Review from Charlie
Combat Rifle Skills (CRS) – September 10-11th 2016
Let me start off giving you a quick profile of my previous experience with firearms. Prior to this class my only experience with firearms consisted of a couple of weekend bouts with a .22 rifle, a single skeet shooting session, and a couple of trips to an indoor range with a 9mm pistol. I had probably shot a total of 300 rounds in my entire life. As far as a modern semi-auto rifle goes, I was as green as it gets.
Scott (our instructor) started us off with a thorough review of the rifle. Pointing out the primary safety mechanisms as well as a full introduction to tearing the rifle down for cleaning and what parts were actually end user replaceable. He also spent time on reviewing the types of malfunctions inherent on this platform due to mistakes caused by the operator, bad ammo, worn magazines, etc. He went over the ways to quickly diagnose and correct the common issues with ARs and taught us to clear the malfunctions using practical drills to simulate the different scenarios.
Though I started off with virtually no knowledge on the operation and mechanics of this platform, Scott worked with me and several other students individually to correct any mistakes, address any safety issues in an assertive and calm demeanor and reinforced proper fundamentals layering on his direct experience with the military to give context to why these procedures are optimal. He didn’t just tell you to do an exercise a certain way, he went over exactly why the exercise should be performed this way using his personal experience to help you understand why.
For each training segment Scott did an excellent job of explaining what procedures we would be performing in great detail, demonstrating the next drill to reinforce what we would be learning during the segment, answering any questions, and providing constructive reinforcement for any mistakes made during the drills. The course also did an exceptional job of tying previous segments together with more advanced segments to layer knowledge and provide an engaging experience which made learning about the rifle and procedures clear and concise.
Safety was of utmost importance throughout the course and there was no point throughout the two day class where I felt like I was in an unsafe environment. Scott kept a close eye on everyone and addressed any potential mistakes immediately in a clear and professional tone.
I walked into the class with apprehension. I had no understanding of the platform and had only a very basic knowledge of general gun safety. I walked away from the class with full confidence in working with the rifle, understanding its maintenance requirements and clearing any potential malfunctions. I also learned several fundamentals working in group practice drills regarding operating in teams and basic safety principles when under these scenarios.
If you’re a beginner like me and are looking for a training program to learn how to safely and reliably handle a rifle, I would highly recommend this course. You will not be disappointed.
Scott adds: The first time Charlie ever touched an AR was Saturday morning at the beginning of the class. He was using a borrowed AR, mags and chest rig. He did an excellent job during the class.
For those of you that don’t have any experience with the AR or have friends or family members that don’t have any experience, this is the class you or they need to take.
If you have experience or are a CRCD, CTT or CP alumni, you can still learn from this class. There were three alumni in the class. Training is never ending. You can’t just take one class and call it good. Most don’t or can’t practice what they learned during a class. It is always good to take a refresher, even if it is just the basics.
Next class: Open Enrollment November 5-6, VTC, West Virginia