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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    34

    Default Been here, done this and got the T-shirt

    CRG with Randy Harris, 6/23 - 6/24, Knoxville, TN

    Close Range Gun-fighting, Randy Harris, Instructor, Suarez International
    As close to an un-biased review as possible.
    About Me:
    I am 44 year old male and have owned and shot handguns since I was 21. I in what most folks consider a nice, safe neighborhood. It mostly is, other than a recent auto break-in, but had my son actually LOCKED his car, based on what was stolen, the kids would not have risked the sound of smashing out a window, it was crime of convenience. We have a pretty effective alarm dog and I do not have an arsenal of weapons. I acquired a permit to legally carry a concealed handgun a little over 4 years ago. I became serious about every day carry June 2008. During my waking hours, I carry my handgun 90% of the time. The other 10% it is within arm’s reach. Thanks to the encouragement, mentoring and coaching from my best friend, I can shoot my preferred handguns pretty well out to 15 yards and hit the target out to 25. I have competed in one IDPA match and didn’t finish in last place. I enjoy shooting and have the advantage of a private outdoor range 10 minutes from the house. I have never taken any type of professional handgun training and realized I needed to do something / anything to improve my skills beyond where I was.
    Why and How I selected Suarez International:
    I participate on the TN Gun Owners Forum and Randy Harris had posted to establish interest for any of the SI courses in my area. As I had the place, I thought this may be a good deal for me. So I checked out Suarez and Randy. The internet has a lot of information, but I am pretty intelligent, can decipher fact from opinion and competent enough to make a sound decision. Facts: Gabe has a “past”; SI is still in business; SI has repeat student business; Randy Harris has an excellent reputation; from my class – SI does train current and former military some of whom do or did special stuff in service as well as LE-types. My biggest concern was the teaching environment; while SI promotes the attitude of “we are always looking at new ways of doing things to get better” you can still get a closed-minded Type-A instructor When Randy and I communicated regarding when and where, if the property itself was suitable, etc, he seemed pretty low-key, so I committed and we set a date.
    Why Close Range Gun-fighting:
    Speaking with Randy, this is the course he recommended when I described my skill level. On-line reviews were favorable and what I wanted to learn was in the course syllabus: learn to shoot better and learn how to put rounds on target while moving. Pretty low expectations, but this was my first-ever professional training, if my instructor was insane and teaching stuff I would never do or use, I wanted to get something out of it. Randy is NOT insane, he’s a pretty cool dude.
    Gear
    I ran my EDC gun, a CZ 75B Omega. Flawless operation shooting 700 rounds of 115gr FMJ Sellier and Bellot / WWB / Federal Champion. Other handguns represented were S&W M&P, Glock, SA 1911 and Ruger. Calibers: 1 - .45, 2 - .40, 5 – 9mm
    Bonus: I brought an extra handgun on Day 2 and ran it through two drill strings (3 shots x 5 times) to function test (it’s new) and try my new skills on another platform. One of my classmates swapped between a 1911 and SR9.
    What I learned: bring a mag loader, you will have the opportunity to shoot a MINIMUM of 500 rounds; if you run a 1911 – bring a lot of mags and practice reloads.
    I used my 5.11 Tactical Casual Leather belt; do some research, find one you like in your budget and get a good quality belt if you don’t have one.
    My EDC holster is a N82 (Nate Squared) Tactical. For my body shape and carry position, this is an awesome holster YMMV. Holster has a leather body shield and could be made better with a combat cut.
    I used a Galco double mag pouch. For training, I do not recommend using mag pouches with Velcro flaps, it will slow you down.
    For the most part, my classmates used what appeared to be their primary rigs and wore “street” clothes. Common-sense tells me that’s what I want to train with. Bonus: If you have other carry holsters you want to “test”, go for it, I used an alternate on Day 2 as did some of my classmates
    ON TO TRAINING
    Here’s the deal, this is close range gun-fighting, meaning the threat is 5 yards or MUCH closer; this training focuses on the close threat. The BG needs to get close to you to get your stuff – money, jewelry, women, etc. It’s not likely he’ll gun you down from across the street and then take his time looting your bullet filled corpse. SI preaches MOVE – MOVE - MOVE and I like it! Trading rounds with a BG like in the Old West or exchanging blows like Rock’em-Sock’em Robots is probably not the best survival tactics to employ.
    Randy has put together an excellent article entitled “Pests Eat Fast” An easy acronym for avoiding and if it goes bad, a good way to survive an up-close personal attack. I suggest future students read it prior to class; once you see it in motion it makes perfect (and common) sense.
    So far into training, we have not fired a gun. We are spending a lot of time on how to be pro-active in recognizing a potential threat and learning multiple levels to prevent anyone from drawing / employing a weapon all from Pests Eat Fast.
    Then we did some shooting. The focus was on “back-to-basics” including proper grip, sight picture, alternative indexing, draw / ready position mechanics.
    After lunch we then applied what we learned to moving and shooting, both one handed and two handed drills.
    End of day recap and departed range. The gang met at a local restaurant for dinner, which I missed, thanks to an escaped dog...
    Day 2 started with review of what we learned on Day 1. Today’s goal is to put it all together.
    A lot more shooting…
    I want to say at this point Randy is a great instructor. I had two safety violations, one muzzle and one trigger. Randy quietly came up to me and said, “I know the gun is empty (which it was) but let’s not practice ANY bad habits.” If anyone else had a safety violation, I am not aware of it because Randy handled it the same way, without embarrassment or ridicule. Randy also broke the class into 2 groups of 4 which allowed him more time to provide individual and personalized instruction and observe who was doing what on the firing line.
    End of day recap and we all departed with new friends.
    So was it worth it?
    My expectations were met, here’s some stuff I learned…
    I can shoot better and I can shoot on the move
    My skill level shooting one handed with either hand has increased dramatically
    I am better prepared to identify and avoid potential attack
    I am more confident of surviving a close encounter of the bad kind
    I am better prepared to protect my family
    I liked my instructor and his teaching style / training methods
    The skills I gained has increased my confidence to participate in more IDPA matches
    I learned that cover is like a smelly friend, it’s better from 4 – 6 feet away.
    Knowing what I know now, I will lean towards carrying a hi-cap handgun whenever possible.
    Malfunctions can kill you; keep moving while you are trying to clear!
    An empty and/or jammed handgun can be very effective when smashed into an attacker’s face.
    The temps were in the low 90s with high humidity, future classes will be spring, fall or winter.
    I will take another SI training course with Randy Harris
    Thanks,
    AJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    South Florida, USA
    Posts
    3,990
    Great write up, thanks for taking the time to share with the rest of us.
    I kneel for no man and pray to only one God; Jesus Christ.

