You may recall my recent post, here outlining my struggle with whether or not to carry a concealed firearm on a regular basis, despite having a permit for several years. You may have also read here the excellent response and encouragement I received from Kathy Jackson of The Cornered Cat. Kathy’s advice really helped clarify for me what it was I wanted, and that I definitely did need some instruction specific to self-defense. Unfortunately, the existing dates for Kathy’s Cornered Cat classes did not coincide well with my schedule.
Knowing myself the way I do, I decided that I needed to strike while the motivational iron was hot, and get signed up for self-defense instruction before I got cold feet. Thus, I found an open slot in the 250 Defensive Pistol class at Gunsite Academy, and grabbed it.
Those of you who are familiar with Gunsite know of its stellar reputation. For those of you that don’t know, Gunsite is among the premier (if not THE premier) firearms training facilities in the country.
I was initially a bit hesitant, given their reputation. I was afraid that I might be placed in a class full of law enforcement or military, and be in over my head. But a few emails back and forth with Karen, the class coordinator, eased my mind. I may have a few years of IDPA and USPSA pistol under my gunbelt, but this 50-year old out-of-shape female pediatrician can in no way be mistaken for an “operator” LOL! I also do not function well in an adversarial environment. I don’t always need actual hand-holding, but I don’t learn well by being barked at, either. These fears were also eased by the emails with Karen. She assured me that this training experience would not be “boot camp”, and I did not need to be Tammy Tactical. With those concerns thus assuaged, I signed up.
Given that Gunsite is in Arizona, and I am in an Appalachian state, I knew I was going to have to fly with my firearm. Information and planning were in order, and I only had 3 weeks to do it. The class was to be 5 days long, and I knew the amount of ammo I was going to need would exceed the airlines’ pound limit, so I solved that problem with a credit card – I bought Gunsite’s ammo package, and erased that worry from my mind. That was easy.
The next issue was to decide which gun to take to class. Gunsite does offer rentals, but I wanted to use one of my own guns that I was already familiar with. I would have loved to take my Glock 42, but the caliber was too small for class, and it only came with two magazines. (Though it looks like Gunsite does offer a separate class for pocket guns, that I may consider for another time). I also did not want to take my S&W M&P “match gun”, as that is a full-size 9mm, and has had some extra work done on it. I wanted to train with a gun that was going to feel similar to what I wanted to carry. So, I settled on my Glock 19. She was my very first gun, and I knew she was reliable and comfortable to shoot. I also knew that Gunsite has an on site gunsmithy that is available if students have a mechanical issue while they are in class. That was reassuring.