Glock Forum - GlockTalk banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm looking to take a very comprehensive 3-5 day pistol course, I am interested in improving skills, learning new things and gaining confidence, I live in the Philadelphia area and would love to be able to drive to an academy but would also travel out of state, is there a class you can recommend? I'm not looking for the lowest cost course but definitely want to get a good value, thanks
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,717 Posts
Gunsite. Still the gold standard.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,686 Posts
What is your current skills level? depending on where those are, you may benefit more from a one day course, and then have a couple of days/weeks in between to practice/hone, then a two or three day course, versus doing a 3-5 day course in one shot.





http://www.sigsaueracademy.com/Schedule/Map.aspx

Click on "PA". Most of the courses offered in your area are on day courses, but I hear the instruction is excellent.

At least with this type of setting you are not heavily invested in travel + a 4 day course to find yourself struggling, or bored.

'Drew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
What is your current skills level? depending on where those are, you may benefit more from a one day course, and then have a couple of days/weeks in between to practice/hone, then a two or three day course, versus doing a 3-5 day course in one shot.
Agree 100%. Depending on your skill level, there's only so much you can absorb at a given class, and only so far you can push up the learning curve. IMO, in the early going, 1 or 2 day classes, with months in between to consolidate gains, is the way to fly.

If you're not ready for a 5 day class, by day 3 or 4, you're going to get burned out and lose focus.

Also, money- and hassle-wise, a one day class obviates the need for a hotel, and is easier to handle.

http://www.sigsaueracademy.com/Schedule/Map.aspx

Click on "PA". Most of the courses offered in your area are on day courses, but I hear the instruction is excellent.
Great catch! I thought I had the comprehensive list of every training option in the area -- I never heard of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
Hello, I'm looking to take a very comprehensive 3-5 day pistol course, I am interested in improving skills, learning new things and gaining confidence, I live in the Philadelphia area and would love to be able to drive to an academy but would also travel out of state, is there a class you can recommend? I'm not looking for the lowest cost course but definitely want to get a good value, thanks
I've been pursuing training from the Philadelphia area for the last decade. Feel free to PM me for details.

IMO, the most important thing is to find classes where the material is in rapport with your current level. Also, you can do well by being patient, and taking in the regional 1 and 2 classes that are out there.

Sig Arms Academy is about the closest for a big box school. Flights from PHL to Manchester, NH are cheap and quick, and Sig Arms will I think rent you a gun and supply ammo. Or, it's about an 8 hour drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
To the OP: bookmark all these and check them regularly.

LOCAL RESOURCES:

A local guy who brings in trainers to Philadelphia ranges. Has brought in John Farnam and Walt Rauch so far. Rob Pincus will be in Philly in March:

http://www.personaldefensesolutions.net/



REGIONAL TRAINERS:

Mostly rifle, but worth bookmarking. They teach out of the http://www.nhrpc.org/ range: http://bhtcorps.com/index.html

Another group, based in Lancaster: http://directactiontactical.com/

More local: http://www.moderncombativesystems.com/

In Harrisburg -- the range: http://www.westshoresportsmen.org/ -- you have Insights, who have several courses each year. Their main instructor in PA is John Holschen, who I've heard good things about.

http://www.insightstraining.com/

Pittsburgh is not much closer than Sig Arms Academy, but if you want to stay in-state to avoid traveling-armed legal hassles, this place brings in teachers like Randy Cain and Giles Stock regularly, and Larry Vickers and "Southnarc" once in a while:

http://www.fireinstitute.org/



TRAVELING INSTRUCTORS

...who teach in the SE PA region, or have done so (I have taken at least one regional class from each, and can vouch):

John Farnam: http://www.defense-training.com/

Gabe Suarez: http://www.suarezinternational.com/tech.html

Tactical Response: http://www.tacticalresponse.com/

Jeff Gonzales: http://www.tridentconcepts.com/default.aspx

Tom Givens: http://www.rangemaster.com/

Also, Mas Ayoob came to PA every other year or so when part of LFI. Maybe he will again, with the new company?

http://massadayoobgroup.com/

ETA: I haven't yet taken a class from Mas Ayoob, but he certainly doesn't need my imprimatur.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,686 Posts
I've been pursuing training from the Philadelphia area for the last decade. Feel free to PM me for details.

