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Old 01-26-2008, 07:10 AM   #1
Randy Tarasevich
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Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

Anyone ever go to either one for firearms training? If so, which one? I want to go to Gunsite, but it costs some serious coin. Figured I'd toss the question out there since there many of you involved in Law Enforcement.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:26 AM   #2
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

Randy,
Never been to Gunsite or Thunder Ranch. I know that West Coast NSW used to go to Gunsite. Since you're a New Englander, have you considered Blackwater in North Carolina? I went there when it was "just" a shooting school and the instruction was awesome, now they are teaching mostly regular Navy and Mid South is back to doing NSW. Also Sig is in your neck of the woods and thir handgun courses are supposed to be world class.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:11 AM   #3
Jake Di Vita
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Re: Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

The only two people I can recommend are Randy Cain and Steve Tarani from Gunsite. I'm good friends with the lead instructor from Mid-South....but you'll never get a class from them if you aren't active duty.

It also depends on what you are looking to learn for what reason. Drop me a PM or an email and I'm sure I can help you out.

FWIW, Sig's courses being world class is about as likely as a snowball in hell.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:00 PM   #4
Pat Harker
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Re: Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

If you are anywhere near the center of the USA I have to highly recommend the United States Shooting Academy located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have taken several courses and plan on going back for more.

Excellent courses taught by professionals. If you shoot USPSA you might recognize the names of Phil Strader and Mike Seeklander or if three gun is your game...ever hear of Erik Lund.

Incredible facility, 93 acres, live-fire shoothouse, a Rogers range the list goes on and on. They have held major National shooting events there as well. 10 minutes from the airport.

Look them up at www.usshootingacademy.com (Work & Family Safe link)

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Old 01-26-2008, 11:12 PM   #5
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

Jake,
It might be cold in hell now or not I don't know, I'm not sure if you're hating on SIG weapons or you actually know about the couses they offer, so I can't exactly tell you FWIW. I was just parroting what I had heard, I can speak from a position of 1st hand knowledge of Blackwater in the early 00s, and that's it.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
Jake Di Vita
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Re: Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

Phil, Mike, and Erik are all fantastic shooters and instructors.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:30 PM   #7
Jayson Keel
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Re: Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

Mid-South Institute is the heat!! But as Jake stated with op tempo like it is and the reputation they have in the Special Ops community, getting in may prove to be difficult. But check it out... www.weaponstraining.com (wfs)
All they can say is, no. If it works out you are only about 20 to 30 miles from Memphis and might could get a WOD in at the 2 Crossfit affiliates there.
Also, have you checked out Valhalla Shooting Club in Colorado? I have not been but have seen several videos by Rob Pincus who is the the director of the shooting operation there. It looks like an excellent training site with quality instruction.
I believe Rob Pincus is a Crossfitter as well. He was on the affiliate page a few months back interviewing Jesse Woody of Primal Fitness. www.valhallashootingclub.com (wfs)
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #8
Jake Di Vita
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Re: Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

Never heard of any of them so I can't vouch for or against them...

Be leary.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:58 PM   #9
David Luu
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Re: Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

I have a fair amount of hands on experience within the world of civilian firearms training. Within that world, both Gunsite and Thunder Ranch have excellent reputations. In additions, all the recommendations already mentioned (Mid-South, Valhalla, USSA, Blackwater, Sig Arms) are also great choices. I have trained with instructors from a number the above schools or I have friends who have trained there or I know the instructors. You won't go wrong at any of these facilities.

Are you looking for some kinds of specific training? What is your level of experience?

If you experienced and have a specific type of training you are looking for, I can point you toward a few good instructors in that area. If you are just starting out, I would recommend finding a good local instructor before dropping the serious coin for one of these facilities. Fundamental are the same anywhere. It would be kind of like going to a Crossfit cert with never having done a push up or sit up. While you would be able to learn it there and learn it very well, your time and money might be better spent learning the fundamentals from a good local instructor so you can get the most out of the big time school.

Finally, here are a few more training facilities to consider. Some of them have traveling instructors that might be coming to your area:

Randy Cain
http://www.guntactics.com/

John Farnam
http://www.defense-training.com/

http://fireinstitute.org/

Roger's Shooting School
http://www.rogers-shooting-school.com/

Massad Ayoob
http://www.ayoob.com/

http://www.sniperschool.com/

http://riflesonly.com/

http://www.stormmountain.com/

http://tftt.com/

Louis Awerbuck
http://www.yfainc.com/

http://www.tacticalresponse.com/

Pat Rogers
http://www.eagtactical.com/

http://benniecooley.com/

http://www.mattburkett.com/

http://www.maxmichel.com/

Pat Goodale
http://www.pgpft.com/

Larry Vickers
http://www.vickerstactical.com/
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:35 PM   #10
John C. Brown
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Re: Gunsite & Thunder Ranch

Jayson,
Thanks for the props...

Valhalla is the worlds most realistic shooting school, I know, I work there?
As far as Rob being a Crossfitter, when he has time is the answer. He believes in the principles however, because the Crossfit principles are very similar to that of the principles of Combat Focus (tm).

Randy, I would be leary, as Jake said.
oh, and one other problem, Valhalla is now a member's club only, Rob however has opened his own training company, and I am also an employee there. I know some of you may think I am biased so I will lay out my resume;
9 year veteran of NSW (if you don't know the acronym don't ask me)
I have done lots of trips to Mid South
I have spent months in Blackwater
I have heard seen or read about Gunsite and Frontsite etc... Most of their tactics are the same, based on a system developed thirty years ago by Jeff Cooper, and while revolutionary at his time, times have changed and we have access to better information.

I came to Valhalla because after all of my time in the tactical world, I finally found a training system that was real, based on scientific study and made sense. Don't get me wrong, I love Ross, and Memphis...
But if you are looking for training in defensive pistol tactics, then www.icetraining.us is the place to go. You can email me or pm me with questions, email is john@crossfitagoge.com. Oh and if you stop in for an ICE course, you have Crossfit Agoge right up the street.
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