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Gun Talk
Are you a gun fanatic as well? If so, you'll want to talk to other owners about what you own in this forum.

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Old 05-15-2013, 02:36 AM   #1
Reedo302
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Offered a Free Rifle Class...

...in exchange for a review/AAR.

Basically, a cop buddy of mine (Dave) up in northern Minnesota (or as we call it here, "up nort") started his own training group/service several years ago. For the time being, I'm intentionally not identifying him or his company.
Up until this point, he's only booked other trainers, and done Minnesota permit to carry certification. To his credit, he's booked Trident Concepts/Jeff Gonzalez, and Yavapai/Louis Awerbuck several times, and he's working on a couple others in the future like Larry Vickers and such. And yes, he's on the same page with me that there will be no Rob fvckin' Pincus. He books good trainers.
It is also worth mentioning that Dave is a consultant with a major up-and-coming AR15 firearms manufacturer, and he does a majority of the R&D for this company. Said company is intentionally omitted.

So, as it goes, he really likes the AARs that I do. For those of you not aware, I tend to write very extensive and lengthy AARs (After Action Reviews) of training. Some might call them long-winded, others might call them thorough. For the record, it's probably both.
He and his training partner, another cop buddy named Mike, are looking at hosting their own courses. They asked me and another cop buddy of ours who writes for SWAT Magazine to come up and review the class and give them honest feedback. Apparently, they have held this course before, but did not feel like the feedback they got was adequate or reliable. The commercial/open courses have been populated by people that apparently were short on experience and knowledge, and long on ballistic masturbation desire (they just wanted to shoot bullets). As a result, they reserved two slots in the course this summer for me and our other buddy to come up, with free tuition.
I've chatted with Dave in the past about this, and I know that if this pans out, I may wind up joining him as an adjunct instructor. Once I get a heavy 7.62 AR, we have talked about developing an LE heavy carbine/DMR training program together.


Here's the description of the course:

Quote:
Instinctive Practical Carbine - Level 1

800 Rounds of Rifle Ammunition, 100 Rounds for Handgun


This is a comprehensive 16 hour course that is designed to establish a strong, efficient fundamental skill set when using a carbine. Whether for Law Enforcement, Personal Defense, Competition, or Target Shooting the foundation of effective accuracy is a solid understanding and delivery of the core fundamentals. The course will cover safe and proper carbine handling, ballistics, gear/carbine maintenance and prep, fundamentals of marksmanship, carbine manipulation and more. Numerous shooting drills and exercises will build skills and understanding in these areas and advance accuracy and progress.


The training format is optimized to build a solid platform of the fundamentals of marksmanship and begin to compress them in to instinctive delivery of accurate rounds on target. The classroom begins with a very brief review of the basic course, then advances to detailed lecture of the platform, ballistics, gear, and application of the information.


There are no required pre-requisites, however the student must have a basic knowledge of the platform and understand how to handle their carbine safely. The student needs to have a proven reliable carbine, this is not the course to take if your rifle is right out of the box and you have never fired it. Ideally the carbine should already have a known zero. We recommend taking our Basic AR15 User Course as a preparation if you are new the AR15 platform.


Course covers:

-Safe handling of a firearm and the rules of firearms safety
-Carbine Prep and Maintenance
-First and second line gear
-Carbine and gear configuration
-Ballistics and practical application in tactical/practical environments
-Fundamentals of Marksmanship
-Numerous practical shooting drills to develop fundamentals
-Drills to build and reinforce loading, operation, and effective accurate delivery of rounds
-Ammunition management, and loading techniques and types
-Compression of fundamentals to build speed
-Malfunctions and clearing techniques
-Optic malfunctions and use of back up sights
-Movement, shooting on the move
-Shooting moving and reactionary targets
-Cover and Concealment
-Handgun transition, weapon selection
-Several other topics and drills related to the AR15 platform


Course Equipment Requirements:

