Monday, October 13, 2008

On Training.

So I'm looking to get some competent instruction, and on the horizon are two options in my area:

1. Yavapai Academy Stage 2. (Peligro! PDF!) It's taught by Louis Awerbuck, who needs no introduction, and probably seals the deal right there. 2 days on a weekend, $500, 500 rounds.

2. Tactical Response Fighting Pistol. Two dates to choose from, which is nice. I've heard good things about their program. 2 days on a weekend. $400, the savings of which will be eaten up by the doubled round count.

As for personal training aids...

I ordered "Shooting Missology" and some Action Trainer dummy rounds from Tactical Response Gear. The Action Trainers seem to be scads better in terms of durability than the classic A-ZOOM snap caps. While they're just peachy for protecting the firing pin, the A-ZOOM rims fall to pieces rather quickly, and at $3 a hit, that hurts. The Action Trainers are nickel-plated Starline brass and a polymer insert that fills the entire case - no set-back as with home-made dummies. So far, they show no wear from plenty of malfunction clearance practice, except for a big dent in one from accidentally inducing a simulated stovepipe. Oops. There's no firing pin contact whatsoever (in fact, there's a big dimple built in so as to avoid it), so value as a dead cap is nil. Plus, shiny nickel + fluorescent insert = very visible rounds, which are easy to find after being ejected hither and yon in dim light.

Shooting Missology is pretty solid stuff. Biggest takeaway? Repeating "front sight" as a mantra whilst taking the shot. This makes every shot a surprise, since you're not focusing (and panicking about) your trigger pull, which is the single biggest shooting problem out there. Works so far in dry-fire - improved my weak hand double pull noticeably. Other fun stuff includes 'negative targets' (cut a hole, shoot through hole - no holes = good shooting) for fixing 'bullet hole fixation' (where one looks at their target obsessively after each shot). An interesting demonstration was the human tendency to push forward in anticipation of recoil - such that the gun lunges forward on a ball-and-dummy drill.

Also - dry-fire potentially increases a flinch, because the shooter is mentally aware that dry-fire is not real - as they should be, for safety reasons. The only way to cure a flinch is ball-and-dummy work. Good thing I have proper dummy rounds...


DirtCrashr said...

I like Louis Awerbuck like crazy but have never gotten a good vibe from anybody at Reed's - especially not at their old location (now closed thank God) or very much at the indoor range either.
But I'd also much rather take a training class outdoors anyhow. Be aware that it's in San Jose, CA with all that that implies for travel and other things - and I suppose any "away" class would have vast differences in culture.

Bunnyman said...

Well, I did the Stage 1 class at Reed's, and the entirety of my interactions were "here's my credit card number, see you on Saturday." I'm inclined to agree with you on outdoors.

Travel's no beef either way - an hour up, or an hour down.

Interesting point about the "away" culture. From the course descriptions, the "Stage 1" I took was heavily stripped down. Still Awerbuck, but...

DirtCrashr said... sounds like my prejudices are wrongly placed. I wish they would use our outdoor 200-yard range though, it's a 40-minute drive for me. ;-)