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TheWombat

GFH 1st Step and 2nd Step Pistol

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My wife and I are booked to attend the 1st and 2nd Step Pistol on Sunday with GFH. I'll post afterwards how it went although expect it will be a positive experience!

 

We will therefore not be at RTSP on Sunday as we had originally planned.

 

:firstmove:

 

TheWombat & MrsWombat

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I may swing by GFH on Sunday afternoon to take care of some administrative stuff. Perhaps I'll see you there.

 

Hopefully we'll see you, I'll be in black trousers, black/grey striped t-shirt and a grey sleeveless fleece top.

 

I don't actually look like a wombat!

 

TheWombat

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Mrs Wombat and I have just got home from the 1st and 2nd Step Pistol at Gun For Hire. We were at the Cedar Grove Academy facility which was excellent and the overall experience with GunForHire was very positive and I recommend the 2nd Step course through GunForHire for anyone who has not already taken it.

 

1st Step

 

We completed our NRA Basic Pistol through a different trainer about 3 months ago. This was before we had our Firearms ID and before we found out about NJGunForum and GunForHire. We didn't have a positive experience on this previous trainer with the NRA Basic Pistol for a number of reasons. Now, 3 months later MrsWombat and I have our FID, Utah/Florida CCW (through GunForHire) and we each have a couple of pistols and have shot ~1000 rounds each. We decided to spend the day on the 1st Step with GunForHire as a refresher and also to provide the opportunity to move on to the 2nd Step.

 

Overall experience of the course was positive. Jimmy undertook the majority of instructing the course with Anthony popping in near the end. We had the opportunity to shoot our own firearms and the provided S&W Revolver and Glock, although we both kept to our own pistols and the revolver.

 

The NRA Basic Pistol we previously took was a much longer course with a theory test and lots of Powerpoint Slides. The First Steps is a much shorter course, much fewer slides, no theory test and hence much more engaging with dialogue. Also the GunForHire instructors were much more engaging and 'better' than our previous experience with a different training provider. I'm still not entirely sure why the NRA provide both the Basic Pistol and 1st Steps Pistol?

 

The only 'developmental' feedback I could provide Anthony and Jimmy on the 1st Step was around the guidance around transportation of firearms/ammunition, and making it more clear to the students as to what is actual law, what is gray area and what is recommended. e.g. traveling with loaded magazines separate from a locked firearm and where this sits in these categories. We spoke about this at the end of the course and they are going to update what is covered to clarify this. To me that is a big positive that they actually listen to feedback.

 

2nd Step

 

I took the Walther PPQ 9mm and MrsWombat took her Kimber Customer Aegis II 9mm. In many ways this was both the most frustrating training course and the most eye opening training course I have ever undertaken as normally shooting at the range I am more accurate than MrsWombat.

 

The 2nd Step course today had 7 students, with Anthony undertaking the training. The course lasted around 3.5 hours (longer than normal and I assume this was due to there being 7 students?) and was almost entirely on the shooting range. During the 2nd step I shot 6 rounds per exercise in 12 different exercises (72 rounds in total) although I believe normally classes, if smaller, would shoot more based on the class description on the GunForHire website which mentions 200 rounds and also some exercises I don't believe we undertook (e.g. weak hand shooting). To be fair this class was also at a significant discount to the normally advertised 2nd Step cost on the GunForHire website.

 

The exercises begin with shooting a single 3" dot, then two [email protected] dots, then body and head, then shooting the same dot while taking a step left and right, then finally shooting a 3"dot from behind cover to the left and to the right while drawing from a holster or picking up the firearm. Sounds easy however with the added stress of the environment it definitely provides a different experience to just shooting at a standard target in a range at my own time. If nothing else it helps show how your aiming and trigger control react under added stress.

 

I highly recommend the 2nd Step course for everyone as an introduction into shooting other than the standard targets at a range. It has helped me think more about where to focus further training and self-improvement rather than just the usual range visits.

 

The only 'developmental' feedback I could give, and I only thought about this in the car on the way home is that I wish we had taken home the targets from the 2nd step which would also have meant using a new target for each person on the final concealment exercises. This would have been a useful reminder to me.

