I was recently invited to attend a Defensive Carbine Class by Bushido Tactical owner Wade Rorich. Wade has a background in the South African military and police forces and experience in maritime security as a private contractor protecting cargo ships from pirates. He has also worked with some of our own great nation’s most elite warriors to help them be even more effective.
As a tactical hog hunter, I am a bit predisposed to improving my shooting skills. And let’s face it, along with other facets of my role as Co-Founder of SHWAT™, I get to shoot stuff and talk about it. So, when asked if I want to shoot a bunch of stuff with a guy like Wade, I cleared my calendar. Now I get to talk about it.
I’ll start by saying that I don’t recommend you go into a class like this already tired. This was an intense class. In this case, it is a three-day class compressed into two days. Bushido Tactical is based in Orlando, Florida, but Wade travels all over the country doing classes varying from hand to hand combat to Sniper/Precision Rifle training. The class I attended was held at the VX Marksmanship range in Alvarado, just south of Fort Worth, Texas. The range is designed from the ground up for this kind of training and is frequently used by owner Dan Sanderford to train civilian, law enforcement and military operators. Dan’s background includes serving as a Marine Scout Sniper, a Sniper Instructor at the Marine Corps’ Special Operations Training Group, and a winning Marine Rifle and Pistol Team member.
Most of the attendees were DSG Arms employees. DSG Arms has sold quality tactical gear to the government for over 10 years and has opened up sales to civilians more recently. DSG is also a reseller of Bushido Tactical Gear. Among us were shooters of varying levels and abilities.
As suggested by Bushido, I brought two rifles with me for the class. In my case I wanted to try out two completely different rifle setups. Rifle number one was an Accurate Armory LE Light with an Eotech EXPS 3-0 with a Flip to Side 3x magnifier and a Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Safety Selector – B.A.D. A.S.S. among a few other things. Rifle number two was a bone stock Daniel Defense M4V1 equipped with standard iron sights. I also brought my faithful Smith & Wesson M&P 9 with Crimson Trace Laser Grips as my sidearm for Immediate Action Drills.
Wade believes in being able to defend yourself in any situation and environment. This means being prepared to shoot in a broad variety of positions, all tailored to protect the vital parts of your body from harm while maintaining a stable shooting platform at the same time. Some look quite awkward, but after he demonstrated them and walked us through them, they were not hard and made a lot of sense. As part of the shooting position instruction, he covered how to position our ankles to prevent injury, how to get your get your gun low, as if shooting from a prone position, but remain highly mobile at the same time.
Another favorite topic of Wade’s is “mirror imaging”. Anything you can do right-handed can also be done left-handed. This isn’t just a concept he talks about. It’s something we practiced throughout the class.
Then there’s the gun going click instead of bang. What happens when your rifle malfunctions? Knowing what to do then is clearly important. You clear the malfunction or go to your pistol. But if it were night, and your light is on your rifle, and you aren’t using night vision gear, then you are blind. He covered how to use a rifle mounted white light when we to transitioned a sidearm. For me, this was a valuable lesson that crosses over directly to hog hunting. I generally carry a sidearm when I hog hunt, but many don’t and in some places it may not be legal.
Some of you know how to do a malfunction drill on your rifle. Can you do it quickly and not lose track of your target? What about when you are shooting with your left hand if you are right-handed, or vice versa? Wade will have you doing all of this with a reasonable level of proficiency in his class.
This was definitely a Defensive Carbine class. The tactics that Wade teaches are not showmanship or competitive shooting techniques. They are designed to help you “prevail in a gunfight”. If you attend one of his classes, he’ll teach you how to shoot from a variety of positions. A number of these make sense in defensive situations, but they are not something you would plan on using while hunting. On the other hand, if you simply trip and fall because you were looking through your optic while moving to get a better shot, the ability to immediately make a move into a stable shooting platform could be critical in making a good, timely and accurate shot.
What do you do if the hogs are moving out of sight around a stand of trees? If you could get shots on target while you are moving, it might allow you to get a hog or two that would have gotten away. And, trust me. Let a hog get away and it could be a while before you live it down.
So, what did I get out of it (besides a few sore muscles) and how will it make me a better hog hunter? I don’t regularly encounter any bad guys with guns, but hogs can be very dangerous and aggressive animals. If you are going to play the game, you should play to win. And if you are going to win and be safe doing it, you are better off having all the right tools and knowing how to use them well. A class like the one I attended with Bushido Tactical can train you to be better prepared to win. On top of all this, you will be better equipped to defend yourself and your home, which is why many Americans have guns in the first place.
I also got a better idea of how to have my rifle set up for this kind of shooting. First of all, both of my carbines ran well. The Daniel Defense M4V1 ran flawlessly and did not require any extra attention from me. It was a pretty new gun before I got hold of it. I used the better part of the 900 rounds of ammo I took with me, and most of it went through this rifle. SHWAT™
Co-Founder Jonathan took it hunting with NRA Outdoors a few weeks ago but I don’t have any idea if it was cleaned or lubed. I just ran it. The only down side to using it was the iron sights. They work exactly as they are supposed to, but I don’t like iron sights. It’s just a personal preference and the sites were perfectly functional.
Beyond perfect reliability, the other thing I really enjoyed about the Daniel Defense M4V1 is the light weight. In a class like this (or hunting), the less your gun weighs, the better.
My Accurate Armory LE Light did well also. I’m glad it was the Light version for the reasons I’ve just mentioned. However, when you add an Insight light/laser combo, Magpul AFG, Eotech EXPS 3-0 and 3x magnifier, and a VTAC padded sling it really adds up.
At the distances we were shooting at, the magnifier was not necessary. It got in the way during one drill, so I literally ripped it off as fast as I could and threw it on the ground. Thank God for throw lever mounts. It’s a quality piece of kit, so I wasn’t worried about damaging it.
Something essential in my opinion is an ambidextrous safety. Battle Arms Development makes the best one I’ve seen. The 45 degree throw version on my Accurate Armory rifle proved it’s worth many times. I want one on every rife I use.
The Battle Comp 2.0 helped me stay on target. I really like the VTAC sling, but with the constant transitions from right to left-handed shooting, I took it off. I also have a BCM Gunfighter charging handle on this rifle. It’s another huge advantage, particularly when running the gun left-handed.
I can’t say I liked one gun better than another. There were things I liked about each. For me, a blend the two setups would be ideal. Both functioned well and I would have no hesitation to use either if I had to defend myself with a rifle.
So, anytime you have the opportunity to attend a class that makes you a better shooter, or a better defender of yourself and your family, it will probably make you a better hunter too. Wade at Bushido Tactical is a good instructor and knows his craft. If you can get to one of his classes, I recommend it. If not, go find another class and prepare yourself to win. Or as Wade likes to say “prevail.”