In recent years, zombie mania has swept both the mainstream and the firearm industry. Just this SHOT Show there were plenty of zombie-themed firearms, accessories, and targets. So it is natural that it crept into training curriculum.
One of the classes I recently watched was Zombie Attack!! class from Firearms Training Associates(FTA).
There has been plenty of zombie-themed competitions(Outbreak Omega being one) and I am sure there are classes that already have zombie-themes integrated in to them. But some of them seem to be nothing more than having zombie targets in place of regular targets. Standing at a line and shooting zombie targets is fine, but if one can add more to the training it will be even more interesting.
Photo courtesy of Ted Tae
That's where this class was a bit more different. First, it was only open to students who have taken some advanced training from FTA. That allowed participants to have an understanding of FTA's safety protocols, so there is no confusion on what to do.
Second, there were various trainings available besides static shooting line marksmanship.
The day started off with pistol marksmanship. Zombies can only be stopped by head shots, so emphasis was on hitting the head of the target, not the body. This requires more concentrated efforts from students. Instead of firing at Center of Mass, smaller target area(head) requires better fundamentals.
Carbines are great tools in zombie survival, but it has to be zeroed in. If someone kept their carbine in trunk, there are chances of zero being off. This is something that is not taken for granted, even among different shooting schools.
Photo courtesy of Ted Tae
While zombies cannot move any faster than humans, it does present a challenge. Surviving a zombie attack means that a person must make a headshot while the zombie is moving. A RC controlled mover was used to add an element of difficulty.
To make things a bit more realistic, a mannequin head was added. After shooting so many bland targets, we forget that we may see expression on targets's face, even though the zombies are not capable of feeling.
Then there is an element of CQB. With urban population growing at a fast pace, it is likely that a zombie infestation would hit urban centers hard. To survive in urban conditions, dealing with walls and rooms has to be addressed.
Simunitions were used to enhance CQB training inside a structure.
Of course, this is all tongue-in-cheek. No rational person would believe that there is zombie infestation in reality. The point of this class is to add element of humor to break the seriousness that permeates in a lot of training courses. Furthermore, it touches on some aspects a lot of training classes may not have.
A lot of ranges do not have moving target system and even if there is one, it moves at a constant rate in horizontal direction. With the system FTA employed, it can move in various direction in various speed.
Use of cover and a bit of movement inside a structure is something that is not often available in many schools. While the amount convered in this class was minimal it gives chances for attendees go through the experience and get a sense of how it is like.
Classes like these are a good way to practice skills learned in usual classes. It adds an element of humor, and as long as safety is not overlooked and participants have certain standards, why not enjoy?