Crimson Trace

August 11, 2017

Editor's Notebook: GLOCK Operator Course

This feature is from our companion service The Tactical Wire.

Last week, I was in Smyrna, Georgia at the building that houses a component of GLOCK, Inc. That component was GLOCK Professional, the part of the company that encompasses training and the GLOCK Shooting Sports Foundation.

The training element, in my experience, was for their Armorer Course, Advanced Armorer Course and the Instructor Workshop. The primary clientele, it seemed, was for agencies transitioning to the GLOCK pistol and Armorer training for those involved in retail sales of the guns, as well as for law enforcement.

I'd taken Armorer three times and the Instructor Workshop twice, or so I remember, and found it good. Now GLOCK Professional was offering a new class, GLOCK Operator and a few media types were there to check it out.

Starting out on NRA Timed/Rapid Fire bullseye targets at fifteen yards, it was ten repetitions of "draw to a single hit."
We got to meet the Director of Training and GSSF, Joseph "Willie" Parent, a young troop who clearly has a handle on imparting physical skills education and practice. Willie was ably backed up by Training Manager Scotty Banks and GSSF/Training troop Chuck Evans.

They introduced "Gen1" trainer Chris Edwards, GSSF Match Coordinator. As there would be twelve of us taking the class, that would be four cadre on the line to make sure we didn't stub our toes.

Along with the media, GLOCK National Sales Manager Bob Radecki rounded out the firing line. To sell the product line, it's handy to be able to use the product safely and effectively. Bob fits that bill and keeps his skill level up by training.

There were up to four cadre watching each relay of shooters.
As I said, it was a media group. For that reason, guns, magazines, support gear and ammo was provided. We used GLOCK 17 and GLOCK 19 pistols. The ammo was Fiocchi hardball. Holsters and magazine pouches were from Blade-Tech, their Signature Holster and DMP (double magazine pouch), both with Tek-Lok attachments.

The GLOCK Operator Course is offered to active law enforcement and military, NRA firearms instructors – not law enforcement only, but any certified NRA instructor -- and to active GSSF members.

It's a continuing education class, according to Willie Parent, and the class can be adapted to meet the needs of the students in the group taking the class.

As to components of the training, here's what you really need to know. First, everything is done from the holster – well, almost everything. From the very first round fired, nearly every iteration begins with interaction with the holster. That's a good thing, as we seldom start operational uses with the gun already in hand.

"Gen1" instructor Chris Edwards rounds out a firing line getting some work in support hand shooting.
Next, it's not about the speed as much as it's about the precision – and that's the precision necessary to make the hit you need to make. Will you have to put on the brakes to make a hit to the "circuitry?" When compared to making a hit to the "hydraulics," the answer is likely "yes."

In keeping with the "accuracy first" standard, making a smooth and steady press to the trigger is taught. It's not "a quick press" nor is it a "slow down, take your time." It's constant, consistent pressure to the trigger.

We started out on NRA B-8 bullseye targets. Just a few years ago, that would have been a surprise. In the old days, the two things that would get a trainee nervous quickly was a bullseye target or a stop watch. When you throw in turning targets, the fingers quickly turn into bananas.

Ten rounds, ten single hits from the holster from fifteen yards into an NRA B-8: that set the tone for the remainder of the course. It wasn't all slow fire and not all on bullseye targets, but it was drawing to one or more hits with accountability for every shot fired.

Willie ran the group through exercises which isolated individual components of the fundamentals of shooting. After presentation, we moved through stance, grip, sights, and trigger control in a building block fashion. Remembering what was done in the previous iteration, add the next area of focus.

Director Willie Parent doesn't sit in an office but leads from the front, teaching and doing demos.
Likewise, we worked reset during recoil and recoil management for quick successive hits. That was followed by reloads, failures to stop, immediate action/remediation, one-hand shooting and shooting on the move.

GLOCK Operator is a two-day course and it's not a course for duffers: you need to have taken previous training to have success in this class. As a factory course, you need to use a GLOCK pistol maintained to factory specifications, a thousand rounds of factory-loaded ammo, some dummy rounds and personal protective apparel.

A serviceable holster and magazine pouch arrangement is likewise required.

What can I say? The class was outstanding. The people made it great as did the facility. Avail yourself of this training if you can.

For more information, see the GLOCK Professional website.

- - Rich Grassi