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Thread: Looking for training, self defense not marksmanship

  1. #1
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    Looking for training, self defense not marksmanship

    I've had a couple co-workers approach me for advice on picking out a handgun. My rants on our right to self defense has gained me a reputation of being a "gun guy" but I actually know very little about how to properly defend myself with a handgun. People asking me for advice brought me to that realization. So I've been thinking of getting some training and hopefully bring some of my co-workers with me.

    So, my question is what kind of training seems suitable, where is it offered (I'll be doing my own research on this but I'll still ask in case I missed something) and, most importantly, what has been your experience with the training offered in Iowa? Who do you recommend? What classes have you taken and what did you think of it?

    I learned to shoot rifles in the Army, so I know some of the basics in safely handling a firearm and in marksmanship. I took a couple courses for concealed carry permits which mostly just covered the legal aspects of carrying a handgun. I'm not sure what I'm looking for in training but I have a few ideas. Things like choosing a weapon for defense of self in the home, on foot, and in a vehicle. Things like the proper way to handle a threat inside and outside of the home. A chance to "try on" some different weapons is a plus.

  2. #2
    Regular Member JD's Avatar
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    Where in Iowa are you?

    Fierce Trainning gets good reviews and offers a variety of classes.

    The WolfCreek IDPA/Blackhawk Pistol club usually have Mas. Ayoob and Rob Pincus classes in the spring.

    I'm not sure what I'm looking for in training but I have a few ideas. Things like choosing a weapon for defense of self in the home, on foot, and in a vehicle. Things like the proper way to handle a threat inside and outside of the home. A chance to "try on" some different weapons is a plus.
    That stuff is usually covered in the NRA classes, Personal Protection in the Home, and Personal Protection Out of the Home, the out of home class is supposed to be pretty good. But the in home class is crap. I don't know of anyone in Iowa offering the PPOH class but that may be changing as more people are becoming NRA Instructors.

    I would NOT recommend the NRA Basic Pistol Class or 1st Steps Pistol if you all ready know how to shoot.

    The only training I've had in IA was for the PTCW class in Marshalltown, that was a joke and a waste of a day but it had to be done. I've had training elsewhere in the country that was pretty good but nothing local to Iowa. Some of us that shoot IDPA in Waterloo are thinking of starting to do classes, but I'm not sure when or/if that's going to start.

  3. #3
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    Where in Iowa are you?
    Linn County. It appears my location did not survive the forum update, I fixed it. If you're looking for Linn County on a map it might be helpful to locate Cedar Rapids, it's the largest city in the county.

    Fierce Trainning gets good reviews and offers a variety of classes.
    Fierce Training did the Utah permit course I took. It was OK. I think the problem was not the instructor but the material, he was bound by the Utah training requirements. I believe the instructor's name was Mike. He seemed knowledgeable.

    That stuff is usually covered in the NRA classes...
    Good to know. I'll seek out some NRA training. Fierce Training offers some courses. I'll swing by their web site once I get some sleep, it's very late right now.

    The only training I've had in IA was for the PTCW class in Marshalltown, that was a joke and a waste of a day but it had to be done.
    That is similar to what I've heard about the Linn County PTC class. That is the main reason I do not have my Iowa PTC yet, no desire to waste my time and money on such worthless training when I can get better training elsewhere and still get my permit in January.

  4. #4
    Regular Member JD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IA_farmboy View Post
    Linn County. It appears my location did not survive the forum update, I fixed it. If you're looking for Linn County on a map it might be helpful to locate Cedar Rapids, it's the largest city in the county.



    Fierce Training did the Utah permit course I took. It was OK. I think the problem was not the instructor but the material, he was bound by the Utah training requirements. I believe the instructor's name was Mike. He seemed knowledgeable.



    Good to know. I'll seek out some NRA training. Fierce Training offers some courses. I'll swing by their web site once I get some sleep, it's very late right now.



    That is similar to what I've heard about the Linn County PTC class. That is the main reason I do not have my Iowa PTC yet, no desire to waste my time and money on such worthless training when I can get better training elsewhere and still get my permit in January.
    I only got mine before the law changed to carry concealed in MI.

    If you really want to brush up your skills, check out Linn County IDPA. I shot out there for the June match and had a pretty good time. While I usually shoot in Traer (Waterloo) I'll probably do a couple matches in CR a year. While it's no substitute for a really good class, it does sharpen the skills in a way that shooting at a piece of paper from a static line will never do.

    Like the Utah courses, the NRA courses are tightly formatted and instructors aren't supposed to deviate from the course material. You can view what NRA Courses cover what HERE. The PPIH was kind of a waste, then again that could have been the instructors fault. Having a good instructor really makes a big difference and right now there really aren't that many course reviews available to separate the wheat from the chafe.
    Last edited by JD; 07-10-2010 at 08:39 AM.

  5. #5
    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Shotgun's Avatar
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    There is much that goes into becoming a proficient combat shooter. Regardless of whether you receive formal instruction, shoot competitively or train informally, to develop master combat shooting skills you need to concentrate on things such as shooting from cover, shooting, reloading and clearing malfunctions while moving forward, backward, or laterally, one-handed and weak-hand shooting and reloading and clearing (how many have ever practiced, let alone thought about how to reload a revolver-- left handed only?), shooting in low light or with flashlight, shooting prone, gun retention, shoot-don't shoot scenarios, smooth and fast draws, reloads, and reholstering without looking. You need to choose your equipment, gun, holster, belt, ammo and other accessories with great thought and make sure the way you wear it works. During an encounter is no time to discover you cannot reach a magazine with the opposite hand that you normally use. You will also need to learn some basic hand-to-hand combatives in case you are tackled or your opponent is too close to allow you to draw. Engaging multiple targets.... on an on.

    I disassemble and reassemble my Glock with my eyes closed. Attention to and mastery of the details until it becomes second nature distinguishes a very proficient shooter from the rest.

    The list is long and the road is long, but it is possible to greatly improve your skills with serious dedicated training.

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