-AR15 style rifle in safe working order with optical sight and back up sights and tactical sling. Iron Sights alone are permitted as well (loaners are available for students that do not own a rifle)
-Pistol from reputable manufacturer in good, safe working order with a minimum of 3 quality, working magazines, more for single stack platforms
-Minimum of 6 Magazines, extra magazines are highly recommended
-First Line Gear: Sturdy Belt designed and capable of supporting pistol, magazines, gear, etc. Quality holster for pistol with solid retention, no cheap nylon or generic fit holsters permitted. Magazine Pouches/Carriers for pistol and Rifle, Dump Pouch highly recommended, Multi-Tool recommended.
-Second Line Gear: Sturdy quality Chest Rig or Vest capable of supporting gear. Quality magazine pouches/carriers for chest rig that can hold magazines securely.

*For range drills it is recommended that between first and second line gear student can carry 6 rifle magazines and 2-3 pistol magazines.

-Eye and Ear Protection
-Adequate clothing and footwear for weather
-Baseball style cap highly recommended
-800 rounds of quality factory ammunition that runs in your rifle
(If using a loaner contact staff prior to make ammunition arrangements)
-100 Rounds of quality factory ammunition that runs in your pistol
-Personal items such as sunscreen, bug repellant, favorite snacks, etc.

Upon registering for course additional information will be sent to students

So, here I am looking at a rifle training course with Dave and Mike, the two trainers. They're both solid shooters, and I've shot with them before. Our training mindsets are pretty similar. However, Dave is a nationally ranked 3-Gun shooter, so he's got some competition methodology incorporated into his head. I suspect that this will carry over into his training to some extent. Now, while I respect the skill that is needed for competition, I tend to believe there is a large difference between tactical and competition mindset. There is a distinct possibility that I may have some differences of opinion, but I'm also trying to remain open-minded to prevent any bias from developing before-hand.
I will try to go in with a clear mind and blank slate to just absorb what I can. However, there is the possibility that I may need to give a lot of criticism to him, and he's a friend, so it's skirting a fine line.
So...what kind of things do you guys as everyday shooters want out of a 2-day beginner level rifle training course? What do you expect to get out of it? I'm hoping to use a "noob" perspective in addition to my professional perspective. Any input is appreciated.
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Last edited by Reedo302; 05-15-2013 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:01 AM   #2
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Re: Offered a Free Rifle Class...

Im not sure if my input will help and also what is the difference between basic ar15 course and level 1. I'm still a noob and have yet to take a carbine training class unfortunately. Things i would be looking forward to in my first class/level 1 course.

1.gear selection consult/help, or maybe even when i signed up a written list of recommendations. I know everybody is different but there is so much information on it and i still am not sure what belt, holsters, pouches and slings. Ideally for my first class i would like to buy the minimum and then after running a 2 day class i can see what works for me. If the instructors had a few different set ups they looked and the students could borrow that would be awesome, but i know its not cheap either.

2. Fundamentals, examine my grip/stance/trigger pull

3.malfunction training/clearing under stress.

4.proper zeroing technique/tips

5. Instructors that are down to earth and good ppl, and are accommodating to people like me that would have a lot of questions and have no experience I'm mil/leo/training but want to learn.



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Old 05-15-2013, 07:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
However, Dave is a nationally ranked 3-Gun shooter, so he's got some competition methodology incorporated into his head. I suspect that this will carry over into his training to some extent. Now, while I respect the skill that is needed for competition, I tend to believe there is a large difference between tactical and competition mindset.
I agree completely. If he can make a clear distinction between his competition shooting and the basics of an AR class, he will be okay. If not, I would suggest having him cover the portions of the class that are not influenced by his style of shooting.

Quote:
So...what kind of things do you guys as everyday shooters want out of a 2-day beginner level rifle training course? What do you expect to get out of it? I'm hoping to use a "noob" perspective in addition to my professional perspective. Any input is appreciated.
I think the course outline looks good for most shooters that only have static range time. I definitly think that most shooters in this class will have had very little experience other than bench distance shooting or standing shooting at shorter distances.

