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View Full Version : Recommendation for handgun courses in greater Los Angeles


awl168
03-09-2009, 7:02 PM
Would be interested in recommendations for handgun courses/training in the greater Los Angeles area by the Calguns community.

I'll be picking up my first handgun (a Walther P22) later this week. Since I'm new to owning a handgun, I thought it would be prudent to learn proper handling, shooting technique, etc. I've done some searching on Google and came up with a list of places, but thought I would ask for recommendations.

Thanks!

H2H
03-09-2009, 7:07 PM
1. ITTS in angeles range http://www.internationaltactical.com/index.asp
2. ADE in burro canyon or LAX firing range http://www.americandefenseenterprises.com/

both are tailored more towards combat handgun/gunfight rather than pure target shooting for points. Try one of their beginners class, you 'll have a blast.

2new
03-09-2009, 7:46 PM
I took the basic handgun 1 and 2 class at Burro Canyon with Greg Block. Well worth the money. I will definitely go back. Looks like he has classes on 3-21-09 and 3-22-09.
http://www.firearmstraining.com/

CaliTheKid
03-09-2009, 7:49 PM
Word of warning about ADE-- I took the course and the firearm safety was not at an acceptable level.

New students were pushed past their limits of safe shooting-- lots of muzzle sweeping etc, the head instructor Bill had other instructors enter shoot rooms and engage in live fire drills with students still in the room just to prove how good his instructors were -- it was hokey, dangerous William Tell type stuff. Just an FYI from my one trip through the school.

NOTARPilot
03-09-2009, 8:59 PM
ITTS is hands down the best firearms training available in the LA area. Scott Reitz is retired LAPD SWAT and conducts firearms training for LAPD Metro division as well as travels world wide training elite military and police forces. I have only taken his advanced courses which are geared toward combat shooting / gunfighting but I imagine his beginner courses are excellent as SAFETY is always paramount with Scotty.

CaliTheKid
03-09-2009, 10:41 PM
That sounds great. I'll look them up. I asked for the head instructors resume at ADE and was told it was "confidential" :ninja:

awl168
03-10-2009, 6:15 AM
Thanks for the recommendations. I'll definitely look these up.

bernieb90
03-10-2009, 10:09 AM
Another vote for ITTS. Scott, and Brett are great instructors. I have been shooting for 15 years, and took the basic handgun class. The emphasis on safety was excelent. I am saving up for handgun II right now.

BONECUTTER
03-10-2009, 11:08 AM
I took the basic handgun 1 and 2 class at Burro Canyon with Greg Block. Well worth the money. I will definitely go back. Looks like he has classes on 3-21-09 and 3-22-09.
http://www.firearmstraining.com/

+1 for Greg Block his classes are fun and affordable.

Black Majik
03-10-2009, 11:17 AM
An NRA or basic one on one handgun class may be better suited than a level 1 defensive handgun course. The latter requires more gear and less attention vs an instructor which goes over basic fundamentals with a gun and ammo.

I must admit, I don't think I've ever seen a rimfire handgun used in a defensive handgun course either. Might want to check whether that'd be ok, and make sure your P22 runs 100% prior to the class since it can be finicky.

BONECUTTER
03-10-2009, 11:27 AM
I must admit, I don't think I've ever seen a rimfire handgun used in a defensive handgun course either. Might want to check whether that'd be ok, and make sure your P22 runs 100% prior to the class since it can be finicky.

I did one time at Greg Blocks class....someone had a Ruger MK(something). Thats why I thought about it.

But I second the recommendation of making sure your gun is running right first. P22's can be picky for the first couple hundred rounds.

snowdog650
03-10-2009, 11:40 AM
You are close enough to the Vegas area ... check out Frontsight.

awl168
03-10-2009, 12:45 PM
Thanks for the continued advice.

The Basic Handgun Class with Greg Block sounds intriguing. I'll call to find out more.

tyrist
03-10-2009, 1:29 PM
In a defensive handgun glass your probably going to be shooting reactive steel. A .22lr is going to be a poor choice since it's unlikely to knock down the target...9mm has the problem as well.

