Editor, Get Thyself Some Training

A Behind the Scenes Look at a Gunsite Class

Editors tend to spend a fair amount of time

at a desk, hovering over a keyboard, wrangling text, photos, and videos. But every now and again we get out to the range for some shooting. And not just getting out to the range for some plinking but also engaging in some serious training. Here’s a brief photo essay of my time at a Lebanon, Indiana police range — part of the Carbine class offered through the famed Gunsite Academy.

Always under the watchful eye of two professional instructors, our 10-person class enjoyed shooting at distances from one yard to 100 yards. We practiced and practiced and practiced manipulating our AR-15’s (one guy had an AK-47) — until our fingers bled.

Yours truly, sneaking a selfie while the half of the team was punching paper. For three days, I had an AR-15 in hand — either firing it, at low ready, or slung over my shoulder — as well as a full, six-pocket AR-15 magazine pouch and a holstered handgun. For three days, we fired about 700 rounds under perfect sun and clouds. But it rained empty casings and occasionally dirt clods on all of us.

The class offered constant opportunities for an instructor to provide individualized feedback. We shot standing, kneeling, crouched, laying down (ejection port pointing toward the ground and pointing up at the sky), and around objects including this garbage can. That’s me, firing around the left side of the can. After five shots, I’d switch to the right side of the can and fire five more. For the record, the garbage can already had those holes in it.

My classmates and me, successful graduates of the Carbine course. I’m in the black shirt, second row, second from the right. I learned more in these three days about AR-15’s than what I had discovered in years of my own reading and shooting. Moreover, my respect for law enforcement officers further skyrocketed.

Learn more about Gunsite Academy.