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Looking for first formal training experience.


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I know some of you may be in similar situations, so maybe we can help each other out. 

 

I am at a point in my firearms career where I am beginning to seek out some formal training. I am still rather new to firearms compared to some people here, but I do not think a 100% all - newbies type of course designed for people who have never held, used, or are not familiar with a handgun would be worth my money. 

 

I was thinking about the Level 2 and Level 3 classes from Guns and Leather after reading some good AAR's on TGO, but that was put on hold due to them relocating to the Hendersonville location temporarily. I see they have started the classes up as of March 1 so they are back on the list. 

 

Also, I picked up some pamphlets from Nashville Armory the day they opened about some classes they would be offering, specifically the following ones: 

 

- Defensive Handgun

- Defensive Shooting Level 1 and Level 2

- Personal Protection in the Home

- Defensive Shotgun ( due to the fact I just bought my first shotgun. )

 

The only problem is, I can't find any AAR's from people who have taken the classes at Nashville Armory. Have any of you taken them / know anyone who has taken them and can chime in with how good / bad the experience was?

 

Would this be a good place to start for me? I know Suarez International is holding a Defensive Pistol Skills class in Chattanooga April 27-28, and I would love to take this class but I will have to save up for a class like that and it is definitely something on my radar for the future. Also, I know that Tactical Response holds classes out in Camden, and that remains an option for the future as well. Would it be better to save up for one of these multi day classes or to take the cheaper, 4 -8 hour classes like at Guns and Leather or Nashville Armory? 

 

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all your help.  

Edited by pattywak
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I would urge you to consider training with Randy/Suarez in Chattanooga.

 

Seeking professional training such as he offers can be a paradigm shift...quite literally. And well worth the time and money.

 

There is a huge difference between shooting and learning to think outside the box as it relates to defensive skills (as I'm sure you already know). Randy will move you in the right direction.

 

Careful though...it can be addictive. :pleased:

 

As a disclaimer: I've trained with Gabe, and I've trained beside Randy and shot with him (been a while unfortunately), but definitely plan on taking a course from him...hopefully this year.

 

:2cents:

  • Like 1
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So prag, do you believe that a multi day class would be worth the extra time and money involved over these shorter 4 or 8 hour classes that are more local? I'm sure the best answer would be to try them all and find out for myself, but that isn't quite possible with the ammunition shortage on shelves and an accompanying monetary shortage in my wallet. 

Edited by pattywak
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So prag, do you believe that a multi day class would be worth the extra time and money involved over these shorter 4 or 8 hour classes that are more local? I'm sure the best answer would be to try them all and find out for myself, but that isn't quite possible with the ammunition shortage on shelves and an accompanying monetary shortage in my wallet. 

 

 

I honestly do.

 

I've taken 4 hr and 8 hr classes and I've definitely found them worthwhile, more so dependent on the instructor and venue.

I've taken 2-3 and 6 day classes as well. Fatigue can be a factor in prolonged classes, but it's dependent on the structure as to how that may impact your learning.

 

A multi day class scenario allows you the time to begin to develop skills to practice, but more importantly allows the instructor an honest chance to observe, monitor, and give the appropriate feedback and correction to subtleties they may notice.

Perfect practice makes perfect, and it's very difficult, if not impossible, to view ourselves through unbiased lens. imho, that viewing and feedback is why we pay the instructors.

 

But whatever your choice, take the plunge into professional training. I think you'll honestly appreciate the true value in it.

 

Good Luck to you.

  • Like 1
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Taking a friend to the Fighting Pistol class at Tactical Response on the 18-19 of March.

My second time, his first. I highly recommend saving for a course like this instead of a 6-8 hour class indoors elsewhere. Not implying the training is any less valuable with a different company. I think that environment really adds to the training when you aren't restricted to what you may only be "allowed" to do indoors.
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If you've never had formal training, I'd definitely suggest a two-day type class to get started.  There is certainly a cost difference, but it's worth it.

 

You will be exposed to more than you can possibly absorb during the first few hours of that first day - regardless of whether it's a one or two day class.  Having the soak time of that evening lets you come back that second day really ready to work again.

  • Like 2
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I honestly do.

 

I've taken 4 hr and 8 hr classes and I've definitely found them worthwhile, more so dependent on the instructor and venue.

I've taken 2-3 and 6 day classes as well. Fatigue can be a factor in prolonged classes, but it's dependent on the structure as to how that may impact your learning.

