Fundamental - Intermedidate Handgun
[May 5-6, 2018]
If I could give Gray Ops 100 stars I would. My boyfriend really wanted me to take this class with him. Reluctantly I agreed to do it. I had been shooting a few times with my dad in the past but was really nervous not knowing what I was getting into. The first day I was scared and nervous. Also, not going to lie since I was the only girl in the class I was even more intimidated.
I cannot begin to explain how amazing Pat, Lee, and Gordon were in their instruction. They are so good at explaining fully what they want you to learn and at the same time making you feel safe. At the end of the first day I was still feeling a bit timid. I am also a very competitive person and always want to be the best. I was beating myself up about being timid and nervous. I was my own worst enemy on the first day.
The next day comes around. I had a moment to myself of not wanting to go back for the intermediate class. Once I got there, I felt more comfortable than the day before. We started getting into the drills and I felt and saw myself improving exponentially as the day went on. I was feeling so confident and by the end of the day I was so sad that the class was over. I told my boyfriend the unthinkable that "he was right."
I really cannot thank Gordon, Pat and Lee enough for their encouragement and training. I will for sure be doing more of the classes that Gray Ops offers in the future. I feel like a different person when it comes to firearms, safety, and knowledge of firearms. I think every single person would benefit from taking this class.
Fundamental - Intermedidate Handgun
[May 5-6, 2018]
I wanted to share my past weekend's handgun course I took with GrayOps Firearms Specialty Training at Sacramento Valley Shooting Center.
I had a CCW for 4 years until the jurisdiction that issued me my CCW decided not to renew it because I had "no current threats." Yeah. So my CCW expired and is expired until I get a new one issued by an alternate jurisdiction. Being from a different jurisdiction, I was required to re-take an initial 16 hour CCW course. I have taken a few courses from GrayOps in the past and liked the format and the instructors and so I stuck with them. I originally trained with them through a recommendation by a friend and I now recommend GrayOps to people as well. My original CCW course and the renewal was with different outfits, which were both fine, but like I said, I like Gordon and his group. The CCW course is GrayOps Fundamental and Intermediate Handgun course. Two full days of education and training.
Class Name: CCW Training Course (Fundamental & Intermediate Handgun)
Date of Class: May 5-6, 2018
Class Location: Sacramento Valley Shooting Center
Class Duration: 16 hours over two days
Weather: Probably in the low 80s that weekend. Slight breeze. I beat the Sacramento summer heat.
Gear Used: I qualified with my Glock 26 and Glock 19. I used a Foxx OWB Hybrid holster and a Fobus two magazine paddle carrier. Some pants from LA Police Gear. I shot Speer Lawman, 124gr. I like the Speer stuff because it shoots "clean" and my hands aren't black at the end of the day. Before the California "ban" on mail order, I stocked up from SG Ammo, who were awesome. I learned that you can still buy mailorder, but it has to be through an FFL now. Maybe I can still order through them in bulk to make it worthwhile.
I typically use the Foxx OWB holster during the winter when I carry under a jacket or something. I have their IWB hybrid holster for when I don't have a big outer layer to cover up. It doesn't have an adjustable cant to it and is slightly tilted forward, so some people may not like that, but it works for me. The Fobus paddle pouch is a no frills magazine holster and gets the job done. It did have the two little nubs that would dig into my skin, but I shaved it down with my Dremel after the first day and it seemed to help. Never noticed it before, but it definitely bothered me this past weekend.
Having trained with GrayOps before, I knew what to expect and it was what I expected. You start off Day 1 in the morning with an "in class" portion under the awnings where you cover the important fundamentals (i.e. treat all firearms as though they're loaded, etc.) The emphasis always being safety. We discussed the current state of the law in California as well as the Country.
Day 2 also starts with an "in class" portion. Most of the class are holdovers that just completed Day 1 the day before, so it's mostly familiar faces by then. You review safety again and after some discussion, you're back out in front of the targets.
The nice thing is that you're getting "in class" education the whole time, without having to sit behind a desk. My initial CCW course was basically two full days of class and a range qualification. But to fill that time, it's basically stories. GrayOps puts the firearm in your hand and starts building your skills and confidence immediately and from a practical standpoint, I think this is very good.
One of the things I really like about GrayOps is the LEO background of Gordon and his team. They bring real life experience to the table and real life stories. Although it's unlikely that I'll ever have an encounter like they've had or that their colleagues have had, the scenarios make for good brain food.
We went through about 200 rounds on the first day and probably another 250-300 rounds the second day. Plenty of shooting. We shot from one knee, two knees, left side sitting, right side sitting, 180 degree turn around, one handed strong side, one handed weak side, etc. We did a drill that demonstrated just how long it takes to react, draw, and shoot....in relation to someone who decides to charge at you with a knife (hint: if someone flashes a knife, make some distance between you and them)
I wouldn't have minded having additional time to focus on the specifics of California law because it's such a cluster. Carry here, but not here, and this city has a ban on this type of ammo and blah blah blah. It's terrible. I'm sure there could be a 4 hour course just on these nuances alone.
Sacramento Valley Shooting Center is a great set up as well. Outdoor range with multiple bays of various distances. Cowboy town is one area as well. They have actual restrooms with plumbing. Awnings along the backs of the range with picnic tables.
Thanks everyone, be safe and keep up the fight against those that just refuse to acknowledge the fundamental underpinnings of the Second Amendment and what it's for and why we have it.
Fundamental - Intermedidate Handgun
[May 5-6, 2018]
I took their fundamental / intermediate handgun package back on 5/5 and 5/6 for my CCW cert out at Sac Valley Shooting Center, and it was my first time taking any kind of formal firearms training so I wasn't really sure what to expect. That being said, it definitely exceeded my expectations. The drills / exercises they use start with basic fundamentals like dry-firing and grip, and then all the way to moving navigating obstacles, so I could progressively see myself get better as the weekend went on. Gordon at Pat were excellent instructors as well. It's one thing to have decades of experience and training like they do, but its another to be able to teach that to experienced and inexperienced students so they improve (which they did very well) vs. just beating somebody over the head with the same info over and over. They are also very good about maintain a safe environment, not once was there any issues that made me feel uneasy.
One thing that definitely won me over was that I had convinced my girlfriend to take it with me as well. She had been shooting several times before but wasn't particularly familiar with firearms. Going into the course she wasn't particularly excited, but left absolutely loving it and ready to go shooting more, take more classes, and substantially more confident about shooting. That I think is the biggest tell about the quality of their classes.
Round count they list is pretty accurate, I shot ~750 rounds the whole weekend including the CCW qualifying with 2 guns. I would recommend having 3 magazine carriers, as some of the drills you want to start with an empty gun but once ready will need the loaded gun and 2 extra mags.
Needless to say I'll be taking more classes with them.
[Feb 19, 2017]
I have had several classes with Gray Ops now and I couldnt think of training anywhere else. They are very professional, knowledgeable, and will help you out at whatever experience you may have with firearms - yes even ZERO experience!! They offer multiple classes with all types of firearms throughout the entire year. Highly recommend!!
[Sept 3, 2017]
Gordon is the most helpful and mindful instructor I've learned from. He not only teaches through his experiences but also dedicates himself to the art and is a student himself. He has high expectations from himself and his students. Down to earth and a realist.
Took the Basic and Intermediate Carbine class and boy did I learn a lot.
I'm going to be taking his Handgun course Sept 9-10. I'm just counting down the days till then.
San Francisco, CA
Fundamental - Intermediate Carbine
[Jan 1, 2017]
Very professional and detail oriented classes, plenty of useful drills and a good amount of time dedicated to clearing malfunctions for the AR users. I would recommend to all levels of shooters.
Fundamental - Intermediate Carbine
[Feb 4-5, 2017]
Setting: Took the class Feb 4-5, starting class 8:30 am at Sac Valley Shooting Center and going till about 4:30-5. Weather was overcast both days. Sun peaked in somewhat on the 4th and also slight shower that lasted maybe 10-20 min. Maybe slightly colder the 5th. Soil moistened but didn't really train on any muddy portion of the range.
