The trap of specialization is rampant in martial training, whether it is empty hands or tools. The belief that a narrow focus is the path to mastery will often lead to the problem of “functional fixedness”.
In David Epistien’s book “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World” uses the 2008 financial collapse as an example of over specialization. He says “legions of specialized groups optimizing risk for their own tiny pieces of the big picture created a catastrophic whole.”
Many believe learning to be linear, in other words a modular progression, and some favor the circular, a continuing cycle of review and depth, both are important, nevertheless a holistic approach, or the master key has the benefit of a quick prioritization of important information allowing adaptation to a new skill. Therefore I am constantly seeking new learning experiences in shooting, and when Claude Werner offered me the chance to take his revolver class, I gratefully accepted the chance to broaden my skill set. I have had several revolvers in my classes, and I sometimes carry a J frame as my workout or gym gun. I need to be proficient, and accountable with any of my choices.
If you haven’t had the chance to train with Claude Werner you should correct that as soon as possible. His depth of knowledge, mastery of craft, and teaching skills are a rare commodity in the training world. His instructions are precise, accurate, and his corrections are insightful. One of the true hallmarks of high level performance is effortlessness in execution, and the efficient application of the fundamental skills. Claude is able to shoot with the ease that most people are able to walk. This class was well organized between marksmanship, manipulations, efficiency, and precision.
One of the more intimidating aspects of revolver shooting for some is the double action trigger. Heavier and longer than the striker fired guns that are so popular today, the uninitiated will try to stage the trigger, or shoot single action only. Claude clearly explains, and demonstrates the nature of keeping the trigger in constant motion while improving the sight picture for a precise shot. We shot a mix of targets ranging from large circles to small circles the size of the ocular area at different distances. We were able to squeeze out quite a bit of precision, and speed out of the revolvers. There were many takeaways, but you will have to take the class to get that information.
As always the fundamentals of shooting are the same, grip, sights, trigger, and follow through, except the grip is different, the revolver points differently , and the sights can range from excellent to barely usable. A proper grip is essential, especially with the J frame. Claude was vigilant in correcting both the height, and the manner of gripping the revolver. Never fear, Claude has a way to make your snubbie sights visible, and usable too. I was reminded what it is like to be new to a firearm, and how much we ask of our clients with an unfamiliar tool. This also helped reset my beginners mind set, which is the true advantage of training with a broad range, furthermore it gave me the ability to look at these skills with a fresh perspective.
The revolver fills a particular niche in my personal protection strategy, either at the gym, deep concealment, or a pocket gun in a heavy winter jacket. Several side benefits from the class were better trigger control, and a deeper focus on the sights during a longer trigger press. These are the reasons why, but more importantly, I am a professional instructor who should have a wide range of knowledge, and skill for my clients. I will put aside my personal preferences to learn as much as possible about my craft, thus widening my ability to look at all information in a new light. It is a great class, and I highly recommend it.
We will be hosting Claude’s Operator Revolver class at our range in Dahlonega so keep an eye out for announcements! See you on the range!