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Discussion Starter #1
I have had my XCR for 6 months now. And I love it. It's my goto weapon. The only thing now for me is the 762x39 kit. With that I will have the handgun (XD45) and the rifle (XCR 762x39) that I want. Now I would like to get some training with them. I am NOT leo/mil. I am just a civy who wants to get some professional advice & training to get better with his weapons.

Any recommendations out there for a good school. :headscratch: It seems like these schools have sprung up like mushrooms lately.

Thanks
 

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Whre are you located? As you said it seems like they have sprung up all over lately but with that comes schools that may not be worth the entire tuition that they charge. If you are out west I would say Gunsite. Do a search on defensive pistol training on google and you will probably find something that is close enough to drive to. There are a few here in the east that get good reviews but I cant think of them right now. One option is to find enough guys that want the same training and get someone to come to you and train. The big downside is that your home range may not be set up for the training like an actual school would be.
 

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Gunsite is good, I've become very taken with BadLands Tactical lately..... but that might not be the kind of training you'd like.

I've got opinions on everywhere I've gone obviously - the only one I'd have a difficult time recommending would be Front Sight, although I did walk away improved. In other words, it's hard to get a 'real bum deal'. Too many training companies, too much competition. A true lousy school would be out of business FAST.

If I were on the east coast, I'd surely look up John Farnam and Pat Rogers. If I were allowed east of the Mississippi river, that's what I'd do ;D
 

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If you are in the midwest, TDI (tactical defense institute) Ohio is excellent and Gunsite runs a class a few times a year in Lebanon Indiana, just north of Indianapolis.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
While I was born and raised in Illinois. The Land of Lincoln (Sorry I mean, Land of Daley ;)). Anyone from northwest IN, all of IL, and southern WI knows what I mean. But I have since moved and now live in northeast Oregon. :)

To Bravo.
I was thinking of Front Sight myself. So my question is why do you have a hard time recommending them?

Thanks guys.
 

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I thought the cadre was good. Nash drove a few of us all over, looking at the 'sites for homes'. I got the hard-core sales speech on buying a house there, and it felt like the sales pitch would never end. Typically I like to go to schools where the instructors know things from real life (Nash hasn't ever been in any kind of physical conflict, he told me the worst 'combat' he'd lived through was breaking his arm in a jeeping accident) - Nash isn't that kind of person. The cadre, for the most part, is though.

Then, just before I left, the hard-core sales pitch went in as far as buying more courses before I left. As in you buy a certificate, redeemable for whatever. You've got two choices, look like a jerk and not buy one, or open the wallet wide. I looked like a jerk.

I will say that the speech Nash gve on the after-effects of deadly force was the best I'd gotten anywhere. And the instruction wasn't bad at all either! It was more of the sales stuff that left a really bad taste in my mouth.

I should mention that Nash LOVES celebreties. He said that if rosie porkdonnel wanted to go out there, he'd have her come for free, private course, etc, etc, all 'under cover' so nobody would know she was there. That bites. I understand his concept of 'getting THEM on our side', but that REALLY means that part of the tuition YOU and I pay would be applied at giving porkdonnel a free ride. I'm against that. Even afterwords, do you think porkdonnel would openly espouse firearms ownership or training? Not hardly.

The other thing was that I wasn't that impressed with the facilities themselves. Granted, I went back in either 2000 or 2001, so the school wasn't finished - but there was a lack of funhouse, lack of simulator, lack of, lack of. Square ranges with pneumatic targets was about it. They were building though. From what I understand, it's grown considerably, but since I haven't been back, I can't give specifics of what they've got or haven't.

If you can get a good deal on a transferable (NOTE: make SURE it's transferable, and that YOU can use it - BOTH) certificate, I'd probably do it. Just understand you're in for the sales speech of the century (unless that too has changed). I know some folks will make a deal over the deaths there, but that's reality. If YOU screw up, then odds are it'll be YOU that dies. If you're about to make a live / death decision, and defer that to the instructors, understand that YOU are GIVING the power of your life or death to another individual - and act appropriately.
 

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Since you are in Oregon what about Clint Smith and the crew at Thunder Ranch? I had not heard anything bad about them...

I recently finished reading a book by Rob Pincus, director of training at Valhalla in colorado. After reading the book and watching the DVD I wouldn't mind getting some training from him.
 

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000009580 said:
-Rob Pincus. pincus is a great talker, but last month after an article in SWAT and a heated discussion with some REAL accredited 'been there done that' proffesionals (seals and contractors etc.) he was basically fired from Valahalla, and went out on his own. the crux of the arguement against him was that he was basically developing techniques based soley on his expereinces on ranges and he had little to no practical or verifiable real world experience to base his methods on. as a result many of the things he complained about in his article were subsequently proven to be viable or even suggested techniques, were he was teaching NOT to use them. Pincus talks a good game and looks high speed low drag, but it appears as tho it was much form without function.
Didn't know this, I noticed that he seemed to like to hear himself talk. I noticed on another forum that he always seemed to argue why his technique was better. The book and video that I have from him make sense, nothing really in there that goes against what I have seen elsewhere, except maybe that he concentrates more on "unsighted" fire.
 

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Just to take up where Jack left off on Gunsite......

I started going there when The Jefe would ride around on that three-wheeler, and instruct. The last time I was out there was two years ago. LOTS-O-LOTS has changed in the years between the two.

When The Jefe was teaching, I'd get out there as frequently as I could. Big names with plenty of combat (real, not nintendo) taught there - I learned a BUNCH.

