We had the opportunity to attend a one-day Shooting On The Move course by Sentinel Concepts. Below is a breakdown of the course, the gear we used, and when this course might be of interest or use to you. Special thanks to Shaun Arnsten @lod_gallery for the action shots
Course Description: (as taken from the Sentinel Concepts Website)
"This one-day intensive class is a task focused on developing the concepts and skills required for shooting while moving in various directions while understanding and utilizing angles to clear lanes of fire with a handgun. Students should have a high proficiency level of weapons handling and manipulations before attending this class."
"THE CLASS WILL THOROUGHLY COVER
Accuracy drills, recoil control techniques
How and why of speed/retention/emergency loading
Accuracy and timed drills
Shooting from retention
Weapon hand/alternate hand shooting
Movement when to shoot and how
Multiple target tracking
Low light (when and where applicable)
Ammunition: 300 rounds minimum
IFAK and/or tourniquet is REQUIRED
Hearing protection (electronic is preferred)
Wrap around style eye protection
Cleaning kit and tools that are compatible with the weapon system(s)- Outdoor appropriate clothing for changing weather conditions
Notebook and pen
A functional and practical handgun chambered in 380, 9mm, .40 cal, or .45 ACP
PLEASE ARRIVE TO CLASS WITH MAGAZINES ALREADY LOADED
Magazine pouches (or pockets)
Sturdy belt (or duty gear)
A black sharpie marker
Individual first aid kit and tourniquet"
Teya and I both elected to run guns we hadn't before and also try out some different gear. When attending training it's always a tough toss-up between using daily defensive gear or trying out something new. I admit in the past, that also meant sometimes taking what I knew would make the course easier. As we said in the beginning of this article, it's important to decide what you want to get out of or accomplish at a training event, and gear both your mind and equipment for that.
AREX Delta Gen 2 M OR was my choice. I was very impressed with this affordable pistol during our original review and wanted to get some more time with it. It's also been my experience that a piece of equipment can run great for you in a dozen range sessions, but can fail in a course. The Arex Delta Gen 2 M OR had no mechanical failures, but on a couple draws I did manage to bump the right-side magazine release enough for the magazine to disengage, but not fall out of the gun. The result was that the round in the chamber fired, but no second round was chambered. After the second time this happened I took precautions and didn't experience the issue again. The trigger pull was longer and heavier than the single-action of my usual Grand Power K100, but for shooting while moving I didn't mind the extra bit of safety while scrambling on a gravely range.
Holster used was this ANR Design option from Global Ordnance. Good tension right our of the box and the drop made for a very comfortable draw
Canik SFX Rival Dark Side was Teya's choice. She had used a Canik SF Elite at CENTER-T, and Canik Mete SFT at VerTac, so she was already very comfortable with the Canik platform. We loved this pistol in our original review and this was a good excuse to get more time with it. Additionally, "Considering that shooting on the move is more of a door-kicker or gamer skillset than something one would use as an armed citizen, I set my carry gun aside to go with a pistol better matched to the task at hand." Teya experienced zero malfunctions and enjoyed the balance, controls were easy to operate, and the TiN barrel we had swapped in gave a nice shiny "hello" when the gun ran dry, accelerating her awareness that it was time for a reload.
The holster Teya used was also a drop configuration, and set up on a competition belt. I don't recall who made it as we bought it a year or so ago, but most any SFX holster should work for the SFX Rival Dark Side.
Because I had never attended a course with a red dot on my gun before I decided this was the time to do it. Both Teya and I agree that in exercises such as moving while shooting, or moving to a position to shoot, the red-dot concept of focusing your eyes on the target and bringing the dot into your view was a time-saver. We were concerned that we might experience one of the failures we've experienced from red dots before.
Crimson Trace 1550 is an affordable red dot that seemed a good match for the affordable Arex Delta Gen 2 M OR. Believe it or not this choice was scoffed at the course, and I was assured it would break or not last the day. Contrary to those expectations, the only failure experienced were my own as I learned a new presentation height for not only running a dot, but running one on a pistol I don't shoot regularly.
MeCanik MO1 rode the Canik SFX Rival Dark Side. It performed flawlessly aside from a phenomena that effects all auto-brightness dots. If the dot is in a darker area, (shade in this instance) and the target in a brighter area, the dot will appear dim. As Teya ran in drills from shade to full sunlight the dot was adjusting, but as a result giving her a different view through the window each time. Not a fault of the MO1, but something to consider when shopping red dots. Video overview of this optic HERE .
Belom 124gr is a load imported by Global Ordnance. We've shot a box or two from time to time in our range videos, but had never spent a day going through boxes and boxes of it. While European 124gr loads can be punchier, it's been our experience that punchier ammunition can help increase reliability, compensating for a loose hold on the gun and slogging through accumulated filth. Between the two of us we shot about 800 rounds. Not enough to get the guns filthy, but enough to get a good feel for the ammunition. Belom burned noticeably cleaner and less smokey than the Winchester, Federal, and Turkish imported ammunition the other students ran. This meant cleaner air, cleaner optics, and a generally easier time for us. Also of note was that recoil did not at all feel like a typical European 124gr load; it was soft, smooth, and controllable. This is ammunition we will seek out a case of for future training.
With ammo prices varying wildly these days, check the current price HERE.
Beyond Clothing A9-T Mission Pant. These are from the folks who touched us by using Veteran's Day not to capitalize on a holiday to make some sales, but to help veteran's and those who know veterans, by shutting down their website and instead redirecting traffic to veteran mental health resources. We'd never bought anything from them, or even heard of them before the Veteran's Day announcement, but were impressed.
