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Found 35 results

  1. I've recently been watching Make Ready with Travis Haley - a training DVD. There were some useful tips and tricks in the DVD and some interesting drills. I tried his Finger, Eyes, Feel Drill today at RTSP. The purpose is to be able to hit 5 x 1inch circles at 3,4,5,6 and 7 feet distance. I thought 3 foot would be easy but it quickly highlighted some inconsistent trigger control. Of the 75 circles (3 sheets of paper with 5 rows of 5 circles) my best result was 4 out of 5 circles being hit with 5 shots. My current goal is to be consistent at hitting a full sheet (25 circles) with 25 shots at 3 feet. You can download the targets from his website, and he includes some others as well. I've attached a screen capture of the target I was using. Definitely recommended as a good training exercise. I'll be trying this again. Looks easy - it wasn't! TheWombat
  2. Last Sunday I attended a Gun For Hire Simunition Survival Day, the course description is: "Push yourself to your limits with Gun For Hire's Simunition survival day. The Simunition survival day is 8 hours of non-stop force-on-force training using the Simunition FX marking cartridge. The students will be put into several scenarios that will push themselves to their limits. The scenarios will range from active shooter scenarios to street robberies to car jackings. As a bonus each student can think of one real world scenario they would like to put themselves in and push themselves to the ultimate breaking point. This class is not for the novice or beginner. All students must be graduates of the Gun For Hire Level 1 Simunition course to attend this class. This class will be conducted at a 42,000 square foot heated office building making the scenario possibilities endless. " The course description is a good reflection of the day and for those who have already taken the FonF Active Shooter then think of this as "Active Shooter on steroids". There were 9 students, 4 instructors. The day started with a brief recap of safety and techniques before moving into the scenarios. In all I believe we played out around 8-10 different individual scenarios including an office active shooter, bank robbery, grocery store hold up, leaving a cinema, domestic dispute and car jackings to name some. For each scenario run-through the students would play one of 3 roles.. an innocent unarmed civilian, the armed civilian, or one or more of the agitators with the scenarios being played out one time for each student as the armed civilian, so there is no real sitting around waiting for your turn and in total well over 60+ run-throughs were covered during the day. The scenarios and structure work well, giving the opportunity to see how others tackle similar situations (albeit Jo/Chuck/Mac made changes within each scenario so every student had different situations to deal with). We had some amusing moments with the highlight being a Miami Vice style roll across the floor to reach cover. It also helps show the positive/negative implications of how you carry with a student racking the slide of an already loaded Simunitions firearm as they drew from their holster as the student typically carried with the chamber empty. Overall an excellent day, it continues to reinforce the challenges facing a legally armed civilian, questions such as: How can you spot a potentially escalating situation How can you keep aware of what is happening around you in an escalating situation How can you defuse a potential escalating situation without using your firearm When do you decide to draw your firearm When do you decide to shoot Who do you decide to shoot (particularly if there could be multiple agitators) When other civilians are around how do you ensure you are not perceived as a(nother) aggressor The risks to an armed civilian when unarmed civilians are panicking around them What happens when the Police arrive etc I wore my heart rate monitor to gauge how my pulse reacted in one of the scenarios. My normal resting heart rate is 64 bpm, while awaiting outside the room for a scenario to start my heart rate increased to between 110-130 bpm and during a scenario my heart rate peaked at 164 bpm. That in itself was interesting as it matches a hard cardio workout at the gym. So far the best Simunitions training day by far and my thanks to Joe, Chuck, Mac and Pilar (and the other students). TheWombat
  3. I attended the Gun For Hire Low Light level 2 class. It's a 3-4 hour class held at the GFH Academy location which is a 25 yard x 25 yard indoor range without formal lanes to prevent moving and shooting. For those that have undertaken the Urban Pistol classes then Low Light level 2 can be summarized as similar to Urban Pistol 2, but with the lights switched off... yes complete pitch black other than the little flashlight (except for Irish Pete) or weapon mounted light you may have. For those that haven't taken Urban Pistol then there is a lot of 'shooting and moving', use of barricades etc, all in the dark. There were 5 students in the class, so it is a little smaller than the standard GFH classes since there is more solo or 'by twos' work due to ensuring safety at all times and needing to move within the full 25 yds x 25 yds space. We started with a quick refresh of draw, shoot, step, holster using either flashlight or weapon mounted light for illumination. I was the only student with both a weapon mounted light and a matching holster, which gave a big advantage. I used the Walther PPQ and the Viridian C5L, and