Bear Creek Tactical
Firearm’s, Training & Self-Defense
Shoot Out At The IDPA Bear Creek Tactical Range
Article and photography by Edward Biamonte
OR – http://www.fujah.com/current-issue/september-2010-flipbook/book/10-firearms-training-a-self-defense/3-september-2010.html
With so many people owning firearms today it’s just common sense to learn “a refined and scientific approach to shooting and self defense.” I had the opportunity to sit down with the owner of the Bear Creek Tactical range in Stockton Missouri, Rick Allenbrand. Bear Creek has a training day, that I refer to as a shoot out, the first Saturday of the month– 12 months out of the year. The focus of Rick Allenbrand is to train all users of firearms. He trains SWAT teams, private security to advance sniper training. His vision “is to provide a client-focused training center committed to the continual development of innovative techniques and training solutions, pertinent to the ever-changing environment of today’s world.”
Although our time was brief, because I was called to the range, I could tell Rick was very methodical in his approach to training as his pedigree reveals. I asked Allenbrand what instructional class he believed every shooter should take? Without blinking he stated the Conceal and Carry / Advanced Handgun I. Throughout the day I asked shooters on the course if they had taken the class. Those who did said it was worth every minute. Watching them shoot one could tell they’re better skills measured their time spent in the class.
A novice, myself, I am trying to learn as much about the sport of firearm shooting as possible. This being my third IDPA I can say I really enjoy it and want to get my spouse involved. So I decided to buy her the perfect .380 ACP semi auto by Walther? After reading reviews on the web about the .380 auto many women shooters stated the gun fits a women’s smaller hand perfectly. The .380 and other subcompacts like the 32, 25 and 22 are all the rage today and resemble the very cool Walther PPK (James Bond) style gun. I was curious what Risk’s thoughts were about the smaller semi autos and why the IDPA did not allow any of the new conceal and carry .380 caliber or any caliber under a 38 caliber on the range?
Rick stated that the new subcompact semi auto’s are – OK – but really not the best self defense or conceal and carry weapon. I was shocked? After all, they’re the hottest pistol selling today. Their slim and sexy, easy to hide. Rick believes their good as a back up, but on the range they lack the fire power to knock down a steel target so the IDPA does not allow them or any lessor caliber on the range. Furthermore, in a close combat defensive situation where you are surprised or grabbed by a perp you want at least at a 38 caliber for self defense.
For C&C, Allenbrand likes the 38 CIA special revolver (no external hammer) or even better a taser. The 38 special is very small, powerful, easy to hide and will not jam! It allows you to ready the weapon very fast and pull the trigger. Concerning the taser – Rick says “a taser will drop anyone.” He has seen law enforcement training films where a drug enraged bad guy took repeated hits to the body by a 45 caliber and kept advancing to grab the officer. Then when tased finally drop to the ground. Allenbrand
states “if an assailant grabs you, you have the time it takes to speak one sentence to ready and use your weapon.” Rick trains people to waist pull their weapon and use lower extremity targeting for self defense.
OK – So if the 38 special is the best small gun or a taser is the best conceal and carry, why did every shooter on the range that day have a semi auto? The semi auto is a very, very good gun that can be carried in a shoulder holster, belt holster, leg holster or as home defense weapon. More experienced shooters can pull and shoot the double action weapon very fast with deadly accuracy? However – experience is the key.
I just had to ask– “what is the best home defense weapon?” A resounding 12 gauge with number 4 loads resounded from the guys listening in on the conversation. The very sound of a 12 gauge loading a shell is enough to make a perp turn and walk away. So why is everyone buying semi autos big, thin, long or small? They’re just fun to shoot! And people are finding fun and safe ways to get their guns off.
Coming from all demographics and social norms people who own firearms do so for many different reasons. And that’s why groups like the IDPA – International Defensive Pistol Association – and the NRA exist. They help people learn, understand and train with their firearm and use the firearm in a safe and civil way. Plus it’s just great fun that’s challenging and competitive far beyond what standard range shooting offers.
Looking for a fun family activity, make shooting a family event by joining the IDPA, NRA and a an indoor range like The Sound of Freedom!
Here’s a little history you might not of known about the NRA. The NRA has been around since the late 1800’s. Their web site states: “Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according to a magazine editorial written by Church.
After being granted a charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. Senator, became the fledgling NRA’s first president. An important facet of the NRA’s creation was the development of a practice ground. In 1872, with financial help from New York state, a site on Long Island, the Creed Farm, was purchased for the purpose of building a rifle range. Named Creedmoor, the range opened a year later, and it was there that the first annual matches were held.
Political opposition to the promotion of marksmanship in New York forced the NRA to find a new home for its range. In 1892, Creedmoor was deeded back to the state and NRA’s matches moved to Sea Girt, New Jersey.”
So one begs the question: If we have the NRA why do we need the IDPA. Different clubs focus on different applications and scenarios of training. The rifle used in the 1800’s was a long rifle, hence– the National Rifleman’s Association. The IDPA is The International Defensive Pistol Association. The difference – the focus is on the pistol.
