Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    I've shot and cleaned guns since I was old enough for my father to put a .32 in my hands but I never had any training or instruction whatsoever in shooting. For all the stuff I have this might sound odd but my aim has...ummmm...room for improvement. I know that part of my problem is my grip and the fact that the front sight kind of fades to a blur over time doesn't help any. So...I attended a Self Defense Pistol course at my gun club at a price of $175.00 for about a four hour course with eight other people (actually only seven others, there was one no-show). I have no complaints about the course but I have nothing to compare it to so...what do I know?

    The instructors emphasized safety very heavily and I have nothing but good things to say in that regard. I went out of my way to ensure that I got schooled on my grip and with that I'm confident that I'll be a better shooter. This was a level one course focusing on dealing with a threat straight on at about 12 feet (I didn't measure distance to target, nor did I ask). They also focused on safe draw and re-holstering of the firearm. The final portion of the course entailed moving in and out from the target from about 30 feet or so.

    I did OK at 12' (or whatever the distance was) but I felt like at that distance I should be able to take an eye out...and I practically can, though I can't say the same for all of the other students (you could say that I left with some pretty good self esteem). When I was done my bad guy had a hole in his heart a little bigger than a golf ball and the rest of the crew could pretty much use their targets for the next course.

    So...the next course is geared more towards dealing with active shooters, evasive moves and other stuff. I haven't checked the prices on those courses but would expect them to be about the same. What I wanted to get out of it was better accuracy and some education on dealing with different situations with intruders and particularly, unarmed intruders and what is acceptable to do with them.

    Does the price for the course sound reasonable for what what I got? Any thoughts on whether or not it's reasonable to take more courses? What additional courses are recommended?
    Last edited by Walleye Hunter; February 4th, 2019 at 12:54 PM.
    Where's Hunter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    In the can, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
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    Default Re: Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    Anything that gets you practicing correctly is worth doing.
    As long as they are reputable and give good instruction it is time well spent.
    $175 sounds reasonable.

    Shooting is basically a sport like working out in the gym.
    If you're not a professional bodybuilder (police, military) then anything that gets you into the gym is worth doing.
    As long as you are being instructed correctly and don't hurt yourself it is time well spent.

    Working out (shooting) can get boring, and keeping it interesting and fresh will help you stick with it.
    Assuming you are not a next level ninja, shooting is all about repetitive muscle memory exercises and repetitive mental exercises.
    As with any sport, it is a perishable skill that requires constant training to keep it sharp.
    Anything that keeps you working at it correctly is time well spent.
    How can you have any cookies if you don't drink your milk?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    And what is a typical class size? (If there is one).
    Where's Hunter?

  4. #4
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    Jun 2006
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    Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye Hunter View Post
    And what is a typical class size? (If there is one).
    Class sizes vary depending on the size of the range and the number of participants.
    I've had 16 people on a line that the range could accomodate.

    The largest class was over 30 people, almost all law enforcement but the Rangemaster had 4 RO's to help.

    I've also had been in a class with 16 students and due to width of the bay, we ran 2 lines of 8.


    Some instructors will take on a class with a minimum # but natuarally, the more students, the more $ they make.

    Larger classes usually had extra RO's so the instructor could focus on presenting material and the RO's would monitor safety and help if a student had an issue.

    Berncly nailed it.
    It's a diminishing skill set that correct training refreshes. I've read many posts that some self taught shooters don't feel the need for professional training. Good for them.
    I happen to disagree but that's nothing more than my opinion and it goes back to doing everything correctly.

    The last few years, I 've been taking a refresher course.

    Once again, in my opinion, it's money well spent.
    Opinions are like anal apertures. They all stink but mine.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye Hunter View Post
    And what is a typical class size? (If there is one).
    What 27 said.
    I would just add that you should look for a class size that works best for you, personally and financially.
    I prefer teaching people one on one, especially when working on the fundamentals.
    But working in larger groups can be beneficial depending on circumstances, particularly if the students have a strong foundation.
    How can you have any cookies if you don't drink your milk?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Zelienople, Pennsylvania
    (Butler County)
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    Default Re: Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    There's so much to learn that basic marksmanship is just a small part of it. Mindset, the law, situational awareness, technique - moving to cover/shooting on the move, shooting from different positions, clearing malfunctions, multiple attackers, close quarters... How many people have ever shot while flat on their back or done a one-handed reload? It's good to take classes with different instructors and take what you can from each.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2016
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    Windber, Pennsylvania
    (Somerset County)
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    Default Re: Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    Check out Green Ops out of Northern Virginia if not too far from you. They are about 2-3 hours from me depending on where they hold the class.

    Former Special ops guy runs it and they are well vetted.

    $160 for 4-5 hour pistol clinic and $230 for 8 hour defensive pistol. Also have carbine classes and higher level classes. I will be attending one this year.

    I wish there were more options in my area (Altoona/Johnstown) bit a Google search turned up nothing let alone a national level trainer. Rockwell Tactical is obviously not getting my business. Want to go through the class without being shot

  8. #8
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    Mar 2017
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    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Cumberland County)
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    Default Re: Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    You can also take a look at Vigr Training. Phil has classes in several areas, some of which look to be close to you. I took a 1 day private course with him as a team building event. We had people ranging from "which is the dangerous end" to very experienced shooters, and he was able to tailor instruction to everyone. I can't recommend him enough, and I'm planning to take at least one more class with him this year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    (Lehigh County)
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    Default Re: Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    I've taken a few courses from these guys: http://www.dtsllc.com/
    --ET

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Defensive Pistol Training Classes?

    Last class i took was 10 hours long and i fired over 500 rounds. Honestly I became bored with it after about 4 hours.

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