Certs, courses, etc.

W

WillBrink

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Folks. One thing on my list to do, being non Mil/LE is to perhaps do some course work and perhaps a cert or two. It can only help me personally and professionally. I'm a regular IDPA shooter and shoot with a fair number of experienced people with SOF/Tactical LE backgrounds. I'm Probably an intermediate level handgun shooter would be my guess with a solid grounding in the basics.

I know there are schools, and there are schools...I know Black Water offers courses for civis, and then there is Gunsite and Thunder Ranch. I'm sure there are many others.

I good buddy of mine used to work for Jeff Gonzales at Trident Concepts, and by all accounts he's top of the line. He will be in NH (about an hour drive for me) teaching his His Combative Pistol (CP1)November 22-23, 2008. If time and $$$ allows, I hope to make that. I hear it's a hell of a good course. I'm probably qualified for the CP2 course, but the CP1 is the pre rec.


Thoughts, advice, opinions?
 
8

8'Duece

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One of the LEO's over at PS took Jeff Gonzalez's carbine and pistol course last year. High marks and great praise for him and his staff.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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What are you looking to be trained and or certified in? What will you use the training/ cert for?

If you’re going for the instructor creds, I would start with the NRA and a local community college LE Academy Inst development courses…

If you’re going for just knowing some different tricks of the trade, I would attend whatever is local first and then just branch out from there. I have yet to have a marksmanship instructor not teach me something or refresh me on something.
 
W

WillBrink

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What are you looking to be trained and or certified in? What will you use the training/ cert for?

If you’re going for the instructor creds, I would start with the NRA and a local community college LE Academy Inst development courses…

If you’re going for just knowing some different tricks of the trade, I would attend whatever is local first and then just branch out from there. I have yet to have a marksmanship instructor not teach me something or refresh me on something.

Thanx for the comments. ;)
 

zushwa

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I've trained with Jeff before. Here is my training history. Maybe you can gleen something from it.

I was stationed in San Diego and wanted to get better firearms training than my command was providing. I asked to go to Small Arms an Marksmen Instructor school where I qualified expert on everything. I took a few classes from Max Joseph at TFTT, a shotgun course with Rob Haught and a Carbine course with Jeff Gonzalez.

Then I moved to Fayetteville.

I started training with LAV and Brian Searcy (of TigerSwan) as well as other instructors from this area.

I couldn't shoot for shit. The accuracy standards that these guys hold you to is on another level, especially with LAV. Brian brings more of a dynamic curriculum but accuracy is still HIGHLY stressed. I continue to train with guys from certain communities with the same mindset.

What I learned was that accuracy needs to be the most important thing and everything else supports that. If you have a lightning fast drawstroke or reloads and can't hit shit then what the fuck is the point. I don't regret training with any of the previous instructors, but I wish I would have had a different mindset (and skill level) when I did train with them.

Here's the thing. NO ONE spends more time, money, and effort in shooting than a local Unit. If you train with any instructor from that Unit you will have solid fundemantals and accuracy emphasized. Whether it's LAV, Brain Searcy, Paul Howe, Kyle Lamb or Jim Smith you will see similar points of instruction.

I would recommend training with one of the above instructors first, and then look at other instructors, especially if the course is something like team tactics or CQB. Believe me, the gentlemen shooting around you will appreciate it!!

I'm not saying this in a "talking shit" manner, but you're probably not as good as you think. It's all relative.

Later,

Josh
 
W

WillBrink

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I'm not saying this in a "talking shit" manner, but you're probably not as good as you think. It's all relative.

Later,

Josh

Thanx for the write up Josh. The course with Jeff I was planning to take is his His Combative Pistol (CP1), which is his basic combat handgun course. I would consider myself an intermediate level shooter with solid basics, and I think that's in line with the opinion of the much higher level shooters I know and learn from. Beyond that, I will take it as it comes.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I would consider myself an intermediate level shooter with solid basics, and I think that's in line with the opinion of the much higher level shooters I know and learn from. Beyond that, I will take it as it comes.

This is a good way to test your self:

Normal 9 inch paper plate, posted up at 50 yards.

Standing slow fire with pistol (no support) 10 shots in 10 minutes. Slow and easy taking your time and applying all your fundamental knowledge/ skill.

Untrained shooter may hit the plate with 3 or 4 rounds but will be off the plate a lot.

Basic shooter should hold all shots on the paper plate.

Advanced shooter should hold the grouping ability of the gun (2 to 5 inch groups) depending on ammo and pistol used.

I do not believe in the intermediate shooter stuff, you either are untrained (just bought a gun and ammo and pull the trigger) basic (know the basics and can apply with some skill) or you are advanced (know the fundamental and can apply them consecutively).

However, I totally agree with the point Josh is making. I would not look for a tactical/ practical school, unless you have an ability to shoot slow aimed fire with consistency.

ETA:

The reason you want to use a distance of 50 yards is, close range groups breeds false belief. A lot of people can hold 1 to 1.5 inch group at 10 yards, however they can’t hit crap at 50 yards. 50 yards is normally the testing point of true fundamentals (natural point of aim, accepting the wobble, focusing on the sights, apply pressure to the trigger, following through on recoil/ trigger, KNOWING WHERE THE SHOT BROKE!)
 
