Another 4th of July Desert Shoot

Hello again,


July Fourth 2016 we had our annual 4th of July Overnight Shoot. 14 fellow firearm enthusiasts attended our event / shoot. Some of whom are our current batch of Beyond CCW students, some former students and the rest friends and family.


We held four separate events. One was a night rifle team shoot inspire by a fellow firearms events coordinator. The following morning’s event was also a team rifle shoot designed to teach fundamentals of covering your “on the move” partner.


Our other two events were Jeff Cooper’s Rifle 10 and a man versus man pistol bout. The pistol bout also had us shooting on the move.


To keep things simple for me, scoring the events and ranking everyone’s placement will be abandoned in favor of just letting those who want to share their experience speak…


From Earl:

We enjoyed the overnight two- day event. It gave us, the Simmons Family, time to bond outdoors and to experience rough-ing it; with the added highlight of star glazing. 


We have to thank both Gigi and Brian for allowing us to stay at their place in Nevada and for setting up such grand event, full of excitement and surprises...


The night shoot (Protect the Camp) was a totally realistic scenario that made us (my son Ellington and I) feel as if it were truly an emergency situation. The adhoc improvising made it seem even more so a state of emergency. 


The pistol shoot out competition had a dramatic ending that proved to be very intense for me as I had to avenge my brother’s prior loss in the final round match up. To do that, I needed to have controlled deliberate shots versus a flurry of shots. We learned that back in the days of dueling, when fighters are closely matched in skill, their fight often ended as a tie as both contestants die, such as our virtual fight did. I had a technical win - but a practical tie. The greater lesson learned during that match was to respect the Range Master. Get acknowledgement though communication, and don’t take any action without his permission, doing so is ground for disqualification or worse - if one were to wander down range when the firing commences - Oh Boy! I hope my apologies were accepted as I chose to move down range before the firing sequence began and adjust a target without permission. To which I was quickly reprimanded!


The Rifle 10 challenge proved to be more than just marksmanship, incorporating physical speed, terrain issues, correct shooting positions and other concerns such as safety and muzzle discipline. Scoring was fair to the participant.


The next morning we had the grand finale, which lived up to its name "Cover Fire”. I believe I missed the point during the briefing of the exercise as there were clues about its origins and what was to be expected of the event. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who blew that. When the event was over and we walked through the course of fire it became clear how important and vital it was to live up to the name of the drill “Cover Fire”, as we could easily see how exposed we were when going from barricade to barricade. We had the mind set of convenience; picking the easiest targets first; not realizing that we would be exposing ourselves to hostiles as we went across the open area together versus covering for each other and verbalizing  - “Firing”…. “Moving”... “Clear” and repeating that on the next barricade and so on! So be it for not paying attention to the Cover Fire briefing...


Hats off the Tom for being great with my daughter Bailey, it being her first time shooting, and for being a Great Range Officer, and To Gigi and Brian for putting on a well organized event worthy of public interest. Their instructions, given before each event, were very thorough and meant to eliminate mishaps. For example, going over the definition of accidental discharge versus negligent discharge where responsibility lies on operator. All of it was very valuable and too much to list here. Its simply easier to state: I’m eager to participate in the next Tactical, Firearms 101, Competition, 4TH of July event which ever it may be!


Thank you, Earl Simmons


From Shay:

Loved it! Challenging, competitive, gave me a chance to put my newly learned skills to use. Martin thought it was well thought out and organized. We had a lot of fun together. 


From Set:

I took part in the first day of events only. 


The 200 Yard run and shoot event was really interesting.  I got to see how: my shooting positions performed under pressure, approaching a shooting spot at a run prevented me from slowly and comfortably getting situated, so I had to just do it.  This exposed flaws such as using the wrong leg in the sitting position each time I did it unconsciously.  It took me really focusing to quickly come to the right place for those shots.  I also rushed through it the first time and scored 0 hits, so slowing down would have been good.  Also I hadn't held or shot the rifle for nearly 6 months, so I learned that while in many ways shooting is like riding a bike, it is very unlike riding a bike in that you can be dead (missing shots) before you get back in the rhythm. 


I reran the course with Nate and added 20-30 seconds but increased my accuracy from 0% to 60%.  I think this showed the thin line between rushing and moving quickly, or however one can describe that difference.  Thinking "just shoot" from an unsecure position, means you miss.  While taking the minimum time you need to be secure and get a good shot, take nearly the same time.


The pistol shoot... I quickly came to the conclusion that I had superior accuracy, recoil, and magazine size and deployed them as such.  Burning an average of 9.5 rounds per match I bathed the targets in quick bursts.  I found it interesting how my shooting pace interacted with some of the other shooters. 


The night shoot was opposite the pistol shoot, in that my equipment was not well suited for the event.  I had trouble lining up my iron sights with the targets because it was so dark, several times I lined up either the front or the rear sight, not both, on the target and squeezed.  I scored a couple nice hits in the dark but largely wasted ammo shooting at shadows.  I also saw the consequences of not communicating with my partner, as she was struggling as well, and in the timed event I did not communicate or work up a role for us both which caused us to be less effective. In retrospect I would have had us both work on a side so we could cover a wide area and make use of the spotlight throughout its sweep.  


Overall:  The common theme throughout the events was RUSHING BAD.  Pretty simple when not under pressure to make time deadlines and accuracy at the same time.  Breathing and focus on the fundamentals should help.


Also because of the range limitations and me living in CA I intend to sell my rifle and buy a more accurate weapon better suited to accuracy and less to what Sensei called "spray and pray".






From Tom:

My thoughts on the shoot:

It was the best one yet.

It was good to see various levels of shooters

I liked the Tannerite!

The night shoot was great. I liked the moving light and having to take blind shots and hitting them. Very satisfying to hear steel at night.

I was impressed by Tommy’s attention to safety, his helpfulness and interest in the event. Much better than the past.

New trailer setup is geat!




We’re glad to have hosted another safe and exciting event. I have exciting training exercises planned for the terrain we’ve found. It’ll prove to be very educational. Stay tuned and visit us on our facebook page:


Sensei Simmons

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