This is really non-shooting related, but I feel is just as important as anything else and I wish that someone would have told me. Some form of pain reliever. I would guess that most people, prior to their first class, have never spent eight hours out on a range shooting. It really beats up your body.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Adam@Euro-Spec View Post
Gear selection consult/help, or maybe even when i signed up a written list of recommendations. I know everybody is different but there is so much information on it and i still am not sure what belt, holsters, pouches and slings. Ideally for my first class i would like to buy the minimum and then after running a 2 day class i can see what works for me. If the instructors had a few different set ups they looked and the students could borrow that would be awesome, but i know its not cheap either.
This is a great point. I did a lot of research on my gear prior to my first class, but even then I found myself changing it. I'm still not 100% sold on my current set up though.

Adam - I definitely suggest going as minimal as possible for the first class and build from there. By minimal, I mean if they say you need mag pouches, then only get some decent mag pouches (decent pouches can be added to any other rig that you buy). Don't go out and dump money into a war belt or chest rig and a bunch of mag pouches and other gear. Wear your supportive gun belt and buy two rifle mag pouches and two pistol mag pouches. Stuff a few mags in the pockets of your pants if needed. In the basic classes, you are not going to need all of that gear. I wish that the outlines of basic classes would stress that.

I've been thinking about dumping my Brokos Belt because realistically, I'm never going to need it outside of a class. I bought it because I didn't know any better when I started. My last pistol class I wore shorts and had one pistol mag pouch. I stuff the other mags in my pockets, because that's what I would have if I was out and about.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Adam@Euro-Spec View Post
Also what is the difference between basic ar15 course and level 1.
A basic class is usally just one day and covers the basics of operation and shooting.
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=106274

Applied, level 1, etc is typically a two day class. The second day will delve into shooting on the move, transitions, etc.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...&highlight=aar
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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I'll try and come up with constructive feedback later tonight. That is, if my brain returns to a normal non-exam destroyed state...
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serbonze View Post
This is really non-shooting related, but I feel is just as important as anything else and I wish that someone would have told me. Some form of pain reliever. I would guess that most people, prior to their first class, have never spent eight hours out on a range shooting. It really beats up your body.
If you're not used to extended range sessions, Vitamin I is your friend for sure!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam@Euro-Spec View Post

1.gear selection consult/help, or maybe even when i signed up a written list of recommendations. I know everybody is different but there is so much information on it and i still am not sure what belt, holsters, pouches and slings. Ideally for my first class i would like to buy the minimum and then after running a 2 day class i can see what works for me. If the instructors had a few different set ups they looked and the students could borrow that would be awesome, but i know its not cheap either.
In respect to this, I can answer this portion right now. Buy the best gear you can afford. This doesn't mean becoming a mall ninja or internet commando. What it means is that if you are looking at chest rigs and you have a choice between a less expensive CheaperThanDirt $35 chest and a $185 Mayflower R&C UW GenIV chest rig, get the Mayflower. Cheap gear breaks, tears, fails, is uncomfortable, or just outright sucks and doesn't work well. I've seen people with crap gear on the line, and they spend a lot of time fighting their gear.
Then nice thing is that with quality gear, if you ultimately don't like it, you can sell it very quickly and recoup most of your costs.

If you want a basic minimalist chest rig that works great, is durable and of good quality, is very lightweight, and won't cost an arm and a leg, look at the Blue Force Gear Ten-Speed Chest Rig. Cost is $90, uber lightweight, and you can add stuff to it when you want to. BFG is a great company and I have several Ten-Speed pouches that are superb.
http://www.skdtac.com/Blue-Force-Gea...-p/bfg.510.htm


A lot of people go out and buy plate carriers and armor carriers to hold everything, when a chest rig is all they really need.
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Last edited by Reedo302; 05-15-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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Somewhat relevant. LAV posted this on his Facebook page today:

Quote:
This info is intended for students attending a Vickers Tactical class or for students contemplating attending a class - it covers a variety of class subjects and will get you into the correct frame of mind before you come to the range.

