Continuing the curriculum at the Clackamas County Public Safety Training Center, I completed the PST 102 course this weekend. True to the class description, we spent approximately 22 hours over two days learning and practicing handgun skills that went beyond (but fundamentally relied on) foundational pistol marksmanship.
The PSTC website mentions a minimum of 600 rounds being required for this class. Apparently this is an under-estimate, and we were issued a whole case of 9mm for the weekend. And yes, that box weighed a figurative ton.
I used a Glock G19 Gen5 with 4 15-round magazines. Also pictured are the “cutout” targets that we used for a warmup exercise - basically shoot inside the cutouts and don’t poke more holes in paper.
Our instructor, Gabe White, is a humble, dedicated, and skilled practitioner of the defensive pistol. His resume details a portion of the competitive achievements that he has attained, and I am extremely fortunate to count myself as one of his students.
The first day of class consisted of lectures and discussion in the classroom, followed by exercises and drills on the “Green Range” (also referred to as the “Green Deck”), which is a completely separate training area from the “public lanes” where I normally practice.
We spent quite a bit of time learning and working on various concealment draws and malfunction clearing. We were introduced to the Type 1 - failure to feed or fire - in the previous PST 101A course, and we learned to deal with the Type 2 - stovepipe or failure to eject - and the (dreaded) Type 3 - a double feed. A lot of tap, roll, and rack, with some magazine rips for the Type 3s, and placing accurate shots after having futzed with the firearm.
It’s frustrating enough to deal with a malfunction (especially so, I’d imagine, in an actual defensive situation!), and when you throw a time limit on top of that in class, it’s easy to mess up the fundamentals of basic marksmanship.
An interesting part of the class schedule is that the final exam of the 102 course takes place at the end of both days, so that the students get acquainted with the test and have additional opportunities to pass later in the weekend. Our cohort of six all passed the exam on Saturday, which apparently doesn’t happen often.
After an eleven hour day, we secured our gear and headed home, feeling quite chuffed about having passed the test and even more jazzed about having all of Sunday to work on bonus drills and exercises!
[To Be Continued…]