W

WillBrink

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The reason you want to use a distance of 50 yards is, close range groups breeds false belief. A lot of people can hold 1 to 1.5 inch group at 10 yards, however they can’t hit crap at 50 yards. 50 yards is normally the testing point of true fundamentals (natural point of aim, accepting the wobble, focusing on the sights, apply pressure to the trigger, following through on recoil/ trigger, KNOWING WHERE THE SHOT BROKE!)


I will try the above, but....JAB, the above confuses me a bit in terms of testing/assessing a shooters tactical/combat skills. How does shooting slow fire at 150ft reflect that skill set? I'm asking here, not debating per se, so take the question as a genuine question.

For example, on the basics, my stance, presentation, draw, grip, are solid. I can be a little slow on getting my initial site picture, but am solid after that. My trigger skills are good, but need to be better as i still slap the trigger at times. I continue to wok on that.

I can shoot on the move, shoot from cover, use cover, shoot in tactical priority or tactical sequence, slice the pie, hit a moving target (swingers, poppers, etc) while moving from cover to cover, do tactical reloads with retention or without, clear a jam while doing any of the above, etc, etc. , normally from typical self defense distances, via the targets and scoring system developed by Larry Vickers (if competing in IDPA) and continued in that vein. I'm adequate with my strong hand shooting, not great with weak hand shooting, but getting better...

Do I do the above perfect every time? Of course not, but I do it with regularity due to practice.

In a group of shooters doing the above (for example IDPA, or working with pals on SWAT teams, etc) I will generally be middle of the pack, and rank middle of the pack in IDPA and such.

When I shoot with high level experienced combat shooters, they are better then I am. When I shoot with others, I am superior to them, and so on.

Thus, my assessment was an intermediate level shooter with good basics, who needs to continue to improve my tactical skills.

How does a slow fire at 150ft with handgun at 9" plate have greater applicability to a shooters tactical/combat skills than what I am doing in the above?
 

Farang

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Pat McNamara,Kyle lamb,Larry Vickers,Paul Howe,Brian Searcy,Clint Smith and Rock Brown cant go wrong with any of these instructors.....and thats just off the top of my head!
 
W

WillBrink

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Pat McNamara,Kyle lamb,Larry Vickers,Paul Howe,Brian Searcy,Clint Smith and Rock Brown cant go wrong with any of these instructors.....and thats just off the top of my head!

Thanx. I have every intent of following up with one of the above in the future.
 

Sunny

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jeff g puts on a great course of instruction.

FBI stat over 90% of gun fights happen at 7 yards or less. so what good is a slow fire from 50 yard. learn to employ your tool in the matter you intend to use it. think about your pistol as the tool it is. did your father make you learn how to drive a nail with perfect percision? or did he give you a hammer and guide you through a natural progression of comfort to learn to simply drive a nail. give you got the cash go for the class. jeff does have a great book out if you are light on funds.
 
W

WillBrink

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jeff g puts on a great course of instruction.

FBI stat over 90% of gun fights happen at 7 yards or less. so what good is a slow fire from 50 yard. learn to employ your tool in the matter you intend to use it.

I agree, but in JAB's defense, I think he means it as an assessment tool vs. a mode or training per se. It can expose the many small mistakes made, and give some assessment of the shooters general skills with issues of site picture, grip, trigger control, and such. He will correct me if wrong I am sure - as I am not the expert here - but that was my impression at least.

I do shoot at 25 yards at a 5" target slow fire (which should be visually about the same as 50 yards at 9" target) and can keep most rnds on target*, but the groups are not small, that's for sure. Keep a 2" group on a 5" inch target at 25 yards using non match grade gun with combat sites? Not this guy....

* = using a commander or government 1911.
 

zushwa

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I'm in the middle on this. I think 50 yards is damn far for a 9 inch circle. 25 yard bulls will show you any fleas you have.

I also agree that slow fire isn't the only way to test you, but shooting slow fire will reinforce the basics. Plenty of guys are ninjas at the 10 yard line. Double that and the wheels come off.

WB, you make reference to your shooting ability compared to others. I would probably use that as my last comparison. I would compare my shooting to myself, and how much I'm improving, then I would compare myself to standard drills on a pro-timer, and then to others around me. Let me break that down a bit for you.

As Dave Harrington would say, there is no goal, just the path. You're only shooting to prepare yourself so be better than "yourself". Just like in the gym. There are monsters that can bench press 350 lbs. I have NO SHOT at that goal, but I can work to improve my own bench press. As long as I'm improving then I'm a relatively happy camper.

Second is the pro-timer and some kind of standards. Doing a drill like an “el pres” shows plenty of things about a shooter. With a pro timer we can see EXACTLY where we stand in the grand scheme of things as well as diagnose problems in our shooting techniques. A pro timer is an inanimate object. It records shots and tells you times, period. This is a great tool to really see how you're progressing. Just like our bench press example above. If you want to progress you need to know where you start and where you want to go, and keep records along the way.

