AAR: OnSight Firearms Training: Pistol Accuracy and Accountability, Jan. 12, 2020, Cape Cod MA


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May 16, 2011
West of Boston
Pistol Accuracy and Accountability $175
January 12, 2020

Instructor: Ben DeWalt
Location: Cape Gun Works, Hyannis, Massachusetts
Weather: Indoor Range
Clothing: T Shirt and light pullover, jeans, sneakers.
Round Count: 500 +/- Federal 124gr 9mm
Class size: 10 students: 6 men, 4 women. Age: 14-60

Hardware: Smith & Wesson M&P2.0 3.6” with a 507cGR


I have taken a few of Ben’s Defensive Pistol classes before, but this was my first OnSight Pistol Accuracy and Accountability class I have attended. I was not sure what to expect and was a little anxious because my 14-year-old daughter Kate was taking the class with me. I wanted this to be a positive class for her, she has taken Ben’s pistol classes before and she loves Ben so I was confident as long as she did not suck too badly and kept her mind open she was going to learn things and have a great time!

If you have not been to Cape Gun Works on Cape Cod you really should check it out. It’s a really beautiful all-encompassing gun/school/store. Two modern state of art indoor ranges, rental guns, large classroom, a BIG retail store with all kinds of guns, gun parts, gun accessories, clothing, archery practice area, clean bathrooms and a restaurant next door with great lunch options.

We did our introductions, had our safety briefing, medical briefing in the classroom and were given instructions on what to do if there was a training accident. Students & instructors were given certain responsibilities. We went around the room and gave a small introduction of ourselves, our training past and what we wanted to get out of the class. For me it was to hone in my accuracy. We had a mix of student abilities from EXTREMELY capable ladies (shout out to Agatha & LaKasha) to brave first classers with the desire to learn how to confidently carry and shoot their carry pistol and not be a victim.

We started off with cold guns, going over the holster draw, how to clear the layers. Did some dryfire & some partner dryfire drills. Your partner watched your front sight as you pulled the trigger & instead of racking your own slide after the hammer was released your partner would run the slide and watch your body for movement. I was the demo student when Ben showed the class how to do this drill. When Ben racked my slide I moved my body backward. The demo showed me that I needed more balance in my stance. Good drill!

We loaded our guns and walked back to 25yds and did a couple of strings in a B8 target. Ben would say we were only as good as our first cold shot, in a real-world encounter there would be no warmups. It made sense to me, this was a humbling way to start off the class. BALL BUSTER DRILL as I like to think about it…

We moved closer to and ran the same drill from 5, 7 and 10 yards working on our grip, front sight concentration, and trigger press with reset. There was never a time limit with any of the drills all day. We took all the time we needed to get it right. It was hard to slow yourself down when the rest of the line has finished the drill. Ben attempted to teach us the skill of patience when accuracy counted. Reconfirm the sights before pressing the trigger. Don’t lose concentration, keep your hands TIGHT and in constant contact with the grip of the gun.

Before each drill, Ben would explain it, demo the entire drill and explain it again. I like that teaching approach. I like to hear the instructions and then see it being done correctly. There was absolutely NO ego. We analyzed our target misses as possibly killed good guys by accident. Ben made you really think about what happened on each shot, the real world has consequences. Don’t be a good guy active shooter!

We were constantly changing target outs and changing our distance from the target. We sometimes were shooting large human-sized outlines and then we would go to small 3-8 inch circles and squares. Ben held each student just a little higher than current their individual skill. We had a wide range of skills in the class and Ben found the right way to get each student to push their skill a little past their comfort zone so each of us was learning. He did it in a professional, kind, patient way treating each student with respect and no one was made to feel embarrassed or humiliated on the line. Not all instructors are like that. Ben is a professional teacher and he has the experience, confidence, and competence to know how to get more out of you than you think. Good job Ben!

The standout drill for me was learning about our offset with the square drill. It was kind of a modified “dot” drill where there two rows of ten one inch squares and a two-inch circle. We were at about five yards and we were to shoot one bullet into each square and a full magazine into the circle. It was more challenging than it should have been.

We were pressure tested with the dreaded timer (BEEEP!) shooting a single shot from concealment and a ten shot string from concealment into a B8 target. That little beep makes you sweat and do your absolute worst run of the day, every time!

We cleanup the range packed our gear and debriefed in the classroom. Cleaning up brass in an indoor range is soooo much easier than an outdoor range. Thank you, Toby, from CapeGunWorks for hosting the class!

I really like Ben. He is super knowledgeable, skillful, funny, humble and sometimes appropriately inappropriate. As the day goes on his jokes go downhill. He is a down to earth dude, that is easy to talk to fun to be around. I like to say I think Ben DeWalt and OnSight Firearms Training is one of the best training companies and best-kept secrets within the training community. Absolutely take his class if you have the opportunity.

A few things stood out to me from this class. I have been to quite a few classes over the years and each class has its own personality, the mojo within this class was really good, there were only humble students wanting to get better while having a good time. There were no egos, no wiz-bangers showing off. There were some really good shooters and they were as humble and charming as could be! They were all super nice and supportive of my 14-year-old daughter that was with me and I will always be grateful for treating her so nice. The other thing that stood out was the Smith & Wesson Shield. It’s a good and very popular gun, however, it’s not a gun for beginners. It is a difficult gun to shoot accurately unless you are within 10-15 yards of your target for most people. There were some students struggling with the shield and when swapped out with a G19 did remarkably better in their accuracy. Not to say small guns can’t be shot accurate, the best shooter in the class was shooting a 3.3” xds and she drilled every target pretty much perfect every shot!...but it takes a lot of practice.


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