shot 281 rounds during the session. The remaining students had to utilize their flashlights and shoot one handed or semi-supported. The SureFire Fury 500 lumen flashlight that I had with me was superb. Very very bright! Following the quick refresh we moved on to a series of ever more complex and dynamic moving and shooting scenarios, barricades etc including shoot/don't shoot target identification with turning targets. If you've never tried reloading and clearing malfunctions while moving and shooting in the dark then it definitely adds an additional level of complexity. Some definite takeaways for me though: It's been a month since I was last shooting the PPQ and the only shooting I've undertaken in between has been with other firearms. This meant that with the added challenge of the darkness I was not as smooth with the PPQ load/reload/drop mag as I should have been. This showed me some of the challenges of switching between different weapons platforms and not continuing to practice in between. I had 5 failures (double feeds/stove pipes) today with the PPQ while shooting one handed with a flashlight being held in my mouth to simulate one arm being injured (the only time I wasn't using the weapon mounted light). These were all due to limp wristing (i.e. user error). It is clear I need to practice yet more on the one handed shooting. On the positive side I managed to clear each one without too much trouble. In one scenario I used the laser and light, rather than just the light. It was my first real time using the laser and while it can make it easier to hit the target, it also acts as a distraction from not using the sights. Overall a good course, Joe & Chuck were the instructors and kept up the friendly banter and ensured we all were safe throughout. Verdict: Recommended! TheWombat
  4. While there are different views by Forum Members regarding training, whether it should be mandated, the value of it etc I thought I'd post some suggestions for new shooters based on my thoughts and experiences to date with regards training. Just for clarity, while I have covered it in other posts, my personal view is that while the right to bear arms is a 2A right, with that right comes personal responsibility. Whether you plan to just shoot at a range, use a firearm for home defense, or conceal carry then I personally believe some level of training should be necessary. I'd also say the level of training increases as you move from "shooting at a range" to "home defense" to "conceal carry". The purpose of this thread however is not to cover whether training should be mandatory/recommended/voluntary - however it is only right that I am transparent about this personal view. Everything below is purely my personal view including how I have categorized between Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Beginner If you haven't bought a firearm yet, or have just bought one then I'd recommend taking the NRA Basic Pistol. It is also a useful way to spend the time while you wait for your Firearms Purchaser ID card to be processed! This is a full day theory & practical shooting class with a simple multiple choice test. This class provides a good overview of: Basic firearm safety Safe firearm storage Introduction to pistol mechanics (i.e. the different types of firearms [revolver & semi-automatic], the parts of a firearm, the types of pistol action [double action, single action etc] Revolver parts and operation Semi-automatic pistol parts and operation Operating double and single action revolvers Operating double and single action semi-automatic pistols Ammunition fundamentals Building pistol shooting skills Fundamentals of pistol shooting (eye dominance, grip, aiming, breath control, trigger control) Fundamentals of pistol shooting positions (e.g. weaver, isosceles etc) Common pistol shooting errors Clearing common stoppages Pistol maintenance & cleaning Considerations on selection pistols, ammunition and accessories Overview of key local firearm legislation You'll receive the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting book, a certificate and the results of your live fire. The actual pistols and revolvers that you use will vary depending on where you take the class however typically you'll be able to try a variety of manufacturer and models. If there is a specific model you want to try then I'd recommend calling the training provider ahead of time to see if they have it, or if they can provide it. Typical cost varies between $150 to $200 per student. The certificate you gain can be used as firearms proficiency proof for your Florida CCW permit that is valid in 30+ states. There are a number of providers who cover this course so you should be able to find one near you. Try to do a little research to find feedback on others who have undertaken the class and see what range they use for the live fire. I personally had a less than positive experience as the trainer used a very claustrophobic shooting range. If there is a range you are thinking of joining then see if they provide the NRA Basic Pistol as this is a good way to find out what the range is like. Following the NRA Basic Pistol, assuming that common sense and the basic fundamentals are applied, you are good to go to a range and shoot safely and gain more experience! Welcome to the world of firearms! There is no specific set of criteria required to move from Beginner to Intermediate. If you feel comfortable with being able to use your firearm in a safe way then talk to the training providers and see what they recommend in terms