Often, before training even commences, I am asked by individuals to provide information on various equipment, models and makes of numerous weapons and associated items that I would recommend they buy for the weapons platforms with which we train. Herein lays the problem. Different equipment suits different individuals and much of the determination must to be made on the range, and must be based on one’s unique needs.
The most frustrating thing for me is when individuals make their purchase decision purely on conjecture offered by numerous sources, only to find that the equipment they bought is junk or doesn’t suit them. Often what will happen is that I will reluctantly recommend a certain item before the training, the individual then states that “so and so” suggests something else. I then render a rather lengthy explanation as to why I have recommended said item. The individual then retorts “Yes, but ‘so and so’ sates this and ‘so and so’ states that…” This process continues back and forth a few times. The individual then shows up with the item that “so and so” recommended which then promptly fails in practice or quite literally fails to function and the individual clearly observes for himself why I recommended the alternative item in the first place. This is why I am somewhat reticent to print such requested lists of recommended equipment that would allow our students to just go out and buy stuff before trying it out first by renting our equipment or at least seeing it first-hand used by another student. Each and every time equipment fails on the range, it results in a lot of wasted time to fix or replace the weapon, and worse, wasted money on the student’s part – we HATE to see that happen.
When you attend a class, you will observe and experience first-hand what works and what does not. This is by far the most effective and long lasting solution relative to the problem of gear. I have the gear I have for a reason. After being on the range day after day for many decades I have figured out what benefits me and what does not. I also know what works in the field and that which is practical and that which is not. I have experienced some of the same frustrations that many of our students have. I have learned that “hands on” experience is the better road to success. I can explain it on the range and you experience it right then and there and it saves lots of time and money. Whether or not I will ever publish such a list remains to be seen.