This Basic Pistol 2 class at KR Training was typical in most ways, but atypical in a very significant one.
Sold out class. Wide variety of folks. One thing that was cool was seeing a lot “pairs”, be it husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, or father and son. Had a fair number of those in this class, and it was nice to see folks strengthening relationships this way.
For the most part, it was a typical Basic Pistol 2 class. Safety, fundamentals, working on sights and trigger, the “press-out”.
What was atypical? The sheer variety of guns. The past some years we’ve seen consolidation towards Glock, M&P, XD/XDm. You get the occasional Sig or 1911, or random other thing. This class was pretty wide across the board. What struck me the most was the sheer number of DA/SA style guns, like Beretta PX4’s and Beretta 92’s. Normally we don’t have to talk much about “guns with a decocker” or the realities of working with DA/SA guns (other than “avoid them”), but we had to make extra effort to work with it in this class. One lady had a P226 DAK, which was a long heavy but at least consistent pull; oddly, she didn’t struggle much with the gun (typically not the case).
We also had a few cases of the opposite gun-fit problem. Whereas normally the problem is small hands with large gun, we had a few cases of large hands and small guns. For example, one gentleman had a fine Springfield 1911, but his hands were so big that the controls didn’t always work. He would press the trigger and the gun wouldn’t go bang; turns out just the way things were with his hands vs. the grip wound up with the grip safety not being fully depressed. We lent him one of Karl’s double-stacked STI’s and an instant world of difference.
The big take-home? Equipment matters. Your equipment can and will influence your ability to shoot. It will affect your skill, both in a good way and a bad way. Sure, you can master a DA/SA trigger press (look at Ben Stoeger), but do you have the time and dedication to do so? Lend someone an M&P or a Glock and after a few shots to get used to the improved trigger (vs. their DA/SA) and it’s a world of difference and improvement.
That little gun you bought for concealed carry? You can’t get your hands on it, you cannot manipulate and shoot it. How useful will that be if you have to use it to defend yourself? Yes, most people can conceal a full-sized pistol without much problem (with the right holster, etc.). There is a place for small guns, but when you are just starting out, when you are just learning to shoot, get a full-sized gun. Learn to shoot well first, then learn to master the little gun later.
Don’t get married to your equipment – it’s just steel and plastic. Work to find the right gun that fits you and you can shoot well; a gun that doesn’t get in your way, that you don’t have to fight. Here’s helpful guide. You will shoot better with the right equipment.