Saturday July 14, 2012 was a bit of a different day for me at KR Training. The morning was a Basic Pistol 2 class and the afternoon was Skill Builder. It’s the Skill Builder that made things different, for me at least.
I thought BP2 ran well, and was fairly standard for what a BP2 is. People come to realize how vital trigger control is towards ensuring acceptable hits. They get their first taste of shooting to higher standards, such as trying to get all hits into a 6″ circle, shooting under the pressure of a timer, and realizing that yes, they can do it… they may need some practice, but they can do it.
But one thing dawned on me during this particular class (and note, this was just something that hit me; it is no commentary on the students). This is probably one of the hardest classes we provide. It’s not that the skills a particularly difficult. Rather, it’s a huge mental shift for most people. If they’ve shot guns before, they’ve never shot them like this. We bring a particular focus, a particular discipline. It’s not just plinking tin cans off the fence post, it’s not just aimlessly poking holes in paper until the box of ammo is empty. There’s now a focus, a point, a purpose, a direction. That everything done, every motion, every action, the way to grip, the way to hold, where to hold, how to hold, how to look, how to do, every little movement is intentional, thought out, and with meaning and purpose. Everything is geared towards making you efficient and effective at getting acceptable hits. And it’s a big shift from how people have shot guns in their past. Making that mental shift is difficult.
But it’s great to see so many people willing to make the shift. 🙂
Then came Skill Builder.
I’ve been looking forward to SB for a while. It’s something that Karl’s been working on for a while, and it’s still evolving. I’ve been looking forward to seeing and experiencing the class, given some prior discussed plans for SB’s ultimate direction. But even what I saw was different from what had been discussed, but when Karl explained his reasoning for the refined direction, it made a lot of sense. Read: KR Training doesn’t teach static courses based on 20-year-old material; constant evolution, constant improvement. It also shows why it’s important for you to keep up with your training, because things change.
Another different thing? I shot the class, instead of being full-time assistant. Oh sure, I assisted and did whatever needed to be done, but I was up on the line shooting the drills.
And I shot it with my snub. 🙂
I’ve wanted some more work with my snub, one reason being the Defensive Pistol Skills BUG class coming up in a couple of weeks. But also because I thought it’d just be fun to shoot it this way.
I shot with my S&W 442 as long as I could. That gun is set up with the DeSantis Clip Grip. That means: airweight gun, pinky dangle, and my hand gets to soak up all that recoil. I was using my .38 Special plinking reloads, but even still… the hand got tender after a bit. I’m glad I brought my S&W 640 as well. That means, all steel gun, factory grip which is full sized and rubber, and that means my hand absorbs a lot less of the recoil. I got through probably 40% of the class with the 442 and did the rest with the 640.
I shot respectably. I’m generally pleased with my shooting, given the limitations. However, I had more than a few times where I dropped the hell out of a shot. Even with the improved triggers in my snubs, that’s still a long heavy trigger press. The sights are crappy, and the grip angle is a little more “downward” than is comfortable and typical with my semi-autos, so it’s some adjustment. What it means is: more practice. Especially practice on the trigger press during the press out — given the trigger, it’s a VERY different timing than the press-out with a semi-auto. I admit, most practice I do with my snubs has been dry fire, and that just doesn’t give the same feedback. So again, I’m glad I shot the course and did so with my snub. Still, I can work on improving the timing of my press out in dry practice.
That said, SB is certainly more geared towards semi-autos, and that makes sense given 99.99% of students use semi-autos. I actually can’t remember the last time a student in a regular class used a revolver. But the COF’s ran generally fine, generally organized in a manner that worked with varying capacities, and tho I missed the tail end of a few drills due to low-capacity and slow revolver reloading and given a few drills are really geared towards semi-autos, I really liked what Karl put into the course. I like the evolution, and I think SB is really worthwhile. It’s tough, but it’s tough because it focuses on those key fundamentals that everyone needs, and presents it in a manner that will test you, help you practice, and show you where you need more practice.
Other than coming home totally exhausted and a little sunburned (stupid me didn’t put on sunscreen), it was a fine day.