1) Safety; a class environment is completely different than shooting at a public range and dramatically different than going shooting with a few buddies at a private range - you need to be very switched on and heads up at all times and muzzle awareness becomes extremely important. Handling weapons at the loading bench or behind the firing line is a no go in a class of 10-20 people. Even something as simple as bending down to pick up an empty magazine in a carbine class can cause you to sweep people with your muzzle. In addition the next item on my list can make a huge difference on not only safety but how much you get out of the class;

2) Relax; Take a deep breath and relax - a class is meant to be a fun and enjoyable learning experience with like minded people. It can be a bit stressful at first for someone new to the process but just forcing yourself to calm down and take things slow will do wonders. Often times when students are having a hard time following instructions it is simply because they are stressed out. If you find yourself getting that way just take a deep breath and relax, clear your mind, and then get back into the task at hand with a fresh frame of mind.

3) Equipment; review the equipment list and bring the correct and appropriate equipment for the class. This is critical - if you have questions please email me or the class host. This is not our first rodeo and we will be able to get you squared away. Showing up with the wrong equipment can really hamper your learning experience and is some cases force you to leave early because the class cannot be completed. Simple things like having a suitable belt for a pistol class can be the difference between enjoying the class or suffering thru it.

4) Holsters; a proper holster is critical for a pistol class. Soft nylon holsters like are commonly sold at sporting goods stores are not suitable. I have banned for almost two years now Serpa style (trigger finger paddle release) holsters from my classes - several other instructors and training facilities have done the same. The ONLY exception is for Police officers who are issued it for duty use. I understand many shooters use Serpa holsters on a regular basis with no issues whatsoever. However an open enrollment class environment has its own set of challenges (refer to items 1 & 2) and a trigger finger paddle release holster is asking for trouble. In addition Inside the Waistband (IWB) or appendix carry holsters are NOT suitable for beginner level classes. A shooter needs to develop safe handling and holstering procedures before a more challenging holster is brought into the mix. Once a shooter is competent then he can begin mastering IWB or appendix carry.

5) Electronic hearing protection; Students pay a lot of money to attend a class in order to receive instruction . It makes no sense to use hearing protection designed to eliminate as much sound as possible ( gunfire or range commands from the instructor you paid money to listen too) in a class. Attending the class without electronic ear protection is brain dead; it means you won't be able to follow certain commands or absorb key training points and you are safety hazard to the rest of the class because your not on the same page of music as they are. If your not sure what to buy purchase something inexpensive to get you thru the class then ask during the class what the recommended brands and models are. Another point I like to make is if you use a smartphone then you have no excuse to not have electronic hearing protection - period.

6) Pistols; Double action and compact pistols are too be avoided unless they are a) a duty issued handgun or b) you are a highly skilled shooter wanting to enhance your skillset with a carry gun. For the average shooter both of these types are dramatically more difficult to shoot well and are not suitable for learning the fundamentals with. A much smarter approach is to bring a Glock 17 or Glock 19 to the class, learn the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship, and then begin the process of mastering your CCW handgun. I see this fatal error made with female shooters all the time where the boyfriend or husband helped them pick a small handgun to carry concealed then brings them to a handgun class where they are expected to learn to shoot a pistol that would severely challenge all but the very best handgun shooters. It ends the same way every time ; extreme frustration on the part of the female shooter.

7) Ammo; bring quality ammo that is suitable for the class. Poor quality reloads or 45 ACP + P ammo for use in a compact pistol in a basic pistol class is a recipe for frustration and a waste of time and money. Frankly from an instructors perspective it is virtually impossible to give shooters proper feedback when the pistol doesn't function properly due to poor quality ammo or the shooter is attempting to control recoil that would challenge even expert shooters. Once again this is brain dead and makes me and other students wonder exactly what planet the student is living on.

8) Lube; Some things change, other things remain the same; lack or proper lubrication is still the number one issue I see in every class regardless if I am training Mil, LE, or civilian. Many students have functioning issues with firearms in the class that would simply be fixed with proper lubrication and in some cases proper cleaning. I am puzzled as to why shooters would think that is ok to use their firearm with no lube but yet wouldn't think of driving their car without lube in the engine and transmission. A good rule of thumb is lube the weapon before class and after lunch. Cleaning generally not necessary until the class is over and can be performed at home. At any time in any class feel free to ask me about how and where to lube your weapon as well as my recommended lubricants. I'm more than happy to help you out.

