The wall drill had the students strike the target, all while being conscious of keeping their “strike” hand above and well clear of the muzzle. Note the blast wave on the shirt from the shooter’s H&K .40 caliber.

“What is the difference between a shooting and a gunfight?” That was the question that instructor, Rob “Shep” Sheppard of Precision Applications, posed to a group of students who showed up on an early Sunday morning for his Extreme Close Quarters Shooting (ECQS) class. The answer of course is that a shooting is when one person shoots another, while a gunfight is when there is an exchange of shots between subjects. It was in this context that Shep outlined the purpose of the concept behind ECQS.

While not a defensive tactics class, the instructor’s shared some of the basic techniques used in weapon retention and pistol takeaways.

Extreme Close Quarters Shooting focuses on specific tactics for the effective use of a handgun when the threat is within three yards or closer. At these distances, speed and decisiveness of action are essential to surviving a confrontation. In this environment many traditional handgun handling techniques are ineffective.

Class Details
By way of background, Rob Sheppard is a former USMC Scout/Sniper and Atlanta municipal SWAT marksman. Currently working for the Department of Homeland Security, his position places him at the forefront of homeland security issues while serving as a firearms and tactics instructor for his agency. His co-instructor for the ECQS class was Jeff Edwards—also prior military, and currently working for the same agency as Shep. Both are very knowledgeable and experienced instructors.

Engaging the target from the prone position is a unique position for an ECQS environment. That is why it needs to be practiced repeatedly.

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The wall drill had the students strike the target, all while being conscious of…