My 2nd Max Velocity Rifle Training Class


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This was my 2nd trip to Max’s range.
All previous comments listed in my previous AAR still apply Tactical Training by Max Velocity | AAR Nov 9/10 2013 CRCD - F (anon) - Tactical Training by Max Velocity

My previous review covers the tactical curriculum with some detail and for those mostly interested in a critique of the training content please see my previous AAR liked above. I had some questions about gear in this weather (comments in THIS POST), so I will try to cover that in more depth here than I would have otherwise.

After I arrived in town I met up with my buddy at the Koolwink Motel and went to eat. Low and behold we ran into Max in the restaurant and had an enjoyable and stimulating conversation with him. It was a nice chance for us to chat with him a bit especially for my buddy who had never met him before. It would have been more but I totally overate the the Italian restaurant because I was hungry and the food was great and plentiful. This would later turn out to be a real detriment as I didnt feel too hot after so much food and took until 1 or 2 to fall asleep.

But in the morning I had no problem getting up since I was excited to get started. : )

I wore a bit of a jerry rigged setup:

- A Army issue type MOLLE vest , which worked great, comfortable and well balanced
- Basic military boots which had not been treated for waterproofing and predictably got very cold and wet.
- 5.11 pants with long johns under them which worked well except got wet.
- I had bought a British surplus over-whites set but the vinyl pants were so slippery I knew the knee pads would just slip off so I skipped them (they later slipped anyway). But i wore the over-whites top
- Under the over-whites top I wore a US military fleece jacket which despite its thinness provided decent warmth when paired with a regular t shirt and a long sleeve t shirt.
- I had some raingear pants at home which I did not bring as I had decided to dress as light as possible with this weather and not freeze in the interest of mobility. I was willing to accept the risk of wet pants from lieing in the snow during the prone.. Everything is a trade-off.

Despite my gear being no where near perfect I accomplished my goal of not freezing while not limiting my mobility with excess clothes.

There was a bit of a minor snow storm the night before class in the WV mountains.

As I had feared the night before …on the morning of Saturday our little convoy had some problems getting up the trail…. the cliff notes version is, that after some wheel spinning and a little time wasting we cross-loaded ourselves into the most capable 4×4′s and finally made it to the assembly area from whence Max took us up to the training area in the Ranger ATV.

Sitting in those chairs for max’s Tactics white board presentation BTW got chilly real quick but I wrapped myself into a nice comfy poncho liner and that helped a lot. Others also had blankets or in many cases simply wore warmer clothes.

My Army/USMC issue type knee pads were a bit of a disappointment to me. They kept falling down on my leg after a couple of dashes into cover. I think the fact I had to dash into snow getting them wet didnt help the friction of the straps and thats why they came loose so easily.

My electronic earmuffs were fantastic, even though they were side stopped working halfway thru day one as the water from the snow seemed to damage it but it partially came back on day 2…the batteries were getting weak by the end of day 2 but they still worked enough yo be useful. In a training environment where you must protect your ears but still hear your instructors these simply where a godsend and I think made me a better student.

On gear: Both myself and my buddy found that you can jerryrig a practical set-up from different surplus layers w/o spending high dollars. Were we a little less comfortable in this weather than those with high end gortex hunting boots/jackets? Yes… but it was very manageable, didn’t present any real problems and did not impact our performance..

Speaking of the weather. It was simply a gorgeous winter wonderland!! The pics don’t do it justice… real thick snowflakes were coming down during most of day one making our targets snowy and harder to see.. realistic just how I like it .

The Day 1 lanes were also noticeably improved from my previous attendance which had been a mere month before.

Another gear related positive was that my SIG 516 which had never shot TulAmmo worked just fine with it…Ihad felt that I incurred some risk to bring a rifle/ammo combination I had never tried prior to this trip… so I had a spare halfcase of M193 and a spare rifle to make sure I could run a gun on the course,.. but it turns out they were not needed. : )

The Snow added a lot of adventure to our lanes exercises as well as an atmosphere that was not just cold but a bit surreal. It was also a lot easier to fall , especially when you tried to sprint combat speed between positions, this I tried in the beginning but after my first 2 falls I stopped

On Day 2

We had promised Max that we would meet a little early and crossload into the most winter competent vehicles right away and this we did on Sunday morning, which made our drive to the assembly area as speedy, as it was uneventful.

On Sunday we went through Lane 2 for the more advanced/demanding training, and started with the “Jungle Walk”, ahem I mean the “Arctic Walk”. This lane which we used for individual, buddy pair, fireteam and finally squad level drills went up a looong hill. So by the time you got to react to your pop up targets your blood was pumping and your breath was very labored no matter what shape you were in.

And that’s the idea.

