Finished the first day of my Magpul Dynamics class woot woot! Was definitely star struck when Travis Haley and Chris Costa got out of their rented Dodge Challenger at 7:30 in the morning. I got up at 3:30 to drive down to Portland in time. Travis Haley is the more talkative one, and with lots of experience in actually smoking people. Previous 3 employers not counting himself: Blackwater, CIA, US Marine Corps. Chris Costa is a lot more intense, but doesn't talk much about smoking people, so I just assume he's more of trainer type. He softens his intensity with lots and lots of joking around. The dynamic duo promised the first day was going to be fundamentals, and re-iterated that tier 1 high speed operators and top ranked competitive shooters are good shooters because they have strong fundamentals, etc. Same rhetoric I've heard from a grand master/retired police officer, and it makes sense. Travis and Chris have trained the best of the best, and sad sack civilians alike, and in our class we had young veterans/sheriff deputies, as well as sad sack civilians who had little to no experience with weapons. Luckily, no one particularly sucked. The Oregon summer was a pretty tough environment. I am a smart guy: I'm always fighting the uphill battle to hydrate, since i've taken personal fitness a lot more seriously in the last year or so. As you all know, hydration is a long process: you can't drink 5 gallons the day before and expect to get hydrated. Drank about 2 gallons of water during the day. The dynamic duo was talking about how the Sacremento class a few weeks back was hitting 119 degrees, lol. Some people who had slacked on personal fitness and hydration before were definitely feeling it after countless repititions of basic drills. First day of Carbine 1 is nothing particularly exciting, most just basic weapon's technique. The new thing I learned is to have my thumb way high on the bore, with my elbow up high. It doesn't feel or look natural, but it truly does yield better results when firing carbines. Shooting 4+ round strings, I noted that this technique (which you see Costa using in the DVDs) definitely makes recoil control a LOT easier. You generally don't notice the importance of recoil control when firing only 2-3 rounds... 4-5 round strings though, improperly managed recoil adds up. When I regressed back to my old standard grip with my elbow down low, definitely saw the red dot jump around a lot more. I kept wanting to try this technique, but kept forgetting, so I spent pretty much the whole day comparing techniques side to side. Funny how the placement of one's elbow makes a huge difference in recoil mitigation. 2nd day is more Carbine techniques, a short Handgun class, and then Handgun + Carbine drills. No idea was the 3rd day entails just yet. Getting compliments on performance from Travis and Chris is a big ego booster. My rifle has been flawless, and i've managed to not fuck up yet! There are a few people with gun smith assembled franken guns, and the are having constant issues. I guess you could say I don't like the idea of gas blocks that aren't pinned or rocksetted/staked. There are some really young shooters with us, but they are doing quite well (18 year old white kids look so old!) We spent about an hour after lunch in lecture talking about mindset, biology, and psychology in regards to life/death scenarios and killing. Travis Haley is not only a badass, he's also a gentleman and scholar. Explained a lot of the biological facts that guide his, and other top tier weapons instructor's philosophies and techniques. Also, when he discussed the fallacy of "other" training cadres, I definitely recognized specific groups. Since he didn't name names, i'll do the courteous thing and not name any names myself. Cliffs: I'm at a Magpul class, i'm having fun. I'm really, really glad I brought the gloves. The rifle got uncomfortably hot VERY quickly.