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View Full Version : Looking for a handgun instructor/coach in Socal


deviljon
09-19-2011, 11:05 PM
Hi everyone!

I'm fairly new to the shooting scene and recently bought an xd9. I've spent some time at the indoor range for the last few weeks and realize that it's really just been a waste of ammo :facepalm:. So now I figure is the best time to find a coach or instructor before any bad habits are developed.

My local range has a certified pistol instructor but it's always best to shop around and get feedback from others who personally have experience with this. I can watch how-to videos all day but that can only help so much.

Can anyone recommend a good coach or instructor? I'm all over the place so anywhere from the Irvine area to Rowland Heights or even more west towards San Gabriel would be fine. Thanks!

bsg
09-19-2011, 11:27 PM
i don't believe he's in our area... but check with 9mmepiphany; a member here on the forum, i believe he's up north somewhere. he may or may not come down this way periodically for teaching. i'd guess he could give you some referrals if he can't help you directly.

HCz
09-19-2011, 11:39 PM
I'm guessing you are looking for basic pistol marksmanship instructor? There should be a few in OC area. One person I can recommend is TJ Johnston. He runs All safe defense(allsafedefense.com).

deviljon
09-19-2011, 11:46 PM
Yes, I know how to safely operate a handgun but will most likely take this course with my girlfriend (trying to get her to like guns) so basics + the techniques, control, breathing, etc. to be consistent and accurate. It will definitely take practice but to be guided in the right direction is what I am really looking for. Thanks for that link, I will look into it. Do you have personal experience with TJ Johnston?

HCz
09-19-2011, 11:59 PM
Yes. I took a few of his class earlier when I got in to guns, and he is also the NRA counselor(instructor's instructor). He is a great person too.

bsg
09-20-2011, 12:20 AM
also... check out the "Competition, Action Shooting And Training" section here on the forum.

BigFatGuy
09-20-2011, 12:32 AM
for a very basic "how to shoot at the range" type class, I cannot recommend Mike at OC Indoor in Brea highly enough.

$99 for a private intro-to-shooting class. Taking this first will help get the real basics out of the way for when you move up to something more... tactical.

Anchors
09-20-2011, 2:03 AM
Yes, I know how to safely operate a handgun but will most likely take this course with my girlfriend (trying to get her to like guns) so basics + the techniques, control, breathing, etc. to be consistent and accurate.

That describes perfectly the NRA Basic Pistol course that I have previously taken.
A little heavy on the basics (as it is intended for people who know NOTHING about firearms), but also covered some technique and individual live fire feedback. It actually improved my shot quite a bit (still nothing to write home about, need more money for ammo!).

deviljon
09-20-2011, 6:19 AM
for a very basic "how to shoot at the range" type class, I cannot recommend Mike at OC Indoor in Brea highly enough.

$99 for a private intro-to-shooting class. Taking this first will help get the real basics out of the way for when you move up to something more... tactical.

This is the range near me and originally who I wanted to take lessons from.

mixicus
09-20-2011, 8:07 AM
Sounds like yo are looking for what is covered in the NRA Basic Handgun program. First choice is TJ Johnson at All Safe Defense in Orange. Great instructor for those starting out. He's an NRA train-the-trainer, definitely knows his stuff and how to teach it.

The instruction at OC Indoor will also get you going in the right direction. The instruction is basic and sound. I think TJ taught the staff their Range Safety Officer course and maybe the NRA Basic Handgun Instructor course.

The Virus
09-20-2011, 8:20 AM
falconops.net

jchen76@gmail.com
09-20-2011, 9:20 AM
Tj's great. He was first handgun instructor when I first started to shoot in 2002. His 1 day beginner class I took was at a burro canyon private range back in 2002. Great intro. Double taps and got shoot steel for simulated competition at end of the day. Good bonus is he brings out various pistols/calibers to let you try for small fee since you shoot his reloads.

GM_77
09-20-2011, 9:28 AM
ITTS (http://www.internationaltactical.com/index.html)
Located at Angeles Shooting Range

They have Handgun I classes that are really super beginner oriented. The handgun I course is two days, the first day is all classroom. They go through California laws and also the use of deadly force. Second day is gun handeling and shooting. You can read a full review on this course here (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=314523).

Mrbroom
09-20-2011, 10:01 AM
I am considering American Defense classes since they are local to me at LAX Range... Cool video they have on the main page too..

http://www.americandefenseenterprises.com/

HK35
09-20-2011, 10:07 AM
falconops.net

I second Falcon Operations but only after the OP has taken the basic handgun safety course suggested by others above. That way the OP can get the most out of the Falcon Class/es.

