Semi-automatic rifles, variously called “sport utility rifles,” homeland defense rifles,” or “modern sporting rifles” by those who enjoy and support their use, and often derisively labeled “assault weapons” by those who wish to ban them, are among the most popular guns on the market today. The AR-15 style weapon is the most popular among them. Americans own about 5 million ARs with about 500,000 more hitting the private market each year.
With numbers like that there should be plenty of gun owners in need of training on how to maintain and safely shoot the AR platform. Recognizing this market, Corey D. Roberts and the rest of the crew at Tactical Insights LLC defense training have stepped in with their new “Black Rifle” Operator Course. Since the stated goal of the class is to “provide skills and knowledge to every student, from the new rifle owner to the experienced shooter” I decided to sign up for the class. The debut class was June 7th.
Most of the 14 or so people in the class had .223 caliber M4-style ARs with 16″ barrels and collapsible stocks. There were two oddballs. One guy had an AK-47-style rifle and I had a full-size .308 caliber AR with 20″ barrel and solid stock. Thankfully nobody engaged in any Freudian speculation on why I needed the big battle rifle. (I’m just taking the advice of Boston T. Party, Fred, and Bob Cashner. Honest!)
The first three hours of the class were in the classroom. Roberts and Ryan Evans, a police officer and certified armorer, headed the class. There was an overview of the AR-15 and AK-47 systems, with definitions, capabilities and explanations of their respective ballistics. Students were walked through field-stripping their weapons followed by some shooting fundamentals. All in all the classroom section of the class was a good “basic training” for AR owners.
The next five hours were on the shooting range. Students practiced shooting from various standing, kneeling and prone shooting positions that one doesn’t always see at the shooting range. We shot at moving targets, from under and around barricades and practiced shooting while on the move. It was a good day of practice using the AR platform in close quarter battle drills.
I thought the class was a great learning experience sure to provide new AR-15 owners and seasoned shooters with increased proficiency. If you’ve got a “black rifle” you might want to check it out.