Gear: I brought along my PWS Mark 1 Mod 2 rifle equipped with Eotech red dot and magnifier and other goodies on it. We learned that the PWS piston system is immune to brass over bolt malfunctions on the second day. On the second day I used a Fab Defense grip pod which helped a lot for sighting in at 50 yrds and shooting at 100 yrds. Wish I had it the first day when sighting in at 25 yrds to get better accuracy but that would have been a little overkill for the class probably. Anyways, I wound't suggest the FAB grip pod to anyone but bench shooters. Barely any dirt got on the legs and then it started having issues deploying. Back to the Eotech. Magnifier was awesome for sighting in and shooting prone. Really shined beyond 25 yrds. Used 10 rnd PMAGS without any issues. Ammo was either Wolf or Tula 62 gr HP steel case. One light primer strike during the two day course. Learned that I didn't really care for the bungee sling on this rifle, it's now on a lighter rifle setup now. Was using Blue Force Gear belt and mag pouches. After seeing everyone else's gear I wish I invested in some HSGI gear (especially the leg setup with tacos) but my rig worked without any issues. I'd like to see BFG use a better belt, like a rigger setup. The Helium Whisper mag pouches worked fine but I wish they were doubled or at least had molle. Used Peltor Sport Tactical 100 Electronic Hearing Protection, it's my new go to. Great buy for the price, especially when on sale. Sunglasses = Suncloud. My aunt works in optometry and suggested them to me, great budget sunglasses, wouldn't be pissed if I lost or broke them. Yes I know there are a lot better ones out there.
Staff: Again, Gray Ops is more than qualified to teach these courses. Their staff members have lots of training from different agencies. Gordon is very pleasant to work under, he has a serious demeanor, they are there to provide excellent training and do deliver, but you can also talk him during breaks and will listen if/when you need help. Both days we also trained with Rob from Sacramento Black Rifle. He's a really nice guy with lots of training. He gave great advice in every department. Cool to get insight on running a firearms business, the hurdles he has to deal with for all his licensing and for regulatory compliance. Good stories too.
Training: I've done pistol training with Gordon in the past so I have some familiarity with his style. First thing we did was talk about some ground rules and whatnot, then we went out to sight in our rifles to 25 yards. I'm going to stop to say that Gordon is a stickler for safety, and for good reason. He has good stories of scary trainers. I'm going to admit that I goofed up and Gordon was promptly on my ***. He was demonstrating something on the second day and I wanted to follow along with an unloaded rifle as he demonstrated. Anyways, Gordon was positioned maybe two yards in front and maybe 10 yards to my right. Student rifles were hanging, pointed to the ground. I decided to remove my magazine and then positioned my rifle directly in front of me with an upward angle to use gravity to remove a round from the chamber. He called me out and I knew I was in some ****. I didn't try to explain myself, I just admitted that I wasn't following along and that I was sorry. I didn't sweep anyone but I understand where he was coming from. I just didn't think it through before acting. When you're teaching a class you can't be focused on everyone 100% at once and you don't need people fidgeting when you're explaining something, could end very bad for someone. It was embarrassing but things continued, I've never seen Gordon go beyond what is reasonable in disciplining anyone when things got off track or unsafe. I want everyone to understand he is an extremely safe instructor to work under. His number one priority is safety so you shouldn't have any concern if you're afraid of a group environment. Anyways, we worked on stance, reloading techniques, sweeping, what I'll call a muzzle safety bubble when working around others, 3 malfunctions, sighting in, trajectory, shooting under vehicles, shooting from 2 kneeling position, transitioning positions, getting in a quick ready stance, operating our firearms, breakdown and cleaning them, and more. That may sound like simple stuff but there is more to each of those than what I wrote, it's the specifics that you get in person with hands on training. I suggest everyone get quality training if they can. Sometimes instructions can get a little confusing. We might discuss something in detail and then be given a command order to follow and prompted quickly to follow through. Got to be on your ****. Ex. 3 shots standing, 2 shots kneeling, 4 shots standing, get ready..., go. After the long talk and then being told to do... I had a hickup, wait, how many rounds in what order? Gotta pay attention! We didn't use nearly as much ammo as their website said to bring. My guess is maybe 400 total for both days? Wouldn't be surprised if it was like 300.
Conclusion: Very good course! I thought it would be a lot more like the handgun class I previously took but it was pretty different. I was hoping to do some work with barricades but that must be in the subsequent carbine classes. Again, I suggest Gray Ops to anyone and everyone. Just because you've been shooting for years and you may think you're too good for fundamental - intermediate classes... you're going to learn something valuable, don't be a know-it-all. Plus it's good to refresh and focus on basics. If you have any questions just email Gordon, he'll get back to you.
Fundamental - Intermediate Carbine
[Aug 8, 2017]
A friend and I just completed Gordon's Fundamental & Intermediate Carbine Class this past weekend. As a firearms enthusiasts and weekly range geek, I can truly say that taking this class really opened my eyes on what my rifle and me are capable of doing. Main thing Gordon teaches is "safety first!" We all left with the same amount of holes we arrived in.
As this is somewhat a beginners course, on the first day Gordon is extremely informative, knowledgeable, and patient in showing and teaching us the ins & outs of our AR15 platform rifles. He taught us how to zero our rifles from 10yds to 100yds, understanding of height over bore, proper stance, grip, and shooting technique. I've been shooting for many years and always thought they way I shoot was correct until Gordon gave me some pointers which elevated my accuracy by correcting my stance. All though day one was somewhat a refresher course for me, I couldn't wait for day two. I was addicted.
On day two, it got more intense. We zero'd our carbines to a 50yd zero and started to learn various shooting positions. We went prone, side prone (left&right), on our backs, kneeling, etc. This is beyond what one can do at a shooting range. We even learned to transition from shoulder to shoulder and to shoot from concealment. I wasn't expecting this level of training for an beginner/intermediate carbine course. it doesn't matter if you have a noveske, POF, LaRue, rifle that is a safe queen or a PSA or Frankenstein rifle, taking it out and putting this tool to work is what these rifles are made for. Gordon has taught me the the fundamentals of my rifle and how to become a safe and respectable operator.
As this is my first firearms training class I've taken, I can truly say that I had more fun in 2 days than I did by going to the range every weekend for the past few years. I'm already signing up for his handgun course in September and his carbine skill builder course in October.
Anyone who wants to learn more and build a solid foundation on firearms safety should take this class. For the price, you will not go wrong.
Hands down to the training LEO and Military personnel has gone through. It is tough and exhilarating.
San Francisco, CA
Fundamental - Intermediate Carbine
[Aug 8, 2017]
I just got back from taking the basic and intermediate carbine classes. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. The instructor paced the classes well and knew the subject thoroughly. He also maintained good safety discipline in our exercises.
Midtown West, Manhattan, NY
Fundamental - Intermedidate Handgun
[May 14-15, 2016]
Spent the past weekend at the Fundamental-Intermediate Handgun class. I had high expectations after looking at the web site and previous yelp reviews of Gray Ops. I can say that my expectations were not only met, but exceeded. The classes are very well thought out and presented. Great way to reinforce skills that you already have and learn new ones.
Gordon and Pat were extremely professional, and very skilled at passing on their knowledge to the class. Thanks to both of you for pushing us to learn and improve our skills while having lots of fun at the same time. In an extremely safety conscience environment I'm happy to add.
I will be back for additional training, and will highly recommend to my friends and family. Thanks again guys, hope to see you soon.
Fundamental - Intermediate Carbine
[April 2-3, 2016]
Great instructors and well done two day training class. I did not known what to expect and was bit uneasy given my limited skill level. But the instructors were very good at letting you work at your own pace and not making anyone feel "dumb". I plan to take the same course again to reinforce what I learned. Highly recommend.
Women's Only Handgun
[Sept 18, 2017]
I had a great day and learned so much. They are very helpful and were able to correct my bad habits with great explanations and kindness. Thank you all for a wonderful experience!
Women's Only Handgun
I took the Women's Fundamental Handgun course this weekend and the entire experience was so rewarding and enjoyable, it blew all my expectations out of the water. Learning the backgrounds of the laws, policies and penal codes surrounding CCW and firearms in general was very informative and important to know. Pat and Gordon both shared personal stories which helped to understand different situations a lot better and I should add, they both are hilarious! (lol!)
