On Saturday, I took an 8 hr Pistol Fundamentals class offered by King33, the best tactical training facility in Connecticut.
I’ve trained pistol at a more than a few different schools but I think that every school has unique features that can benefit even an experienced shooter. Also, the last defensive pistol class I took was in 2012, so I was curious to see if doctrine had evolved at all in the last 4 years.
King33 came recommended from my friend Aaron Bethlenfalvy, the CEO and founder of Alpha Dog Silencers, an up and coming suppressor company also based in Connecticut.
Given only 8 hours, the class was a rundown of the basic skills necessary to operate a modern defensive handgun. Familiarity with the basics (sight alignment, trigger control, etc.) was assumed, but pointers were given to correct obvious student weaknesses. The Instructors, Evan, Chris, and Talla did a great job handling an admittedly large crew of 15 students by running 3 relays.
My quick and dirty review follows:
The King33 people seem to really enjoy training for the sake of training, which I sympathize with 100%. I get the impression that the owner said, “I want to build the best training facility I can in New England for my friends and I to practice in.” Bringing students into it basically a) covers their operating costs b) helps them find more friends to train with.
2) At 15 students, the class was at capacity. With 5 shot encapsulators, we were running three relays of 5 students. Three relays sounds like a lot of downtime, but with three instructors, it felt like a student teacher ratio of 1.6:1 not 5:1 so I didn’t really mind.
3) In terms of doctrine, the school felt very solid. Some schools are known for teaching wacky stuff, King33 seemed like what I’d consider ‘best practices.’
4) The Fundamentals class was just that, Fundamentals: draws, mag changes, target transitions, malf drills. Honestly, only so much you can pack into 8 hours without giving subjects a cursory treatment.
5) The instructors did a fantastic job with a novice shooter, taking her aside to work on some of the more complicated techniques such as the “tactical reload.”
6) The facility is nuts, in a good way. Shoot Houses, Simunitions houses, a mock-up restaurant, Troysgate, a miniature Crossfit box, oh my!
7) Definitely will be going back for the more advanced classes, especially the Sims class and the Gauntlet offered by another school Tactical Dynamics.
PS This was the first time I brought a spare gun to a course… glad I did, as doing so saved my bacon.