    تدريب لتكون في نهاية المطاف الأمريكي الكافر

    CRG 09/2012, TMCO 11/2012, RGF I 09/2013, ACRG 11/2013

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
    Posts
    3,489
    Thanks AJ. But the jury still may be out on my level of sanity....

    On a personal note, you shot well with the CZ AJ..both two handed and 1 handed. They are nice well built guns.

    As to gear setup, each person must come to his own solutions on what works best for him or her and class can serve as a pretty good "gear lab" to test whether your present set up is going to work with you or against you when you need it. There is a reason many of us SI Instructors wear our pistols either Appendix IWB or at least IWB in front of our hip , run our open top mag pouches on the other side in front of our hip and carry a small fixed blade on the belt at either 11 o'clock or 1 o'clock.


    I really enjoyed teaching this class. It was a great group of diverse backgrounds and everyone was eager to learn. As one guy said he has shot all his life , was in the military (82nd Airborne) but did not realize just how much he did NOT know before class.

    Some folks are hesitant to spend money on training. Just because you own a gun does not mean anything other than ...you own a gun. Owning a piano does not make you Frederic Chopin or Jerry Lee Lewis. What makes guys that can play the piano like Chpin or Jerry Lee? Being exposed to the right material and then practicing it.

    It is hard sometimes to get across to people until they are in the class just how much this class opens your eyes to things you had probably never considered and gives you tools (both mental and physical) to recognize and deal with potentially dangerous situations. This is NOT just a shooting class. It is as much a THINKING class as a shooting class. And watching the light bulbs come on is a pretty awesome thing to behold.

    I'm looking forward to next time there in Knoxville.
    Last edited by Randy Harris; 06-30-2012 at 09:03 AM.
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor
    NRA Certified Instructor
    Tennessee State Handgun Carry Permit Instructor
    Glock Factory Certified Armorer
    IDPA Master Class SSP, ESP,CDP, CCP, BUG, CO
    Gung Ho Chuan Association

    TRAIN with me....https://suarezinternational.com/sear...h_query=harris

    Fundamentalist Christian Man at Arms

    AKA - CRUEL HAND LUKE

    Joel 3:10 - Beat your plowshares into swords , and your pruning hooks into spears; train even your weaklings to be warriors.

    Through HIS power I can walk on water..IF I just have the faith and courage to get out of the boat.

    A good man who's done a couple of bad things along the way....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,248
    GTG, thanks for the write-up! And welcome to WT!

    RH, you should put this right here on your business card, in flowing script:

    Randy is NOT insane, he’s a pretty cool dude.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    10,170
    Quote Originally Posted by Texican_gal View Post

    Randy is NOT insane, but some of his training classes ARE!
    Fixed you post

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,248
    ^^^^ Hahahah—and I imagine that is accurate!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    788
    Man this makes me want to take the class even more. I have been carrying a m&p 9c but recently started carrying my 1911 in my Kelley gun leather cflex and i am a little concerned about this. I have been scorned by some guys I know local here that say "dude, 8 rounds and two extra mags isn't good! You need that many rounds in your gun!!" So i wonder and worry about this!

    Sent from my DROID RAZR

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Monroe, MI
    Posts
    3,731
    Quote Originally Posted by mattmann View Post
    Man this makes me want to take the class even more. I have been carrying a m&p 9c but recently started carrying my 1911 in my Kelley gun leather cflex and i am a little concerned about this. I have been scorned by some guys I know local here that say "dude, 8 rounds and two extra mags isn't good! You need that many rounds in your gun!!" So i wonder and worry about this!

    Sent from my DROID RAZR
    Thought we had you convinced on the glockage bro?!
    ​-Eric
    CPM, CRG, 0-5 PG
    Never, ever, give up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    788
    Quote Originally Posted by AlwaysVigilant View Post
    Thought we had you convinced on the glockage bro?!
    Lol! I love it bro. I still have a lot of love for my m&p too. I just don't have a holster for the glock yet. Trying to pinch pennies for a class with si first. Then I will move on to the holster. My wife's permit should be here in a few weeks though and i believe she wants to carry my m&p9c so it might be a good excuse for the glock to find a home to ride in.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Monroe, MI
    Posts
    3,731
    Quote Originally Posted by mattmann View Post
    Lol! I love it bro. I still have a lot of love for my m&p too. I just don't have a holster for the glock yet. Trying to pinch pennies for a class with si first. Then I will move on to the holster. My wife's permit should be here in a few weeks though and i believe she wants to carry my m&p9c so it might be a good excuse for the glock to find a home to ride in.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR
    you will need the holster for the class...gotta train with the glock! I feel you on the $, this gets expensive. I wish my wife would take the plunge....ah dreams.
    ​-Eric
    CPM, CRG, 0-5 PG
    Never, ever, give up.

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