ONSIGHT FIREARMS TRAINING www.oftllc.us
December 20, 2020
Instructor: Ben DeWalt Location: Cape Gun Works, Hyannis, Massachusetts Weather: Indoor Range Round Count: 300+/- reduced due to ammo shortage Time: 10am – 5:30pm
We were instructed not to touch our guns as we came in, “leave them wherever they are and don’t touch them. We’ll all do it at the same time on the line..” The instructor told us as we walked in with our gear.
Ben Introduced himself thanked everyone for being in class in these strange times. We went around the group introducing ourselves, our previous training, and what we wanted to get out of the class. For me, it was shaking the rust off and getting away from my family in COVID times….
We had our safety briefing, went over the NRA safety rules, Ben expanded on them to bring them up today's reality. We identified medical personnel within the student body. Ben told us how things would go in the event of a training accident, where tourniquets, chest seals and gauze packing would be used. People were given jobs in the unlikely event something happened. Who to call, the correct words to say and the words do not say to the 911 operator. Other people were given jobs to make a human daisy chain from the front door into the range we were in so the first responders could find the injured person efficiently if we needed them. Ben talked about the absolute need to have trauma training and always have a trauma kit and have it your person at all times on the range and out in the world. One thing about Ben’s classes is that he takes safety very seriously.
We started off with unloaded guns at the 25-yard line, Ben explained the different positions we were going to use on the range, shooting position, high ready, low ready, High port, and cross-body port. We practiced them with unloaded guns for a while.
We went over the proper way to load a magazine to ensure it is seated and economy of motions to release the bolt to chamber a round. How and when safeties went on and when they came off. Ben made it clear where your finger should NOT BE when not shooting, ANYWHERE NEAR THE TRIGGER GUARD! Make sure we were aware of where our muzzle was pointing at all times! Each of us is responsible for our own safety. No one wants a gun pointed at them! Always be muzzle aware, ALWAYS! Everyone is a safety officer. See something unsafe, say something!
We checked our zero by shooting inside the A zone of a Modern Samurai Target at 25 yards, some students made corrections as some of them had new optics or mounts. Once Ben was satisfied we all had good zeros we shot from different ready positions. Ben Walked the line making sure people were mounting the carbine correctly, using follow through and just being safe.
We had two more people in the class than we had target lanes so I and one other student became “group two” It was a different perspective to watch from behind the line as Ben ran the drills. I had not been in that position before in his classes. I watched him go from person to person watching them, making corrections if needed. One specific thing that stands out at me was Ben was down on the right side of the line with a student and a guy five positions over to the left gun had malfunctioned, I was back far enough that I could see both at the same time. Instantly Ben looked over to the student with the malfunction and knew something was wrong. HOW? OBIE WAN..THE FORCE IS STRONG….
We worked mostly 15-25 yards from our targets. Being in a state where we are capped at 10 round mags there was a lot of reloading reps during the day, which is always good practice. There was a student from NH with a silencer and standard capacity Magpul mags… flexing….
Before each drill, Ben would explain it, demo the entire drill, and explain it again. I like that teaching approach. I like to hear the instructions and then see it being done correctly and then hear the instructions again.
We shot from standing, one knee kneeling, both knees kneeling, we learned how to turn safely with the gun and engage the target. Face left, Face right, and about-face always being aware of where our muzzle was at all times. Many shots to center mass and face of our target. We varied the distance to our target doing mag changes as we needed to and clearing malfunctions if they occurred. Ben endlessly walked the line making suggestions on how we could improve our technique and encouragement when we did well. Never was anything negative said or any student called out in humiliation. Not all instructors are like this, Ben understands his students are not recruits and we are human beings that paid for this class on our time off. Not all instructors are like this. Ben is one of the good ones.
After lunch, the basic skills we learned in the morning were used with movement in the drills. We moved forward and backward shooting on the move. We concentrated on keeping the gun level, and our sights on the target as we moved, we also had to keep the line dressed so we would not have any one way in front of everyone else shooting. We did some fast-paced drills of moving forward, backward, different levels (kneeling, squatting) as they were called out. It was awesome!
We did Tom Given’s Casino drill using carbines, I shot it clean but messed up the round count on the number five symbol, (counting is hard with a public school education)
Our last drill of the day was the Blue Falcon, the 5, 3, 1 drill where we shot against each other until there was one winner. I went against an instructor from an NH range (silencer dude) and got smoked! He was FAST. I lost but by very little. (sore loser here…)
I really like Ben. He is super knowledgeable, skillful, funny, humble, and sometimes appropriately inappropriate. As the day goes on his jokes go downhill. He is a down to earth dude, that is easy to talk to fun to be around. I like to say I think Ben DeWalt and OnSight Firearms Training is one of the best training companies and best-kept secret within the training community. Absolutely take his class if you have the opportunity.