Academy Preview - Drill Manuals

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SAMPLE DRILL MANUAL CONTENT: Complete versions of our Handgun, Shotgun and Rifle manuals are also available in PDF format in the Pulse O2DA Armory and as interactive pages with video.

See example below:

POSITIONS OUT OF THE HOLSTER At this point I have mentioned a few positions to you that may not be familiar, so before we go any further, I would like to quickly cover these positions and get you acquainted with them.

As dictated by the Four Firearms Safety Habits, if our handgun is out of the holster, it is out of the holster for a reason... Which we will discuss soon, but for now, we want to make you familiar with four basic positions that you will be using time and time again once you have decided that you need to be out of your holster

Once we are faced with legitimate lethal force event, we will present our handguns towards our target area, and because it is a legitimate lethal force event, we will then have our finger on the trigger - because we never threaten with a firearm. We can escalate force and test for compliance, but we never threaten. Therefore if we are point in at someone, we had better be shooting, and in order to shoot, your finger must be on the trigger.

If lethal force is not the case and we are simply escalating force or testing for compliance, then we should not be pointed at anyone, nor therefore, should we allow our trigger finger to be on the trigger. So remember this basic rule, on target = on trigger, off target = off trigger.

The basic positions I want to familiarize you with right now are the ready position, the point in position, the weapons retention position, and the close contact position.

Here in the beginning, we want you to get comfortable with the ready position, because many times during your training when you pull out the handgun, you will be doing so for administrative purposes, such as loading, unloading, chamber checks/mag checks and so-forth. For these administrative and non-lethal force events, there is absolutely no reason you should be pointing the firearm at anyone, let alone having your finger on the trigger.

The Ready Position

The ready position is simply presenting your handgun out to an approximately 30 degrees below your line of sight, at a downward angle, it would look something like the photo below. Do you need to depress your muzzle 30 degrees? No, as long as you have an unobstructed view of what's possibly in front of you, you are not crowding your visual cone, and you are not unintentionally pointing at anyone because the firearm is too high, you can keep the firearm even higher, as long as you don't violate the above the three principles.

01 Ready Position - Keeping the elements of the proper stance and grip, with your trigger finger straight off the trigger.

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You will further notice in the photo above that the shooters finger is indeed off of the trigger and on its tactile reference point.

02 Tactical and Administrative - Draw to the ready position when you are conducting administrative tasks (loading/unloading etc.)

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It is important to note that the ready position is not just for administrative tasks, its and excellent tactical platform from which you can operate. For instance, in the ready position you could issue commands, clear corners, conduct contact drills and numerous other tactical needs could be covered by the ready position. Additionally, the ready position is a viable platform to operate from in the home, when you may not be wearing a holster (middle of the night scenario). Basically any time that you have a need for the firearm in your hand, yet don't need to shoot - the ready position is available to you.

If the situation is one where you have drawn your handgun in order to test of compliance (obviously this infers that there is time for the testing of compliance), then it is a matter of a fraction of a second of going from this ready position to the point in position, which we will cover next.

03 Ready to Fight - Going from the ready position to the point in position and ready to fight - takes only a fraction of a second

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The Point in Position

To get to the point in position from the ready position, keep your basic grip and stance unchanged, and simply bring your handgun straight up into your line of site, and as you do so, you need to place your firing side trigger finger on the trigger, thereby taking the slack out of the trigger.

04 Point in - It only takes a fraction of a second to move from the ready position to the point in position.

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So you should now be point in at your target with your finger on the trigger and the slack out. Why? Because if you are pointing in, you must be sure that you need to shoot because we NEVER threaten with a firearm. Therefore, if you are point in, you need to be ready to shoot, and being ready to shoot at something that requires you pointing in at it means that you have a lethal threat that must be engaged, therefore your finger MUST be on the trigger ready to fire.

You could also go straight form the holster to the pointed in position, and we will cover that in detail shortly.

05 On Trigger - We only point in due to lethal threat, so On Target = On Trigger.

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For the moment, that's where we want you to stop; point in, finger on the trigger, with the slack out, without actually pressing the trigger to get the hammer to fall or the firing pin to click forward.

I have used the term slack a couple of times so let me clarify slack:

If you have your UNLOADED handgun out, and point in a safe direction (see the Dry Practice Guidelines), gently place your finger on the trigger. When your finger touches on the trigger and as soon as you start pressing, you will notice a little mush, a slightly springy/spongy feeling. This spongy feeling is the spring tension that is holding the trigger forward. This spongy feeling is what we call "slack."

