Prerequisite: Firearms License & knowledge of pistol handling
PH Level 2 is s 3-hour course designed to give the student a higher level of confidence and is the next step after the PH1 course or equivalent course or experience. This class will give the student foundational skills required to safely shoot with basic firearms knowledge.
Selecting the right gear: We will help you with a selection of gun (including review of calibers), magazines, holster, eye and ear protection, carry ammo, and accessories.
Administrative and Safe Gun Handling
The student will be shown best practices for administrative gun handling, and safety that can be followed without violating the integrity of the rules.
We will take the student through the basic fundamentals of shooting to develop a strong foundation. This will include Grip, Stance, Sight Alignment, Sight Picture, Trigger Control and presentation from the holster..
There will be shooting drills that will help the shooters improve their shooting skills, and working the controls of the gun.
Upon completion of Pistol Handling Level 2, the shooter will have a better understanding of the fundamental skills needed to operate the gun, work from the holster, and confidently work the controls of the gun.
Once consistency of the foundational principles becomes habit, the shooter can expect a marked improvement of accuracy and speed in which they shoot.
Selecting the appropriate gear is very important to reach the goals and potential you have set out for yourself. If the gun doesn’t fit your hand, you won’t be able to manipulate the controls of the gun efficiently. If the caliber is cost prohibitive so you train less due to cost, you are cheating yourself of extra reps over time to help hone your skills. If the holster you selected is in an awkward location and you can’t draw the gun well, you will have to train a lot more to be as proficient as you would with a more suitable holster or location on you body. These are all a few examples of the considerations you will need to make when selecting your gear.
- Fit: Does the gun fit your hand? Can you reach the mag release or safety (if it has one) with your strong hand thumb? Is it comfortable in your hand? Does it feel like it has a natural pointability (this is more comprehensive than just pointing the gun). Weight, size and caliber are all factors in whether or not the gun fits your hand, or has shootability for you. Are you committed to training more if you selected a firearm with a thumb safety or decocker? These things are important so you don’t have a tendency to cheat when you go to the range, or are doing dry practice.
- Accessibility: Being able to reach your weapon efficiently and with the least amount of difficulty is dependent on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are practicing for a competitive endeavor, you may want an open type holster as low on your waistline as possible to get quicker draws. If you are going to buy a holster for defensive carry you will need to think about what kind of garments you will wear, how often you will carry (and for how long), which gun you will carry, and where on (or off) your body you will carry.
Accessories: Night sights, Weapons mounted lights, Laser sights, and modifications to the gun (such as trigger, grip, extended mag release, extended mag release etc.) are things that will be very specific to the intended use. There are a lot of people who are using Red Dot Sights (RDS), and other aiming aids on their firearms for competition and defensive use. While no one will dispute the accuracy performance you can gain from the use of RDS or Lasers, we feel they play (or should play) a secondary or tertiary role to the foundational skill of proper alignment to the target with you gun in and parallel to your line of sight. This Fundamental concept known as Kinesthetic Alignment (KA) is the core neutral shooting position for defensive firearms shooting, and has made great strides into the competitive action shooting sporting events. We cannot stress enough how important it is to first develop a good KA to get consistently accurate hits and using your sights when necessary to accomplish this goal as the size of the target will dictate. Relying on the aid of a device before these fundamentals are developed is relying on a crutch to shoot well, and you will suffer a significant degradation in shooting ability when the crutch is not available.
Safety mindset and practical application. The proper mindset is important to avoid accidents and bodily injury/death.
Most accidents fall into two categories: Complacency or Ignorance.
First let’s talk about ignorance or lack of experience; What you don’t know is easily overcome by getting competent training or education. Congratulations, you are well on your way to that but even as experienced shooters or gun owners, we need to have an open mind as gear and firearms change. Firearms have changed a lot over the past 100 or so years and while there are universal standards, the application of them could vary from firearm to firearm. Like a double action pistol with a de-cock lever, vs. a striker fired gun with no external thumb safety.
Complacency is different; it is when you know what to do, but allow yourself to let your guard down or make certain assumptions. If we allow ourselves to do this, we are setting ourselves up for catastrophe. When we weaken the integrity of a rule, or fail to acknowledge there are times that we can’t follow a particular rule due to a specific situation, we are reinforcing poor gun handling that could end in tragedy. Every time you get away with bad habits, you reinforce that it is okay to break the rules, or you are telling yourself these rules are meant to be broken. We feel a much better approach is to do away with absolute statements. Acknowledge that there may be a time that you will be pointing a gun at something that you are not willing to destroy.
