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!
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-orientedclasses, 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!
Despite my inability to hit a USPSA match for the past few months, I still consider myself a competition guy when people ask me about what kind of shooter I am. I enjoy the “defensive practitioner” side of shooting, but I know in my heart that I’m a boring guy who does boring things in safe places, and am rather unlikely to put those defensive skills to intended use. Don’t get me wrong, I still think they’re important – because sometimes safe places become not-so-safe, and boring things becoming dangerous – but shooting a USPSA match is the activity I’m most likely to be using a gun in.
Because of that, I put a heavy priority on hitting competition-oriented classes when they’ve available to me. I think you can get a lot out of them; the JDC speed shooting class brought my splits down to ~.25, which isn’t going to put me in GM class anytime soon, but it’s enough that I don’t feel as totally outclassed as I used to. Given those results, I was eager to see how the Green Ops Practical Pistol/Competition class this past Sunday would give me some improvement as well!
In an effort to make up for my lack of a June class, I took a second training class in July. This was the “Speed Shooting & Shot Calling” class from Justified Defensive Concepts, a new instructional outfit in the area founded by some guys with a solid rep from their previous instructional endeavors. The premise of the class is right in the name: shoot faster, and call your shots better. While I’ve been slacking a bit with my competition shooting lately, these are pretty good “life skills” for a shooter, so I was really excited to see what it was about. This was also my first class with JDC, so that was pretty cool, too.
Did I like it? Are my splits a little faster than .4 now? More after the break.
I recently (5/19/2019) had the pleasure of attending the Green Ops Low Light Pistol clinic in Fairfax, VA. This was my second time at this particular class. While I am admittedly a big fan of their other classes, the low light pistol clinic always stands out in my mind as an example of what a “signature” class looks like – it teaches you skills you’re unlikely to acquire or practice elsewhere. We learned a variety of handheld light with pistol techniques, practiced some fundamentals in the dark, and even got a few reps in on our weaponlights. It was a really good time!
I am going to start this blog post off with a rather obvious, but still important statement:
“Factory pistols with red dots or red dot cuts on the slide may be the hotness, but they are not new.”
I say that because, well, it’s true. The first one I’m aware of, the FN FNX-45, was released in 2012, and it still took another three years for Chuck Pressburg (nee “Roland”) on Primary and Secondary to popularize the concept enough to start gaining mass market appeal (with an after-market milled slide by ATEi, ironically).
I say this because the training situation for them has really lagged. Until about 2017, when Modern Samurai Project started offering classes, I’m not even sure there was a class for red dot pistols outside of Gabe Suarez’s (no comment there). Yes, you had USPSA GM-level shooters doing training on Open guns – but those are a somewhat different beast than the Carry Optics pistols we’re talking about, both in terms of the gun itself and the way it’s carried rig-wise. I was fortunate enough to take the second day of MSP’s “2-Day Red Dot” on Sunday, and I want to share my (really great!) experiences. More after the break.
Here’s me dry-firing. No cuts, except for the one where my old camera conked out at a 4gb file limit, and a touch of trimming at the beginning and end for where I was manipulating my camera. I am not saying this is good or whatever, but I am saying that this is how it looks when someone does the work. It is not always smooth or perfect, especially at first.
Ignore the Instagram-driven BS. If it looks awesome all the time, you’re not doing it right.