[March 19, 2016]
The hands-on learning was awesome as well and Gordon and Pat made it feel comfortable for each of us to learn at our own pace and not feel bad if we weren't as familiar as the other students. Learning our stances, grips and proper techniques of holding, drawing and sights was really great to get familiar with before we started shooting with live fire. I loved the way their method of using 1 bullet per magazine and then building to more and more as we progressed through the drills. There were additional people there to help as well so it was really nice that we each got that individual learning and training and all the instructors were so helpful and friendly it made the entire day so enjoyable and HELPFUL.
I walked away feeling very comfortable with my firearm and the basics of loading, drawing, trigger control and stance. You'd think 8 hours would feel like forever but it flew by because we were enjoying ourselves so much and we didn't want to leave at the end! I already signed up for the two-day training course in September and I cannot wait to get back out there with everyone and learn more fundamentals and get better and better from here. Thank you so much Gordon & Pat for everything, it was an experience I won't forget and one that I am kind of hooked on now. I would and AM recommending this course to everyone and especially all my female friends/ family because there's not always going to be a husband around to save or help us in a bad situation, so it's an awesome feeling to know we are learning the tools to defend ourselves and our family on our own if we need to. I appreciate this course very much and really appreciate all your help! Now I just wish I could spend every day on the range with Gray Ops!
This was the third class I have taken with Gray Ops and as always the degree of professionalism was impressive. Each new skill was presented in a methodical progression, building on what came before. While I was at first uncomfortable about a couple of things I had not previously done, by the time you explained them and walked us through them, I felt confident in executing them. And it felt oh so good to accomplish them! The speed and accuracy drills were great but I especially liked the movement drills, one-handed drills and the seated position drills. I really disliked the malfunction drills (lol!) but it is good to know how to handle them! Also, I most especially disliked the pistol standard drills...but...I am really glad we did them. I have heard that in order to change/progress you have to be willing to be uncomfortable. The pistol standards highlighted where more work (much more work!) was needed and you provided guidance in how to practice productively...and that is much appreciated! I also appreciate that you manage to interject humor and keep the class relaxed while keeping us all safe and on point.
All of the above holds true for the Level 1 Handgun course and the Fundamental/Intermediate Carbine class I took with you as well. I waited too long to sign-up for the Carbine Skill Builder class I wanted, as it is full, a good reminder that your classes fill up quickly. I will keep monitoring your class calendar and snag the next one as soon as it is posted!
Thanks so much for being such a great resource for firearms training!
Fundamental - Intermedidate Handgun (CCW Certification)
[Sept 12-13, 2015]
Setting: Time flies and I know this is really late but some time near or before Oct. 2015 I took my CCW training with Gray Ops. I'm not sure of the exact dates until I get home and edit this after looking at my certificates. It's composed of their fundamental and intermediate handgun classes along with the firearm proficiency test. It was located at the Sac Valley shooting range and lasted two 8 hour days. The weather was pretty damn hot but I'm warm blooded as it is.
Gear: I used my Glock 29SF with a Precision inside the wasteband holster. I chose this firearm because 10mm's performance as a caliber and the G29SF package is a pretty small hand cannon. Precision holsters are awesome, plus I love that they are from Placerville and they have a great warranty. The Glock was stock except the TruGlo TFO sights I'm always raving about (glows in the day and night, glows brighter at night than my Trijicon sights on my 1911). I was shooting Georgia Arms reloads. I didn't know at the time factory reloads were frowned upon and that they preferred factory new. The gun was brand new gun and maybe 5 or so rounds had a light primer strike, my guess it's more so the gun's fault for not being broken in than the actual reloads. I went with Georgia Arms because they had a good deal on 10mm in bulk. I brought a lot of water, wore jeans and a shirt, sunglasses, and had plenty of sunblock. I had knee pads but weren't used very much. Electronic hearing protection is the way to go. It was recommended to have 600 rounds, I think I maybe shot 400-450ish of it. I just remember the spam can was low but not empty by the second day. I don't remember refilling it after the first day. I bought two cans of 600 each. A magazine reloader is probably a good idea. My G29 mags are especially hard to load, more than any other magazine I've tried, but still would recommend it because you'll get tired.
Staff: I've never had training before so I don't have an ability to compare it but I must say the staff at Gray Ops is more than qualified to teach these courses. Their website is kind of lacking in talking about Pat and Gordon's experience but they give you a packet when you show up and man is it impressive! These guys have lots of training by law enforcement agencies and also train law enforcement (in the 9-5 job). Pat and Gordon are very pleasent to work with, they have a serious demenor, they are there to provide excellent training and do deliver, but you can also talk with them during breaks and will listen if/when you need help.
Training: Before I did the training I did have respect for firearms but it was more out of fear probably. Afterwards I feel much more comfortable with my gun because I spent two days shooting all day and really getting proper training. We practiced on accuracy, reloading, different scenarios, using cover effectively, shooting from the holster, proper grip and stance, timed shooting, strong and weak hand,... the list goes on. There also was in-depth discussions on laws and safety. The scenarios that really stood out to me was sitting and drawing as though you were in a car and had to shoot out a window and also the test to see how far an enemy would have to be to actually use your firearm in self defense if they were to dead run at you with a knife. It's surprising how far they really need to be, very insightful. Towards the end of the second day I was getting a few limp wrist stovepipes. I have smaller hands, it's a 10mm, I shot a lot of rounds, and had a tendon injury, but I'd still argue that 10mm is not too much recoil. It's been hyped up. Go shoot one and fall in love, get one, maybe get a .460 Rowland also.
Proficiency Test: The test was pretty nerve racking. You spend all this time and money to get to the part where you'll see if you'll get the fancy paper that says you can carry like any Joe Shmo in a free state can. Probably not much you can do about that unless you got nerves of steel or are actually renewing yours (i.e. been through it before). The thing I'm going to stress the most though is there is PLENTY of time. They remind you of this too. I still ended up shooting with plenty of time to spare. Anyways, I passed with my G29! But, that wasn't the end of it... I also had my Sig P238. It was a new gun too and I didn't use it at all during the training. Probably shot a total of 20-50 rounds out of it. My feelings weren't going to be hurt if I didn't pass with it so I figured why not try to get that listed too, which is what happened
Conclusion: Since taking the CCW class with Gray Ops I've recommended everyone I know who shows any interest in getting their CCW or any other firearms training to seek out training through them. It has been a while since my own training but today I signed up for their fundamental - intermediate carbine, carbine skill builder, and advanced handgun classes. I'll be writing more in depth reviews than this one when the time comes. The take home message is to go with Grey Ops, you wont be disappointed. Before taking the class I was less comfortable with my handguns but I also was kind of cocky to be honest. When you hear fundamental - intermediate you might question how basic the class will be. I've had rifles before my hand guns and now I'm not questioning starting out with their fund - int carbine class. I'm sure there will be plenty for me to learn and improve.
Fundamental - Intermediate Handgun
Just took the Fundamentals and Intermediate Handgun course over this last weekend, and let me tell you, it was well worth every penny I paid!!! Pat and Gordon were the instructors and they know their stuff. Very good instructors and very personable, they were safe and thorough. Course was 8 hours each day and we shot around 700-750 rounds, which was awesome! Taught; safe gun practices, load and reload drills, malfunction drills, situational awareness, how to shoot from many different positions, basically you name it, they taught it over the two days. Can't say enough about these guys. I am one day removed from the class and already signed up for the Defensive Shotgun course next month. Can't wait!! Keep up the good work guys!.....shooters ready?...Threat!
Gordon & Alan, Thank you both again for a fantastic two days of incredible instruction. Your attention to detail and safety is first class. Your knowledge and ability to teach each person at their individual level says it all.
You challenged me and our class on and off the range to become not only better shooters, but to know our weapon systems inside and out.
Asking us why we were doing things a specific way and correcting us as needed made us all have to think even more. Ultimately we will be more proficient and much safer gun handlers. I left with a great foundation to build upon. I will return to the range and practice our drills.
