Identification, Please

| June 20, 2016 | 1 Comments

One of the drills at last weekend’s class with AIM Precision entailed facing up range while the instructors configured multiple shoot / no shoot targets. Some targets had objects in their hands: a handgun, a flip phone, etc. Additionally, one target was attached by a cord and moved towards the student. We were told to keep engaging until we felt all threats were stopped.

When directed, the student turned down range and dealt with each target appropriately.

I did great on my turn.

I moved off the line of attack, drew on the move, and shot the first target as it moved towards me. I moved again, firing on the second target, making sure that my shots did not over penetrate into the no-shoot target as I fired.

I moved again, shooting the third target.

The first target continued to move towards me. I re-engaged it, shot to slide lock, did a good reload, and continued to fire. I shot the target in the eye, then went back to the body. The target stopped.


I felt great. I was proud that Adam and Brent wanted to challenge me with three armed targets.

Except I misidentified two targets. They were gripping flip phones, not guns.

I should not have shot them.

The moving target? A poor guy trying to escape from an active shooter with a cell phone in his hand.

I could make all sorts of justifications about why I made the mistakes I made. The flip phone was held in profile, and looked very similar to a handgun, especially at longer distances. I’ve been coached by several instructors to concentrate on the body midline / head while shooting, not a tool held in the hand.

But the fact is I failed to properly identify threats and shot two people I shouldn’t have.

This was a great exercise. It was humbling and humiliating. I have done this drill before with AIM, and similar drills with QSI Training. Things are a little different in force on force, as body language, speech, and physical objects vs paper representations all play a part. However, I, and other students, have misidentified threats in FoF before.

We should do more of this training. It doesn’t matter that every time I did this drill in front of Adam I was successful and did not make a mistake.

One mistake is enough.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

1 Comment on "Identification, Please"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ron says:

    These sort of drill are awesome. I love moving targets and use many of them. Movement on the part of both target & shooter enters a whole new range of challenges as well as opens many doors for failure. We learn by failure I believe.

    I made some targets like you speak of by using some velcro attached via glue to IDPA silhouettes. I spray painted hands on each target and then made cut outs of guns, knives, etc. I built a dark room and had shooters use flashlights to identify what was in the target’s hands. Interesting that some folks shot the hands, or the “items” in that hands as that is what they focused upon.

    Great stuff to add stress into training.

Post a Comment