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AAR: Kyle Defoor 2-Day Handgun

Posted by JFranz On June 28, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

“Be a feeder, not a receiver.  There are no victims, only volunteers.”

                                                                                     -Kyle Defoor

 

Kyle Defoor 2-Day Handgun
June 22 and 23
Walnut Grove 3-Gun Range
Bostic, NC

 

I had the privilege and the pleasure of hosting and attending Kyle Defoor’s 2-Day handgun class.  Kyle doesn’t like to use the word “advanced” as a description for his classes, but this class is not for beginners.  It is absolutely designed to further the skills of the competent shooter.  The curriculum delivers a strong mix of accuracy, speed, and even critical thinking and mindset to help develop and hone the ability of a shooter to survive and prevail in a deadly force encounter.

 

Training day one placed a heavy focus on fundamentals.  Kyle has developed several tests of skill that are not easy to pass, yet attainable with the application of proper fundamentals.  The opening assessment of skill also allowed Kyle to ascertain the level of skill and safety of the 16 students on the range.  Following the initial assessment, Kyle gave a detailed and thorough presentation on grip and stance.  Shooters were backed up to the 25 yard line, and the fundamentals were refined and honed.  At this distance, and aiming for a B-8 bullseye repair center, sight alignment, sight picture, grip stance, trigger manipulation, and follow through must be sound to get your hits.  You can’t hide flaws as you can at close distances.  For me personally, a sight alignment/sight picture concept involving parallel and angular deviation dramatically improved my accuracy at this distance.  By slightly adjusting my focus, my groups shrank considerably.  The overall concept wasn’t foreign to me, but the explanation and application of the concept offered by Kyle clicked, as evident by the results printed on target.

 

After accuracy work at distance, we moved closer to work an important skill for anyone who carries a firearm for self preservation – the draw stroke.  I shot the entire class from concealment, as this is how I am most likely to carry a handgun in the real world.  Kyle showed a simple yet effective way to clear a cover garment the decreased my time from draw to accurate first shot.

 

We also shot a drill to aid in shooting faster while maintaining accuracy.  The drill was similar to a trigger reset drill I had been exposed to many times in the past, but was far improved.  Small targets were engaged at 1, ½, and ¼ second cadences from 5 yards, with a few pointers added to help maintain very tight accuracy standards.  Every student increased speed while maintaining the demanded accuracy on the target.  Furthermore, Kyle explained how using one of the three cadences, selected based on factors such as distance to target, time constraints, size of target, etc, can help improve performance both on the range and in the real world.

 

A walk back drill on a smaller than desired piece of steel completed the shooting portion of the first day.  Of the 17 shooters on the range, more than half made it past 50 yards, and a winner was crowned at over 100.

 

Day one was completed with an excellent presentation on mindset.  This was not the same old “never quit until your dead” combat mindset presentation.  This presentation has been developed over many years by some hard dudes, and it applies to any task or goal in life, not simply shooting or combat.  Upon further reflection, much of what was covered applies directly to many aspects of my life, and will been applied to achieving a variety of goals I have set for myself.   I believe this presentation is a key takeaway from the class, and feel that its content is best reserved for those who have spent the day with Kyle.  Trust me, it is a great incentive to take a class from Kyle.

 

Day two began with accuracy work at 50 yards.  Shooting 10 rounds for group at such a distance most certainly sharpens shooting fundamentals.  Plus, once a group is achieved, it gives a truer picture of a pistol’s zero.  We all spend a good bit of time understanding and adjusting the zero on our rifles, but few take the time to print a handgun in the same manner.   A key takeaway from this exercise for me was the importance of quality ammo.  I have always dismissed shooters’ blame of certain types of ammo as nothing more than excuses for poor performance.  And inside 25 yards, that is probably true.  However, back at 50, I was unable to print a group with Blazer brass, which Kyle is not particularly fond of.  In fact, I only put 4 of 10 rounds on the IPSC target, which no pattern .  On the next iteration at 50 yards, Kyle gave me a handful of his quality training ammo and had me send it down range.  I put all 10 rounds on target, with 6 in the high A zone, and the other 4 clustered around the A/C perforation to the left.

 

The rest of day two was spent on more advanced tasks such as shooting on the move and the use of barricades.  Once again, Kyle’s instruction on both of these topics was not earth-shatteringly different than what I have learned from other well respected and experienced instructors, but did contain subtle differences and different presentations that connected with me and improved my performance.

 

Conclusions

 

I had been anxious to get myself into a Kyle Defoor class for many years, and it did not disappoint.  Kyle is a solid instructor, and good people.  He has a great teaching style, and is very approachable.  Even with 16 other students on the line, he was able to provide one-on-one attention.  I don’t think there is a single student in attendance who did not feel that their shooting improved, and they were given great tools to continue to further their skills.  It is now up to each student to use those tools on their own.

 

The discussions during lunch and at the breaks (and for me that night a diner), were as good as the material delivered during formal instruction.  I personally learned about gun gear, knives, flashlights, combatives, fitness, and even instruction.  Kyle is very open to sharing what he has learned with anyone who wants to learn.  Yet he is not a my way or the highway guy.  I really enjoyed getting to know Kyle on a personal level as well.  He is a solid dude who I respect a great deal.

 

I also really enjoyed meeting the students in the class.  We had some great shooters, and everyone was very helpful.  I hope to shoot with these guys again in the near future.

 

For the gear queers – I shot the entire class with Glocks – a 17 and a 19, and the entire class from concealment – kydex holser IWB, cover garment, and Ares Ranger Belt.  Only malfunction I had was a loose front sight post on my 17, which was easily fixed with a  little lock-tite and a sight wrench.  I did learn that Blazer ammo sucks, but PMC and American Eagle perform well at 50 yards.  Most of the guns in the class were Glocks, but there was an XD, two HK’s, and one Dan Wesson 1911 that I recall.  No other malfunctions that I was aware of.  Total round count was around 600.

 

See you at the range,

 

JF

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