You know what the hotness is right now? Mounting red dots to the slides of pistols. It’s gone from being something a few outliers did to an extremely common modification for pistols these days. We offer the service for multiple different types of optics, in fact. I had spent some time working with red dot equipped pistols in the past, but I’d had the same issues a lot of shooters have – I felt like the dot was slower at close range targets, and I had concerns about durability, etc. To help me put those fears to rest, I signed up for a red dot skills class with Scott Jedlinski, aka Jedi of Modern Samurai Project.
The class was held at Homestead Training Center in Homestead, Florida. It’s about 35 miles south of Miami, which means it could take as long as 17 years to drive there in traffic. In all seriousness though, Homestead Training Center is a great range, and if you’re in the area, you should check it out. The class itself was a mix of firearms industry types, currently serving military and contractors, and a couple of just good old fashioned Regular Dudes. The instructor, as mentioned above is Scott Jedlinski, who is one of the leading minds in how to run a slide-mounted red dot pistol fast. He holds a FAST Coin and shot up to USPSA Master in Carry Optics.
As you get better at shooting, it becomes more difficult to get information out of classes. Whenever I go to a new instructor’s class I want to learn at least 2 things that I can use to genuinely improve my shooting. I don’t know what those are in advance, but if at the end of the training I feel like I have learned new things, then I feel good about what happened.
I like to evaluate shooting classes based on what to me are three important criteria: safety, structure, and interaction. Safety is important, and there are two critical things I look for: does the instructor have a medical emergency plan with designated jobs for certain people, and does the instructor tolerate safety violations. In Scott’s class he opened up with a comprehensive safety briefing, designating primary and second responders in the event of a serious medical incident. He also did an excellent job of stressing his in-class safety standards during this briefing. During the two days of the class itself, I personally did not witness any safety violations.
Now on to the good stuff: structure. This is what the class is all about and how the information is presented to students. A class can be full of good information, but if it’s not presented in a coherent format, it’s hard for people to follow. This wasn’t the issue with Scott’s class as everything that was taught was detailed out and explained in detail. In fact, if I had a complaint about the structure it would be that Scott is such a nerd about shooting that he sometimes went into more detail then may have been strictly necessary to explain why he was doing something.
We were supposed to shoot 500ish rounds over the course of two days, and we did just that. I personally shot 543 rounds over the course of the class. The drills used in the class made sense for the stated instructional goals. I did also come away with two “learning moments” as well; Scott taught an interesting foot placement technique to keep from driving your draw too far left when you’re in a big hurry. He also helped me overcome my desire to over-confirm the dot when I’m shooting with a red dot pistol.
Interaction is a big part of a class. I’ve been in shooting classes where the instructors interacted minimally with students, and I feel like that’s a shame, because the whole point of taking a professional shooting class is to have the instructor interact with you so they can help you suck less. I can honestly say that this class had some of the best instructor/student interaction ever. Again, if I had to level a criticism, it would be that Scott is SUCH a nerd about this stuff, he sometimes lets himself go into the weeds of an overly technical explanation. I’m okay with that personally, because it’s on my level, but I can see how someone who hasn’t spent a huge amount of time shooting could get lost in the sauce.
Since we sell red dots and slides milled for red dots, I can strongly recommend now that you get one of those for your pistol and go take a class with Scott Jedlinski from Modern Samurai Project. If you’re interested in getting better with your red dot, it’s a perfect choice.