Over the last year, we have seen a bit of a hard road for gun owners in the United States. Ammo prices have soared from what they were even 18 months ago and ranges aren’t near as full anymore. It’s been a real struggle for people to get out and shoot on a regular basis, which is exactly why I decided to hop in my truck and head to Cleveland to take the Fieldcraft Survivals Carbine course a couple of weekends ago. This was the first carbine course I have taken from them and they have a deeper approach to training than other companies. Let’s dive into my experience at Fieldcraft Survival’s GunFighter Carbine 1 Course.
What The Class Teaches
The GunFighter Carbine 1 course is a fundamentals class that is for any skill set. I went with a group of friends and we were all fairly experienced with a carbine. Some of the other students were brand new to shooting a carbine and needed a little more help but overall, it was a really comfortable setting where everyone could learn at their own pace. Even if you’re an experienced shooter, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on the fundamentals and work on your basic skills.
The GunFighter course taught on a number of subjects from sling and safety manipulations to recoil management and throttle control. There was a wide variety of tips and tricks I haven’t thought of in the past when it comes to different ways of drawing a magazine from a magazine carrier and prepping the sling before you start shooting. The class ran from 9am until 3pm without a lunch break to maximize the amount of time we were on the range.
For the first part of the course, we worked on a number of drills that worked on specific moments you need to learn when it comes to shooting a carbine. Everything from safety manipulation to reloads and sling movement was covered where anyone from new shooters to experienced guys can learn from a different perspective. Some of the newer shooters in the class slowed down and worked on their shooting without being rushed by the more experienced shooters. This section of the course lasted a couple hours and seemed to build in more confidence in the newer shooters as well as helped the class get to know each other and our shooting abilities.
In the afternoon, we started to incorporate movement into our drills both forward and backwards along with horizontally. The vast majority of people who shoot at the range will do static shooting with building into movement. The course really started to become dynamic once we started firing on the move. In the beginning, the head trainer Raul talked about how pulling the trigger is the easiest part but having the ability to problem solve and work through problems is the real challenge.
A ton of other training courses I have taken focus on skills when it comes to your rifle, but this class makes sure you are good fundamentally and then starts working on problem solving. I think this is probably the biggest factor that sets Fieldcraft apart from other training companies. They cover the HOW of rifle training but also cover the WHY as well. They do a great job addressing why certain drills are important for real-life use whether you’re in a self-defense situation or a police officer. By the end of the course, the new shooters in the group were able to do quick target transitioning drills while moving without being overwhelmed.
The head instructor of my Carbine class was Raul Martinez. Raul has been training since 2009 and took over Fieldcraft’s training program in December of 2018. He proved to have a ton of knowledge about looking at situations and what the best course of action is for that situation. The secondary trainers were Dan Richardson who is a PRS shooter and David Acosta who was a Swat team leader for the last 11 years and started training officers and shooters in 2015.
One aspect of the training that impressed me was how the instructors were supportive and helpful to the people who needed help but playful and cracked jokes when it was appropriate. One of my least favorite things is trainers constantly yelling at shooters and building tension in their classes to put shooters under stress. That makes sense in higher-level courses but it was a great change to slow down and break down small movements in this fundamental class.
So in the end was it worth it to me despite the travel costs along with the $375 course fee and ammo? My short answer is a definite yes, just because they managed to keep new and experienced shooters on an even playing field. The instructors were some of the best I have encountered and the overall attitude of the class was extremely fun and supportive.
Advanced courses can be a great way to push your skills but I am always a fan of going back to basics and taking a fundamentals course. It’s always a great way to make new friends who are like minded and it’s just a great way to get out and shake some of the rust off especially after a year of COVID restrictions. I encourage you guys to take a look at their courses and try one out because they definitely take a deeper look at how you can use your training in the real world and help you go from there.
Let me know what training courses you guys have taken in the past in the comments below. Did you have a favorite class or style? I’d love to hear about it down below. If you have questions about training or anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.