Thursday, April 18, 2013

Part Two - Firearms Safety Course

My last post was about a firearms safety class and I ended with the classroom portion. Trying to keep this informative yet compressed in detail, I'd like to share the range time experience now.

As I mentioned before, there were 11 women and 6 men in class. After the classroom experience they separate the males and females. The women headed to the firing range while the men stayed behind to participate and watch scenario training (more on this later).

We assembled around picnic benches housed under a covered area. The benches were covered with holsters, Glock 19s (a 9 millimeter semi-automatic), boxes of ammo and hearing protection. The instructors gave all of us holsters and explained we would be shooting at the targets lined before us, a backdrop of walled dirt was just beyond the targets. For the record, half of us were not wearing belts and had to shove the holsters onto the waistband of our trousers.....if you take a class like this, do yourself a favor and wear a belt. It will help with drawing the gun.

After being issued our unloaded Glocks we first tried drawing the gun from the holsters. Then we dry fired at the targets, scanned to the left and right behind us for additonal "threats" before reholstering the gun. Our stance was corrected, our arms were adjusted for proper stance and then we moved to loading the guns.

With loaded guns in our holsters we listen very carefully to our instructor who runs us through the drill we have practiced. He yells the commands so we can hear him over our ear protection.

"Shooters!" We take our stance, an Isosceles stance with the right foot back for support.

"Unholster!" We pull our guns out, leaving the trigger finger straight and away from the trigger; we do not want an accident.

"THREAT!" We take three shots into center mass of the target. Well, you hope you put all three into center mass.

"Scan!" which means to turn to the right and left; be sure of your surroundings.

"Guns in holsters!"

This drill went on while we shot toward center mass, reloaded magazines, shot again and again on command. Then we went on to head shots where we aimed at "the computer" - the center (brain) where you would take an attacker down.

(This target isn't the same as we used....but you get the idea)

My hand was achy after all that. I have never shot before my trip to see our son and that wasn't so...vigorous! The Glock seemed like it was too big for me but by the end of this portion of the training, it wasn't as alien to me. Yes, my hand was a bit sore but I wasn't used to holding a pistol and holding something up before me for an extended period of time. This would come with muscle memory.

The last part of the shooting was a scenario where you were up close, one foot from the target, as this may be a likely scenario if you were attacked. Honestly, I don't think I could do it justice, trying to describe it. But it was a method I will be practicing over and over in the event I am ever unfortunate enough to be in this position.

Next the men show up for their practice and instruction. The ladies moved to another area where a chest of guns - all sorts such as semi-automatic Glocks, a Sig, Taurus, etc and revolvers as well. Have you ever watched The Matrix? "We need guns, lots of guns"
That was what this looked like...on a smaller scale than the Matrix but more than what is pictured here below.

The class is invited to try out any gun they have. What's beneficial about this? Well, if you think you want to own a firearm it's a good thing to try firing it. Many people select a firearm based on size or how it feels in their hand. Shooting it is altogether different.

Think a small .22 will be easier to handle? The recoil is much greater with a smaller gun. Sadly, one woman had a semi-automatic her husband had bought for her and didn't care for the experience shooting it after the training. I tried a Smith a Wesson Shield, a Glock 26 and a Glock 27.

Back to the classroom building now. We participate in scenario training. Individual scenes are played out so we can see how we may react. One is being mugged at an ATM, another is having a stranger approach and ask for money but he's brandishing a knife, another is a scenario where a man is standing between a woman and her car at a parking lot. If you can retreat from confrontation this is the best course of action. Only draw your weapon if you mean to use it and there is no other recourse.

The instructor, dressed as the bad guy, is wearing a protective vest since we will be able to shoot him with a pellet gun. That way, the instructor isn't injured. It was very informative, very real and gave you food for thought.

It was a long day - 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm. But you sure come away from the class much better informed, well educated. It gave me lots of time to think about the responsibility of owning a firearm. It was also a fun experience.

That's it for the class...........I have made my decision but this post is already sooo long. I hope you enjoyed hearing about this wonderful educational experience.

Thank you to all the instructors at Talon!

1 comment:

Bryan Johnson said...

Have a very good firearms blog which is really interesting and knowledgeable. I really appreciate you for this good work keeps it up. You can also find a very good firearm safety course blog at bostonfirearms.

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