Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guns: Magpul Dynamics - The Art of the Dynamic Handgun DVD review

Not too long ago, Magpul Dynamics introduced "The Art of the Tactical Carbine," a three-disc set of DVDs that raised the bar for firearms instruction videos. Prior shooting videos were often dull and lifeless - a guy in his basement talking about guns, a flat range with a single shooter. In contrast, "The Art of the Tactical Carbine" featured professional photography, outdoor live fire sessions, and the popular duo of Travis Haley and Chris Costa conducting a couple of carbine courses with their usual aplomb.

In "The Art of the Dynamic Handgun," the pair are at it again, this time with handguns:

All the glitz you see in the above trailer would be useless if the instruction wasn't good. Thankfully, the handgun lessons are well-organized and well-delivered. You may not agree with everything being taught, of course, but it's obvious there's been a lot of time and effort spent into developing the training.

The four disc set covers the fundamentals of handgun manipulation. Disc 1 is the most content-packed, as it basically goes through the nuts and bolts of shooting a handgun (stance, grip, sight picture, trigger - and the instructors do demonstrate what happens to your shots when a few of those are out of whack). Disc 2 covers more advanced topics, like shooting on the move, and introduces a number of scenarios themed aroud law enforcment, military, and concealed carry pistol usage. Disc 3 is a basic introduction to concealed carry, including drawing from concealement and some brief clothing considerations. Disc 4 consists of drills, equipment advice, and bonus material.

My biggest gripe with the series is that the revolver stuff seems like an afterthought: there is no discussion of the best way to carry revolver ammo or how different types of speedloaders work. Only one method of reloading a revolver is shown, when there are at least three or four distinct methods that can be employed.

Aside from my wheelgun bias, I think the concealed carry disc (which the instructors acknowledge is just an introduction) is a little slim - if you're going to cover the bare fundamentals of manipulating a concealed handgun, you can't get away with not showing how to draw from a shoulder holster, an ankle holster, etc. It seems like they could have fit a lot more material into this disc (expect "Magpul Dynamics: The Art of the Concealed Weapon" to be released in the near-future :-P).

Overall, though, this is a good set, with sufficient content to justify the (steep) $50 asking price. And, lest the main course get too serious, it's nice to see Magpul Dynamics throwing in a little fanservice via Willie, the lone female student in the class:

Mulliga's Combat Tip™: A miniskirt probably isn't the most practical choice for gunfighting attire.


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