Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Going to Gun School....

Heading to the Tactical Defense Institute in Ohio for level II and III Handgun this weekend. I'll be taking the HK45 along for this class to increase my familiarity with it even more.

The weather forecast for West Union Ohio is not fare and sunny, but calls for thunder storms and showers on both Saturday and Sunday. Most top end classes don't have rain outs so having proper rain gear is a must. I still have some left over Gortex wear from my time in the service as well as some Sealskinz waterproof socks, I'm out of luck in the footwear department but that will be taken care of tomorrow evening, but this will be a good time to talk about other gear that probably needs to be taken to classes.

  • Sunscreen: Even if the weather calls for clouds and rain, we all know that the weather can change quickly.
  • "Chapstick": While I'm not chapstick junky, I'm not a fan of cracked, burning, burnt mummy looking lips either, while it pains me to do so I do use chapstick on the range....and no, it's not cherry flavored.
  • Bug spray: There I said bug spray and not "bug juice" thank you Marine Corps for damaging my vocabulary to the point where I say stupid things like "bug juice" and "bulkhead"... I think this one is self explanatory.
  • Water, start drinking lots of water starting at least one or two days before hand, your body will thank you. I neglected hydration prior to last falls Langdon class and paid for it that night after dinner. 
  • Note taking materials: Even your hard-corps shooting classes will contain little tid-bits of knowledge that you will forget if you don't jot it down. I saw one fellow student with two not taking books, a larger one for actual lecture, and a small pocket sized book for taking quick notes on during reloading breaks. Want to jot down some notes on that cool drill you just did? Good luck remembering it later. Have a pocket book for notes.
  • Eye and ear protection: This is standard, but I will also advise to bring spare eyes and ears, especially if this is a multi-day class. 
  • Range friendly snacks: Beef jerky, pretzels etc. Nothing with too many crumbs or that will leave hands sticky. If you are a candy bar guy I like Paydays as there's no chocolate to melt, if your into the power/energy bar thing, those are good too.
  • Water: Yes, this is getting listed again, as Camelbak says, "Hydrate or die" 
  • Hat: I generally bring a ball cap and "boonie" hat, have I ever used the boonie? I don't think so but it's there if I need it.
  • Rain gear: Be ready to shoot rain or shine, if you've never thought about how your gear will work under rain gear, you might want to take the time to think about it.
  • Cleaning gear: You'll want at minimum your basic cleaning kit and tools/parts pending on your make/model of gun
  • Spare gun: If you don't want to mess with fixing a downed gun, bring a backup.
  • Holsters & magazine carriers: Bring your holsters and mag carriers for you main and backup gun, make sure you are certain that your holster is allowed to be used at the class, most places have a holster policy stating a strong-side, rigid holster. If you only have cross-draw and shoulder holsters you may be out of luck if that's what you show up with.
  • Extra magazines: Magazines are probably the number one cause of failures in pistols and even if your mags are good now, they may not be half way into the class. Where there's multiple students doing mag changes and movement, there are mags getting stepped on. If your back up gun takes different mags, make sure you have both sets.
  • Ammunition: I know, you'd think this is a no-brainer but I've almost left the house to go shoot without my ammunition.
  • Any keys etc. If you are using a locked case make sure you bring your keys, I was lucky in that I was able to get a gun case open as I had two different locks and forgot one of the keys. 
  • Method of payment: Did you remember your checkbook, card etc?
  • Photo ID and Carry Permit etc.: Some schools require a photo ID AND carry permit or letter of good standing from a law enforcement entity.
  • Any prescription medications: If you need your pills, take them with you.

 If you want to be over organized, make up a check list and have it laminated and attach it to your range bag etc. My range bag is labeled for items but not for all the stuff I have listed.

Will post class update(s) later next week.


  1. That looks suspiciously like a Marine Corps Range gear list. Especially the "I take a hat and a boonie, but never wear the boonie" part.

  2. True, but I actually use the other stuff. I'm sure one of these days I'll wear the boonie...

  3. don't forget a mini first aid kit for such things as blisters or cuts. I got a thumb blister from my safety one class. Ouch- luckily I had bandaids and coban to wrap it.