This last weekend I attended my first carbine class at Critical Defense Group in Greenville TX which is 7 hours from home. This was a level 1 class on Saturday and level 2 / special shooting situations class on Sunday. CDG is ran by Mac Mackinzie and he offers a wide variety of training and consulting services. Mac is a Marine and has a lengthy resume including years of firearms training all over the world. Reading about the training classes on line and this being my first class, I was a little apprehensive not knowing what to expect being a regular guy with no military or LE experience. Once I arrived on site I was greeted at the gate and received the normal TX hospitality.

Day 1 began with a quick introduction and an explanation of what to expect over the next 8 hours. We went over the basic safety rules, range commands, and medevac procedures in case of an emergency. We went over the basic parts of the carbine, function checks, loading and unloading, malfunction clearing, choosing a zero and zeroing the rifle. We discussed the 4 shooting positions we would focus on through the day, standing, kneeling, supported kneeling, and prone. Once again safety and range commands were discussed.

The next step was getting a good zero on the rifle. Everyone verified they were on paper at 25 yards, made the necessary adjustments and then moved out to 100 yards. Everyone fired from all 4 positions and hold over/under were discussed after each. Reloads were introduced as well.

We moved over to a different part of the range and began shooting some timed excercises on paper from 25 yards and in. Reloads and holds were the focus and making accurate hits under pressure. Up next was shooting steel at 100 yards from cover. Once again timed and we were required to hit the steel with 20 out of 30 rounds utilizing cover during reloads. This training was awesome. Once again safety was strictly enforced. We finished the afternoon with a debrief and received certificates of completion.

Day 2 began with a safety discussion and general expectations for the day. Brief introductions followed and we were off to the range. First activity was verifying zero and making necessary adjustments. We practiced reloads and shooting on the move. During the morning exercise a classmate experienced a brass over bolt malfunction. A cease fire was immediately called and we gathered around and Mac explained the cause and the propper steps to clear the stoppage. Interesting to see this malfunction live and how to get the rifle back into action.

The afternoon exercises were all about building on the fundamentals and improving speed and accuracy. We ran multiple drills shooting in and around vehicles, shooting on the move, reloading, and taking 100 yard shots from unconventional positions. This was an intense course of fire and was the best part of the class.

We debriefed and discussed highlights of the day. I really enjoyed the time spent with Mac and others and I recommend this class to the first timer or experienced shooter. Mac and crew are professional, friendly, and really want you to learn and gain knowledge from the training. I left day 2 feeling confident I made a good choice driving 7 hours to attend and feeling like I made friends along the way. I picked up new skill sets to build on and If I lived closer I would definitely purchase and maintain a membership to take advantage of all the training CDG has to offer. If you live in the DFW area contact Mac and schedule a visit. You will not be sorry I promise.