Back to (Gun) School

(Larry posted this on social media- bringing this here for those of you staying out of the sewers.- Jack)

I spent the last two days in Shawnee Oklahoma at the Meadhall Range, shooting the Symtac Consulting shotgun skills class. I highly recommend both. (Symtac travels and does classes around the country, Meadhall hosts teachers from all over)

I’m a long time shotgun nerd, and I still got a ton of stuff out of the class, and was taught some new techniques. Whether you’re new to defensive shotguns or experienced, you’re going to get something out of this.

The class is taught my Rob and Matt Haught, a father and son team. Rob has been doing this an extremely long time and has forgotten more about shotguns that most people will ever know. Matt grew up in this world, and is an absolute monster on a 12 gauge. Good dudes. If they’re teaching anywhere near you, check it out.

And if you’re near Oklahoma, check out the stuff Meadhall hosts. They bring in some quality instructors. And they’re really nice hosts with a range facility that’s actually comfortable.

The most valuable thing most people will get out of the class is learning the Push-Pull technique, which if you do it correctly, knocks about half the felt recoil out of the equation. Which means you can go really fast (and also practice more without getting beat up, like I did about 500 rounds and the only thing that’s sore is where I paid my stupid tax and wacked my thumb nail on a steel light mount)

For being a little rusty on shotguns (well, by my standards, I’m tuned up by normal human standards, but I used to be a shotgun freak back when I was competing) I still did pretty damned good. They have a skills challenge drill, using slugs, that’s really spicy. There’s only been 7 people who have ever passed it (4 of who teach the class). Nobody in my class cleared it, but I came the closest, missing it by .5 of a second (and I know exactly how I could clean that up for next time).

Then at the very end, to put test out the various skills you’ve learned over the last two days, there’s one on one shoot off brackets for top gun, where I got beat out by the guy who took the title. We were so close. The dude was quick. Much respect.

Best thing about Gun School is when you end up with a class full of cool people, and this was a great bunch. And shotguns are just fun. I love pistols, I love carbines, but there’s just something about the sheer oomph factor of rocking a 12 gauge. So this was an excellent weekend.

WriterDojo S4 Ep10: Profanity
WriterDojo S4 Ep9: Supporter Spectacular (Round 7)

15 thoughts on “Back to (Gun) School”

  1. Larry, I went to shotgun instructor school in the late 80’s during my law enforcement career. It was freaking amazing to me what you can do with an 870 when someone shows you how.

    Double taps, hostage drills, multiple targets. It all started with muscle memory doing dry fire. Mash the trigger pull the handle release the trigger push the handle.

    Those were some good times.

  2. What did you use to hold spare rounds?

    Reason I ask: I remember a year or two back, “shotgun cards” were the new hotness. I’m thinking about picking some of those up next month, maybe, for my social shotgun. (My birthday is in April, and Midway offers “birthday pricing” on certain things.)

    Mostly, I’m wondering if you’ve had any experience with those, and if they’re a preferable alternative to things like the receiver mounted shell holders, or the el cheapo butt stock cuff (which is what I have now).

    1. I use a side saddle, the Safariland shell caddys that hold four, and a bandoleer that my wife sewed for me like 20 years ago. Though to be fair, the bandoleer is primarily serving to hold my pants up from all the shell caddys.
      Butt cuffs are fine. One guy had a match saver that was awesome.
      The shotgun cards are neat, but by the time you pull one out of a pouch and replace the one on your gun, everybody else has already reloaded. So they are cool for topping off an empty side saddle, but I didn’t see anybody fast enough with them to make much difference.

  3. Wait, Shawnee OK? Dang it, I had no idea about Meadhall when I was student there at OBU back in the day. Of course, in that day and age I doubt I would have been able to scrounge the cash for a class, so wouldn’t have matter anyway.

  4. Bill Armstrong runs an excellent range at Meadhall! And the Haughts are a class act! Glad you had a good time up there! I am just too old and broken to shoot 400 rounds of 12 ga… sigh

  5. Dude, we had such a fun time and you were an outstanding student. I agree, you’ve got it in you to fine-tune your technique and earn a coin on the Skills Gauge.

    Shotguns are just…. FUN.

  6. “there’s just something about the sheer oomph factor of rocking a 12 gauge”

    What’s your second favorite shotgun cartridge? 10? 16? 20? 28? .410?

    1. My second favorite shotgun cartridge after 12 gauge is more 12 gauge.
      I don’t know how many 12s I own. I enjoy them all.
      I own one 20 and one 410 that hardly ever get used.

  7. I took their class last fall. I concur with everything Larry said. Learned a lot and had a great time!

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