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Thread: AAR - Vickers Tactical 1911 Operator's Course - Council Bluffs, IA 9/20-21/13

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    SW Coast of Iowa.
    Feedback Score

    AAR - Vickers Tactical 1911 Operator's Course - Council Bluffs, IA 9/20-21/13

    Who: Larry Vickers - Vickers Tactical
    What: 1911 Operator's Course
    When: September 20/21, 2013
    Where: Council Bluffs, IA
    Why: Learn the "Ins and Outs" of the 1911 Platform

    Instructor: Larry Vickers - Vickers Tactical
    • Former Operational member of SFOD - D and key player in refining his Unit's 1911 pistols and developing better end user training and maintenance techniques.
    • Key player in influencing several 1911 vendors for better designed components to include Caspian Arms, Springfield Armory and Wilson Combat.
    • Former member of the American Pistolsmith Guild, has built 1911's for Bill Wilson, Chip McCormick, Rob Leatham, and Dick Heinie.
    • Named "Most Sought after 1911 Pistolsmith" by American Handgunner magazine.

    Students: A mix of LE, Civilian, Former and Active DotMil folks. Students traveled in from near and far to include California, New Mexico, Texas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and of course...Iowa.

    1911's Present: Wilson Combat, Les Baer, Night Hawk, Kimber, Colt, Dan Wesson.

    Course Overview: We started Day One at the range where Larry informed us that while this was a 1911 Course, it was also known as a Glock Appreciation Course! With that said, Larry had everyone's attention and we jumped right into the nuances of the 1911 platform and all that goes into keep it up and running properly, it's positives and negatives, the 1911 as a personal defense handgun and the 1911 as a Unit issued firearm.

    LAV threw out the label of "Enthusiasts Weapon" on the 1911, simply meaning that the 1911 platform requires more dedication and knowledge of the platform from the end user than those who primarily use other handguns...if you treat your guns like your lawn mower, get a Glock. We finished up the overview and Larry demonstrated proper lubrication of the 1911 and highly encouraged all of us to do the same before the range went hot.

    Day one was all about "running" the 1911...this is where Larry went over the nuts and bolts of "how" to run the platform properly...think thumb safety, thumb safety, thumb safety! Like other instructors with Larry's background, accuracy is a key component to his courses. As anyone who has attended any of his courses can testify to, we conducted a variety of drills that introduced, reinforced and tested our ability to put accurate hits on target from a variety of distances starting at 1 yard and stretching back to 100 yards...by the end of the day we fully understood the Vickers Tactical motto of "Speed is fine, accuracy is final".

    We started Day Two in the classroom with a detailed disassembly of our pistols where we broke everything down to the stripped frames and slides...minus removing the grip screw bushings. Once we had everything all broken down, Larry covered maintenance, spring replacement and troubleshooting. The troubleshooting portion of the class was worth its weight in gold as he went into detail explaining the parts of the 1911 that we as "Enthusiasts" need to examine to keep our pistols running as they should.

    Disassembly led into reassembly, which was a time consuming task to say the least...as with all "things", the 1911 comes apart easily, and, well, takes a little more time to reassemble. Reassembly led us to LAV's Function Test where we tested all of the safeties. Once we wrapped up the Function Test it was back out to the range for Test Fire where we threw a variety of test at the 1911 to test for and rule out any potential "bobbles". We wrapped up day two with more drills that beat accuracy into our heads from a variety of distances with magazine changes and malfunctions worked in.

    This was an excellent course to say the least with bookoo amounts of valuable information on familiarization, set up, parts, tools, manipulation, drills, and maintenance on the 1911 platform. If I had to make one statement about the course it would be this..."A must have course for guys that own 1911's".

    Topics Covered:

    1911 Platform "Nuances":
    • Weak Points: Extractor, Ejector, Plunger Tube.
    • Positive Attributes: Trigger, ETC.
    • Negative Attributes: Capacity, ETC.
    • Lubrication: Why, Where, How, When, With What.

    1911 Platform - Fundamentals:
    • Grip: Thumb positions.
    • Sights: Picture, Wobble Zone.
    • Trigger Manipulation: Press and Reset.
    • Presentation from the Holster.
    • Reloads: Use of the Slide Release VS Sling Shot.
    • Magazine Base Pads: Why.

    Detailed Disassembly:
    • Removed all parts from slide and frame minus the grip screw bushings.
    • Maintenance.

    • Barrel Link: Movement and Link Pin.
    • Head Spacing.
    • Barrel Feed Ramp.
    • Frame Feed Ramp.
    • Hammer Strut: Fit, hammer pin.
    • Trigger: Fit, bow.
    • Magazine Catch: Fit, Tension.
    • Extractor: Fit, Tension - "Wilson Test" and "Bench Test".
    • Firing Pin Stop.
    • Sights.
    • Plunger Tube.
    • Ejector.
    • Guide rods.
    • Magazines: Feed lips, springs.

    • Proper steps
    • Lubrication.

    Function Test:
    • Check all safety features.

    Test Fire:
    • Extractor and Ejection function.
    • Strong and Weak hand firing with limp wrist.
    • Rapid fire.

    V/r - Rob

    Last edited by R.E.Schoening; 10-03-13 at 12:45.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    West Michigan
    Feedback Score
    32 (100%)
    Can you point me to the tools list for this course? I am hopeing I can take it next year. Thanks
    USMC MSGT Ret. 1371

    SEMPER PARATUS Certified AR-15 Armorer

    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." -Alexander Hamilton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    SW Coast of Iowa.
    Feedback Score
    Sapper36 -
    Thanks for checking out the thread and hitting me with a question on it.

    There aren't any "required" tools for the course, that said, it's all dependent on your pistol. The thing to keep in mind is that you will need tools on hand to completely strip your pistol down to the bare frame/slide, minus removing the sights...depending on your 1911, that can be as few tools as a small diameter punch, lightweight hammer and screwdriver all the way to the super duper storm storm trooper tool kits supplied via Brownells.

    You do not need to go and drop a bunch of hard earned money on a kit...simple tools available at your local Menards/Home Depot/Lowes will get the job done.

    If you need some help with you 1911, shoot me a PM and I would be happy to point out some items that might make things easier...the 10-8 Armorer Tools is a cheap and slick little piece of plastic!

    And, here is a link to 10-8's suggested 1911 tool kit: http://www.10-8performance.com/pages/1911-Tool-Kit.html

    Hope this helps - Rob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Feedback Score
    I was in this class and I would say number one is a good set of punches. A work mat to keep everything organized is a nice to have.


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