It was all very last minute and the timing was horrible. So when Uel from Weaponcraft let me know there was an opportunity to take 12 hours of classes with his guys, I had to of course tell him I would be there and petitioned ALL my friends to come with me. In the end it was short notice but I had Monkey and Misses Whitey with me to help me scratch my training itch.
From 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Weaponcraft was hosting a Carbine 02 course as well as a Low Light Carbine course. How can I pass that up, honestly. We had a some lights and mounts we had to try, we were dying to get back out and get more instruction and well we just needed any excuse at all to be able to head back up to Maine and shoot.
The boys at Weaponcraft are a down to earth crew with years upon years of experience in the Armed Forces, SWAT and SRT with many still active. In the couple times we have gone we have had different training staff each time it was still a continuous lesson plan, a similar attitude and methodology from the previous course. You almost feel like you never left the last course even thought they were taken several months apart.
Due to the my own illiteracy we started the day already on the sh*t list. We were quite proud of ourselves thinking we were going to be 40 minute early when in reality we were officially… running late. Something both Monkey and I get livid about. When we arrived it was a pretty quick dismount, hump all the camera gear, ammo, carriers and weapons to the range… suit up and get on the line. We missed zero but were just in time for the 100m stroll as we started out shooting and moving before we even really got to say hello to anyone. It was definitely not something I would ever encourage anyone to do (be late that is.)
Scarborough Fish and Game is a very nice club that has all the shooting areas in high berm “bays” on 3 sides so you can actually do a lot more than you can on your average local gun range where you stand on a line with other people and fire in one direction. Yeah you can practice reloads, malfunctions, accuracy and the such at the average range but in an environment and with instructors like Weaponcraft provide… you can get a lot more done with a lot less funny looks. You get to do things like shoot on the move, not just forward and back but laterally. You get to engage multiple threats and again, on the move. Transition to pistol or even shoulder transitions, add in a reload and a malfunction, these are all things that are possible on many ranges but in my experience it is not the same.
For example; a while back I did a reload drill video per a request from one of our fans. Everything I did in that video I had and have practiced for thousands of repetitions. You know what I didn’t do? Do that same drill while walking, engaging multiple targets, doing it after a transition and furthermore do it with an experienced trainer who is sees everything and can pick apart all the finite details and tells me everything I can do to make it better and more efficient.
When I start adding other motions like walking to the equation, my pistol reload is actually dropping my head and hands down, taking my eyes off the target. I then also bring my head up first as my hands put my weapon back at battery low and away. If that was never pointed out to me and made a note of, I would still have that terrible habit.
Learning how to transition properly is also a skill that is useful for many. Transition from primary to secondary as well as transition from strong side to support side especially in conjunction to a sling. Multiple ways to do it so you can transitions with a 2-point as well as a 3-point sling. Transitioning without banging your wedding tackle to pieces while moving without taking eyes off the target. What about cover? Do you know how to effectively utilize cover? It’s not like you see in the movies. There is a methodology behind not just how to use it effectively, but also how to use it tactically. Weaponcraft helps you understand how and why you do what you do behind cover and how to use it to your advantage.
Shooting in the dark is another experience that will not soon be forgotten. Slapping a flashlight on your AR, does not an “operator” make. Learning about the human eye, seeing in the dark, methods of utilizing the dark in your aiming methods…. it goes on and on. Anyone can walk out in the dark, turn on a flashlight and then point and shoot. But Weaponcraft teaches you what happens when you just turn on a light and stand still. What happens when you leave it on and so on and so forth.
Practice and training is crucial to firearms. They are all degradable skills. The way you reload, aim, move, transition and so on is not something that sticks around. If you don’t practice, if you don’t train, they will slowly go away as you revert back to your old way of doing things. Weaponcraft helps take you to the next level by putting you under the microscope, showing you what can be better and following through to help you do better. Then they make you do it while moving, under stress, handling a malfunction. They make you do it over, and over and over again. Weaponcraft helps you beat it into your own brain, imprint it and utilize it. I had a double feed the other day and I didn’t even remember clearing it. But it got done in the blink of an eye and without hesitation just from the amount of repetitions we had gone through followed up with practicing on my own.
In my opinion, Weaponcraft is a company on it’s way up in Maine. Within the next year or two they are on their way to becoming a destination training facility. Indoor, Outdoor, Force on Force with simunitions, and all that doesn’t even include their hand to hand classes or their SWAT/SRT and LEO classes that aren’t available to the general public. They have an honest, blue collar team with the kind of experience that you instantly pay attention to. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be attending Weaponcraft more in the future. There are no egos, there are no prima donnas, it’s all business and learning with great trainers.
I could go into detail about every drill we did. I can write specifics on movements, tactics, and the reasons behind them all day long. After watching all the video I edited and writing this article I can tell you why I won’t. It is all about the experience. The day was long, drills were plentiful and I learned a great deal. On average I shoot multiple times a week. I am fairly proficient on multiple weapons at this point thanks to the variety our website has seen. I learn so much more EVERY time I attend a Weaponcraft class because there is always someone out there (millions of someones in my case) who knows more than you. I will not detract from that by breaking down every aspect of Weaponcraft training. The sum of the parts is what makes me go back, and I will be back. The internet is a great resource but at the end of the day nothing replaces a good trainer. [Weaponcraft]