The failures of modern tactical SMG competition

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Diogenes
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The failures of modern tactical SMG competition

Post by Diogenes » Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:42 pm

First of all there are two distinctly different forms of SMG competition: Fun shooting and tactical shooting. Anyone who fails to fully embrace this really shouldn't be running anything in smg competition.

Purpose of fun shooting competition? Who cares? Its just for fun. Use your imagination.

This discussion will confine itself to tactical SMG competition.

Purpose of tactical competition? The purpose of tactical competition is the same for competition in any real-world skill (as opposed to pointless games such as football, basketball, etc which have neither reason nor relevance): To improve the breed.

At very least TACTICAL COMPETITION SHOULD NOT TEACH HABITS THAT WILL GET OPERATORS KILLED IN THE REAL WORLD. Unfortunately, that is what most smg "competition" does, in the name of "we've always done it this way" and "providing a level playing field"

1. The SMG is NOT an oversized pistol, nor is it a short-range rifle. We should not ever adopt or solicit the input or standards from IPSC or any other inbred pistol-shooter gamester group.

2. SMG competition as practiced mostly seems calculated to drive away anyone who knows what the smg is for. Trained operators take one look at our competitions and walk away, shaking their heads.

The problem is too many people in charge know way too much that "just ain't so."

The top failures in current tactical smg competition can be summarized, in approximate order of priority, as follows:

1. Failure to require the constant use of cover including shooting from it and using it for maximum protection.

2. Failure to allow transition to a sidearm in appropriate circumstance.

3. Failure to allow the use of the selector switch for targets outside Maximum Effective Burst Range.

4. Failure to require shooting while moving.

5. Failure to promote the use of suppressors.

There are others, but solving these will go a long way toward fixing the problem.

The reasons and background for each of these points could easily be a long post by itself. Suffice to get conversation started to limit to the above bullet points.

Anyone with a modicum of experience in shooting organization can (and probably will) provide numerous and logical reasons why 1-5 simply cannot be done. There are always people in any organization who will tell you why the right things cannot be done.

But value in life as in competition lies in doing them anyway.

Remember:
Doing things right is efficiency.
Doing the right things is effectiveness.

I've said my piece. Your move, folks.

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Post by L34A1 » Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:14 am

Welcome Diogenes :D

I would agree with mostly everything you stated. The SMG, in my opinion, is a short ranged pistol, medium range carbine and a smg rolled into one. My training tells me so. If it were up to me I would always set up the Tactical Shoot, but somewhere along the line somebody told me that the competitions need to be 51% sport and 49% tactical. Even though when setting up a sport stage, the scenario WILL reinforce the skills that would keep you alive in the real world. (Isn't that a tactical shoot?) Anyway, on another note, where do you shoot your SMG?
"People always equate success with the weapons themselves rather than with training and individual initiative, which are really the bottom line"

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Post by Paul Winters » Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:04 am

OK, where to start. Since the smg matches that I have been involved with have not been described or titled ‘Tactical’, you may be at the wrong forum. Since you seem to know everybody will have reasons for not doing this, let me ask you a few questions so we can learn how to do this.

1.)Please describe how a range office will measure cover. Ignoring the fact a shooter is pretending and his/her cover is no more than a piece of plywood or an empty barrel, what is using cover or not using cover? Once a shooter starts shooting, he/she is no longer behind cover. What is maximum cover and what isn’t?

2.)So now we should be using pistols at our discretion? It is a subgun match. Don’t you really want a three gun match? Maybe we should be using shotguns or sniper rifles if the shot requires it? What is the appropriate circumstances and how should the range officer measure this? What about safety? A loaded pistol in a holster can break the 180 in many circumstances as can a slinged subgun. Where does firearm safety come into play and how can this be made safe unless the weapons are tabled and unloaded?

3.)Please explain Maximum Effective Burst Range and how should this be measured by the Range Officer? Since some subguns are capable of single taps, should this be penalized if under this Maximum Effective Burst Range?

