Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Training "Do's" and Don'ts"

As you all know by now, I’ve come on board with Cheaper Than Dirt to do a little shooting, a little writing, and to continue the mission of Gun Nuts Media to promote and enhance the shooting sports. I’m really excited about the opportunity to work with Cheaper than Dirt, as they’ve shown a great commitment to the shooting sports and IDPA in particular and I hope to help with that.

For my very first post, I want to talk about what you should and shouldn’t do at your first handgun course. For a lot of new shooters out there, the decision to take a General handgun course, such at the General Defensive Handgun class offered by Insights Training Center in Bellevue, Washington is a big step, as they’ve made the realization that they want or need to be more proficient with their carry firearm than they can get by just plinking targets at the range. This is a good thing, so in the hope of supporting that training decision we’re going to offer some helpful tips on some handy guidelines for having a good training experience your first time out.

The first thing to bear in mind is that a class like a General Defensive Handgun class or Gunsite’s 250 class isn’t going to make you a High Speed Low Drag Tier Zero Operator. They’re not designed to do that. There are classes higher up the skill level chain that can teach you a lot of the skills used by elite military and law enforcement units, however a basic defensive handgun class has a very specific purpose in mind; to make you more effective at using your concealed carry firearm if you ever find yourself in the middle of a defensive shooting.

At the left, Insights Training Center instructor Tracy Roberts demonstrates the modern isosceles stance used in their classes, which brings us to the first thing to bring to gun school: an open mind. If you’ve already had training, or “have always done it this way”, don’t let that interfere with your ability to try new things. If you open yourself up to new techniques, you might find out that something works better than the way you had previously been shooting, and that’s always a good thing.

Now, while bringing an open mind is a great first step, there are a few other things that you’ll need as well – not the least of which is a basic understanding of how your firearm works and how to handle it safely. An intro defensive firearms course presupposes that you are already conversant with the basic function of your weapon – if you have never fired your gun before or aren’t familiar with how it functions, a basic “intro to firearms course” or some private training time with a qualified NRA instructor would be a better fit. However, if you’re past the “introductory” skill level and want to step it up, then you’re the right candidate for a basic “defensive” firearms class.

Speaking of guns, that’s another good item to bring – a gun. But not just any old gun you have laying around, but a functional, reliable firearm that’s going to get you through a 400-600 round class without inflicting abuse on you as the shooter. A great example is the Ruger SR9 (and by extension the SR40). I shot the SR9c, the compact version through a defensive handgun course recently with zero malfunctions or issues through the pistol.

The final important item to bring to your gun class is a good holster and magazine pouches. Holsters are important, as your gun is going to spend a lot of time coming in and out of the holster, which means that you’re going to want a good, reliable rig. I personally prefer outside the waistband holsters made of kydex from companies like Comp-Tac and Blade-Tech for my training holsters, as they’re going to provide the highest level of comfort for the training experience.

But again, all gear issues aside, the most important thing to bring is an open mind. If you approach all training as an opportunity to learn and improve yourself as a shooter, you’ll always stand to benefit from it.

No comments:

Post a Comment