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Review of Travis Haley's Three-Day D-5 Handgun Course at the SigSauer Academy in Epping, NH Login/Join 
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OVERVIEW: Mr. Haley's motto is "Thinkers Before Shooters" and his analysis of grip and stance is highly scientific and evidence based. This was an excellent course on grip, stance, trigger press and draw. Travis Haley uses a mix of range work and classroom presentation on biometrics, body mechanics and mental factors that go into properly shooting a pistol. He'd present in the classroom first then we'd all go to the range where he'd demo the techniques he just taught in the classroom and then have us practice the skill by shooting drills he specifically designed for each technique. This was a very effective way of presenting the material. If two of the three - Grip, Stance & Trigger Press - are good fundamentally, you'll have decent accuracy but if all three are good fundamentally you'll be painting your target with precision accuracy.

GRIP: Mr. Haley taught us a simple three phase grip technique (Pins, Friction, Leverage) that greatly strengthened my grip. Thanks to this grip technique which we spent 3 days practicing, I was literally shooting into nearly one-hole at speed (.25 & .33 second splits). But I'm a defensive shooter so I'd prefer not to be stacking bullets on top of each other but it was nice to see that I could when I want. Mr. Haley would have us say "Pins, Friction, Leverage" while shooting and burned it into our memory which I found very helpful.

STANCE: Here again, Mr. Haley excels. He taught us how to face the target with our hips in perfect alignment using something he calls "the Acclimation Drill" which involves SHOOTING FROM 3 YARDS, closing your eyes, moving back and forth, yet still being able to be either on target or very close to it. It's akin to "zen with a pistol" and focuses your mind on grip and stance like no other drill I've run. The key is having your eyes closed - doing that forces you to use your other senses to diagnose your grip and stance. We'd start off every range session using his Acclimation Drill which everyone in our class loved! Haley thinks of everything with respect to the stance. For example, his insight is that as our back goes out of alignment from day to day, we can't expect the same stance to always be the correct stance to get our hips into proper alignment with our target(s), which is brilliant. But his Acclimation Drill accounts for that which is also brilliant. I'd never go to the range without doing a least a few reps of the Acclimation Drill plus it's something you can do in limited sense, without the noise & the recoil, when dry-practicing at home.

TRIGGER PRESS: Mr. Haley showed us photos of the proper trigger press in class along with the bio-mechanics of what would happen if we're not pressing the trigger correctly. Then we'd go to the range and implement what he called "the Inch Worm Technique." When I did that correctly I was hitting where I wanted with no problem. He also gave us a math proof on why trigger slapping is so inefficient compared to just shooting to reset. Basically he's measured the distance of the trigger slap and calculated what 10 shots equals in distance covered vs. 10 shots fired just shooting to reset. This is merely one of many helpful analytics provided to us in this amazing class. Again, Mr. Haley had us repeat key words when pressing the trigger and those key words were very helpful.

DRAW: I've always been slow with my draw due to shoulder surgery and tendinitis of the elbow. But he got by draw down by a full .25 second anyway. I plan on attending his D-7 Handgun class in his shooting lab in Arizona and figure he'll shave another .20 to .30 seconds off by using his high speed cameras to analyze my draw mechanics and show me how to be more efficient. Mr. Haley and his Assistant Instructor break the class into two groups and individually coach each shooter. They'd use props, tell us what we're doing wrong, give us drills and then had all but two shooters at under a 1 second draw. My entire class got to watch his draw which was coming in consistently between .50 - .60 seconds. I wasn't sure a half second draw was achievable but after seeing him do it, I'm a big believer in his systematic approach to analyzing each part of pistol shooting and making each part as efficient as possible.

SUMMARY: I'm not going to provide the notes I took or otherwise elaborate on what was taught because I don't want to infringe upon Mr. Haley's intellectual property. Before attending class, I watched his 2 hour and 10 minute video on You Tube which you can find by searching for "TRAVIS HALEY ADAPTIVE HANDGUN." A good portion of the information taught in his class is demonstrated in the video but even though I watched the video before class, seeing him present the material live in the classroom and then doing the drills he's designed is what I needed to walk away from this class a much improved shooter.

His motto is, "Thinkers Before Shooters" and after attending this class I'm thinking about shooting on a much higher level. Another saying of his is, "Straight Lines are Strong, Angles are Weak" and he proves this both in class and on the range by having you run his drills. If you take this course it will change the way you shoot such that you are more comfortable while shooting with greater accuracy and improved speed.

Thanks to Mr. Haley I no longer hunch my shoulders, don't tense up before the draw, use comfortable shooting positions that don't put stress on my body, face the targets correctly, minimize distances in everything to do with shooting, have a strong grip that puts my pistol back on target quickly, and can self-diagnose my draw, grip, stance and trigger pull.