When the worm took control, I asked The Jefe where to go. He recommended Thunder Ranch, and warned me NOT to return to Gunsite. During those years, the only reason I returned was to visit, not to take a course. Thunder was a different place back then, in Texas, before the shut-down and move to 'green ammo pastures' in Oregon, but that's a whole 'nuther topic.

When Buz bought Gunsite, The Jefe was wary, but Buz took care of things. the worm had just allowed the facilities to degrade to nothing - Buz dumped millions and millions into the facilities. And I do mean that literally. When The Jefe gave his 'seal of approval' to the restored Gunsite, I was in the throes of a divorce, so I didn't head right out - but did when I could.

The facilities are tremendous. No more men's and women's trees, there are actual latrines. The classroom is the same essentially, but there are actual paved roads everywhere now (until you've run through Gunsite during the monsoon season, you don't know what you're missing). Like I said, the facilities are tremendous.

There's only one - ONE - of the cadre there now from the old Jeff Cooper days. He's a great guy. Nobody - including him - understands why it was that he didn't lose his job in the change-overs. Everyone else did.

But this stuff with Buz isn't as beautiful as you'd think. There are political games there by the bushel, and I've got wrapped up in some of it. Pat Rogers was out there, but he isn't now. Louis Awerbuck was out there, but isn't now - heck, even Freddy Blish was there and isn't now. The old safari club? Gone. There's a trend, although I'm not going to elaborate too much on it within this open forum.

Leave it to say that the cadre at Gunsite isn't what it once was. Of course, that's my opinion. Not that there aren't good instructors there, Ken, Cory and LaMonte come to mind quickly. What I'm saying is that if you're wanting the 'big names', Gunsite isn't the place it once was - and there's a reason for it.

So Gunsite has gone from 'big names and no facilities upkeep' to 'no big names and tremendous facilities upkeep' - with the same result. It's still a great place to go, but isn't the biggest bang for the buck - like Jack said.

That's part of the reason I'm so big on BadLands - the training is EXCELLENT, the price factor makes it a tremendous VALUE. It's not a big school, but then again I go somewhere for the education, not the ambiance - and I always prefer to learn from people who have a closet full of "BEEN THERE DONE THAT" T-shirts.

Hope that helps!
 
J

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000009580 said:
-Rob Pincus. pincus is a great talker, but last month after an article in SWAT and a heated discussion with some REAL accredited 'been there done that' proffesionals (seals and contractors etc.) he was basically fired from Valahalla, and went out on his own. the crux of the arguement against him was that he was basically developing techniques based soley on his expereinces on ranges and he had little to no practical or verifiable real world experience to base his methods on. as a result many of the things he complained about in his article were subsequently proven to be viable or even suggested techniques, were he was teaching NOT to use them. Pincus talks a good game and looks high speed low drag, but it appears as tho it was much form without function.
Didn't know this, I noticed that he seemed to like to hear himself talk. I noticed on another forum that he always seemed to argue why his technique was better. The book and video that I have from him make sense, nothing really in there that goes against what I have seen elsewhere, except maybe that he concentrates more on "unsighted" fire.
Yeah, I also forgot to mention the "throwing of a students pistol" incident. Tactical forums had several actual witnesses to the event talk about it. I guess he flipped when a student had repeatedly holstered his pistol with the slide locked back, took it form him and hurled it across the firing line in front of everyone. IIRC thats a sign of a true professional. that may have been the actual reason for his "decision to move on".
 

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If you are in Orgegon I'd say Farnam. there is a Advanced Pistol course in September in Yakima (and probably a women only course too). He also usually teaches in Oregon and Lake Tahoe. John is among the best out there, as is his wife. Very low signal/noise ration. I recommend them highly.
 

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Good info...

What about East Coast training?

Anyone been to Sig Academy and what is the real deal with them?
 

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Sig Academy has some great instructors.

One of them is a long-time friend of mine. Before he became an instructor, he kicked in doors for a living. The guy has arms the size of my legs..... when he says 'this will get you killed', listen up. Odds are, he saw that done.
 

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Hi, I train at Front Sight quite regularly (once a month or so). I started going about a year and a half ago. The facilities are pretty nice now, they do have several shoot houses, and some canyons set up for simulators, and a good classroom. They still don't have running water yet. It sounds like the sales pitch has really died down since I have never seen Naish, or been pressured to buy property, although I do get lots of emails from him about membership specials.
As far as the training I agree with some of what you are saying. The basic pistol and rifle classes teach marksmanship and presentation of the weapon, with very little movement or combat emphasis. The advanced rifle and pistol courses however heavily teach this stuff since you already got the marksmanship and presentation in the basic course. So I think it depends on the type of training you are looking for. Front Sight would be fine to learn the basics and have a good platform to build on later if you want to get into combat shooting. If you just want to jump right into combat shooting then I agree that Gabe Suarez would be and excellent choice.
If you want to go to Front Sight there are course certificates available for under $100, search online for Front Sight certificates, this is a great deal that you should take advantage of. Let me know if you want to go and I'll take a course with you, or answer any questions about the school, the offer stands for anyone on this site.
 

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I think Thunder ranch would be a great place to go as close as you are. Also for what is worth we have a DTI (John Farnam) Advanced pistol class this coming September in Yakima, WA. IF you want more details check out my website: http://defensetrainingnorthwest.com/
 

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Hey all, reviving this thread. I'm looking at training centers again and this thread has some good info.

Unfortunetly I couldn't make the Suarez class in Bozeman with Jack-O but I'm planning on some training this summer.

Has anyone trained at any of the BlackwaterUSA facilities and/or heard about them?


Regards
 
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