The caveat to the pro timer is that SPEED is never more important than ACCURACY. There is a balance, but it always leans toward accuracy. I'm not saying be one of those guys that goes around spouting about sub second draw strokes, but having an idea of how fast you are does build in some inherent confidence. For me it's how fast I can do something every time, not just the ONE time.

Last are your shooting comrades. I'm not taking anything away from them, you, or any unit or agency. They might be great shooters. What I will say is that my "job" affords me the opportunity to shoot with people from all over the country and every walk of life. There are only a handful of guys in any one circle, agency, department that are truly good shooters and plenty of guys that look the part and will tell you how good they are.

Unfortunately this is across the board. LE, big army, SF, etc. Unless they are in a Tier One or "maybe" Tier Two unit they are probably good compared to the shooters around them, and not in the grand scheme of things.

The good news is that this is getting better and better. I've seen entire agencies turn things around in a short period of time with a new training officer or hosting a key instructor. Some of those agencies have been lucky enough to train with some of the previously mentioned instructors.

Just some observations and my own personal experiences.

Josh
 
W

WillBrink

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I

The caveat to the pro timer is that SPEED is never more important than ACCURACY.

Thanx for the comments. I'm not sure you were really grasping my comments however as it relates to my shooting. For example, have you shot any IDPA? IDPA scoring was designed by Larry Vickers and doing well depends on both accuracy and speed, and speed minus accuracy gets you no place fast. Scoring is based on accuracy to center mass and head, unless other wise noted within the stage, and timed, and matched/compared to others, so you know (1) objectively how well you are doing and if you are improving and (2) how you compare to others both in your group/ranking/devision.

It's a fantastic way for any civi, LEO, or mil to both test and improve their tactical/combat shooting if they don't have access to regular training of that nature.

Like all things, it's a tool in the tool box, and has it's pros and cons, but it's a great tool (in my n = 1 personal opinion) and a hell of a lot of fun.

Objectively, based on times and accuracy via IDPA, I rank high Marksman or low Sharp Shooter, which = middle of the pack, thus my comments.

Hope that clarifies. :)
 

Diamondback 2/2

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The M9 service pistol (rack grade) with mil ammo will hold 6 to 8 inch groups at 50 yards… I have seen it, taught it, and done it… When you use match ammo and match grade pistols, achieving group sizes under 5 inches is a true test, but is very achievable.

Now as for being able to shoot fast and accurate, if you can’t shoot accurate slow how are you going to do it fast? If you cannot shoot accurately with out moving, using different positions and stress, how will you do it with all of the above? 25 yards is easy, 50 yards is not. That is why 50 yards is my standard, along with the top 10% of competitive pistol shooters… 50 yards will not lie to you and will always keep you humble!

WB, it’s like having someone who can bench press 300lbs. Yeah he is getting it up there, but is he using good form, is he using the right muscle groups? If he is not, you take him back down and train him to do it right.

If you pass the buck and say “its not combat/ tactical/ practical” to be able to group and zero with a pistol at the affective range of the pistol, then there is nothing I can say to help you. It’s simply the difference in being and saying IMO…

How many of you learned on a rifle with a .22?

How many of you learned on a pistol with a .22?

I train with a .22 conversion for my service pistol and match pistols, then I put the big bullets back in. I also dry fire 2 shots per every 1 live round fired, if you are shooting 500 to 1000 rounds a week, you can figure the math. If you bring your ego down and open your mind to learn, you will learn a lot!

The sights and trigger is what makes it happen, not the newest coolest grip, mixed with a new altered stance. Having a cool holster and a 1 sec draw and shoot time is not what keeps you alive; it’s the bullet impacting the target! Adding all the sexy time and cool guy gear is just the plus. If your wanting to be in the top, you have to train like you want to be. The better you are, the better chance you have going against some one who may just be better then you!

Being basic is understanding the basics and applying them with some skill, being advanced is having mastered the basic skill/ fundamentals of marksmanship….

ETA: I am by no means saying that 9 inch groups at 50yards is the only thing you should be doing, it is simply the starting point. If you can't do that, then you are wasting your time on everything else...
 
W

WillBrink

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If you bring your ego down and open your mind to learn, you will learn a lot!

(1) If that's being directed at me, then either you are not reading my posts well, or I am coming across badly. I will now step away slowly from this thread...

(2) I don't disagree with anything you said, did my best to ask what seemed the appropriate questions to the issue, and made comments that seemed applicable.

I appreciate your taking the time to give me the 411 on the issue. :)
 
8

8'Duece

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I spend alot of time with a Marlin bolt action .22Lr rifle at one hundred meters. I use a simple 3x-9x33 Simmons scope. Once upon a time a well known P100 shooter told to me to spend as much time with the .22Lr as I would with a 5.56 or .308+ He is right !!! All of my mistakes/fleas with the .22Lr will show themseves in the .22Lr caliber.

Once my .22Lr hits are accurate, then applying the same techniques to the larger calibers is basically the same. Only difference ? Recoil !!!! :D
 
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