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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a course in self defense hand gun training.

I shoot fairly regularly, have hunted with a pistol, and have shot for years. I feel as though my safety practices are good, and my marksmanship is fair, but I need something to help with defensive style shooting.

I live in Georgia, and would welcome suggestions. I would especially like to hear from those that have taken a given course.
Where were you going in and coming out? Was it worthwhile? What was covered?

The sites always look great, but I would like to hear from those with some experience. Some of the courses required a specific handgun. I would like to find one that will allow me to use what I have (Ultra Carry), rather than their pistol.


Thank you
Jeff
 

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If your in GA and looking for something fairly close, I'd suggest Tiger Mckee at Shootrite in AL or one of the courses offered at Southern Exposure in FL. Tiger is a top notch teacher and an adj. inst. for Thunder Ranch. Irv at Southern Exposure brings in such great teachers as Louis Awerbuck, Randy Cain, etc.
I've trained under both Louis and Tiger and they WILL help you to improve if you're willing.
 

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I'll second the Southern Exposure comment. I just completed Randy Cain's Tactical Handgun 101 at that facility in November. For me, there was no shortage of 'Ah-ha!' moments in the three days of training. Well worth the time and money.

Scott
 

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I live in metro Atlanta. I've attended Rogers Shooting School in Ellijay: very intense week-long program. Shooting is done at moving plates with very short reaction times...not for a beginner. They do not teach tactics. Goal is to get the shooter to hit fast and accurate at ranges of 7yds to 25yds. Course of fire is definitely targeted to hi-cap 9mm guns. The only 1911 shooter in my class was forum moderator Tim Burke--he had his 9mm. I switched to a range-provided Glock 17.

I also attended Randy Cain's TH 101 class at South River Gun Club hosted by Personal Defense Training this past February. Randy is a very good instructor who focuses on accuracy and "taking the curve as fast as you can." In other words, go only as fast as you can; speed comes with repetition. Do a forum search and read the several write ups on this site. He let's you shoot what you bring. My class had SIGs, Glocks, 1911s, and S&W third-generation hi-caps.

Tom Givens/Rangemaster is located in Memphis. He keeps statistics on his student involved shootings and all have survived. That's a pretty good selling point. I attended his Combative Pistol course...primarily focused on shooting drills; very few tactics (short of moving while drawing). Topics include low light shooting without flashlight, one-handed shooting, speed reloads, and malfunctions.

I've not been to Shootrite but from watching PDTV, Tiger seems like a good instructor.

If you're looking for more "self defense" oriented shooting, I would suggest taking a course from Southnarc or someone where the focus is fighting with a handgun and not shooting a handgun...there is a difference. Once you get past the basics of reloading, one-handed manipulation, and shooting one-handed there really are no "advanced" handgun skills or "advanced" gunfights. Keep focusing on the basics. Begin looking for courses stressing fighting with a handgun (or any weapon), to include force-on-force drills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you

Thanks to all those that have replied.

I am primarily interested in self defense from a ccw standpoint. I would love to do more advanced target shooting, etc, but my primary concern is self defense in home and with ccw.

I will look at all these. unfortunately, I will not be able to do this right away, but I do want to decide where to go.

Thanks,
Jeff
 

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Not to hijack the thread,but where in Alabama is Southern Exposure located?
The Northern or Sounthern part of the state what town?
 

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Southern Exposure is in FL. Shootrite is in AL at Langston near Scottsboro in the Mid Northern part of the state.
 

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You are getting some good suggestions. Whether Shootrite, SRGC or Southern Exposure is more convenient will depend on your location. There are also groups in Carrollton & Ft. Valley that sometimes bring in some very good itinerant instructors.
The Rogers school is great, but I haven't taken his beginner course. The Intermediate/Advanced is definitely not for beginners. You also have to be a bit of a masochist to take it with a single stack 45. I compromised... as ADKilla notes above, I went with a SS 9mm. I am, after all, a 1911 guy.
Bill Jeans, Randy Cain, InSights Training, Tom Givens and Scotty Reitz have all taught at SRGC.
 

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Southern Exposure is in FL. ...
Lakeland, Florida, to be precise. Roughly halfway between Orlando (Central Florida) and Tampa (Gulf Coast).

Depending where you are in GA, you could come down I-95 or I-75 to I-4, then either east or west on 4.

For your first course of defensive pistol carry and use, Randy Cain is at the top of the list for many, many shooters. I know a substantial amount of very experienced and very good shooters that continuously return for TH101, which is all about the basics. The comment that he insists you get good hits is true, but don't think it's a class about punching small groups on bullseye targets. You have to get the hits, placed in a vital zone, because marksmanship is one of three vital fundamentals - as someone once said, "you can't miss fast enough to win."

