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TheWombat

GunForHire Urban Pistol 3 Review (Winslow) - 27th Oct 2012

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Back in late April I attended the GunForHire Urban Pistol 3 class at the GFH Area 51 location. You can see my previous review where I used my Walther PPS 9mm here: http://njgunforums.c...post__p__472642

 

Today I headed down to the Winslow location to retake the Urban Pistol 3 class. As I have recently started competing in IDPA I decided to use my Sig P226 9mm (USPSA sub-model) rather than the Walther PPQ or PPS. We had a mix of students, about 13 in all as we had some cancellations due to the forthcoming storm. As per last time there was a mix of firearms including 2 Berettas, my Sig P226, an M&P, a CZ and a few Glocks with calibers of 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP.

 

I had a few failures to feed and double feeds with the Aguila 124gr 9mm (495 rounds shot in total) which was disappointing however this gives real practice at clearing malfunctions on the move. I then switched to my standard Speer Lawman 124gr 9mm and had no further issues (although this was only 186 rounds)

 

There were enough differences from the prior Urban Pistol 3 to ensure that the class remained interesting and new even for the repeat students. Previously we started with dot drills, this time we instead used different targets to the usual GFH targets and had timed drills of shooting 10 shots in 10 seconds at 10 yards; followed by 10 shots in 10 seconds at 7 yards, and finally 10 shots in 5 seconds at 5 yards - all from drawing from the holster. This drill quickly highlighted any issues with trigger control, trigger reset and sight picture which we then focused on before return back to the 10/10/10 drills where the students typically saw noticeable improvements.

 

Following the above 'warm up' we moved through a variety of standard Urban Pistol (UP) drills, although pushed to the next level, e.g. for the barricades you had to switch between strong and weak handed shooting, there was shooting on the move, the famous UP3 'Catch Up' drill which was run a few times; and then more of an obstacle course which included crawling through a giant 'barrel' and shooting followed by some scenarios in and around a vehicle. We finished the day by setting up and clearing a shoot house which demonstrated the need for pieing, working angles, identifying the targets, being aware of your surroundings etc. A number of these exercises were undertaken paired with another student which changes the approach significantly.

 

Compared to the previous UP3 the key differences were:

  • Winslow rather than Area 51 - Winslow is a better location however an extra 80-90 minutes drive for me
  • The warm up Dot Drills were different as this time we had 10 shots at a variety of distances/times - I preferred this as isn't something you can typically practise at a normal indoor range.
  • More use of Steel for shooting - I like Steel so this is another positive
  • The 'obstacle course' - not really sure what to call this however last time we never had to crawl through large 'barrels' and shoot.
  • The shoot house - this was fun!
  • This time around we didn't try shooting at 60 yards and didn't do the figure 8 drills.

While Urban Pistol 3 continues to drill in on the fundamentals, you are moving and shooting in much closer proximity to other students which changes the dynamics.

 

Compared to my last run through of UP3 back in late April I noticed a clear improvement in my accuracy and overall shooting, particularly in the Catch Up drill where Joe (Instructor) tried twice to follow and catch me and FAILED!!!!!!!!!!! :onthequiet:

 

One big positive about the GunForHire classes is you can retake any class as an Alumni which gives a 50% discount, so for $125 I received a full day of training. In total I shot 681 rounds and had a great day.

 

I should also add it was good to see IrishPete and IrishPete'sWife again, in addition to meeting some others from NJGunForums and other fellow shooting enthusiasts from NJ/NY.

 

Well worth attending!

 

TheWombat

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Another great review, TW - thanks as always. I'm looking forward to starting the path of GFH training with the UP1 and UC1 in Dec. Like you, I've started shooting IDPA/USPSA but have taken a recent absence for knee surgery.

 

You made note a couple times to having a student nearby or clearing the shoot house with them. Can you elaborate a little bit more on this? And what is the "catch up" drill you mentioned?

 

Cheers,

James

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Another great review, TW - thanks as always. I'm looking forward to starting the path of GFH training with the UP1 and UC1 in Dec. Like you, I've started shooting IDPA/USPSA but have taken a recent absence for knee surgery.

