Friday, June 25, 2010
Beyond Target Shooting: AAR
Last weekend I traveled to Bastrop, Texas (down past Austin), and took their one day class 'Beyond Target Shooting'. A friend of mine got some much needed training out of this class and I got to get together with some friends that I don't see very often, and meet some new ones. The class was a beginner level concealed carry class. It primarily focused on the basics of concealed carry and basic draw techniques and malfunction drills.
Topics covered included:
o Mindset and tactics to increase you’re situational awareness.
o Gear Selection
o Carry options
o Drawing from concealment
o Firearm care and maintenance
o Marksmanship fundamentals
o Malfunction clearing
o Various shooting drills to become more proficient and prepared with a handgun for personal protection.
It was a eight hour class and they covered ALOT of material. There was about 18 people in the class and 6 to 8 instructors. From what I gather, the Central Texas Training Group (CTTG) is trying to break into the world of firearms training. They consist of a nice range outside of Bastrop. Affectionately called 'The Farm', and yes, if you caught the reference to cheesy 80's novels, they did it on purpose. The cadre is composed of like minded and well trained people that are willing to pass their knowledge onto others.
The Good; The Bad; The Ugly:
The Good- The range is located in a beautiful area, they share the area with a SASS group, It is levelled off, grassy, and has plenty of mature trees for shade. Currently it is only one berm, with no real bays to speak of. I have been told that there is plans to change that.
The classroom portion of the class dumped alot of information. I consider this to be a good thing because even if you only retain 5% of it, you can do more research later on your own. I also enjoyed how they spoke on mindset and avoiding a fight if at all possible.
Range Drills were your basic draw and fire at the target. Alot of attention was given to proper draw stroke and presentation. Again, this was a basic class, but this is where you lay your foundation. Alot of shooters do not have a firm foundation. As such, they are never consistent and have problems with alot of more advanced techniques.
The Bad- You could tell that this was the first public class that this group had put on. Their syllabus could use some streamlining, brought more into focus with what they want to get out in the time that they have to work with.
They did cover what I consider to be some more advanced material. Namely one handed malfunction drills. I dont think that it was appropriate to this class and that time could have been better spent on other material. That and I am not so sure that I want to be standing next to the local mall ninja who thinks that muzzle discipline goes out the window because he gets to rack his slide on his belt.
The Ugly- There was a few safety range issues. Two students were not up to par with the rest of the class and they were pulled aside. While I agree that was the correct choice, one was on the right end of the line, the other on the left. They each had their own instructor, also a good call. The issue was the fact that the range master would call for a safe line, and they would still be hot. This posses a problem for trying to secure equipment that was forward of the line. It happened twice to me personally. When I hear the RO call the range safe, I am trusting in him to know that it is safe. It wasn't and I was a bit upset about that. What should have happened is that the two shooters should have been put together somewhere away from the rest of the class. But, with only a berm and no real bays, there was no good options.
All in all, I would gladly take another class with them, when CTTG finishes cutting their teeth on these classes and makes the planned range improvements, it will make for a good place to take a class in the Austin area.