of being ready to move onwards. Intermediate Level The Intermediate level is typically for someone who may have been shooting for a few months to a few years, and is looking at getting more proficient with how to use a firearm in scenarios which are more than just shooting paper while standing still at a range. Typical topics covered could include: Greater proficiency with use of a holster Greater proficiency with use of a reloading your firearm (e.g. tactical reloads, one handed reloads etc) Moving while shooting Pieing out a room/corridor/stairs with a firearm Shooting around cover Cover v Concealment Low Light/No Light shooting (using a flashlight and/or weapon mounted light) Improved techniques based on instructor feedback Defensive shooting techniques Point Shooting Clearing malfunctions & jams One handed shooting (weak & strong hand) Shoot/Don't Shoot scenarios & training These classes may also include noise and other environmental stimulus to increase stress levels to help you gain some understanding on how you might react in a real situation and also whether you need to make any adjustments to your equipment, technique etc. Examples of courses covering this would be Urban Pistol 1 & 2, or Intermediate Pistol or similar names. You'll gain a much greater awareness of techniques/tactics for moving through houses and other environments and how to maximize the environment to your advantage such as how best to use cover etc. Once again there is no specific criteria for moving from Intermediate to Advanced, and some people may take some Advanced training prior to Intermediate etc. It really depends on your comfort level and your priorities. Advanced The Advanced Shooter is someone who has a level of understanding of techniques such as pieing, use of cover, one handed/two handed shooting, and is looking to get training that provides as realistic as possible scenarios while still within a safe training environment. Topics covered would build upon the Intermediate topics taking them up a notch in terms of more advanced tactics, working in pairs (e.g. with your partner) or small groups. In addition this is where I believe training such as Simunitions and FATS comes in. Simunitions uses real firearms e.g. Glock 17, 1911, revolver which have been modified to fire a 9mm or other caliber projectile that is filled with a detergent-based, water-soluble colored marking compound. The firearms have recoil, eject brass and are very realistic. The projectiles also leave a nice bruise/mark. In some ways it is similar to paintball except the projectiles are much more similar to real rounds. Think of it as the standard pistol cartridge, which instead of having a lead bullet on the end has a small color marking compound. The idea is to take the techniques/tactics you've learnt from the prior training and see how well you've embedded them when you have one or more people firing at you. Scenarios can include innocent civilians as well as the 'bad people' which provides quick decision making on whether to shoot/don't shoot. People who have a lot of experience at airsoft or paintball may be better prepared for Simunitions training force-on-force however it is still a great training aid. I personally recommend trying Simunitions for anyone who is serious about being prepared for a home defense or personal defense (e.g. CCW) situation. It provides a significant amount of self-awareness and learning that cannot be gained by standing at a range and shooting 1 inch groups on paper targets at 7. 10, 15, 25 yards etc. Competition Shooting There are various options here such as IDPA, Steel, IPSC. While I have not started competing (yet) many on the forum compete. The benefit of these competitions includes gaining experience/familiarity with moving, using cover, trigger control, overall familiarity with firearms, dealing with malfunctions, reloading etc. The fact that it is a timed competition typically increases the perceived pressure and helps as part of the training regime. I'll leave others to comment more on this, however it is also a fun and social way to stay with the hobby. Training Providers There are a few options to consider when selecting a training provider. The cost, the feedback from other students, the experience of the instructors (are they LEO, SWAT, Military, Special Forces etc who have seen real 'action'), safety record, location/travel implications, training/range facilities, student to instructor ratio etc. Many training providers will have classes of increasing 'difficulty' e.g. Intermediate Pistol 1, 2, 3. In order to attend the higher numbered ones you typically need to have attended the previous ones. This could be seen as a way to gain extra revenue but also helps ensure that the students have met a basic minimum level for each class. This helps as you probably don't want to be in a class covering more advanced techniques to then find one of the students has never drawn from a holster and hence slows the class down or poses a safety concern. You may also be able to obtain a discount by booking multiple classes in one go. I personally would split the training into a couple of categories: Local Trainers which includes: Gun For Hire ShootNJ Green Academy of Personal Protection MDTS training etc [*]Multi day training specialists which includes Trident Concepts EAG Tactical US Training Center ITTS (Burbank CA) Larry Vickers Viking Tactics Blackwater/Academi training etc The above list is far from complete, and there are plenty of other good training providers. Use Google and also