The Shelbyville FOP Lodge 84 has a quality range that has been underutilized for several years. The range was improved with the help of an NRA a few years ago and a private donation has greatly improved the building. I have utilized the location for my NRA and Defensive firearms class for some time and the improvements have now made the location an excellent location to bring in more advanced training from quality instructors. I started the process of bringing in outside trainers late in 2020 by contacting instructors I have either trained with in the past or whom I have followed through various sources such as internet forums.
Kyle Defoor was a name that came highly recommended from a source I trust, and I knew he was a highly sought-after trainer. I reached out to Kyle and he agreed to teach his Pistol class on July 7 and 8. Kyle was easy to communicate with and organizing the event was easy. Kyle’s popularity as a trainer was confirmed when the class sold out in under 24 hours after being posted.
The weather outlook for the week of the class was hot, humid and rain every day. Day one of the class held true, it was humid and high 70’s during range setup and kept getting hotter as the day went on. Students started arriving around 0730 and class started at 0800. Range rules, expectations and the course schedule were explained. Medical procedures were covered along with verification of each students abilities to properly prep and apply a tourniquet. Students were then taken to the 25-yard line and class started with evaluation of skills. Evaluations of skills transitioned into teaching points and techniques. Kyle uses cardboard backers and B-8 repair centers to keep the class moving and allow for easy accuracy tracking. Each student must bring a can of spray adhesive that is used to attach the repair centers to the cardboard backers. This eliminates passing staplers around and keeps targets attached regardless of weather. The class continued on track until after lunch when heavy rain moved in. Kyle adjusted the class to a lecture portion, and we moved everyone to one of the shelters on the range. The day ended after the lecture.
Day 2 started with drills from the 7-yard line and progressed into movement, multiple targets and work from the 50-yard line. Kyle must have a connection to the weather as storms and rain missed us all morning. As we approached noon weather started to worsen. As the last rounds from the 50 were sent downrange the rain moved in. This rain moved in and stayed the rest of the day. After the upgrades to the FOP, the hall and building are greatly improved from years past. The updates allowed us to move inside and train comfortably for the rest of the day. The remainder of the day Kyle covered defensive tactics and edge weapon defense.
This was the first class that I have hosted and the first firearms class that the FOP has hosted. For the most part I believe the event went smooth. Lessons were learned with a fast-paced class such as Kyle’s. I had a water cooler filled with ice and water outside and close to the range, but not close enough for those attending to fill their bottles efficiently during the short breaks. I will bring the water onto the range we are shooting on and use a portable shelter to bring shade onto that range in the future. I had a second water cooler filled and ready to replace an empty one, however we never used all the water. I collected training rates at local hotels and created a map to assist those attending with finding the FOP. I had not thought about camping locations and a student had brought his camper. I will be looking into locations for campers prior to the next class. I utilized the PVC target stands that I use when I teach classes. I modified the stands to accept rebar T-stakes to prevent them from falling over in the wind and glued them so the middle section can be removed for easier transport. We have target stands ready to be installed at the range, however they use a specific size of carboard backer that was not readily available.
I opted to not participate in the class so I could attend to admin issues and speak with anyone who arrived on the range not associated with the class. Hopefully next year I can jump in as the information presented was top notch and those in attendance were on top of their game. Kyle will be returning for a Pistol class May 16-17, 2022. Make sure and sign up if you are interested as the available spots fill fast.