SIG ACADEMY: Kudos to the SigSauer Academy for bringing in world famous guest instructors like Travis Haley to Epping, NH to supplement the Academy's top notch curriculum. The ranges and classrooms at the Academy are excellent. If you haven't been to the Sig Academy, it's a great place to take your shooting to another level at a reasonable cost. Sig has a very attractive $103/night (including taxes) corporate rate deal with three local hotels that Academy students can take advantage of. There are a full range (pun intended) of pistol, shotgun and rifle classes offered during "the outdoor season" between April 1 - October 31. During "indoor season" from November 1 - March 30th, there are fewer offerings because the Sig Academy only has 2 indoor ranges - one 25 yard range and one 50 meter pistol/rifle range although they do offer a few outdoor rifle classes but keep in mind New Hampshire winters are cold and snowy. Every time I take a Sig Academy class I swear it was the best class I've ever taken and the instructor was the best I've ever seen. I've taken dozens of classes at the Sig Academy and they've all been spectacular learning experiences. (<: Thank you Sig Academy!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: H-Man,
 
Posts: 69 | Registered: May 12, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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H, thanks as always for your reviews!


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Posts: 32070 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good review. What was your round count and what handgun did you shoot.


DPR
 
Posts: 426 | Registered: March 10, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice read, thanks.

I will make one point that I read over and over and over. Heard it from LE instructors as well and it drives me crazy. jljones input on this will be listened to with interest.

The whole "I don't want to necessarily drill one shot after another into the same hole" defensive shooting mindset. I personally think that is a horrible way to think of it. On a static practice target whether its steel, paper, whatever whether you are moving static whatever you should train to drill the same exact hole over and over again whether it is COM or head shot or whatever. To train, being ok with a spread on a practice target because "more holes to bleed from" ignores the reality that there is absolutely ZERO chance your target in real life isn't moving. And probably moving wildly and unexpectedly.

If you train to hit where you are aiming the odds of all your shots going into a bad guy via a single hole are pegging the zero on the meter.

Maybe I'm jumping on semantics but this idea is repeated over and over in print and lore. '

My point? In practice, the goal should be a reasonable combination of speed and all the holes as close to the POA as your speed and skill allows. Yes it is a balance but everytime someone accepts bigger than necessary groups because I am a "defensive" shooter it reeks of rationalizing a deficit.

Not that the OP did this. Not saying that. I just think this idea is a bit half baked.

What think ye?
 
Posts: 1962 | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by pedropcola:
jljones input on this will be listened to with interest.


I have nothing to say because you have already nailed it.

quote:
To train, being ok with a spread on a practice target because "more holes to bleed from" ignores the reality that there is absolutely ZERO chance your target in real life isn't moving. And probably moving wildly and unexpectedly.


The easiest proof is through Simunitions. The guys that "spread them out" always have a lot more misses than the guys that drive the sights to a spot aggressively and spot shoot when they are moving and the target starts to move.


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"Make it a shooting, and not a gunfight" LSP552 02/19/2011



 
Posts: 32070 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My round count for the 3 day Haley Strategic D-3 Handgun course was 1,358 9mm CCI Blazer 115 grain FMJ's. I used a Sig P320 Full-Size with the following three modifications all by Gray Guns: 1)carry action trigger job; 2)GGI guide rod; & 3) GGI ATC grip module. Gray Guns also took care of getting my slide milled,installed a Trijicon Type 2 Auto-Adjusting 6.5 MOA RMR and they even sighted it in for me before they shipped it back. They send their slides out for milling which adds to the time line for these modifications but from start to finish I'd say it was 2½ months. Back-up iron sights were Sig Nite-Lite suppressor height sights purchased from the Sig Pro Shop in Epping, NH.

On day 3 I used a P320RX Compact with the Romeo 1 3 MOA Red Dot. I’m still undecided on whether I prefer the 3 MOA or the 6.5 MOA because I’m new to shooting RDS with barely 5,000 rounds experience. I think I’ll need a lot more range time before I’ll incorporate RDS into my EDC. BTW, the SIG Academy offers a 1-day introduction to Red Dot Pistol course as the recommended pre-requisite to their 2-day Red Dot Defensive Pistol course. I attended both and that really helped me in my transition to RDS.


Mr. Haley does a great job of interspersing range drills and classroom training. The 1,358 rounds fired worked out to 452.67 rounds per day which was sufficient to run through all of the assigned drills and get a good grasp of the teaching points he wanted us to learn. His course is definitely a "Thinking Man's course" and he was more interested in providing his students good notes with good drills so that they could take those lessons learned home with them and practice them on their local ranges (range rules permitting).

I acknowledge & agree with Jerry's point on it being better to strive for precision accuracy & letting the bad guys spread those rounds out for you as they're moving.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: H-Man,
 
Posts: 69 | Registered: May 12, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jljones:
quote:
Originally posted by pedropcola:
To train, being ok with a spread on a practice target because "more holes to bleed from" ignores the reality that there is absolutely ZERO chance your target in real life isn't moving. And probably moving wildly and unexpectedly.


The easiest proof is through Simunitions. The guys that "spread them out" always have a lot more misses than the guys that drive the sights to a spot aggressively and spot shoot when they are moving and the target starts to move.
My other favorite way to point out the fallacy of the "spread out the holes," nonsense is with a Texas Star or swinging target . The guys with good tight groups on the static targets always clear a star much easier/faster, and actually score more good hits on a swinger, than the "spread out the holes," guys.


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