Monday, September 18, 2023

MDFI's Foundation Handgun Class

This weekend I attended MDFI's Foundation Handgun Class. 

Part of the reason for doing so was as attending it with a bunch of friends - Tosh, Jason, Spencer and two of Tosh's cousins from New York would be attending. So we'd be a pretty good proportion of the class, 6 of the 16 participants, and Spencer and Tosh's cousins had never taken a foundation level or equivalent handgun training class before. I was shooting my Sig P320 for this class.

The other reason for attending a foundation level class, is that attending a foundation level class is always good opportunity to go over and reinforce the fundamentals of defensive handgun shooting.  It's an opportunity to really work the basics, try to pick up some more nuggets of wisdom, and work to improve a bit at a comfortable pace rather than drinking from a fire-hose in a more advanced class. Plus it is a fun way to spend a day with friends.

Pretty eclectic group of attendees.  There was one Michigan State Police trooper, a few nurses, various contractors, engineers, EMTs, and even two lawyers. 

The class started off with a beginning shooting exercise of shooting a 1 inch circle at 10 yards. Jason and I were teamed up as partners on Target 7 on relay 1 and 2 respectively, and we did the best in terms of accuracy on the opening exercise.  This was happy making.

After a few more shooting exercises, the instructors told Jason and I that instead of aiming at the 6 inch circle at the center of the target, all shots we were to from then on only shoot at the box in the head of the target to make it more challenging.  So we did.

The class had a very logical progression and built from that basic accuracy to drawing efficiently from a holster, defensive shooting considerations, and on to malfunction clearing.

Malfunction clearing was fun, and excellent practice. We induced malfunctions by randomly stuffing 10 empty cases in two magazines - the empty case could not be the first nor last round but other than that it could be anywhere inn the mage.  You then shot until you hit a malfunction had to clear the malfunction and continue shooting  while maintaining accuracy with each shot.

I really like MDFI's process for dealing with a malfunction that tends to resolve just about all clear-able malfunctions in a semi-auto:  Tap, Rack, Unload, rack, Reload, Rack and if necessary repeat an additional time. Most malfunctions cleared at the Tap, Rack portion of the process, but some jammed up sufficiently to requiring unloading (removing the magazine), then racking it again, reloading, racking a new round into the chamber and continuing.    

If that didn't clear it you moved on the the 7R clearance drill - Rack, Rip, Rack, Rack, Re-asses, Reload, Rack.

Jason's Glock for some reason, likely a combination of having an aftermarket barrel and insufficient lubrication, gave some of the weirdest malfunctions with the empty cases - flipping them around and then jamming them into place, double feeding, locking the slide up tight, etc.  If a weird malfunction could happen, he got it. Great practice.

Spencer learned that a Shield Plus having malfunctions is kinda hard to clear as the short slide didn't provide a lot of purchase for his hands, and the small slide didn't provide as much leverage for racking either.

Lots of great practice and learning occurred.

The final part of the class was the qualifier.

The qualifier is 14 rounds with 4 sections, each with a 6 second par time. If you fire more than 14 shots its a DQ, firing a shot over time is down 1 on your score.

The Qualifier is as follows:

1. From compressed ready 5 shots at 10 Yards.

2. From holster 4 shots at 10 Yards.

3. From compressed ready 1 shot, speed reload 2 shots at 10 Yards.

4. From compressed ready 1 shot, slide lock reload (have an empty magazine in the gun to start) 1 shot at 10 Yards.

Overall not a bad qualifier.  12/14 hits on the 8.5x11 paper is a pass, 12/14 inside the inner rectangle is an advanced, which is required to take the advanced classes.

I was running appendix carry for the class as that is how I carry, and ran the qualifier from concealment. Only issue was the sun was coming down as we shot the qualifier.  The sun was blasting was right in my eyes the entire time, so much so it was hard to see the target. This added some extra difficulty.

However I'm pleased to report that I not only passed as advanced but I did the  only clean run in the class, with 14/14 shots inside the inner rectangle with time to spare on each section.

That shot at the top just inside the box was the final round of the qualifier where I was practically guessing where the target was as the sun was straight in my eyes at that point.

That result was happy-making, and I earned my first ever MDFI bomb patch for having the top score in the class and the only participant to do a clean run.

MDFI offers some great and professional training. 

If you're in Michigan and all you've ever taken in terms of handgun instruction was your CPL class, then MDFI's Foundation Handgun will be both eye-opening and a very useful opportunity to enhance your training and proficiency with a handgun.


juvat said...

Forgive my ignorance, but what does MDFI stand for?

Aaron said...

MDFI = Michigan Defensive Firearms Institute. It is a pretty comprehensive firearms training school that teaches classes all over the state. It acts as greeat training on its own and as kind of a feeder school to prep people to take more advanced and specialty classes from other trainers.

Old NFO said...

Well done!