The Clackamas County Public Safety Training Center curriculum culminates with PST 103: Advanced Defensive Handgun course. I successfully completed its prerequisite course this past March, and while the pandemic introduced delays into my envisioned timeline, I eventually got around to immersing myself in PST 103 and emerged from it a touch more learned (and exhausted, but in a great way).
Wow. Very Pew Pew. Much Shooty.
As the above collage shows, there was quite a lot to do and shoot this past weekend. Under the expert instruction of Gabe White, myself and three other students (all masked, all socially distanced, and in a very well ventilated space) were introduced to a variety of defensive handgun scenarios. Some of the topics covered were:
- Draw and ready position refinement
- Multiple shots and shifting gears
- Single handed gun handling and malfunction clearance
- Reactive and proactive positional shooting
- Shooting on the move, moving targets, and shooting on the move at moving targets
- Use of cover
- Low light and flashlight use
- Table and vehicle defense
- Engaging multiple targets
- Mitigating spatial problems
I intend to write a bit more about each of these topics in the coming days, as the act of documentation further reinforces learning.
Very Speed. Wow. Much Accurate.
The final exam of PST 103 consists of two tests. First, one must draw from concealment and make a shot within the “A” box of an IPSC/USPSA target at 7 yards in under 1.5 seconds. Second, from the low ready position make a shot in the aforementioned “A” box in under 0.5 seconds, same distance.
What might seem like arbitrary requirements have actual, real world, tactical rationale behind them. I was
quite extremely intimidated by this exam when I’d first heard of it earlier this year, but we had ample opportunity to practice, get feedback from the instructor and coaches, and improve, improve, improve. I passed both tests, and in subsequent iterations throughout the course was able to keep improving.
And now that I’m able to make full use of the Green Deck as a PST 103 graduate, I’ll keep on practicing both exercises. Marksmanship fundamentals of trigger press and sight alignment are critical in making these shots. Speed is essential, but you still have to be accurate.
Very Casing. Much Brass. Wow.
We all ended up blasting through a case of 9mm ammo for this class. Given the shortage going on, it does seem a bit indulgent to throw around so much lead. However, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and access to the learning and the resources to make that happen.
Still, it’s really difficult not to flaunt it. Just a teeny bit. This is just a portion of the brass generated by myself and my fellow students:
I kinda wish I reloaded ammo, as this would have been a gold (or copper and zinc) mine for supplies. But that’d be another sub-hobby to throw money at. “And what’s wrong with that,” folks would ask.