Midnight Rendezvous 1.0 (MR1.0) AAR January 9th, 2021

Due to a handful of people being sick and some last minute cancellations we had the smallest class we have ever had this Saturday at Midnight Rendezvous 1.0

Six people from all over the Southeast and upwards to Virginia joined us for MR 1.0 this Saturday.

As usual we started around noon to give us a few hours of daylight training as well. We have found that working these skills during daylight first allows a better retention of them at night as well. We have gotten lots of good feedback from students that this format works and will continue with a “day phase” and a night phase where the material presented mirrors itself.
While the group was small, all the guys were squared away so that in combination with the smaller class size allowed us to get slightly more done than we normally do. Demographics wise the group had at least 2 military trained guys and all were trained shooters with each having some formal training under the belt. We do not require folks to come with any experience under their belt, but if people have never trained before (or much) it’s a good idea to start with MR 1.0 and certainly at some point in the future we may make that a requirement for other classes.

After a short “diagnostics” shoot, we started looking at and correcting body position while shooting. Everyone saw the benefits of a better stance, especially for managing recoil and later when we began to move and shoot.

We worked various “presentations” and added them into the drills. Due to ammo being insanely expensive right now we worked in more dry drills to each new skill. Working the dry drills 3 to 5 times first before working the same skill live. This stretched everyone’s ammo and I’m very pleased to say at the end of the day the round count was less than HALF of what we told people to bring- this saved students more cash.
We worked some “unique” drills regarding scanning. Too often “scanning” is just an afterthought in firearms training. We added some things in to make students actually scan and have to do a form of ID before firing at each target. Makes for an nightmare for an OCD type, but works to emphasize really scanning and ID’ing targets correctly. Students saw how opening up their view slightly opens up the world view to them.

The movement portion began with some basic controlled movement. I’ve found overs the years that you put a weapon in most people’s hand and they get rigid and movement suffers. We worked some basic forward and backwards controlled movement and drilled it live with shooting on the move while scanning for, ID’ing and engaging targets on the move.

Next was shoulder transfer and working with the left hand. We don’t call it “weak hand”- it’s just your left hand and it’s not weak it just is kind of slow…. Slow as in your brain isn’t as connected to it as your right (if your right handed). We demonstrated a couple methods for shoulder transfer and added left handed firing into the mix as well. Some students stated this was the first time doing any of this. The AR is kind of a right hand centric weapon, but we showed some things that could help as far as doing manipulations from the left hand. Also during the night phase several people saw the value of setting up their IR laser pads where it could be used ambidextrously.

Positional changes were next. Changing from standing to kneeling and some little tips for the kneeling position that help with recoil management as well as if your working around others.

The next drills were started firing right handed then doing position changes, then shoulder transfer, then position change, etc. Reloads and any malfunctions were to be dealt with by as they came up.

The final daylight drill involved tying together most of what we did during the day. Beginning from a static position engaging multiple targets while scanning, movement while shooting to include a shoulder transfer and position change, then a complete AA with tac mag and full 360 check (rifle is in patrol carry and safed when this part is done).

We took a short break for students to woof down some food and we changed targets for the night phase.

Only two students needed to zero IR lasers and they were given time to sight in a rough zero. One student had an issue with a “perst” Russian IR laser and was not able to get it functional. I loaned him my rifle and we began with checking zeros on the IR lasers.

After that we went right into the night phase of the training, which mirrors exactly the skills and drills we did during the day. Corrections and adjustments were made as necessary.

The final exercise involves shooting from a hill and spotting and shooting semi camouflaged targets ranging from 50 to 100 yards in brush.

Due to the fact that it was about 34 degrees at night and not much higher during the day, we had started a fire near the range building so we all wouldn’t freeze to death. The fire unfortunately added a lot of backlighting to the area and I think made the spot and shoot exercise a little too easy this time around. Don’t worry we will make it harder next time LOL.

I want to thank everyone again for coming and training in the cold and wet. All of our other spring NV classes have been sold out for a couple months but we may be adding another class in May. Due to crazy heat, bugs, etc. we don’t normally hold classes there in the summer months, but we will be posting a fall 2021 schedule soon.