A week ago I attended John Murphy's
(1911SFOREVER) most recent Minuteman Rifle Class. This was the second
time that I've taken this course, and it was the 4th or 5th class over all that
I've taken. John's newest version of MRC has
changed significantly (in my opinion) from the format that he taught
two years ago.
First off, gear. I was using a Daniel Defense M4 upper on an
M&P lower and an EOTEch. Magazines were mostly D&H with some
other mixed manufactures mixed in. Georgia Arms Canned Heat was my ammo
of choice for this class. I elected to carry my mags in a Blue Force low
profile chest rig.
I experienced 3 failures, one was magazine related, another one
was ammunition related (dud round) and one was a double feed brought on by a
failure to extract. The double feed was the first failure that can not be
directly tied to ammunition or magazines that this rifle has experienced.
Everyone else in the class had AR's with the exception of 4
individuals. Two had 7.62 AKMs, one had an AK-74 and another had an
FN-SCAR. The guys who had 7.62 AKs also outfitted their guns with a RDS.
It was my observation that the RDS greatly improved the
userability of the AK platform. Both guys had accuracy that
was relatively on par with the average group size of the class (which
was pretty damn good).
The folks who had AR types all had weapons which functioned well
with the exception of two guns, one which was attributed to bad mags, the other
which was rather new and needed an extra dose of lube.
Now onto the course
Within the past year, John has added a small out building located
at the far end of the range. This building is now the location of the
classroom portion of his classes. John began this portion of the class
doing a brief rundown highlighting the history of the rifleman, the operation
behind the AR family of rifles as well as ballistics.
The second half of the classroom portion consisted of putting into context the
need to be proficient with a rifle. It was during
this segment that we viewed videos of real life, violent
encounters involving police, military, and citizens in the realm of
self defense. The tying theme was that deliberate, positive action along
with well aimed, accurate gunfire is what ends violent encounters.
After a brief break, we geared up and began the range portion with
a series of non-firing drills involving dry fire practice, mag changing and
weapon manipulation following a malfunction. Shortly thereafter we loaded our rifles and
Following the zeroing portion we started a series of drills (a
series that was repeated throughout the class) that were tasked in a way that
reinforced the earlier theme, and that was "decisive, positive action and
accurate gunfire". There were no "high speed, low drag" shooting
positions, just plain old standing, kneeling, sitting and prone. The
purpose was to develop a firm foundation on basic marksmanship principles.
As a result, the groupings fired by everyone in the class started to
shrink. Group size got smaller and hits were being put on target faster.
John routinely moved from our standard 5 shots standing, 5 shots
kneeling, 5 shots sitting and 5 shots prone at 50 and 100 yards drill to drills
within 25 yards designed to put as many effective rounds into a threat as possible to
"solve our problem". Controlled pairs, non-standard response,
firing while on the move, multiple and moving targets were all introduced.
Following each one of these drills, we moved back up range to reinforce
the need for accuracy. The constant change ups helped everyone to
mentally focus on sight picture, breathing and trigger control and prevented
anyone from getting lazy with the fundamentals.
As is always the case, I left John's class as a better prepared
citizen than I was going in, and I look forward to the opportunity to
train with him again. He's a valuable resource and I urge anyone who
wants to develop a better mindset and who wants to improve weapon handling
skills to take his series of classes. And on that note, this was the last
Minuteman Rifle Class in Culpeper, as John will be moving this class to a
<st1:place>West Virginia</st1:place></st1:state> known as
<st1:placetype>Center</st1:placetype></st1:place> at the same time he’s
adding in more of his Concealed Carry For Self Defense classes per month.