|September 28, 2007, 11:42 PM||#1|
Join Date: February 20, 2007
Location: Las Vegas, NV
AAR - LMS Pistol I Sept 22-23 Las Vegas NV Days 1 and 2
LMS Pistol I – Sept. 22-23-Las Vegas –AAR Day 1
(or, how I spent the weekend with Mr. Murphy)
First, a little background about myself. I’m an attorney, 31 years of age, married with three children. I am originally from Southern California but recently relocated to Las Vegas. My father was a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff, Reserve, for about thirteen years. As such, I have been around firearms my whole life. However, this is the first formal training I have ever had.
I recently applied for my NV (and UT) CCW and thought it was time to learn what I was doing. I have ample opportunity to shoot (usually once a week, but you wouldn’t know that from this class) but am seriously lacking in the skills department. I looked and looked for a good course and my research led me to LMS. Someone posted the class on the AR15.com NVHTF, so it piqued my interest. From there I strolled through the LMS’ forum and got more information. The reviews and AARs were very positive and it seemed that LMS attracted serious professionals, so I knew I had found a quality course. Thus, I signed up and prepared myself for what would come.
I was armed with a Sig P220R Carry as well as some other less-than-stellar gear. Let’s just say that the High Noon Holsters’ cheap POS holsters are useless when it comes to re-holstering (ah, thank you Mr. Murphy!). This became an excellent lesson on gear selection. Everyone else (students and teachers) ran Glocks.
I was excited but also apprehensive about my first day. I knew that I was green and had a lot to learn. The LMS staff was phenomenal. We had three instructors to our four students (an excellent ratio):
• Jeremy Miller;
• Michael Perez; and
• Ernie Beckwith.
I cannot begin to rave about these superb instructors. They had infinite patience, which is exactly what a green-horn like me needed. Additionally, these guys were professional and incredibly skilled. Honestly, I could not have asked for a better set of instructors.
Day I began with quite a bit of lecture, but you have to crawl before you can walk. We began with a safety briefing and I came away very comfortable that my teachers would do everything to keep us safe (and we emerged unscathed). We then discussed stance, grip, draw, and presentation including the High ready, Low ready, Retention, Covert ready, etc. We were also taught how to properly check/clear a weapon and load it.
Live fire drills included shooting Center of Mass (COM) and head shots (failure to stop drills). Our training progressed to shooting while moving (dry practice first then live) to the side, forward and backward (“Groucho”). Adding movement to each action was also stressed and I certainly need to practice that. We also were drilled on the need to scan after shooting a string to clear the area of bad guys.
For me, I have been in the dark when it comes to malfunction drills. I have been unsure just what a type I, II or III malfunction was. This class demonstrated and drilled how to recognize, clear and proceed with one of these malfunctions. And these drills came in handy as I had trouble with my Sig later on. We also learned how to do “Tactical”/Strategic reloads, speed reloads, etc.
Our final test was shooting into cognitive targets that contained numbers, colors, and shapes. Our RO would give us instructions on what to hit, give the “fire” command, and we would try to follow his instructions. Well, I guess this failed miserably because we never saw those cognitive targets again. Just a note, I went to law school to AVOID math, so this prime number garbage really screwed me up!
All in all the first day was full, but the instruction was excellent. And I came away plenty sore (reminded me of two-a-days in football) as well as pleased. I received superb instruction and had the tools to practice at home.
Day II included some modest lecture and then we proceeded to the “dot drill.” We shot at 1-inch dots to improve our marksmanship. Quite the challenge! Again this was a drill that I can easily replicate on my own, which is good. Also, a couple of guys showed up with holster for me to try which made things go much smoother.
We also received a lecture on use of force and the legal aspect as well as the “Color Code” by Col Cooper. The legal review was nothing too new for me; however, the Color Code was something I only knew by name. This class explained code and I got to practice a bit as I had the wife and kids at Disneyland the following three days. Needless to say, there were lots of people in condition white around there!
Shooting is much more than standing upright. We learned to shoot kneeling, sitting, supine (on the back), prone and rolled prone. The instruction also included one-handed shooting with either hand. This was a challenge as I was still getting accustomed to my new grip. More practice is needed. One of my favorite drills was shooting from cover using the new positions we learned. An important lesson learned was not to crowd cover! Also, we shot moving to cover and then from cover at multiple targets.
Included in this day was rhythmic shooting. This was another challenge for me but a good drill to be exposed to. We also learned to shoot multiple targets.
The class ended with a qualification that tested everything that we were taught. This is where Mr. Murphy stopped in for a visit. My Sig started having all sorts issues with magazines. I had several failures where I could not even get a shot off. I did get plenty of extra practice clearing malfunctions though! As a result, my score was less than stellar. This was frustrating but illustrative for me. I think the Sig may get retired in favor of my Glock 21 SF. But, more testing is needed!
The LMS Pistol I course, for me, was honestly like drinking from a fire hose. Considering my complete lack of training, everything was new. However, I do not regret taking the class for one moment. This was exactly what I needed and wanted from a class. The tools gained will now be incorporated into a dry/live practice regimen that I can do daily. The LMS staff was amazing as well as my patient co-pupils who endured my various issues. I am glad I had my gear issues in the class and not during a firefight. I would highly recommend this class to anyone and will definitely be taking further courses from LMS!