ask on forums and you'll quickly find many recommendations. Alternative & Additional Training approaches YouTube can be useful (depending on what you are watching) for some basic techniques. I personally found the Ruger Beginner Shooting Tips useful when I was just starting out. While these are on YouTube you can also watch them here: http://www.ruger.com...ces/videos.html along with other videos. Books can be great if you are someone who can learn this way. There are many good authors and books including: Perfect Practice - Saul Kirsch Practical Shooting Beyond Fundamentals - Brian Enos Practical Shooting Manual - Matt Burkett Refinement & Repetition - Steve Anderson Principles of Performance - Steve Anderson In the Gravest Extreme - Massad Ayoob etc There are many more good books out there, look on the forums and on Amazon etc and you'll find plenty of options to choose from with feedback reviews from many people to help in selecting. DVDs/TV Shows are also another good option, depending on what Cable/Satellite provider you have you may already have access to these. Airsoft can also be a useful training tool. Most modern semi-automatics have very realistic Airsoft equivalents available that you can use in your home to practice trigger control, drawing and other techniques. It provides a complement to dry-firing which some may find monotonous. It can also be a way to introduce firearms to your children, partner, family and/or friends. Good Airsoft replica pistols typically cost between $100 to $160 and ammunition is cheap enough to be almost free. The Airsoft pistol can use your standard holster, laser/lights etc. In closing I hope this thread provides some useful insight as others add their own experiences. I have posted specific training reviews of many of the courses I have attended and you can also see them listed in my signature. Out of all the training I have been on the Simunitions is the one I rate the highest in terms of real eye-opening experience gained. In addition the Urban Pistol 1/2 provided the opportunity to learn some good techniques/tactics that can't be easily taught at a standard shooting range and provided the basis for moving onto Simunitions. The recent Low Light/No Light course I attended was the first opportunity I've had to try the darker environment and that presents some interesting challenges/experiences as well. You'll see the majority of my training is with Gun For Hire, that is due to their training facilities being less than a 20 minute journey for me, due to the general high quality of the instructors and also the facilities of the Essex County Police Academy range they use and the Simunitions office building. Please feel free to join in the thread and add some additional suggestions/recommendations. TheWombat
  5. I attended the Civilian Response to an Active Shooter Situation course at Gun For Hire (GFH). It is a two day course, with the first day predominantly focused on some case studies from the US and overseas followed by some practice of basic techniques without firing. The main instructors are Joe and Chuck, who also are the instructors for Simunitions, Urban Pistol etc. The second day continues with some basic techniques before moving into live-fire (with simunitions) scenarios. In total we had around 12 students, 3 instructors and 2 assistants helping out. The course description is: "One out of every three Americans have the legal right to carry a concealed weapon. With this ratio it is no surprise that 75% of all active shooter incidents have been stopped by a armed civilian. While Law Enforcement spends hours upon hours training for such an incident, civilians have little to no training in responding to such incidents. The Gun For Hire Active Shooter Response Cours for Civilians is a 2 day 16 hour course that will provide the student with the tactics and knowledge to properly respond to an Active Shooter Situation. This class is an absolute must for anyone that has a CCW Permit, Security Guards both Armed and Unarmed as well as any group or venue that hosts large events (Church's, Malls, Synagogues, etc). The course will begin with a review of several Active Shooter events and proceed into legal issues when responding to an Active Shooter Situation. The course will then move into showing the student proper tactics and procedures to use when responding to an incident. This course will combine both class room and hands on training to include live fire range exercises. This course will culminate with a force on force scenario using simunition training equipment. Topics Covered in this course will include, Case Studies of Active Shooter Events in the U.S. and Abroad Legal responsibilities of the Armed Civilian and Security Guard Responding to an Active Shooter incident with your Family Present Building Search Tactics and Techniques Proper Selection and use of Cover Close Quarter Tactical Pistol Training Response to incidents in Large Open areas (Church,Mall,Synagogue,etc) Shoot Don't Shoot situations First Aid for Self and Victims What to do upon Law Enforcement Arrival Dealing with the after effects of an incident" During the scenarios when I was the armed civilian reacting to the Active Shooter my heart rate probably passed 160 bpm - next time I will bring my heart rate monitor along to see. In the scenarios where we are not the armed civilian responding we instead act as the scared civilians who are caught in the situation (running around, screaming, dying etc) which provides a great opportunity to watch the responding student and