This pant fits all tactical needs. It obeys the first rule of being tactical by featuring excessive pockets (something I joke about, but in reality is useful). Four-way stretch material in the crotch and along the knees makes them easy to maneuver in, and the integrated knee pad pockets (with adjustable height) means you can lightly protect your knees without having to fight pads sliding around during movement. Like most complex pant designs the various layers of cloth and stitching can make them feel heavy, but unlike other complex pants they were not cumbersome and didn't feel like they were binding or restrictive. The price might be a shocker if you've never shopped serious tactical pants before, but it's actually a bit less than comparable pants from other companies. We'll have more coverage on these pants in the future.
Tracker Trauma Kit from ConcealedCarry.com Aside from it generally being a good idea to have a trauma kit (beyond your basic boo-boo kit) when shooting, a kit was required for this course. The Tracker Trauma Kit is one of the smartest setups we've handled yet. Compact, lightweight, and opens laterally like a book to reveal the essentials: SWAT-T tourniquet, trauma sheers, blue nitrile gloves, rolled QuickClot, a flat stretch of duct tape, gauze, and a mylar rescue blanket. Just what you need to stop the bleed and stabilize a trauma victim until the professionals arrive. Teya mentioned not feeling it on her belt. Highly recommended.
Balm Shot Lip Balm may look a bit like a novelty with it's real 20ga shotshell packaging, but we found it to be some of the nicest stuff we've ever used. Long range days seem to chap or burn lips regardless of the weather or personal hydration, but Balm Shot kept us happy with SPF 15 rating and a wonderful natural blend. The blend is also pocket-proof. We tested and can verify it will not melt in your pocket, even during physical activity. Teya noted it's not sticky, long-lasting, and has a pleasant scent without being overpowering.
Our Take on the Sentinel Concepts Shooting On The Move Class
Our Experience: This course was one of experiential learning. That is to say that instruction was minimal and students were generally left to figure things out on their own. The class is not an introductory course, and it is understood that attendees already know essential weapon handling and effective shooting. The other students in our group were a mix of law-enforcement instructors and seasoned/experienced shooters. Some were repeat students of Sentinel Concepts, many had also attended other schools.
Teya and I both went with our own goals. While Teya is well-trained in marksmanship and weapons manipulation, her experience shooting on the move was very limited, so for her this was a new skillset. I had shot on the move during my competition days, but not had formal instruction on it (nor the care that defensive shooting liability demands while competing). Additionally, I had never run a course with a red dot and know that there's nothing like an all-day course to burn in a new skillset. This was a chance to try out new equipment in a new environment.
The day went on with ever-increasingly complicated movements experienced through a set of drills that fortunately require minimal equipment, and so can easily be practiced at a home range or shooting spot. While safety was on everyone's minds, this course certainly required all involved to be aware not just of what they were doing, but also what other students were doing. You move with a firearm and so do the students to your left and right, sometimes forward of or behind you.
Few concepts were explained or given background/cause, the course was more of an administered range day with movement than a block of instruction; if you are unable to figure things out on your own or continually apply new information and experiences frustration can build. Teya noted, "There was no standardized baseline of how something should be done, students were left to flounder until told the group was told a particular method was wrong." The other side of that is that the student is permitted to experiment and try and apply different methods as they become apparent. There was no gun or gear check, no specific stipulations beyond what was listed above and as a result the intelligent shooter has an opportunity to not only learn about their own choices, but also observe the results of other's choices. Advantages or disadvantages of a particular platform, carry position, or technique, and solutions could be gleaned from watching other students.
What We Discovered:
While I've heard using the frame of your red dot to bracket a target is "good enough" at defensive distances, both Teya and I found this to be false in our own experimentation. Yes we could hit a stationary torso at 10 yards with this method, but not with accuracy that either of us find acceptable for potential defensive, real-world use where chances are the "torso" won't be stationary.
Keeping elbows slightly bent helps greatly to reduce gun bounce while moving. Teya was already familiar with this concept thanks to her training with VerTac. I had previously only scrambled to a position, stabilized, then shot.
Foot movement really doesn't matter, use what ever method gets you there comfortably and safely. Comfort comes into play for reducing fatigue and minimizing the additional stress that it puts on you as you work to align the next shot.
There is no absolute answer. Just as we've said about so many other parts of the shooting world, no single method, technique, or piece of gear is ideal for every situation. Don't let yourself get too wrapped up in a single way of accomplishing a task. It's great to master it, but be open to other ways.
Safety standards and enforcement varies. During a movement drill Teya turned toward the group (required direction of movement) with a slide-lock empty pistol and flagged the group. She was given a time out. The time out gave time to reflect, but cost her training opportunities. Teya believes running the drills dry would have been more beneficial than sitting out and waiting to be called back in after the class had progressed further.
Trigger Prep, or taking slack out of the trigger during movement is a dangerous concept. It can still be accomplished depending on your firearm, knowledge of that firearm, and calculated environmental risk and tolerance. For example the Arex Delta M I ran had enough pull weight and length that a little trigger preparation while coming into position was almost necessary. Teya's Canik Rival Darkside however did not need it, nor would prepping the trigger be a safe idea on such a short and light pull. Teya knew this and so left her trigger alone until the shot was ready to be taken.
Other students can be a great source of knowledge in courses like this comprised of experienced shooters. Watch and engage those who do things differently, or prefer different platforms to learn why.
All training is addictive. As you gain skills, competencies, and comfort with them, the desire to keep moving on and seek out additional training increases. The more training opportunities you take advantage of, the more you will want, and the better you will know what is right and effective for your individual goals.
Conclusion: This is a class for those who want to work on or further develop skills. It's important (as with all courses) to go into the course knowing what you want to learn and focusing on those lessons. It is assumed that students for this class already have a good foundation of knowledge. Your progression will depend more on your ability to process and integrate what you discover than instruction. This is an affordable opportunity that is worth considering when Sentinel Concepts travels to your area.