Shelby County FOP Lodge 84
This was Kyle Defoor's 2nd trip to the Shelby Co FOP for his 2 Day Pistol Class. Kyle’s classes are highly sought after and fill up within 24 hours of being announced. The weather was great in the mid to high 70s with limited clouds and plenty of suns. Range setup was easy, and students arrived shortly before class started at 8. A quick survey of the students found that over half were training with Kyle for the first time, which is an oddity as he has a high return student rate. The class was almost a 50/50 split of LE and Common Earth People. Last year Kyle was the first class I hosted, so I stayed off the line in case of Admin issues and to keep track of those who may stop in. This year I was able to shoot the entire course and was glad I did.
The class started with a safety brief and an understanding of the way the class would be running. Kyle utilizes a standard IPSC backer but uses B8 for scoring. Kyle requires each student to bring a can of spray glue to attach replacement B8s to the backer. B8s are changed after every string of fire to help keep progress tracked. The spray keeps the replacements flat, and you save time not looking for a stapler or stacking a bunch of targets on top of each other.
Kyle requests that you arrive ready to go with mag loaded to hit the ground running. We started at the 25-yard line and evaluations of shooting styles and techniques started immediately. Kyle has you right your score on your target backer after each stream of fire to allow you to track your improvements or degradation performance. Kyle evaluates your shooting performance before instructions and adds techniques and tips as you shoot more rounds allowing you to evaluate if his system is working for you. You spend some time at the 25 tweaking your performance to get the maximum out of your ability. Kyle states that by maximizing your ability at 25, everything shot closer is easier.
The rest of the shooting day is spent at 7 yards. This is where Kyle describes his techniques for improving accuracy and you put them into play. Kyle has 5 steps to improving your shooting and you progress as you improve your performance. Kyle stresses that if you are not meeting the goals he sets, you do not move on to the next step until you meet the goal. Can you progress in the class without meeting the goals, yes but it does make the class harder as you must put the work in to stay up with the other shooters. Kyle also recommends changing your optic reticle to a circle without a dot or at least a circle reticle if your optic allows. Kyle explains how to use the reticle and explains the advantages of the circle over a dot.
Kyle utilizes the B8 centers as a constant in training and they make scoring easy. The B-8 also makes for a smaller target focus when compared to a full-size IPSC. By the end of the day, you are shooting on a high 6” A zone, and anything outside is a miss. The transition from B-8 to the 6” unmarked A-zone helps with keeping accuracy tight. We shot approximately 350-450 rounds +/- 100 depending on the shooter and any extra rotations taken. Every round had a reason and instruction, and shooting was non-stop other than to load magazines.
Day 2 starts with combative and blade work. Simple strikes and blade placements for self-defense are covered along with striking bags to get reps in. After combative, we assembled on the 50-yard line and shot for accuracy on IPSC tickets to verify our abilities. After the 50-yard work, the rest of the day is spent 15 yards or less. You work on movement, and multiple targets and complete the day with an evaluation of your skills under a shot timer. All results are written down so you can take a picture to assist you in improving those skills in the future. The stress is on not only due to the timer, but your peers whom you have shot with for 2 days are all there watching. Kyle also gives his mindset talk on Day 2 and has a Q&A.
The primary pistol was my Glock 19 with factory MOS slide, C&H Precision Plate holding a Holosun 507c, Zev Tech Threaded Barrel, and Primary Machine Comp. My backup pistol was a Glock 22 Milled for a Holosun 509T with a factory barrel.
I shot 9mm PMC 124gr Bronze for the course primarily, but I finished off a small quantity of Bobcat Armament 124gr 9mm I had left from training classes last year. The 40 S&W I shot was a mixture of Fiocchi 180 or 160 FMJ, Greenline 100gr Frangible, and some Federal FMJ.
I ran the belt I use for call out and training on the first day and my duty belt on the second day.
My Glock 19 with the Zev Barrel and Primary Machine Comp was the same setup I used for Modern Samurai 2 Day Appendix and Hilton Yam’s 2 Day Red Dot. I had run Winchester 147gr NATO in the first class and Bobcat Armament 147 and 124gr, some Winchester NATO and some Federal 115 in the second class with no gun issues. This was about 800-1000 rounds on this setup. I have also shot 124 gr X-Trem copper plated bullets that I have reloaded with 5.3 gr of Unique and Winchester standard small pistol primers through the gun when testing ammo. I had replaced the factory recoil spring with a 13lbs recoil spring when I initially built the gun. I started Kyle's class with Bobcat Armament 124 grain, approximately 3 mags full, and switched to PMC 124gr Bronze that I had bought a case of to take the class. I had mixed one mag with PMC and Bobcat Armament as I ran out while loading the mag before class.