One of the small but best features of Max’s training as compared to mainstream military training is , that he will brief you a realistic scenario which will inform how you react and he explained WHY in this situation you would use “break contact drill” vs ” assault” etc etc.
When many many years ago I received Infantry training as private it was like “Ok guys we will now practice bounding overwatch” and we would do it but I could not have explained why as compared to a wedge formation etc.

Max realizes, that unlike an Army/UCMC private who (hopefully) will have skilled Platoon Sergeants and Platoon Leaders make his tactical decisions for him, a SHTF armed civilian needs to make all his own tactical calls at the fireteam level and below.

So he makes sure students understand what drill to use in which kind of Patrol etc.. People play lipservice to ’METT-TC” but not everyone fully understands what it really means… and Max makes weaves this principle into his training to ensure his students understand the why and when of a given drill so they use the correct situationally driven response when the situation arises.


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Fellas I has expected a few more comments and questions. training is the one thing that will keep you alive and may even the odds against better equipped foes if need be:slap:


Super Moderator
It's interesting but I guess you really need to attend some classes to get the full impact. How did the snow/cold affect you and the group? Did it change the way you approached your objective? How was the scenario set up and what did you need to accomplish?


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It's interesting but I guess you really need to attend some classes to get the full impact. How did the snow/cold affect you and the group? Did it change the way you approached your objective? How was the scenario set up and what did you need to accomplish?

The Snow made it more slippery.

So sprinting from cover to cover at combat speed was much more difficult.
I fell a couple of times in the beginning so I slowed it down adapting to the environment.
The cold tested my gear.
I was a bit colder than those with greeat gear but not enough to affect performance i think.

The Scenario on day 1 was just individual walk by yourself and then targets poppin group front left or right and you react and then Max critique your reaction.
Then it was the same whit buddy teams.

On day 2 we were on the harder range w/ more targets and we were patrolling uphill breathing heavy just walking with our guns.
The scenario you where briefed ahead of your lanes would dictate how you are suppsoed toi react to the threat.
Like: It's SHTF your families has just occupied this small valley, you and your buddy are doing to a recon patrol to see if it is unoccupied."

With that scenario he would expect us to react to fire or targets popping up with a "break contact drill" followed by a "hasty ambush"

Another scenario might be: " You and your families have forcefully occupied this area and killed marauders that were occupying it. You and your team are now combing the area for survivors as a mop up operation"

In that scenario he would expect us to execute a hasty attack as soon as we spotted targets or got incoming.
This scenario we would only do in groups of at least 4 and the assumption was the opposition was weak enough (druggies with 9 mils or untrained rifle carriers) that we would fight through any resistance with a hasty attack drill, followed by "actions on the objective" and then continue the patrol.

The Capstone exercise at the end of day 2 was us conducting a "deliberate attack" on a a fortified position using a fire support element pouring live fire into that position and our assault element sneaking up on it form the flank.
Then when the assault element was close support team would lift and shift fire so to ot hit the assault team.

Infantrymen will find many familiar things there, it was basically 100% light infantry training, but we adapted our TTP's to the the METT likely encountered for a small group of irregulars in SHTF
(no calling for artillery fire etc etc)


Super Moderator
Did you discuss any "stay in place" or "how to defend your home" type situations?
I guess you could just reverse engineer your offensive scenarios that you worked on. When you get a full frontal assault always watch your sides and rear.
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Did you discuss any "stay in place" or "how to defend your home" type situations?
I guess you could just reverse engineer your offensive scenarios that you worked on. When you're get a full frontal assault always watch your sides and rear.

We did not have indoor TTPs but I am sure that is coming at some point maybe in the form of a "shoot house"

This was Fire and Movement, Infantry tactics adapted to a small irregular force such as a small SHTF Team.
Applicable for the most situations.

His book CONTACT is excellent though.

You do have a point wiht the "reverse engineer"

His main point of making us do a squad sized attack with flanking movement is so that we would be familair with this maneuver when/if we were on the defensive.

he wrote a Novel which is more like novelization of the manual "Patriot Dawn".

Not a Tom Clancy type yarn but designed to be a pleasantly readable version of his manual that explans by example of the engagements in the plot in how to do things


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Bumping this back up.. because training is IMPORTANT and among the most important things we can do with our time...


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Going for the 3 day Patrol Class in 2 weeks lot of this brings back military memories but Max gives better training (within the time constraint) than many military courses IMO.

the equivalent of a 6 month Infantry Officer Basic it is not.. But it doesnt have to just needs to empower americans to learn tactics and get capable of making tactical decisions.

A USMC or Army Private doesnt need to make tactical decisions on what formations they use.. their PlatoonLeader/Commander or PSG will do that for them.

But the strength in Max's course is he not only teaches Small Unit Tactics but he works hard to empower the students in the absences of a trained Infantry Lieutenant to make their own tactical decisions on what drills are appropriate in which situation.
Tactical Training by Max Velocity | Combat Patrol - Tactical Training by Max Velocity

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