@the OP, Falcon classes are held at Rahaauges Range in Corona.

deviljon
09-20-2011, 10:33 AM
You have all been extremely helpful with the suggestions and links. Definitely will be taking a beginner class first and then a more advanced course later on.

AeroEngi
09-20-2011, 10:36 AM
I was thinking about going by these guys:

http://dynamictactical.org/

They have a beginner's handgun course in December.

9mmepiphany
09-20-2011, 6:38 PM
i don't believe he's in our area... but check with 9mmepiphany; a member here on the forum, i believe he's up north somewhere. he may or may not come down this way periodically for teaching. i'd guess he could give you some referrals if he can't help you directly.

Thanks for the mention :p

As a matter of fact, I'm going to be down south, in the Santa Clarita area at the end of the month (Oct 1&2)...coming back from the Gunsite 1911 Centennial Class and stopping to check on the college kid.

OP - If you are interested, I do 1:1 instruction or small groups and can make some time for some pointers to get you on the right path...drop me a PM

bsg - If you're free, I'd be interested in meeting you while I'm in the area

deviljon
09-21-2011, 7:49 AM
Thanks for the offer 9mm! Might actually be out of town that particular weekend though :(


Came in contact with an NRA pistol instructor that's local so we'll see how that goes first!

The Virus
09-21-2011, 7:54 AM
I am considering American Defense classes since they are local to me at LAX Range... Cool video they have on the main page too..

http://www.americandefenseenterprises.com/

I would RE-consider this.

kanikas
09-21-2011, 8:08 AM
ITTS (http://www.internationaltactical.com/index.html)
Located at Angeles Shooting Range

They have Handgun I classes that are really super beginner oriented. The handgun I course is two days, the first day is all classroom. They go through California laws and also the use of deadly force. Second day is gun handeling and shooting. You can read a full review on this course here (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=314523).

+1

Top notch instruction from experienced instructors, with a strong emphasis on saftety.

Kanoodler
09-21-2011, 8:49 AM
1+ Uncle Scotty at ITTS! Hard to beat "it worked for me" and those I have trained, real deal instructors like this!

Bring ammo....lots of ammo....

scarville
09-21-2011, 10:56 AM
I am considering American Defense classes since they are local to me at LAX Range... Cool video they have on the main page too..

http://www.americandefenseenterprises.com/
The gunfight ballet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omkfit4NK_A

Bryansix
09-21-2011, 11:24 AM
The FalconOps courses looks good to me. The only thing I want to know... will they let me use my preferred thumb over grip or make me change up my grip?

The Virus
09-21-2011, 11:27 AM
I am considering American Defense classes since they are local to me at LAX Range... Cool video they have on the main page too..

http://www.americandefenseenterprises.com/

The head instructor says "We do dangerous things"
From watching those videos he is correct. It is dangerous for you and all those around you. Avoid

The Virus
09-21-2011, 11:29 AM
The FalconOps courses looks good to me. The only thing I want to know... will they let me use my preferred thumb over grip or make me change up my grip?

You shoot how you want, they may offer another option, but you are the one who is shooting.

9mmepiphany
09-21-2011, 12:27 PM
You shoot how you want, they may offer another option, but you are the one who is shooting.
However you are doing your self a disservice if you don't try it their way...after all, you are paying them to teach you a method that they think works best.

I'm a firm believer that shooting Isosceles with thumbs forward is a superior stance/grip, but I'm going to Gunsite for a week and giving Weaver and thumbs up a serious second chance (I shot Weaver for ages before converting)...you should always be open minded and challenge your perceptions

RedFord150
09-21-2011, 1:59 PM
for a very basic "how to shoot at the range" type class, I cannot recommend Mike at OC Indoor in Brea highly enough.

$99 for a private intro-to-shooting class. Taking this first will help get the real basics out of the way for when you move up to something more... tactical.

I like OC Indoor as well. I have been shooting there for years, but never taken a lesson from them. I have watched a few instructors working with students and was convinced they were pretty good. Also, I was speaking to Mrs. Owner this past weekend about her giving one on one lessons to my teenage daughter. I was very impressed.

The Virus
09-21-2011, 2:07 PM
However you are doing your self a disservice if you don't try it their way...after all, you are paying them to teach you a method that they think works best.

I'm a firm believer that shooting Isosceles with thumbs forward is a superior stance/grip.

^^This^^

BigFatGuy
09-21-2011, 2:16 PM
I like OC Indoor as well. I have been shooting there for years, but never taken a lesson from them. I have watched a few instructors working with students and was convinced they were pretty good. Also, I was speaking to Mrs. Owner this past weekend about her giving one on one lessons to my teenage daughter. I was very impressed.


