Hey, this is Myles with Tactical Hyve.
A few weekends ago, I attended Dan Brokos's 2-Day Carbine Class.
Dan is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant Major who spent 21 years of his 26 years of service in Special Forces. He’s also the founder of Lead Faucet Tactical.
His 2-Day carbine class combined clear instruction with a lot of shooting techniques, movement, strong and support side transitions, and shooting from different positions. To keep the class exciting, he also incorporated friendly competitions among the students with different prizes.
Stick with me for the next 10-minutes, and let's take a closer look at the class.
Dan's 2-Day carbine class is an intermediate level class, which caught my eye. Registering for the class, however, I was a little concerned it might really be for beginners because I've attended a number of classes that were advertised as intermediate or advanced, but really weren't.
Fortunately, Dan's carbine class exceeded my expectations, with a heavy emphasis on tactical carbine drills, including stationary and non-stationary positions as well as shooting in and around cover from various shooting positions.
The fact that more than half a dozen of the students were law enforcement, including SWAT members and deputies was also a good sign.
Because of this, I think Dan's class is suited for shooters who already have the fundaments of rifle marksmanship down and can safely manipulate their weapons, or blasters as Dan likes to call them.
The class required students to bring a carbine with a sling and optic of choice, ammo, eye and ear protection, four magazines, and 1200 rounds. Some students wore plate carriers and battle belts, but they were not required. As this was a carbine class, students did not need to bring a pistol or pistol holster.
Day 1 (Morning)
The class was divided into two days. Day 1 started with a classroom talk where Dan briefly discussed what students can expect. I really liked how he was open about there being more than one way to do things, and that his goal was to have each student leave the class with one or two golden nuggets.
He then discussed zeroing, line of sight, bore axis, and trajectory, and their relevance to the course. Dan ended with a safety brief to ensure everyone knew what to do in case of an emergency.
After the classroom, we walked to the range and started by zeroing at 50 yards from the prone position. Everyone had ample amount of time to zero their carbines with Dan advising students on how much to adjust their windage and elevation.
After zeroing, he touched on trigger manipulation and the importance of pulling the trigger straight to the rear, and how for precision shooting, he recommends pinning the trigger back instead of immediately resetting it after a shot breaks.
We then moved on to a series of shooting drills to work on the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship, with a focus on stance. He demonstrated everything he taught and gave students a lot of time to practice. He continually watched each student to help them with any issues.
Dan emphasized the importance of placing weight on the balls of our feet and distributing most of our weight to our front leg. With a good stance, we should be able to manage recoil better during a string of shots.
He also discussed buttstock placement, and how he recommends that the buttstock shouldn't be collapsed in too close. Instead, it should be extended out, to help manage recoil.
Students were encouraged to experiment with the length of their buttstock to find the length that works best for them as everyone's body make up is different.
To reinforce key learning points, we ran his “half and half” drill, which required students to shoot 10 rounds in 10 seconds from 20 yards, 10 rounds in 5 seconds from 10 yards, and 10 rounds in 2.5 seconds from 5 yards. The target was an 8-inch circle.
To successfully complete the drill, Dan mentioned how important it is to snap the gun up from the low ready position, to drive the gun to the rear with our support hand, and to properly work the trigger for steady, rapid firing. The drill also highlighted how one's stance needs to be stable as one gets closer to the target and needs to fire more quickly.
Firing 10 rounds in 2.5 seconds accurately requires good recoil management, and a good stance sets up a shooter to do just that.
We moved on to his 50-5 drill, where Dan placed more focus on trigger manipulation rather than stance. The drill required students to shoot a string of shots within 5 seconds from 50 yards, 40 yards, then 30 yards. Students could shoot as many shots as possible within 5 seconds, with the goal of landing as many as possible in an 8-inch circle.
Dan gave students ample time to rep each drill, and for each drill, students got one trial run, then two or more runs that were timed and scored.
He would also jump in and demonstrate little details of a drill as needed and corrected any problems he saw.
Day 1 (Afternoon)
In the afternoon, we began to engage multiple targets. Dan emphasized moving quickly, leading with our eyes, then our hips.
He discussed “flock shooting” and how he modifies his drills to avoid this.
Flock shooting occurs when one shoots multiple targets in a fixed order with a fixed number of rounds. Think of a shooter clearing a 6-target plate rack. The shooter moves from one plate to the other in order after one shot.
Dan likes to avoid this because, in a gunfight, we won't know how many shots it's going to take to put someone down, and targets may not be in any kind of logical order. This way of thinking teaches one to ensure a target is down before moving on to a different target.
The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to shooting and moving, where we started with forward movement, then lateral movement, and ending with a shooting and moving drill that tied everything together.
As mentioned earlier, Dan observed all students and corrected any problems he saw as the need arose.
