We recently sat down with Kyle Lamb of Viking Tactics to discuss the very recent digital release of his well-respected VTAC training videos over at Gun University…
As far as an “official” bio, via Sig Academy:
Sergeant Major (retired) Kyle Lamb spent over 21 years in the United States Army, with over 15 of that in 1st SFOD-D Delta Force. He has participated in many conflicts, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Iraq, as well as in the battle made famous by the movie Black Hawk Down in Mogadishu, Somalia. SGM Lamb has received numerous valorous awards and decorations. SGM Lamb is the Founder and President of Viking Tactics, a tactical training and tactical gear business.
Q: Kyle, can you give our readers an overview of how this video series came about?
Kyle Lamb: The Viking Tactics videos basically contain all of the information that had been bouncing around in my head. Now, I don’t want to say that I came up with all of the ideas, because I didn’t. Very few of the things I teach are something that “Kyle Lamb” invented. They are things that all of us as a community of AR users and gunfighters have invented, and what we do is we borrow that information from other people so that we can pass it on to our students. I will always try to give credit. If I know where it came from, I’m going to give credit to that person.
A good example of that is our barricades. I travel across the country now and I see VTAC barricades everywhere. I stole that from Bennie Cooley, who is a very good friend of mine. He had this great idea for this barricade. He made some but I didn’t think it was difficult enough. I made the ports smaller and at weird angles…very difficult to get through. People started calling it the “VTAC barricade.”
Kyle Lamb: But as to how the videos began…the way it first started is we were doing Viking Tactics videos that we were putting up on YouTube. We had no plan to sell DVDs or sell video stuff. Then about that time is when Magpul did their big video release, Art of the Tactical Carbine, and guys were like, “oh, you need to do a Viking Tactics DVD.” I said “I get along great with the guys at Magpul so we’re not trying to compete with them. We’re not competitors, we’re just both doing our own thing.”
“Warriors Across the Pond”
Kyle Lamb: But then we started getting a lot of calls from guys in Iraq and Afghanistan who wanted to watch our videos, but the structure of their internet access wouldn’t allow them to go on YouTube. About once a week we’d get a call from somebody who was in the same predicament. It was an Air Force CTT guy that called initially. He asked if we could send him a Viking Tactics DVD. So my wife took all the videos, burned them onto a disc, and sent them to him.
Well then, next thing it’s a Marine. Then it’s an Army dude, and on and on. Pretty soon we realized we had a great operation going here where we’re bootlegging our own videos to send out to these warriors across the pond. We thought, “why don’t we just burn some DVDs and see how they sell?”
So, we took the existing drills that we had on video, and we broke them down into a couple of different rifle drill DVDs, and we started selling those. They were selling really, really well and then we just kept adding to that.
Q: You also have a Viking Tactics Basic Carbine Fundamentals video out there…how did you decide to do that one?
Kyle Lamb: The Basic Fundamentals of the AR…that one was my wife’s doing. She said, “you’re teaching all these guys, but we get so many questions from folks just getting into the AR. You need to do a video for them.”
So, because of her, that’s why we did that video. She saw our customer’s needs because she deals with them every day as the CEO of VTAC, and I don’t because I’m out on the road all of the time. I hear about it, but she’s doing it everyday.
As to what’s in the Viking Tactics Basic Carbine Fundamentals video…It’s all basic stuff. “Advanced” is just taking the basics and perfecting them. That’s the way I look at it. So, we have drills in there. We look into how to set up the carbine. It’s all of that. Probably if you compared our basics to somebody else’s basics you might say that it’s advanced, but to me, I look at things a little bit differently.
Q: Viking Tactics Rifle Malfunctions…can you talk about why that necessitated an entire DVD, and perhaps dive into what you see as the most common AR malfunctions?
Kyle Lamb: The first answer is the AR, as a weapons system is very, very, very reliable. The second answer is the malfunction I see more than any other is failure to load correctly.
The second most prevalent malfunction is either a stovepipe or some type of failure to eject. Normally, we’ll get extraction but a lot of times we don’t get ejection because we’re laying in some sort of weird position or we’re up against some type of cover that causes that problem.
Then the next malfunction would be double feed, which is induced by your magazine. That happens because guys shoot their old mags they just wear them out.
The reason we did the video is because we see a lot of “interesting” ways to clear malfunctions. I’m not going to tell you that they don’t work. But what I’m telling you is if you want to be fast… there’s a difference between clearing a malfunction and clearing a malfunction under duress, having to reload the weapon and the get back into the fight.
Rip the magazine, the lock the bolt
Kyle Lamb: So, one of the things that Viking Tactics teaches is we rip the magazine out, and then we lock the bolt to the rear. This is versus locking the bolt to the rear and then ripping the magazine. Now, both will work, but one is faster than the other. A lot of guys look at that video and say, “oh, if you see the problem, you just fix the problem.”
Ok, of course. If you see the problem and you understand what it is, just fix the problem. But if you come up and it’s at night and you’re not sure what that problem is, and you pick up a rifle, or it’s your rifle, and your rifle doesn’t work, you do a tap-rack and then you go through that process. We try to streamline the process so every time you do it, if you do the same exact process, it’s going to work for all of those malfunctions…so that’s where that video comes from.
Q: So, can you talk a bit about the partnership with Ryan Cleckner and his Gun University website. We’ve interviewed Ryan a few times and are huge proponents of his book.
Kyle Lamb: The way it came about is Ryan is a friend of mine. We’ve worked on other projects with him. We met at a Charlie Daniels event. I found out that he was a former Army Ranger. Then his Long Range Shooting Handbook…I got a copy of that and read it, and yeah, it’s an awesome, awesome book.
He’s also just a whiz kid when it comes to putting stuff online. He’s really squared away at all that…so he started helping us as we tried to start streaming videos. Now, at first, we ran into a problem with PayPal. PayPal is anti-gun and they shut us down. They wouldn’t let us have a PayPal account because of us being “gun people,” so that was the end of that.
So, it was at that point where Ryan said, I’ve already got an infrastructure set up at my Gun University web page, which he had just gotten going. He said, “man I’d love to put your Viking Tactics videos up on there so guys can stream it, they can download it and have it right on their mobile device or whatever they have.”
It’s great too, because DVDs…I can’t even play the one’s we’re putting out as I don’t have a player on my computer. So, it’s great. And Ryan is great. He’s taken it and run with it and we’re already seeing some really good sales there, so I hope it continues.
The way I look at these videos today is, it was matter of us taking information that’s out there, putting it together in some usable form, which video is where everybody is at now. The books I have written on the AR, they still sell like crazy too, but I think more people are watching videos than reading books. And as a bonus, with these videos now able to be streamed, it’s possible to take them anywhere, including the range. So, in a way, you can have instruction with you right there when you need it, should you feel the need.
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