On the afternoon of September 26th, 2015- we taught a Level 2: Personal Protection with a Handgun course to a group of students who agreed to brave the rain. The Level 2 course focuses on handgun manipulation and skills that are likely to be required to successfully defend yourself in a gun fight. We began with a discussion of human anatomy and how the body reacts when it is faced with high-stress situations. We discussed the sympathetic grip of humans which underscores the importance of trigger finger discipline, and then we moved into an explanation of "body alarm" and why that is important to being able to control your "fight or flight" reaction. Finally, we moved into a discussion about how to "shut down the human machine" as anatomically efficiently as possible.
Understanding the anatomy after our discussions, we moved on to the fundamentals and manipulations that are covered in this course. Unlike our Level 1 course, this course is designed to be more of a "discuss and practice" format. Students in this course have already demonstrated safe gun-handling practices so we are comfortable having them increase their round count with more practice and less discussion.
Our first skill that we worked on was drawing from the holster. We use a slightly modified version of the 4 point draw, with a specific focus on economy of effort and efficiency of motion. For some of our students, this was their first experience working from a holster for more than anything other than simply transporting their firearm.
Today Amanda and I were about to get some handgun manipulation reps in at South River Gun Club on the new steel silhouette targets. The steel was great at providing both visual and audible feedback to the hits. We worked a lot of reloading drills including the following:
- Reloading from Slide Lock (both Powerstroke and Slide Release Methods)
- Reloads with retention (both tactical reload, and "hand switch" reload)
- Reloading while moving
We also worked on engaging multiple targets both from a static position in addition to the reloading drills. Though we only trained for about 60-75 minutes, we made great use of our time and round count to make sure that we got sufficient reps in. Below are a few pictures of the targets as well as some video clips from today's training.
Amanda S. has trained with me for quite some time, and has taken the Level 1 and Basic Pistol classes multiple times. She is enrolled in a Level 2 class coming up. She took a private instructional with me today and we worked on firearm manipulation drills. Many of these were new techniques, and she performed quite well. I was able to get some videos of her performing these drills and she agreed to let me place them on the site for anyone interested in what you'll be learning in the Level 2 class. In this video, she covers:
- Reloads with Retention (Tactical Reloads)
- Malfunction Correction
- Reloading while moving
- Drawing from holster
8/7/15 - 8/8/15: I had the opportunity to participate in the NRA's Personal Protection Outside the Home from Sparrow Defense over the past two days. This course included both the Basic and Advanced portions of this course, spread out over classroom and outdoor range environments. I'd like to share my After Action Report of how I feel the course went and provide some insight as tot he content of the course.
The course was separated into two days. The first day was classroom instruction consisting of the initial introduction of content as well as the NRA's version of Concealed Carry. I found this piece of the class to be a "necessary evil" as this is always my least favorite part of any instructional course that I participate in. Though it was certainly not my favorite part of the course, it was informative and entertaining to the point that it was as enjoyable as possible and thorough in its presentation.
Day 2 began with an early day at the range (8:00 AM), and we would be out there until about 3:30 PM. It was a HOT August day in Georgia, which certainly added to the "shooting under stress" portion of the class as everyone was visibly becoming more physically strained as the sun beat down. From here, I will break down the report into four sections: Level of Challenge; Instruction; Content; and Highs and Lows.
LEVEL OF CHALLENGE:
This is not an introductory level course. The participants in this course have already taken the NRA's Basic Pistol Course and the Personal Protection Inside the Home course (or can perform at an equivalent skill level). All of the participants were proficient enough with their handguns to be considered safe on the range and were all within a marginal difference in their abilities. Because of the similarities in the participant's skill level, Clark Sparrow (instructor) was able to push the content at a consistent pace without boring anyone or leaving anyone behind. The progression of challenge was both logical and fun. I consider myself to be a high-level shooter, and at no point during the range phase of the course was I not interested in what we were doing. Clark also interjected a LOT of content that is not part of the standard NRA PPOTH curriculum, which means that the participants got more than their money's worth. I will incorporate more into the "Content" section as to what that entailed, but it added a ton of useful content to the curriculum. Overall, the level of challenge was excellent for this course and the participants that were in it. Everyone there, myself included, went home as a better shooter than when they arrived.