Hunting Wabbits/Carbine EIRRead Now
As demoralizing as it is to watch myself spar on video knowing I look like a hunched over Gumby on meth I decided, meh, that’s not embarrassing enough and thought I would take a shot (literally) to one up myself. I did not disappoint.
A few months ago, I listened to Bob Keller’s interview on the Combat Story podcast and was super impressed with his outlook on leadership. I fangirled him a bit, started following him on Instagram, and looking into possibly trying to do one of his courses. A couple months ago he posted what is called his Gamut Challenge which involved a two-day ruck, run, carbine/pistol, shooting from vehicles extravaganza, and I thought, well that would certainly be out of my element. Keep in mind I did not know you actually added weight with sand on purpose to your pack to get to said 40 pounds (this seems excessive, but what do I know). I figured I would use the water in my camel back (that’s apparently a cheat), snacks, miscellaneous items such as Chapstick, beef jerky, macro bars, and skinny pop to achieve said heft. I figured I always have issues going overweight at the airport so packing a 40-pound bag shouldn’t be too hard…. I am evidently looking at this wrong…
The kicker of this is that I have maybe shot an AR once so yeah, waaaaaay out of my comfort zone. Knowing this I started asking those around me who are veterans and got some awesome feedback. Most of it was sarcastic with a lot of eyerolls; “No, Christun, that paintball MOLLE vest will get you made fun of. Don’t do it.” (Really just not wanting to spend a crap ton of cash and the idea of being able to just stick things all over my chest for easy access is pretty enticing. Hell, I may buy one just for everyday life). Alas that apparently is not a kosher dupe. My brother Andrew sold me on the vest idea (not paintball) when he said I could attach a small make-up pouch with the MOLLE rigging right to my ribcage (this is a two-day ordeal after all). Freaking awesome, he knows me well. May have to move some mag holders around though… I joked I was going to make a “Tactical-ish Barbie” shirt to wear to this thing, my military friend was genuinely concerned for me when she said, “I truly wouldn’t do that, the caliber of people attending this may find it off-putting.” I am still going to do it.
Okay all jokes aside it was very clear I was underequipped and under skilled, but “challenge” was in the name of this thing and at the risk of imposter syndrome, I wanted to at least try. This however brings me to a slight mantra of mine in Healthy Buffalo, “You don’t have to be the leader of the pack, but don’t be the last in the herd.” Only this was not really about survival (actually it is for me at least…. I believe there was something about upper body strength mentioned in the flyer too….), but I didn’t want to be the one holding anyone back. I wasn’t shooting for good, but I wouldn’t mind being slightly below average at the least, and a mild asset at the most. I feel those are good goals for me with this.
A couple weeks ago I was at Rogue Methods Close Contact Gunfighter Course that was held at the Ozark School of Gunfighting in Montreal, Missouri. I met the owner Nick Nesbitt and had mentioned to him and David Acosta (instructor for RM) that I was thinking about doing this. Both said to go for it, so putting this out in writing that if it ever occurs and I totally bomb, their faith in me was misplaced….. However Nick said that he could teach me carbine. I found out later he had assumed I had shot a rifle more than a couple of times…. You know what they say about assuming…. I thought this would be a rather good way for a break in normalcy and to not super embarrass myself in front of multiple people. So I scheduled a private lesson.
Nick is a former Marine Raider who shot big guns. I am currently waiting on his message in email to give me the more technical version of this…. He spent a few years in private security before striking it out of his own and building a gun range (he is apparently stellar at dozer work as well). OSOG is settled on a dirt road, not quite out in the middle of nowhere, between pretty forest and fields; perfect place to perfect your pew pew expertise. I was initially impressed with the lengths he had gone to when explaining his safety protocols. He had hospital time down to the nanosecond and tac-med covered in case of an emergency. His speech had me convinced he could stich up my bullet hole and I could continue the class, it was that good. I very much appreciate that in the case I royally screw up.
Nick is very welcoming with a great sense of humor, which for me is paramount when learning because I will totally own cracking a joke to alleviate stress, probably to a fault. I showed up around noon we went over AR mechanics everything, and then got to work. I have now decided I have a future as an Army Ranger… just kidding, I look like Elmer Fudd walking with a rifle. Nick explained something about heel to toe walking, I haughtily exclaimed I was in marching band in high school, so I got this, and then proceeded to become a hated Looney Tune. Cool. It is a good thing he is patient, though he didn’t hold anything back when explaining why my duck walking needed correction via video. I can appreciate that.
We ran through several drills over four hours. I can easily say I thought I would absolutely hate carbine, it was just something to challenge myself, now I have plans for building my own. I had an absolute blast, to be honest I felt more in control with a rifle than when I first started with pistols. Nick was a very clear teacher and could easily catch and see where things needed to be fixed and tweaked and then was successful. We went from an all over berm spray (okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it was about eight inches) to about four fingers up the spine on a paper target by the end of the day while moving, albeit slowly.
I have kind of figured out over the past few years that I am not going to just walk in and pick something up as a newbie. I have though, a couple of times, *cough *cough *room clearing, given certain crafts a discredit by thinking along those lines. Mastery was far from my goal for carbine, I had set a very clear one in my head which was basically learn enough to go home and work the kinks out myself. Nick helped me achieve that and then some. It was not easy for me to get to a point where I was completely comfortable around pistols, I had assumed rifles would be the same. However, Nick let me work through at my own pace what I needed to sus out myself and move on when ready. There was never the pressure that goes along with trying not to be the one to hold everyone back when in a group. That was a nice change of pace.
I freaking loved carbine, honestly probably more than the pistol. I am very excited to see how far I can take this in the future, fighting, force on force, and so on forth. Also please be expecting an eating crow article on RDS because #pointandshoot. Man I fought that one for a while….
Ozark School of Gunfighting has big plans for their future including an outdoor and indoor shoot house, more ranges, a 360 range (it was explained to me the need… still not computing), a million-yard range (not that long but it was a lot) #iamnosniper, a store, and much more. Nick is awesome to work with and has so many different classes to offer and the background to teach. He has a very good instructors’ mindset that instantly puts a person at ease with safety and clear and concise direction. Whether you are new to firearms or wanting to brush up on some skills he offers a plethora of classes that are scheduled on Instagram and Facebook so check him out. I will be waiting here on pins and needles for Mattel’s cease and desist order for copyright t-shirt violations while polishing up a newly acquired skill.
While driving home I looked up the Gamut Challenge and saw that it was sold out. If Bob ever reads this, he will probably think. “Oh, thank God…” I was disappointed, but there is another one in fall of 2022 so more time to prepare and get a second Barbie t-shirt made for him.
#wascallywabbits #imaketacticalawkward #tacticalish #expensivehobbies #pewpew #mollevestmakeupbag #idontknowwhatiamdoing
Leave a Reply.
Author- Christun Erwin
"Thank you for your words. They make an impact and its important that, human to human, woman to woman, mother to mother... you know that you make a difference, even to those you never knew your words" -Krystal