I will be back for additional training in the near future with additional friends who need your profound instruction. This training should be mandatory for all that own a weapon. It is an honor to be part of this dyslexic family.
Dried out, cleaned up and ready for more. See you both again soon.
I had a great time in the Fundamental Tactical Handgun I course earlier this month. Instruction was awesome and I learned a few things (probably more than a few). It was awesome! It was be FAR the best handgun course I have even taken. Kudos to you and your crew!
Thanks for running a structured, well paced, safe training course. The attention given to safety by yourself and other instructors created a relaxed training atmosphere. I learned alot about the carbine platform and also how to transition to my secondary weapon. Will be looking at taking classes next year probably a handgun class or possibly the carbine skill builder.
Thanks again to you, Allen and Greg. Stay safe till we can share the range again.
Fundamental - Intermediate Handgun
If you’re in the Northern California/Bay Area and want some firearm training you need to contact Gray Ops. I work in the corporate utility industry. I get tons of training every year by people who either don't care or don't know what they are teaching. Gray Ops is by far the best training I have ever had for anything. Zero ego and zero attitude. Their drills and emphasis on real life scenarios were great. Their communication skills and ability to teach shined bright at the end of the two-day class with the vast improvement by all the students!!
Plumis Lake, CA
Fundamental - Intermediate Handgun
I have an out-of-state LTC and was looking for tactical handgun training. I inquired with Gordon Gray re the Intermediate Handgun course. I had experience shooting and had taken classes for LTC (CCW). After a brief conversation with Gordon (including my experience with holsters), he suggested (more like insisted) that I start with their fundamental class before the intermediate class. I reluctantly agreed and my buddy and I signed up for both classes (I and II). Long story short. Gordon was 200% right.
This fundamental class provided a good refresher of what we already knew and then started on the real fundamentals of shooting. The additional skills and training they provided in stance, draw, target acquisition and sighting, handgun grip, trigger reset, etc., was great. Everything we did later that day and in Handgun II built off those basics. By noon on day 1 we were putting rounds down range, working on and fundamentals of shooting including multiple shots on multiple targets.
Day 2 included a short refresher from Day 1 and then we added more tactical tools to our tool box including movement, reloads, shooting from prone positions and barricade work. We also did a simulation on the 21 foot rule that was illuminating (21 foot rule? -- google it or just watch this last season of Justified). I became a more proficient, and better prepared, shooter through this course and will continue to improve as I hone these new skills and fundamentals.
All of the above was done in a very safe, sane and respectful environment. The Gray Ops Team is Safety First and they did an outstanding job of running a safe range and course. The instructors were all first rate, experienced, professional firearms instructors employing the latest and most current tactics based on years of real time experience working in law enforcement. I was impressed by the entire team (Pat, Josh and Gordon) but thought Pat Deasy was particularly effective in communicating and demonstrating the fundamentals of shooting.
I am looking forward to taking more advanced courses with Gray Ops. To sum it up in two words: "THUMBS UP!" (take the course and you will know what that means).
This class was clearly what I needed! I am new to the AR platform and my goal was to become more familiar and confident using this weapon – also to leave the weekend with the “same 9 holes as God gave me”.
I learned so much from the first hour of class when we learned to tear down and field strip the AR. This also helped me understand better the mechanics of how the rifle functions as well.
One of the biggest things I learned the first day was understanding the ‘sight over bore’. All of my rifle experiences have occurred at distances over 25 yards (mostly 100 yards). Shooting at distances of 10 yards or less sounds easy – kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. It took me the better part of the day to mentally grasp the concept and adjust my sight picture. By the end of the day I was making my adjustments and making my shots on target!
I know I will be back to take another class – maybe the defensive handgun class with my wife!
Until then, thank you very much for your and Alan’s time and patience with all of us!
Gray Ops came highly recommended as providing the type of training for situations one hopes to never have to encounter in real life, but that you will certainly want to have should you ever need it. Owning a gun is one thing, knowing how to use it properly, legally and effectively is another. Understanding the enormity of the responsibility that goes with gun ownership, I reasoned that spending the extra money on learning how to better operate one safely and effectively was certainly in my best interest. Enter here, Gray Ops.
Although originally interested in a Tactical First Aid course, with none on the schedule, I then opted for taking a Fundamental Tactical Carbine course and was immediately impressed with the level of instruction provided. We started with a bench discussion on carbine function along with a well illustrated take down and maintenance briefing. This was followed by getting our rifles properly sighted given the array of various optic and non-optic sightings students were using. We then moved into firing for effect using proper sight alignment, coupled with time trials and shooting from standing, prone, kneeling and on the move positions. We also covered clearing jams, including one that was a bit more rare and complicated that became a spontaneous "on the spot" teaching moment for all of us. The entire time, instructors Gordon Gray and Pat Deasy were total professionals, providing us with clear and effective instruction, correcting us when we needed assistance and leading the class through a well organized and structured set of drills.
I appreciate the time I get on the range, but this certainly took my shooting to the next level and I can't recommend these classes enough for those who want the same.
San Francisco Bay Area
Fundamental Tactical Handgun
I just wanted to thank both you and Pat for the excellent fundamental class Saturday. That was quite an adventure in the rain, but I think the weather made it extra memorable! (smile:) I appreciated your patience and kindness as I tried to grasp the basics during class. I have to say, that at no time during the actual class, did I feel intimidated (before we started, YES!), and I credit that to you guys. Thank you for making my first experience so great. I look forward to taking more of your classes, and sending both my husband and son to you guys soon!
Handgun Skill Builder
Excellent classes tailored to each person's specific needs and experience, excellent instructors. I just took my 3rd class today and I just can't say enough great things about gray ops. I've taken courses with other companies and these guys are professional, have a great sense of humor, work great together, and most importantly are ALWAYS safe!
My AAR of the class.
Gray Ops Tactical Handgun Skill Builder: (Tactical Handgun 2.5), Sacramento, CA August 24-25, 2013 @ Sac Valley Shooting Center
I am a 24 year old technical manager. My job requires a large range of duties, from basic pencil pusher duties to field work. When I have to do field work, it often involves shadowing one of my many technicians and evaluating their work. This forces me to cover an area that goes as far south as Stockton, as far north as New Castle, as far west as Vallejo, and as far east as Pollock Pines, carrying expensive electronic components with me. As such, I have found it necessary to be more proactive in my own personal security. I applied and was given a CCW.
Prior to this class, I have gone to no formal classes by any accredited instructors, but rather with many old coworkers and old bosses who were all proficient shooters. I have shot several competitions, all finishing slightly above average. My goals for this class with Gordon and Pat was to not only sharpen what skills I might have picked up along the way and break any bad habits I might have picked up as well.
Gear and Stuffs:
I ran a Gen 3 Glock 19. It was not purchased new, but it was an agency trade it. The only modifications done to the gun were installation of XS Big Dot Sights (w/tritium), a Larry Vickers extended magazine release, front serration reduction, trigger guard undercut, and relief cut to mag well. All work to the frame itself was done by myself with a set of files along with a Dremel. No internal work was done to the Glock. As far as I know, all springs including recoil, trigger, and striker are factory. Holster choice was something that I had made the night before. It closely resembles an Off The Grid ADR MkI (https://otghex.com/products/adr-mki-ready-to-ship/) worn AIWB/Mexican carry/felon carry/appendix. Magazines were 3x 15rnd Glock factory magazines, with 1 riding IWB in an unknown make leather holster carried at the 8 o' clock position with one inside of my left pocket, simulating how I would carry on a regular basis.
Other guns used by other classmates include two other G19s, one which simply got a stippling treatment, another which got a treatment from ATEi (http://ateiguns.com/), a Sig P239, a G17, a G23, a H&K USP, and a S&W M&P Compact. Holsters ranged from Safariland duty holsters to Serpas to Raven Concealment. Outside of one or two issues with reloads and a gun lacking some lubrication, all malfunctions observed were operator error and not gun issues.