4.)Please define moving while shooting so it can be measured and a shooter penalized for not moving while shooting? If a shooter hesitated is he/she not moving? We have tried this before without success. Please help out so this can be tried.

5.)Suppressors are allowed. What does promoting this mean? I would hope you aren’t talking about putting them on or off during a match.

If you need a long post, please utilize a long post. You seem convinced everyone there are reasons not to do this. Please explain how this can be accomplished. I shoot subgun matches for enjoyment and sharing this competition with my friends. I really don’t ever plan to use my subgun tactically in a real life situation, but I am willing to learn if you can show me how it can be done with a range officer penalizing where people don’t do it right and still do it safetly. Like I said, I really am not sure you are at the right forum.

Paul : -)#

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Post by SinistralRifleman » Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:14 pm

Fewer and fewer "operators" are using sub-machine guns because they can have a rifle that is either the same size or not much larger, that is capable of doing a lot more things.

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Post by todd » Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:14 pm

Welcome to BulletHose.com Diogenes, awesome first post!

I couldn't agree more with your statements and unfortunately as L34A1 has pointed out we are relegated to 51% sport here in FL out of the fear that we could become the victims a pen swipe and be labeled bad guys by somebody in law enforcement.

As far as the pistol transition is concerned Paul, yes they are subgun competitions, but I strongly feel the pistol complements the subgun as a complete system. I know we might be alone in our use of pistol transition down here but we have had nothing but success with it. I look forward to Diogenes response to your questions.

Me doing pistol transition earlier this month at our match.
[GVideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... subgun+Nov[/GVideo]


-Todd

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L34A1
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Post by L34A1 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:07 am

SinistralRifleman wrote:Fewer and fewer "operators" are using sub-machine guns because they can have a rifle that is either the same size or not much larger, that is capable of doing a lot more things.
I know this to be true at several PD's here, but really, what are the advantages in the city applications where the rifle caliber carbine is better? My opinion, it is not. Anyway back to competitions............... :D
"People always equate success with the weapons themselves rather than with training and individual initiative, which are really the bottom line"

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Post by Paul Winters » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:35 am

Todd,

Yes, I have shot several multiple gun matches similar to what you displayed. I also note that you unloaded, had the RO declare that the subgun was clear, and then you tabled it before you transitioned to pistol as, I am sure, was dictated by the course description. I am not sure this is what was referred to as to 'allow transition to a sidearm in appropriate circumstance', but when Diogenes responds, this can be clarified. One question. While you are shooting your subgun, is there a round in the chamber of your pistol and what condition state is it in? I couldn't see if you chamberred a round or if you were hot.

Paul : -)#

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Post by todd » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:44 am

Paul Winters wrote:Todd,

Yes, I have shot several multiple gun matches similar to what you displayed. I also note that you unloaded, had the RO declare that the subgun was clear, and then you tabled it before you transitioned to pistol as, I am sure, was dictated by the course description. I am not sure this is what was referred to as to 'allow transition to a sidearm in appropriate circumstance', but when Diogenes responds, this can be clarified. One question. While you are shooting your subgun, is there a round in the chamber of your pistol and what condition state is it in? I couldn't see if you chamberred a round or if you were hot.

Paul : -)#
Good questions...

I actually didn't table the subgun. I cleared it with the RO and am holding it in my left hand (Uzi) muzzle down by the front grip at a 45 degree angle while shooting pistol with my right hand. I did have a round chambered in the pistol and a full magazine in. This was the first match we ever allowed the competitor to start with a loaded subgun and pistol loaded but decocked and holstered. Subgun had to be cleared and either slug, tabled or carried safely before transition to pistol.

We had 0 safety infractions and many people complimented the stage design.

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Post by Paul Winters » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:37 am

Todd,

How would a shooter safetly clear a jam if he/she is holding their subgun in their other hand?

In the multi-gun matches I have participated in, the competitor staged all additional weapons unloaded at the string where it was to be used and the finished firearm was cleared and tabled at that table before the next firearm utilized.

