lunch is on to the range. The thermometer climbs on close to 100 F. We jump right in to practical exercises, stances, grips, sight pic, paper stationary from 5, 7, 10, 15, and 25 m,the lead instructor is an SF DA type ( he is a GOD of shooters Shocked) who shoots like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, this guy can write on the target, hold a conversation w/ you while he's doing it and make it look easy. The other instructors are even in awe of this guy. SEA specialist even speaks Thai and pinoy. Now the shit hits the fan. We are humbled and enlightened on how little we actually know. I am struggling ( but we all are, even my buddy who's an Area 51 SWAT type). Almost all of us are cbt vets but it's like being complete novices. Crying or Very sad My thumbs and forearms really hurt, my shooting really sucks, after almost 1000 rds I can barely press the trigger at the end of the day. My instructor goes your technique and stance is old school where have you been? Embarassed Ohhh I really hate the beretta and i'm fighting my built in muscle memory of 16 years w/c is really fucking me up! Evil or Very Mad Did I mention I hate berettas? ( the instructors are all shooting their preferred pistolas except for the SF DA guy Rolling Eyes ). We finally end the day w/ a 25 m qual (all shots in DA, trigger pull is in the 16 lb range!!!!! by points on a bullseye anything less than a lethal shot doen't count !Mad )

HDSOC Day 2

We meet and head directly for the range another 25 m qual in DA only. I suck more than the night before and we progress to more evolutions. Standing, kneeling, prone, strong hand, weak hand, from the run, pivot turns and 180 turns. Stoppage drills, dummy drills, reload drills and stress tests. We stop for lunch. My hands and forearms are shit affraid and we have a timed qual of all the above for the end of the day and if you fail you do remedial and if you fail you're heading home. I take about 800 mg of ibuprofen and soak my arms in ice for half an hour. We do the HDSOC qual, amazingly i shoot almost 200% better and even though i suck at shooting paper slow on DA this is also despite four stoppages. We progress to speed metal plates on line from the draw. My fellow shooters as well as myself are amazed that on 2-3 second drills i always blow the plate on the 1st shot for controlled pairs, even when no one else hits anything in 16 man lineup, my confidence returns. Another 25 m qual, this time it feels like it's out of body, my shit still looks awkward but i guess im getting the job done, even w/ two more stoppages i shoot 200% better again. Whew, another day.

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HDSOC Journal

Post  Yoda on Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:38 pm

HDSOC Journal Day 3

Straight to the range again and start w/ 25m bullseye to check accuracy. More drills this time focusing on speed and accuracy.

It's getting harder and harder so the lessons on the fundamentals of stance, grip, locking out are getting hammered home. You save time by being more and more efficient and using the time saved to getting a good sight picture. Another important point is remembering follow through.

More drills, 5 shots to the body and one to the head from the draw in 4 seconds, the body shots need to be where the plate rests when wearing armor, the headshots need to be below the eyebrow line and above the mouth, everything else is counted as a miss. Range is from 15-5 yds. Next drill is 2 shots to the body, mag change and another 2 shots in 5 seconds. Strong hand w/ 2 shots is next. Strong hand 2 shots, mag change and another 2 shots in 7.5 seconds. Final drill is weak hand again 2 shots in 4 seconds.

At the end of the day we do a qual on the above drills. By this stage my arms, hands and ankles are killing me but amazingly i pass, another day.

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Post  Yoda on Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:50 pm

HDSOC Journal Day 4

Easier day today w/ a start in the classroom and we head out to the range for zeroing of our a red dot sights, most of the guys use the Comp M2 Aimpoint, one guy has the M3, another a Trijicon and i use my Eotech.

We zero at 50m ( the standard Army zero is at 25m) and we find out how much of a difference this is at greater ranges. It is readily apparent that this is better when shooting at 100, 200 and 450 m.

Accuracy, stoppage, speed, and transition drills all day. Shooting from the standing, kneeling, prone and movement drills.
2 shots to the body in 2 seconds, 2 shots to the body, mag change followed by 2 shots in 4 seconds, 2 shots to the body, next target 2 shots, and reindex 1st target in 5 seconds. Transition drill 2 shots to the body, draw pistol one shot to the head 5 seconds.

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Post  Yoda on Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:56 pm

HDSOC Journal Day 5

More of the same from yesterday. Additional drills for movement, and timed drills for shooting standing, kneeling and prone at 50,100 and 200m. Shooting positions behind cover, behind doorways, windows, low and high cover, prone underneath a car. Quals at the end of the day.

HDSOC Journal Day 6

Late start today as we will be shooting at night. Pneumatic targets and shooting moving and pop-up targets. Sounds easy but add in shooting from cover and different positions and all the variables add up. Some live fire group drills for assault and breaking contact, mucho fun except i didn't get to shoot as much (cause ur fucking up if ur racking kills instead of controlling fires and movement at my level).

