I'll be taking the Practical Fundamentals course early next year. For those that have taken the course (or those that teach it) I'd appreciate some advice on which pistol I'll learn best with in the course.
Pistol 1: HK VP9. Stock pistol.
Pistol 2; HK P30 LEM: Light FPB Spring, Light Main Spring, V2 Trigger Spring.
I enjoy shooting both. I am more experienced with the VP9 trigger. The P30 is a full sized understudy to my P30SK carry gun. I'd like to really learn the LEM trigger but don't want to be held back in the course if the striker trigger will allow me to progress or learn the material and processes more naturally.
Honestly, I'd take both. You can start out on the P30, and switch to the VP9 if you are having trouble or if something on the P30 breaks. It is Practical Fundamentals, so it seems to me to be a good place to properly learn that trigger, especially if it's an analog to your carry gun.
I have taken PF multiple times. One class, I started out with a DAK 229 but also brought a DA/SA 226 that I had just recently bought. I had a lot of trouble with the DAK, so Bruce suggested I try switching to the DA/SA. My groups shrank considerably, so I continued with it for the rest of the class.
On another occasion, I started having light strikes with that same DA/SA 226 (turned out to be a broken roll pin leading to a loose breech block). If it weren't for the generosity of another student loaning me his spare 9mm 226 slide, I wouldn't have been able to finish the class. I won't go to another one without a backup gun, preferably of the same caliber and manual of arms, but having one at all is the important thing.
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Good advice on bringing both. I'll check the airline policy, but I may be limited to one pistol in my checked bag.
There shouldn't be a limit, as long as they are both stored in accordance with airline policy. It might be easier and take up less space to buy one lockable two-pistol case from a sporting goods store rather than taking both factory boxes.
"I drank what?" - Socrates
J Jones or HR Hawk will likely drop by to offer their professional advice, but I can give you my perspective as a novice shooter and student of several of the OpSpec classes.
In the summer of 2017 I took the Practical Fundamentals class, and later that year I took the Advanced Pistol Marksmanship session. In both cases I took my P320 FS, which was stock, with the exception of a PELT trigger and GG stainless steel guide rod. I also took along my P226 Extreme, which was stock, with the exception of a trip to Sig for their AEP treatment. In both classes I decided to use the P320, so the P226 stayed in the range bag.
This past summer I took the Advanced Fundamentals, and in advance of this session I had purchased a new P320 X5, with the anticipation that this "target" pistol should improve my potential. As backups, I still took along the P320 FS and P226. As this session progressed into the 2nd day I was struggling to get consistent (accurate) results with P320 X5 (most likely me, not the pistol), so I switched back to the P320 FS to see if that helped. It did improve somewhat, so I stayed with the P320 lower for the rest of the course, with the bonus of swapping the X5 slide assembly onto the P320 FS grip.
The point it, having the different options kept me moving forward toward self-improvement. In hindsight, as one may say, I still "sucked", but I just "sucked less".
And, I was tempted at times to get the DA/SA P226 out of the range bag and use that one for a while, but figured I would have time to apply the techniques learned onto the DA/SA platform at a later time down the road.
The OpSpec classes offer valuable, fundamental training techniques to advance the skill level of the shooter, and I strongly encourage enthusiasts to enroll in one or two of them. The instructors are fantastic, this is money and time well spent.
I've only taken one official class from another trainer, but I used a CZ Shadow 2 that was converted to SAO. I have a similar spare. I did this as I wanted more practice with my USPSA guns vs a Glock. That, and I shoot the CZ much better so it made it easier to focus on what was being taught vs learning the gun if that makes sense.
For the Practical Fundamentals, I'll be using the same gun again for the same reason.
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Either will be fine. Bring both so you have one as a backup. We generally do not suggest switching back and forth during the class.
The skill sets learned during the program can be applied to many platforms. Be it DA/SA, SAO, DAO, or strikers, the skill sets transfer.
We do not suggest showing up with an open race gun with trigger weight in the ounces, unless you are intimately familiar with the trigger and can run it REALLY well. We want you to have something to "prep" into as that skill is part of our core.
Thanks. Much of what I'm reading here is pushing me to the VP9. I will try to bring both.
I'm flying Allegiant Air and their policy seems to indicate only one pistol per checked bag which is silly as they allow 2 Rifles or Shotguns.
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Pick one. Stay with it. The guys that make the major mistakes all-
-Switch guns 4 times during a class for whatever reason. I've had guys that start out shooting a micro 1911, switch to a Glock, and end up shooting a SIG P229. They spend all of their time in a learning curve, and they pay a price in retention.
-Bring a mouse gun. Yeah, had a guy last year show up to a 1500 class with a Shield and three magazines. He'd get a few reps in, and run out of ammo. His hands were hamburger at the end of class. I tried to convince him to shoot a full sized gun, but he wanted to "TRAIN LIKE YOU FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (He did not get much of what the class is about for obvious reasons)
-Bring an unserviceable boutique gun or a gun that you aren't familiar with. I almost banned 1911s at the start of the year. Most people that would show up with them would spend the bulk of the two or three days clearing malfunctions, and insisting "This has never happened to me before". The 1911 is an ahfficiando's gun. The people that are good with them understand their quirks and prepare for it. They also perform maintenance/lubrication during the breaks from that understanding. The vast majority show up and do not understand why the gun with the crappy factory 7 round magazines won't function. (not to mention it is poorly fitted, poorly maintained, and improperly lubed). So, I simply handled it by putting out that if you choose the 1911, we are not going to wait on you. You're on your own.
-Or a gun with a 2 ounce trigger. Light triggers (below 3-3.5 pounds) are simply on/off switches.
Aside from that advice, pick one. Pick what you think you want to shoot, bring a good supply of magazines so you can have a little down time during breaks to sit down and relax.
That and bring an open mind.
You'll be all good.
"Make it a shooting, and not a gunfight" LSP552 02/19/2011
Are you stuck with Allegiant? There policy seems to be pretty clear:
" One locked, hard-sided handgun case (with only 1 unloaded handgun inside) will be accepted for each paying passenger."
If at all possible, I'd choose another airline. I've typically had two cases (a small pelican storm with two pistols and a nano lockbox with dummy rounds and loaded defensive mags), though on a recent trip to Applied Fundamentals with my son, the pelican storm had two P226s for me and the nano had the metal parts of two P320s for him. Thanks to RNshooter for pointing out that trick! United isn't spectacular (are any of them?), but they don't whine about the quantity of handguns.
Yes, I've already booked it. The price difference out of Bismarck is significant this time of year.
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