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Thread: AAR – Defensive Pistol I - 8/20/2022 Culpeper, VA

  1. #1

    AAR – Defensive Pistol I - 8/20/2022 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.

    Defensive Pistol I is an eight-hour course put on by the Green-Ops team in Culpeper, VA. This class “covers the basic defensive use of compact or full-size pistols. It begins with the fundamentals of marksmanship and moves into more advanced drills.”

    Our course’s instructor/student ratio was 1:5 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. Grandmaster Josh Shaw led the class with an assist from Chris, Luke, Dex and additional assist from the visiting Mike, the owner of Zulu Ops. These instructors are all approachable and great resources to glean more knowledge regarding your goals, equipment, etc. Pro tip: feel free to contact Green-Ops at info@green-ops.com before your class to address any course-related questions that you may have.

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    GM Josh Shaw demonstrating proper technique.


    Equipment used:
    My equipment choices are based on “trusted affordability.” 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 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].

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    Course Content:
    The instructors started off by discussing the importance of the five pillars of pistol marksmanship: Dry fire, live fire, shot timers, competition and video analysis.

    We started off with shooting a Bill Drill which involves shooting six shots at 7.5 yds from the holster. This drill shows if our grip needs work.

    We worked on improving our reloads before moving onto some timed pistol standards. I learned that taking a split second to aim better increases your score because of reduced misses.

    The instructors took us thru shooting at multiple targets with the advice to look, then aim [eyes on new target before putting sights there].

    Shooting from behind barricades was next. We were taught intricacies such as how far back to stand from it, where to place your legs, knees, etc.

    We wrapped up the day with the Eli Dickens drill from 40 yards.

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

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

    Having met those requirements but feel the need to work on your fundamentals first? Try the excellent Advanced Application of Pistol Fundamentals class.

    Regardless of the class, you want to start the new year off right by doing 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.

    Recommendations:
    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.

  2. #2
    Good write up, thanks. I need to get signed up for a class with them.

    Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Dot Driver Kyle Reese's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Thank you for the fantastic AAR and for coming out to train with us.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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