7x57
03-10-2009, 2:00 PM
I'm getting my instructor certs with TJ Johnson at ( Allsafe Defense Systems (http://www.allsafedefense.com/)), and I'd recommend him highly for any sort of class.

7x57

groovielou
03-10-2009, 2:14 PM
+1 for All Safe! T.J. is an AWESOME instructor.

awl168
03-10-2009, 3:01 PM
In a defensive handgun glass your probably going to be shooting reactive steel. A .22lr is going to be a poor choice since it's unlikely to knock down the target...9mm has the problem as well.

You're right. In reading the class description, a 9mm was the minimum caliber.

DVSmith
03-10-2009, 3:12 PM
In a defensive handgun glass your probably going to be shooting reactive steel. A .22lr is going to be a poor choice since it's unlikely to knock down the target...9mm has the problem as well.

Basic Handgun with Greg Block uses paper targets, not reactive. Course emphasizes safety and fundamentals, no holster work at that level. A great beginner course. He also has more advanced courses, all geared toward self defense shooting.

NRA Courses are very specific with respect to content and are not intended to be "self defense" courses. Great courses for learning safety and the basics of accurate shooting. I would definitely recommend them.

TJ has a series of classes that are not NRA but his curriculum and that gives him a bit more flexibility in content. I have not taken any of them, but I enjoy TJ as an instructor. He also maintains a high emphasis on safety.

Disclaimer: TJ Johnson is my NRA training counselor and I assist Greg Block as an RSO with classes occasionally so if I come across as biased toward either one, you are right.

7x57
03-10-2009, 3:26 PM
TJ has a series of classes that are not NRA but his curriculum and that gives him a bit more flexibility in content. I have not taken any of them, but I enjoy TJ as an instructor.


I just took his Allsafe basic handgun course, as I wanted to see how he taught it before I did the NRA pistol instructor course and I've never had any formal defense-oriented training anyway.

The lecture portion of the course included a minimum of technical basics you really need to know to shoot safely, discussion of basic defensive considerations for the home (it was purely about home defense, not carry), and the really basic legal information you need to defend yourself with legal safety. Then there was 4-5 hours of range time on another day. First the students shot .22 LR, and when what the groups could reasonably be termed groups we moved on to shoot at least one pistol in about every reasonable self-defense cartridge from .380 auto (in PPKs) up to .44 mag (which was more for informational purposes, he didn't actually suggest it was an option for the final portion). Then each person chose the gun they preferred to shoot a short (four or five stages, I think) match at silhouettes and steel. The match was mostly scored to apply a little pressure for slightly more realism, he was not pushing people for score (though he wanted a fairly easy minimum score to move on to the intermediate class).

So I'd say it differs from an NRA class in cutting out a lot of technical information that a well-rounded shooter should know but isn't absolutely necessary, and the emphasis on self-defense. Basically, I'd say the NRA course is designed to make you a safe and well-rounded novice paper-puncher, while the Allsafe course is designed to make you a safe novice defensive pistol shooter.


He also maintains a high emphasis on safety.


I doubt anyone would ever have a safety worry with TJ.

7x57

Cnynrat
03-10-2009, 3:48 PM
I recommend you consider Firearms Training Associates (www.ftatv.com). The owner, Bill Murphy, has some great credentials. IIRC he's got about 30 years LEO experience, he's on the Huntington Beach SWAT team, I think he is their SWAT trainer, and he's a Rangemaster at Gunsite.

My wife & I have taken both the one day "Intro to Handgun" class and the 2 day "General Handgun" class. To give you some idea about the amount of shooting you will get, I think we shot about 250 rounds each in the one day class and 450 rounds each in the 2 day class. He can provide guns if you need them at no additional charge (typically Glocks or XDs in 9mm). Of course, if you have your own gun so much the better.

He brings in a number of other instructors to help out and keep the student/teacher ratio at a good number. Courses are taught out at Raahauges in Norco.

H2H
03-10-2009, 5:40 PM
You're right. In reading the class description, a 9mm was the minimum caliber.

as well as ITTS, 9mm minimum

cush
03-11-2009, 12:28 AM
I'll give another recommendatin for FTA if you are really just starting out their Basic course is good.
http://www.ftatv.com/basic-recreational-handgun
My DW and DDs have taken the Ladies course and recommend it.
If you keep with it they have the full range of courses: Pistol, revolver, carbine, shotgun, long range rifle, life entry, etc....
They are focused on Self Defense though, not bullseye target shooting.
-cush

HCz
03-11-2009, 12:48 AM
For her situation, I think she should go with TJ (All Safe Defence). NRA basic pistol classes should build her basic skills.

