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Sandy

GFH Urban Shotgun 1

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Fantastic class , great instructors as usual !

 

Learned a lot about shotguns. Theory portions covered the pros and cons of choosing a shotgun as your HD firearm, equipment and ammo choices , slings , the law , etc. The live fire portion started with the best way to load when in a SD situation. Very eye opening . We also learned how the patterns change depending on distance and type of ammo. I was surprised to see how spread out trap and buck shot were at 25 yards. One participant was using Federal Tactical Buck and his pellet pattern was nice and tight , big hole rather than pepper sprayed, even at 25 yards. I think I'll be choosing that ammo. Most had either Mossberg 500 series or Remi 870s .

 

Then , on to a lot of shooting and moving . Which everybody should do any chance they get. During this time we also covered transitioning back and forth between shotgun and your pistol . We covered different states of "ready" as in high , low , etc. Next was barricades , under stress ( always my favorite part) . Then on to some theory on how and when to clear rooms . We covered what to do if someone grabs your barrel. We ended with practicing accuracy from different shooting positions with slugs at 25 yards.

 

Very thorough class , extremely safe , very worth it :)

 

Personally , I learned that despite my preconceptions shotguns are not necessarily " point and shoot" unless you are 3 to 7 yards away. Which makes me think about how I want to use my shotgun in a HD situation. Probably as my secondary , as in guarding the stairwell while waiting for help to arrive. I do not think I would go downstairs wielding it. Also would be good for a locked in your house and protecting the entrance ways during a crisis or prolonged after effect of a natural disaster type situation.

 

It was pretty tough holding my 590A1 up for 4 hours ..but it actually got easier for me as the course progressed. I have only shot shotgun twice in my life before this , and I think I just had to figure out how to move it around and deal with the length and weight. I spent the first hour of live fire thinking " Mossberg for saaale!!!!" , but by the 3rd hour I was use to it , able to load it ( ok , once I put the shell in backwards , once , and I could not figure it out at first because it was during the under stress portion lol ) , and learned how to shoulder a bit more smoothly . I think I'll loose that limb saver pad. It is sticky and gets hung up on your clothing . That could be bad. Besides , the Mesa recoil reducing stock did its job so well I do not feel like I need it. I feel ZERO on my shoulder even shooting slugs. My hand is a little smarting from the pistol grip today..but minimal. I could shoot all day again today ( which I am actually..IDPA ) .

 

A few other forum members were there ..hopefully they chime in too!

 

All in all , great class.

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Sandy's review is spot on....great class and very informative. I didn't realize how much we'd be put through....plan to work up a sweat and be tired when you're done. Eye opening to work through the exercises when you're under stress .... Fine motor function is not your friend when you're stressed and was very interesting to experience how it might degrade first hand. I liked how the drills were aligned with potential real world scenarios and we got reminders to do them right....instructors were not just trying to blow through a list of skills and get out. Great lifetime advice too during a drill...."Don't shoot your classmate during your turn" .....true words to live by :) Lots of mossberg 590s....all seemed to work flawlessly....a mossie 930 semi auto had some jamming issues and an 870 bit it's owner causing the only blood loss of the day. I was surprised as Sandy mentioned how different the spread was from my Federal Tactical buckshot than regular buck....good reinforcement I have more work to do to test spreads on other types of shotgun ammo I'm considering for HD. Great class and will definitely be continuing as a GFH student.

Tom

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Yes , never shoot your classmate :) I like the way they did everything dry first to make sure everyone had the skill set down before going live. Despite the real life training style of their classes , at no point ever have I felt unsafe training with them . I plan to take all of the classes , then take them again lol

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Sandy - good to meet you during the course. Tom, I'm guessing you were one of the guys towards the left of the firing line? Didn't catch your name during the course but I'm sure I'll recognize you if I see you again.

 

I arrived about 15 minutes late to the course - didn't know that bridge work on Eisenhower Parkway in Livingston had traffic backed up for miles until I was already on it.

 

I liked the course and would gladly attend another GFH course, but I do have some criticisms.

 

Likes - GFH instructors were both competent and friendly, no major attitudes, and were clear communicators and demonstrators. They ran the class effectively and safely. I learned some new techniques and I got to run my shotgun in ways that I wouldn't be able to on most ranges or outside of a competition.

 

Gripes - When I signed up for the course it was originally supposed to be at GFH's "Area 51" outdoor range in Livingston. GFH did notify me 8 days in advance of a venue change to Cedar Grove, but I didn't realize it was changing from an outdoor range to an indoor range. I probably wouldn't have signed up for the course originally if I knew it was going to be at an indoor range.

 

The Cedar Grove range currently has an issue with the ventilation system that results in a constant and loud whistling noise. I have a hearing deficit I have that makes it hard for me to understand speech in environments with a lot of background noise. The combination of the two meant I had difficulty understanding the instructors at times, especially when wearing ear pro with the instructors across the room. I'd suggest that instructors consider using a bullhorn when talking during exercises where ear pro is on until the whistling issue is resolved.

 

There were several items on the course curriculum that were not covered in the class to my recollection:

 

Ammunition Change Over - I was hoping to learn some techniques for quickly changing what type of shell was chambered. I don't think this was covered in class

 

Immediate Action Drills-Malfunctions - I don't recall any discussion, demonstration or practice on clearing malfunctions/misfeeds or immediate action drills for shotgun, aside from transitioning to a sidearm.

 

The class will culminate with a live fire building search scenario - This did not occur. We did cover barricade/cover shooting with much practice. There was discussion and brief demonstration of room clearing techniques, but there was no live fire building search scenario that students participated in.

 

Aside from those minor gripes, I would recommend the course to others and I'll definitely be attending GFH classes in the future.

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I was at the same class with Sandy; actually next to her on the line & I wouldn't mess w/her b/c she's a pretty good shot.

 

I agree with everything she & DirtyDigz said above. Generally a good class with most of the time spent on the range with the gun in your hand, for some reason ppl always seem to pay more attention to theory in that situation compared to sitting in a classroom.

 

While I was a little bummed about the shift to an indoor location from an outdoor location, I was more annoyed that the course didn't really follow the syllabus (as Dirty highlighted in his review). Frankly I'd classify this as a worthwhile beginner course (which I'm a beginner so still learned a lot) but there wasn't any live fire building clearance nor malfunction drills; although they did say they'd cover this in level 2.

 

What I really liked about this as my first GFH class was the student to instructor ratio (4:1), and overall the length of the class & live fire portion. I was actually able to receive a little 1-1 attention on what I could change to improve which is nice compared to other courses where the ratio is closer to 8 or 10: 1 with maybe a few extra RSO types hanging around for safety purposes. Four hours of twelve gauge with moving takes a toll so I think it was well timed & executed.

 

I however would've added an RO or something to this class because inevitably the instructor's attention ends up being focused on one or two types of people in these courses: those who demonstrate the greatest need or those who demonstrate the greatest risk to the group. I can't argue with those priorities, but for the price we're putting forth for a 4 hour class I'd think throwing in an extra RSO to keep eyes on but not necessarily instruct would help the rest of the class get more out of the training. I only bring up the money point because "similar" classes are offered by other groups in NJ and PA that are less expensive, but I can't speak to the quality of those classes.

 

Generally: positive experience & will attend another GFH training...but would love for Anthony to continue to improve his service.

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