Slack is your enemy, so if you are going to be point in, and have your finger on the trigger, one of the first things you should do is get rid of the slack, that mush... until you feel the actual mechanical resistance of the trigger.

Almost all factory handguns have some amount of slack, so as soon as your finger touches that trigger when you are point in, get used to taking the slack out immediately - by the time your handgun is up and level with your eyes, all the slack should be out of the trigger.

Now, as I wrote above, at this stage we don't want you to press the trigger to make any hammers fall or to hear any firing pins fly, so once you have the slack out of the trigger, consider this "pointed in drill" finished once the firearm is up in your line of sight with the slack out.

If you build in the habit above, you will be taking positive steps in the right direction as well as setting a solid foundation for lightning fast shooting in the future.

Once you have finished pointing in, return back to the weapons retention position, as learning to move from the pointed in to the weapons retention is a good habit to build. Does this mean that you must always go from the point in position to the weapons retention position? Certainly not, but for now, it is a habit that we want to build until you become more mobile (which will happen in short order once you are working with us on the range).

The Weapons Retention Position

To get to the weapons retention position safely, all you have to do is simply take your finger off the trigger placing it back on its tactile reference point, and bring the handgun straight back to your center of power, somewhere near your chest, leaving enough room between your chest and the handgun to allow the slide to function freely. We bring the handgun back to this area, near your core, because this is where you have more strength and where you naturally bring objects that you want to control (think about controlling a football or opening a jar with a particularly stubborn lid). Additionally, we want to keep the muzzle level, as if you were pointing the muzzle at an adversaries chest if he were standing a few yards in front of you. Finally, just like our previous reminders, any time you are not pointing at an target that needs shooting, you finger needs to be off of the trigger just as if you were going to the ready position.

06 Weapons Retention - Close enough to have control, far enough away to allow the slide to work.

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While the weapons retention position is exactly what it's name implies (a way to maintain maximum control of the handgun) it can be, and indeed is, a stable firing platform from which you will be taught to deliver accurate and rapid shots on target. Additionally, much like the ready position (see the first part of this chapter) is a viable platform to operate from while in the home - when you may not be wearing a holster (middle of the night scenario). Basically, any time that you have a need for the firearm in your hand, yet don't need to shoot - the weapons retention position is available to you.

Often we will use the weapons retention as a position when searching as a viable option to the ready position, as the weapons retention allows you to not only shoot from this position, it is an easier to maintain over a long period of time. For instance, you might use the ready position to pie a corner and enter a room, but then go to the weapons retention position after you have cleared an area and are traveling towards the next area to be cleared. Are these iron rules that can't be broken? No, certainly not, they are options that allow you to more flexibility in your work.

07 Firing Platform -You can deliver fast and devastating accurate fire from the weapons retention

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Finally you will find that the weapons retention position is only slightly slower to present from (going from the weapons retention position to the point in position) than the ready position is, so it is truly a versatile and energy saving position.

The Close Contact Position

The next position we will look at is the close contact position. We primarily teach the close contact as a position where you would come if you needed your support hand free, such as soft checking door knobs, opening doors, or sweeping people out of your way. As the name implies, it is also used for close in fighting.

The close contact position is straight forward and effective as long as you hit the nuances of the position: Primarily getting the handgun stabilized and indexed against your rib cage/chest area while maintaining enough of a cant to the firearm to ensure that the slide or hammer won't get bound up in any clothing while you try to fire the handgun.

08 Close Contact -The close contact position is used when the support hand is needed for other tasks.

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(NOTE: Be cautious here if you are shooting a revolver, as the hot gasses escaping between the cylinder and the chamber will both cut and burn, so for the revolver you will need to be well forward of your body, support hand, and any clothing or equipment. Additionally, if you are firing a compensated handgun, you will want to modify your position just like the revolver shooter will, because those hot gasses will come up and into your face if your muzzle is not forward enough. For practical combative shooting, you may want to consider avoiding compensated handguns if you can.)

The indexing of the handgun against the rib cage/chest will afford you some tactile reference as to the orientation of the muzzle (horizontally and on its axis) as well as gaining you a little bit of added stability and control in this one handed shooting platform.

09 Index on Ribs/Chest

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To get the right cant and rotation index on your rib cage/chest consistently