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Shootists - 'Centre Axis Relock' (C.A.R.)

7127 Views 21 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jamz
I'd first heard about C.A.R. last December and have been toying with it since.
Bottom line it is unconventional and 'looks' weird but for me it works and well.

Here are several videos and pics depicting the method which is intended for CQB shooting:

10 rounds at 15 feet using the "high" position

Here is an annotated picture of the target shot during the video

Here is a video of the technique

This video was done as part of a friendly internet shooting 'contest'. The rules were simple: shoot 10 rounds in 5 seconds or less at 7 yards. The smallest group size wins.

Here is the annotated target. The timer you can hear was set to a 5 second par time.

Source = 'RandyDTC' @

Have any of you LEO's or otherwise tried the C.A.R. system and if so what are your own impressions?

For those totally unfamiliar with the method take a look at the following pics & link sources

Information & history of the system -
Nine demonstration pics & videos -
"The C.A.R. System Of Gunfighting" -

- Janq
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More on it via

"Center Access Relock Method of Gunfighting"
C.A.R., or The Center Axis Relock Method of Gunfighting

Q. What is it?

A. It is a gun fighting technique, not a range application.

- It is a strong, stable, and flexible platform for action.
- It allows quick target acquisition and rapid fire bursts
of 4 shots to COM in under 1 second with standard pistols.
- It can be used effectively in small spaces and vehicles.
- It is applicable to team assault situations.
- It provides maximum weapon retention, and also serves as
a practical and effective base for contact fighting.

The C.A.R. Center Axis Relock Method of Gunfighting
utilizes two main positions or stances as bases for action.

The High Position:

The first position is called the High position. It is used
for working within confined spaces, from cover, and while

It is a very strong and flexible base for using both short
and long weapons such as a handgun, baton, O.C. Spray,
shotgun, sub-machine gun, and other weapons.

In the High position, the operator is in a semi-bladed
stance, with the weapon held or cradled next to the chest.

The position is achieved by blading towards the threat
while also drawing and bringing the gun up to the chest.
When the gun is drawn, it should be directed to the threat
for firing if needed. Also, as the gun is being brought
up, the other hand should be moving to grasp and support

This base position reduces the Operator's silhouette,
employs a balanced and stable, yet flexible body stance,
and works in harmony with gross muscle movements, gross
motor skills, and our natural reactions to extreme stress,
one of which, is to bring the arms and hands back to the
body, not away from it.

The stance with elbows extended, makes up a natural cradle
from which the gun can be fired if need be, with both hands
or with just the gun hand.



Its framework sets up a circle of control and defense that
makes it very difficult for an Aggressor to grab or take
possession of the Operators handgun, Baton, or O.C. Spray.
That is true regardless of the Operator's shape, size, or

The circle of control and defense is maintained by rotating
towards a threat. In a contact situation, strikes with the
elbows and the gun can be made, or the gun can be fired.



The position is comfortable, relaxed, does not pinch or
restrict the Operator's breathing, can be used with full
combat gear, and it can be maintained easily for extended
periods of time.

Fine motor skills are not utilized or relied on, as they,
along with the ability to focus clearly, will be lost to
most Operators in a close quarters life and death crisis
situation. That is due to the increase in the heart rate,
and the activation of the instinctive Fight or Flight
response, both of which happen in such situations.

The stability and ease of movement gained by using a bladed
stance, along with keeping the gun at the operator's
natural focal point, allows for fast acquisition of
multiple targets.

Also, the weak hand is up and ready for use in open doors,
clearing the way, and other tasks.

The thumbs can be placed anywhere, as long as their
placement does not interfere with the workings of the gun.

The Extended Position:

The second C.A.R. position is called the Extended position.
It is used for entry, combat, and assault. It also can be
used effectively when seated inside a vehicle.



The Extended position or stance, allows for high levels of
accuracy, as well as very rapid shooting while moving.

The gun is held naturally and close to the Operators true
focus point (normal reading distance).

That is an enhancement over stances that employ full arm
extension, as doing that takes the sights out of the
Operator's natural focus point. And even more so if the
Operator has glasses.

Recoil Control

With the C.A.R. system, recoil is reduced greatly. This
reduction is achieved through the use of either of two
main stances, and by "locking" the muscles and bones of
the arms which is accomplished by slightly canting the gun

The canting movement, though slight, greatly enhances
stability by changing the alignment and relationship of
the muscles and bones in the gun hand arm.

That locking action happens naturally and automatically
when we fully extended our arms. At full extension, the
wrists and lower arms automatically rotate slightly inward.

If the wrists are purposely rotated upward, as with the
isosceles and weaver, the arms lose the natural stability
and control that results from the canting movement. Also,
when the arms are held out straight, they form long levers
with the shoulder joints being their fulcrum points. As
such, they can be pushed up easily by the upward action of
recoil forces, and take the gun off target.