Shooting drills w/ lights both pistol and rifle. Cheek, FBI and syringe methods for pistol. Mounted for rifle. Timed drills again for both evolutions.

HDSOC Journal Day 7

Culminating event for both pistol and rifle. Start w/ the stress test, follow commands from a piece of paper,random commands from assembly & disassembly in 15 seconds, failure drills, load and engage set of targets all under 1 minute, 30 seconds.

Plate rack drills for rifle and pistol, competition as group and individuals and finally an Obstacle course in full body armor and gear, average time for the course is 10-15 minutes. Winning time is 9:37 by my old BNOC roommate. He is an Area 51 HRT guy and shoots thousands of rounds every week. The annoying part is he made it look so easy as he basically just shuffled through the entire course, the guy is 6'3" so it justs looks slow. I made mine in 11:12 as I fucked up trying to be fast so by the time I got halfway my sight picture was starting to get crazy on me plus two more factors, had a primer that fired the round but the bullet didn't leave the barrel so clearing this took about 2-3 minutes, I was carrying my full battle load (about 62 lbs, full soft and hard armor, 15x rifle mags, 6x pistol mags, 2x radios, full camelback, full canteen, other weights to simulate other gear, frag and smoke grenades, etc) instead of stripping down. No tears in that beer as I was really testing myself rather than competing for high scores. There was really no way to beat the two top scorers as they both shoot thousands of rounds a week for a living. I'm just happy I met my goal of under 12 minutes and that my rifle didn't explode on my face!


Last edited by Yoda on Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:17 am; edited 1 time in total

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HDSOC Journal

Post  Yoda on Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:55 am

HDSOC Journal 8,910,11 & 12

Precision Rifle

Day 8

Today we covered basic classroom familiarization and info for precision rifle. Rifle is your basic Remington 700 short pull bolt w/ the Leupold sights w/ Army mildot reticle and using 175 gr M118 Match ammo.Divved up to shooter/observer pairs and drew our rifle and ancilliary gear (drag bag, spotting scopes). Teamed up so that we at least one guy who has had experience w/ precision rifle before. As we had to take turns being a shooter/observer we had to compromise as well in fitting the rifle for cheek weld, length of pull and eye relief. Eventually we figured out I can shoot my partners setup but not vice versa. Afternoon we spent on zero for 100m as well as basic reticle drills and data gathering.

Day 9

More classroom in the morning covering data and info and all the variables going into play w/ different ranges as well as wind.

Zero again in the afternoon for 200m and up w/o bipod. I cheat a little and build a sand sock and use my boonie as shoulder pad. I also start putting my cheat sheets for dope data as well as trying to remember how to do different holds.

Day 10

More classroom again and then the unknown distance range from 100-800m. As we were set up my partner was our primary shooter and myself as spotter. Here familiarity w/ precision ( even though i'm really rusty) before paid off as we had some competition w/ the other pairs and i guess experience really does pay off for accuracy although some of the inexperienced younger guys were faster albeit w/ more misses. We came up second for time and first for accuracy.

Day 11

More classroom followed by our culminating event of long range shooting. Our instructors were actually not planning on shooting as much past 600 but since everyone was up to speed ( cheat sheets, sand socks, multiple holds,cheek pads, sandbagging, and shoulder padding and other techniques seem to have spread overnight hmmmm? cricket, cricket Cool ), that they decided to give us a shot. Each shooting pair got 5 shots to hit target that was somewhere around 1100-1500m to get in on the final round of competition. We decided to have myself as the shooter and my partner as the spotter. We decided on a box bracket using a compromise adjustment for 1300m and wind at full value ( the wind was kicking a good 20-25 mph from my 4 o'clock. 1st shot was high a good 8 feet, 2nd shot was left 2 feet. On the 3rd shot we hit center mass. At this stage i really was in my little bubble that after hearing no adjustments, the whole world stopped except for 3 deep breaths, long exhale and time w/ the wind saying on target and my spotter going fire when ready. I finally see the vapor trail of the bullet lofting from 1 o'clock before it hit on the 4th shot and the 5th shot. Two other teams tied us w/ 3 hits at the target.

Day 12

We actually got done sooner than expected so the final day was mostly done finishing up cleaning the gear and packing them for travel, watching the pics and vids of our last 12 days and tallyng up of all our critiques and scores. The instructors all said their goodbyes and said we did far better than most big city/federal SWAT agencies and better than USAF AFSOC and on par w/ some HSLD units coming along. We were the testbed unit for both Regular Army as well as National Guard for this kind of training so it was great privilige and honor to have the opportunity to do our best. Made some great new friends and all around experiences. I reallly would recommend this course but it looks like these guys are fully booked till next year for the military.

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