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  1. #1

    Default Rifle Fighting Skills - Jacksonville June 25-26

    Me, my son, and three of my closest friends took this class at Oakwell Armory near Jacksonville this weekend. I felt compelled to leave a little post here about our experience.

    In these tough economic times, spending money isn’t something one does lightly. But I am very pleased to say that we definitely got our money’s worth. My friends and I are all experienced shooters with three of us being military veterans. But Randy Harris showed us that we have lots of room for improvement. I came away from the class with several personal resolutions regarding physical fitness, and practice routines that I intend to cultivate into positive ongoing habits.

    Now a couple of words about Randy Harris: Professional, super knowledgeable, zero ego, helpful and pragmatic are few descriptors that leap to mind. The guy knows the topic backwards and forwards no doubt about it. This isn’t my first gun course by any means, and all too often the really competent instructors verge on being arrogant and condescending. Not Randy. He made all the students comfortable right from the outset, and at no time was anyone hesitant about asking questions or seeking assistance.

    The other thing about this class which was like a breath of fresh air was the perfect balance Randy was able to strike between safety and what I will call training practicality. Let me be crystal clear in saying that at no time did I feel like any lines were crossed from a safety perspective. But I have been in classes, and at shooting facilities, where safety considerations had become so dominant that the value of the training was seriously diluted.

    I am completely impressed with my first SI training experience and I and my son (and hopefully my friends) will all be back for more!
    Last edited by GunRights4US; 06-27-2011 at 10:34 AM. Reason: spelling correction

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Webster, TX
    Posts
    93
    My brother was in that class. The bald guy with the ACR and AK. He pretty much echoed what you said. :)

  3. #3
    I was at that class, I'll echo what Gunrights said. We had an excellent practical application of all the concepts covered in the classroom/lecture setting. The instruction was results/mission oriented, very little fluff, all nitty-gritty. We never got far away from the "How" when talking about the "Why." Randy made great use of available time, almost every minute of our day was spent either training or discussing concepts. For a basic class, we covered a lot of ground. I, too came away from the class with an idea of what skillsets I need to work on. I got a cold splash of water when I went back to iron sight shooting my MAK90. I spent some time in some uncomfortable shooting positions that I haven't been in since the Corps, but after some practice, the difference was dramatic. Impressive to my tribe and I, was that all of this came with only one instructor teaching. I have been to classes that had two or three instructors, that weren't as well run.

    Randy, thanks again for your time, and your patience (especially with Shipwreck/Hipwreck, lol). I'll see you at CRG.


    Gabe, thanks for putting together a kick-ass curriculum and top notch instructors, the hard work shows.

    -Rad
    Last edited by Devilnuts; 06-27-2011 at 09:31 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Pete FL
    Posts
    58
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilnuts View Post
    Randy, thanks again for your time, and your patience (especially with Shipwreck/Hipwreck, lol). I'll see you at CRG.
    Shipwreck/Hipwreck ??

  5. #5
    You had to be there... Guy in my crew is an eternal "Private"....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
    Posts
    3,499
    Devilnuts,
    Rockhound was the "#4" shooter (IIRC) with the Krebs AK.


    Rockhound,
    "Shipwreck" was the "#10" shooter...the younger guy , left handed with the AK....and not a clear grip on exactly when the battle of Atlanta took place....

    For those not tracking... "Shipwreck" is actually an old school "Gi Joe" reference.

    I suggested changing his name to "hipwreck" based on his "shooting from the hip" question.


    Seriously though, this was an EXCELLENT class.Everything went pretty smoothly (largley due to the students). I really enjoy teaching highly motivated students.You know you have SERIOUS students when they rack thier Berettas from the front of the slide and they have 1911 mainsprings in them. And a quick shout out to "Annie Oakley". I'm still not sure I really believe that this weekend was the first time she has ever shot a rifle....that was just freakish accuracy.

    As for the equipment in class we had a couple of ARs in .22 (Don't laugh they probably spent $15 on ammo), several AKs ( romanian, Chinese and a Krebs), a colt lower/LMT upper AR, a SCAR and an ACR. Pistols were a mix of Glocks, couple of 1911s, an XD, and Berettas. Optics ran from iron sights to an Aimpoint and several Eotechs and an Acog. But it is not really an "equipment intensive exercise". It is about learning to run what you have and making equipment selection based on how it works, how it compliments your other gear, and how it performs under stress...not about how it looks in the catalog.

