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Old November 20, 2000, 12:31 PM   #1
Monty
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Join Date: March 22, 1999
Location: Charleston, WV, USA
Posts: 153
On Saturday I attended Pat Goodale's (http://www.pgpft.com) Defensive Handgun I class at Savannah Lane Shooting Association near Lewisburg, WV. What follows is a review of the day from the best of my recollection. This certainly doesn't cover everything we did and I'm sure I don't have all the terminology 100% but you'll get the general idea.
The class started at 9AM on a mid-thirty degree day in a trailer with what Pat said was Government Building Heat, it's either on or off. Given the out-side temperatures, it was reasonably comfortable. After a brief introduction, Pat lectured for about 3 hours on topics covering safety, the law, mind set, gun handling and tactics. It was a very quick and informative 3 hours made interesting by Pat's injecting of personal experiences and those of others with which he has been associated. I left the lecture with the feeling Pat was rushing to get as much as he could into 3 hours, there is little doubt he could have continued providing useful information for much longer.
After a brief lunch with moved to the handgun range where we re-reviewed (we had already done this in the class room) basics of loading and unloading of our weapons. After we all loaded our pistols (OK, there was one revolver shooter but I'm going to call them all pistols), they remained loaded for the remainder of the class. Pat apparently believes in running a "hot" range for his classes meaning the guns are always loaded. This fits with his reality based teaching style, he doesn't try to teach you to do something that he knows you won't do under stress and doesn't try to convert you to his way of doing things if you already have a sound and safe method of doing something, but he does give you his opinion of how he thinks it should be done. In Pat's approximate words "That's what you're paying me for." For about the next two hours, we ran through various drills to learn the fundamentals of handling and firing our pistols. Emphasis was placed first and foremost on trigger control. Some of the skills we covered with paper targets were trigger control, the ready position, the draw stroke, controlled singles, controlled pairs, hammers, protected gun position and firing from such, shooting from kneeling position, one handed shooting from both strong and weak hand, turning and shooting (left, right and 180 degree). Moving to an adjacent range with steel targets we practiced moving and then shooting (left, right, forward and back) and then back to the paper targets for practicing shooting on the move (backward/retreating only).
After a about a twenty minute break to warm up a bit, we returned to the range for some practical application drills with steel targets including shooting from a vertical barricade, horizontal barricade, from cover of a vehicle (including "slicing the pie" technique), a Dozer Drill (I think this is what it was called) and a Time & Distance Demo showing you safe distance from an assailant from both the ready and holstered gun position.
Unfortunately at this point, as it is November, it got too dark to continue any longer safely. Quite a few times during the day, Pat stated that he was condensing some things to try and get as much in as the day light would allow. Pat said to bring 350 rounds and I ran through about 275 in this unfortunately shortened day. I rate this class as excellent overall. We covered far more in a single day, especially in the area of skills and tactics than I expected could be accomplished. The facility was quite "rough" in that it is situated in what appears to be an abandoned rock quarry. In actuality it was a highly functional range that met our needs exceptionally. I was truly worried on first glance of the facility but those concerns were totally unfounded. Pat Goodale is a top notch instructor and Savannah Lane is a top notch range (even though it appears rough and unfinished). I highly recommend the Defensive Handgun I class and am anxious to try some of the other classes that Pat offers in the spring. See his web page listed above for all his course offerings.
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Old November 21, 2000, 12:41 AM   #2
RedCrosse
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Join Date: May 14, 2000
Location: Bristol VA
Posts: 45
Agreed!

Hey!

I also attended the class. Pat is a first class instructor and extremely helpful. Much talk on this forum of hardware and ammo purchases, but this was some of the wisest cash that I have spent on gun related things.
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Old November 21, 2000, 05:50 PM   #3
ClydeVA
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Join Date: February 24, 1999
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 48
Great Class - Highly recommend......
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