see how they take the techniques covered in the last day and a half, and prior courses such as Urban Pistol, and apply them (or not) in response to the scenarios. In terms of overall feedback on the course. It is very useful as part of a broader training regime and teaches much more than just shooting paper at the range It makes it very clear the importance of continually training on technique/tactics so that when the adrenaline kicks in you continue to use these due to muscle memory For $250 for the 2 day class, it is good value considering the facilities and instructor ratio I'd recommend taking Urban Pistol 1 & 2, and also the standard Simunitions Level 1 as a prerequisite so you get the most out of the two days - otherwise you will struggle with information overload This class is a recent addition for GFH, so I expect we'll see further tweaks to the content (e.g. case studies) and scenarios as the students provide feedback While we didn't get time to cover all of the topics in detail, we did receive a good grounding on some fundamentals to take away and practice, practice, practice. I anticipate we'll see another Simunitions class being offered at the same location, which will be a full day of just Simunitions scenarios (with no theory), which will be a great follow on for people who have attended this Active Shooter class. As ever, these courses help reinforce my belief that Force on Force training and classes like Urban Pistol are an absolute must for anyone wishing to Conceal Carry, if you want to maximize your ability to respond effectively (and appropriately) in a real life situation. Once the adrenaline starts pumping, and its a real life scenario the fact that you can shoot 2 inch groups at 20 yards at the range means very little. MrsWombat couldn't make the course, however I'll be going again sometime and will ensure MrsWombat can make it. OldGlockGuy from NJGunForum was also at the class, so good to meet up (again) TheWombat
  6. I spent the afternoon at the Essex Police Academy indoor range attending a Gun For Hire course. This time it was the Low Light, No Light Level 1. From chatting to other forum members the course has previously been held at Bayonne Pistol Range so I was pleased to see it now being offered at the Essex Police Academy location. The course is the first out of 3 levels for Low Light, No Light. The description is: "The Low-Light Pistol Class will serve as an introduction to operating in a no-light or low light situation. The student will be introduced to various shooting positions using both a hand held flash light and weapon mounted light. The student will progress from dry fire exercises to live fire training in a low-light and no light shooting situation. Topics covered to include, Proper Selection of hand held and weapon mounted light system. Use of Night Sights Operating in Low Light Vision Conditions One handed shooting techniques Multiple shooting positions using the flashlight. Multiple targets,Shooting on the move while using the flash light Weapon Manipulation in Low Light Conditions (reloads,malfunctions) Proper Techniques of Building Search while using the flash light" There were ~10-11 students and 3 instructors (Joe, Mac and Pilar). The session started with a PowerPoint presentation covering the different aspects, some practice with training firearms and then we moved to the range. For the day I had the Walther PPQ equiped with a Viridian C5L light/laser, a Kaluban Cloak holster and Comp-Tac magazine and flashlight holder for the additional SureFire G2 I had with me. Among the other students there was a mix of firearms (including a Colt 1911, Beretta, Springfield XD, H&K P30, Glocks and others), lights and holsters. There were a few equipment malfunctions due to magazines, holsters and technique. I see that as a positive since it is better to find out the issues on a training course rather than when you are in a real altercation. For my ammunition I used 50 Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P and 175 Sellier & Bellot 124gr. It was the first time I have shot in proper low light situations and then in total darkness. During the course we tried various different techniques for holding a flashlight, as well as using our weapon mounted lights (for those that had them). Overall the course was good and I learnt a few useful takeaways to consider in using a firearm for personal defense: It is important to have a good flashlight - The SureFire G2 seemed to work well There are times when having a weapon mounted light and a separate flashlight is beneficial Using the flashlight takes practice as the various techniques all have pros/cons Shooting one handed takes practice in order not limp wrist Holstering and reloading in low light/darkness takes practice The Viridian C5L worked well, as did the rest of my gear, and having the green laser as an aid on some of the exercises was beneficial. My Trijicons (green front/orange rear) were also easy to see and use. I met a forum member on the course (hello!) and also one of student who was on the prior Urban Pistol course I attended. An enjoyable afternoon! TheWombat
