Like many, many other people, I went out and bought a five pack of Baofeng UV-5R radios when I heard that they were going to be “banned”. (When the government decides to ban something that’s not going to kill you by using it, stocking up is almost always a great idea!) Given that the UV-5R still seems to be for sale, I’m not 100% sure what happened with the banning part, but everyone’s got them now. However, the radios are not doing anyone any good by sitting in a box in a closet, so F3 Tactical arranged to start doing basic courses in radio theory and how to configure the UV-5R and similar Baofeng radios. I missed the first class in January due to a family scheduling conflict, but I was very excited to be able to make it for the second class, held on “palindrome day” (also Super Bowl Sunday).
I had a really good time, and learned a lot. Read on for whether it’s right for you!
Continue reading F3 Tactical Baofeng Radio Course AAR
I felt that it was worth announcing for my local readers that the big local training vendors have at least partial 2020 calendars up. Like any good training junkie, I schedule way out in advance so I can fit classes in around my competitive shooting schedule (expect MUCH more of that in 2020).
Green Ops: Schedule is here. Green Ops is also hosting the yearly local Modern Samurai Project class, so check them out if you’re interested in that. They’ve also told me there’s still a few more classes they’re going to add once they work out physical hosting. There is a LOT to love about the schedule this year; more advanced classes, more classes on Sundays, TCCC, etc.
Justified Defensive Concepts: Schedule is here. Broadly similar to last year – which is a good thing – but I expect to see a couple additions as the year goes on.
FPF Training: Schedule is here. It’s clearly not complete, but there’s already a lot of solid classes for 2020 on there, including some very well-regarded visiting instructors.
PNTC: Schedule is here. There is some really neat stuff in this calendar, and it’s basically the only place in the area for extreme long range shooting.
TOC, LLC: Schedule is here. A couple new courses this year. Not looking like they’re going to fit into my schedule, unfortunately.
Shadow Hawk tends to post their classes up on a quarterly basis.
As I’ve progressed as a shooter, I try to tailor the classes that I take to address my particular needs. It’s a little hard to list out my needs, as my shortcomings are myriad, but tightening up my speed while maintaining accuracy is certainly high on my list. When I saw Justified Defensive Concepts’ 2020 schedule, and the Speed Shooting & Shot Calling class on it, I knew I was not going to miss it.
If you want some indication just how much I was not going to miss it, here’s the story. I am writing this AAR from Las Vegas, where I will be attending SHOT Show for the first time. I got home from this class at 11:15 PM on Sunday night – as expected – secured my weapons, went to sleep at 11:30 PM, and woke up at 4:15 AM on Monday to catch a flight to Las Vegas. That is punishing, and I was pretty fatigued on Monday, but I think it was worth it.
Continue reading JDC Speed Shooting & Shot Calling Class AAR
I had the pleasure of attending the Green Ops Defensive Pistol Clinic this past Sunday. I was looking through my blog to refresh my memory about it, and it turns out that it has been a full year since the last time I took this clinic. This was kind of a surprise! I go to a lot of these clinics, but it seems I’ve branched out quite a bit. It did make me excited to see how it has evolved since then, and I was not disappointed!
Read on for the AAR!
Continue reading Green Ops Defensive Pistol Clinic I AAR
Six months ago, I took a Modern Samurai Project red dot pistol class – really only a single day of it – and it totally blew my mind. I have been shooting red dot-equipped pistols almost exclusively ever since. I immediately signed up for the next class when it became available, which I took this past Sunday. This class was hosted by Green Ops.
Since I was only able to take one-day of the class (as I am Sabbath observant and can’t shoot on Saturdays), I will refrain from calling this an AAR and instead just call them “thoughts”. Read on for what I thought!
Continue reading Modern Samurai Project 2-Day RDS Pistol Course TD2 Thoughts
I talk a lot about pistol skills on this blog. There’s a reason for that; when it comes to actually shooting stuff, pistols are the hardest of your options to use at anything beyond about 15yds. Pistol skills also tend to go away the fastest.
But… that is not the same thing as “you can neglect your other weapon skills”. Don’t shoot enough rifle or shotgun, and your skills in that arena will degrade just as surely, if not as quickly. The realization that I had not been doing enough carbine work lately inspired me to sign up for the Green Ops Defensive Carbine Clinic I even though I was already doing another class this month. What did I think? Read on.
Continue reading Green Ops Defensive Carbine Clinic I AAR (Sig Edition)
I recently had a conversation with a shooting buddy of mine about his “class rifle”. It was a very well-thought out AR-15 build that he was slowly piecing together. Knowing this guy pretty well, I noted that he had a bunch of ARs already, and, to the best of my knowledge, had never actually taken a training class before in his entire life. He confirmed these facts to me, and then told me he was hoping to take a class with some YouTube celebrity I’d never heard of, and said trainer that didn’t even have a class scheduled in this area.
When I noted that there’s like half a dozen excellent training companies within like two hours of where we lived, he got kind of quiet and made some mumbled non-committal remarks. We then moved on to some other topics. But that conversation has stayed with me, because it seems like it’s a common line of thinking.
Continue reading Just enroll in the damn class. Stop making excuses.
A topic that gets precious little coverage on this blog is concealed carry. I live in MD; there’s functionally no concealed carry for average people here unless you meet some very specific criteria. This is compounded by having a job where concealed carry is not a viable option. Thus, I have the gear, but the topic is essentially theoretical to me.
When I was invited to the second day of Green Op’s Advanced Covert Carry Skills course, I was a little apprehensive. I mean, I always enjoy learning from Mike Green, who is one of the best instructors out there, and hard shooting is good shooting. The timing of the course, however, was very awkward (literally the day before Succot began in the evening) and I’m always nervous about going into day two of a course and then trying to play catch up. But they wanted me to come, and I really wanted to see Mike, so I gave in.
I can say with emphasis that I’m glad I did.
Continue reading Green Ops Advanced Covert Carry Skills Impressions (TD2)
One constant refrain I’ve had for at least a year is “where are my advanced Sunday classes?” In what I assume is part of a concerted effort to get me to shut up, Green Ops finally relented and offered a Defensive Pistol II clinic this past Sunday night. My inside information is that they will be offering more of these advanced clinics next year, and even a proper Sunday all-day class! (Readers: the moral of this story is that if you want something from trainers, step number one is to simply ask politely for it! You might even get it!)
This was my first time shooting a level II with Green Ops, and you can read on for what I thought of it!
Continue reading Green Ops Defensive Pistol Clinic II AAR
As I’ve become a somewhat better shooter over the past year and a half, I’ve tried to fit more and more “skills classes” into my training regimen beyond the usual carbine and pistol classes. This has included some competition-oriented classes, but also stuff like Greg Ellifritz’s knife course.
The newest addition to my skill set – even in its most basic form – is room-clearing technique. Most of my training life really revolves around drawing from a holster really fast and then shooting stuff real quick. That’s a paradigm that’s worth being good at, to be sure. But what about a situation where the threat is in an unknown position? The problem is significantly different, which is why Shadow Hawk Defense started offering their CQB / Room Clearing class. Read on for more!
Continue reading Shadow Hawk Defense Close Quarter Battle / Room Clearing Class AAR