Gordon and Pat started with a basic review of the 4 firearm safety rules. As this was an advanced class, we were all familiar with these rules, so a refresher was all that was needed. We went over the emergency procedure and locations of all medical aid devices were pointed out. At least two of the students in the class also carried their own tourniquets and other medical equipment. We started right in logically at getting the gun out of our holsters and getting a good grip on the gun. Since this was how the gun gets started into action, it would be fundamental to achieve a strong firm grip in other to manage recoil and be able to manipulate the weapon efficiently. Jumping onward, we powered our way through trigger control, reloads, strong hand and support hand firing, off line of attack (lateral movement), various shooting positions including kneeling, double kneeling, prone, shooting while moving, and multiple target engagement. Once we had our building blocks in place, we put it all together with some slow moving drills where we had to process the information given to us on the threat command and engage the target appropriately.
Things were livened up a bit when the dueling tree was brought out. Students were pitted against each other to see not only who was fastest, but who was most consistent. Once a student winner was decided, he got the chance to shoot against Pat. Pat kept his cool and won the competition. Which really only made sense, as he was our instructor. Then we had a drill that simulated an unknown person breaking into our house and we had to deal with the threat while also considering our environment (extra mags, cell phone to call the appropriate authorities, etc), and potential friendlies (children, significant other, etc.) It was a very sobering experience after running the drill and then watching others run it as well and seeing your shortcomings. After a very long day, we broke and went home for the day.
We started out with a warm up of sorts, working on trigger reset at short ranges with increasingly smaller targets. Then we reviewed movement and shooting from different positions. Now the real fun started. Gordon and Pat really started hammering in how we needed to be thinkers first most, followed by trigger pullers after. We did more drills that had us identify targets in more detail while engaging them effectively. Then it was into the meat grider once more. A course of sorts was put together with three stations with cover and several steel targets and pepper poppers. But now we had to work as a team and communicate with each other prior to moving. This meant we had to be aware of our targets, engage them effectively, keep an estimated idea of our ammunition count to reload during the most opportune moments, keep an estimated idea of our partner's ammo to request for move at the most opportune moment, and be aware of where our partner is. It was a rough start for some of us, but with a gentle but firm hand, Pat and Gordon guided us and we all felt more comfortable. But they would not let us rest on our laurels. We were tossed into a simulated active shooter course, with the target mounted into a wagon that would moved back and forth, controlled by Gordon. Inside the course, we had random targets in the foreground and background. As a duo, we had to get combat effective hits onto the shooter while not hitting any of the other targets as they represented non-combatants. We had to make use to all we had learned in the two days, including shooting from different positions, movement, shooting while on the move, and minding out surroundings. Thankfully, none of us hit any non-combatants and we got a decent majority of hits onto the target.
Great group of guys to learn from. Both instructors came from an extensive background in law enforcements and both are great contributors to the area. I was genuinely surprised at how custom tailored the curriculum was to our specific group of students. Nothing was scripted and every felt very liquid and flexible. If we were struggling a bit on a certain area, Pat or Gordon would work with us more on that area. If we were excelling in a certain area, they would push us to go faster or harder until we got to the failure point. Only then do we know what our maximum operating speed is.
What was very surprising to me was the class size. We had a total of 8 students. And we had two instructors. That was amazing to me. Everyone else I had talked to about other classes said they were in groups as large as 25 with only one instructor. It often felt like I was getting personal lessons from Pat and Gordon.
Most importantly, I discovered all downfalls of myself and my gear. Specifically, when you shoot a lot of round quickly, the gun is going to be very hot. Which is fine, until you reholster. And you carry appendix. Needless to say, if you were present, you definitely saw me squirm and a few choice four letter words escape my mouth.
-Bring lots of water/drinks and sunscreen. Better yet, hydrate a couple of days in advance.
-Use the gear you would use when carrying a gun. Obviously, if you are an average citizen, don't show up with a duty belt that has a Taser and handcuffs. Train how you fight.
-Bring more ammo than you think you need. The class called for 800 rounds. I ended up bringing about 1400 rounds and used about 950 rounds. Last thing you want to do is have to ration yourself on some of the more intense drills
-FOCUS. Especially during the second day, you may be tired or stiff or sore. You may not feel 100% and end up getting sloppy and not getting your hits or moving with purpose. Fight though it and get the job done. Remember, you default to your lowest level of training. If you give up on yourself during training, what do you think is going to happen when its potentially your life or someone else's on the line?
-Bring more than the minimum 3 magazines. As rare as it is, magazines fail. Maybe the feed lips deform. Maybe the base plate breaks. Even if none break, you don't have to top off as often
-A loading aid would be nice. I know my thumbs started getting a bit sore after a while.
-Active hearing protection is highly recommended. As the class is outdoors, instructions are often blown away by the wind. Coupled with hearing protection, this often makes it next to impossible to hear. With active hearing, any sound lower than a certain level are louder, so instructions are easier to pick up.
Needless to say, Gordon and Pat will be seeing me. Thanks for the great class.
Stay safe, stay vigilant,
Fundamental - Intermediate Handgun
Thank you for the coaching and encouragement. I now have some building blocks for a great foundation of mindset and skills to build upon. I can now say I left your class a different person gained skills and most of all friendship.
After the completion of training/class here is my own observation;
The pace was just right mix of instruction and student demonstration. Accelerate to a point of inducing stress to solicit a controlled response that can be corrected yet in a SAFE manner.
Pat's professionalism and his ability to get his teaching across, firm without overbearing and effective.
The props/ targets are new on each drill which helps the visual part of training. My learning has dispelled what I have read, it will improved my own safe training/ dryfire at home. Range trip would never be the same. I will have goals from now own and will continue to work on solidifying my fundamentals.
My approach in protecting my family will be completely revised. Now I'm yearning for more training progression. I now understand if you incorporate dry fire for each drill prior to live fire it will slow us down.
Please continue to teach and be an advocate of responsible firearm safety training. I'm already looking at my next class. Thank you for coaching/mentoring and friendship.
Walnut Creek, CA
I highly recommend Gray Ops hand-gun training. I had developed some bad habits from shooting on my own that caused me to be off target frequently. Within two hours of day one, those problems were amazingly corrected. From there, they took me much further than I expected in a two day course.
Patrick and Gordon are very skilled law enforcement professionals. When teaching, they masterfully balance relevant anecdotal experiences with the most up-to-date tactical guidance.
When I made mistakes, they intervened immediately and respectfully while emphasizing safety for me and those around me. I noticed the same level of attentiveness for both male and female participants no matter the skill level we brought with us into the course.
This is top notch skill building with none of the weekend warrior BS. I will be back in August for more!
Our Intermediate Handgun class this past weekend was outstanding. The training was well planned and Pat and you both did a fantastic job of instructing our class. Your ability to point out student errors and get the student to understand why, was most helpful. I know that our class left with more confidence and more skill to be applied in real world situations. This course was great in applying the fundamentals in all kinds of different shooting situations, which you simply cannot practice at your local shooting range. Personally, I cant wait for the next opportunity to take future classes with Gray Ops!!
This year I have completed Fundamental, Intermediate, and Skill Builder level course through Gray Ops with both handgun and carbine and that truly was excellent training! And all I can say is that I'm addicted! These classes are so much more fun than just a day out shooting at whatever. After every course I was on line that night looking for what Gordon's next class was. A class with Gray Ops not a joke, its a serious class for people that are intent on furthering their knowledge of weapons manipulation. However at the same time, Gordon and his other trainers Alan, Pat, and Greg do an awesome job of keeping the general atmosphere light yet safe.
In one of these classes you will quickly learn that every drill has at least one extra message attached to it to help you grow in your ability and think outside the box. Gray Ops building blocks approach to instructing builds you with the fundamentals and then pushes you beyond what you would have thought you could comfortably do without you even realizing that you are being pushed. There are tons of dynamic drills that pushed us to better operate our firearms and lots of others that will really make you think and open your tunnel vision during the drill. (Its probably a good idea to brush up on square roots and what 3 squared is...just sayn)
In these courses I think they expect us to get things wrong the first couple of times we did things, but throughout the course they never once called anyone out on a mistake and never even came close to acting like drill instructors. They were polite and professional from start to finish. And to top it all off, Gordon and his guys are all great to talk to and joke with.
Fundamental - Transitional Carbine
I do not normally send emails to you regarding a class I have taken, but I thought that this time it was necessary.
