Review: Defensive Concealed Handgun December 2016: Sean

I attended the Defensive Concealed Handgun course December 3-4, 2016. This is not the first course I have taken from MVT.  If you read the first AAR, I was one of the IT guys in the class. I have had a concealed handgun/firearm/weapon permit (several states call it several different things) for 19 years. For my first permit I was required to show proof of proficiency which I did via a NRA basic handgun certificate. The subsequent states over the years were based on my Original FL permit. I have had PA as well as my current VA. I tell you this because the only required training I have had for a handgun was a long time ago but also over that length of time I have evolved thru many iterations of guns carried, methods of carry, etc. Trial and error are effective but slow…..

I have practiced on my own, attempted to learn proper techniques thru reading, watching, etc. I have always had an operational use respect for all firearms and can screen out most BS, but have never taken a real  practical handgun based course of instruction.

The course followed the typical MVT training philosophy of crawl, walk, run with the techniques being taught. The progression of drills was manageable and thru the course of the day, we remained on time and the curriculum included ample time for the instruction as well as appropriately timed breaks of a valuable duration to re-hydrate, eat lunch, general rest, etc. and that was key to allowing the material to ‘settle in’ before moving on to the next thing. There was plenty of information to absorb as a student and I appreciated a pace that did not exhaust me.

The course was taught on what I would call Square Range 2 at MVT which is more than roomy enough for this type class. As is always also at any MVT class, there was an appropriate safety brief and once all of the students weapons were made hot, the range was hot until the end of the day where weapons were unloaded on line and buddy checked for clear. My observation of each of the students was that each was completely comfortable on the line and very safe, and a really excellent bunch of folks to spend the weekend with. There were no major safety violations that I saw.

I am not going to try to give a play by play but the course was structured to encourage marksmanship for each technique. That would include one hand, 2 hand, strong hand and support hand based drills. Day two built upon the lessons of day 1 as would be expected. I didn’t count but I think the number of rounds in total was about 900 which was expected. There were no wasteful make noise drills to run up the round count. Each round fired had a purpose.

There was a (highly recommended to me from a prior student)  optional night firing segment that was focused on how to use handheld and weapons lights as well as variations of  ambient light environments that would be realistic in a normal everyday environment. This was excellent. Generally it is not easy to find a firing range where it is acceptable to have live fire at night. I am passing along the recommendation I was given to take the optional segment, it was worth the additional fee to get this experience.

On Sunday, I proved to myself that muscle memory is real during a drill that was fired with the support hand as primary but allowed the use of the strong hand for support, firing weakside from behind cover/concealment. Because I had no practice at all with this particular drill, my strong hand thumb ‘assumed’ it’s position on the left side of the frame and upon firing I slide-bit myself which induced a malfunction ( which needed to be cleared behind cover, which I didn’t do) and promptly did it again. I’m going to remember now.

At the end of the class there is the traditional round table ( around the fire) AAR among the students and the presentation of course completion certificates. The feedback from the students was constructive and on point and all of it will help refine this already excellent course. 1st Sergeant Scott’s personality makes attending with him fun, his experience shows and he is able to teach which is a skill difficult for many skilled in an art.

If you carry a gun for self defense or want to start, you can’t go wrong taking this class.










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