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My reviews and experiences at Oregon Firearms Academy

Discussion in 'Business Discussion & Reviews' started by TapRackNGo, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    Since a couple people asked about my experiences at Oregon Firearms Academy, I thought I would share some class reviews. Some good, some bad, but more importantly from a paying customers perspective.



    A group of 4 of us had taken roughly 10-12 classes each at Oregon Firearms Academy so we knew the instructors well and they knew us well. We were very excited about a new series of classes called "Wilderness Skills in a Potentially Hostile Environment". The courses took quite a long time to gain enough interest to move on to the next level, as most interest is in the entry level courses and of those a few may want to continue their education. We waited 2 years for the more advanced class to develop. Two years they had to prepare a curriculum for the class. We were in the 3rd series of 4 of this class.

    At the last minute, 2-3 maybe more instructors had to pull out of the course for personal reasons. Dan's wife had a really bad staff infection or something similar. Shawn Jewell had another class or something etc... Which we were disappointed as we liked to chat and hang out with Dan and Shawn very much, but understood things happen. BUT, when we arrived the class was extremely instructor light (1 instructor, 1 helper who could help with the newer students). There was roughly 16 people in the class. We were split into two teams of 8, and of our 8, the 4 of us were pretty advanced in our gear and mindset, but with much to learn.

    Basically, we (the 4 of us) were left to fend for ourselves because everyone else needed help. I mean there was only one instructor. It was a camping trip for us, nothing more, we learned nothing, gained nothing from the experience. We felt Joel was spread way to thin. After the class was over I talked to Dan about how we (4 of us) were disappointed in the class and although we understand life happens, etc... the class didn't have nearly the instructors needed for that type of training environment. The prior classes in this series had 6-8 instructors and plenty of helpers. This class was a Oregon Firearms Academy class. But, Joel L. instructed the class, Joel at the time was working at Oregon Firearms Academy and lead instructor in this type of series.

    We expressed to Dan the situation and our concerns. I basically said, "hey we understand life happens". But, when I asked Dan if we could retake the class, or have a couple private days with lead instructors to get some quality training or a refund he passed the blame off to Joel. Joel was working for Oregon Firearms Academy. Joel is one guy, we needed more. This was a situation where the students (4 of us) were very unhappy with our $450 investment each, and felt like we had just been swindled. Dan wouldn't take responsibility for the situation, and basically blew us off. The same 4 guys that had taken 10-12 classes each at Oregon Firearms Academy. I own my own company, and I reminded Dan he is responsible for the class, not Joel. Joel isn't partial owner of OFA, Dan is. Since Dan was who sent Joel off to work the class. Oregon Firearms Academy was more than willing to take all of our money, but not willing to make sure we were satisfied with the class.

    We thought Dan handled the situation very poorly, we (the 4 of us) had all sent lots of people to Oregon Firearms Academy, and wanted to continue to support their school. It was very disappointing the way it was handled and could have easily been remedied. We were shocked to say the least at the lack of professionalism by Dan, we felt betrayed.


    One of the intermediate handgun classes was plagued by a few slow people who had issues. The class was constantly interrupted for the first part of the day and felt bogged down for more time than it should have. The students should have been pulled aside and brought up to speed and a gear check. Which was done a bit later in the morning.

    The classes put on by Shawn Jewell were excellent "Close Encounters of the Worst Kind". We also took some Friday Night classes with Shawn for a small group of us, which were also great! I drove 2hrs each way to attend his Friday night classes at Oregon Firearms Academy. I also enjoyed the carbine class, and the students who were in it. But the wilderness series was the last set of classes we were taking when OFA dropped the ball. We (the 4 of us) felt betrayed after spending so much time and money there. As a business owner, I couldn't imagine taking that route when the solution was so easy.

    I have not talked about my disappointing experience at Oregon Firearms Academy since we were treated so poorly in 2009. Honestly, I wasn't going to give a review. But, I felt people who are looking for firearms training should get the good and bad, and form their own educated decisions.
     
    ocarolan and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmmkay. Well at least we now know your side of the story.
     
  3. Torqk911

    Torqk911 Yacolt,Wa Member

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    The experience was poor and the anticipation set high to learn new things with no happy middle. Its good to share good and bad experiences with business and companies. Its how people improve their business for growth.

    Obviously, for whatever reason Taprackngo felt like sharing and I enjoyed the read on OFA.
     
  4. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing. Good to hear positive and negative stories.
    Good luck and stay safe,
    Mike
     
  5. ocarolan

    ocarolan Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing this. Personally I haven't heard of a firearms class with a 1:16 or even 1:8 instructor ratio before. At that point, the problem could evolve from "not learning anything" to an actual safety hazard.

    For perspective, my carbine class at Thunder Ranch had 8 students and 6 instructors. It was divided into 4 teams of two, so both my teammate and 1-2 instructors were giving feedback the whole time. This really helped for peace of mind during the movement scenarios and with Thunderville - I could relax and be 1000% sure no one was flashing a muzzle at me or leaving a safety off.

    Inside Terminator, the instructor ratio was actually two to one, since Clint and a helper followed us through individually.

    Cost is probably 2x the OFA class though, or 3x-4x when you factor in lodging, gas, and ammo.
     
  6. Dan-Dee Sales Inc

    Dan-Dee Sales Inc Sweet Home, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    I just finished the Shotgun course and was very pleased with it. There were at least 4 instructors to 13 or so students. All of my questions were answered and I learned a lot. We are getting ready to sign up our employees for a class in November.