March 19th, 2007 03:43 PM
Sigarms Snubby Class: A Review
Over the weekend I attended the Snubby Revolver class taught by Bert DuVernay at the Sigarms Academy. Getting there early on Saturday morning with the storm was a *****, but the class was way well worth it.
Day one: About half of the day was classroom. It started with the obligatory safety review, but this one was pretty in depth in that it was not just about range safety. There was a great video showing staged situations and what can happen out in the street when the safety rules are not adhered to. Safe is safe. There was a lot of discussion on topics like how to safely draw while seated in a car or at a restaurant table or how to hold someone at gunpoint. The basic safety rules were discussed in the context of how they extend out into the real world and not just on the range or for the specific duration of the class. There was also much discussion of the effects of handgun bullets on the human body and the stress factors for the shooter. One of the students was a retired Boston police officer and he described a shootout in detail with a vivid description of tunnel vision and time distortion. These was also an active PA state trooper who brought more then a little reality to the table. Bertís excellent teaching skills coupled with his willingness to incorporate the knowledge and talent of some of the students made this, for me at least, the most meaningful safety briefing and review that I have ever experienced. It also set the stage for what was to come.
In the afternoon we moved out to the range for dry fire practice. The draw was broken down and practiced. Once we were all on the same page then the concepts of movement, eyes up and 360 degree scanning were added. There was very little static practice. Drawing was practiced while moving laterally either left or right, then fire and move again, reload, scan and recover. If the reload was taking too long then move again, scan. If you bump into someone deal with it. The commands of move, eyes up and scan were the mantras of the day. Finally at the very end of the afternoon we got to do a little live fire shooting. I felt like I had two left feet and hams for hands. More move, eyes up, scan. Reload and just let go of the speedloader, speedstrip or extra loose rounds. Donít throw them, donít put them in the pocket, just let them go and move.
Day Two: Picked up right where day one ended. Some dry fire refresher and then more draw while moving, shoot, move, reload, scan, recover. Then single round reloads or doubles and triples. A lot of work with loose ammo reloading . Just reach in the pocket and load whatever you grabbed in one grab and back into the fight. Grabbed too many then drop the extras, not enough then close it up and shoot what you have. Move, scan, reload, move scan, recover. Eyes up. This went on all morning in different variations. There were ten of us so we worked in relays of five. Your partner watched while you shot and you watched him, critiquing, which meant watching muzzle control and also reminding to move, eyes up, scan.
After lunch we got to do the fun stuff. We could choose the alternate concealment methods that we wanted to try such as crossdraw, shoulder holster, fanny pack etc. Again, dry fire preparation followed by live fire. Then pocket holster. Draw from the pocket while moving, shoot, move, reload, scan and recover. Then drawing from the jacket pocket without a holster. Then short range shooting with the gun at the side. One handed variations, left front, right front, slight cant etc. The very last drill was shooting through the pocket of the disposable jacket we were told to bring. Always fun.
All in all it was two really instructional and fun days. Bert is a fantastic instructor and all around nice guy. Everyone in attendance were also just nice guys. Skip from Sigarms was a real gent.
My only gripe was that the frangible ammo purchased from Sigarms misfired a lot. Almost everyone had some degree of problem. The first few were chalked up to light primer strikes and/or weakened mainsprings on old guns, but after a while it became apparent that everyone was having some degree of issue. On the other hand it did fit right in to the class mentality of donít let anything stop you, just deal with it and get back into the fight. So in a sense it was a teaching tool.
March 19th, 2007 03:49 PM
Excellent review....thanks for posting it.
USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947
March 19th, 2007 04:00 PM
Excellent write-up Goose!...
Sounds like you got plenty of repetitions using correct technique.
"I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York
"They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper
March 19th, 2007 04:07 PM
I've never attended, but I have never heard anything negative about the Sigarms academy. Sounds like a good time was had, and you learned a few things.
March 19th, 2007 05:33 PM
WOW... sounds like it was a great experience!
S&W M&P .45
Virginia Beach, Va.
Senior Chief Petty Officer, RETIRED, USN
Certified NRA Pistol Instructor
NRA Range Officer
March 19th, 2007 10:28 PM
Sounds like a fun two days. Thanks for the report.
Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.
March 19th, 2007 11:22 PM
Thanks for sharing...sounds like an effective couple of days...
Stay armed...stay safe!
The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member[/B]
March 27th, 2007 02:33 AM
My thanks too. I've talked to a friend of mine about making a trip to NH and attending one of their classes. Now I have your review to share with him.
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