My wife gets very jumpy in gun lesson situations, and has very little tolerance for the pseudo-military attitude some instructors have. Mike put her right at ease, and she enjoyed the class completely.

I don't think I'd suggest him as an instructor beyond the basics (I once heard the asian golf instructor guy from Top Shot say that it was one of the staff at OC Indoor that told him to keep using the teacup style since he was shooting so well with it), but for those first few steps into shooting he's excellent.

Bryansix
09-21-2011, 2:24 PM
Stances change. For what its worth I shoot isosceles when standing at the range. However in real life you may find yourself behind cover in which case your grip has to follow you. Best to choose a versatile grip instead of one born from competition shooting.

orangeusa
09-21-2011, 2:34 PM
However you are doing your self a disservice if you don't try it their way...after all, you are paying them to teach you a method that they think works best.



Agreed - and Falcon does suggest you try their way first time, and if you are not comfortable, go back to your way... And they are usually RIGHT.

OP - I would suggest to take the basic NRA course first, which is available from some ranges (should be available at ALL, but some don't).

You'll have a lot more fun if you shoot decently and are completely comfortable before taking a tactical course. At least that's what I did. I took two courses with Falcon and enjoyed them both immensely.

.

9mmepiphany
09-21-2011, 5:07 PM
However in real life you may find yourself behind cover in which case your grip has to follow you. Best to choose a versatile grip instead of one born from competition shooting.
I'm a bit confused.

Are you saying that:
1. grips born from competition aren't versatile?

or

2. the the Isosceles isn't usable from behind cover?

Bob Hostetter
09-21-2011, 5:26 PM
Grips and stances born from competition are by definition more versatile.

BamBam-31
09-21-2011, 6:58 PM
I'm a bit confused.

Are you saying that:
1. grips born from competition aren't versatile?

or

2. the the Isosceles isn't usable from behind cover?

He thinks using a revolver grip on ALL pistols is clever because he doesn't have to switch back and forth between revos and semi-autos, just in case he has to reach for one or the other in an emergency.

Mute
09-21-2011, 7:17 PM
OP, most of the guys above can do you well. If you haven't settled on a choice, I can also tailor a 1 on 1 class for you to meet your specific needs. Regardless of your decision, keep an open mind during your training. I'm always learning something new and I've been shooting for more than 30 years.

jermzzzzzzz
09-21-2011, 8:35 PM
www.5arrowstactical.com awesome instructor, educational and fun courses.

Bryansix
09-23-2011, 7:28 PM
He thinks using a revolver grip on ALL pistols is clever because he doesn't have to switch back and forth between revos and semi-autos, just in case he has to reach for one or the other in an emergency.

Actually no. Thumb over doesn't require a change when going from single handed to two handed. It also allows better retention on the weapon when running, sliding, diving to the ground etc.

9mmepiphany
09-23-2011, 10:11 PM
Actually no. Thumb over doesn't require a change when going from single handed to two handed. It also allows better retention on the weapon when running, sliding, diving to the ground etc.
Why would you need to change a thumb forwards grip when shooting thumbs forward? I certainly don't.

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/9mmepiphany/DSC_2060.jpg

If your thumb over (locked down) grip allows better retention while moving, I'd be very surprised. The thumb forward grip utilizes the fingers of the strong hand to pull the gun into the pocket of the palm of your strong created by the high thumb. Unless you are able to wrap your thumb around the grip, you don't have a more secure grip...you may feel that you do, but you'd be deceiving yourself

Bryansix
09-25-2011, 10:49 AM
I'm talking about Thumbs forward the way Brian Enos uses it which is to keep the primary hands thumb up and away from the frame and to use the support hand closer to the frame but still up and away. Since this is by definition the grip from the man who created it, this is the grip I argue is less retentive when on the move in a one hand grip.

9mmepiphany
09-25-2011, 11:36 PM
I'm talking about Thumbs forward the way Brian Enos uses it which is to keep the primary hands thumb up and away from the frame...this is the grip I argue is less retentive when on the move in a one hand grip.
I could straighten out my thumb if you'd like, but it would still be the same grip, my thumb is well away from the frame as it is the same grip I use on my Sig 220 that completely clears the slide stop

bsg
10-01-2011, 2:09 AM
Thanks for the mention :p

As a matter of fact, I'm going to be down south, in the Santa Clarita area at the end of the month (Oct 1&2)...coming back from the Gunsite 1911 Centennial Class and stopping to check on the college kid.

OP - If you are interested, I do 1:1 instruction or small groups and can make some time for some pointers to get you on the right path...drop me a PM

bsg - If you're free, I'd be interested in meeting you while I'm in the area


PM sent.