Vicker’s Advanced Handgun

Where do I start with this class? I basically waited for a little over two years for Larry Vickers to come back down to my area with a class that would aligned with my schedule. I think ever since the Alias Training company fiasco, a lot of my training plans were out the window. But I guess waiting this long would eventually pay off. In fact, I had chosen to take this class over Haley Strategic’s class, that’s how much I wanted to be in on this class.

Over all, I’m a fan of Mr. Vickers. I truly respect his knowledge, experience, and background in the military and firearms industry. By far, Larry Vickers definitely knows guns and it also goes without saying how much of an excellent shooter he is. The man can really shoot. But then again, with all them videos of him shooting, I would be really disappointed if his marksmanship sucked ass.

His class was a two day course, hosted by another local firearms training company. There was no RO. Larry pretty much had us going by “big boys” rule. He did start the class off with a safety briefing that was really interesting. He mentioned that everyone will experience a negligent discharge. Regardless, the most important thing to be aware of is your muzzle awareness.

There are two types of shooters. Those that had negligent discharges. And those that will.

I will say that I was a little disappointed to hear that. While the muzzle awareness makes perfect sense, I personally don’t like to be pigeon holed as a person waiting for a ND to happen. That’s like saying I will eventually be a cause of a car wreck. In other words, did he meant to say that I’m not responsible enough to prevent that from happening? Sure bad things are possible, but damn, don’t jinx my ass like that.

Getting Educated

The class itself, in my opinion, didn’t seem like it’s an advanced class for me. The majority of the class focused mainly on accuracy at various long distances. While I did not shoot 100% perfectly, I did do fairly well. But that’s only because I have been doing my own due diligence at all my personal range time. So maybe for the average noob, it was an advanced class.

The only really annoying factor is that he banned videoing the class. Which, in all honesty, is a pet peeved of mine. I paid a lot of money for this weekend, I should be able to film it for my own use.

Knowledge Dump

Now lets get down and dirty here. Mr. Vickers is like a walking encyclopedia of firearms. Ask that man any question and he will give you his honest opinion, a factoid, and other stuff; unless he doesn’t know. There were a lot of tidbits in the course. One of them is the “trigger reset” that we’ve all been taught. You know the one where you press the trigger, the gun cycles, and you slowly let your trigger reset to that audible click?

Well that’s wrong. In fact, he mentioned that is a Glock training scar. Pinning the trigger is a no-no. Glock added that technique to their curriculum instruction and the reason behind that escapes me because I wasn’t allowed to film the class. The actual method that we all should be doing is allowing the trigger to reset during the recoil. So guess what I did during the rest of the weekend? Slapping my trigger like it owed me money.

My best guess why pinning the trigger was taught was maybe it was a method to teach new shooters about “trigger control” as in “follow through”? Or was it because Glock triggers are really shit? (See what I’m doing here? HA! HA!)

Another tidbit he mentioned was that the Glocks weren’t made for suppressors. Interesting factoid but the reason behind it alludes me at the moment. However, if he had let me recorded this class, I would have a much better answer to give you guys. Like verbatim, word for word from the LAV himself.

Either way I had to Google “Glock Suppressor” because my mind was having a hard time recalling any Instagram video of someone shooting a suppressed Glock. I’m sure there are some out there, but honestly I really don’t care much for Glocks or whether it’s suppressed or not to find that bit of information.

Interestingly though, he did say that VP9 is the best striker fired pistol that’s currently on the market. This is due to the striker firing pin block spring being further back on the VP9 than Glock that allows it to do some magical thing. Again, if he had let me recorded this class, I would have better info to give you my readers.

However, my guess, is that the closer the firing pin block spring, the less chances of a light strike. But again, I can’t recall his explanation.

Oddly enough, he didn’t prescribed to the internet YouTube VP9 torture test. And I can see why.

One of his biggest takeaway from the class was really about “Accuracy vs speed”. Basically, to challenge yourself, you need to find your best distance and work from there for speed and accuracy. Best distance as in getting hits on target at your best speed. Granted, the target we were using is the standard NRA B-8 and the goal is getting a really tight grouping in the X-ring.

On a side note, I felt that this drill is really no different from the 1-inch and 3-inch dot drills I have been doing at five to seven yards. Eventually, when I can get fast hits on the 1-inch at seven yards, I will increase it to 10 yards, 15, and beyond.

We definitely did a lots of single hand and support hand shooting. But one of my favorite challenge is the “700 Point Aggregate”, aka “The Humbler” where you start at the 25 yards and work your way to the target in various positions, hopefully keeping all 70 rounds in the black trying to score close to 700 points.

The Man

Larry is definitely exactly what you see online. He’s pretty friendly and seem to be the same person in his videos, Facebook Live, and various social media. Of course, the down side is that there are a lot of people vying for his attention. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to do a sit down with him. But I guess it’s probably better that way.

Overall the weekend course was good. I liked it. But I was hoping for more. Now with all of this said, I had waited over two years. But as life happens, I ended up training elsewhere. Did a few 3Gun, USPSA, and some advanced pistol work with other reputable instructors, both civilians and former military. So in all honesty, I may have already acquired more skills than this class required. Well considering the people taking the class with him, I guess it is what it is.

An interesting note was when the hosting trainer walked by, he gave me his card for private lessons. I’m like, seriously? Did you not see my target? The other irony is that there were three other firearms instructors in this class as well. And sure enough, they all gave me their cards. What do you say to that when you performed better than they did? I personally find it uncool to do that during a training class. But hey, I’m no firearms instructor.

The only really downside during this weekend is that Larry’s phone rang a lot. I’m sure he’s a busy man, people need him for whatever reason, and he can multitask but, I would at least expect his undivided attention. Especially since I paid a lot of money for the course, travel, hotel, ammo, food, etc and including the fact that I had to put away my cameras at his request.

— # —

Class information: 2 Day Advanced Handgun Course

This class focuses on all aspects of advanced level handgun shooting skills relevant to a wide variety of applications including whether you are a deploying serviceman, an on duty law enforcement officer, a conceal carry civilian, or for home defense. Topics covered will be a review of safety, stance, sight alignment, reloads, presentation, shooting positions, and trigger control. More advanced topics will include shooting on the move, barricade, cover and concealment, and support side shooting, etc. Day Two will include a review and drill applications of all the topics that were covered. Any shooter will leave the course with a firmer grasp of advanced level handgun shooting whether it is your primary or secondary weapon during any situation. Additionally, Larry will make himself available to any student during class breaks and after class to answer individual questions on his/her weapons, equipment, gear set up, etc.