I know that it was not your intention to not be there to instruct the class. However, I would like to take this opportunity to give some feedback on Alan.
To keep it simple, Alan was awesome. Pat is as well, but he has been instructing for you and we know his abilities.
Alan provided a different and a down to earth approach.
Without going into a long explanation, he was able to to challenge the way I thought about a few things and drastically changed the way I grip my weapon. This was reinforced by some comments/demonstrations that Pat shared.
This resulted in my target acquisition and nonstandard response to be at least ten times faster.
As a repeat student to this class, I appreciate being able to take away something new, but this is different. He was able to take a competently skilled shooter and truly take it to the next level.
The end result was an incredibly fast reaction time and 5-7 rounds, all hitting center mass, as fast as the weapon would cycle the rounds. This IS the difference that will make me the survivor in the event I actually need to employ these skills. And for that, I cannot thank him enough.
I am looking forward to taking another class with him as an instructor.
It is always nice to meet and shake hands with someone. I like to put a face with a name. The purpose of this letter is to express our gratitude and satisfaction with your course. We as a group (FabWorx, Inc. & Co.) and individually; Bryan, Forrest, Gabe, Dave, and Joe all have nothing but praise for you, your course, and your instructors Alan and Pat. Your instructors are true professionals with passion and enthusiasm for what they do. In my opinion and as a fellow business owner; I believe that having a staff of this caliber is absolute in the evolution and success of a business.
Alan and Pat stayed on track and made sure the students were right there with them. When Alan would ask a question or have a solid point to make; and he knew that not everybody really got “it” he would peruse this point until everybody got “it”. If a student had a question, the instructors did not fail to answer and re-enforce with an example if necessary. Alan and Pat are both extremely knowledgeable in their fields of expertise. This is yet another example of the caliber of these two instructors.
I believe that we were fortunate enough to have a solid student base and equipment for this class. Alan was able to identify this and tailor the class to best suit our needs. Your staff was aware that it has been difficult to acquire ammunition and were sensitive to the issue. They did this by having us do two and three shot drills rather than having us send seven or ten rounds down range. Again these are details that prove that you are operating in the best interest of your students.
This detail may seem trivial to an experienced Operator or a serviceman; however I am very pleased with the certificates of completion. Again an example of the level of detail that you have put into your courses. If you were to add a morale patch for each course completed along with a certificate that would be even better.
My crew and I are looking forward to taking all of the classes that you offer. The class price point is spot on. (actually I believe that you could charge more for the classes if you wanted to) But by making it affordable you are again working in favor of your students. I am suggesting to everyone that I know that has not had any formal firearms training to enroll in your classes.
Santa Rosa, CA
I hope your weekend was as enjoyable as those of us who attended the Carbine class this weekend. My one word description would be awesome!! Alan and Pat were fantastic at every level. We were given every opportunity to learn, ask questions and absorb the vast amount of knowledge that was provided. We all felt very satisfied with the delivery of any constructive criticism and every drill was demonstrated very clearly.
As great as the class and instructors were, I was even more impressed with the element of safety that was non stop. Keeping every one safe and informed on the value of safety was alone worth the price of the class. These "rules" will be practiced at all times. This is a top notch instruction course with top notch trainers. I could not imagine any other "big name" instructor doing a better job that Alan and Pat.
I will continue my training with Gray Ops and recommend highly at every opportunity to do so.
I will see you soon. Be safe,
Handgun Skill Builder
I drove up from San Jose to attend the two day handgun Skill Builder class on 3/16-3/17. I consider myself a fairly solid intermediate shooter and wanted a class to bump up my skills to the next level. After exchanging a few emails with Gordon, he agreed to let me attend this class (skipping the fundamental and intermediate classes that they offer).
Mostly by word-of-mouth, I had heard a lot about Gray Ops, and it was all positive. So, I went up there with some pretty high expectations.
After two days of training, all I gotta say is....wow. Expectations met, and exceeded.....even before the end of the first day. There are so many positives, I simply don't have time to list them all. But, here are the key ones for me:
The only negative I can think of is, I wish they were closer to me in San Jose. ;-)
- Smaller class size of 12, with 3 instructors watching you (and they do watch you, and provide a lot of input)
- Wide, wide variety of drills, each with a specific purpose, which becomes crystal clear as the day goes on.
- Related to #2, a lot of dynamic drills, which were new to me. Not just two stays of shooting static targets. Yes, we had moving targets to engage! Awesome!
I will be attending a lot more of their classes in the near future. Thanks again to Gordon, Greg, and Pat.
San Jose, CA
It was a great weekend and awesome training! Can't wait for the next class!
Fundamental - Intermediate Tactical Handgun
I completed the beginner and intermediate handgun courses this past weekend with my father and husband. I have nothing but amazing things to say about this course and the two amazing instructors: Pat & Gordon. I left so much more confident and learned so much. I will be taking more courses from them.
Citris Heights, CA
Fundamental - Intermediate Tactical Handgun (San Jose - Metcalf Range)
This was a great class! Gordon is an awesome instructor and very very helpful, I highly reccomend anyone who looked at this and didn't sign up to take one of his courses, you will not regret it! Best investment I have made so far!
Fundamental - Intermediate Tactical Handgun (Sac Valley)
- San Ramon, CA
EXCELLENT CLASS THIS WEEKEND!
Gray Opts is TOP NOTCH! For those of you looking for ANYTHING gun related look no further! Highly recommend!!!
Women's Only Handgun
Women's course was awesome!
I just wanted to say thanks again for the gun course! My anxiety level of handling a handgun is at a comfortable level now that I know the rules and basics of a handgun. Please keep me updated through email about anymore future womens gun courses, maybe next time I can bring my mom.
- Stockton, CA
Semi-Private Tactical Handgun
I wanted to thank you again for your instruction of our groups private handgun course. I was extremely impresses that we had four different skill levels of shooters with four different training goals and you gave us each a custom syllabus to help us achieve our goals.
I have attended four other schools of handgun instruction and yours was the first that involved moving targets and "no-shoot" or hostage targets in the course of fire. As a CCW permit holder I found this extremely insightful.
I did pick up a few tips from your course that I will add to my toolbox,
*Locking my elbows helped keep my sights on target and reduce recoil.
*Incorporating the "negotiator stance" in my day to day posture.
Thank you for having the easy-up and water cooler set up. It was a big help in the 106 degree heat.
Your course is perfect for first-time handgun owners, people who want a better understanding of firearms or even experiences shooters who want to fine tune and eliminate any bad habits they might have picked up.
Congratulations on attaining your CCW instructor status, and I'll see you on the range.
Fundamental / Intermediate Tactical Handgun
If you're looking to take a training course on Tactical Handgun classes, Gray Ops FireArms Specialty Training is the place to go to. I've owned my handgun since September 2011 and have shot different handguns for over a year plus so I'm not a complete noob.
After purchasing my handgun and shooting over 500 plus rounds through it, I was having a difficult time trying to figure out why I was shooting low left and even my friends who have been shooting handguns for over 10 plus years couldn't figure out why I was shooting low left even as they watched me shoot. Well after the first day of taking the fundamental class and just listening to them explain how to correctly shoot a gun, I was able to correct myself with just their advice on the proper way of shooting a handgun.
These guys are as professional as it comes. Both Gordon Gray and Patrick Deasy were very friendly and easily approachable. They made the training very comfortable by being very professional and at the same time knowing how to lighten the mood with everybody to make it a better training environment for everybody. They were very helpful when they saw that you were doing an incorrect handling of the gun; they didn't yell at you but gave constructive criticism on how to correctly and properly handle the gun. They paid attention to everybody and was able to answer any questions that were asked of them.
I have nothing but great things to say about Gray Ops in which I have been raving to all my friends about this class and have suggested to them to take this class if they ever consider buying a handgun.
Being taught by a professional to gain that experience and skill can be the difference between you living and the criminal no longer being a threat and danger to you and your family.
Thank you Gordon and Pat I can't even express how much I learned and enjoyed from this class!
