August 2011

By Thomas E.





skip loading at 7 yards, 6 rounds in one “splat” 🙂


SUMMARY of Pistol 1-5 from


In a word, Marksmanship Matters class is “QUALITY”!!!
QUALITY instruction, methods, experience of instructors and depth of knowledge. In short, if I was going to do it over again, I would take the $4,500 I spent on my Frontsight’s diamond membership and go to all of Larry’s courses. WHY you ask? Because he takes the time to build a proper foundation, BEFORE trying to do too much or too fast. Learn to shoot ragged holes BEFORE you learn to speed shoot!!! I was continually astonished at the time, care and quality of instruction they gave each student. Larry can not violate his integrity by going too fast, or ignoring an important principle, method or skill. This seems to drive him to excellence!!!
Marksmanship matters is excellent in training ladies. Stacey has the perfect balance of directness and a lady’s touch that helps female students feel comfortable and confident.

An email I sent Larry:
“Larry, you have such an amazing class! I was continually astonished at the one on one and personal attention given to each student. QUALITY, EXCELLENCE in everything I experienced in your class.  I can tell you I’ve takem 4+ basic handgun classes at Frontsight, and I’m MAJORLY bored in those classes and can’t hardly stand to take the class. I flat will NOT take the 4 day basic handgun class at Frontsight anymore.
However, with your class, even the basic class I was excited to learn extensions and additions AND I was not ignored. I was taught how to be better in everything and at whatever level I was at. One small example, mid-June at Combat Tactical, the instructor had us shoot 3-4 rounds at a HUGE target at 50 yards. I was lucky to have ANY hits. I was frustrated with myself. At the end of your class I was hitting the 12″ popper at 45 yards very consistently. In fact, I hit it 6 of 7 shots at 45 yards…in wind/rain during a stressful man-on-man competition.  Another example, I was able to get all 6 of my rounds in a 1″ square at 7 yards doing the ragged hole drill at another training class I took early August. ALL because of your skip loading drill and quality of instruction. SO, THANK YOU!!!!” I would be very comfortable, confident and pleased to refer my wife, mother/father, daughters/sons to you and your courses. I KNOW they would be safe and get EXCELLENT/QUALITY instruction. I’m still astonished at the cost/benefit ratio of your courses!!!

NOTE to frontsight students/supporters:
If you feel you are plateauing and not really improving by going over-and-over to frontsight, take a serious look at
For all you frontsight trained folks out there, Larry will take you to a level you have been desiring and hoping to get after three or four 4-day classes. Have you felt ignored, even in skill builder classes? Have you felt; how can they possibly help me improve when there are 30 students…40+ students? I got the basics down, now I’m ready to really improve! Hate to break it to you, but you have thousands of repetitions doing it wrong…or at least not doing it right.
Even after 3-4 skill-builders, you won’t be anywhere as good a shooter as after Larry’s class. Build your foundation properly by training with Larry and Stacey and not a too-fast, too-soon, too-hasty class.

Especially: Why Surrender Is Never an Option

I feel I have a good background to evaluate the common body of knowledge (methods) and defense school services.
Here is the list of defense related classes I’ve taken. OVER 35 DEFENSE CLASSES!



Larry was an Infantry Light Weapons Sergeant in the First Air Cavalry in Viet Nam in 1967/8 where he participated in numerous fights including the battle of Tam Quan.  He was decorated for these actions.

Larry joined the LAPD in 1969 where he served for nearly 35 years.  He was a member of the well known LAPD SWAT team for 14 years where his duties included Chief Firearms and Tactics Instructor.  In 1991 Larry transferred to the Police Academy where he served as the Training Division Chief Firearms Instructor for 13 years until his retirement.
39,000 Men and Women have worn the badge of the LAPD.  Larry was one of 11 Officers in the history of LAPD to be awarded the medal of valor twice and one of only 39 Officers to ever shoot a perfect score on the LAPD “Advanced Course.”  Larry is a six time Gunsite Graduate.
During his 42 years of teaching firearms he has trained USMC Recon, Department of Energy (SWAT) Special Response Teams, the California Highway Patrol Special Response Team and SWAT Officers from numerous agencies.  He has taught for the U.S. State Department and trained SWAT teams from several foreign countries.  He is an accomplished competitive shooter, a Gunsite Range Master and a NRA instructor.


