AAR: Reston Group Concealed Handgun, St. John's County, FL, September 1, 2018

What: Reston Group Concealed Handgun

Where: St. John's County, FL, Sheriff's Office Range. (St. Augustine)

Who: Reston Group Training, represented by Jared Reston and Mike

Why: I had never trained with them, it was close, and I was off.

I spent the day in a concealed handgun deployment class taught by Jared Reston and Mike of Reston Group Training.  Both are veteran LEO's and full time SWAT members for the largest city by geographical size in the United States.  I signed up for the class because while I have plenty of reps out of a duty rig, I have surprisingly few training evolutions out of concealment.  While most Florida concealed handgun courses are safety courses, this was all about shooting-probably 300 rounds for the day.  A pleasant surprise was the presence of John Friscia, a new resident of St. John's County and Flash22, who is a deputy sheriff there. There was another St. John's County deputy sheriff in the class. The rest of the students were, as far as I know, civilians. There wasn't a lot of interaction ,but no one flagged themselves as "that guy" or unsafe".

I used a CZ P07 as modified by Boresight Solutions and Cajun Gun Works. My holster was a IWB from Alex and Ryan Designs.  I reloaded out of a pocket, which slowed me down slightly, but not noticeably so with the majority of the shooters in the class.  I was extremely pleased with the CZ. I was the only non-striker fired pistol in the class ( a whole bunch of Glocks and a couple of Shields), but was probably the most accurate.  For me, that's a huge deal as my accuracy is not usually my strong point. I began each string double action to replicate coming out of the holster in a defensive encounter. Didn't slow me down a bit.  Flash22 swapped the barrel assembly in his Roland Special for a non-compensated one and spent the majority of the morning dialing in his RMR. He and John both pushed me for accuracy and performance. It's always great shooting with those guys.  Many (certainly not all, but a bunch) of the other students struggled with accuracy.

The program started on bulls at 7 yards to work accuracy, then at 15, then to Reston Group targets (IPSC marked).  Once the baselines for each students were established, we moved into the mechanics of the draw, then drawing, then drawing from concealment, to drawing and reloads from concealment.  While I won't spill the whole program of instruction here, it is clearly designed to take a student from the basics of shooting through concealed carry deployment and reloads. We shot all day with an hour for lunch and wrapped up with a police call and certificates.

My struggle was with staging the trigger coming out of the holster. I am fairly new to the CZ, and am not totally comfortable putting my finger on a trigger and pulling it while still acquiring the sights. I understand the theory and the reasoning behind it, but I was unable to master the skill during the class. I've got plenty of time and a timer to practice it. If this had been a more advanced group of students, my times probably would have stood out as long compared to others, but it wasn't noticeable in the crowd. 

I recommend the class to anyone who carries a concealed handgun. The majority of the instruction was done by Mike. Jared injured himself the previous week and is scheduled for surgery. He was there (sans pain medication) for as long as he could stand it before leaving Mike in charge. Hope he gets better soon. Both are knowledgeable and engaging instructors, and there was no attempt to paint their class as anything other than the fundamentals of concealed carry with multiple opportunities to practice them.  I enjoyed the class and an opportunity to shoot with my friends. Thanks to all who made that possible.

 

"Hold my beer and watch this"

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