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Gun School

Also, at the LuckyGunner shoot, I took a handgun class. The class was offered by Tom Givens of Rangemaster. The only other real gun school I went to was centered around competition because it was offered by, well, a competition shooter. This one was self defense oriented, with a focus on retention as well as shooting. And I was still using some stuff that was competition oriented. I mentioned that to one of the assistant instructors joked that if IDPA had people trying to disarm them and shooting back, it’d be a much different sport.

Also, the course emphasized trigger reset, which was neat. But I discovered something: the M&P does not have a nice crisp reset. It’s smooth. One of the instructors said that’s what happens when engineers and not shooters designed guns. The made it to be smooth. He recommended I try an Apex trigger. So, I may pick one up.

Back to the course, guys that do this sort of thing are a wealth of knowledge and they share it. About 45 minutes in, WizardPC looks at me and says that alone was worth the trip.

More on the class from Sebastian and MJM.

17 Responses to “Gun School”

  1. ZK Says:

    Apex’s trigger parts will improve the trigger and reset somewhat, but they also make a different device called the “RAM” which specifically improves the reset.

  2. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    I’d love to see a gun designed by shooters without any engineering input…

  3. Jake Says:

    Id love to see a gun designed by shooters without any engineering input

    That would be interesting… in the old Chinese curse sense of the word. I’d rather see a gun designed by shooters who are engineers.

    Oh, wait. We have seen that.

  4. HardC0rps Says:

    There is such a handgun: The 1911.

    The reason glocks(& clones) have bad triggers is because they are designed and sold to people who rarely shoot more than 50rnds/ year. Why waste the money for a good trigger when your customers can’t appreciate it.

    But sometimes you can carry them when you can’t carry a real gun for whatever reason.

  5. plblark Says:

    ZK is correct. The Apex kit is very high quality and made my M&P trigger much better but I didn’t do the RAM and that’s now on my list. the RAM helps if the trigger return spring breaks as well as giving a definite tactile feel to reset.

    re: the APEX trigger kit. It’s simply amazing comparing the Apex sear to the stock sear. The apex is hard, smooth, and flawless. The factory sear has tons of imperfections and manufacturing marks on it.

  6. Tam Says:

    An excellent post about upgrading software and the comments section is entirely about hardware…

    Par for the course on the gunternet. 😉

  7. Gerry Says:

    +1 on ZK and plblark.

    It made a big difference on my M&P Pro and the folks at Apex are very easy to deal with.

    Givens is an excellant self defence instructor and his Mid Winter Tactical Conference is a great time.

  8. Jack Says:

    Hardware is teh kewl and is easier to pay for and can then be installed for braggin’.

    It’s hard to taticool up your gun with class-time.

    Though if they made certificates of completion that were rail-mountable…

  9. DirtCrashr Says:

    There’s a guy out here with whom I’m told that I should want to take a class, Walt Marshall – ever heard of him?

  10. jumpthstack Says:

    The Apex DCAEK is awesome and is a huge improvement over the stock trigger. I don’t have the RAM (they don’t make it for the 45 at the moment) but the reset with just the DCAEK is pretty crisp. A software comment: in his interview with the Firearm Blog, Rob Leatham said he thinks trigger reset is overrated and when shooting fast he just moves his finger out so it loses contact with the trigger. FWIW I’m firmly in the ‘reset is super important’ camp, but I can’t shoot that fast.

  11. jumpthestack Says:

    @DirtCrashr I’m in the Bay Area, and I haven’t taken a class with Walt, but he’s well regarded. I do have very high recommendations for Louis Awerbuck at Reed’s indoor range, Brian Normandy at Jackson Arms in South San Francisco, and LMS Defense in San Jose. Grey Group Training also visits Chabot in Castro Valley with big name instructors periodically.

    PM me on Calguns if you want more info.

  12. ATL Says:

    The reason glocks(& clones) have bad triggers is because they are designed and sold to people who rarely shoot more than 50rnds/ year.

    Wow….The absurdity of that statement is just massive. Any handgun needs fine tuning, whether it be 1911, Glock, M&P. I will say this: the quality of pistol you have is really comparable to the time and money you put into it with parts, practice, and training. FYI: There are TONS of shitty 1911’s with hideous triggers. Also I own both 1911’s and Glocks. I wouldn’t trust either of them unless I have put significant trigger time with either of them. The point made by Unc is correct and it doesn’t matter what pistol you have if you don’t know how to run it competently.

  13. DirtCrashr Says:

    Jump! Lou A. is top of my list but his next Reed’s class (June 25-26/)is a Stage-2 and Sold-Out already, and/but for that level I need to establish holster presentation time/experience beyond what shooting steel at the Gunblogger Rendezvous has given me. 🙂 FWIW both Walt and Louis spent their time as Instructors with Colonel Cooper and a class with Walt will clear you to shoot with Louis – so I’m told… RNS was just down at Metcalf taking a LMS class – I wish David had called and told me. 🙂 Since LMS’ address is up Sparks, NV I just figured they were up-the-hill there.

  14. hsoi Says:

    Glad you got to train with Tom. Any opportunity you have to go to Memphis and take one of his full courses, you should. Or if you’re not in the area, Tom’s on the road a lot and taking any of his road classes are good too.

    Tom knows what he’s talking about and is certainly one the best trainers there is in defensive firearms. Highly recommended.

    I’ve got a bunch of AAR’s on my blog from classes I’ve taken with him. Plus if nothing else, subscribe to Rangemaster’s mailing list to get their monthly newsletter… always useful stuff in there.

  15. HardC0rps Says:

    So much talk of triggers yet not one mention of creep…

    Get what you pay for on a blog I guess.

  16. Gnarlysheen Says:

    “An excellent post about upgrading software and the comments section is entirely about hardware

    Par for the course on the gunternet.”

    I believe most people think that there is nothing wrong with their software. When “that moment” comes, surely they will be completely prepared for whatever happens, regardless of how little training they have.

    A well-trained shooter with a shitty gun far surpasses an untrained shooter with the perfect gun.

  17. Will Says:

    Chatting with Leatham after a demonstration a few years ago, he stated that at the speed he was shooting at (set a personal record while there), he was bouncing his trigger finger off the trigger guard. Said it wasn’t feasible to try to maintain trigger contact.

    I think the biggest benefit of doing trigger reset is that it gets you to really pay attention to what you are doing with the gun, not just the followthrough with the trigger. It seems to bring a tighter focus on the whole interaction of trigger-recoil-cycling-reset-sights, instead of the normal staring at the target with a blurry lump quivering at arms length.