Firearms - Training - 3 Days in the Colorado Rockies with 7 Former Navy SEAL's
Back in August this year, I flew out to Colorado to spend some quality time with some quality human beings.
We did 3 days of concealed carry practical firearms training, as part of the NRA's new Carry Guard program.
I was honored and thankful to be part of the second class ever held, and was one of only 40 people nationally to have all of the SEAL instructors in one place, at one time. There was also several former Army Special Operations guys there, and their combined experience in real world shooting scenarios was an incredible opportunity to fine tune my SOP, improve accuracy, and generally improve practical skill sets in a variety of situations.
My review letter to the instructors:
The 3 days spent with the instructors making up the training cadre was the best firearms training I have ever participated in, over 30 years, both in the military and out of it.
Attitude and approach: In my experience many people who are already familiar with firearms often think their SOP and way of doing things is the best, clinging to it with almost religious zeal. Your approach of, this is just our opinion, based upon years of experience and trial and error in live combat situations is a wise approach, and I believe will be well received.
Safety and basics: Just right, not overdone. The subject was covered with the respect and reverence it requires, yet it was not drawn out un-necessarily.
Firearm handling and manipulation: The care spent covering this and the detail your team went into was outstanding. Fining tuning SOP such as trigger control, trigger reset, scanning, combat reload, tactical reload, press check, drawing and holstering. Amazing attention to detail here, and this alone was worth the trip. The way this was taught in "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast" method made it all lock in, and I am adopting far better methods into my SOP after many years of habitual ways of doing things which were less optimal.
Drills and building up to qualification course of fire: Teaching method of starting out extremely basic but rapidly progressing through to more complexity is spot on. All of the basic fundamentals were hammered in, and more complexity was added at a pace so even the experienced shooters were being challenged. I found the tempo of continually topping off ammo and returning to the firing line a good mix of stressors and continual handling and familiarization. The drills were well thought out, and the attention to detail impressive. My only suggestion is provide the drill series so we can practice the same drills later. Require an NDA if needed, I would be happy to sign one.
Night fire: Included short bursts of light, scanning, and building on strong fundamentals of single hand fire before going into night drills was smart and approached well. Dry firing prior to live fire and safety considerations top notch. Since the majority of shooting situations occur at night or low-light conditions, very glad you included this.
Qualification Drills / Prevail Drills: Feedback and data we collect during these drills is invaluable to a shooter improving their skills. We were able to pinpoint with a high degree of confidence weak areas that shooters need to work on. The individual feedback was a great touch, and I will be using the advice to fine tune my gear, SOP, and accuracy.
Fire/No Fire Scenarios with Airsoft: Excellent way to finish off the course. Live scenario experiences showing some of the many variables there are that can affect when to draw, when to fire, and what to do afterward was excellent. Seeing how even veteran SWAT/Police and Spec Ops guys react when under extreme stress is enlightening, and only re-emphasizes why we must train, perfectly, slowly, and with intent continually if we expect to be able to perform when it matters most. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
Thank you to you and the team, this has been one of my lifetime favorites for training. I recommend Carry Guard Level 1 in the strongest possible terms to anyone, experienced shooters or someone just picking up a firearm alike, who takes their safety and concealed carry seriously.