View Full Version : Rangemaster Firearms Instructor Courses

Tom Givens
07-18-2013, 04:27 PM
Rangemaster Three-Day Firearms Instructor
Development & Certification Course
Friday through Sunday, 9am-6pm each day

McLoud, Oklahoma (near OKC and Shawnee,OK)
September 6-8, 2013 Friday-Sunday
Ph 901-370-5600

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
West Shore Sportsmens Association
October 4-6, 2013 Friday-Sunday
Skip Gochenour, srg@srgochenour.com
901-370-5600 to register

This is an intensive full three day (24 hours total) course that teaches candidates:
modern adult learning theory;
preparation, delivery, and documentation of training;
development of training aids, including power points and others;
coaching methodologies, diagnosing and correcting shooters’ errors;
modern, effective gunhandling techniques, designed to work under stress;
proper handling/operation of a variety of handgun types; and
effective, efficient combat marksmanship techniques.

The course time is divided about equally between classroom sessions and range firing, and each student will fire approximately 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Students will act as coaches for other students, and each will be coached extensively in turn. Students also receive a 170+ page training manual, which is a valuable information and reference resource. To graduate from this course, students must pass a shooting qualification, pass a written examination, and conduct a brief presentation in the classroom on an assigned topic. This course satisfies the training requirements for the Tennessee Department of Safety to become a State Certified Handgun Instructor and the Oklahoma CLEET requirements to become an OK SDA Instructor. It is recognized for 24 hours of continuing education credit for law enforcement in South Carolina by SCCJA. The primary instructor is Tom Givens, assisted by other Rangemaster instructors.

For this course, students will need:
A serviceable sidearm,revolver or semiauto, of at least .38 Special or 9X19mm caliber ( .38 Special, 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, .45 Auto);
A serviceable uniform duty or concealed carry holster, worn on the belt, of leather or kydex construction, with a covered trigger guard;
At least three magazines or speedloaders (more is better);
1,000 rounds of full power ammunition for the sidearm.

Everything else is supplied by Rangemaster. Advance registration is required. Tuition is only $499.00. Call 901-370-5600 to register.
See www.rangemaster.com for more information.

07-19-2013, 10:48 AM
Executive Summary-Take this class!!

I saw first hand how one can be firmly grounded in the Modern Technique, yet have enough wisdom to know that all things involving bodily movement when attempted to be performed at their highest level are constantly evolving from Tom Givens. Tom is an exceptional trainer who like a classic university professor, is fully committed to the continued dissemination and creation of knowledge regarding the uniquely American martial art of pistolcraft.

Interestingly, Tom is also the tie that binds much of my training experiences as he was at Gunsite in the late 70's with some of my original mentors, sponsored the Tactical Conf where I first met Craig Douglas and hosted Todd at Rangemaster.

It is Tom 's commitment to the art as demonstrated by his willingness to give both established peers and newer trainers a venue from which to teach as opposed to the singular pursuit of the almighty dollar that has given me the opportunity to be the best student/teacher I can be.


AAR- Tom Givens/Rangemaster’s-Three Day Firearms Instructor Certification Course,
29-31 October 2010, Friday-Sunday, 9 am to 6 pm each day.

Instructors: Primary-Tom Givens. Tom was assisted by his wife Linn Givens and the class host, Spencer Keepers.

Intro: This is my 3rd AAR on (an unnamed forum). I feel compelled to write it for those who find themselves on the fence re taking a class from Tom Givens in particular and others in general. My only goal was to hone a knowledge/skill base that will, with perfect practice, allow me to better teach the running of a pistol at an increased speed, with acceptable accuracy and unconscious competence. This was my second Tom Givens class per se though I have attended his Tactical Conference in Tulsa for the last two years. I have taken handgun classes at Thunder Ranch, Gunsite, APT, with Todd Louis Green and randy Cain and rifle classes with EAG (Pat Rogers) and the KCPD. I have trained with a plethora of agents and agencies in both my personal and professional capacities. I am also an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor.

Venue: The Oklahoma City Gun Club (immediately east of Edmond right off of I-35). The OKC Gun Club is a complex with a series of dedicated shooting areas roughly divided by platform. We shot in an area that is often set aside for cowboy action shooting. We had an outdoor 25+ meter range. There was off road parking, a modern climate controlled classroom with real bath room facilities all within 10 meters of the range, classroom and parking. The weather was essentially he same each day, the mornings were cool at 40ish and the afternoons were pleasant at 70ish.

Class Format: There were approximately 20 students in the class. Each student was paired with another who observed and “taught” while his partner was on the line shooting. With the change of the relays, the roles were reversed. Given the stated goal of the class- instructor development, the 24+ hours of instruction were evenly divided between range time and class time. Tom lectured, incorporated power point driven materials and provided access to a variety of pistols for familiarization. Moreover given the fully disclosed shooting test, closed book written exam and required oral presentation, the bulk of Friday and Saturday night after class were spend studying and preparing to teach a lesson that your team ( 4 persons total, your partner and another set of students) would do on Sunday. Tom also touched on some of his students’ shooting incidents ( Now 60+ )students have used there firearms in self defense and/or defense of others in the last 15-20 yrs with great success.

