As you can see, Kyle Lamb and 5.11 Tactical have a new training DVD out. It's called Pistol Training 1.5, and it essentially covers what Viking Tactics presents as instruction in their Pistol 1.5 Course. There are those who rail against DVDs and training videos, others who swear by them. Myself, I believe they are good way to take a look at new methodologies or refresh familiar ones. They do have a place in a solid training regimen. I do not believe such a video will replace time spent on the ground with the pertinent instructor but it's a good way to get around cost, travel and other impediments.
With that filter in mind, this video did not disappoint. It has excellent production values (no 80s porn music, bad lighting or hand-drawn signs) courtesy of Final Cut Media. I like Kyle (which I'm sure is a huge relief to him). He's extremely skilled, appropriately smart-assed, has a great sense of humor and self-deprecating without much tolerance for true foolishness. He has a different sort of intensity than some other instructors (not more, not less, just different); although that doesn't translate fully to the screen (like every other training video I've seen) it's still very clear he's deadly serious about his craft and the proper instruction of his students.
As for content, this isn't an "advanced" course. There aren't any lessons about Wesley style bullet bending or gun kata (that's in Kyle's intermediate course) there is a solid amount of material here. Though my skill level is certainly no benchmark to be admired, I saw some things I'd never considered or been taught before. I think that will be the case with most anyone. I particularly liked the barricade shooting section and his excellent overview on dealing with malfunctions - most of those I'd seen before, but it was a great refresher and was absolutely new to several of my friends who are CCW shooters. Two of the latter actually borrowed the DVD and took it to the range to watch on a laptop to train. Not as good as attending a Viking Tactics course, that, but a suitable alternative if you don't happen have Kyle or one of his instructors locked in the basement.
Another thing I enjoyed were the mistakes depicted as they happened. There were both student and instructor screw-ups included, which helps maintain the sense of candor. One thing I do wish there had been more of would have been some focus on corrections. For instance, during a shoot on the move iteration, a student walked forward without employing a technique he'd been instructed. Though Kyle called attention to it and corrected it, I would have liked to see them repeat what he did in slow motion, then show Kyle demonstrating the correct method again (perhaps on a split screen?) so I didn't have to rewind and then fast forward.
The other thing that was a little distracting was the text that would occasionally splash up on the bottom of screen. They were bullet points, but they weren't always exactly to the point. To be fair, it's hard to provide context in writing, even with the video running in the background. Unfortunately, these points came across somewhat disjointed, as though they were an afterthought or copied from an outline. By no means does this detract from the video, it's still a good feature, I just think it could have be improved next time.
In the end - this DVD is well worth $30. I think it would make a great complement to his book, which I also enjoyed.Worthwhile for an experienced shooter, great gift idea for a neophyte or someone who's worked marksmanship only without any 'gunfighting' emphasis. Buy the video here.
That's it for now. Go forth and conquer.