In my experience, having a shooter (always a possiblity of a shooter of unknown ability/equipment) moving with more than one gun, raises the possibility for issues. In the USPSA, years ago, to address issue of a holstered gun (if it falls out of the holster, hot or not, it is a match DQ) the competitors use to have to demonstrate that their holsters were capable of securing their firearm by jumping over a low fence in the presence of the RO to be allowed to use their holster. Things have gotten better in holster design, but in a non-local match, if a hot pistol ever got out of a holster or if the shooter fell forward, safety and muzzle direction would become an item for discussion. I know y'all and your enchant for safety, but as far as setting up a rulebook for new clubs, I don't know how it could best be articulated.

Paul : -)#

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Post by todd » Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:49 pm

I think we all agreed earlier that unfortunately the pistol transition is something best reserved for progressive local matches. I'd like to see it mentioned as an option in the final course example publication but until the shooters on the national level besides L34A1 and I are screaming for it in matches it is best left for those clubs who want to try it and not pushed into the faces of fledgling smg groups. Perhaps one day the majority of clubs will be practicing it and it will find a place in some of the larger national matches.

As far as clearing a pistol malfunction with a subgun in hand there are several methods which can be done safely in a competitive environment.

#1 sling subgun.
#2 Ground subgun (take a knee and place on ground or place it on provided barrel, box etc..)
#3 last resort.. subgun handed to RO or safety officer. I think most would opt for #1 or #2 since they can be done easily by everyone.

there are others techniques which are for more advanced shooters and probably not suitable for the sake of this discussion. We always provide a grounding area for subguns during transitions. Many competitors opt to put down the subgun and shoot pistol two handed. The main thing to remember is that the subgun is cleared before the pistol is ever handled. The RO has one point of focus for safety.

With our last match it was the shooter option to charge their pistol the stage in the video above. Many opted to charge the pistol and at least one opted to not do so. We have not done holster checks on people as you described but we do have the rule that if your pistol comes out of the holster you face a DQ.

I think one of the largest truths that exists with any sport is that the sport will only progress as far as it's competitors push it. There is inherent risk in our sport as their is in any sport like boxing, NASCAR, Motorcross, kite surfing, boat racing, and countless others. Safety is a primary concern always with any sport but it is the competitors who must push the boundary of their sport for it to evolve into something more. It will not happen on its own.

New shooters to a club or to the sport need to be told to simply take the grounding method until the club is familiar with their skill level or they demonstrate the ability to sling or carry the subgun correctly. Perhaps this is something which can be solved with the qualifier type stage design discussed previously in another thread.

I am not sure what to say about the possibility of a loaded pistol coming out of a holster while the competitor has a loaded subgun in hand. With all safety rules being followed including the pistol being decocked or with safety on (1911's) I can see a gun coming out of a holster under extreme circumstances and pointing up range or elsewhere. I can not say I can see the set of absolute bizarre circumstances that would be required for that firearm to discharge on its own. Even a Glock.

At what point do we deem things safe for competition because the probability of an accident is so small.

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Post by Paul Winters » Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:29 pm

Also a great question. I guess as a group of friends of known capabilities, the issue of safety is a call of the group and the risk dependant on the challenge. At a match level open to all participants, safety needs to be paramount and broken down to the most basic element. To me that is where the barrel points at all time. If there is ever a discharge, intended or not, thought to be unloaded or not, the projectile is controlled into a safe object. For the sake of our discussion of rules for a subgun course of fire in whatever format it takes, shouldn't we err on the side of safety for the shooter, the RO, and the crowd? Show anybody a muzzle or unsafe gun handling like an AD at a match and that should be the end of the shooter for the match. Safeties sometimes aren't. Even Glocks make the news...more than I would expect.

