Yesterday I wrapped up a private 2 day Defensive Handgun course at the Fire 4 Effect Weapon Systems, LLC range. It was a great class and everyone made some huge strides in improving their individual abilities. We started out by defining the context of the class as “Using the pistol to save yourself or others” and “Reacting to a unknown threat with available resources”. This allowed us to train to that context. As I told the students, if I had my choice I’d carry a rifle over a pistol everywhere I went…but I can’t. So you learn to fight with what you can realistically expect to have, a pistol with a spare mag and a light.

We outlined specific training gates they wanted to achieve and then we got to work. We fired approximately 700 rounds in 2 days, focused on accuracy and mechanics on day one before transitioning to multiple targets, moving, use of cover and alternate positions on day 2. Before we finished we spent time looking at engaging a threat in a limited visibility scenario while using weapons mounted lights, a handheld light or night sights.

At the end of the course the students made the comment that the biggest takeaway was their increased confidence in their ability to use their handgun to react to a threat and win the fight. I pushed them to identify their individual limits, develop a plan to respond to a threat and have realistic expectations based off of their demonstrated abilities. Some guys shot faster, others were more accurate but everyone left knowing what they needed to focus on in a fight.

After the class we broke out the toys and had some fun testing a Silencerco osprey mounted to a HK VP9. I don’t think anyone’s going to run it as a concealed carry but a suppressed handgun makes a nice “nightstand gun” if you’re reacting to a bump in the night at home lol.


Categories: The Firing Line

Adam Wilson

Adam Wilson is a U.S. Army Sniper and senior NCO with multiple combat deployments, a background in reconnaissance and small unit operations. During his 18 years of military service he has held every MTOE slot in a Sniper section to include an assignment as the SEO/Sniper Section Leader for a forward deployed Infantry Battalion. He has utilized all currently issued U.S. Army Sniper weapons systems including the XM2010, M110 SASS, and M107. In addition to being a qualified Sniper he is a graduate of the Sniper Employment Leaders Course and the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Squad Designated Marksman and Rifle Instructor courses. Outside of the military he has obtained the NRA Pistol and Rifle Instructor certifications and served as a product consultant for several defense and firearms industry companies.

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