Gearing Up For A Training Class
UPDATE: It seems the opening line of this article has caused a bit of confusion with a few readers. Just to be clear no one has been signed up for a training class. No one has had or will have their information shared to any training company. The opening line of this article: “You’ve just enrolled in your first multi-day pistol training class.” is simply a turn of phrase the author used to set the stage for this article. Thank you for taking the time to read these informative articles.
Justin Collett, CCW Safe Content Manager
Gearing Up For A Training Class
You’ve just enrolled in your first multi-day pistol training class. In order to get the absolute most value for your hard-earned money and time, take a minute to consider these suggestions on preparing for a shooting class:
Bring a gun that you know works. Sounds like common sense, but there is always that “one guy” that shows up to a class with a brand-new gun, or a gun that has a brand new trigger/barrel/slide/red dot/etc. If your stuff doesn’t work, you can’t shoot, and nobody else can shoot either because the instructor is probably now focused on getting you squared away. Run your gun hard prior to a class, put a few hundred rounds through it in a quick range session to ensure that everything is where it needs to be. If you’ve got a backup pistol, bring it. If you don’t, make sure that you at least have a small spare parts kit. Extra extractors, firing pins/strikers, locking blocks, slide stops, recoil spring assemblies, having that stuff on hand is always a good idea. Oh, and don’t show up to a class with a pistol that has new irons or a dot that hasn’t been zeroed…….
Have a bunch of mags. You’re going to need more than 3, even if that is the number of mags required by the instructor. I like to show up with 5 mags fully loaded, and 5 mags that are empty so that I can load them to whatever the instructor wants for the next drill. A dump pouch on your belt makes it really easy to carry a bunch of mags to the line and store the mags that you’ve picked up off the deck. If you’ve got an ammo bag that you can dump your ammo into prior to the class, its way easier to load from a bag or can than it is to load from the factory boxes, and you don’t have to worry about throwing away all the empty ammo boxes at the end of the day.
Fresh batteries for everything. This includes electronic ear pro, red dots, cameras/go pros, and flashlights. Anything that takes a battery gets a new one, even if you just swapped it a few weeks prior. Bring extras for your buddy that forgot to change the batteries out in their gear. Lithium batteries are pricey, but they generally last longer, weight less than alkaline, and most importantly won’t swell or burst inside your expensive gear. A few dollars extra is cheap insurance when it comes to electronics.
Lastly, check your torque. Screws love to back out and disappear at the worst possible time. If you’re running a red dot, make sure your mounting screws are torqued and witness-marked. Same goes for weapon-mounted lights. And don’t forget about the screws in your kydex gear. Vibratite VC3 or Permatex Orange threadlocker works great on kydex screws to keep everything where it should be.
A little due diligence prior to the class can make or break the class experience for not only you, but also your classmates. Nobody likes standing on the line chatting with one another while the instructor is back at the tables trying to quickly put a student’s gun or gear back into service. Make the most of your time by showing up to class prepared to learn and prepared to shoot!
Jeremy is an active duty LEO in the Southwest US with over ten years experience. He is currently working as a full time firearms instructor for a major metropolitan agency.
His instructor certifications include firearms (patrol carbine/pistol/shotgun/SPR), defensive tactics, less-lethal, and MACTAC. He holds a Master classification in USPSA Single Stack, and has also competed in IDPA, Steel Challenge, 3-gun/Multigun/3GN, and various other outlaw events. Jeremy is currently concentrating on precision rifle matches and has earned several Top-LE awards at national-level events.