I recently had the good fortune to attend the 5th Annual Sheila Hamed Charity Handgun/Rifle Course organized by Lance Reeter and Tatiana Melo. You may recognize Lance and Tatiana from the Shooter’s Hangout. The event is named in honor of Sheila Hamed who lost her life to leukemia in 2013 at the age of 35. Two hundred thirty people attended the event, which raised over $37,000 for the fight against leukemia and lymphoma. Front Site Firearms Training Institute hosted the course at their facility in Pahrump, Nevada.
The event showed what gun owners in America are really about and how they can truly rise to the occasion. I met some of the kindest most giving people I’ve ever experienced over the four days of the course and I’m already looking forward to next year.
Attendees had the choice of spending two days or four days on the range in either a defensive handgun course or a basic rifle course. The courses are structured such that they start at a beginner level and gradually work up to more challenging material. The courses are conducted so as to not intimidate beginners while still providing a challenge for more experienced shooters. The Front Site facility is truly first rate and the staff is extremely knowledgeable and professional.
Any way you look at it, four days of shooting and working with knowledgeable instructors will improve your shooting no matter what your skill level. Adding time pressure to the shooting drills is also a great way to have fun while you improve. Both the rifle and handgun courses help you to build and maintain accuracy while developing speed.
In addition to shooting, the courses go over procedures for clearing malfunctions adding a time challenge to build competency. The instructors also briefly touch on tactics such as entering doorways and clearing rooms (just enough to make it fun).
The last day includes a fun competitive steel target shoot to determine who in the class will win the coveted Front Site Challenge Coin. There is also a final practical exam where students have the opportunity to achieve a score in one of three levels. The exam is a series of head and center mass shots from various distances under time pressure. In addition the exam also includes reloads and clearing of malfunctions also under time pressure.
Students start with 125 points and have the opportunity to lose points by placing a shot outside the head box or center mass (minus 3), missing the silhouette completely (minus 5), or by exceeding the allotted time on a given shot (minus 3).
To finish as a Distinguished Graduate the student can lose no more than 13 points. Two or three people in a class of 35 typically finish at this level. A Graduate can lose no more than 38 points. Losing more than 38 points earns the student a Certificate of Achievement.
I would encourage all of you to watch for the dates of next year’s event and seriously consider joining us. This is a great way to improve your shooting skills while having a great time with great people and supporting a wonderful cause.
Events like this one will not be possible in California if anti-gun activists are successful in destroying our 2A rights. If you want to keep your rights help defend them by joining San Diego County Gun Owners, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, and the National Rifle Association. Join the fight and help us restore and preserve our second amendment rights. Together we will win.
©2018 Joseph T Drammissi