Don't think for a second that Randy Cain's Tactical Handgun 101 course is about anything other than fighting with a pistol. You just have to be able to hit what you're aiming at, or you don't win the fight.

Highly recommended, particularly given your location.
 

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Southern Exposure is in FL. Shootrite is in AL at Langston near Scottsboro in the Mid Northern part of the state.
Thanks for the info. Only thing its still about 4 hours away..
 

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I drove 5 hours one way from Philly to Pittsburg for Farnam's rifle course best 10 hour road trip if you ask me :biglaugh: Pick a two dayer course and make a mini getaway for yourself.
 

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Questions to ask a prospective trainer.

I don't know anything about schools available in your area, since I'm from Ohio and have access to a pretty darn good school within about four hours drive. It was mentioned already, www.tdiohio.com

I would suggest, however, that you ask a few questions of your instructor or school before making concrete plans with them.

1) What level of proficiency is expected or required to begin class?
Don't B.S. yourself or them. If you're a novice to "real world" shooting, take an entry level class. If you're an experienced defensive pistol user , take something to challenge yourself.

2) Are there requirements for what pistol type and/or caliber? If so, why?
The best training will teach you to use what you have. The exceptions will be valuable to only the niche user of that particular platform. You want a defensive pistol class to teach you to operate your Ultra Carry in a CCW mode. Why take a class tailored for police using Glocks to take down meth labs?

3) How much classroom work is involved and how much range time is involved? Classroom time is imoprtant to drive home some very important things. But be very wary of a several day class that tells you to bring 500 rounds. Likely all talk and no application. Anything but a precision rifle class should average 300 to 500 rounds a day.

4) What are the specific goals of the class? Do these goals meet your specific needs? Are the skills taught applicable to you?

5) What is the student/instructor ratio? Anything more than about 10/1 and mistakes or bad habits are likely to be overlooked. You're paying to be trained right, not ignored in the crowd.

6) What experience or qualifications do the staff have? Punch them up on the 'net and check the reputation of the school and any "big name" people they tout. Some are worth their weight in gold, others are, well, not.

7) What is this going to cost you? Check all the expenses from the obvious (ammo and gear) to the mundane (gas, hotel, meals, etc.).

8) What is their approach to learning a new skill set? Some use the decidedly worn approach of barking like drill instructors and hoping you'll finally get it right. Others rely on a very personal approach and will make you feel at ease while learning. Some folks get off on the first, most prefer the second. I've not yet heard of a reputable school using the "Jarhead Method of Education".

9) Do they concentrate on situations and accurate fire only, or do they also teach how to "run your gun"? If not, I'd suggest moving on to another school for a beginner class. This will be an expected skill for advanced classes, though. Teaching it again would be a waste of time.

Now for my personal opinions. Based on what you've said, I'd opt for a beginner level class that requires a revolver or automatic of at least .38 caliber that caters to CCW'ers and private individuals. No more than 1/4 of the time shoud be in the classroom. Maybe 1/3 if it covers legal issues as well as TTP. Try to find something that is going to burn about 500 rounds a day. Learning basic skills, you want lots of repetition under instruction. I'd want a class that taught me to shoot accurately, shoot while moving, keep my gun in the fight and addresses awareness issues. Since this is probably going to be a beginner class, I'd opt out of anything with more than 15 students per instructor. Otherwise, there will be too little personal guidance. Expect 150-200 dollars a day tuition, plus expenses.
 

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Ill tell you what ive taken some defense courses pertaining to combat situations( using both rifles and handguns) and the best advice i ever got was to practice speed shooting and more importantly faster reloads. One of the best training scenarios ive been in involved in was using dummy rounds to simulate jams. Mastering that kind of situation with a pistol or rifle will dramatically enhance your gun wielding confidence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you

Thanks for all the advice. As far as this type of shooting, I am a novice. As I said, I have hunted with a revolver, shot lots of target rounds, and have tried some drills that I have read about, but I need help.

As this stage, as far as defensive pistol shooting, I don't know enough to know what I don't know.

Thanks again.

By the way, I was sent a private message but was unable to open it. I can be reached at email [email protected]

Jeff
 

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Redman, I should have mentioned the first time - Southern Exposure Training has an arrangement with a local motel that provides clean, decent rooms for just under fifty bucks a night. And we have breakfast each morning at the IHOP that's connected to it.

Such a deal!
 
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