With the use of either the High or Extended C.A.R.
positions, the length of the "arm bars" are reduced by
half. Also, stability is improved when the arms are held
closer to the body. And when the gun hand wrist is canted
some, the bones and muscles in that arm will be naturally
and effectively locked and stabilized.

The result will be a great reduction in recoil effects,
and a reduction in target reacquisition time.

Also, as the gun is brought up to the Extended position,
the gun hand elbow will automatically and mechanically
swing out and up, which will further enhance control and


Reloading, and malfunction clearances should be done close
to the body with short movements for enhanced speed,
control, and stability.

Combat Reload Steps - The Combat Reload is usual made when
the gun is empty.

- Using the thumb and index finger, withdraw a magazine
with the bullet heads facing the front.
- The index finger should be along the side of magazine
with its tip at the top end of the magazine.
- Use the index finger to guide the magazine to the gun
- Lower the gun hand elbow (not the gun), to rotate the
grip bottom towards the other hand.
- When the charged magazine is ready for insertion, operate
the magazine release and flick the wrist out and back if
needed to eject the empty magazine.
- Use the index finger to guide the charged magazine into
the hole in the grip, and press it home with the palm of
the hand.

Tactical Reload Steps - It is usual made when gun is not

- Withdraw a charged magazine and hold it between the index
and middle fingers like a cigarette.
- As that hand nears the gun, drop the gun hand elbow.
- As the hand with the charged magazine reaches the gun,
activate the magazine release.
- Withdraw the partially used magazine with the thumb and
index finger.
- Insert the charged magazine and press it home in one
flowing movement.
- The partially charged (old), magazine which be top heavy
from the remaining bullets at its top, will fall sideways
into the palm of the hand.
- Secure it.

As with most things, practice will improve performance and
allow the Operator to minimize off target time.

The C.A.R. System Learning Curve:

The C.A.R. system learning curve is very short. There is
immediate improvement in weapon retention, a great
reduction in recoil, and Operators find that they can make
multiple COM hits on targets while on the move and shooting
very rapidly.

In a recent session for 30 FBI Violent Crimes task force
Agents and Officers, 4 rounds of 00 from a shotgun were
placed onto 2 targets set 10 feet apart in under 1 second.

In January 2002, in a basic class in King County, WA, every
student put four rounds on center of target in under 1 sec.
Many put five rounds on target in under one-second using
standard Glock 40 pistols.

Q. Why is there a need for this or systems similar to it
at this time?

A. Police casualty rates have not gone down in ten years.
A. Over 90% of handgun confrontations occur under 7 yards.
A. CQB shooting accuracy is under 20%.

In short, tradition shooting methods which utilize the
weaver or the isosceles stances, are not getting the job

Here is what "GF" Fmr. SEAL 'Team 3 point/Sniper' said
about the system: "The C.A.R. system is the first training
system I have experienced that has truly been designed
around the idea the Operators must train for Gun Fights.
Unlike conventional systems that have evolved into training
Operators to address paper targets, from a static line

"Paul Castle has recognized what all true Operators know in
their heart's to be true. The systems we have been taught
(isosceles and weaver), are fairly effective in a range
environment, but, have been proven IN BLOOD to be wholly
ineffective in real gunfights."

Paul Castle, the developer of the C.A.R. system, has had a
distinguished career in Law Enforcement and training in
Europe and America. His resume is both impressive and
lengthy. More information on Paul, and the C.A.R. system
is available on his web site.

The C.A.R. system was developed over several years in
response to, and as a means of dealing positively with the
realities faced by Operators today.

The information presented here, is just a brief intro to
the basics of his system. The Course material is
extensive, thorough, and includes instruction and action
video tapes.

There are several core skill modules or components which
are in turn supported by 20 additional programs designed
for specialized areas, such as Counter Drug, Counter
Terrorism, Bio Hazard Environments, and Active - Shooter

What do you guys think?

- Janq
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well firing with the weapon against your chest like in video 2 seems weird. i understand the points they are making, and i understand that it is for close combat ONLY, but even within a distance of 7 meters, i think it would be easy to miss. you have no ability to "aim" in a conventional sense.

The stance in the third video looks like it could possibly add more stability. But it looks a little uncomfortable and unnatural. Saying this stance is better for CQB i think is subjective. However, saying its better against melee combatant is ridiculous. If someone is intending to either strip your weapon or just beat the living shit out of you, all they need to get a handle on is your wrist or your finger. That guy has a very large gap between his arms, you could get an arm in there, grab his wrist and strip the weapon fairly easily. Just as easily if he where holding his arms out in a “traditional” fashion. I can understand how the firing position from the second video would help against a melee attack, because your arms are against your torso. Thing is, you limited to shooting only perpendicular to the direction you are facing. If your target gets close enough to hold the gun against your chest you got nothin.

