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Trolling armslist one day last week I noticed an ad for a "defensive shotgun" class by a company called IronSight. I asked on the boards if anyone had heard of them and only received a response from one of the trainers. I went back and forth about taking a class on a lark without a recommendation, but decided I might as well be the test case for the forum and so I sent an email asking for some details.

I got a call back from Jeremy, who confirmed there was space available. He sent me the paypal link for my 50% deposit and gave me the address. The personal residence of the individual who was teaching the class. I was first there and had a few minutes to talk with John, the instructor. He was a nice, unassuming guy.

When the rest of the crew showed up (3 students total - me, former army combat engineer and a guy with a martial arts studio), we went back to his range, nothing big or overly fancy, but fit for the purpose. In case you are wondering - all of us had Mossbergs. I was the only one without a pistol grip and ATI recoil reducing stock.

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We started with a safety briefing - nothing overly formal, but sufficient to convey the rules; then a round of introductions and some talk about why we were here.

John then started to question us about our shotgun storage options - where, what condition, how do you carry extra ammo etc. He pushed each of us a bit to think about how we stored them when we weren't home, pressed us on what else we have nearby, etc. It was a great discussion as it made me think about my setup and what changes I could make to make it more efficient as well as make my gun a bit more secure when I'm not at home.

John did some explaining of various shotgun loads and we even did a bit of patterning work on what would be a standard wall (2 sides drywall with 2x4 framing). Started with #7 shot from 15 and 7 yards, then did some buck shot of various grades and slugs at the same distances. Cool thing was that Jeremy brought some Kwomo targets for us to all shoot at. We had some open discussions about patterning as well.

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We then did some work on stances and moving around with our guns empty and transitioned into our first bit of live fire, getting to shoot our own Kwomo targets.

Next up was a discussion on loading and some drills. The non shooting drills centered around loading the tube and the chamber via the ejection port.

The shooting drills were a blast. First one, we stood by the targets with our guns and one shell about 7 yards away and 4 shells scattered on the ground 7 yards beyond the guns. Run to the 4 shells, load them, shoot them on target, then load and shoot the last one. John keep the pressure on us with plenty of, "hurry up's" to induce some stress. I found it amazing that just that little bit of yelling could stress me to the point of fumbling with shells.

Next shooting drill became a competition after the first round. Load 2, put a third shell in your pocket - on command - we shoot center of mass on the first two targets, load the 3rd and hit the last target. Fastest moves on to the next pair. I managed to be faster than the other two students, but wound up fumbling against Jeremy. I shot my two, then forgot I was empty and racked forward after I ejected the spent shell - whoops! I grabbed the 3rd shell from my pocket only to realize that I now had to rack the gun open again to load through the ejection port. By that time, Jeremy was done with his 3.

After that we did some slug work out to 50 yards to see how much drop our rounds had at that distance.

The last part of the class focused on pieing rooms and a general discussion about ways to harden your safe room or other key areas in your home to aid your defensive posture.

It truly was a fun way to spend a Friday. Some details below.

Course: Defensive Shotgun
Company: IronSight LLC
Cost: $200
Time: 4.5 hours

The good - Great instructor, well credentialed and lots of firearms training experience. We got to shoot their ammo! I got some great range time, learned some fun drills and saw that you really do need to train, train, train with your tools. Got some critical thinking in about my home defense setup. Went home with a free box of shells.

The bad - Nothing really. Would have liked to do a bit more live fire time, but I realized that all of the instructor led lecturing and demo were really necessary. In the end, I suggested that they develop a "Defensive Shotgun Level 2" type class where we do more drills. 2 solid hours of drills for experienced people would be a great class.

I recommend IronSight without reservation and will likely be taking more of their classes, including their carbine class.

Here's a link to the class description. They update their site pretty quickly - that's me in the background of the picture on the page!

Defensive Shotgun - Iron Sight LLC Firearms Training
 

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Thanks for the great review. Sounds like another instructor to keep an eye on when I have time to take classes.
 

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Andy,
Glad you liked the class to write up such a detailed great review. It really means alot. Hope to see ya soon at another class.
Steve
Ironsight training llc
 
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