Last weekend was the first of what will hopefully be many firearm training courses taught by myself and Jim Staley of Deliberate Dynamics. Writing about it wholly from my perspective would be a bit self-serving, so I’ll share some photos/video and the feedback I solicited from the 14 students who attended the course. If you’re interested in attending our next course, scheduled for July 27/28, you may sign up here.
I asked for their honest opinions, and will summarize/compile them here in the interests of brevity. If any students wish to comment on this post, they are welcome to do so (some already have).
The stuff everyone liked:
– Taking high speed video of each student on the range and reviewing it in front of the whole class back at the lodge really helped everyone improve their manipulation and understanding of the firearm. Here’s a sample of most of the group, although each student was filmed individually as well.
– Chronographing each rifle/ammo combination, as well as taking photos of the muzzle flash of each, was educational/useful/enlightening.
– Many students had no idea that they were capable of shooting as far as they ended up doing so (depending on rifle, ammo, and shooter, 500 to 900 yards). Everyone was shooting an AR-15 in 5.56/.223.
– Shooter/spotter drills with the target unknown until the timer buzzed were very useful.
– Reloading and target transition portions of the course greatly improved the shooters’ efficiency with the firearm.
– Everyone seemed to love the range and the lodge.
– The group was great and everyone got along swimmingly.
The recommendations for improvement:
– There was a lot of downtime, especially on the first day. Some of this couldn’t be helped, as we only had one high speed video camera and one chronograph. However, we’ll definitely be cutting down on this in the future, organizing the curriculum so that there are multiple training evolutions occurring at once.
– Including items such as a shooting mat or binoculars on the recommended gear list would be nice.
– Incorporate a more rigorous final test/drill/competition/exam/feedback. This was originally planned, but would have resulted in a lot more downtime as our planned course could only have been used by one shooter at a time. We will, however, be incorporating this into the curriculum in the future.
– We had some technical difficulties with vehicles, although they did not present a major obstacle to the course or to the shooters getting range time.
If I may, here are a few accolades from students:
– “I felt like it was a good use of my time, I learned a LOT and I enjoyed myself.”
– “Overall I know I learned a lot more about myself as a shooter. And your high speed video definitely helped everyone diagnose issues they wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Nice job.”
– “I want to say thanks for putting on such a great course. I’ve been through a good number of schools and classes in the military that were just miserable. Yours was a good balance of seriousness and relaxation to make it very enjoyable.”
– “I had a great time shooting with you guys. The drive was long as all hell, but I loved the location and learned that my shooting platform while standing sucks and my reloads are inefficient and full of fail.”
– “They gave us practical information throughout the course, with explanations of the positive and negative of why something is done. Both Jim and Andrew have a wealth of knowledge and an ability to teach.”
– “(I) learned an enormous amount in a very short period of time.”
– “I really enjoyed the class. Â I thought you guys did a great job especially for it being the first time you put this together. It was educational, challenging, and it was also a good time.”