Training Reports

January 30, Intermediate and Advanced Handgun

Advanced Handgun Training ReviewOn January 30th, 2016, I was joined by 8 participants for a long day of training. All of the participants had already completed either our Handgun Fundamentals & Safety course or the NRA Basic Pistol course. Although the temperature was downright cold in the beginning of the day, we were blessed with perfect weather as the sun got overhead. We began with a thorough review of the fundamentals learned in the beginner course, and paid close attention to the proper grip of a semi-automatic handgun. We also quickly reviewed sight alignment and sight picture, trigger control, stance, and the 4 rules of firearm safety.

After our review, we moved right into the Weapon Manipulation & Personal Protection section of the course. We began with understanding the 4 point draw, and the importance of being able to fight from 3 of its 4 steps. Later in the day, we would combine the importance of this with shooting on the move skills as we had each participant engage the target from extremely close distances in the pelvic girdle while retreating and moving up the body as their draw came to full extension. Getting out of the holster is the first step to employing our gun in a gun fight, so it is important to be ultimately familiar with this process.

Next we moved into reloading the firearm. As we always do, we broke our reload training down into two categories of reloads: slide-lock reloads (or "emergency reloads"); and proactive reloads. Within each of these categories, we covered two different methods of getting fresh ammunition into our gun and getting our gun back into the fight. For slide-lock reloads, we covered both the Power Stroke reload method as well as the Slide Release method. During proactive reloads, we practiced both the tactical reload and the reload with retention. During each section, we made sure to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each technique.

After covering our reloading techniques, we moved on to identifying and correcting the four common malfunctions that a semi-automatic handgun experiences. We looked at variations in the ways to correct these malfunctions as well as some of the common causes that you might run into these issues. Because all of the participants that were present in the Intermediate Training were staying for the advanced training that afternoon, I made sure to emphasize exactly what was going wrong in the firearm during a malfunction... This is because during the intermediate portion we were fixing the malfunction with two hands. However in the advanced portion, we would be solving these problems using only one hand- making it vital to understand exactly what is wrong and how to most efficiently fix the problem. After working many of the drills for drawing from holster, reloads, and malfunction correction, we reviewed what we had learned and adjourned the intermediate training portion.

Immediately following the Intermediate training, we rolled right over into the Advanced training segment (called Armed Citizen). We began this segment with some brief discussion about which topics would be covered, and then immediately moved out to the range to work on shooting while moving. For this portion, we introduced a "box drill" to force each participant to move in multiple directions while engaging multiple targets. During this half of the day, there were many trips to the range to work on skill sets that had just been discussed, and then as everyone reloaded their magazines we would cover a new skill. We spent a significant amount of time discussing legal issues surrounding concealed carry laws in the state of Georgia, as well as use of force laws both nationally and within our state. We looked at common concealed carry methods, and I brought many different holsters and rigs to demonstrate the different methods of concealed carry that I frequently utilize. We also discussed common items that should be considered for every day carry, even though they are not necessarily meant for personal protection. 

After the discussion of these issues, we moved into more techniques regarding manipulating the weapon using one hand (which might be necessary for an injured shooter or for a shooter that is carrying a small child). All of our reloads and malfunction correction drills from earlier were repeated, but this time the candidates could only use one hand. During the demonstration, the participants all seemed quite doubtful that they would be able to do these manipulations- but after a few tries they were each performing the techniques wonderfully.

Next we moved into the use of cover and concealment, with a specific focus on shooting around cover. We worked on how to use angles to our advantages, and how "slice the pie" when dealing with corners around our cover. We discussed the importance of "changing levels" during our use of cover within common residential structures, as our walls will likely prove to be concealment and not truly cover. This will be a skill set that we will continue working on during our upcoming Low-Light training course.

We looked at how we can utilize a proper grip in combination with an isosceles shape with our arms to allow us to shoot from virtually any position effectively. Specifically we looked at the prone, urban prone, and supine positions during this section.

We closed with a brief question/answer discussion, and everyone was dismissed with my heartfelt appreciation. It was a fantastic day of training, and one that was seemingly enjoyed by everyone who participated. I'll look forward to seeing many of these people in our upcoming training courses.

To see some pictures and video clips from the training on January 30th, please click on either of the sliders below:

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