It felt good to be back out on the range teaching at KR Training. We take a quasi-haitus during November & December as a nod to our neighbors during deer hunting season. And 2017 is hitting the ground running.
Since Karl is now retired, he’s able to pour a lot more time into KR Training. One thing we’re trying out is more class times, such as offering classes on Sunday. This was one such class, and we had a good turnout for both classes.
Basic Pistol 1
Another change for 2017 is acknowledging a gap we had growing into our curriculum.
For many years we had Basic Pistol 1, which was a handgun selection, safety, and basic fundamentals course. The next step would be Basic Pistol 2, which worked on foundational marksmanship towards gaining the skills needed to pass the Texas CHL/LTC live fire test. Early on we had time in class to cover a host of little – but important – things, like how to load magazines, explaining the different action types on guns, and so on. Over the years things like that faded from class, not because we intentionally dropped them, but we’d find areas of greater importance to address and as time went on and class duration didn’t change, something had to give and we found some of these important things not always being covered from lack of time. Consequently, we acknowledged a growing gap on our curriculum and over the past some months have been evaluating means to address it.
What we landed upon is essentially this: what was Basic Pistol 1 (gun selection) is now a new course called “Handgun Selection”. Basic 1 is now about safety, range etiquette, basic technique, gun functionality (loading magazines, (un)loading the gun across different types and styles of guns from single action cowboy revolvers to DA/SA’s with decockers to 1911’s to Glocks), and then some live fire range time working on basics and fundamentals. Basic 2 remains what it always has been, a Defensive Pistol Skills Essentials class.
What’s nifty is the new Basic 1 is essentially based upon the new NRA Basic Pistol course. We found that what we needed to offer dovetailed well with the NRA course. That means you can register to take the NRA Basic Pistol online, then our class works for the live-fire portion of the NRA course. We will submit your records so you can also receive credit and a certificate from the NRA for the course.
As for the class itself, it ran great. We had a great set of students and fantastic weather. Everyone was open, engaged, and I saw noticable improvement across the board. We had a mix of students, including one teenager that was a little nervous but I could tell by the end of class she had a great time.
As it was my first time with the new approach, I was generally happy with it. I’ve long appreciated some of our “buffet-style” approaches in beginner classes. For example, having women shoot an airweight .38 snub-nose revolver. Not because we recommend it, but because precisely we don’t. But the sad reality is there are too many sales people behind the gun counter that think an airweight snub is the ideal gun for a “little lady”. (rolleyes). I like to have women (and men) shoot one just once, because that gives them the ability to look that salesman right in the eye and say not just “no” but “hell no”. An educated customer is the worst thing for a salesperson. 🙂 And so in this class, adding in the buffet of gun types and actions to have everyone load and unload them, yes it’s time consuming but it was quite educational. For example, small semi-autos must have very tight and strong springs, and thus the slide is harder to rack. Putting an M&P Shield in someone’s hands, then putting a full-sized Glock in their hands and watching their eyes open with relief when they see how easy the Glock is to work, that sort of knowledge and education is important at this student level.
That said, one thing we will need to work on is timing and class rhythm. For a first run it went really well, so it’s just small refinements. But that’s something I like about working at KR Training: we are constantly working, constantly evolving, constantly examining what we do to ensure it’s of highest quality. And if you have feedback for us, we always want to hear it.
The afternoon was our Skill Builder course. This is always a fun and challenging class, no matter your skill level. We had a good group of students, including a good number of repeat students. It’s great to see people working hard to improve their skills.
All in all, a good day. I’m happy to be back out on the range. Tho I have to say, if the weather is this great in January, I’m afraid of what it’s going to be like come July and August. 😉
Thank you all for coming out and training with us. We look forward to seeing you again.