- Sacramento, CA
Super WOW!! I could not be happier with my two days of training with GrayOps. Day 2 picked up where Day 1 left off, minus a quick refresher of grip, draw, and reload drills for the folks who didn’t participate the first day. Pace picked up about 25% from Day 1, with range staying hot the majority of the time, guns were holstered without exception unless you were online and actively shooting a drill.
Instruction focused on tactics, with instructor run through then live drill usually two to three times through each. Few if any backward steps were used which served to enable students to build their knowledge base quickly. Interspersed with instruction were drills that focused on how much or how little time was required to bring a weapon to bear on a target, and then deliver a shot on that target. Highlighting for the student their own limitations, where their own comfort levels fall, or where they begin to fail.
Both highly experienced and motivated instructors, Pat and Gordon were rock solid (note I said instructors not shooters). Not once was anybody talked down too called out or in any way singled out as anything but a good example. The awareness of adult learners coupled with personal subject knowledge made for effortless transitions between concept and applied drills. The instruction, in what was for them second nature as expert marksmen, was superb. The daily safety brief was mandatory, as was the daily debrief. As long as the desire to improve remains within students Mr. Gray and Mr. Deasy will be looking to improve themselves to better educate them.
- Hollister, CA
Women's Only Handgun
Great Training yesterday- Thanks Gordon- you guys were great instructors- professional, patient and fun! I definitely recommend this class! See Ya next time!
Learned to shoot with Gray Ops Firearms Speciality Training. Amazing class, amazing instructors.
Great class! So glad I did it ;)
Carbine Skill Builder
Yet another excellent fast passed course from Gray Ops. I left a few bad habits on the range and picked up some better ones to take with me. I also really like Greg, he brings another dynamic to the range and is a excellent instructor as well. Highly recommended school for sure. See you at the Advanced carbine for sure.
Advanced Tactical Handgun
It was a excellent course Gordon! I learned a lot from your instruction. Thanks for having us out. Looking forward to carbine 2.5 and Precision Rifle now.
Fundamental Tactical Handgun
Excellent class. No nonsense. I learned methods to handle the gun, and you guys dialed me in on my shooting. I'm very happy with the results. I couldn't believe the difference from the start of class to the end. A very well designed class.
Gotta remember to lock my arms, which goes against several years of martial arts practice. You never lock your arms.
I have some practicing to do to get what I learned down, after that, I'll be taking the advanced class.
San Francisco, CA
This was my first training class with Gray Ops. Registering for class involved a click-here-to-pay on the website, followed by filling out a waiver and other forms.
The instructors arrived early to set up as the students showed up. Class started on time. Training was run in a very safe manner, starting from the very start. The instructor to student ratio allowed them to really keep an eye on everyone.
The experience level of the students ran from zero too experienced and everything in between. The instructors did a fantastic job putting attention where it was needed during drills and periods of instruction.
My buddy that came to class with me was a first timer, and really got dialed in fast. By the end of class, his groups were small and tight, his posture and grip were good to go, and he settled in. For me, I was able to pick up a few new things that helped my shooting out quite a bit as well.
For a basics class, it was very no-nonsense and comprehensive. Everyone had a great time despite the wind kicking up. It was a bummer that class ended when it did, but that was due to the ranges hours. All in all, great training, two thumbs up.
Santa Clara, CA
Intermediate Tactical Handgun
A few months ago I took a Defensive Shotgun course with Pat Deasy as our instructor. It was through that first course that I decided to take more courses with GrayOps and continue to enhance my gun handling abilities.
Fast forward to the Intermediate Handgun Course. The course was very well organized, especially with the fact that we had a very large class. Regardless of the size, the instructors were still able to give us 1 on 1 feedback after each drill, offering advice and tips on what to work on for next time. The drills were awesome, we did plenty of different types of them, from shooting on one knee, shooting behind barriers, to shooting while moving. Like I said before, after each drill we would receive feedback to help better our techniques. I look forward to taking many more courses with GrayOps, and because of them, my confidence as a shooter has increased greatly. I now sport your GrayOps patch on my jacket, as a sign of pride and confidence.
To be able to take a course not knowing to expect, and to be able to leave with a huge chunk of information, is what GrayOps accomplished, information that one day just might end up saving our lives.
- Aris M. Leano
San Bruno, CA
This was my second training class with Gray Ops that was a follow-up to the Fundamental Class the day before. By taking the Fundamental class the day before as a package deal, I was able to save $70...an incredibly good deal.
The instructors had the range set up as the students showed up. Class started on time. This class had a total of 4 instructors for 21 students that all had experience shooting, the Student/Instructor ratio was Outstanding!
Not everyone in this class was in class the day before. Many students were experienced but very rusty. Others were there to tune up their skills. Regardless, we started out with safe handling instruction, exactly the same as the Fundamental Class. Probably the first 2 hours of instruction and drills were the same as in the Fundamental Course, at first I was worried that it would be too redundant, but things quickly went into a higher gear after we worked on the basics. It was a very good class for those breaking off the rust, and folks dialed in pretty quickly.
All of the drills built on the skills from the previous ones, and the one-on-one tuning done by the instructors helped with correcting issues. These drills were shown in a very common sense way without being "fancy". The sense was that of "Here's stuff that just works," and once tried, it was self evident.
The only problem was that class ended too soon, again. However, that's a feature of the range, not the class. There was never a dull moment, all of the students were engaged at all times. Even on the water break, students would get instruction and questions answered. At one point, Pat gave a talk about handling wearing a holstered weapon in a day-to-day scenario that involved normal activities... like having to take a leak. What to do, what not to do.
All in all, even better training, two thumbs up. I'll certainly be back for the advanced class, and to repeat the Fundamental and Intermediate classes again with my wife.
It was refreshing to receive excellent training that wasn't dumb'd down at all. Even though there were very novice shooters, the same instruction worked for them, and they just received a little more attention from the instructors.
Santa Clara, CA
Fundamental/Transitional Tactical Carbine:
Just wanted to let you know I had a fantastic weekend – everything – and more – that I needed – and wanted out of the class. Thanks again – for the opportunity – just sorry – that I didn’t get to do the class with you – maybe next time. You were so, so right about needing to take the two courses – one day course by itself in comparison would have been no fun… and I would have wanted so much more --- thanks for encouraging me to take the 2nd day…
There was so much about the class that I loved, what I really appreciated was the constructive criticism when there was areas for improvement – and I loved the fact I was positively reinforced when I was doing the ‘skill’ right – or when I excelled in that area – etc… the fact you guys insisted that we focus on learning the ‘basics’ and fundamentals.
I have improved so much in just 2 days… Day-1, I really didn’t know what to expect. I think I did pretty well today. Each shot was an opportunity to learn something – sight picture – trigger control – you name it – I tried to do right --- The class was a success --- My arms are sore, my hands are sore – and no one got injured, not that they would – just saying – it’s always a good day when you can ‘go home safely.
After, Day-2, I felt much more confident. Both instructors Greg and Alan were spot – on. I can’t wait to do another class with you soon. Very pleased with the classes, now I am hooked – there is no going back – I have to do another class.
Lastly, your fake bullet on the bungee – gadget – worked great, I used it all day today.
Fundamental/Transitional Tactical Carbine:
After taking the Gray Ops Carbine I and II classes last weekend, I feel that I now have the knowledge base to get in on this conversation. Below is a VERY brief description of the kind of subjects we covered in the classes.
Greg, the head instructor, said something that was very true about any kind of training. "I'm not going to teach you the only way you could or should use your tools and capabilities, I'm helping you build a base on which to develop your own tactics to fit your specific situation." I've trained many people on CNC mill programming software and I say EXACTLY the same thing to my trainees. To use an old saying "There's more than one way to skin a cat".
Greg, our instructor was an excellent speaker and knows what he's talking about. The Syllabus included with the class was very well laid out and covered the entire classes activities precisely. It also had a bunch of info on ballistics, muzzle velocity, and drop that will come in very handy in the future. There were five students in the class.
The first half of the day was spent getting to know our rifles. By that, I mean literally taking them apart, cleaning, and putting them back together, and although I have built many ARs, there was still something new to learn. A couple of the students had never attempted to take their rifles apart, especially the bolt carrier group. Everyone brought their tools, techniques, and favorite lubes to the table and we had a great time trading ideas. The underlying message that I took from the morning session was. "It doesn't matter what kind of fight you're going into, if your equipment is not ready for it (regardless of if it's a gun or a baseball bat) you're already at a disadvantage or have already lost".