IMO, the most important thing is to find classes where the material is in rapport with your current level. Also, you can do well by being patient, and taking in the regional 1 and 2 classes that are out there.

Sig Arms Academy is about the closest for a big box school. Flights from PHL to Manchester, NH are cheap and quick, and Sig Arms will I think rent you a gun and supply ammo. Or, it's about an 8 hour drive.

DGG,

Sig Arms is now called Sig Sauer Academy. They will provide guns (handguns, long guns, shotguns), accessories (mags, holsters, slings) and sell you ammo (at Sig Academy the main indoor 25 yard range is frangible only - they stock that). They have...maybe 13-20 outdoor ranges, and at least one, maybe two shoot houses. Outdoor ranges start from 50 yards out to 350+ yards.

Without going into too much about me, I have trained there, as I have at most of the other major gun manufacturers and/or big name schools. I have also trained extensively at the LE or LE instructor level (well since my time here) at multiple different ...entities that train and certify LE.

Hands down, Sig Academy is in the top 5% of places I've been. When you get a chance, lookit their Lead Instructor - Adam Painchaud. Their senior instructors are nothing to sneeze at either, having read their CVs and met a bunch of them.

'Drew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
Without going into too much about me, I have trained there,
A close friend of mine, who lives in NH, has also trained there, so I got some decent second hand reviews about it.

Actually, between Sig Arms and the top-tier people that www.neshooters.com brings in, I'm bitterly envious of the people who live in south NH, who have a literally unlimited amount of training they can take in, without ever having to travel, or book a hotel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,165 Posts
I see some suggestions for taking a local one day class to get started. While you might get lucky and do well with this strategy, I generally don't suggest this approach for anybody with the time and budget to seek higher level instruction.

The best way to start your training, in my opinion, is with a few days at a highly respected school. They will start you out on the right path from the beginning. If your first class is a local one that teaches poor skills and tactics, you'll be fighting for a long time to unlearn it. Starting right makes everything after much easier. Also, a few days of immersion is the most effective way to learn handgunning. One day is barely enough to cover safe operation of your pistol, and not nearly enough to do much for mechanics and actual shooting.

The Sig Sauer Academy would be an excellent semi-local option for you. Of course any of the big name schools (Thunder Ranch, Gunsite, Shootrite, TDI, etc.) would be great choices also. Any of them would give you a solid foundation. Good luck, and have fun!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,647 Posts
Hello, I'm looking to take a very comprehensive 3-5 day pistol course, I am interested in improving skills, learning new things and gaining confidence, I live in the Philadelphia area and would love to be able to drive to an academy but would also travel out of state, is there a class you can recommend? I'm not looking for the lowest cost course but definitely want to get a good value, thanks
Range work is OK but learning to move and shoot, shooting from behind cover, proper draw stroke, etc. are valuable skills that will give you confidence. If you haven't taken any classes that teach this then, as others are recommending, you would benefit greatly from the NRA courses for personal protection outside the home and personal protection inside the home. When you're comfortable with the drills in those classes you'll get more out of an advanced course at someplace like Gunsite.

NRA courses for PA can be found at this website --> http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx
Check the class you want and select your state (or surrounding states). I found classes for you in March and April in Wagontown, Southamptom, Wexford and Hamburg. If you're close to the NY border I have PPITH course on 2/19/11 ($100) and PPOTH course on 3/19/11 - 3/20/11 for $150 (discounted rate for GT members). It covers both basic and advanced personal protection.

Good luck
CJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,408 Posts
Hmm, I don't shoot IDPA, etc but the drills for the competition shooter looks like a good class, especially since Stroudsburgh is a hop, skip and jump from where I live.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
The best way to start your training, in my opinion, is with a few days at a highly respected school. They will start you out on the right path from the beginning. If your first class is a local one that teaches poor skills and tactics, you'll be fighting for a long time to unlearn it. Starting right makes everything after much easier.
Why this assumption that a local class will be poor quality? Given the minimal curriculum that a one day class would be expected to cover, and given how widely understood the basic MT doctrine is, you probably won't find too many local instructors who can't adequately teach safety, grip, presentation, sight picture.

Total immersion is good, but you need time to breath and consolidate in between immersions. You can only retain so much new material in your conscious mind at once. If the same guy who had his first safety lesson on Monday is clearing type 3 malfunctions on the move on Wednesday, how much can he retain?