I started the class with no issues other than my poor shooting due to failing at the red dot fundamentals I had learned from two of the best in previous classes. When I hit that 4th or 5th mag loaded with a mixture of rounds the trouble started. Once I hit the PMC the gun would stovepipe every round to every two to three rounds. The ejection pattern changed from 3 o’clock to the right and behind me to 12 o’clock forward in front of the muzzle. The slide had recoiled enough to the rear to load another round and cock the striker, but it was catching the spent round in a 12 0’clock stovepipe. When I completed a malfunction clearance, I would get a live round along with the spent case that was stovepipe. This went on for the rest of the day until I switch to my Glock 22 to finish out the last two hours of class. I was not happy losing live rounds in the grass at the current prices. Kyle said it and I knew it; it was a comp issue. I got to say the fateful words, it has always worked before. I got home that night and removed the comp from the barrel, returned the factory recoil spring to the gun, and went back to class the next day. I can say with confidence, that a comped 9mm shoots a lot softer than a stock Glock 22 40 cal.
The next day I had zero gun issues and completed the class with my 19. The ejection pattern returned to normal, and accuracy was all I could ask out of a handgun in my hands. 10 rounds in a 6” A-Zone box at 50 yards is all I can ask from a gun I’m shooting. One equipment issue that arose was that the front sight was catching on my Safariland Optic ALS/SLS when re-holstering, this was not an issue with the comp installed. I had no issues drawing, only when re-holstering. Another note on holstering, I have a ZEV slide with RMR optics cut that I carry as my off duty. This slide cannot be used in a Safariland ALS holster due to the style of front serrations ZEV uses. The ALS drops into the front serrations the same way it drops into the ejection port on the slide locking the gun in place and stopping you from holstering the gun. For this reason, I could not switch to my other slide and complete the class on the first day of class.
I run a Level 4 Safariland Optics ready ALS with SLS as it matches my non-optics ready holster that I carry on duty while working, optics are not authorized at work. I have run the level 4 retention for about 20 years now, use it in any class that is not a concealed class, and train often with the setup. I was able to verify under timer again that I can keep up with the level 3 ALS/SLS and I’m not too far behind the ALS crowd. I would not recommend level 4 for someone who does not train with it regularly. I run the level 4 as an extra level of insurance as I work by myself, and backup can be some time away. I want to put as much advantage on my side as possible, but that also means putting the time into training.
Kyle knows what he is talking about when it comes to getting the most accuracy out of the pistol. I have issues with dragging my trigger finger on the bottom of the trigger guard, his technique solved this issue. My accuracy improved throughout the class to where I have a newfound confidence in my abilities and weapons platform. I was flustered on the first day with my constant malfunctions and it affected my accuracy, retention of technique, and enjoyment of the class. I pushed through the first day, fixed the hardware problems and put the software to work, and made gains on the 2nd day.
Everything works until it doesn’t. I thought I had a proven platform and it failed with the right combination. This class has caused me to change the setup of my off-duty pistol and my optics-ready training pistol. My off-duty 19 with the milled Zev slide now has the Zev threaded barrel installed and my MOS 19 is now factory except for the C&H Precision optics plate. Neither pistol will have a comp. The 19 factory setup allows me to have a 9mm version that matches my milled 22 allowing for the pistol to fit in my Safariland holster and have a lower recoil “less expensive” training option.
Kyle runs a nonstop class to gain the most out of the time available. This means that during some classes you do not get a lunch break. I failed to bring snacks on the range this class and my performance and concentration degraded on the first day. I stayed hydrated but needed some food by the end of the day. I usually bring nuts, dried fruit, and granola bars to class and keep them in a cooler, lesson learned.
I did change the reticle on my Holosun to the circle without a dot for the first day and the start of day two. My 10 rounds into a 6” square at 50 were shot with the circle reticle, but I had to use three attempts to pull it off and find the correct hold for the circle. I switched back to the dot on the second day due to my RMR only having a dot and my 509t only having the circle with a dot. I wanted my dots to be consistent from one platform to the next. Too many years with just a dot on rifles and now pistols make me hesitate with the circle reticle.
This is the second season of hosting classes at the FOP. Last year I had to cancel a few classes due to a lack of interest. This year trainers were booked early resulting in less training offered in 2022. I have 4 trainers already signed for 2023 and Kyle is one of them. The FOP offers an indoor classroom, large banquet hall, modern restrooms, 75-yard rifle range, and 20-yard pistol range. We also have a stocked fishing pond and plenty of open areas outside for other events. Students who attend firearm training at the FOP pay a $25 range fee per day of class, the money raised goes directly to building and range maintenance and improving the facility. The Shelby FOP offers a kid’s fishing day, training opportunities for local Law Enforcement, kid’s programs, events to honor fallen Officers of Shelby County, and host 4-H Shooting Sports and Scouting events.