I was at Insights Training Center again, this time for their Intensive Handgun Skills class and want to share about the gear you see at gun school.
First off, there are the guns you see —with the most common example being GLOCKs of various flavors. The instructors at Insights tend to favor the GLOCK 19, much like Jeff Cooper and the Gunsite staff favored the 1911. The GLOCK 19 represents an excellent combat handgun, and is large enough to be comfortable to shoot for an extended class and yet still be a gun that you’ll actually carry on a regular basis.
As a general rule, taking a GLOCK to gun school is probably a good idea if you don’t want to deal with your handgun going down during class.
The guns I saw at Intensive Handgun Skills represented a pretty good distribution of products; obviously the ubiquitous GLOCKs in a variety of calibers, although other brands and manufacturers were represented as well.
There were two Sigs, a pair of HKs, one M&P and one Ruger SR40, the latter being my personal gun. The SR40 ran very well for those curious about how it would hold up to a high round count, firing exactly 1402 rounds of .40 S&W ammo without a single malfunction.
The Ruger wasn’t the only gun to be malfunction-free; most of the firearms, even the shooter running the CZ-75 compact, experienced zero problems with their guns. There were only a few guns with issues during the class and, from what I observed, most of the issues were operator-induced and not mechanical failures on the part of the gun.
So when it comes to the gun for gun school, make sure you bring a good one. Your gun needs to run for the duration of class, because time spent off the line fixing your gun is time you’re not learning, and that means that you’re not getting the best value for your money.
I generally don’t like leather holsters for class, although if you have a properly made leather holster, it won’t be a problem. A good holster for a class needs to be something that you can draw and re-holster one-handed, at no time should you have to use your non-dominant hand to assist in the re-holstering process.
In my opinion, the Blackhawk SERPA line of holsters are an excellent “starter” holster, combining the retention of a leather holster with the ease of use of a kydex holster. When used properly, the SERPA also helps you think about your draw stroke instead of just ripping the gun out of the holster.
At the Insights class, every type of holster was well-represented. There were some excellent leather holsters from Galco, polymer holsters from Comp-Tac and Blade-Tech, the Kramer holster pictured and, of course, there were several shooters using the Blackhawk SERPA system as well.
Ultimately, any gear you take to a gun school class needs to be durable and reliable. The point of paying money to get quality training is to improve your shooting skills and if you spend the majority of your class time off the line fixing your broken gun, holster, mag pouches, or other types of gear then you’re not getting the best benefit for your training dollar.
Put a reliable gun in a quality holster and you’re get a good value for your experience and come out of the class a better shooter.
What training courses have you taken? What gear do you use to make sure you make the most of your training time and money? Share your experiences with us in the comments section.