I have seen Larry’s full resume and I assure you that this short bio does not begin to list his background.
It seems that many of the big name schools use techniques which came by way of Larry but none really understand the WHY behind what they teach.  In my opinion, it is common for schools to mimic the Methods without understanding the why.

Beside, you get near 1:1 instruction from him.
His methods/drills will help you be a master marksman. Once you have completed his course you can continue onto tactics.

I HIGHLY recommend Larry!!! schools I’ve evaluated:
1) Frontsight (27+ classes)
2)  Suarez international (SI) — Combat Handgun Instructor School and over 7 SI DVDs
3) combat tactical – 2 classes
4) Warrior SOS
5) Silly/worthless NRA instructor classes.

Of these schools, none have come close to the depth of knowledge and understanding Larry has. He is an expert instructor who will take the time to teach you properly. He tailors his instruction to his current student’s skill, experience and knowledge level.

His training schedule seems ideal! Instead of trying to cram everything in a weekend (non-ideal learning and unsafe), he spreads it out and thus allows your normal life to continue and you can absorb the material. If you live in Utah, the costs of traveling to Frontsight and taking off work are expensive. Why not spread your training over several weekends and sleep in your own bed and have your life continue uninterrupted.

Imagine you are a new student, you show up at Front Site for 8 hours, 4 days inin a row and have volumes of information thrown at you.  You bake in the sun and on  the last day you eat lunch and then take a very stressful test. Several times a year your school experiences negligent discharges.  Students shooting their own leg while holstering or presenting TOO QUICKLY for their skill level. You WILL NOT experience that at Marksmanship Matters!!!

SAFETY, to the level I’ve never seen. I reverence and FOLLOW safety rules like no-one I’ve ever met, yet Larry managed to take it to a higher level.
1 out of 8 Utahans are conceal carry permit holders!!!! Lets get those 1 of 8 carrying 24x7x365 and TRAINED and then make it 1 out of 4!!!
We also covered combat mindset better then I’ve ever seen it. I’ve seen Frontsight’s presentation several times, and it is awesome, but not near as good as Larry’s presentation. Also, I have Suarez Internationale’s Combat Mindset DVD and feel Larry’s presentation is much better than SI’s Combat Mindset DVD.

We covered many terms and had an in-depth discussion on “elements of Marksmanship”.
One small example: In combat, shoot as fast and only as fast as you can make good hits.

Larry and Stacey uses a set of 6 diagnostic trigger control drills which forms one of the corner stones of their marksmanship instruction.  When combined with their very structured method of conducting skip loading they are able to take new and experience shooters to high level of marksmanship in a very short time.
Lots of awesome statistics about accidents, shootings, crime, criminals, etc. I really like the statistic that your kid is more likely to die from falling out of a shopping cart, then to be accidentally shot by a gun. So do NOT be a victim!!! and take on “victimization mindset” by not owning and knowing how to run your gun!!!!

***Principles of self-defense. Awesome book by Jeff Cooper! Very small, but insightful. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS!!!

Learning to present from the holster with SNAP caps (a-zoom dummy rounds). Learning to do malfunctions with SNAP caps. All manipulations are taught with snap caps. and no live firing done on day 2…GREAT concept because they can ensure everyone is SAFE and confirm every student is squared away with finger straight, muzzle control and general safe gun-handling.  Occasionally a student will be told that they are not ready for the live fire range and must repeat Pistol 2 before going on.  This did occur in my class.

DAY3: (range day)
Review of terms, safety and marksmanship.
Those that had shot prior; shoot at 15 yards at an 8” plate. I managed to get all 6 of my shots on the plate. I had a pretty good group, but dropped one.
Then Stacy shot all the lower plates(Bench rest Stacy, I swear she had 2” groups at 15 yards….off hand!). Larry shot all the upper plates. This way we could see if the sights and the shooters were consistent.
Some adjustments were made to some student’s handgun sights.
Then we did trigger drill 1,2,3,4, followed by several hours of skip loading..
THESE DRILLS are amazing for teaching proper trigger control, sight alignment and sight picture and follow through!!!