  7. In November MrsWombat and I attended a Gun For Hire (GFH) Step 2 pistol course. This is a non-NRA class which was held at the Cedar Grove Essex County College Police Academy. The range is fantastic and well worth going on a course in order to see! The standard GFH Step 2 course is typically expected to be a 1:1 or up to a total of 4 students and has the following requirements "You will need a strong side holster, modern firearm, three magazines or speed loaders, 200 rounds of factory ammo, and eye and ear protection. Knee pads and cover garment are optional." The course description mentions that the course will cover: Strong Hand Shooting Weak Hand Shooting Strong Side Cover Weak Side Cover Reloading - Stress and Rapid Controlled Groups Shooting Over Cover Shooting Under Cover Holster or Concealment Draw & More.... For our specific Step 2 course however GFH were offering a significantly discounted course with more students (~8). We still covered the majority of the above items, such as shooting from cover (strong and weak side), moving and shooting, dot drills, holster drawing, controlled groups, reloading. In total we shot around 75 rounds so with the additional students we probably didn't cover all the exercises in as much detail as a 1:1 or smaller group training would have. I was actually surprised at how few rounds it was when I got home and had to recount since it felt like far more. Shooting from around cover, both strong and weak side takes some practice, and has made me think more about how we would react on a home invasion for example. With the set up in the range the cover can be moved around to change the distance and sideways offset to the targets. It was overall a great training day, we both enjoyed it and MrsWombat outshot me when the pressure was on. Having Anthony shout 'threat', and then having to draw and fire without taking a long pause to aim seems to make a difference! The Step 2 course has given me some very practical and useful drills to try at our normal range and to try at home with our Airsoft setup. note: We also attended the NRA Step 1 Class that was held in the morning as a refresher since we're fairly new to firearms. I've previously attended an NRA Basic Pistol which I believe is a more thorough introduction for a new shooter. Overall Step 2 is recommended! TheWombat
  8. MrsWombat and I have just returned home from the GFH Urban Pistol 1 & 2 courses held by GunForHire at Cedar Grove. Our instructors were Joe and Chuck (who both also run the Simunitions). Urban Pistol 1 Course Description: 'This course will serve as an introduction to Urban Pistol Shooting for the novice shooter. The course will begin with the fundamentals of shooting on move into tactical pistol shooting drills. Topics covered to include safety, fundamentals of shooting, drawing, multiple targets, shooting positions, shooting on the move, shooting behind cover. Moving with a loaded weapon and basic building search technique' There were 6 students, which is the perfect size to allow for learning from others while keeping a rapid pace to the course. There is no theory/PowerPoint presentations - the entire class is held in the range. We started on some dot drills, multiple shots and drawing from holster. What stance is preferred, how to move forwards and backwards and how to use cover effectively. We shot about 300 to 350 rounds each and the class was well put together and run safely. Having the ability to practice moving and shooting was great. Handling some of the malfunctions (forced and accidental) that firearms may have while having some degree of pressure was perfect, and it was interesting to see which firearms had no issues (PPQ) and which had some issues (no comment.... ) Urban Pistol 2 Course Description: 'This 4 hour course is an advanced Urban Pistol shooting course not for the faint hearted. The course will begin with a quick review of the fundamentals and move right into advanced shooting techniques. Topics covered to include safety, fundamentals review, drawing, reloads, malfunctions, multiple targets, shooting positions, shooting on the move, shooting behind cover. Moving from cover to cover position with a loaded weapon. Shooting from motor vehicles. Basic building search to include follow on rooms.' There were 9 students (5 from the Urban Pistol 1) and 4 students who had taken the UP1 at a previous time. The level 2 stepped up the pressure considerably, including items such as: Shooting while lying on your back Shooting while sitting in a chair Moving sideways (as well as backwards and forwards) Shoot, don't shoot scenarios Taking on a multiple targets with hostage situations while moving through a 20yd by 25yd course of fire, including moving forwards, backwards, sideways etc More advanced shooting from cover etc Exercises covering clearing malfunctions and reloading while moving We shot about 300 to 350 rounds each and the class, as per Urban Pistol 1, was well put together and run safely. Summary Well worth while attending, we were able to practice situations that would absolutely happen in real life that would not be able to be practiced in a normal shooting range session. So far I'd rate it on par with Simunitions in terms of the learning. Both MrsWombat and I found some changes/tweaks we need to make to our holsters, mag pouches etc which we would not have uncovered just shooting normally at a range. In addition it reinforces the differences that occur to one's technique between standard range practice and a more realistic scenario. Now I have additional tips to help continue to drill in good behaviours. I would rate the class overall as a solid 'A'. In total with the PPQ I shot 600 rounds between the two classes (550 Winchester Whitebox 124gr NATO and 50 Sellier & Belot 124gr) and had no failures of any type (other than those purposefully introduced by the instructors as part of the training). There was a mix of firearms being used by students including Kimber 1911, Sig, Springfield XD, Glock, Beretta 92 and the PPQ. The students who had the more simple firearms typically had far fewer issues (either with the user or the firearm) And a big thank you to Joe and Chuck for making the long day fun, interesting, safe and a great learning experience. :-) TheWombat