I dunno man. Ill probably have to go to the range and pop off a few shots looking like a freak before i can make any meaningful comments. But at first glance, it does not seem too effective. I don't know about you, but i can acquire my target, and unload an entire mag accurately between 0 and 20 yards without any difficulty. I have never though “man, i wish there was a more adequate stance for closer quarters shooting”.
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I said the same thing when I first saw that second video....

I'm impressed!! Don't get your tit caught in that thing!
Nose Nuggets,

I thought the same thing(s) regarding the stance and shooting manner et. al.
But I'm the kind of cat who'll try just about anything even if on the surface it sounds ridiculous, as long as there is low potential of injuring myself. Daddy gotta come home. :)
But anyway I went to the range to try this the first time and two things stand out.
1) The concussive & noise effect of firing is reidiculously higher when the gun is literally right next to and against your body. Shooting my 1911s I could just about feel every shot in my heart muscle. It's a weird/odd/disconcerting feeling.
2) It works....atleast it does for me with just 30 minutes of practice and ignoring other shooters in my lane looking at me like I'm stupid :p

There are lots of feedback from folks on the internets, LEOS and operators, who have gone through formal trainign with this and find the same as I report above.
I was hoping one of the LEOs on this board might be familiar with this or possibly a GI Joe too who might have gone through a spec weapins training under this system.

- Janq
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I looked into it a year or so ago and it looked like something you would really want formal training with- too many potentially bad mistakes you could make by getting the incorrect muscle memory going. But sadly, IIRC they only offer it to LEOs. Probably would work well though if you put the time in enough to practice it.
Yep...only LEO's get sanctioned training. :\

- Janq
Seriously, consider professional training in these techniques before trying them on your own. There are subtleties that you will not pick up on or learn properly from watching a video. Training is available to non-LE types.

That said, these videos were not designed to be instructive in nature. They are simply a guy shooting with some of the techniques of CAR.


Where have you found info toward training of C.A.R toward civilians?
I'd be interested in seeing what the fee is and location.

The guy in the videos is the inventor/developer of the system demonstrating the methods to LEO's in his seminars.
They are for demonstration purposes only not intended as training video.

I posted them so as to provide visual for folks who otherwise have never heard of this system.

- Janq
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The first three videos posted (and associated targets) are mine. The guy in the last video is Paul Castle, the creator of the system.

I will teach the techniques of CAR to (most) anyone, which is what you are looking to learn. There is a lot of LE/military specific information that I do not cover in 'civilian' classes.

Also, Paul started a branch of his company to handle civilian training - I.P.D.

Randy, thanks for the information. Also, welcome to Gunatics! :) I'd love to see this taught to non-LEO. Do you have a website or other place we can get info from?


My web site is at
I don't have a lot of information on there about CAR, but you are welcome to check it out.

Randy, I've been to your website and looked around a bit- am I correct in assuming that if we get a large enough class together, as well as training space, you or your staff would come up to teach?

That might be something to work toward for at least a few of us. What kind of numbers (in terms of class size) make a trip to New England worthwhile to you?

Let's discuss via email.

[email protected]

holy crap i might catch a plane out there for that.

keep us posted!
Now thats what I'm talkin' about.
Thanks Randy and no time right now but I'll check your website out in the AM.

Agreed with Jamz, if such a program were available in New England I'd be very interested in a CCW oriented course/seminar.

Thanks and welcome to the board!

- Janq
+1 for a New England CCW course
I just emailed Randy for specifics. I hear requests for a CCW course- I assume by this you mena not a basic NRA type course but something more advanced?

Personally I'd like to see CAR training and/or some kind of advanced hangun training. Smith and Wesson and Sig both have similar courses, but neither are exactly what I'd like to see- at least not at a decent price point.

No not a basic pistol course.
More something oriented toward the non-LEO and non-Mil/Operator civilian with tech & techniques real world applicable to those of us who walk the streets and our home hallways that would be useful to us for I really hate to use this tin hat term but SHTF type scenarios.

Not a class on weapons handling 101 or how to shoot 103.
For me personally that would be a huge waste of my time and I'd not be interested.
I just have interest in what I see to be a potentially useful never mind unique defensive firearm handling style. We don't need to know the offensive methods as to how this could be employed and as such leave that end to the training courses for Smokey the Bear and warfighters.

The class might even be limited to those who possess a current CCW or are/have been military as other schools will do toward weeding out the no offense itntended but straight up stone cold noobs.
I'm not Pat Garret nor Billy The Kid but I'm far from Opie if you get my drift.

I'm very curious about this system/method but at the same time I don't want to waste my time or dime nor anyone elses.
If it would be a 101/103 style class then fine okay I'll wait for a 200 level course to come online afterward or elsewhere.
I have already decided to do several of the S&W courses toward defensive carry since I'm there weekly as it is to train and I'd love to do the Bruce Gray course held at Sig in NH too.

- Janq
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