Larry and Stacey took the time to really teach marksmanship and started building the foundation gradually and not too quickly (In my experience, most schools go too quickly).
Even as an advanced student, with hundreds of hours of professional training, I was excited to do these drills and improve my shooting. Before the end of the day, hitting a 4” plate 6 of 6 shots at 15 yards was no problem.


DAY4 (range day)
Started with skip loading.
Then we participated in trigger drill 5 which is a “Compressed surprise break” drill. A shot timer was used to record the time for each shot.. We focused on the  sights and NOT looking at the target.  I mentioned if you have isometric tension that your gun should snap back down where it was and you barely have to do anything with your sights, depending on the distance. I had major isometric tension and focused on watching the sights through recoil and then allowed my isometric tension to snap the sights back down onto the target. I was doing a really good job controlling recoil and running the sights during rapid fire.  If the student was mashing, the drill was OVER for them because the instructors would not allow people to practice mistakes,  I was able to get all my hits in one “splat” at 7 yards and most of my trigger presses were around 3/10 of a second. These drills helped BRIDGE from precision/SLOW fire, to combat firing.
It was good to go back to “skip loading” after the drill to make a few deposits in the “correct trigger press” bank account.
Next we practiced DRY reactionary drills. Like we are pointed SOUTH and the target is WEST and how to LOOK, GRIP, STEP, PIVOT, PRESENT, FIRE. We did this facing SOUTH, NORTH and will soon have our back to the target.
NEXT, we shot one handed.

We also talked and practiced shooting on the move. Forward and back.
At the end of the day, we did skip loading one more time. Amazingly enough, at 7 yards I had all my rounds touching, except two that were ½ higher than the other “touching group”.

For those that are believers in DRY PRACTICE, and as much as you improve your trigger press, malfunctions and presentations, SKIP LOADING will help you improve EVEN MORE than dry practice will.  Well, you NEED BOTH! Until you take the class from Marksmanship Matters you do not really know how to skip load an auto pistol effectively.  The system created by Larry and Stacey is very detailed and in fact requires 6 pages in their instructor manual to fully explain.  Other instructors have tried to copy their skip loading system but the success is in the details which others do not have.

DAY5: (range day)
Started out the day with skip loading 🙂 My FAVORITE DRILL!!! 1) because it is challenging 2) because I need it 3) because its fun to improve.

Next we did close contact. Larry and Stacey teach the close contact firing position somewhat differently from what have been taught elsewhere.  Part of the close contact is,two to the center body, increase distance and use the sights to make a brain shot. IF TARGET is still  available, THAT is the assessment and press the trigger. NONE of this 2 to the thoracic cavity | pause | assess | then 1 to the head. Its straight to the head after 2 and if the target is still in your sights “PRESS”. On the close contact, it was TWO instructors for each student. One to watch the support hand  and one to ENSURE the handgun at position 2 was the correct level, so rounds did NOT go into the target holder.
We did shooting on the move. Left to right with 9 steel targets. Then right to left, it was suggested doing 1 handed when shooting targets at 90 degrees on your primary side.
Next we did “unknown multiple targets”. We started off facing AWAY from the targets. Got the “THREAT” to the rear command and properly turned and engaged based on priority. Some were no-shoot targets. Others were pointed in, others had machine-pistols, knifes etc. Several hostage taker targets.  Each shooter was carefully critiqued on his decision making an well as his marksmanship.

We had a thorough explanation and demonstration of “defensive vehicle” methods. A traditionally holstered gun may not be easily accessible in a car jacking or other car-crimes situation. We were taught several options to deal with this problem.  I may have been taught the proper seat belt release in the past, but have forgotten it and NEED to get in the habit of unbelting so you are not caught inside it if you need to quickly exit the car. Having glasses on, while rounds are incoming or outgoing with glass shards going everywhere is CRITICAL! Also, any passengers should be coached on what IF scenarios. We were taught several different tactics to be used if trying to extricate ourselves from something like the Rodney King Riots in LA.  ALSO, a 3,000 lb weapon (AKA vehicle) can be much more effective than a 400 ft.lbs handgun round.

Next we shot from our OWN cars several threats. 9 o’clock, 8 o’clock 11:30 and a 7 o’clock target.

