Monkey and I decided now was as good a time as ever to get some more range time, only this time we would try it with professional help instead of us two chuckleheads critiquing each other with our own jackassery.
So as I sit here, waiting for the billionth gigabyte to upload into the damn FCPX and render, I look through the photos from our adventure up to Maine. There is a company up there called Weaponcraft that offers several classes ranging from Defensive and Carry pistol to Shotgun and Carbine classes.
Man, were we in for a surprise.
Two very unassuming gentleman sized us up when we rolled in and were not all that impressed with us here at FourGuysGuns.com. At least thats the first impression I got. We talked briefly about what we were here to do, how we would like to set up the cameras, what we had in mind etc., but we wanted to emphasize that the RSO’s (Range Safety Officers) also known as our two instructors Rick and Dan, that we did not want to impede ANYONE else’s learning or experience(including our own!), be in harms way or make their lives more difficult. They told us alright, thanks for coming, now go get set up. So off went the two fat kids to gear up and set up.
We had a an eclectic group of guys that were in the same class as us, ranging from some survivalists (who shot REALLY friggin good) to people looking to go into 3-gun as well as some new to the weapon entirely. Then there was us, and whatever group you want to lump us into. You stick all of us in a subway car and it would be a stark contrast to what we were. It was amazing. Everyone had a personality, there was ZERO ego, no one judged anyone by either their gear, their brands, etc. There was a lot of healthy good conversation about everything from EOTech versus Aimpoint, magnifiers, Chest Rigs, Kydex , Tacos, tax stamps and even some other random conversations like BPA free water bottles, yoga and child rearing. Maybe it is as Robert Heinlein said “An armed society, is a polite society”. All I know is I would do it all again with that same random group without hesitation.
The instructors were fantastic. You could tell they had done this quite a bit and that they were just as eager to get to the good bits as we were. They went through all safety protocols and rules and demonstrations unhurried though. They never let us do anything without a full explanation and demonstration, and even though Dan was a lefty, we don’t hold it against him. (Dan could easily kill me with EITHER hand, for the record) He taught me especially some very simple things that got me instantly a better results with a few small adjustments over the course of the day.
The repetitions, the motions, the constant reinforcement. Do it again, again, again and then when you think you’re good to go DO IT AGAIN. Do yourself a favor, if you ever take a weapons training course, don’t fill all your mags and go there thinking you’re smarter. Constant UN-loading of mags was far worse than loading mags with the specified rounds for the drills.
The further into the day we got, the more the pace seemed to pick up. The later it got, the more we felt like we didn’t have enough time. Each cycle was anticipated, done, and had then gone by far too fast. Then we move, then we move and shoot. Now we are starting to call each other out and having a blast the entire time. There were even a couple instances where we are actually talking about the previous shot or talking to the instructors and out comes the bark “GUN!” or “UP!” and everyone snaps to the stance, up comes the rifle and methodically shots are fired. I have even more respect for the instructors and classmates after watching the videos we took than while I was actually going through it.
To sum it all up, if you have the the opportunity to take a professionally run weapons course…DO IT! No one cares what parts are on that gun if you can’t shoot it for squat. You can have had guns for a long time, own a million weapons, watched some DVD’s and YouTube, it doesn’t matter. Get a professionally trained instructor and a couple days of them putting you through the paces and you will learn more about your bad habits and what you are doing wrong than you ever thought possible. But even moreover, you will get them fixed and be better. Look at it this way, even Tiger Woods has a swing coach, don’t you think maybe someone else can help you pull a trigger, reload, move while shooting or reloading? The guys at Weaponcraft sure knew a hell of a lot and we are dying to go again.
Stay safe, always check your chambers!