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I'm a big fan of Sig Sauer firearms. I'm also a "forum head". This pair of circumstances leads me to regularly visit SigForum, which is dedicated to discussion of (among others) Sig Sauer guns. One of the most respected members of the forum is Bruce Gray. He's a well-known gunsmith with knowledge borne of experience on the competition circuit. Over the past few years, Bruce has expanded his product offering to include a series of 3-day firearms training classes. For roughly $600, he and his staff will travel out to train you and 15 other people in the fundamentals of gunhandling.
I'd been trying to find time to attend one of his classes since early 2006 when he visited Houston (I was living in Austin at the time). As luck would have it, I ended up moving to Arizona a few months before the class was to be held. So, when I got word that GGI was coming to San Diego, I didn't hesitate to sign up and make the 5 hour drive from metro Phoenix. I took this class on December 7-9th, 2007.
I’ll start by saying that while Grayguns’ instruction is not inexpensive (and neither is any firearms instruction of their caliber), but every single penny I spent on travel, lodging, instruction, and food was money well spent. The class gets my ‘highly recommended’ designation.
I’m not from SD, and I’ve only been to the city about 3 or 4 times in my life. I gotta say, the weather was the worst southern California weather I’ve seen. I’m talking crap the whole weekend. Late night & early morning rainstorms were the norm. Temperatures ranged from low 40’s to the low 60’s. Humidity was about 80%, and there was always a threat of getting dumped on by a cloud. With that said, the weather largely behaved while we were out on the firing line. That much can’t be said for the weather conditions during Saturday’s dinner event…
Bruce Gray, Scott Folk, Torrie Simmons, Clement Tang, and Randy Lee were there to train the 17 of us. As you can see, the instructor-to-student ratio was phenomenal. Each and every one of us got all the individual instruction we needed during the course of the three days. All of the GGI staff was top notch. The guys (and gal) have the knack for explaining and demonstrating shooting concepts and techniques in such a way that one easily ‘gets’ it. The mix of personalities in this group made for a very fun weekend.
Bruce’s style is what I’d consider a very intellectual training style. He teaches shooting with respect to physiology and psychology… by that, I mean he encourages you to train your muscle memory, your subconscious mind, and your ego to all take part in the process in order to gain speed in the draw stroke, target acquisition, trigger pull, etc. Keep in mind that the drills we did are pretty much the same as you’d do in any top tier shooting school. The difference lies In Bruce’s ability to explain the “why” behind those drills – IMO, this is equally as important as learning the exercises themselves.
As mentioned before, there were 17 of us on the roster for the San Diego class. Most were locals, with myself, [sigforum members] icoburn (and his better half), and CPUFixer (the self-proclaimed Grayguns “groupie”) coming in from out of town. There were two things that stood out for me about this group:
First, these guys are the most highly educated and accomplished bunch of shooters I’ve ever met. We’re apparently the people the anti-gun contingent choose to ignore when they’re tasked with describing the average gun-totin’ American.
Secondly, everyone in the group came into the training with a skill set far beyond what you’d find at your local range on a Saturday. It was a true pleasure to be in everyone’s company, and the conversation was fun.