The first few thing’s I did when I got into my Jeep this morning was immediately lock the door, turn on the ignition, put the car in drive, and adjust my seat belt around my Raven Concealment Systems Phantom holster. THEN, with all that done, I could fiddle with the other, less important tasks. Why? Because that’s what a long serving, numerous combat deployment RANGER taught me to do.
“Concealed Carry: Vehicle Environment Skills,” hosted by FPF Training was taught by Chris Sizelove, a 15 year Army Special Operations Veteran who exudes a passion for survival, no matter what the environment or what the circumstances. He’s a fighter, and he will influence you to become one as well. I want to say this up front, so it’s not buried too far into my review of this class, Chris Sizelove is one of the most effective communicators I’ve ever met. He takes tasks and skill sets that may otherwise seem a bit complicated, and simplifies them so that any student at any experience level or background can easily understand. He’s an absolutely extraordinary instructor.
This class starts off with just a little bit of classroom work centering around mindset, situational awareness, and everyday situations where you might need to defend yourself in or around a vehicle. Safety brief issued, Chris goes right into topics such as parking lot survival, movements to your vehicle, and operations inside the vehicle. All subjects were emphasized with some very intense video’s to drive the lessons home.
Even more important than what this class IS, is what it IS NOT. “Concealed Carry: Vehicle Environment Skills,” is NOT an “Offensive Team Op’s” class or a class about shooting from a moving vehicle. “No commando B.S.” as Ranger Chris likes to say.
After the classroom work we hit the range. We practiced “approach” for a bit, getting to our vehicles ( or VIC’s) safely and not losing situational awareness, referred to throughout the class as “SA.”. We did many rep’s on what to do immediately upon entering the VIC to maintain SA and be ready for action, quickly. We dry fired many rep’s on engaging a target at the 12, 9 and 3 O’clock positions from within the vehicle, and how to quickly and effectively exit the VIC after contact. Next, we went live and started putting rounds on targets from inside the training car.
Then, it was time to start shooting through the front windshield. For those who have never done this before, it may seem a bit intimidating at first. However, as fun and badass as it is to do on the range, it’s really very anti climactic. Like I said before, Chris simplifies the complicated, and before long we were finding our targets through the front safety glass, and blazing away through the ever deteriorating windshield very effectively. It was a hot and humid day, and this drill got everyone’s adrenaline pumping enough to help us drive through the discomfort mother nature was dishing out.
Next, each student got the chance to shoot through their own, side glass panels on the training VIC. The side glass is not “safety glass” per se’, so it does have a different effect when shooting through it. I’d say the biggest challenge is sucking into your seat far enough to be able to clear your muzzle from bumping the glass, but if you do it correctly this drill is easy peezy. Once you start blasting, the glass clears your sight picture and you can effectively shoot till the threat is gone.
Then we did some shooting over the vehicle drills. Chris eliminates all of that “dynamic movement” nonsense we see all over the Internet these days, and bring’s each student through various shooting positions and scenarios outside of the VIC. For me, he simplified a lot of the techniques I had learned in previous classes, and made this portion of the course a lot more enjoyable and easier to understand than other’s I’ve had in the past.
Next we shot the training car. I mean, why wouldn’t we? We used different calibers and gun platforms to witness their effects on the VIC and paper occupants inside. This exercise was a bit eye opening in a lot of ways. One thing that stood out most was how Green Tip 5.56 kinda’ sucks at penetrating a door panel. These so called “Armor Piercing Bullets” the ATF is all concerned about are actually quite terrible at doing exactly that.
The range drills culminated with each student bringing all of their new skills together IN THEIR OWN VEHICLE! The highlight of the day for me was shooting from my Jeep, and learning the idiosyncrasies of my personal vehicle. It was a beautifully run course of fire. We lined up in our POV’s, one behind another, and simply drove up to the target, smoked it, talked about it, then got back in line for more blasting. This was a highly motivating drill, and made enduring the hot day completely worth it!!!
The end of the course concluded with one more lesson in the classroom on “Gas Station Survival.” Chris walked us through a bunch of scenarios concerning approach, which pump to pick, and how to maintain situational awareness while pumping gas. This was an awesome lesson for most of us who do this activity on such a regular basis.
In conclusion: TAKE A VEHICLE CLASS!! If you are a concealed carrier, open carrier or otherwise, and you drive a vehicle every day, you WANT this training. It’ll open your eyes dramatically and it may, quite simply, save your life. Chris Sizelove is a Warrior who has ACTUALLY USED these techniques in terrible places all over the world. He know’s his craft, because he has certainly been there and done it when the air was on fire. He doesn’t waste time or words, he drives it home, and he means it. #RLTW
Look for more opportunities to take the Concealed Carry: Vehicle Environment Skills course, here:
Special thanks to John Murphy of FPF Training for his hospitality. That man is deeply passionate about the education of gunfighters, and it is an absolute honor to be in his company. Gruff ole’ bastard that he is