Cunningham/Givens

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    Otis2
    .32 S&W
    .32 S&W

    Posts : 67
    Join date : 2014-09-18

    Cunningham/Givens

    Post by Otis2 on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:00 am

    Over the past month, I have had the good fortune to spend a couple of weekends with some quality firearms instructors.  Grant Cunningham with Threat Focused Revolver and Tom Givens with Combative Pistol and Defensive Shotgun.  I'll just say, all three classes and both instructors far exceeded my expectations.

    The Threat Focused Revolver class is essentially the study of revolver wrapped in Combat Focused Shooting.  Paul Carlson hosted the class (he also helped some in the instruction portion while also participating in the class) at a range local to him and I must say, it was an impressive facility.  Several ranges on site along with plenty of off road vehicle opportunities (we didn't have time to take part in these, however).  The class started with a classroom meeting, discussing some history and laying out the plan for the weekend.  When we went to the range, a very thorough safety/emergency response plan was laid out.  Grant's instruction was very thoughtful and thorough, he started at a pretty basic level and worked us all up to shooting quite accurately with the revolvers we had brought.  Proper manipulation skills, pistol grip, draw, reloading and reholstering, were presented to the students and repeated through out the class to help drive them into habit state.  A bit of time was devoted to one handed reloading, both dominant and non-dominant hand, but context was always kept front and center with all the teaching.  That is one aspect of Grant's style I really appreciate, he keeps everything within the realm of real world scenarios and doesn't go off into some extraneous methods that really won't work for an armed civilian.  After taking this class, I am much more comfortable carrying a revolver and knowing how to work it properly.

    The Givens classes were held over three days, Pistol on Saturday and Sunday, Shotgun on Monday.  Tom's teaching style is about 180 degrees opposite Grant's, but equally effective.  If you are offended by f-bombs flying, a Givens class may not be appropriate compared to Cunningham's tactical swearing.  Tom comes from a LEO background and has a lot of hard learned knowledge he shares.  Considerable time was spent in the classroom, I'm not sure if this is normal or due to the heavy rain we were being threatened with over the three days.  But regardless, the amount of classroom time paid great dividends.  Tom really distilled the techniques of Combat Pistol and Defensive Shotgun down into two fundamental skills - Sight Picture and Trigger Press.  These two skills were worked extensively in the classroom with both pistol and shotgun prior to stepping foot on the range and expending live rounds.   Tom pushes the class hard, keeping stress levels elevated during live fire, which really better prepares one for a possible armed defensive encounter, IMHO.  The pauses between strings of fire are not terribly long, creating the need for larger capacity magazines or lots of lower capacity magazines on handguns and extra rounds mounted on the shotgun.  These reloading manipulations were heavily worked while shooting live fire on the range.  As a side note, Tom has 65 students that have been in gunfights since taking his class.  62 ended in wins for the Givens' student, zero losses and 3 defaults as the student didn't have their gun.  

    I can heartily recommend both instructors, they both represent a great value in the firearms training world today.  Grant has several books on the market, some of them cover the materials covered in his class, especially Defensive Revolver Fundamentals.  But spending time face to face with the Greatest Living Revolversmith (per Rob Pincus!), you not only get the benefit of his knowledge and experience, but the live feedback from Grant only available in a setting like this.  He will help you shoot your revolver as it is meant to be shot.  Givens works on three basic tenets - Front Sight Picture, Trigger Press and Mindset.  He drives these three facets in in ways I have never before experienced.  I have taken several firearms training classes in the past, these two classes rate up in the very top of those I have attended, along with Point Shooting Progressions with Roger Phillips and Force on Force with Rick Klopp.  

    As an aside, most of the revolver class, along with both Grant and Paul, met for dinner with a surprise guest - David Codrea.  Very interesting listening to his discussions, that man works on a level about 27 floors above my level of operation.  Wow, a great man and true patriot!

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