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Thunder Ranch

2961 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Shawn
I have previously attended both Gunsite and the HK Academy, I am considering going to Thunder Ranch and would like any feedback both good or bad if you have attended the school.
Please respond only if you have actually attended Thunder Ranch as a personal purchase.
I recieved very positive feedback from Walt Rauch but I would like to hear from people that have paid for the courses out of thier own pockets.
What did you like/dislike and what do you recommned.
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I attended Thunder Ranch almost a year ago. I took Handgun One on my own dime. It is the only training class I have taken so I don't have anything to compare it to. It was very good training. The staff were all pleasant and very knowledgeable. It is amazing how they can spot you doing things from 20 yds away and then come over and fix it. One of the elder instructors, Bill McClaughlin (I think that is how you spell his last name) was giving me a tip on how to line up a pistol with my eyes closed and told me that was the way Bill Jordan showed him how to do it. The chargers and the Terminator (shoot house) are worth the price of admission alone. It is a very no BS type of training. I will go back as soon as I scrape up enough money. I am attending two Awerbuck training sessions locally at the end of summer. I will have a comparison at that point.
I've been to Thunder Ranch a couple of times. I highly recommend it.
They have less emphasis on shooting fast than Gunsite (Don't shoot fast, shoot good.) They do emphasize shooting on the move. You'll be moving, the targets will be moving, your partner will be moving, you'll all be moving at the same time. Partner? Yeah, even in the level 1 HG course you'll be paired up with a partner, even if you came solo. You will cover his targets while he reloads and vice versa, and work together on a number of movement drills.
I thought the simulators were better than Gunsite's, in that the targets had to fall to be neutralized, and some would only fall with a head shot. No outdoor simulators, though. Very little long range work in DHG 1, as I recall. Some in DHG 2.
More coverage of one hand drills at TR than Gunsite. I'm not sure we covered this at all at Gunsite, but it was covered in DHG 1.
I've been to a number of schools, but TR is the first one I chose to go back to for an upper level course. I'm currently on the list for DHG 3.
For what it's worth, I think Walt Rauch's opinion is more valuable than mine on this subject. He was one of my instructors at DHG 2, and I think he's always at DHG 3.
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When I originally posted this question we had about 200 members, now with more than 680, how many of you have been to Thunder Ranch and what did you like/dislike?
I have not been to thunder Ranch, however I trained with Clint Smith long before there was a Thunder Ranch. I feel Clints training doctrine will be reflected in all that is done at TR. Clint will be what makes or breaks TR and knowing Clint, it will be good. GLV
I had the opportunity to attend TR in April 2001. I took the week long Urban Rifle course. The instruction is "Top Notch" and thorough. Safety is stressed as well as "Logic". By day 2 you've achieved Muscle Memory. Clint and Heidi had to leave for family reasons. We were left in good company. The class of 23 were from all walks. We shot in the Terminator using room clearing techniques and at Thunderville which is a town atmosphere. Days were long, however that's what we paid for. I'll return next year for the 3 day Defensive handgun course and the 3 day Home & Vehicle defense. I recommend this school to each and every one of you!
I just came back from DHG1 5 day course at Thunder Ranch. What has been described above is accurate. We had a class of 16. One thing not reflected, however, was the number of instructors. As a minimum, we had four instructors with the entire class at any one time, sometimes five. When the class was broken down into groups doing drills on various ranges, 6-7 instructors participated. So we had three working marksmanship, two running the Charger targets, and two running the Terminator buidling clearing simulator (one with each student, each student doing a separate side.

All in all, I received plenty of face time from the instructors plus benefitting from each of their different experiences and perspectives.

Oh, and we had a fine BBQ brisket and sausage dinner served to us on Thursday night when we did the low light, fading light, dark night, and flashlight firing drills.

I would be glad to go again.
I have attended UR1 and UR2 at Thunder Ranch. The Terminators, Tower, and moving targets were the most valuable part of the courses. UR1 assumes you already have some training as they didn't spend much time on the basics. For the carbine, if you want great attention to detail and cures for the smallest problems, Jim Crews (www.marksmans.com) is the best choice. FYI, I have trained at TR, Hornady Academy, DTI, Chapman Academy, and Marksmans Enterprise.
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