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Old December 5, 2004, 08:29 PM   #1
Join Date: December 3, 2004
Posts: 18
Recommendations for tactical handgun training near California?

My wife and I are considering some sort of basic tactical pistol training. we're in southern California but are willing to travel as far as AZ, OR, NV, etc.

The Gunsite and Thunder Ranch courses are similarly priced and both seem very well regarded on this forum.

Any opinions on the Progressive Force Concepts school in Las Vegas? The price is very reasonable on their 2 day basic handgun course.

Classroom instruction is good but we're espcially interested in putting the theories to use under pressure in live fire drills. The other issue is that I'll probably want to take a shotgun course at some point and all of the schools seem to require their pistol course as a prereq. So I'll essentially be locking myself into a single school once I choose.

Recommendations, good/bad experiences, and pros/cons of each place would be greatly appreciated! Please keep it relevant to the training we are considering.

zx11rider is offline  
Old December 7, 2004, 01:05 PM   #2
Join Date: December 3, 2004
Posts: 18
Anyone? We're leaning towards Thunder Ranch's 3 day course or Gunsite's 5 day #250 Defensive Pistol course. Any opinions on the differences in material covered? Are the extra 2 days at Gunsite worth it, or will my brain be overloaded enough after 3 days?
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Old December 7, 2004, 08:41 PM   #3
Join Date: September 1, 2004
Posts: 34
Recommendations for tactical handgun training near California?

Hands down the best IMHO. Let me know if you need certificates or how to get them cheap.

gtodan is offline  
Old December 8, 2004, 01:16 AM   #4
Join Date: December 3, 2004
Posts: 18
Front Sight

Thanks for the offer gtodan! The only issue I have with Front Sight stems from some legal issues they had with the online community back in 2002. I don't know what the current situation is, but after reading the following threads, I am very hesitant to do business with them.

If anyone who was around back then would care to comment on the current situation with FS, I'd love to hear it!
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Old December 9, 2004, 02:51 PM   #5
Join Date: October 27, 2002
Posts: 58
Check out ITTS. They are in southern California.
Blackhawk6 is offline  
Old December 9, 2004, 03:27 PM   #6
Denny Hansen
Join Date: June 29, 2001
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
Posts: 2,404
JMHO, but I'll second Blackhawk6. It doesn't get much better than ITTS. Lead insructor Scott Reitz is a 28-year veteran (still active) with LAPD. He's in the elite Metro division and a member of D Platoon (SWAT). He teaches from first-hand experience about what works on the street.

Moving this to Tactics and Training.

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Old December 9, 2004, 04:37 PM   #7
Join Date: April 13, 2002
Posts: 15

I've had 15 days of training this year from ITTS, you can not go wrong with this school. You can learn handgun, rifle, shotgun. You will learn from very experienced people, they have done in real life (not in their dreams) what they teach. You will move through the basics to shooting high speed movers, knife charger, close up, distance, around cars, getting out of cars, from moving cars, steel, paper, hostage rack, donga trail, shoot house. The school is up at the Angeles range just off the 210 at Osborne. Everybody is welcome.
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Old December 13, 2004, 08:24 PM   #8
Join Date: December 17, 2002
Location: Tustin, Orange County, PDR of Kalifornistan
Posts: 50
I can say that Front Sight's classes are excellent, the classroom stuff is presented well and quickly and you'll spend 75% of your time shooting (or more on the longer or advanced classes.) While they are devout believers in Product Marketing, any other theologies were non evident while I've been there.

You can't go wrong with Gunsite, of course.

I've heard nothing but good things about ITTS from several repeat customers.

If you're in Orange County, you might look at Bill Murphy's Firearms Training Associates FTA or TJ Johnston's AllSafe Defense; both are local to OC, though All Safe shoots at Burro Canyon above Azusa and FTA classes and shooting are at Mike Raahauge's in Norco.
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Old December 14, 2004, 08:17 PM   #9
Join Date: December 9, 2004
Posts: 25
Top Gun

If you don't mind colorful language and politically incorrect stories, I'd recommend Top Gun Training Centre.

Run by Ken Mayes, the colorful one... a real no-nonsense guy who'll give it to you straight about gun fights and hairy self-defense situations.

The facilities are not as fancy as FrontSight, but it's a heck of a lot closer to SoCal.

I've taken the Pistol 110 & 120 classes and plan to return for the 130.

The exercises really hone your gun handling skills and mindset.

I recall shooting a competition 3 days after I attended the Pistol 120 class... I shot the second highest score of the night... first place was my friend who attended the class with me. We were smooth on the draw, reloads and moving around the course.

They offer Tactical Shotgun and Rilfe courses as well.

A few suggestions if you plan to attend... leave your sportscar at home... drive the SUV or truck... watch the weather report for rain... bring lots of water... and prepare yourself for some *F* & *MF* bombs.
preciseone is offline  
Old December 14, 2004, 11:47 PM   #10
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Join Date: June 18, 2001
Location: southern california
Posts: 679
I've been very pleased with these guys. Instructors current in techniques and very straightforward. Don't know where in SoCal you are but they operate out of Sharpshooters in Torrance. Can't get much more convenient. Website has their schedule for pistol and shotgun.

west coast tactical
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