    Again, I really enjoyed teaching this class and I'm seriously looking forward to seeing you guys again.......

    Red Stripe!!!.....
    Last edited by Randy Harris; 06-27-2011 at 03:12 PM.
    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....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    3
    I can't add much more than has already been said. It was a terrific class and very humbling to be among so many veterans. The best thing I took away from the course was that all the "gaming" skills from my old IPSC/IDPA days are just that: games! Nothing real world about it and Randy certainly pressed that home for me! I see where my future training efforts will be concentrated.......

    As far as "Annie Oakley" goes, I have never, in over twenty years, seen her with a shoulder weapon of any sort. She does have some skills, although a bit rusty, with pistols though..........

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northeast Florida
    Posts
    44
    Once again Randy did a great job. I have trained with him several times now and will keep coming back for more. He is all I can ask for in an instructor.

    I was the old man with the SCAR and an Eotech sight. Randy's class let me really wring out my rifle and push me as a shooter. Most of the time I shoot a pistol and not so much with a rifle. This was my first time shooting seriously with the Eotech and it is really an excellent tool for those of us with aging eyes. I am sure this optical sight had something to do with my shot groups. With iron sights I am not sure what would have happened. The only regret I have is I did not shoot the drills alternating between left hand and right hand. I will do that on my own and see how it works out. The rifle and sight will support this nicely.

    The only problems I had with the new SCAR rifle was defective GI M16 mags and a few user caused errors. The SCAR is a superb tactical rifle with outstanding ergonomics. Since I shoot left handed that is important to me. The recoil is minimal and the trigger reset is truly outstanding. Other than the price I cannot think of any thing I would change on the rifle. I can see why the special ops guys really like this one. I own an M&P 15 and an original Colt AR 15 and the SCAR is head and shoulders above those guns.

    Getting back to the class, I wish we would see more females taking these courses. "Annie Oakley" proved to be the best shot in the class. She handled herself well and had nothing to apologize for. FYI she shot an M&P 15-22 with an Eotech mounted on it.

    The drills Randy ran were excellent and helped me gain a real feel for my rifle. They also showed me where I need more practice and that will happen. As usual he was helpful to everyone in the class and had a nice balance between practical use of the rifle and not putting anyone in danger.

    The Oakwell Armory range where I teach proved to be fine for this type of class. This is the second class Randy has taught in Kingsland, GA and he will be doing a close range gunfighting course in September. We talked about an AK class in the winter and perhaps a tactical shotgun class as well. I would like to see a Low/Light No/Light FOF class as well.

    If the students continue to show up Randy will keep coming to this facility.

    Let me know what you would like to see taught there and and Randy and I will see if we can make it happen.
    Last edited by jbfla; 06-28-2011 at 05:40 PM. Reason: correct error on gun type It is a SCAR

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
    Posts
    3,499
    Thanks JB.

    You did VERY well with that SCAR. And a seasoned warrior like yourself still getting out and getting work done in the heat and humidity and never missing a beat is definitely an inspiration to the younger guys.

    As for returning classes, it looks like due to popular demand we are going to schedule an AK class for sure early next year.

    Also there was some talk of a shotgun class. Those sometimes are hit and miss on attendance, but we may do a 1 day shotgun class added to a 2 day pistol class next year sometime.
    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....

  10. #10
    I came away from the class with a renewed appreciation for quality instructors. I have taken several self defense/ gun fighting class, but this has been the best yet. The class was structured in such a way that we covered all basic safety rules and brought all students of different speeds together to similar footing so we could shoot safely.
    My friends and I all found areas which we need to work on in order to improve.
    I found motivation in the scenarios to challenge and push myself. I was helped to see my short comings and given help on how to improve them.
    The class was well planned, and had a curriculum to challenge the novice and the expert.
    I am looking forward to future courses with Randy and SI, especially the Kalish. classes.
    Thanks for coming to our region.
    Joe

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