Next we had “man-on-man” competitions on pepper-poppers at 45 yards. These are 12” targets with a 6” head and torso. Hitting these off-hand, UNDER competition PRESSURE is challenging. Within minutes of learning about the competition, my heart rate started to climb.
Something I had done 5,000 times, I had to think about. Amazing I know!!! We started out with 3 mags, with ONE round in each mag., Holstered on an EMPTY chamber. ONE perfect dry press to get your trigger control working right. Then tap and slap your shoulder (AKA tap, rack (you hit your shoulder)). Next round was SIGHTS and PRESSURE, NOT making the gun go off…NOW! If you missed you were at slide lock and had to conduct a speed reload before shooting again. We made two lines and everyone got to go head-to-head with every other student. Each time you successfully won a “face-off” you got a point. I had 6 points and another lady had 5 points. A couple students had 3-4 points, and several at 1-2 points. I was able to hit 6 of 7 shots at 45 yards…in wind/rain.  The one shot I missed, I was able to reload quickly enough to still win that match.

Believe me, that is a LONG ways away and I was a bit shocked every time I heard it go; “ding”.
It was FUN, stressful and challenging.  Are we going to do what is “natural” under stress or revert to our training and do the better thing. There were a couple of top shooters all class. Best groups, consistently good shooters. One of these totally tanked during the competition and just couldn’t make his hits. The other person was me, and I continued to perform very well during the competition. I won the competition. I also learned that a sweet little house-wife really gave me a run for my money. She was VERY good under pressure and performed amazingly well.
We got rained out (too much lightning) and did not get to do the dueling tree 🙁 I was looking forward to 4 mags of 16 rounds 🙂

Very safe every day. Larry and Stacy took the TIME to teach each student proper gun handling with dummy rounds!!! Usually I get very nervous around beginners. I was comfortable and confident through all the training.
I did not see anyone rushing too fast to present, nor too fast to holster.  At every turn, there were 4-6 “control mechanisms” to ensure everyone was safe. Not so at other schools. I try to stand at the other end of the line away from these “not-squared away” students. In Larry’s class I was comfortable standing by anyone.
I have said it before, but I am saying it again. You will NOT find a higher quality training out there at any cost!!! As one who is addicted to defense training, I feel I am qualified to review, evaluate and recommend defense schools, principles, instructors and methods.
EVERY one of his students is able to hit a 6” plate at 15 yards. Even old/shaky students were DRILLING targets consistently. Man, Larry and Stacey will TEACH you how to shoot! Their bridges from slow/precision fire really helped me. His precision drills like skip-loading are amazing! I’ve talked to several instructors and they have never even heard of skip loading.
I would be very comfortable, confident and pleased to refer my wife, mother/father, daughters/sons to
I KNOW they would be safe and get EXCELLENT/QUALITY instruction. I’m still astonished at the cost/benefit ratio of Larry’s courses!!!

Thanks Larry!!! May God Bless you on your mission to train good citizens to defend themselves and their loved ones from attack!

Thomas E.

<paste comments and insight from Ty>
In addition to being a part (not just an observer) of the development of the modern pistol technique, the fact that Larry has been in shootouts (he’s taken the big shot successfully), investigated so many shootouts and taught shooting skills to so many (with demonstrable positive results) makes him really rare. Any bravado he has is based on real experience – not just in the military but on American streets. That is special and if not absolutely unique then very, very close to it.  It makes him a “source of truth” on what works.

Other schools can’t use the same techniques and don’t get the same results because they don’t have the same quality of instructors.  Maybe they could if Larry was running the school but he’s not.  Stacy would easily be one of the top – if not the top – instructor at Front Sight or any other school open to civilians.  It’s a much different instructional mindset than I’ve experienced in the firearms sphere.

We examined the targets after every exercise.  The ability to actually read the targets (not just guess) and then to diagnose and correct errors was invaluable.  Even more so, that emphasis on accuracy (along with Larry’s stories) has given me, I think, a great deal of confidence and a much clearer idea of what will actually be required should my gun ever have to make an appearance some place other than the range.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I feel like I have a way – a set of training techniques and philosophies – to escape the plateau I’d reached with Front Sight.  I have become a true believer in skip loading and really like the bank account analogy as it relates to dry practiceand and skip loading  vs. live fire.  It’s good stuff.

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