Once she is confident(after several months of practice) she can get a pistol of at list 9mm in caliber, and should go for defense oriented classes. My suggestion for economic choice is (again) TJ's skill builder class or intermediate Handgun course. If she is comfortable with either class, I'd recommend either FTA or ITTS.

I don't have experience with Greg Block so can't comment much, but he has good reputation.

Tyrist
In a defensive handgun glass your probably going to be shooting reactive steel. A .22lr is going to be a poor choice since it's unlikely to knock down the target...9mm has the problem as well.

Depends on the class. However I did have that moment when I was taking an ITTS class. The darn thing would not budge and after shooting about 16 rounds, I was ready to charge that popper. Luckily the last round did the job, as the slide locked and I was out of magazines.:p

Sobriquet
03-11-2009, 1:46 AM
Word of warning about ADE-- I took the course and the firearm safety was not at an acceptable level.

New students were pushed past their limits of safe shooting-- lots of muzzle sweeping etc, the head instructor Bill had other instructors enter shoot rooms and engage in live fire drills with students still in the room just to prove how good his instructors were -- it was hokey, dangerous William Tell type stuff. Just an FYI from my one trip through the school.

Has anyone had a satisfactory experience with ADE? I was planning on taking one of their courses in the near future with a friend of mine.

echang86
03-11-2009, 2:18 AM
I took the basic handgun 1 and 2 class at Burro Canyon with Greg Block. Well worth the money. I will definitely go back. Looks like he has classes on 3-21-09 and 3-22-09.
http://www.firearmstraining.com/

Wow the prices look great, and I'm only 15-20 miles from Burro. For the classes do they rent out the private bays? What about targets? I know Burro is either bring your own, or rent theirs. For those that took the Basic Handgun 1 course, do I need a holster?

Skunkwrks
03-11-2009, 2:30 AM
Has anyone had a satisfactory experience with ADE? I was planning on taking one of their courses in the near future with a friend of mine.

I doubt it. Trust me...don't waste your money.

lehn20
03-11-2009, 2:58 AM
Go with
WWW.TFTT.com Max Joseph is probably in the top 10 tactical instructor group in the US

or ITTS

eccvets
03-11-2009, 3:54 AM
its a point and click interface. Seriously, just point it at what you wanna shoot and pull the trigger!

Greg-Dawg
03-11-2009, 6:17 AM
Wow the prices look great, and I'm only 15-20 miles from Burro. For the classes do they rent out the private bays? What about targets? I know Burro is either bring your own, or rent theirs. For those that took the Basic Handgun 1 course, do I need a holster?

Great price and QUALITY instruction from a highly experienced shooter. I can vouch for Mr. Block. Greg has reserved a whole firing line for the class, it's an open range. He'll provide the targets and if you don't have a holster, go buy one specifically without a retention band.

I've taken his Basic 1, Basic 2, Intermediate and Advanced courses.

Iknownot
03-11-2009, 9:13 AM
I don't have experience with Greg Block so can't comment much, but he has good reputation.



Greg Block's basic I & II are really great classes to take for basic fundamentals, with regards to safety and technique.

He really has a good balance of class instruction time and actual shooting time. His instruction also very simple and easy to follow and by the end of the class, you will be doing exactly what he is trying to teach you. I know 3 people who have gone through his classes, and by the end, they were all greatly improved over their abilities at the start of the class.

I highly recommend his classes, if you are interested in the basics. They are very well run and considering the prices, I would venture to say they are the best deal locally on top of it.

cal3gunner
03-11-2009, 11:45 AM
If you want high quality training give Taran Butler a call. He is a professional competition shooter and is one of the best shooters in the world when it comes to rifle shotgun and pistol in the practical shooting competiton style. He has a private shooting range where you can take one on one classes or small group lessons. Here is his website http://www.taranbutler.com/

He's only about half an hour away from LA and has one of the best ranges around. You can do steel or paper targets from 1 to 400 yards and there are a couple of different bays set up with "kill houses" and a small town where you can move from building to building.