The IDPA creates unique scenarios that you have to defensively work through. Their web site states: “The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. It was founded in 1996 as a response to the desires of shooters worldwide. The organization now boasts membership of more than 17,008, including members in 50 foreign countries. One of the unique facets of this sport is that it is geared toward the new or average shooter, yet is fun, challenging and rewarding for the experienced shooter.
The founders developed the sport so that practical gear and practical guns may be used competitively. An interested person can spend a minimal amount on equipment and still be competitive. The main goal is to test the skill and ability of the individual, not equipment or gamesmanship. “Competition only” equipment is not permitted in this sport. The firearms are grouped into five (5) divisions:
Custom Defensive Pistol (.45ACP semi-automatics only);
Enhanced Service Pistol (9 mm (9×19) or larger caliber semi-automatics);
Stock Service Pistol (9 mm (9×19) or larger caliber double action, double action only, or safe action semi-automatics);
Enhanced Service Revolver (.38 caliber or larger double action revolvers); and
Stock Service Revolver (.38 caliber or larger double action revolvers). See Appendix One – Equipment for delineations in the revolver divisions. Shooters are then classed by like-skill levels with progression from Novice (NV); to Marksman (MM); to Sharpshooter (SS); to Expert (EX); and, finally, to Master (MA).”
What are the goals of IDPA?
1: Promote safe and proficient use of guns and equipment suitable for self-defense use.
2: Provide a level playing field for all competitors to test the skill and ability of the individual, not their equipment or gamesmanship.
3: Provide separate divisions for equipment and classifications for shooters, such that guns with similar characteristics are grouped together and people with similar skills compete only against each other.
4: Provide shooters with practical and realistic courses of fire that simulate a potentially life-threatening encounter or that tests skills that would be required to survive a life-threatening encounter.
5: Offer a practical shooting sport that is responsive to the shooters and sponsors, with unprecedented stability of equipment rules.
6: Offer a practical shooting sport that allows the competitors to concentrate on the development of their shooting skills and fellowship with other like-minded shooters.
Rick Allenbrand’s Mission
To provide basic and advanced training, coupled with both tactical and comprehensive real-world scenario exercises.
To provide the tools and knowledge to those who are constantly seeking self, tactical, and team skill enhancement, while willing to think outside-the-box.
Today’s tensions require the use of trainers that are not paper tigers. To meet that demand, the goal of our organization is to provide only experienced and highly motivated trainers and operators. To fulfill that philosophy, our trainers are proven individuals, having served at the federal, state and local levels, with experience in real-world incidents.
This no frills approach will provide a professional, customer-oriented training aspect, designed to fit the specific training requirements for an individual, as well as the agency training program.
Contact Rick Allenbrand at PO Box 536 Stockton, MO 417-276-6118 http://www.bearcreektactical.com/index.php
The shooters present that day at Bear Creek’s IDPA Saturday morning training session love to shoot. There were four courses the shooter’s engaged. Each course had a unique set up or progression you had to follow. Speed and accuracy score your attempt to self defend. Some shooters say take a moderate speed approach while others try to go as fast as possible. Accuracy is always a must. Shooters form groups of friends that adapt fun ways to attack the course. While others are very serious and see the training as method to self defense.
There is never a wrong way to any safe approach. So keep your approach safe by following the rules. And there are a bunch of safety rules that if not followed will eject you from the course. The group I enjoy shooting with have adopted a fun and safe approach to the competition called the ZMOS approach?
ZMOS? The “Zombie Militia Of Springfield” – still don’t get it? How do you kill a Zombie? Head Shots!! Shawn Dixon and Jeff Madden “We’re the head shot guys. We run the course as fast as possible, killing Zombies the only way you can kill a Zombie – shooting the dead in the head.” The target is smaller therefore demanding more focus and precise shooting.
The ZMOS guys, having trained for years as youth on Zombie video games, are good shooters and make running the course fun. Now mature adults they use real guns and train on paper (zombie) targets. Standard old school shooting is two to the body one to the head. Head shooters do two to the head and on the last Zombie target unload or get their gun off!!! After all – one has to get ready for the Zombie uprising– we’re told is “emanate”.
Final thoughts. I’m no expert, however, with any sport – you have to use common sense and employ Safe Guidelines. All fire arm shooting organizations have safety rules to follow. If you belong to a club that does not – find a club that does! Safety first! Keep hand guns out of the hands of bad guys – get a gun safe! Keep your children safe – Get A Gun Safe! If your firearm is lost or stolen report it immediately to the authorities to protect yourself from reprisals if the gun is used unlawfully. If you have children – allow them to be a part of the sport and as a family take a gun safety class. Involving your children takes away the curiosity factor children often have when told not to touch something. Redundant? Keeping the gun in a safe removes the opportunity of children showing the firearm off in front of their friends. Use Common Sense, stay safe!
Edward Biamonte is a free lance commercial and editorial photographer.
You can see Edward Biamonte’s work in 417 Magazine at http://www.417mag.com
Or visit Edward’s Webs at http://www.edwardbiamonte.com and for Architecture at http://www.ebiamontephotography.com