The second half of the class was spent on the range. Although us students were probably anticipating jumping right in and throwing billions of rounds down range, we were quickly brought back down to earth by Greg to learn the basics. Marksmanship, safety, posture, movements, clearing malfunctions, and shooting positions (shooting from under a car was my favorite). I personally learned that I had a lot of bad habits that can be attributed to a lack of never having been taught good habits. By the end of the day my proficiency and ability to move, shoot, and reacquire my target increased dramatically. One exercise that I really took a lot from was a very quick technique for dialing in my iron sights. At the end of the day, we did a basic NRA qualification test, for fun, and we all passed.
On a side note. The first class also gave us the opportunity to test the configuration of our rigs in preparation for the intermediate class. We all had some configuration of chest or waist rig. I was using a full chest rig with 10 AR mags all in front, 6 pistol mags (3 on each breast), thigh holster, water bladder, with my AR on a single point sling. I realized VERY QUICKLY that my configuration greatly hindered my ability to do several of the movements and shooting positions. Even though I was exhausted, I spent the night after the class retooling my rig and practicing the movements learned that day and was ready for Carbine II.
Since the class was larger (9 students) Greg employed the help of Alan. Both are veteran police officers and most definitely know their stuff. One important thing to note is that Gordon likes to have a ratio of 5 students per 1 instructor. It makes the class run much smoother and gives each student a lot of one on one time with their instructor. They also made a great team as Greg was describing movements while Alan was demonstrating. Very professional!!
Again, billions of rounds were not fired and for good reason. What good would it be emptying your mag at that zombie(s) if you haven't learned techniques to hit it while say: running, falling, rolling over, shooting from under, over and sideways of your cover, and engaging multiple targets. Whether you're killing zombies in an open field or defending your home from them, whether you're using a BMG 50 at 1500 yards or a baseball bat, these are the techniques you'd need to practice. "train how you intend to fight".
At the end of the day, I was exhausted and pumped at the same time. So much so that I'd like to take the Carbine II class a couple more times before moving onto the Carbine III class. There is definitely something for every one to learn and a lot to take from it. What you do with it would be dictated by the situation you find yourself in.
To add my two cents to the discussion in this thread. I believe that any training that gives you the tools to have the ability to react to whatever threat confronts you, can't be a bad thing. Taking the classes really lit a fire under my arse to do more to make sure my home and family are prepared for anything that may come. From the classes, I now have the tools and techniques to develop and practice a home defense training plan for myself and my family that includes all the tools we have at our disposal whether it be anything from a 911 call or a double tap to the head.
Tactical reloads with a BB AR:
On the first day we had a discussion about tactical reload techniques using a BB AR. The bottom line is that there's really no efficient way to do tactical reloads when you're under stress with a BB AR no matter what kind of tool you use other than the five on your hand (thank you California). It was actually kind of funny because since I am the inventor of the "Ultimate Bullet Button Tool" I was looked upon on as the expert on the subject of tactical reloads and everyone was eager to hear what I had to say. Actually, I believe I learned more walking away from the discussion than what I brought to it. We discussed several different ways to do it but none were great.
Utilizing the techniques learned about keeping your muzzle trained on your target while reloading and the ideas we discussed about the role the BB plays, I practiced the night after the first class and realized that this technique worked pretty good. I may even do a video on it.
Let's say you just finished sweeping a room full of zombies and are ready to bust into the next room. I found the best way to top off is to drop the half full mag with my full (using the UBBT "of course") and just let it hit the floor while keeping the muzzle up and trained in the direction of the next potential target (as taught in the class). It only took an extra second or two to bend over and pick it up. That's pretty much it.
Alan "Thordo" Thordsen
So. San Franciso, CA
Fundamental/Transitional Tactical Carbine:
Thank you for the valuable carbine training over the weekend. You made it possible for me by going above and beyond and offering me the training even though I had signed up for similar classes and made payment to another training company you used to work for. When that company closed its doors before I had a chance to take the classes, I thought I was out of luck.
Your training stressed the golden safety rules at all times, and, under that type of safe environment, I got a real education about a tool that is relatively new to me. I can see the value and benefit in all the skills and lessons you taught us over the weekend, and I feel much more confident with my carbine. Thanks again and I'm looking forward to more classes with you and Gray Ops Specialty Firearms Training.
Fundamental/Intermediate Tactical Handgun:
When my buddy and I initially signed up for the handgun courses it was under Stone Cobra Tactical (SCT). Due to unforseen circumstances we were forced to reschedule our class date from April to September. However, during the summer we were informed that SCT would be shutting it's doors. Our class in September would no longer be taking place. One can imagine the tremendous amount of disappointment we were coming to grips with after receiving that news.
Rather than being out the money, Gordon contacted me to let me know that the course was still going to take place, rain or shine. He had started his own company, Gray Ops. Cool thing about this new company was that all previous applicants that had already paid for their cancelled SCT courses would be able to take the Gray Ops course at no charge.
After taking last weekend's handgun training courses, (9-3/4-11), I realized it was more than what I had anticipated. I grew up shooting guns, almost felt as if there was not much more to be taught. Not only did I learn a variety of new techniques but I learned something about myself. I was not ready for what could happen...at least not until after I took this course. I feel confident in the training I experienced.
This company is not only talented with great instructors, this is a company that has something no one else can provide. They have a vision. That vision consists of pride in what they do, confidence in what they teach, and more importantly they have my respect. To me Gray Ops is more than a few guys who banded to together to form a company. To me Gray Ops is a brand. A brand to take pride in. A brand that can be trusted.
Tactical Fundamental and Transitional Carbine:
I attended Fundamental and Transitional Carbine classes back to back on a weekend, with no recommendations or referrals I decided to put my money down and give it a shot. From the word go I could tell right away that all the instructors were very knowledgeable and most importantly created a comfortable and open learning environment. In the reviews I've seen a lot of people list what they brought and what they had on their carbine but I think the important thing is to bring a good attitude and open mind, get a good night’s sleep and prepare to be switched on the whole time you are on the range. As far as gear just bring what you are comfortable with and maybe a few different options as far as what you wear or how you carry your gear, for as you work throughout the day you may want to refine the way you do things. I will tell you this you WILL learn what works and what don’t once you get out there.
Fundamental Carbine is just that, they start right with the fundamentals of the AR based carbine and takes you through the history, development and internal workings, if you are a seasoned shooter or a beginner having a good foundation can make the difference between a great shooter or a good one and the guys know this. Before anyone started shooting, safety is emphasized and then gone over again; all of the instructors are seasoned veterans in their respective fields and make sure that everyone there is on their toes at all times to ensure no accidents happen. As far as the actual shooting is concerned I would be hard pressed to recount all of the various drills that we were taken through on day one, after we had zeroed are rifles we got right into it and never let up till it was time to go, and believe me when that time comes you don’t want to.
Transitional Carbine, Wow, what can I say about this day? From the time we walked on the range it was on. This is the day you start putting it all together and building on all that was learned in Fundamental Carbine, in addition to the new things that you will learn throughout the day. Remember what I said about being switched on? Well make sure you bring it to this class because you will need to be focused and ready. From transition drills to shooting from awkward positions, shooting on the move and more, If are reading this and don’t take this class, shame on if you if you aren’t signing up now.
I wanted to make this review short and to the point because that’s the kind of guy I am but the bottom line about the instructors, Gordon and Greg are all highly trained knowledgeable instructors whom all have practiced what they teach in real life situations. They create a comfortable relaxed (but not too relaxed) learning environment that lends itself to picking up new skills and building on them in a short period of time AND they are all great guys on top of it all. I really can’t say enough about all of them and my experience learning from them. I was lucky enough to stumble on them and take two classes while passing through for work, all of you who live in the area should take advantage of this gem of a school and the resources that these men can bring you and consider yourselves lucky to have them in your backyard.
St. Petersburg, Florida
PAPA OSCAR RLTW