 

So the summary is a great day, GunForHire delivered an enjoyable day with the two courses, and the 2nd Step Pistol is perfectly valid for someone who has been shooting for 3 months, and also for someone who has been shooting paper targets for much longer.

 

Thanks Anthony & Jimmy.

Thanks to MrsWombat as well :-)

 

We also met OldGlockGuy - so great to meet another forum member!

 

:-)

 

TheWombat

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Like Mr. Wombat said, we did a NRA basic pistol training somewhere else, which I thought was not too bad actually, there were definitely more "theory" (text and slides) and inevitably I did feel a bit dozy at times. Today's GFH 1st Step course with Jimmy was really good, maybe it's his hyper voice, or the tact he used to engage dialogues (such as throwing questions at us), or much fewer slides, I truly enjoyed it and stayed alert throughout the class.

 

The 2nd Step was great fun. Although it's not quite simulation of a real situation, it gave enough stress for each student to feel the adrenaline pumping. (Again it may be due to Anthony's thundering scream "THREAT!" behind us.) It's really an eye-opener that differs from shooting in a range with a still paper target and all the time in the world to reload, aim, pull trigger... etc. I would really like to see how we will react in a simulation class with even more realistic threat, so that may be our next course. The only thing I would like to add to Step 2 is probably a non-designated target until threat occurs, i.e. "THREAT number 3!" so we don't get to fixate our sight at a certain spot before we react. A bit like whack-a-mole I guess, although I am not sure if it's too advanced for Step 2.

 

Overall safety was paramount at all times even though for most of us this was the first time we had ever walked and shot at the same time. (And beating Mr. Wombat made the day from good to great! :triniti: )

 

Thank you GFH, you will see us again soon.

 

Mrs. Wombat

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(And beating Mr. Wombat made the day from good to great! :triniti: )

 

Thank you GFH, you will see us again soon.

 

Mrs. Wombat

 

Anthony always says that women shoot better than men. From my limited experience with that, he may well be correct.

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Hello Mr. & Mrs. Smith, ah I mean Wombat! Wow, you both did a great job on Sunday. The drills went into overtime and you both hung in there. Great safety fundamentals and you both worked very hard at following the courses of fire to a T. Yes the stress factor is a funny thing and for relatively new shooters you both were great.

 

The course of fire was modified from the online one because it was a group class and not a one on one private. Of those 72 rounds you fired did it not feel like you shot more? I want you to go over those basic drill in you head over and over and then apply as much as possible to the layout of your home. Remember that all of those drill can be safely performed at a static range without being ejected.

 

I was going to send you both a thank you email but it looks like I did it here.

 

PS - Mrs. Wombat we usually reserve the the last minute calling of the dot drills at more advanced classes.

 

Seven students all fairly new, all walks of life, everyone learned something including myself and no one got hurt. I love my job.

 

Thank you for the support and being a pert of the GFH family.

 

When you are ready to try my handguns let me know.

 

Anthony

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Hello Mr. & Mrs. Smith, ah I mean Wombat! Wow, you both did a great job on Sunday. The drills went into overtime and you both hung in there. Great safety fundamentals and you both worked very hard at following the courses of fire to a T. Yes the stress factor is a funny thing and for relatively new shooters you both were great.

 

The course of fire was modified from the online one because it was a group class and not a one on one private. Of those 72 rounds you fired did it not feel like you shot more? I want you to go over those basic drill in you head over and over and then apply as much as possible to the layout of your home. Remember that all of those drill can be safely performed at a static range without being ejected.

 

I was going to send you both a thank you email but it looks like I did it here.

 

PS - Mrs. Wombat we usually reserve the the last minute calling of the dot drills at more advanced classes.

 

Seven students all fairly new, all walks of life, everyone learned something including myself and no one got hurt. I love my job.

 

Thank you for the support and being a pert of the GFH family.

 

When you are ready to try my handguns let me know.

 

Anthony

 

It definitely felt more than 72 rounds, I had to recount my empty boxes twice to ensure I hadn't made a mistake! It was a great afternoon and thanks for the coaching and guidance throughout the session. I may very well signup for another 2nd Step, although with just me and Mrs Smith/Wombat.

 

I'll be doing some daily dry-fire exercises now!

 

Will be in contact re: giving some of your handguns a try.

 

thanks

 

:friends:

 

MrWombat/Smith

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