 

You made note a couple times to having a student nearby or clearing the shoot house with them. Can you elaborate a little bit more on this? And what is the "catch up" drill you mentioned?

 

Cheers,

James

 

In UrbanPistol 2 you are typically undertaking drills as an individual, e.g. lying on the floor, drawing from holster, drawing from holster while seated, moving and shooting etc - so I'd describe this as you're more likely to harm yourself than anyone else if you don't keep to the rules of firearms e.g. finger of trigger except when ready to shoot, sights aligned and knowing what's behind the target etc.

 

In UrbanPistol 3 the drills are often taken paired with another student where you are moving around each other; e.g. you could be moving between barricades as a team, undertaking basic room clearing, moving around and between each other. This means that you need to really focus on muzzle location/position and trigger finger and communicating to your fellow student. I was paired with Mike - so we had an Irishman and a Englishman/Australian working together - just goes to show that world peace is possible :-) At all times I felt safe working with Mike and we communicated and worked well as a team.

 

Part of the goal of Urban Pistol 3 is to help you become more comfortable with having a firearm in the open - and in use - around other people as this is likely to be the reality of a situation - whether it is as a husband-wife team, or father-son, or some other situation. Next time I expect MrsWombat will come along as it is good training to do as a couple.

 

The instructors ensure the training remains safe and at no time are you shooting down-range with other people in your field of fire - so it is NOT like one of the other training schools that has a YouTube video with one group of students standing between targets while another group shoots at the targets!

 

I won't spoil the surprise of the CatchUp drill other than to say it is a mix of accuracy, speed, weak handed and strong handed shooting from various positions where you are 'competing' against the other students. To find out more you'll need to go to Urban Pistol 3 :-)

 

The majority of the class contains drills/training that cannot easily be repeated at a normal indoor range trip - so unless you are lucky enough to have your own land or a local range that has shooting pits that allows greater flexibility then this really is one of the few ways to improve skills that are more likely to be used in a real scenario rather than hitting a static paper target, from a static standing position - hence one of the reasons I like the Urban Pistol and other similar classes.

 

hth

 

TheWombat

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I should also add that the full day GFH classes are good value - most of the GFH classes are half days and while the instructors/content are good I'd rather have that full day from my personal viewpoint.

 

I've discussed with Anthony/Joe about whether we can have more 1 or 2 day classes and the challenge is that few students are able/willing to make that commitment of time - perhaps not helped by New Jersey not having as much of an active firearms culture as other States.

 

For example I'd like to see a 2 day Advanced class - with the same group of students throughout - that covers something like:

 

Day 1:

Urban Pistol 3 during the day

Low Light 2 at Night

 

Day 2:

1/2 day of additional Urban Pistol 3 during the day

1/2 day of Simmunitions 3 and 'Simmunitions Low Light edition' using the techniques from Day 1 & 2 in force on force scenarios. (this could be the whole day instead of the additional UP3 in the morning)

 

There was a Low Light 1 class being held yesterday evening at GFH South - i.e. after the Urban Pistol 3 - however it is a separate class.

 

hth

 

TheWombat

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I was glad I had a chance to take Urban Pistol 3. It exceeded my expectations and provided good value. It was nice to meet you The Wombat. You are excellent to train alongside. I'm sure if you hadn't experienced a malfunction I never would have tagged you in the catch-up drill. : p

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I was glad I had a chance to take Urban Pistol 3. It exceeded my expectations and provided good value. It was nice to meet you The Wombat. You are excellent to train alongside. I'm sure if you hadn't experienced a malfunction I never would have tagged you in the catch-up drill. : p

 

LOL - probably true - but malfunctions happen and you tagged me - such is life!

 

:-)

 

TheWombat

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You are a rock star.. you want an ENTIRE day of shooting? i once did a 3-ish hour class.. about 400 rounds and i was mentally exhausted at the end. I couldnt keep focus and really wasnt gaining anything after that point. I guess you like the stamina aspect of it but i had hit my overload after that much concentration.

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