SpecTrainNC joined us as a sponsor and they offered a slot in their combined rifle/pistol core class to one of us so that we could come see what they were about. I was the only one available so I volunteered. As the day approached and the weather kept calling for rain I was grumbling under my breath about having to drive 2 hours to shoot in the rain but it ended up being 78 and sunny. I even got a sunburn. Now I’m used to being, if not the biggest guy, one of the biggest guys at a class but a couple of these guys were giving me a run for my money. Buncha gym rats in this group so I already felt at home. The range itself was unorthodox, being as it wasn’t actually a range. We shot at the home range of one of the trainers. But it was laid out well, grass lanes with flags marking the distances and plenty of targets. Chris and the guys did a great job of putting everyone at ease and started with a round table of introductions. Name, background and why you’re here today. I thought that was a nice touch and it was interesting to hear the replies. Some of them had never taken a class and had just bought their first rifle. Some of them had driven 4 hours or more from Georgia for this class. This was their basic class. Now I’ve had a ton of training over the years and still do a fair amount of advanced training but as their guest I kept my mouth shut and simply watched and listened. And I’m someone who understands that there is a difference between doing something a lot and doing it with an instructor standing over your shoulder. They can tweak you and make you better. Otherwise professional players wouldn’t ever need to practice and have coaches. There were 4 trainers with varying pedigrees. Most were former military and then law enforcement after that with stints on SWAT. But they were honestly cool and they didn’t seem to care about the dead hooker in my trunk. We started off with zeroing and I had a major issue. I will post a rant later about the cause but for now just realize that a rifle I had zeroed already was 60 clicks off on elevation and then wouldn’t adjust back up after I dialed it down. So I ended up having to remove the red dot and go irons for the day which I had co-witnessed and were still good. After zero we did a proof of concept on steel out to 200 to confirm their reasoning for the 50 yd zero. I still personally prefer a 25 meter zero (just can’t break what I learned in the Corps) but I always go with what the trainers want otherwise why train with them? We progressed from there to holdover work (compensating up close for your site elevation over bore axis), transition drills (rifle to pistol), malfunction drills (the instructors spaced 5 dummy loads in each mag) and then finally to shooting on the move. We broke for lunch at some point and Chris and I shared a 64 pack of crayolas (it’s a Marine thing). Each cycle of training was taught on a beginner level and, even though I was a bit nervous running some of those drills right next to people with very little training, their attention to safety gave me very little reason for that concern. They told me later they plan to separate rifle from pistol on the basic level soon and then once you have been through both you’ll be able to take combined. I think that’s a smart idea on their part. Some of what they teach varies from other instructors. IMO this is a good thing. They train from the very beginning to aim small even on the move. Don’t aim for center mass, aim for that 3 inch circle just below the neck. Having been taught this in different circles it was nice to see instructors teaching it here. For FTF drills they teach the recently popular Tap, Rack, Ready. I prefer SPORTS and as an old fogey I’m convinced it’s better and the new version is because these youngins can’t remember 6 steps so they shortened it to 3. But it works so I’ll just concede it’s personal preference. To sum up, they’re a great group of guys and a great addition to our community. I really enjoyed training with them and I’m interested to see how they do with their more advanced classes. They gave everyone the same attention no matter their skill set coming in which says a lot IMO. They have a photographer at every shoot. I’ll post some pics as soon as they become available.