  9. MrsWombat and I just attended the GFH Self Defense Pen Class. This is an 8 hour class in the Belleville location. The course is run by Atienza Kali. There were around 10 students and 10 instructors (although I may have my numbers slightly wrong) however it was about a 1:1 ratio. It is an entirely practical class, no sitting down or Powerpoints to watch. The class focuses around 9 target points on a human at which to strike, and goes through various hands on training routines to begin to drill these in. MrsWombat and I got a little excitable with trying to disable each other and I can say that even a blunt pen is very effective! Later in the class we used our own tactical pens to shred cardboard to help demonstrate how little force is needed. The last 20 minutes of the class was an introduction on how to approach the same techniques with a knife. Everything taught on the course could be applied and integrated with any pre-existing defense/martial arts training you may have including firearms. Carry a few bic biros or other standard pens/pencils is all that is needed. Buying a $20 tactical pen is not necessary, albeit it can add a little extra to the penetration. Overall the class was very good, I'd rate it highly in understanding how deadly even a bic biro or a blunt sharpie marker can be and how these everyday items can be used for defense when firearms or other weapons are not available. The course price is $150, the trainers were helpful, professional and experienced. Safety was paramount and the instructors were the pin-cushions until students became more familiar with the moves. Overall - I'd recommend this class. Thanks to GFH and the Atienza Kali team thanks TheWombat
  10. Back in December I had the opportunity to attend a Gun For Hire (GFH) Force on Force Simunitions class (Force on Force Civilian Simulation Training Level 1) at the GFH Belleville site. The course description mentions the following topics are covered (and they were): Safety Proper Use of Force on Force Training Equipment Mental Mindset Legal Considerations of the Armed Home Owner, CCW Holder Home Defense Considerations CCW Holder Considerations ( Gear selection and Placement ETC. ) Realistic Force on Force Scenarios ( Set up to mirror your home defense plan or your CCW equipment layout ) A video tape review of all force on force training scenarios completed that day and recommendations by our top Simunition and Law Enforcement Instructors on ways you can improve survival chances in a real world deadly force encounter There were 3 students in the class, a married couple and myself, so it was a small group. The class begins with a presentation covering some legal and practical considerations for a armed home owner or CCW carrier. This in itself was very useful as the laws on when you can and cannot act were clarified for me and included some examples. Following the presentation and Q&A we moved into the 'house' for the scenarios, the 'house' has a number of real rooms, furniture etc etc. I won't give too much away however since if you attend it will be more valuable to experience it without knowing fully what to expect. I will say that the firearms used are realistic (glocks), with recoil, brass ejecting, noise, magazines etc. The pellets when they hit you do cause some discomfort or pain (e.g. if hit on the hand), however with the face masks on and the ground rules in place the training is safe. These are definitely not Airsoft pistols. We had two instructors, one typically on the video camera to record the session and the other as the intruder. In some cases we had two intruders. The scenarios play out relatively quickly, they set the heart beating, and while I had some degree of "it's just a game", there is definitely sufficient adrenaline and fight/flight feelings to add real value to the training. In one scenario I was an unarmed visitor at a friend's house, and ended up being executed due to the friend's actions (or inactions)! That in itself was an experience! Overall I would rate the course favourably. GFH are also building a much larger compound for Force on Force training which will be ready some time in 2012 and would make the class outstanding. We had a technical hitch on our session with the video camera taking a dive to the floor which prevented the replay of the scenarios, however this did give us a little extra time to play some additional scenarios instead. My only other comment would be that depending on the group size the number of scenarios undertaken may differ. I will be returning to try the training with MrsWombat since I saw some very valuable lessons being learnt by the married couple who attended. I have also made some adjustments in our home based on the experiences from the day. The training reinforces my belief that just shooting paper targets in a range will not prepare most people for a real life scenario, whether it is being partially awake/disorientated, having to draw/find a weapon, having to make a decision as to whether to shoot someone, having to protect a loved one or find cover v concealment. Force on Force is therefore a valuable aspect to a broader training regime, it is also fun! Recommended! TheWombat
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