I think this is getting off topic. Truely tactical training involves risk...more than is ever allowed at a open match. We've ended talking tactical and unless cover and concealment becomes a part of what up until now we have been discussing, I humbly suggest this subject become a sidebar for future discussion. I would love to play with you guys in all forms, but we know each other and the common denominator here is getting new people in the sport and give them a template to follow for getting started.

Paul : -)#

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Post by todd » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:13 pm

I think what is needed to satisfy the desires of more tactical minded folks is a subsection of the RO and competitor guides which lays out scoring for tactical events. As you stated in your question to Diogenes on "how does a RO measure cover"... I don't know the answer to that question but I think those are things which need to be defined.

IDPA penalizes for not using cover doesn't it? How do they do it? The whole catch 22 of this discussion is that when timers are involved tactics often go out the window. People focus on time not staying alive as would be the case in a real world scenario. Although I agree that open matches need to cater to the lowest skill denominator that fact should not stop us from including more progressive ideas and examples.

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I feel Knob Creek has come a long way from the late 90's

Post by smkummer » Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:32 pm

I somewhat agree with the first poster, diojenes, that described the failure of modern tactical SMG competiton. I believe a course can be designed so to not set bad habits in the real world. First of all, "We" which includes all of us from all kinds of backgrounds are the ones who determine the "rules" because of such a limited participation due to extreme regulation of the weapons. Which way do "we" want this sport to go? For myself, I always believed pratical or tactical was for the best intrest of the sport to show a purpose for these weapons and to maybe shift attitudes of law makers. That would mean that if one would have several weapons to choose from the safe, when would someone choose a subgun over a handgun, shotgun or assult weapon? I believe a course should be designed to the situation for which one would grab a subgun over the previous choices. Some ideas for grabbing a subgun would be: mutiple targets, close range, concerns of over penetration and/or friendly(no shoot) situations. Knob Creek has improved to the point that single tapping will not win a match anymore, so that is a step foward. I believe to design a course with tactical first and fun/exihbition second. I believe a subgun course if well designed, would make selector position at shooter choice. This would instantly level the playing field with fast and slow subguns plus put a new twist during the competition, that is of selector use. Use of paper targets that require a certain number of hits or points, heavy steel and multiple targets placed close together require a shooter to use the full auto feature to place at the top. As long as safety is not compromised, the less "regulation or rules" such as required selector position I believe would be a plus because in a gunfight there really isn't any rules. I would love to have a sidearm also but one of the issues at Knob Creek is that anyone who signs up for the course can shoot. We get people from all experience levels and I have done my best to welcome (calm) new shooters as we were all once new. Adding another weapon would at this point would really complicate the match. Every weekend when the shoot is over, it is always a blessing that no one was injured beyond first aid (safety is no accident). Of course, the course has to be designed to run 180 shooters in 2 days, be safe to all (R/Os, competitors and spectators) and be scoreable to name just a few requirements to fit in the alloted time and space frame. just my .02 Mike Kummer

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Re: I feel Knob Creek has come a long way from the late 90's

Post by todd » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:16 am

Good post Mike, I too would like to see the selector come into play at some point although KCR may not be the venue for that progression. I'm also a big big fan of carrying a pistol for backup as we do here in FL allowing for safe transitions between guns. KCR is also not a very good candidate for this given the lowest common denominator of shooter skill that has to be catered to.

I don't see nobody being hurt at KCR as a blessing. A safe range is always the result of competent RO's and a good solid rule set backing them up.

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Re: I feel Knob Creek has come a long way from the late 90's

Post by medphys » Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:52 pm

Don't forget that some of us are still just trying to find people willing to RO at local matches. I volunteer because I want to shoot. If I don't volunteer, there may not be enough RO's and match may not happen. Volunteers make the matches and if they become more complex and "tactical" I fear less people will be willing to put in the work/dedication necessary for a safe and enjoyable shoot.

To compound that, our range is target limited and we strugle to get enough people to show up so we can afford to give cheap little trophies. Complex and tactical matches may be the future for the "national" matches, it is doubtful that local ones will ever be able to adopt that style.

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