When it comes to shooting and moving, Dan emphasized a couple of key points:
- It's important for shooters to shorten their stride and bend their knees to act as shock absorbers; and
- To move only as fast as one can accurately hit a target.
He talked about how one can work on shooting and moving without firing one round. One can do this by walking normally with their sights on target versus with one's knees bent and taking shorter strides.
A shooter's sights will tell him or her if anything is wrong. If a shooter is doing everything right, his or her sights on target should be moving around much less than when normally walking.
Day 2 (Morning)
The next day, we started out by checking where our blasters were at 100 yards, from the prone position. For those who wanted to, this was an opportunity for them to zero their carbines at this distance.
We then immediately moved on to shooting from the rollover prone position where our carbines were turned at a 90-degree angle. Dan taught and demonstrated the position, and we got to shoot from both our strong and support sides.
From the rollover prone position, Dan talked to us about how our shots wouldn't hit where our red dot was, and we all confirmed this ourselves. We noticed that our shots were about 6-8 inches off from wherever we placed our red dot.
Dan taught us how to compensate for this, while also driving in the point that we should be careful of malfunctions as our carbine's ejection port might be too close to the ground when shooting from the rollover prone position.
After, we worked on transitioning our rifle from our strong side to our support side, and back. We drilled this dry for a while then moved on to live fire transition drills.
Dan pointed out how important it was to manipulate our carbine's safety with our support side index finger, whenever shooting from our support side, to avoid negligent discharges.
With support side shooting from longer distances, one needs to ensure that their line of sight\ and bore axis are aligned to ensure accurate shots. With an optic, this can be difficult and/or time-consuming. Dan's fix is to use our front sight posts. All we had to do was line up our red dots with the front site and fire.
This was a gem for me. Before using my front sight, my support side shots were off target using only my red dot. Once I lined up the red dot and front sight, my accuracy increased dramatically.
After working our support side, Dan took us through different shooting position drills using barricades. We worked shooting from cover, standing, and kneeling.
When it comes to shooting from cover, Dan discussed how pieing out and being a foot or two away from cover is what is traditionally taught, but in his experience, this approach won't allow one to land a lot of shots quickly and accurately.
Instead, Dan likes to fully utilize cover by getting right on it and using It and his body to support his weapon. He feels this is the best way to get accurate shots on target fast.
With this approach, he talked about how one needs to be aware of his or her laser and light setup to ensure one can shoot from both sides using cover, and he made students aware of the potential problems that may occur if a shooter rests their equipment on cover. For example, resting one's barrel on a barricade may lead to an inaccurate shot.
Kneeling behind cover, Dan teaches that a shooter's outside knee should always be up for stability. He demonstrated how easy it is for one to fall over if their outside knee is down.
He has received some criticism for this because it can potentially leave some parts of a shooter's body exposed, including one's femoral artery.
But to Dan, a person needs to ask themselves, are they hiding or are they fighting. Dan prefers an aggressive mindset with a slight exposure versus a defensive mindset.
After shooting from barricades from standing and kneeling, we got down and dirty, shooting from cover from rollover prone and inverted kneeling positions. He taught us different ways to manage recoil from these positions, depending on how one holds their weapon, and continually reiterated the importance of using our front sight with our optic and aiming high on our magazine side to compensate for the 90-degree cant of our carbines.
We also did some junkyard shooting drills. This is where we took cover behind barrels and shot with our weapons canted 90-degrees. Dan taught us the proper way to shoot from this position, including controlling our optic with our fingers to manage recoil. He also reminded us to be aware of how our carbine setup might affect thhe placement of our weapon on the barrel, and how we should avoid placing our carbine's ejection port flat on a barrel, as this will cause a malfunction.
Day 2 (Afternoon)
The afternoon was dedicated to drilling, and students got a lot of firing time. This was a great opportunity for all students to work on the material they learned throughout the class.
Shooting and moving, transitions, using barricades, and shooting from different positions, we drilled everything, with Dan keeping an eye out the entire time and correcting students when needed.
We moved onto a relay race where the entire class was divided into two teams that competed against each other. The course of fire was broken into different stages, so to speak, where students got to work on what they learned from the class. Every team had to adhere to the same course of fire, and the first team to complete the course of fire, won.
The day ended with and a buddy run competition, which I thought was a lot of fun. We all picked a partner and had a set course of fire. The team to finish the fastest won. My partner and I did well, but we were beaten by two SWAT members who took first place. Better luck next time I guess!
If you already have your rifle fundamentals down and are looking to send more lead downrange, I highly recommend Dan's carbine class. You'll get a lot of shooting in combined with great instruction.
Dan's class is safe, fun, well organized, and it exceeded my expectations.
To add to that, Dan just seemed like an all-around great guy who wants others to improve.
If Dan rolls around to your neighborhood, I encourage you to enroll in one of his classes.
This is Myles with Tactical Hyve, signing off.
The Final Verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED