LMS Defense; Pistol 1 (Day 1) Sept. 2007

A review of the LMS Defense Pistol I course. We had a medium size class with 12 students, Two are Law Enforcement (Police), one works at a gun shop, the Cav Arms girls, and an assortment of others I don’t remember. A diverse group from all kinds of backgrounds and various levels of skill. A few of the students had shot very little or long ago, some are training addicts and train a lot and some were taking their first shooting class. The class went quick but didn’t leave anyone behind. No one looked bored, we all learned and enjoyed ourselves.

According to their website (LMSdefense.com) this course teaches weapon manipulation, marksmanship fundamentals, combat stress management, movement, use of cover, fighting from unusual positions, ground gun fighting, concealed weapon tactics and on going self-training tools. This fast paced, challenging course will better enable you to use the handgun as an effective part of your defense system.

You are given a current working set of tools. You are shown what to do, how to practice and what to do in the event of a malfunction. Then your level of proficiency will determine how good you become. LMS gives you solid easy to use methods to encourage good habits while training during the year.

This was not my first Pistol 1 course, and was not bored at all. Things change, people forget, I might have missed things in prior classes. I also found myself learning from other students, Seeing a drill run with several other students can be as educational as doing the drill it’s self.. But there’s no shortage of ‘hands on’ in an LMS Defense course. You’ll shoot every bit of the required round count and more if you want to run some drills again

This class was at the Gila Indian Reservation Shooting Range, South of Phoenix near Casa Grande, AZ

A look up and down range at the Gila River Reservation Shooting Range. This is not a public range, if you are not a member of the community or a guest of a member you are not able to shoot here. LMS has a special arrangement with the Gila River Indian Reservation Police Department and we had access to the range for the weekend

Our Instructor was Josh Jackson

Josh currently works as a patrol officer and K-9 handler in Northern California. His K-9 partner is a dual purpose apprehension/ narcotics detection dog. Josh’s patrol experience has included high-risk, rural/ mountain and bicycle assignments. He also has practical experience in helicopter short haul/ S.T.A.B.O. operations and court security. In addition to being a California P.O.S.T. certified firearms instructor, Josh evaluates police cadets during practical examinations at a P.O.S.T. basic police academy. With over a decade of experience in law enforcement, Josh desires to educate and train armed citizens to effectively protect themselves and their families.

The day started (in the shade thanks to Cav Arms) with the typical welcome, introductions, paperwork and a quick discussion on Safety, First Aid, Emergencies, and the reasons why we were all there. What we were going to learn and a time to ask questions.

Then we were off to get started, with some simple drills to learn range commands and basic technique

Then after the first water break, we were loaded and making noise

Talk, then do.. you’ll see this again in this review. That’s how it went all day.. cover some new ground with a brief lecture, demonstrate if needed, answer questions then do. We’d get back on the line and keep adding these additional layers to our shooting drills. For example we start with the proper safe draw, then ready positions, then sight picture, then trigger control, later movement, etc All the time alternating between talk and trigger time

We moved the shade downrange after a while.. this was a brilliant idea, and we all enjoyed the relief from the heat and light

Cav Arms had their newest crew at the class.. no one complained about this

Anyway.. we were all there to learn to shoot better while learning techniques to win in a gunfight. For example, learn to do headshots.. Why? Lots of reasons, we heard a few, then we did drills to practice head shots, then we’d move on the the next skill

This are my results after some drills. I have some practice to do still obviously. I could have two lawsuits on my hand if this was a CCW incident, those missed shots are nothing but bad news. But I am also upset that I shot that AK.. it looks like some kind of Chinese / Yugo hybrid I’m not familiar with.. but I shot it right in the front trunnion, dang it

Some cool perspective shots of the shooting drills we started with on Sat morning

Hands on, literally here, but in general too. An LMS course is not an organized dirt shoot. Each time we had a drill I saw the instructor, each time. No matter if I was doing well, or if I was in need of coaching, or instruction instructors are there. Not lurking over your shoulder waiting to jump on a mistake, but overseeing your progress and guiding you along at your pace and level of ability.

Talk, then do.. that’s LMS, I’ve been to three or four of their classes now, and they do not waste time in lecture. Sure there are lecture breaks to explain, reload, re hydrate and rest.. But then it’s back to trigger time. You learn these essential skills by doing, instructors can see, and improve your technique only if they can see you shoot… at an LMS course, you’ll be shooting

Malfunction assessment and reaction was covered. And the need to have these motions ingrained as reflex was stressed. These are the abilities that can save your life, simply by practicing.

By the end of a day of exercises, both new and experienced shooters were doing better than in the morning

Day one, Draw, Move, Fire, Assess.. this is not a slow motion course. You get real value here. Sure you’ll need to practice these techniques, but attending a course like this gives you the tools to ,aster these skills on your own

The guys from Cav Arms helped out again with extra eyes and bodies during the movement drills

Some drills where more attention was required. The rest of us watched (and loaded mags) while students took turns running through movement drills

The shade pop-ups are worth their weight in ammo. Being able to escape the heat was great, un till

Sometime in the afternoon the clouds came in and gave us much relief from the heat, now it was only real hot. But we no longer needed to escape direct sunlight.. we had natural shade the rest of the day

Targets I shared with the guy next to me.. we did OK. I’ll take credit for most (if not all) of the stray shots, he was shooting better than me

Drills that have you transition from standing to kneeling, walking, using your off hand.

These are the kinds of skills students learn at a class like this one, then practice with both dry fire at home and live fire at a range until you take another class to learn more skills

These more complicated drills were done with fewer students at a time, to allow others to drink water, reload and rest. It really worked out well in my opinion. I was tired at the end of the class, but it wasn’t as if I’d be running all day

Give us a good title for this picture ..

Gear Used

The always present line of targets is an easy thing to overlook or simply not focus on, but I will. They are efficient, easy to work with and most importantly they just work. Sure wind knocked a few over, so we put rocks on them. Other than that no one had to waste a moments thought ont target frames, or targets. I’ve been to many classes and changing targets today was about as smooth as it gets.

These were made by the guys at Cav Arms. very nice design, again, most importantly, they just worked.

The guys at Cav Arms really know what they are doing, this simple looking stack of metal, cardboard and wood quickly turned into or line of targets. The only tool needed was a staple gun (and we had two to speed things up)


These are four of the targets we used. A weird looking female target that got plenty of comments, some orther versions of this one and the cognitive shapes, colors numbers. These cognitive targets look simple.. big deal, like a poster for nursery school.. but these can be so difficult to shoot with a person giving unknown combos and a time limit. They really induce stress, it’s a great exercise to help students gauge how well they deal with stress shooting situations. Example “Shoot two then reload and two more into each of the red targets, Go” or “Two rounds into #2, Three rounds into #3, reload, then four rounds into #4, Go”

According to their website (LMSdefense.com) this course teaches weapon manipulation, marksmanship fundamentals, combat stress management, movement, use of cover, fighting from unusual positions, ground gun fighting, concealed weapon tactics and on going self-training tools. This fast paced, challenging course will better enable you to use the handgun as an effective part of your defense system.