Class Strengths: My training goal was met. I was given the tools to better teach one how to run the platform at an improved level. Drills and lessons taught included: safety, presentation, stance, grip, sight picture/alignment diagnostics, accuracy diagnostics, speed diagnostics, trigger management at a variety of speeds vis a vis the accuracy standard desired and distance from the target, support hand only, strong hand only, movement “off the x”, reloads, malfunctions and multiple targets. Particular attention was paid to moving off the x in the 0-7 yd range when presenting, reloading and fixing malfunctions. It should be noted that the overall shooting skill level of the class was quite high and ultimately, all passed with the required 90% plus score on the latest FBI qualification test which includes kneeling and prone shots taken from the 25. Tom uses this test as the baseline given its international recognition. Tom also administered other Rangemaster developed courses of fire which tend to be even more demanding in terms of the accuracy and time requirements.

The teaching approach was that of building blocks, first the accuracy, then some speed, while increasing the distance and increasing/shrinking the target size as appropriate. Tom did an excellent job keeping the targetry fresh by constantly rotating various paper targets with distinct target areas. The “Furbie” target with its distinct eye set and number/shape sub targets was very helpful. Tom stressed that we perform all non shooting tasks quickly to maximize the time we could have to make quality shots. Of course you have more time to slow down to get the hits if you have a quick and quality presentation coupled with sound manipulation skills. This point was driven home by Tom whenever appropriate to the drill.

The instruction was excellent. Tom demonstrated every drill to standard. There were a number a graded shooting exercises that validated Tom’s teaching approach. Tom shot enough to show that he can really shoot without it being a distraction. He was exceptional in working the line and offering just the right mix of earned praise with suggestions to improve. Tom has an keen eye. As such, he offers mechanical “tweaks” i.e. trigger finger and /or thumb placement that , when applied, paid immediate accuracy dividends. Linn Givens is also gifted in this realm and really cleaned up the presentation on a few students whose scores literally skyrocketed from the first test on Friday to the final shooting test on Sunday.

I mean this with the utmost respect-Tom has an “answer” for everything he teaches. You may not like or agree with the “answer”, but it is clear that Tom has thought long and hard about his teaching approach, material and methodology. When asking a question, you will get a full explanation as opposed to a “ because I said so” answer. Tom was very approachable during and after class. Tom is a gifted, no nonsense instructor with exceptional grounding in the Modern Technique and his own development of firearm based martial arts as time, equipment and techniques continue to evolve and change for the better.

Class Development: I would have liked to have had more timed exercises and perhaps even a bit of man on man competition. Some application of the techniques in a lower light setting would have been great as well. I recognize that time and safety concerns could impact my desires.

Pistols: I ran both a Glock 34 and a 35 that had stippled by me. They both have Ameriglo Pro Operator Sights with .125 wide green tritium fronts and .180 wide rear with the smaller, yellow lamps. The front sights were quick to acquire. The front sights had been painted with orange fingernail polish.

Ammo: .40 cal- 180 CCI TMJ, 9mm- 147 Winchester Ranger FMJ and some hand loads ( 124 Berry Flat Point over 4.3g of Win 231.) I shot around 900 rounds total, evenly divided between those three loads. I appreciated an accurate round count estimate on the front end of the course
and I always like it when we can shoot a bit more.

Stoppages: I had no stoppages whatsoever.

Lubrication: the pistol got a quick cleaning the night before the class. I used lithium bearing grease on them with excellent results.

Eyepro: Oakley M Frame, VR-28 lense over my new contact prescription. This works well for me so long as I was diligent about using eye drops at the beginning of the day and right after lunch.

Gear: I used the Custom Carry Concepts AIWB Shaggy with two OWB mag pouches on a Wilderness 5 stitch 1.75 CSM belt. My concealment garments were untucked wicking t-shirt from Old Navy, Wal-Mart and Target coupled with an old piece of Land’s End Fleece. The set up was fast, secure and warm/cool as appropriate. I am firmly convinced that Old Navy, Wal-Mart and Target brand wicking t-shirts perform at an 80%-90% level when compared to UnderArmour at about 1/3 the price. Notably, myself and one other individual shot the entire class from concealment. He too was carrying AIWB.

Mags: Gen 8 G35 15 round mags & Gen 6 G34 17 round mags. I always downloaded the mags one round to make reloads a bit more positive. I had zero problems with them falling free though I did take the time before class to test that and “true” a few of them by the judicious application of a sanding block around the lower mag catch area. Those that failed to fall free were sold over the weekend with full disclosure. Mags are consumables and should be treated as such. Given how dusty/dirty they got as nearly every reload in the class was a speed reload, I suspect I am going to fully disassemble, clean and make these dedicated training magazines.

Bottom Line: I cannot stress how important it is to get quality weapons training. Owning a weapon does not mean you can run it anymore than owning a guitar makes you musician. I was able to get quality training within 6 hours drive time of my home with a highly respected instructor whose methods are clearly successful. In short, we talked about what to teach, we talked about how to teach it, Tom taught it. Tom showed us how it was to be done. We practiced it until we too could do it and then we were tested over the techniques.

Final Thoughts: I am excited to train with Tom Givens in the future. The OKC Gun Club provided a quality training environment both in terms of the range and the class room facilities.. Thank you to all for making this class possible. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not given Spencer Keepers big kudos for his continued efforts at bringing quality instruction to the cental Oklahoma area.