I took my first Gunsite Class when I was 71 years old. I had been shooting all types of firearms for more than 50 years by then and participated in various shooting sports with Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun. I carried a legally concealed weapon on and off for 30 years in various states as a civilian but never in any official capacity. I also was a certified Rifle and Pistol NRA Instructor and trained many Boy Scouts in firearm use and safety. I took the basic 250 Pistol Class basically to spend some time with my adult son doing something we both enjoyed. My Wife gave me the tuition as a Christmas gift. The 250 Class was excellent and we learned a lot. Some of it was refresher, some new but all was worthwhile plus a hell of a lot of fun. My son and I subsequently took the 350 Pistol Class and the 223 Carbine Class together as well as the Response To An Active Shooter Class which we both thoroughly enjoyed (Bob Whaley and Ray Tuttle are terrific instructors and the course was very well thought out). All were a good experience although by the end of each day of the class I was exhausted. The Carbine Class in particular was challenging as the way firearms are handled today is very different than I was taught in the Navy in 1961. The last class we took together was the Concealed Carry Class developed by Eric Ingersoll and instructed by Eric and Dan Bilodeau. As far as classes went this was handgun Graduate School. This class brought everything I had learned in the previous pistol classes together into a fantastic experience culminating with force on force scenarios which were very instructive as well as providing an insight into how you personally would react to such events. It was a great class which I would take again if they ever develop a version 2. The learning that stuck with me after all the Gunsite classes was through the mistakes I made which were brought to my attention (sometimes not too subtly) by all of the Instructors. I had an opportunity to learn different ways of gun handling than I had done for years and I adopted many of these as they were improvements on what I had been doing in the past. I also learned through experience what techniques and equipment worked and what did not. Gunsite has been a fantastic experience for me and my only regrets are that I didn’t have the opportunity to take these classes 30 years ago and that I have completed most of the Arizona handgun course offerings. Thanks to the entire Gunsite Crew for this opportunity and for a terrific experience.
Rick D., 250 Pistol Class, June 2015-June 2018, Gunsite, Paulden, AZ