AAR: DARC Defensive Pistol June 24-26 2016

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So I finished another class this weekend at Direct Action Resource Center (DARC) located in North Little Rock, Ar. (search @DirectActionResouceCenter on Facebook). Once again as with the last few classes I am still amazed at how much I don’t know! The instructors at DARC are some of the best in the business at disseminating information in a way that make it easy to take in and retain even though at times it seems like you are trying to drink from a water fall.

The class this weekend was a 3 Day Defensive Pistol Class. Back in October of 2012 I took another pistol class from them called Tac Pistol, but the one this weekend was more focused on how to fight from concealment whereas the Tac Pistol was more focused on mechanics and operations under stress.

DARC has a great reputation in the Law Enforcement and Military community and most people think that is all that they train, however they do several of these open enrollment classes every year that are open to civilians and I highly recommend you like their Facebook page and keep your eyes open for notifications for their next open enrollment classes.

As I mentioned this is a 3 Day class and I mean a REAL 3 DAYS! We started Friday morning at 8amand left around 1930. Saturday we started at 0900 and left at 0030 Sunday Morning. We were back on the range at 0930 Sunday morning and completed the class at 1800. Now we did take some breaks for lunch at the range and on Saturday we left for dinner as a group for about an hour and ½ to wait for darkness to start the night time training.

I’m not going to go into great deal on the SOP’s that were taught throughout the class but more of an overview of the class what you should expect if you decide to take one of their classes.

DARC uses a layered approach to their training classes, think crawl, walk run. This approach works and most of the time you don’t even know you’re learning because it just comes so naturally. You’re going along and then it happens!!!!!!!!! You see the big picture and are just blown away. Another one of their strengths are they always have a reason for why you are doing what you’re doing. You will never hear “because I say so” at one of their classes. They can and do always explain the reasons to the drills and the physicality of why they are teaching them and how it can help save your life.

A majority of the drills are shot at 12” x 12” steel from 15, 10 and 7 yards. There were however several drills that we used different types of paper and cardboard targets. We would do several drills on steel then walk over and do some different ones on paper so results could be seen. Paper is always a great way to track results as well as a way to help magnify when you are making mistakes. This way you can see things like when you are palming the gun, anticipating recoil, not gripping the gun right, etc…

We worked several different positions static, moving, moving diagonally, left to right, right to left, one target, multiple targets, on the ground, strong hand, week hand, strong hand only reloads, week hand only reloads and several more that I just can’t recall as I am still pretty smoked right now. The first day all of the drills were done with no concealment to get the mechanics down. The rest of the class however all drills were from concealment.

Several students were shooting from appendix and several from strong side hip. As the class went on and as we moved into day 3 there were several advantages that started to emerge that support the appendix carry push we are seeing these days. Generally they were faster to gun and when they were on the ground, pushed up in the corner or in a fight to maintain the gun they always came out on top.

The last half of Sunday was all Force on Force. This is where the rubber meets the road and your eyes are really opened to what it might be like to be in a gun fight. There were several situations that were simulated like small space fights, open environment fights, crowded open spaces and several more. There was also physical fights some ended up with gunplay, some with knife play and some with both. We also did some ground work to simulated you were attacked and they had you on the ground. While everyone likes to think that hey I have a gun and all I have to do is shoot this guy….. It s hard to get space and draw your gun when your on the ground and 200+ pound guys is on top of you beating the crap out you!!! You have to keep your cool and you have to use the tools you have and they are not always going to be your gun!!!


My #1 take away from this class is that I NEVER want to be in a gun fight, but if I ever should find myself in a situation that it cannot be avoided I have a better chance of walking away with my life after taking this class! This being said I was shot several times in the FoF stuff. There was a drill were where me and another guy was facing off. I got a good head shot on him but at the same time he also got a clean shot on my middle finger. If this would have been a real fight I would have at best lost two or more fingers but more than likely survived. So make sure you have the mindset and do everything you can to not get in fight but if the time does come make sure you bring your A game and Win the fight!

As for round count for this class I do not have an accurate count but I would guess it would be around 3000 rounds. While it is a high round count I can say that there was not one drill that was wasting ammo! There were no mag dumps! Every drill and every round fired had a measured effect and could be accounted for.