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Old September 25, 2009, 11:38 AM   #1
Christian James
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Alternative training methods?

“Owning a handgun does not make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.”
- Col. Jeff Cooper

I understand the importance of training and I agree that if you want to learn how to use your weapons well you should go to a class and receive quality instruction. Here’s my problem though. I recently got married and my wife is expecting our first child. As you would expect, free time is at a premium and the possibility of me getting away to take a class is not very good.

This problem applies more to carbine training than handgun training. I can take a course on defensive pistolcraft with Louis Awerbuck at a place that is an hour away. I plan on doing just that, and learning to use a pistol is my number one priority as I am a civilian and my primary weapon is my 1911.

I also want to learn to use my AR though. What can a person in my situation do? There are no good carbine classes nearby. I don’t mind traveling to a class, but as I mentioned earlier my personal circumstances preclude that option for the foreseeable future. At this point I have three choices –
1. Pick up some good books and training videos.
2. Participate in the matches at my gun club, that should at least teach me how to shoot.
3. Get some personal instruction if at all possible. This is probably the best option as I have three cousins that are combat Marines and have all done recent tours in Iraq. The only problem I can foresee is that I’m not sure how good they are as teachers.

What other options do I have? I really want to learn to use my guns, but I refuse to believe that until I take a course that I am only a dilettante.
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Old September 25, 2009, 12:18 PM   #2
KSFreeman
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As in any martial art, there is no substitute for a sifu by your elbow.

However, how about seeking a range buddy that has been to gun school?

TR's DVDs are outstanding. I would also recommend the Gunsite videos.
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Old September 25, 2009, 12:19 PM   #3
KSFreeman
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Where are you, CJ? Many trainers travel perhaps there is a course near you? Louis does not offer carbine near you?
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Old September 25, 2009, 12:50 PM   #4
Christian James
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The problem is that I'm in CA. The occassional traveling school does come to the area, but the laws here being what they are, we have to use 10-round, fixed magazines in our weapons. We can't learn to utilize the full effectiveness of a carbine with those restrictions, so I'd like to go somewhere close but out-of-state. Thunder Ranch is always an option, as is Gunsite, but those schools require me to be away for three days at a minimum, and that is quite hard for a young family.
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Old September 25, 2009, 02:22 PM   #5
peejman
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I feel your pain. We have an 18 month old and both of us want to attend various training classes offered by local ranges. Finding the time is very hard. Quite honestly, unless your wife is "super-mom", plan to attend one of those classes at least a year from now. The first 6 months will go by in a blink.
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Old September 26, 2009, 04:04 PM   #6
Dwight55
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I don't have any "shooting" videos, . . . but if the rifle and shooting videos are on a par with some of the hunting, fishing, and other teaching videos, . . . you can do well for a year or so just working with them and an empty rifle.

Your big needs are more tactical movement, . . . positioning, . . . and learning to reload quickly. Additionally, . . . after you have reviewed several DVD's or videos, . . . you will want to spend some time developing scenarios and your answer to each scenario in YOUR HOUSE with YOUR FAMILY. What works at Gunsite may not be worth last weeks newspaper at your house.

Then go to target acquisition (are you using open sights, . . . scope, . . . red dot???), . . . again done without need of a shooting rifle. Do it in low light conditions, . . . practice your RESPONSES in the dark, . . . at noon, . . . and above all, . . . involve your family. Yeah, . . . they may think you are a bit daft or something, . . . but if something happens, . . . when the smoke clears and you all are well, . . . it will all have been worth all the bad mouthing and kidding you took.

May God bless,
Dwight
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Old September 26, 2009, 04:39 PM   #7
smince
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If you are going to be stuck with 10-round fixed mags, you should learn to run your gun that way. It doesn't make sense to learn speed loads with a 30-round mag if you aren't able to use one.
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Old September 28, 2009, 10:20 AM   #8
KSFreeman
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Quote:
The occassional traveling school does come to the area, but the laws here being what they are, we have to use 10-round, fixed magazines in our weapons.
O.K., but shouldn't you be training with what you will be fighting with?

I've taken Urban Rifle at Thunder Ranch thrice now with lever action carbines (Marline 1894 in .357, 10 round fixed magazine). I've always used ARs at Louis classes but if I know Louis I would imagine he would allow you to use such a carbine.
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