View Full Version : What a perfect weekend!!

May 22, 2001, 02:27 PM
This past weekend, I took FAS-2 from Firearms Academy of Seattle. (www.firearmsacademy.com) The course was taught by Marty and Gila Hayes, both long-time firearms instructors, and was well worth the $195 instruction fee.

As a fairly new shooter -- I've been shooting handguns for a little less than a year now -- I found this course moved quickly and thoroughly through a lot of material that was foundational to good marksmanship and more importantly foundational to good self defense skills.

While originally I signed up for the course primarily to improve my shooting skills, I found I was most appreciative of the legal aspects of the training. After completing the course, I went home with my class notebook filled with notes in my own handwriting which detailed my understanding of the rules governing the use of deadly force.

Also included in my class notebook were notes taken while we watched police training videos. One of those videos, a re-enactment of an incident that took place in Baton Rouge back in the 70's, was truly hair-raising and provided a lot of material for class discussion as well as for serious thought.

After covering the basics of range safety in the classroom, we moved to the range to work on shooting skills. I have to note here that the entire weekend was a very safe weekend and at no time did I believe that the instructors were unaware of safety considerations.

We started on the basics of marksmanship, starting with a good stance. Marty emphasized that each of us should be able to use any of the stances (Weaver, Chapman, Isoceles) with skill, since in any encounter we would not be able to dictate the circumstances and might not be able to choose our favored stance. That said, I discovered that my favorite stance is the Isoceles, the choice of most women. A friend who took the class with me told me that he much preferred the Weaver and shot best in that stance; personally I had a hard time hitting anything from that contorted and awkward position. Since he felt the same about the Isoceles, I guess if we do what we were taught, I'll be practicing Weaver and he'll be practicing Isoceles for awhile now...

Once the class had mastered single shot drills from each of the basic stances, concentrating on sight picture, smooth trigger pull, and follow through, we moved on to one hand shooting, multiple shot drills, and other positions -- speed squat, high kneeling, and low kneeling. I found I shot well from high and low kneeling but speed squat was difficult and awkward for me (free advice: if you want to learn to shoot speed squat well, put your gun away for awhile and practice deep knee bends!).

By the end of the class, we were working on low-light shooting, shooting multiple targets, and shooting while moving. I'm told all of these, plus tactical considerations, are covered more fully in FAS-3 and I fully intend to take that next course as soon as I've scraped enough money out of the grocery budget to do it.

It was a great weekend and definitely worth the money spent. We lucked out on getting weather that was as close to perfect as you'll ever see in this part of the world and that was definitely a plus. Good instruction, good shooting, good friends, and good weather -- does a weekend get any better than this?

And, to top all this off: Yesterday I took my first shooting buddy out to show him what I'd learned in the class. He's the man who got me started shooting handguns. He owns a homemade IPSC-style target stand and the last time we shot together I put a few holes through the wood slats on the outer edges, which he'd ribbed me about quite a bit. Yesterday we each shot off 100 rounds. I walked through the 60 round qualifier which finishes off FAS-2, and then shot 10 rounds or so while step-dragging/backing away from the target. The sneak loaded some snap caps in my mag for that one so I had to clear a "malfunction" while backing away. The rest of the ammo was shot off in various stances at distances ranging from 30 to 60 feet. At the end of the afternoon, *ALL* my shots had been on the 8 1/2 x 11 paper! :) Most of the groups looked pretty good, but even the ones that didn't, didn't have any real flyers. As we were packing up to go home, my buddy was examining his stand sourly and mock-complaining, "Hmph. The girl can shoot..."


4V50 Gary
May 22, 2001, 02:51 PM
but moving the thread to Live Fire Excercises where we keep our range reports...