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Old March 22, 2013, 09:24 PM   #1
Join Date: March 4, 2013
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 26
Training Places

How many have attended these well known training places?

Like -
Front Sight
and others

Which ones have you been to? What were your thoughts?

Are there are any that are head and shoulders better than the rest? I heard about Gunsite many years ago.

I woiuld like to attend one ... will need to save up for a long time.
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Old March 23, 2013, 07:57 AM   #2
Conn. Trooper
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Join Date: December 12, 2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 530
I have been to Blackwater (Now Academi) and it was top notch. The facility is unreal and the instructors are outstanding. I went for a patrol rifle class a few years ago, and I am going back on Monday for Street Officer Survival. Looking forward to it.

I have talked to people that have been to Sig Academy and they had great things to say as well.

I push people towards Blackwater because of the facility at least. Not many places have a 360 shoot house. I have never shot in one, but its a great resource to have.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:24 PM   #3
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 9,116
I've been to Gunsite several times and heartily recommend it.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:42 PM   #4
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Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 108
Is there anything y'all could recommend around Houston, TX? The only kind of training I've seen is the range I go to has lessons for beginners.
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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Join Date: January 14, 1999
Location: Maine
Posts: 756
I did a week at Thunder Ranch in TX a few years back. Fantastic! One learns TONS more from these types of courses than any of the basic, minimal requirement courses could ever WISH to provide. My partner that week later attended Gunsite. In comparing the two, he said TR had more on-range time and first hand instruction whereas GS had more classroom and lecture. Both certainly have their place and necessity.
Biggest thing for me from these level of schools is the people that instruct. While the local course at the gun club, VFW hall, etc may be taught by a retired police officer or the like, these top level schools are taught by those that lived this type of work environment day in, day out for years. They've been there, done that again and again. They're the ones the local instructor gets taught by (if the local guy is smart anyways). When law enforcement and gov't agencies send their officers there, is there much doubt?
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Old March 23, 2013, 06:13 PM   #6
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Join Date: February 10, 2013
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 507
Conn. Trooper Wrote:
I have been to Blackwater (Now Academi) and it was top notch.

Funny thing is, I was on my way to the store this afternoon and drove by a small place called Academi in Salem,CT. (never seen it there before).

I stopped to check it out. They had mostly clothing and some small amount of firearm accessories when you walk in. They had an indoor shooting range in the basement, about 12 lanes. I asked and the guy said they allow 12 gauge shotguns with what ever ammo you want (as long as it's not flammable ammo)! This is huge for me because nowhere around me lets you pattern buckshot and this place is 10 minutes from my house! I went to their website and I guess it is an offshoot from the main Academi in SC. They offer some training courses in the CT branch as well (not as many as the SC offer due to the smaller size).

I definitely see myself spending many-a-weekend there.
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Old March 29, 2013, 09:16 AM   #7
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Location: Connecticut
Posts: 530
Just got back from Academi. Took the Street Officer Surival Course, three days and covering some pistol work, half a day with patrol carbines, and almost a full day of active shooter training.

This course is restricted to active LE only, but they offer all types of training for every walk of life. Numerous US and foreign military and police units there.

Top notch, the best training facilities I have used or seen. They have every type of range you could think of. We used two ranges the first two days. Both had steel targets (fixed and moving) and turning paper targets. Laptop programable, so they could alter your string of fire or situation on the fly.

Also did some low light shooting on a Rogers Range (steel plates). If you have never shot on one, it is very humbling. Multiple steel plates that appear and hide from behind cover, can be all at once and random. Also fully controlled by instructors so they dictate what targets and how many present to you.

Carbine range was similar to the pistol range we used the first day, steel movers and fixed steel. Paper turners, and multiple kinds of cover.

Active Shooter training was done in a mock street setting and mock school/office setting. Kind of like a combat town. But they cut no corners, using flash bang grenades and shooting blanks like it was going out of style to simulate an active shooter. They employ full time role players that were great. They had five or six role players playing victims and bad guys, unreal. They did a great job playing the part of victim or bad guy. Simunition guns were used and multiple scenarios were run through. It was amazing to me how quickly things can go bad in the noise, confusion, and stress. I have had active shooter training in the past, but never as realistic as this.

Challenging and top notch. They walk you through the basics ( we kinda started out running because in theory most cops should be able to shoot the basics, the guys in the class with me were fine and had the basics down pat). Then they show you ways to improve your accuracy or your speed or smoothness, whatever they pick up on that you could do better. They show you their way and can demonstrate that their way works better, smoother and easier. I found the way they taught you to operate a pistol was indeed the smoothest and best way to go. Same with a carbine. The class was nine cops and two and sometimes three instructors. Very close supervision/training. They were able to spend time with you and work out your kinks.

They also conducted a medium shoot to see what would stop a bullet and what would not. We shot cars,block walls, and body armor. Amazing what a rifle bullet will sail right through. Pick your cover carefully, rifle and even handgun bullets go through a lot of stuff.

The instructors were great and knew their course and had the resume' to back it up. Very personable and knowledgable. The facility is very big, so they have a mobile supply truck they can call for more ammo, or targets, or whatever. They also have an armory on site that can repair your gun if it fails, or loan you a gun to use during training. One officer from PA had a gun fail on day one and would have been out of the rest of the class. The instructor called the armory on radio and five minutes later a truck showed up with a loaner Glock 22 and training went on. Very nice to have.

The facility has a chow hall that is very nice and prices were low ($6.00 for lunch). They have a bunk house or "hotel" you can also stay in while training. I stayed on site when I took a carbine class in 2009, and will never stay there again. The place is nice, no problems with it. Except the bunk/bed is made for someone 5'10" tall or shorter. I am 6'4" and didnt sleep for three nights when I stayed there. I would suggest staying in Chesapeake VA and driving in every morning. I had a nice room and was only 20 minutes down the road. If you are shorter than me, you will be fine.

Overall I would say the training was top notch, the instructors were top notch, and the facilities were by far the best I have ever used.

If I left anything out, just ask and I will post it up.
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Old March 29, 2013, 12:15 PM   #8
Join Date: March 6, 2013
Posts: 62

I've completed their Basic Pistol Combat course and I am attending the Active Shooter Course this weekend. They work in several places in the state. KC and Wichita.

They just updated their schedule with more courses.
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Old March 30, 2013, 01:09 AM   #9
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Join Date: March 29, 2013
Location: Byron GA
Posts: 1
I'm in search of training in Central Georgia area, would anyone know of any places?
I came across this site in my search for such information and would appreciate any assistance.
An all woman class or co-ed class - Thanks in advance!
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