9) Training philosophy ; I am an accuracy oriented instructor who feels you should get something out of every round you fire. My approach is very simple ; no one is going to have to tell you to shoot faster in a gunfight and accurate hits on target are the only guaranteed way to end the fight in your favor. Therefore I believe in learning to shoot accurately first, then develop your speed. Because of this I have a rule of thumb ; at 3 pm or 300 rounds, whichever comes first, the students are mentally exhausted. At that point students have become fatigued from the emphasis on accuracy - noticeably so. Normally in a class I will push them a bit longer until about 4 pm or so with a total of about 350 to 400 rounds expended. This however is entirely dependent on how the class is doing at that given time and if performance has degraded dramatically or I feel safety has become an issue because of fatigue I may cut the class shortly after 3 pm or 300 rds. I always base my instruction and what the students need based on where the students are at that given time. My line is I give you what you need, not necessarily what you want. I'm uniquely qualified to evaluate this and have many years of successfully training military, LE, and civilians to become competent shooters. Unlike others relatively new to open enrollment classes I don't use hype to market myself and claim to know more than anyone else about training. In addition I don't tailor my classes so that someone who has deployed overseas can evaluate my classes and determine if what I am teaching or the round count meets their approval. If you fit in these categories do both of us a favor and skip attending my class. When you show up it is good advice to leave your attitude, and your ego, at home and get your head straight to learn.

I hope this helps clarify and guide potential students in deciding if a class with me make sense. Be safe and I hope to see at the range.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #9
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Re: Offered a Free Rifle Class...

I more meant chest rig vs battle belt type thing. Not whether to buy a $50 vs $200...i have no problem spending $150-200+ on a battle belt or chest rig set up. But i would rather not spend $200 on a chest rig then realize i would have been better spending $200 on a battle belt.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Reedo302 View Post

In respect to this, I can answer this portion right now. Buy the best gear you can afford. This doesn't mean becoming a mall ninja or internet commando. What it means is that if you are looking at chest rigs and you have a choice between a less expensive CheaperThanDirt $35 chest and a $185 Mayflower R&C UW GenIV chest rig, get the Mayflower. Cheap gear breaks, tears, fails, is uncomfortable, or just outright sucks and doesn't work well. I've seen people with crap gear on the line, and they spend a lot of time fighting their gear.
Then nice thing is that with quality gear, if you ultimately don't like it, you can sell it very quickly and recoup most of your costs.

If you want a basic minimalist chest rig that works great, is durable and of good quality, is very lightweight, and won't cost an arm and a leg, look at the Blue Force Gear Ten-Speed Chest Rig. Cost is $90, uber lightweight, and you can add stuff to it when you want to. BFG is a great company and I have several Ten-Speed pouches that are superb.
http://www.skdtac.com/Blue-Force-Gea...-p/bfg.510.htm


A lot of people go out and buy plate carriers and armor carriers to hold everything, when a chest rig is all they really need.


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Old 05-15-2013, 09:45 PM   #10
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Oh, gotcha.
It's a subjective issue. Running a battle belt tends to work fine for pistol, or pistol with a couple rifle mags. I tend to think that for a full rifle course where you generally need to have 4-6 mags on you, it gets overloaded. What a lot of people wind up doing is either testing out one that a friend owns, or just biting the bullet and buying one. For me, a battle belt closely replicates the feel of a duty belt, and my battle belt is set up almost exactly like my own duty belt.

At the courses I go to, probably 95% of people are running chest rigs if that gives you any hint. It's worth a shot to try both, but there is a financial burdeon with that since the battle belt tends to be a larger investment. What I have found also is that battle belts are generally preferred by people who have back pain/issues, or when wearing heavy clothing during inclement weather.
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