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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    St. Pete FL

    Default Dynamics of the Shotgun - Jacksonville, Jan 13 2012

    I was fortunate to attend the SI course Dynamics of the Shotgun this past Friday instructed by Randy Harris. This was one of the one day HITS classes, but I don't know that a two day class could have included much more information, just more repetitions of specific training routines. My shoulder was probably appreciative that it was a one day class - 175 or so shells in one day was plenty!

    The day started with some classroom instruction which included a little history, appropriate safety discussion, learning various carry methods and ways to carry extra ammo and also allowed us much dry run type practice drills. All classroom time was interesting and the hands on (dry run) portions really helped us understand what we would be doing so this was very beneficial once we were out on the range.

    The course covered such things as patterning different types of shot at various distances (VERY informative!), transitioning to shooting from your "weak side" and also transitioning to your pistol - ALL aspects of shotgun usage that that I found useful and can practice on my own. Much like a rifle class, we shot on the move while getting off the X and we also spent time (all afternoon as necessary) practicing reload methods and such things like transitioning from shot to a slug. Once we practiced shoulder transfers while stationary we started practicing them while moving. I found this to be to be a lot of fun. (We are allowed to think of some of this as fun aren't we?)

    Anyway, if you have attended a SI gun course you get the picture. We were taught shotgun safety, handling and shooting.

    Now, please allow me to share my perspective and thoughts on this class, aside from just some of what we did. This I direct to those folks that "lurk" here or have never been to a gun training class.

    This is the Warrior Talk forum and many here are military or have served and/or may be or have been in law enforcement. No doubt there are those here that can take down an 800 pound Grizzly Bear with just their tactical pen and have the look that would make inner city thugs wet themselves and run home to momma... but, that's not the norm among us "average" people.
    Aside: I'm 50+ years old and weigh a whopping 170ish (with waning eyesight and an even worse memory) and have attended exactly ZERO gun training courses before my first SI class this past year.

    For you that are also new to this, trust me when I say that the people you will train with (in MY 3 class experience) are also just your average folks. Sure, some will have more experience/knowledge/strength/whatever, but I have found other students to be friendly and helpful. Randy Harris has been the instructor in all 3 of my classes so far and while he may be able to take on that Grizzly, he has always been a patient and highly competent teacher.

    I had NEVER shot a 12 gauge shotgun before this Dynamics of the Shotgun class, yet went away feeling that I can now safely handle this weapon comfortably and with a reasonable feeling of confidence.

    I had NEVER shot an AK before my Rifle Fighting Skills class but left there feeling that I had a good grasp on using that weapon and a solid base for future training.

    While I HAD previously practiced with my Glock 17 before the Close Range Gun Fighting course, it was all stationary range work. The training in this class is beyond "must have", it could well be life saving.

    What I am trying to share here is that if you are new to shooting DO NOT be hesitant to sign up for training classes as I was. No one makes fun of or criticizes "the new guy" here. You are going to receive the best possible instruction (what good is that gun if you don't know how to use it?) from top notch instructors and train with folks not unlike yourself. Granted, there are advanced courses that you want to work your way up to (as I plan to) so start with the basic courses or courses that match your skill/comfort level.

    None of us were born instinctively knowing how to drive a car, we had to be taught. Same applies to gunmanship. I can't possibly recommend the Suarez training courses highly enough.

    And, I lack the words to properly thank Randy for his instruction and guidance through my 3 classes in such a manner as to express my appreciation for what I have taken away from these experiences. Thank you Randy, see you in May!
    Last edited by rockhound; 01-17-2012 at 02:26 PM. Reason: spellin'
    Domari Nolo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Las Vegas
    Thanks for the words, brother. Your experience with the Dynamics of the Shotgun class was very similar to mine with Roger Phillips the weekend before. From what I have seen and heard I can only assume that all SI instructors are top notch with their knowledge and experience, and also with their ability to instruct.
    Close Range Gunfighting
    Fight Focused Handgun (x 2)
    Advanced Combat Pistol Marksmanship
    Advanced Point Shooting Progressions
    Dynamics of the Shotgun

    Certified Glock Armorer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Chattanooga TN
    Rockhound, I'm not really sure what to say to that other than...Thank You and You're Welcome....makes a fellow feel a little humbled reading something like that. Thanks man, I really appreciate you saying that.

    Rockhound asked me before hand if his lack of experience with the shotgun would hinder his ability to get the most out of the class. I told him to come on out because his having been in the Fighting Rifle Skills class last June (and CRG in Sept) would have given him enough of a view of the way we do things to be able to jump right into the shotgun class and be able to keep up.And he did fine.

    I aksed him during the class if he thought the FRS class had prepared him for this and he said it had. And maybe if he had not had those it might have been a little harder to keep up. This is a testimony to our concept of "consistency across categories" where we fight the same no matter the weapon system. We may sport some cool guns now, but it is still about building SKILL first.

    As to me being patient, I appreciate you saying that but to me it is just part of caring whether the students "get it" and whether they are better prepared for dealing with bad situations after our time together. I teach life saving skills and as such I have a moral responsibility to do my best to transfer that knowledge. We are not teaching people to bowl or to fish. This is life and death stuff and must be afforded the appropriate level of dilligence. If we teach garbage or if we just "mail it in" without caring about whether the students get it or not then we do bear a moral responsibility at the end of the day. Sometimes it may take a little extra work on my part but it is the same whether you teach math or gunfighting. The good teachers I have had also cared.

    I have never understood why people who are NOT patient get into TEACHING. As an instructor your job is to help the students to grasp the concepts and to excell at the skills...not to stand around telling war stories and trying to look all "bad ass" while the students worshship you. I'm here to teach you, help you get better, and to hopefully inspire you to work hard to improve even after we part company ...not to make ME feel validated by the students' adoration. As an instructor I am a teacher, a coach and a manager. I have to impart knowledge while helping you to push yourself but without pushing too far too fast. We have to manage time, weather, and people and sometimes personalities, and do it all with respect to the students and not losing sight of the fact that the student's improvement is what teaching is all about.....not about stroking your own ego.

    Thanks Rockhound. I really appreciate the words of appreciation.
    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....

    Fundamentalist Christian Man at Arms


    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....

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