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Monday, June 13, 2011

US Training Center Basic Pistol and Armorer Class Pt 1

OK, OK, I'm back! Thanks for waiting. First the FTC disclaimer. I paid for the trip, lodging, food, and classes. The only Swag I received was during the one day M1911 armorer class. Looks like this:


The first thing of interest is that ALL Blackwater logo stuff is now verboten. The pocket notepad and pen came from the instructors "personal stash". Every sign on the compound site was sporting the USTC logo.

My associate and I arrive in separate vehicles. The Garmin goes blank as soon as we hit it. We are parked in a waiting area as credentials are checked, vehicle passes are issued and instructions to the Black Bear Inn are given. We drive. A long time. Past the airport, a bunch of Ford Crown Vics, Hummers, and other assorted motor vehicles are parked next to the driving training grounds. I roll the window down. The sound of gunfire and tires squealing immediately come to my ears.  This should be fun!

We check in and assess our home for the next few days, a semi-private room sharing a bathroom with the adjacent room:

Do not expect a turn down service or mint on the pillow here! 

Here is an exterior door to the BBI:

The signs read: "No loaded weapons in the building" and "DO NOT leave weapons unattended". Certanly not standard fare for a Motel!

In the parking lot next to us is a Suburban in black with tinted windows sporting a less than standard license plate and a low profile light bar on the top. We hang with the people from it for a while. They are there for driving, we are here for shooting. 
Next morning we go to class. After 2 hours of safety and "we love us" orientation we are on a range! 

Please consider that our hosts were less than receptive to pictures or videos. 

The first range!

After orientation in the class I know that I am the only one shooting a 1911. Everyone else is sporting the usual; Glocks, Sig's, Springfield XD, S&W M&P's, Beretta's. There were 13 of us in the class and the max is 14. I am using a 25+ year old single stack gun with a leather concealment holster. I was the dinosaur here. A Father and Daughter are here. A Father and Son are here. My associate to the left of me on the line and a young man on my right.  

The first shooting drill was in retrospect a skill assessment. We moved from there real quick! We shot paper, we shot steel plates. We shot! 

I am proud that I kept up with 6 magazines in my back pocket with the paddle mag holder on my side with 2 in reserve. 

Instructors payed attention. This was not a "get them in shoot and get them out" deal. I received personal instruction on my grip, stance, and trigger finger placement. I have never received any formal instruction so I took to it. It DID make a difference! 
First day over and we await tomorrow! 


  1. Way cool. Looking forward to the next couple of days' reports.

  2. Excellent! This is a great experience to share!

  3. @ Murphy and North- more coming!

  4. That is a really nice looking outdoor range. No mules, horses and snakes are roaming around there.

    Psst. I'm terrified of the mules at our local outdoor gun range.

  5. Boy, this post brings back happy memories. :)

    I gotta get out there for a class again!

  6. @ Supi- Mules? Yeah I would be scared too!

    @ Brooke- Oh it was!

    @ Tam- I'm thinking Tactical Pistol next in the fall if you need a partner.

    @ DaddyBear- Don't be, that was my summer vacation!

  7. That's awesome. I love to see the light come on when someone gets the right grip, trigger finger placement and trigger reset. I still remember the day it happened to me. I just wish I would have taken classes earlier in my shooting life.

  8. @45er- Me too! I should have done this a looong time ago!

  9. Nice! And yes, old farts shooting 'old' guns CAN keep up :-)

  10. Sounds like you had a Good Instructor~Glad you had fun.

  11. @ NFO- Yes we can!

    @ Stop- We did!