- June 20th, 2010
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I have always been a firm believer that if you are going to do anything you should do it right. When I decided to make a 1911 my primary carry weapon for the mean streets it came with the realization that I needed to be proficient with a 1911 or not carry it. Most armed confrontations take place in very close proximity to your opponent and are over in a few seconds. With a conventional pistol or revolver that’s a short period of time to draw, aim and fire. With a 1911 it’s a complicated scenario that you don’t want to be fumbling with when you need it. The only useful way to carry a 1911 is in “condition one” which is a round in the chamber, a full magazine, hammer cocked and the thumb safety on. While this may seem unsafe to some, you need to understand that in the heat of battle the idea that you are going to have time to rack a round into the chamber and be combat effective could cost you your life. You need to draw, release the thumb safety, maintain a proper grip, aim and fire, hopefully in 2 seconds or less. That’s a lot to do under stress.
Enter Sig Academy. They have what they call a “1911 Operator” course that is meant for intermediate shooters wanting to achieve “operator” capability with a 1911. It a fairly intense, no nonsense course. They cover many situations you might encounter in an armed confrontation in every day life. Also included are practical safety and maintenance reviews but the bulk of the training is done on the range and you shoot all day. Covered in the instruction are tactical drills covering admin reload, proper draw, clearing jams, multiple adversaries, shooting multiple targets while moving, shooting while backing up and threat assessment.
The Epping New Hampshire facility is top notch and set in the beautiful New Hampshire countryside. The instructors are from law enforcement, government or military backrounds and totally professional and don’t miss a beat. They watch your every move and are very helpful when you make a mistake. I learned more in one day than I could have learned on my own in any period of time because much of the instruction was on areas I would not have thought to cover as a layman. It was actually a perfect balance of useful operations without being overwhelming. No egomaniacs with tats and stories, just good solid training. Everything you need, nothing you don’t.
I’ve been shooting for over 30 years and thought I knew how to shoot but the 1911 in rapid combat is a whole new animal. It adds additional steps to using it properly in combat and even unloading requires more thought. The latest must have fad is the 1911 for shooting everything from tin cans to carrying for self defense. Everybody wants one. Bottom line, if you are contemplating using a 1911 as your primary carry weapon you had better either have had professional training or you need to get some before the time comes when you need it to save your life or the lives of loved ones. If not you are much better off with a conventional semi-auto pistol. I chose Sig Sauer for obvious reasons. They are a major firearms manufacturer with a professional facility and a highly trained group of instructors. I wasn’t disappointed. I came home with a wealth of information and drills to practice as well as an increased sense of confidence in my decision to carry a 1911.
You can visit the Sig Academy to check all the many courses offered at the link below. I’ll be back up there in September to further my instruction. Good luck and stay safe.