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Thread: AAR – Advanced Application of Pistol Fundamentals - 7/9/2022 Culpeper, VA

  1. #1

    AAR – Advanced Application of Pistol Fundamentals - 7/9/2022 Culpeper, VA

    In the opinion of Barnabas Pike

    This After-Action Report is aimed at the newer gun owners who are just getting into firearms and trying to get the training that they need. Once you have secured a decent firearm and have managed to acquire more than the minimally-required ammunition, it’s time to learn some good skills from some awesome instructors.

    Advanced Application of Pistol Fundamentals is an eight-hour course put on by the Green-Ops team in Culpeper, VA. This class is a back-to-the-basics one and “goes in depth on how to get your pistol out of the holster and put bullets exactly where you want them to go.” Rather than being a defensive pistol course this one is all about the fundamentals of achieving accuracy. So, if your accuracy is not where you want it to be, this is the class to start with.

    Our course’s instructor/student ratio was 1:8 for our particular class. The Virginia Green-Ops Instructor cadre has a diversity of experience that they bring to the table [Military, Law Enforcement [LE], Contractors, competitive Grandmasters, etc.] and they clearly love what they do. Luke and Julian are both approachable and great resources to glean more knowledge regarding your goals, equipment, etc. Pro tip: feel free to contact Green-Ops at before your class to address any course-related questions that you may have.

    Equipment used:
    My equipment choices are based on “trusted affordability,” preferably made by people, like me, who love this country and its freedoms. My shooting skills aren’t exactly top-of-the-line and, with a kid in school, neither is my budget.

    Pistol: Smith and Wesson M&P 9 2.0 optic-ready 4” barrel. Most students brought their Glocks or high-end “race” guns. These were roughly split between iron sights and red dot sights [RDS].

    In my limited opinion, don’t worry about not having a “race” gun. At our beginning level, fundamentals are more important than equipment. Having said that guns with longer barrels [4”+] are easier to master than the sub/micro-compacts [3”+/-]. Case in point, I’ve had personal experience with the excellent, but diminutive, SIG P365. Great gun for someone with more skill than myself just starting out. I’ve also been in a couple classes where they demanded more skill than the owner had at the time. Guns like these, the M&P Shield and the Glock 43 are for those who have absolutely mastered the fundamentals. Again, just my opinion.

    Optic: Holosun 407K 6MOA, sighted in at 10 yards. Stick with Holosun, Trijicon or DeltaPoint brands.

    Holster: JM Custom Kydex in the appendix-carry 2:00 position because that’s my daily carry routine. The majority of the class had strong-side, outside the waistband [OWB] holsters. Do yourself a favor and avoid the cheaper, collapsible Uncle Mike’s-style holsters. Stick with brands like JM Custom, PHLster, etc. Again, Green-Ops can help you with your equipment selection process.

    Mag pouches: mine are specifically fit for the M&P 9 magazines and are carried at the 9:30 and 10:30 position.

    Belt: 1 ½” with steel core for added strength. Cheap-ass belts just won’t cut it. Expect to pay $50 or more for something decent.

    Ammo: 300 rounds of CCI Blazer 9mm [about the best, affordable brass available these days IMHO].

    Course Content:
    The instructors assessed our shooting levels and demonstrated for us the correct, high-pistol grip and proper stance. Next, we worked on trigger control and performed drills designed to expose anticipatory flinching.

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    Green Ops students getting after it

    The best drill IMO was the one-finger drill. This is done by holding the gun with the thumb and web of the strong hand and just the trigger finger to pull the trigger. The remaining strong-side fingers were taken off of the grip. This drill demonstrated the importance of trigger control vs grip.

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    Shooter performing the one-finger drill.

    We then went over the four-count drawing of a pistol from a holster and some alternate sighting drills.

    After lunch we took turns trying to hit an upper-torso steel target from ever increasing distances beginning with 20 yards out past 100 yards which is an astonishing distance to me. Once you’ve had your eyes opened to what you and your pistol are actually capable of from Eli distance and more…

    The final portion of the course involved taking those long-distance learnings and applying them to an upper torso target at 50 yards and to a B-8 target [fits on an 8.5x11 piece of paper] at @ 25 yds.

    My Experience:
    Although all levels of shooter would benefit from this fundamentals class…

    Having basic safe gun-handling skills, knowing how to safely draw/re-holster, reloads, malfunctions, and the like are unspoken minimum expectations.

    If I’m being honest with myself, I’d have to say that I am a “good-enough shooter” except in reality, there is no such thing. I inconsistently hit the target more/less. The problem is that recent events have placed a burden of performance on those who should carry to do what Eli Dicken did at distance. “Good enough” doesn’t get the job done, doesn’t save lives and worse. Game. Must. Be. Upped. Period.

    One thing that COVID taught us is to do today that which can be done today. Whether it’s stocking up on life’s necessities or getting firearms training, procrastination is no longer an option.

    Come with an “empty-vessel” teachable mind-set, bring a notebook and take notes!, be sociable, encouraging and make friends and ask a lot of questions. Banish all negative self-talk and, if you’re a lesser-experienced shooter like me, expect to be in the lowest 20%. As long as you are behaving safely and learning from your experiences, you are on the right path.

    Bring lots of hydration and ice, apply sunscreen early and often, bring a backup weapon, if you have one, and extra magazines and ammo.

    If red dot sights are your jam make sure that you sight in your pistol at 10 yards at the local range before coming to class. This will save you time, ammo and potential embarrassment during class. Also, don’t forget the instructions and adjustment tool for your RDS, as well as an extra battery, just in case.

    So, look at the Green-Ops training schedule, find the classes that you need in order to fill in your gaps, put together the required equipment and sign up today so that you can have the skills that you need when you need them.

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    Proud Students of the Advanced Application of Pistol Fundamentals course. July 9th, 2022. Culpeper, VA

  2. #2
    Dot Driver Kyle Reese's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central Virginia
    Thank you for coming out to train with us! AAPF isn’t an easy course but it’s a very rewarding one, I think. We look forward to seeing you in a future class. Stay safe!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Probably our favorite pistol class to teach because its what most students need! Master the basics!! Thanks for the write up.

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