Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Basic Handgun with Civilian Defense Group

I recently was going through my contacts and called up my buddy Dane Hanson which I haven't talked to in a while.  Turns out he converted a piece of property he has into a private range where he and his partner Jimmy Ricci, who I also have known for a while, hold various firearm classes and let other instructors use the range to teach. Their training company is Civilian Defense Group.

Jimmy is also CCW vendor for Monterey County.  So if I want to pursue my CCW I've got the training covered.

Dane said I could drop by Saturday he would meet me. So, I had some time on my hands and got permission from the Boss, so I drove out to the range to check it out. Turns out Dane and Jimmy switched up their schedule and I met Jimmy who was teaching a class, Mastery of Fundamentals Handgun, that day too and allowed me to join in. 

I met Jimmy at the designated rally point which is in a parking lot at a local Church on the corner of Airline Hwy and Quien Sabe Rd in Tres Pinos.

We waited for the rest of the class. Everyone showed up early except one hold up.

From there we caravanned out to the range. A nice 25 mile drive along Panoche Rd where I saw a multitude of MAGA and Trump signs.

The drive takes you past Song of the Ancients campground,  and another four miles farther is the turn off to the range. The turn off is just before the CAL FIRE San Benito Monterey Unit - Antelope located at 20400 Panoche Rd. Paicines, CA. If you pass that then you have gone too far.

The left turn onto a gravel/dirt road marked by a large gate with a large gravel turn out. The turn off is also the same one for  The Country Life Kennels. We followed the road for another 3 miles. I was in my sedan and it made it ok. Only hit the bottom with a giant rock I couldn't avoid twice. Once there and once back. Luckily the road seems to be taken care of pretty well as it looked like fresh gravel was put down on several places.

We all arrived at the gate where there was a slight hill to drive down to the range.


 Arriving at the range is my first impression was it is nicely appointed. Lots of steel targets, washrooms, two large storage areas with lots of stuff for shooters in it. Joining the large storage area is a roof for the classroom area.


A large selection of targets.


Jimmy started with a safety briefing like what to do in case of an emergency, the four firearms safety rules plus one more which was "If you drop something let it fall".


He then went into an unique philosophy of firearms that he developed over the years from his various interactions from top level firearms instructors. 


The mechanics of the course included learning the draw, shooting and diagnosing your shots. shooting on the move, recoil management, getting your firearm back on target, fundamentals of the grip, sight alignment, target picture and how to acquire a target picture quickly.

Jimmy doesn't like to use the term "fast" as it implies hasty carelessness when shooting. He emphasized conservation of motion to reduce time. By removing particular unnecessary motions that do not contribute to the overall goal of the totality of the desired outcome the activity becomes more efficient and is reflected in total time. Also, he noted, that you need to shoot as fast as you can "see". By this he means as soon as you can see the target sight picture you can press the trigger. A lot of shooters dwell on the target and add a prolonged thinking stage. Of course this implies a great trigger control and grip.

The class was very well taught and since I haven't been able to train as much as I would like due to having a couple of kids this was a great refresher course in a very relaxed open atmosphere.

I think I used between 300 and 400 rounds for the whole day course and came out meeting some great new people and some great new knowledge.

Thanks Jimmy!

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