Saturday March 5, 2016. KR Training. One of our flagship days of Basic Pistol 2 (Defensive Pistol Skills Essentials) and Defensive Pistol Skills 1. A very important set of classes to help establish the necessary foundations for the carry and use of a pistol in a defensive context.
The weather was gorgeous. The classes I believe were sold out but some people bailed at the last minute due to various reasons. But we still had a great set of students, many of whom came for both classes. A diverse group as well: old and young, men and women, and from what I could tell all over the map in terms of economic status, education level, race/ethnicity, you name it. May be a little awkward to point that out, but I do so to continue to demonstrate that ignorant stereotypes of gun owners are just that – ignorant.
The day started a little rough, but we instructors spoke afterwards and think the day wound up going pretty smooth and that folks left better than they came.
In many respects it was typical BP2/DPS1 stuff. People being exposed to new concepts, old habits creeping up and needing to be broken, and just coping with the overload of new information. But when you see people self-correcting, when you see people catching themselves, and when you see them improving, you know it’s all good. No one will come out of a 4-hour class (or 2, 4-hour classes) having mastered the skills, but seeing seeds sown and knowing what now needs to be practiced? All good.
As per these classes, focus on practicing what you learned. That 4-count drawstroke, the press-out, getting on the trigger and working with simultaneous action (getting that coordinated and smooth will help you go quicker without having to go faster). Practicing the “3 Seconds or Less” drill, just about all of which you can do in dry fire from your home.
A few specifics from class:
- Gear matters. So many people think their gear is great, but they never use it under pressure. Often when gear is subject to more pressure, that’s when you start to see it fail. We had one gun that was having failures to extract. I tried the gun myself, and when I did the trigger press felt odd, didn’t always fire, but then double-fired. Yikes! That one’s going back to the manufacturer for warranty work (supposedly bought about 1-2 months ago, about 600 rounds through it). But better it was discovered here.
- Gear doesn’t matter. Once you get your gear working, focus on skills. So the above student swapped out that gun for another, an M&P Shield, and while it took a little bit to change mental gears, she shot with that gun the rest of the day and did quite well. We saw much improvement in her shooting, and while of course there’s work ahead, in many regards I feel she’ll do great to just keep working with that Shield (and perhaps pick up some of those 10-round Pro-Mag magazines).
- Run your gear. I’ll talk more about this in another post in a couple of days.
- Have enough gear. You don’t have enough magazines. Buy more. Buy an UpLULA (seriously, nothing helps loading magazines better). The more mags you can have, the more you can keep them loaded, the more you can run well in class.
- We don’t have a problem with Appendix carry. Those who wish to, you would be well-served to read this article from Todd Louis Green. I’d also look at dedicated AIWB holsters like CCC’s Shaggy, or one from Keepers Concealment.
- Don’t worry if you don’t remember it all – especially those who were there all day. It was a lot of information. A few things I’m sure stood out to you, everyone seemed to have a “yeah, this is what I need to work on”, and so focus on those. And don’t be afraid to come take the classes again. When you do, you’ll now be able to focus on other things, as well as see your progression because there’s a measurable standard you can work against.
- If you felt humbled, maybe a little ego bruised, good. Not that we’re out to destroy you and make you feel like shit; far from it. It’s that self-defense is not a place for ego, a place for false bravado, or a place to overestimate your skills and abilities. You need to be brutally honest with yourself so you can properly assess then properly learn and grow. As Tom likes to say, “we want to knock the Wyatt Earp right out of you”, because we’re interested in your growth, your maturity, your capability/proficiency, and ultimately your safety and ability to keep yourself and your loved-ones safe. 🙂
Thank you for coming out and spending your day with us. We appreciate your trust in us, and providing us with the privilege of teaching you. Hope to see you back out on the range soon.