 

A multi day class scenario allows you the time to begin to develop skills to practice, but more importantly allows the instructor an honest chance to observe, monitor, and give the appropriate feedback and correction to subtleties they may notice.

Perfect practice makes perfect, and it's very difficult, if not impossible, to view ourselves through unbiased lens. imho, that viewing and feedback is why we pay the instructors.

 

But whatever your choice, take the plunge into professional training. I think you'll honestly appreciate the true value in it.

 

Good Luck to you.

 

 

Taking a friend to the Fighting Pistol class at Tactical Response on the 18-19 of March.

My second time, his first. I highly recommend saving for a course like this instead of a 6-8 hour class indoors elsewhere. Not implying the training is any less valuable with a different company. I think that environment really adds to the training when you aren't restricted to what you may only be "allowed" to do indoors.

 

 

If you've never had formal training, I'd definitely suggest a two-day type class to get started.  There is certainly a cost difference, but it's worth it.

 

You will be exposed to more than you can possibly absorb during the first few hours of that first day - regardless of whether it's a one or two day class.  Having the soak time of that evening lets you come back that second day really ready to work again.

Thank you for all your input. You made a good point about having some time to soak in what you learned and still come in the second day to work on it. I hadn't considered that having a little more time than just 4 or 8 hours would be more helpful to me as a student. 

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I have taken about a dozen people to Front Sight, near Las Vegas, for the 4 Day Defensive Handgun Course.  It is an excellent course whether a beginner or a seasoned shooter.  It is 4 full days, very structured.  You will shoot about 600 rounds.  I have taken the course 3 times, as well as other courses offered.  If you want to go, contact me for a course certificate or membership....don't pay the list price noted on the web site.  I have had classes with other trainers, some which  have been mentioned, and they are good as well, but IMO, for where you are in your shooting, you won't be sorry about the Front Sight course.

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I have taken about a dozen people to Front Sight, near Las Vegas, for the 4 Day Defensive Handgun Course. It is an excellent course whether a beginner or a seasoned shooter. It is 4 full days, very structured. You will shoot about 600 rounds. I have taken the course 3 times, as well as other courses offered. If you want to go, contact me for a course certificate or membership....don't pay the list price noted on the web site. I have had classes with other trainers, some which have been mentioned, and they are good as well, but IMO, for where you are in your shooting, you won't be sorry about the Front Sight course.


I've seen a lot of videos and read some reviews on the Front Sight class, looks like another good offering but the only thing is that it's across the country. Due to financial and other constraints I need to keep it as close to Nashville as possible, and a four day vacation wouldn't be optimum. But thank you for the info, I'm sure other may be interested in taking the class and might contact you.
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Look into the offerings from PRI, Personal Responsibility Inc..  They are a well established school and offer excellent instruction.  They do not do much marketing but stay busy by referrals from previous students. 

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I've seen their website but I tried to find some reviews or aar's of their courses and could not find a single one.... It honestly made me a little suspicious at first.

The instructors there are known more by their reputations in the police and training communities than they are by after action reports.  Many of their students are working police officers with little time or care for AARs.  Very much a word of mouth school.

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The instructors there are known more by their reputations in the police and training communities than they are by after action reports.  Many of their students are working police officers with little time or care for AARs.  Very much a word of mouth school.

 

While this may be the case, you have to understand that a possible student would feel more comfortable going to a class that had some kind of review somewhere. I'm not doubting that it is a good school with lots of credible instructors and students, I'm just saying that as a prospective student, I personally feel more comfortable attending a class with many reviews from different people like the Suarez class than a class that I can't find a single review for online. 

 

Once again, I'm not saying they are a bad school, I'm just saying that personally I would feel more comfortable spending my money on a class that has numerous reviews than one that ONLY relies on word of mouth. Maybe I'm alone in the way I think, but this is how I shop for products, and so far it's worked out very well. But I will keep an eye out for people with experience with PRI. 

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  • 2 months later...

I have been through fighting pistol at Tactical Response and two handgun classes with Randy Harris in Chattanooga , I would pick Randy out of those two choices. 

 

The one mentioned in Alabama with Tiger McKee I have not been to but only read his book. His training comes from Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch and he is probably a solid choice.

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I've taken 3 training classes at 'The Range Inc.' All handgun classes, but they offer shotgun and rifle as well. They are full day courses, and you end up shooting at least 500 rounds. I've really enjoyed it everytime I've been there. Would definitely recommend them.

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