If you have any questions PM me and I can help you set it up.

2new
03-11-2009, 12:49 PM
Wow the prices look great, and I'm only 15-20 miles from Burro. For the classes do they rent out the private bays? What about targets? I know Burro is either bring your own, or rent theirs. For those that took the Basic Handgun 1 course, do I need a holster?

Greg takes care of everything, including a gun if required, the only added cost is ammo if needed. Even his price on ammo is good. No holster is allowed for Basic Handgun 1 or 2. If you have the time I would recommend taking both on the same day. As much fun as double and triple taps drills are, his background gives a great perspective on how to stay out of trouble if you need to use your weapon for self defense, and general safety. I believe the time in the classroom was worth more than the price of the class. Add in the work I believe he does for California gun rights(specifically CCW), you can't go wrong.

awl168
03-11-2009, 2:19 PM
My continued thanks for everyone's suggestions and input.

I'm probably going to take Greg Block's class. The cost is reasonable (i.e., the wife won't balk at it) and the timing works. Probably won't be able to take both Basic Handgun 1 and 2 on the same day; however, that will just give me something to look forward to taking in the near future.

shoupdawg
03-11-2009, 9:21 PM
I took the basic handgun 1 and 2 class at Burro Canyon with Greg Block. Well worth the money. I will definitely go back. Looks like he has classes on 3-21-09 and 3-22-09.
http://www.firearmstraining.com/

+1. My gf and I took his beginner's pistol course and I took his beginner's shotgun course.

shoupdawg
03-11-2009, 9:26 PM
My continued thanks for everyone's suggestions and input.

I'm probably going to take Greg Block's class. The cost is reasonable (i.e., the wife won't balk at it) and the timing works. Probably won't be able to take both Basic Handgun 1 and 2 on the same day; however, that will just give me something to look forward to taking in the near future.

Take your wife. My gf was an anti and Greg Block and one of his female instructors changed all that.

awl168
04-05-2009, 7:25 AM
I finally took Greg Block's Basic Handgun Class yesterday morning. The class was roughly 6 hours in length:


2 hours of lecture - Fundamentals of Firearms Safety, along with the skills necessary to properly handle a revolver and semi-automatic pistol; understanding of what a handgun will do, what it won't do, and why it works the way it works.


4 hours of shooting - Proper Stance and Grip, Sight Alignment, Sight Picture and Trigger Control; rapid fire/combat shooting with multi-target drills on life-size paper silhouette targets. Every student shot 250 rounds with their handgun.

I had the smallest caliber handgun in the class with my Walther P22 shooting .22lr. Everyone else either had a 38 revolver (as provided by Greg) or brought their own semi-automatics which were either .45's or .40's. In fact, when one of the instructors (there were 4 instructors for 9 students) pulled out my P22 to inspect it, his exact comment to me was, "Oh, how cute!" :eek:

Anyways, my Walther P22 was a champ. It ate up all 250 rounds (200 rounds of CCI Mini Mags and 50 rounds of CCI Stingers). All rounds fired flawlessly - no jams, no FTF, no FTE, etc. I couldn't say the same about the other students' semi-auto handguns: a few jammed, some needed lube half way through, one even got a squib. The cute Walther P22 was just fine....thank you very much! :thumbsup:

All in all, it was a very good class. I learned a lot and corrected a lot of things that will help my shooting. The biggest thing for me was my sight alignment (I had a tendency to focus on the target immediately after having acquired the target via the sights) and trigger pull (where I tended to pull the gun slightly to the left when pulling the trigger). As the class progressed, I was able to slowly correct these issues and my shot placement improved dramatically. At the start of the shooting portion of the class, I was spraying my shots to the upper left of the target. By the end of class, my shot placement was consistently within an 1.5" of the target. Heck, I even shot a few right through the center of the target. :D

If you're in Los Angeles and looking for a basic handgun class, I would highly recommend this class. It's well worth the money to pickup these fundamentals and I'm looking forward to my next range session to further hone what I learned from Greg.

http://www.firearmstraining.com/