IMO, if you learn some things, then have time to practice them so you don't have to consciously think about them in the next class, that makes the next class easier.

But people do go about this both ways. I can't prove one is better than the other. Personally I think taking that local one-day class or two first is cost effective, and then when you take your first weekend tactical pistol class, you'll be more ready to absorb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,165 Posts
Why this assumption that a local class will be poor quality? Given the minimal curriculum that a one day class would be expected to cover, and given how widely understood the basic MT doctrine is, you probably won't find too many local instructors who can't adequately teach safety, grip, presentation, sight picture.

Total immersion is good, but you need time to breath and consolidate in between immersions...
It's not an assumption that local instruction will be bad, but rather than you don't know until you take your second class if it was or not. If you did pick up bad habits, or skills that are tactically unsound (as I've seen even in NRA classes), you will need to unlearn that before you can start learning good techniques. If a shooter has the time and money to start out at a great school, I can't think of a single reason not to.

You do make good points about different learning styles. I taught high school for a couple years, so I do understand that and you are correct. I do think that a shooting class that runs like a football or math camp, with a lot of focus and immersion that lasts for a few days works best for most people. Everybody is different though. If you don't operate that way (and it sounds like you may not), then good for you for knowing that and choosing courses that work well with your style. I know you've got plenty of experience and have your own needs very well figured out by now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I highly recommend Practical Fundamentals with Bruce Gray and Jerry Jones. I took this class last fall and learned a lot while having a good time. You'll have to travel to attend one of their classes, but well worth it. They recently changed their name to Operation Specific Training. Here's their site http://www.opspectraining.com/
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,686 Posts
It's not an assumption that local instruction will be bad, but rather than you don't know until you take your second class if it was or not. If you did pick up bad habits, or skills that are tactically unsound (as I've seen even in NRA classes), you will need to unlearn that before you can start learning good techniques. If a shooter has the time and money to start out at a great school, I can't think of a single reason not to...
This issue could be easily resolved if everyone (schools) stated their learning objectives. That is one of the hallmarks of good instruction - the entity (school or trainers) is not afraid to list learning objectives and how long it will take to achieve these objectives.

It's not like we're asking for them to list their methods of instruction - just state the objectives, the class duration, and the training and experience of the instructors.

I have seen many, many law enforcement certified instructors who had no business training anyone else....but as a NYPD firearms instructor bemoaned to me last week, "...easily 1/4 of these ****ers have no business being out here - they are afraid of the streets and would much rather staple targets, sweep brass and run classes..."

and yes, I have seen more than my fair share of NRA Pistol Instructors come to my NRA Personal Protection in the Home (Instructor) courses, who I've had to spend time with off hours bringing them up to speed (Pistol Instructor is a pre-requisite for PP Instructor). I've been tempted on multiple occasions to report their Training Counselors to the NRA Training Dept, because they are clearly not upholding the minimum standards set by the NRA.

...more later.

'Drew
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,647 Posts
Why this assumption that a local class will be poor quality? Given the minimal curriculum that a one day class would be expected to cover, and given how widely understood the basic MT doctrine is, you probably won't find too many local instructors who can't adequately teach safety, grip, presentation, sight picture.

Total immersion is good, but you need time to breath and consolidate in between immersions. You can only retain so much new material in your conscious mind at once. If the same guy who had his first safety lesson on Monday is clearing type 3 malfunctions on the move on Wednesday, how much can he retain?

IMO, if you learn some things, then have time to practice them so you don't have to consciously think about them in the next class, that makes the next class easier.

But people do go about this both ways. I can't prove one is better than the other. Personally I think taking that local one-day class or two first is cost effective, and then when you take your first weekend tactical pistol class, you'll be more ready to absorb.
I agree. My theory is CRAWL-WALK-RUN. Good foundational skills go a long way in an advanced course. And some instructors may cause one to develop some bad habits. I just broke-in a new instructor and watched him teach his first class today. He did pretty well. After certification by the NRA he was required to assist in 12 personal protection classes before he was allowed to teach even a single topic. Like good shooters, good instructors take time to develop. If choosing a 1-2 day foundational class do your homework on the school and instructors. How long have they been teaching? How many people have they taught? What certs do they hold? Where have they worked, etc. Make sure your instructor is dedicated... we don't end a class until every student has mastered the skill sets and is personally satisfied with their progress.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top