Training Critical Mass: Mission Critical Training Courses Patrick Roberts July 6, 2022 Join the Conversation EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS, INCLUDING THE TRAINING RANGES As you turn off the sleepy Texas country backroad onto an unmarked gravel road, you question if your GPS directions are correct. Nearly a 1/4 mile down the lane, the road is blocked by a nondescript ranch gate; the only hint that you might be in the right place is a small sign that reads “Coryell County Sheriff Training Facility.” You cross your fingers as you punch in the gate code. Welcome to Mission Critical TX, home to Rogers Range. Mission Critical’s Echo range features concealed targets from 120 to 900 yards. You must find them, determine the range, and engage. The private facility is owned and operated by Brooks and Maggie Wilson, who call the nearly 4-square-mile ranch their home, so there are no day passes or memberships for the general public. There are two options if you want to shoot here — and you do. Either book a closed course for your agency or sign up for one of their many open-enrollment classes. With 2,300 acres to play with, the Wilsons built eight ranges on the property to handle just about any training scenario you can dream up, with targets as far as a mile out. With clever, easy-to-move steel targets and a 600-yard steel mover, they can completely reconfigure a range in a matter of hours. Tailoring the facility to the block of instruction, rather than an instructor being forced to fit the facility. Mission Critical has training opportunities covering land navigation, long-range precision, TCCC medical classes, force-on-force, and more. The complexity of the Rogers’ system pushes the price tag of a six-lane setup north of $500,000. No wonder they aren’t common. With a smaller course catalog, Mission Critical ensures that each lead instructor is a subject matter expert on the material taught in any given course. The ranch’s most popular course is easily the four-day Rogers Range, taught by retired Navy SEAL Billy Lumpkin CWO4 (ret.), so naturally, we enrolled ourselves. GET READY Rogers Range has a bit of a reputation in the professional shooter world as a challenge even for the most talented shooters. Put in context, in the 40 years since Bill Rogers came up with the Rogers Range system, only six people have shot the test with a perfect score of 125. What makes the Rogers system challenging is the time you have to engage each target. Based on an average human reaction time of 250 milliseconds, the targets are only presented just long enough to identify, engage, and carry out that decision. “The Wall” has three 8-inch steel plates that only present for a half second. Half a second is an eternity when you only have one target to worry about, but throw a transition to 1 of 7 possible 8-inch round targets ranging from 7 to 18 yards away, and things get sporty. Those sexy sub-second draws that seem to be all the rage on the ’Gram won’t help you much here; success rides on processor speed, not raw speed. If you sign up for a Rogers Range, and you should, here are some things to know. This is a high round count class: it’s wise to bring a backup gun (we needed ours), and more magazines than called for on the packing list is a good idea. At 500 to 600 rounds a day, Rogers will push your equipment as hard as it pushes you. Make sure to bring a backup gun. The class had several guns go down due to case failures, poor lubrication, and other problems. Since you can’t pack a spare body, make sure that you’re running at 100 percent, and take the same amount of medication, vitamins, caffeine, and other things you normally feed your body. Stay hydrated and fed; an electrolyte imbalance can cause the shakes just as much as your blood sugar being off. Most importantly, never forget that ego is not your amigo; be open to new concepts. Pay attention to what the lead instructor focuses on — they’ll give you time-saving tips and tricks that’ll help you during the nine tests that determine your Rogers Rating. This is one of the few shooting courses you can actually fail — there are no participation ribbons here. ONLY HITS COUNT High-rep shooters who can process the targets the range is presenting rather than thinking about the shot process will be the ones to walk away from Rogers with an intermediate or advanced rating. Think too much during the tests, and you’ll squeak by with a basic rating at best and, at worst, will fail to achieve a rating altogether. Make no mistake, Rogers Range is an incredibly demanding class. Shooting the nine tests is a humbling experience that anyone who considers themselves a serious student of the gun should shoot at least once. If you think you can shoot, Rogers will let you know if you’re as good as you think you are. Plenty of shade, fans, fridges of water, target paint, and picnic benches make the learning process more enjoyable. Test your abilities even more and try to estimate your performance by watching the example videos on the Mission Critical TX website. Once you have a prediction of your performance, get in a class to see if you’re being realistic with yourself. Wondering how it went? Out of the four tests normally administered, two of them were shot. The prediction was a drop between 6 and 11 points based on the example videos. On the first attempt at the test, 16 points were dropped for a score of 109. On the second, 6 points down for a final score of 119 out of 125, earning an advanced rating. There are already plans to go back and try to pick up at least another point to bump up to the next level. One handed shooting-makes up 44.8 percent of the test and is worked on extensively in class. So, should you spend four days of your time taking a Rogers Range TX course? Absolutely. Highly recommended. The Wilsons are wonderful hosts and even had fridges full of bottled water on the range. Lead instructor Billy Lumpkin and his assistant instructors, Bryan and Jody, are a wealth of knowledge. You’d be hard-pressed to not leave that class a better shooter. If you find yourself in central Texas, check out the Mission Critical website for class dates and more detailed information on the course; you won’t regret it. PERFECT SCORE CLUB Bill RogersRob LeathamGabe WhiteManny BraggKirk ClarkDavid Knight OUR ROGERS LOADOUT ATEi Glock 19X Roland w/Trijicon RMR (primary)ATEi Glock 19X Roland w/Holosun 509T (backup)Blue Alpha Gear 1.75-inch Double Belt RigSafariland 6354DO on True North Concepts MHAEsstac Kywi mag pouches10 Glock 17 mags w/Dawson Precision extensions2,500 rounds of Stand 1 Armory 124-grain 9mmBlue Force Gear Micro Trauma Now!Tuff Products JIC TQ holder w/SOFFT-W TQSmith Longfin Elite eye proMSA Sordin Supreme Pro X digital ear pro READY FOR MORE? TAKE A LOOK: Firearms Training: Habits That StickThree Courses And Three Lessons From Defensive TrainingEscarpment Arms: Guns, Gunsmithing, And Training In Western New York Explore RECOILweb:BattleComp Match Glock SlidesAuction to the Moon: RECOIL NFT for CharityGarmin Xero C1 Pro: The New Hotness in Chronographs2016 Gunwerks Long Range University NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. 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