I emailed Aaron several weeks ago. I do not have time this summer to compete in FT/R as it's an all day affair with the drive down to Cumberland (I'm in Bergen Cty) and a full day of shooting. My family time is just too important to me and my wife and I have really been enjoying our time together on Sundays. Since I don't make a living at shooting, I've decided to call this summer a wash and pick up handgun competition in the fall at Tenafly. And, although I have no desire to get to a Master or Grand Master status, part of enjoying myself is being at least somewhat proficient at whatever I'm doing. I've always been a fan of classes and education in general (high school not withstanding) and PB and Ronny were very helpful in pointing me toward a proficient teacher. All that to say that after emailing Aaron, and several emails in between, we settled on a date and I started to prepare.
Extra clothes (JIC)
Gun/belt/holster and pouches
Tools for repair/maintenance
Cleaning supplies for gun
500 rounds of ammo (I didn't use it all)
A willing attitude and an open mind
Aaron supplied the rest. We went over some basic safety when we got on the range and from there proceeded to work from the base on up. We started with natural point of aim and establishing a firm shooting stance. We also worked on grip and he offered several little tips which, when I applied them, really made a difference. I changed the position of my finger on the trigger and it also made quite a difference.
Shortly thereafter we put the rubber to the road and started with livefire. Aaron is extremely safety conscious but not overbearing. If I committed an infraction he didn't yell or give me grief, he simply mentioned that "In IPSC/USPSA this is how to avoid a DQ" and I would start over. We started out with one shot on paper as he checked to see if I know how to shoot (I don't) and how well my pistol functioned. The gun did well enough at 10 yards but it opened up at 25 so much so that he had me shoot his gun to see if it is me or my gun/ammo. We determined that I'm actually, marginally, more accurate than my ammo. Plated bullets are the culprit and not good past 10, maybe 15 yards (I will be changing my load shortly). Once that was sorted we started working on shooting one, then 2 rounds on target. Then we started working on splits. Then on to transitions. Then stringing together splits and transitions. After a good session of livefire, we backed off a bit and worked on holster draw which we had touched briefly on in the beginning and then to reloads.
Last was the real test. Aaron set up a small course of fire and had me run it. He filmed it (I didn't see it and I'm fine with that) and we considered what I did incorrectly. He then ran it and showed me what could be improved on. He is considerably more efficient than I am, which came as no surprise to either of us. And so I learned.
10 minutes to debrief and we wrapped it up. Aaron kept the class moving without rushing and is a master at keeping it light and fun. And fun... that's why I shoot. It's a lot of fun.
All in all, a really solid class and a great day on the range running my gun as quickly as I could. FUN.
Oh, I had my first squib ever. Crazy how fast it happened and how neither of us heard it. Thankfully all was well as it was essentially just jammed in the end of the chamber. No harm, no foul.