If You Could Go to Any Multi-Day Firearms Training Class What Would it Be?

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by Nalajr, Oct 28, 2020.



    Apr 5, 2015
    I will probably be a bit chastised for this....as a few of my esteemed fellow Arizonians also have mentioned......none of us live very far from Gunsite......and it is about 100 miles from me, but I still would prefer Thunder Ranch. I think it would be a privelege to meet Clint. And as you guys know, I am not easily impressed by any celebrity.
  2. notshawn54

    notshawn54 Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2016
    Well I just took a class at Thunder Ranch last month. Great experience. Had to start with DH1 as I had no previous formal training. I’d like to go back for DH2 and a carbine class. I’d also like to go to Gunsite as I’ve never heard any negatives about them either.

  3. Austin Millbarge

    Austin Millbarge Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2018
    CE4B302A-A316-4ABA-8C9B-C0393647A5D5.jpeg I’ve done both Gunsite and Thunder Ranch a few times.

    I’d go Thunder Ranch simply to train with Clint Smith while he’s still in the business. It’s truly a pleasure to train there.
  4. Jim 1855

    Jim 1855 Active Member

    Mar 1, 2020
    Gabe Suarez.

    Clint Smith / Thunder Ranch

    Larry Vickers & Ken Hackenthorn (if he's still teaching) Been there, done that would like to do it again.

    Dave Spaulding Dave is excellent. Read "Handgun Combatives".

    Tiger McKee Would do Shootrite again. Tiger's book "The Book of Two Guns" is excellent.

    Gunsite just to go back. It's pretty much the starting point of the training schools.

    The SEAL with the handlebar mustache on the SEAL Team Discovery Channel show is most likely Cmd Master Chief (ret) Hershel Davis. Hershel is an excellent instructor but I don't think he's still teaching.

    I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with many great instructors.

  5. cgff

    cgff Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2015
    I’d have to say Thunder Ranch, Gunsite Again, and Valor Ridge,
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  6. pineoak

    pineoak Member

    Oct 17, 2020
    TigerSwan is excellent, bring your notebook.

    I'd look closely at the trainers in your area and what their home ranges offer in terms of speciality training. If not much, then consider catching them when they're traveling.
  7. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    I hear terrible things about Front Sight.

    I hear good things about Thunder Ranch.

    I hear okay things about Sig Sauer Academy. I've been tempted to go there since it's withing driving distance from me, and they break up their classes into one to two day events. In theory, a person could cover much of the same material as a week long course at Gunsite or Thunder Ranch over multiple weekends. That means less time off from work, and more time between classes to practice what you learned. On the other hand, I would have to cross the communist territories of New Jersey and New York with firearms multiple times.

    I took the Pistol 250 class at Gunsite Academy last August. I enjoyed my experience, and I plan to go back. As far as I can tell, the instructors are top notch. The facilities are excellent. The location is amazing: Arizona has the most beautiful night sky I have ever seen, Gunsite is only a few hours from the Grand Canyon, and Arizona is an constitutional carry state. The instructors also did a good job of managing new shooters, and kept the class moving so that experienced shooters could learn new stuff.
    simonp, FWoo45, Dub and 1 other person like this.
  8. Ethank

    Ethank Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    the sig academy also puts on very good courses. Their lead instructor Scott does a great job of explaining things and breaking them down.
    B81 likes this.
  9. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    If I were younger, I'd like to go back to NAB Coronado. Getting old sucks...
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  10. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    I would also advise the OP to look at the overall curriculum offered by each training facility. You may find that one school in particular has more advanced or specialty classes that you really want to take. However, in order to take those classes, they may require that you take their lower level classes first. For example, Defensive Pistol 250 is a prerequisite for just above ever other class at Gunsite Academy. So, if there is another class at Gunsite that really appeals to you, I recommend getting started at Gunsite.

    EDIT: Seeing prerequisites listed on course curriculum is a good thing. It tells you that they're serious about training, and it provides some assurance that an advanced class won't degenerate into a Pistol 101 class because a bunch of inexperienced shooters showed up.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
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  11. Apollo99

    Apollo99 Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    I live 30 minutes from Gunsite, so they get my vote. Good training, nice facility, great people and very little travel time.
    Dub and 1L26 like this.
  12. pineoak

    pineoak Member

    Oct 17, 2020
    An acquaintance of mine use to live close to Sig Academy. He took over 20 classes there. He recommended it very highly.
  13. Samurai Jack

    Samurai Jack Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2020
    I would love to do more MATAC and shoot house. Running and gunning multiple targets, changing weapons with random dudes and throw in some first aid/buddy aid to the mix!!! Great team building and skill driving. Ahhh the good stuff!
  14. Jim 1855

    Jim 1855 Active Member

    Mar 1, 2020
    A thought.

    Just because you've taken an "intro" and the "more advanced" class from one school doesn't mean you won't learn a lot or have a lot of time to get better at the basics when starting at a different school. Other than time and expense it's all good.

    Each school will have slightly different methods of explaining similar concepts & techniques. If you listen you'll learn.... usually. You might find that unique twist that helps you get better.

    Louie Awerbuck (RIP) always pulled students back to doing the basics right and not worry about the advanced stuff.

    Remember, the "basics" are the "foundation" to the rest of your training. If you don't have the basics worked out the advanced won't come easy.

  15. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jul 6, 2014
    If I wanted to re-learn the Modern Technique of the Pistol, I would goto Thunder Ranch. And I say that as a 3-time Gunsite graduate.
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  16. Au Jus in Bello

    Au Jus in Bello Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2017
    Point well-taken. Advanced skill often is simply mastery of fundamentals.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
  17. jcc7x7

    jcc7x7 Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2019
    Thunder Ranch

    Mostly cause "Clint" makes me smile every time I watch one of his video's.
    Figure the entertainment value is as high as the shooting value.

    Did Col Cooper back in the day , Good thought process on everything.
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  18. TPC

    TPC Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2017
    Clint is awesome, and Thunder Ranch is a great choice. Gunsite was awesome when the Colonel was alive and running things. It is still a good school. The SIG Academy is also a great option. Having done all three in the past along with a number of others, I think you need to think of training as a progression and decide how you want your learning curve to proceed. There are a TON of great trainers out there, and a lot of people singing the praises of a lot of different instructors.

    However, the question was where would I want to go these days for multi-day training. I would have to say that three are at the top of my list for classes to attend these days:

    MDFI's "You Suck, It's Not The Gun" https://trainmdfi.com/courses/ysintg/

    John Shrek, the "Sheriff of Baghdad", 2 day pistol course

    Chuck Pressburg's No Fail Pistol Course https://presscheckconsulting.com/courses
    FWoo45 likes this.
  19. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Sep 22, 2017
    What's his name sent me videos years ago about FS, I was appalled at their safety standards (muzzle awareness) and let him know.
    Dub likes this.
  20. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Sep 22, 2017
    Colonel was eclectic, I was at API in 82 but not for the classes.

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