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Thinking of training at OFA....any other schools to consider?

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by lucky strike, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. lucky strike

    lucky strike Woodburn Member

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    I'm relatively new to shooting (bought my first gun 4 years ago) and am wanting to start getting into improving my skills through instruction.

    I've taken a basic handguns skills class at the Clackamas PSTC and the action range cert class at TCGC where i'm a member. Shot at a couple IPSC matches.

    That's the paltry extent of my training.

    I'm wanting to take both a defensive handgun series of courses and a carbine one....I'll start with the handgun one first. I see that OFA offers both and was thinking of signing up for some of their 2010 courses.....just wondering if there's any other schools/instructors in the area that I should consider as well.

    My friend is a proponent of Jim Jacobe and I took my CCW class with him but that's it...anyone trained under him?

    I know Thunder Ranch is world reknowned but I've read they're more geared towards the seasoned shooter....is this true?

    Any suggestions based on first hand experience is much appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    Jim Jacobe is definitely an interesting teacher, I've taken a class with him. OFA offers a wide variety of classes with a good balance of hands on and classroom time. Thunder Ranch definitely has a great reputation, but your wallet will be very light after a class there.
     
  3. lucky strike

    lucky strike Woodburn Member

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    Can you shed any light on your experience with Jacobe? Pros/Cons of a class with him vs. OFA?
     
  4. RockKrawler

    RockKrawler Gresham Member

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    Jim is a very by the book NRA Instructor with many years of training under his belt.
    He has worked with a lot of people in the field and has a good rep.
    I have done some training with him and Marty up at FAS and highly recommend them both.
    Jim is a no BS kind of guy,if you want to screw around,or not take things seriously,go find someone else as you will not get along with him.
    RK
     
  5. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    I haven't taken a class at OFA, just have known a lot of people that have told me about their experiences. I only took the basic handgun class with Jacobe. But he was very serious and informative about it. The only downside is that it was only a 2-3 hour class, compared to the 8 hour class that OFA offers, and it was a classroom only class.
     
  6. emanon

    emanon SE Portland, Oregon Member

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    I have not yet trained at OFA, Thunder Ranch or with Jim but would love to participate in any of their classes. I have trained at and would return to both FAS and Insights in Washington. Another option to consider are the various classes put on by traveling instructors. Gabe Suarez, John Farnham, Tactical Response and others do a variety of classes throughout the region.
     
  7. BigMac

    BigMac Hillsboro New Member

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    I took OFA's Defensive Handgun 1 class and they have a very high instructor to student ratio and a lot of hands on. You'll learn good practice drills and if they'll do their best to make sure you've started to build some good habits. There's a lot of repetition and you'll actually be quite sore at the end of the class.
     
  8. lucky strike

    lucky strike Woodburn Member

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    Dang...my follow up question was going to be where exactly Jacobe holds the shooting portion of his classes.

    One of the reasons i initially considered OFA is their nice facilities
     
  9. Gendaito

    Gendaito PDX Member

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    FAS is good, and from Portland it's about the same distance as OFA. FAS has a large facility with numerous ranges, so there's more distance and variety than you get at OFA.

    I like Dan and his crew better in terms of friendliness, but Marty is a fine teacher as well.
     
  10. rk246

    rk246 Southwest of Portland New Member

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    If you can spend the money, thunder ranch is excellent, I have taken courses my whole life and can tell you that I made more improvements in three days at thunder ranch with Clint than all of the other courses combined.
     
  11. lucky strike

    lucky strike Woodburn Member

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    Well i'm just getting started with this shooting stuff so eventually my goal is to make it to all the good schools in the NW. Leaning towards just starting with OFA though....it's the closest to where I live and I've got a friend who would likely take the class with me that lives in Corvallis so location wise it works out good.
     
  12. New Oregonian

    New Oregonian Lane County Member

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    You can't go wrong with them. Took the basic handgun class a few weeks ago and loved it. Everyone is top notch there. If you ever end up wanting to go to Thunder Ranch save your money for the ammo you'll have to buy...if you can fiind it (frangible rounds only).
     
  13. net1976

    net1976 Oregon New Member

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    Hey guys, check out this link. http://www.thunderranchinc.com/links.html

    Clint only lists three (3) schools he can recommend besides himself, and OFA is one of the three. So, if TR is "the" place to train then one would surmise one of the three schools Clint recommends cannot be chopped liver then.

    Personally speaking, OFA is a great defensive school, the scenario FOF training is eye-opening. I've taken their entire defensive handgun series (some multiple times). They always personalize the training so you're not going over the same scenarios each time you come back. I've trained at FAS and PSTC too. All three are good, but IMO, OFA is gives the most "bang" for the buck. Honestly, take Clint Smith's recommendations from his link, the dude knows what he's talking about.
     
  14. greenLED

    greenLED Beaver Nation expat Member

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    Just FYI, several of the OFA Instructors are also adjunct instructors at Thunder Ranch.

    There are many things that impressed me about OFA training; their observance to safety being top, and their "simple and universal" approach to teaching are top among my list.
     
  15. newt

    newt Corvallis Member

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    I have done most of OFA's courses at least once. BHS, DH1, DH2, Dh3, Carbine, lowlight, etc. I recommend them highly. I also recommend

    EAG Tactical
    Pat Rogers
    Vickers Tactical (Larry Vickers)
    Bruce Gray, GrayGuns (In Oregon)
    Todd Green (Aim Fast Hit Fast)
    Sig Sauer Academy (New Hampshire)
    and they're a little Tacticool but Magpul Dynamics.
     
  16. unionguy

    unionguy Portland Active Member

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    For low-cost quality instruction in basic rifle, check out Appleseed Project...just did one this summer and highly recommend.
     
  17. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I've done quite a bit of research and asked around, when I have the money I'm heading to OFA. I feel really lucky to have a professional such as OFADAN here helping us out, answering questions and such.
     
  18. raindog

    raindog Portland, OR Active Member

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    A coworker took a class there in August - his first and only so far. Loved it. Sounds to me like you have more than enough experience.
     
  19. MikeIsh

    MikeIsh Portland Member

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    I agree Joey, I have been looking at the schedule, and mine to see when I can get there.
     
  20. MrNatural

    MrNatural Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend Thunder Ranch first for actual instruction. Clint Smith is a world-class instructor in person.

    I have had experience with Firearms Academy of Seattle and do NOT recommend them.