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Posted: 10/4/2011 12:45:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2011 10:20:11 AM EDT by Hawgleg44]
I attended the "Secrets of the Concealed Carry Snub" 2-day class hosted at the S&W Academy this past weekend. I've trained with some very good trainers in the past but this experience was a step up from the rest.

Some classes teach you to improve your shooting, some classes teach "tactics", and most of them have their good points. This class is not like that. It is a pure fighting class. Michael teaches you to fight and survive using what many of us carry 90% of the time, the 3" or less barrelled revolver, usually in .38 caliber.

The class consists of about half classroom and half range time and Mr. de Bethencourt does his best to take you out of your comfort zone in both settings, induces stress, makes you solve problems quickly, while doing all in a very safe manner. We had a mixture of students in the class ranging from a very new female shooter to very experienced snub shooters. Nobody felt either left behind or held up.

When you get to the class, you are issued a speed strip and three speed loaders, all of different styles, that fit your revolver and you are required to use all of them during the class. This is just another way of inducing stress when trying to reload quickly, exposes you to the most common and "preferred" types of speed loaders, sometimes finding out your grips don't work well with speedloaders. That's the case especially if you have not swapped out to aftermarket grips.

You will get exposed to the moral and legal issues of self-defense, preferred holster types and gunsmith modifications that are helpful. You get some 2-person team tactics, too, and he makes sure you are not paired up with a shooting buddy, again, to get you out of your comfort zone even more.

Michael is very intense, sometimes loud, rarely vulgar, and extremely passionate about what he teaches. All he wants to do is to teach you how to survive in a deadly encounter when there is no other way out.

This is the best training money I've ever spent and I can't recommend him highly enough. Contact Michael de Bethencourt for more info.

Just as a side note, I used two of my custom snubs, a 3" M13 and 2-1/2" M66, built by Karl Sokol at Chestnut Mountain Sports for the class, so no equipment issues were experienced. Karl is the gunsmith who Mr. de Bethencourt recommends in his class. He's been building my revolvers for over 20 years now.
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