I recently had the opportunity to take part in a S.W.O.R.D. International, Introduction to Pistol class. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect, I’ve taken CCW training classes and some various other trainings, but nothing at the level of this. Going into it with an open mind and just wanting to learn as much as i could from some experienced shooters, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised in every aspect. The trainers, Garett and Jeremy, were awesome! Hands down, awesome! There were no agendas or anything like that, and everyone in the class were just a bunch of people wanting to learn some new skills and have some fun in the process.
Here is how the day progressed….
We showed up to the SWORD office in the morning around 9am, then proceed to fill out some paperwork and get everyone in the class introduced to each other and to chat about everyones basic skill level and general knowledge. Since this was a Introduction to Pistol class, most of the people were novices. Though, there were a couple of us who had been shooting longer than others, but just had not taken a class offered by SWORD.
After a bit of chatting back at the office, going over some of the details, we headed out to the range. Here we did in-depth safety briefings, and basic “range rules” to keep everyone safe and to cover what to do in case of an emergency.
After the safety briefing, we jumped right in, going through all of the basics. How to properly make sure your firearm is unloaded, how to properly grip and present the firearm, how to properly take aim, how to properly squeeze the trigger… As an avid shooter for the better part of 15 years, a lot of the things that were covered were things i have heard many times, but the way they were presented and demonstrated shed a new light on the fundamentals. Showing that shooting is an ever evolving thing, and that you definitely can teach an old dog new tricks.
Once we had all of the basics down, and the trainers checked out everything we were doing to make sure we were doing right, we got setup for live fire. The chance to apply the things that we all had been practicing! After we all applied the fundamentals and shot a 5-shot group, I was amazed at how the little tips and critiques, in just a few minutes, improved my group sizes.
As Garett told us, it’s about training smarter and learning from each shot. Every shot you take, you should see what you did wrong, or right. You have to be aware of what you are doing and make every shot count!
After getting the basics down, and everyone in the class improving group sizes, in what i would consider record time, we layered on things like drawing from a holster and proper draw stroke, and then incorporating drawing and firing.
We did a fairly large amount of drawing and firing practice (layering on all of the fundamentals), after that, we moved into things like proper reloading practices and immediate action drills. Immediate action drills are drills you can use when you are shooting and your gun doesn’t fire, for example if the slide doesn’t lock back when out of ammunition, or there is a failure to eject, etc.
Over the entire training, I fired a little over 200 rounds, not a lot, but in those 200 rounds I think that I learned more than in the previous 5000 rounds before it.
In short, if you haven’t taken a class before, you need to. I don’t care if you’ve been shooting for 1 day or 20 years, you will learn something and have a great time in the process.
Here is what I brought to the class:
- Glock 17 (9mm, Factory with no modifications)
- 2 Magazines
- Blade-Tech Holster and Mag carrier – http://l.santsys.com/1bzBez4
- CamelBak (it was hot out there)
So you don’t need any crazy expensive gear or anything like that to take one of these classes. The basics, an open mind, and a willingness to learn are all you need!
Check out the S.W.O.R.D. International website, http://l.santsys.com/15q3LkA and get yourself, and your friends signed up for a training!