- The number one pistol handling skill you should develop as fast as possible is breaking the natural inclination to put your finger on the trigger. There is nothing more natural than when you pick up a firearm, to put your finger on the trigger. After all the trigger is curved for the index finger and that is the only way to truly use the weapon. We recommend you find another spot for your trigger finger. The seam between the slide and the frame is the preferred spot, or a detent/takedown is also a great choice. It should be a place where you get tactile feedback. Your finger will tell your brain that your finger is in the right place. This solves two potential problems: 1. your finger is out of the trigger guard area so it is easy for others to see the empty trigger guard. 2. If you are startled or suddenly surprised by something or someone, it will be harder to inadvertently hit the trigger because of your bodies natural tendency to clamp down on whatever is in your hand because of grasp reflex. Over time the trigger will begin to become an unnatural place for your finger which will only go to the trigger upon presentation to the target.
- The second foundational safety habit is to keep the gun pointed in the safest direction when it is possible to do so. On our range the floor (down), and the target area are the two designated safe directions. Up is not a preferred direction as in our classes, there is no ballistic baffle system protecting the ceilings/roof, except when you are in the shooting booths. Our classes often times go forward of the shooting line, and therefore we do not have ballistic protection. We can not risk a projectile leaving our building, or damaging any of the costly ventilation equipment. The potential for injury and damage is much too great and therefore we must take all necessary precautions. This should be the standard thought process on any range or whenever you are handling a firearm; what is the direction to least likely cause damage or harm to me or someone else.
- The third rule is perhaps the one that is the gatekeeper of the other two. The BIG PICTURE RULE: Keep in mind you are controlling a firearm; if used negligently, or maliciously, it can cause grave bodily harm to you or someone else. This is what should be our overriding principle whenever handling a firearm. If we grow complacent, take unnecessary risks, or recklessly use a gun it can harm or kill. We should give the utmost attention whenever performing any type of shooting activity, or administrative gun handling. We should concentrate on that rather than take a call, text a selfie, or think about any other non related activity. Good safe gun handling is a skill that is easily learned, but requires discipline and consistency to maintain a high level of standard. This also becomes paramount when you dive deeper into pistol handling because sometimes it is not possible to keep the gun pointed in the designated “Safe Direction” so the first rule and the big picture rule will keep the drill or activity safe to do.
- Administratively: a gun is not considered unloaded on a training range unless it is unloaded and checked by the user, then confirmed to be unloaded by at least one other person. Even once we have gone through this procedure, we should not relax our standards when it is in our control to do so. Remaining vigilant will develop us as safe shooters, gun handlers, and responsible gun owners. We cannot stress enough the importance to be an ambassador for good, safe responsible gun ownership in America. There are plenty of people who give the rest of us gun owners a ban name.
- Safe Storage: We have very strict storage laws in the state of MA. We concur with the state on the sentiment of the law and feel that safe and responsible gun owners will find a way to safely and securely lock up their firearms from unauthorized access. If you choose to stage a gun in the home for defensive purposes, there are many good choices of secure quick access storage that meets the State laws and meets the defensive needs of the gun owners.
Before you can incorporate defensive skills and techniques into shooting, it is first important that your ability to hit a target on demand at a reasonable distance has already been established. Remember that the best shooting and defensive tactics are all void if the ability to hit the target in the first place is lacking. Any and all practice at the range should involve strict accuracy standards because it is the job of the responsible citizen to stand accountable for every round discharged from their firearm. No matter what level your shooting skills are at, safety and accuracy can never be lost or overlooked.
- Participants must be valid LTC holders in MA or out of state
- Participants must have proof of completing our Intro to Pistol Handling or a similar course which will be approved by Cape Gun Works prior to attending.
- Participants must wear proper range attire i.e. closed toed shoes
- Participants SHOULD have a proper holster, either IWB or OWB (preferably OWB)
- Participants SHOULD have OWB magazine pouches
- Participants must have at minimum (3) magazines for their firearms
Course Length: ~3 hours
Maximum Participants: 14
Course Fee: $100.00
Please click the date on the calendar for the course you want. If the date is highlighted in red please call us for class availability.