Yesterday afternoon I drove out to Giddings and took Karl Rehn’s Advanced Training 4: Pistol Skills Development class.
The range is way out in the country making for a beautiful drive. Except it is bluebonnet season, so everyone and their dog, felt the need to go take pictures on the side of the road and for some reason that meant everyone driving had to come to a near halt. I was sure I was going to be late from all the stop and go traffic I had to endure on Highway 290. But I made it with 10 minutes to spare.
This is an advanced course and you have to have had some kind of training before. I was depending on the Four Day Defensive Handgun course I took 4 years ago and I learned how much I have lost. At the end of that course I could draw from concealment and put 2 shots in the center ring in under 1.5 seconds. I couldn’t quite do that some thing from ready at the beginning of this training. I was better by the end, but nothing like as good as I thought I was.
The course was four hours and was almost completely on the range. The two goals were trigger reset and shooting on the move. I think that was suppose to be 50-50, but ended up more like 80-20. Probably because we weren’t as good as Karl expected us to be.
The instructors told us a lot of things we were doing wrong. Which was a good thing and a bad thing. It was a good thing because you just can’t see these things yourself. It was a bad thing because it was a little discouraging and it was hard to be humble and take it. But I did learn lots of stuff I need to work on. Matter of fact so much stuff I need to practice that I’m just going to focus on a couple of things. Mostly trigger reset and proper form is draw and present.
Enhanced hearing. A funny thing I noticed after awhile was the instructors could hear me even when I was talking low enough I thought they couldn’t. I’m sure it was because of their ear protection which, like mine, actually amplifies the sound around you until a loud sudden noise.
Tired. I can’t believe The Mrs and I spend 8 hours a day for 4 days training at Front Sight. I was tired after 4 hours of this course. You were basically on your feet the whole time, except for reloading time. While there was moving, it wasn’t that much of the time. Of course I was a good P90xer and did an hour of Kenpo X that morning, which could have contributed.
Reloading. I need more magazines. Hsoi I take back anything I said about you having too many mags. That is impossible. I’ve got 4 XD mags and that was the minimum you needed if you didn’t want to spend time loading on the range. I also need a better mag holder than the one that comes with the XD.
Compete. Karl said if you want to get good you need to compete. It teaches you to shoot well and teaches you to shoot well under stress. I think I’m going to take that to heart. Now to find locals that compete.
I’m sure I’ll get the inevitable question of comparing KR to FrontSight, so I’ll answer. It isn’t easy to compare because this was an advanced class and my FrontSight class was a beginners class. This was 4 hours and FrontSight was 4 days. FrontSight was more refined. They had everything worked out and down to a science through the whole day. They also had many more instructors. Karl and Tom were as competent as any FS instructor, but FrontSight’s guys were just more polished as teachers.
This is both and good and bad, KR’s training was more relaxed and free form. When I thought I was almost out of ammo I loaded my last but didn’t get into line for another round of shoot and move. When I realized this was the last thing we were going to shoot, I asked to go ahead and shoot it again and Karl said go for it. There was the flexibility to do that. At FrontSight that flexibility probably wouldn’t be there. But I wouldn’t have ended up in a situation where I wasn’t sure what we were doing.
I enjoyed myself and will being going back. It is a bit of a shelp for me from Houston, but not as much as Nevada. I’ve got a lot to learn and KR Training will be a good place to learn it on a regular basis.
I’d also recommend it to any gun owner I know. You learn how true Jeff Cooper’s saying “Having a gun doesn’t mean you are armed.” is. If you can’t hit stuff in a class like this I shudder to thing how much you will miss when your life depends on it.