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AAR: ONSIGHT FIREARMS TRAINING Defensive Carbine, Cape Cod MA, JAN.11, 2020


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May 16, 2011
West of Boston
Defensive Carbine
January 11, 2020​

Instructor: Ben DeWalt
Location: Cape Gun Works, Hyannis, Massachusetts
Weather: Indoor Range
Clothing: T-Shirt, jeans, sneakers.
Round Count: 700 +/- Federal 55 gr. 223
Class size: 8 students: 7 male, 1 female. Age: 14-60
Cost: $175

Hardware: Bushmaster lower / Spikes Tactical upper, Holosun HS510c

I am fairly new to the rifle/carbine. This was my third carbine class and fifth time shooting an AR. I took my 14-year-old daughter Kate to this class and it was the first time she had taken a Rifle class. She got a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 for Christmas and had only sighted it in with 50 rounds before this class.

Ben Introduced himself thanked everyone for being here at Cape Gun Works for their first Carbine class evah! We had our safety briefing, identified medical personnel within the student body. Ben talked us through the range orientation, what to do if there was a training accident and medical services were needed. People were given jobs in the unlikely event something happened. Who to call, the correct words to say and the words do not say to the 911 operator.

We started off with unloaded guns at the 7-yard line, Ben explained the different positions we were going to use on the range, shooting position, high ready, low ready, High port and cross-body port. He talked about the use of slings and how and why he sets his sling low like a heavy metal guitar player slings his guitar. We went over the proper way to load a magazine to ensure it is seated and economy of motions to release the bolt to chamber a round. How and when safeties went on and when they came off. Ben made it clear where your finger should NOT BE when not shooting, ANYWHERE NEAR THE TRIGGER GUARD! Make sure we were aware of where our muzzle was pointing at all times! Each of us is responsible for our own safety. Always be muzzle aware, ALWAYS!

We checked our zero at 25 yards, made necessary corrections and checked them at about 15 yards. Kate needed some slight corrections… Not too much, Ben gave me some assistance with how many clicks to turn her sight.

Before each drill, Ben would explain it, demo the entire drill and explain it again. I like that teaching approach. I like to hear the instructions and then see it being done correctly and then hear the instructions again.

We shot from standing, one knee kneeling, both knees kneeling, sitting on the ground, firing on the way down to a kneel and on the way up to standing and everything in between. We learned how to turn safely with the gun and engage the target. Face left, Face right and about-face always being aware of where our muzzle was at all times. Many shots to center mass and face of our target. We varied the distance to our target from 10 yards to 25yards doing mag changes as we needed to and clearing malfunctions if they occurred. Ben walked the line making suggestions on how we could improve our technique and encouragement when we did well. Never was anything negative said or any student called out in humiliation. Not all instructors are like this, Ben understands his students are not recruits and we are human beings that paid for this class on our time off. Not all instructors are like this. Ben is one of the good ones.

After we went through about 4 magazines of ammo Ben would go around the group asking what we thought of that particular drill or new skill we practiced. What we liked, what we did not like, comments about it and we’d have a group discussion about what we just did. It was a good way to reinforce the skill.

After lunch, the basic skills we learned in the morning were used with movement in the drills. We moved forward and backward shooting on the move. We concentrated on keeping the gun level, and our sights on the target as we moved, we also had to keep the line dressed so we would not have anyone way in front of everyone else shooting. We did some fast-paced drills of moving forward, backward, different levels (kneeling, sitting, squatting) as they were called out. It was awesome!

We had a small competition where we had to fire five shots in a B8, I DQ myself on the first round because I can’t count and shot six times. (public school education) Kate had won her first round.

We picked up the brass, clean up the range and had our debrief. We all told what we liked, no one had any bad or negative thing to say about each other or the course! We all had a ball and learned skills and tested our gear. It was a great time with some really nice people.

I really like Ben. He is super knowledgeable, skillful, funny, humble and sometimes appropriately inappropriate. As the day goes on his jokes go downhill. He is a down to earth dude, that is easy to talk to fun to be around. I like to say I think Ben DeWalt and OnSight Firearms Training is one of the best training companies and best-kept secrets within the training community. Absolutely take his class if you have the opportunity.

I was amazed at how well Kate did with the rifle, she was badass! The only thing that she said negative was the LOUDNESS of all the 223 shooting indoors…and it was very loud! Much louder than shooting on an outside range. We had electronic earpro and when she added plugs underneath she could not hear the commands and I thought that was a safety hazard so I made her take them off and suck it up with just over the ear ear pro.

Kates Targets:


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