January ended with more paperwork completed for my Texas CHL (Concealed Handgun License). But, truth be told, I’ve taken few practical steps towards my goal of armed self-defense. The longest journey starts with a single bullet; I’ve fired my fair share in the run-up to the mandatory instruction needed to perform my obligatory Wally walk (walking through Wal-Mart whilst carrying concealed). I’ve discovered that I don’t know what I don’t know, but I know that I don’t know a lot. You know? Well you probably do. As for me . . .
State Required CHL Class
First, I rescheduled for a family event. Then the instructor rescheduled for a family event. And then we rescheduled one more time for an unspecified reason. Nothing new to report other than the people at Amerishield are really easy to work with. I have no idea what their class is like, but the customer service has been amazing up to this point: patient and understanding with just the right amount of kick-ass underneath.
Karl Rehn from KR Training has been unbelievably generous sharing his expertise via email during the evenings. Between Karl and RF, I’m reminded almost daily that this will be a never-ending quest for perfection. Just about the time that I think I understand something, I get a harsh dose of reality. And because I’m a glutton for punishment, here is some video from my last trip to the range. Feel free to pick apart form and technique. RF has already busted me on standing and shooting instead of moving and shooting. Please pardon the vertical iPhone footage. My GoPro battery had already given up for the day.
I’ll be attending Karl’s Defensive Pistol class on February 18th. To say I’m stoked would be like saying Miranda Kerr is a MILF. I’ll be running a M&P 9mm from Smith & Wesson’s T&A—I mean T&E department. Karl is spotting me a holster. We’re meeting up afterwards to cover some basics about gun selection, holster selection, strategy, techniques, etc. I’ll blog the KR training classes in my next update.
Places to train
Austin has this really nice set of indoor ranges that are open until 9:00pm. In an ideal world, I get practice there once a week. In the real world, it’ll be every other week, and sometimes every three weeks. Last weekend, I made the LONG trip up to Best of the West. For $16, I got my own private bay for a few hours to do whatever I wanted. Full mag dumps? Sure! Holster draws? You bet. Rapid fire? All day long! Want to practice shooting out of your vehicle? Go nuts!
Liberation! The first to say that the 100 or so rounds of .45 ACP that I sent down range were the most productive I’ve shot in the last year. There is simply no replacement for being able to get creative at the range (safely). With and without sunglasses, one-hand, off-hand, it’s all good. I’m lucky enough to live within a reasonable distance of some really stellar ranges. I wish the same for you.
I’m in a bit of a quagmire when it comes to gun selection. This may cause some debate, but the 1911 is out. During the holster draw exercises, I inadvertently clicked the safety on twice. I am completely positive that I could work out the kinks with enough practice. I could feel confident carrying the 1911. One day, I might be to that point. Right now, I want something deadnuts reliable in the “point and shoot” department. T minus 10 minutes until Ralph inserts a subtle nudge that I might want to look at S&W’s line of fine revolvers.
RF talked about the whole “don’t get married, just play the field” deal. And then we applied it to firearms (click here to read his post on the topic). At the moment, the Gen4 Glock, M&P, and XD(m) in a calibers TBD are on the table. I’ve looked at the SIGs and I’m warming up.
I’m keeping the faith. Having to keep reschedule my CHL class is definitely a setback, but I feel positive about my roster of gun gurus, including, of course, TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia.