Vickers Does Vegas

On February 17, 2012 we announced a giveaway which, among other things, included a free BCM AR-15 rifle and a 3 day training class with Larry Vickers from Vickers Tactical and host of The Sportsman Channel’s Tac TV program.  We’ve spent the better part of the year promoting this event online, at various gun shows, and retail gun stores in the Las Vegas area.  On September 28th, 2012 Codie Hellman was selected as our Grand Prize winner and the runner up, Ernest Wilmore, Jr won a spot in the Vickers class as well.

Ben Bunker Zeroing his Rifle

Ben Bunker Zeroing his Rifle

The fun 3 days in the sun ran from October 19th through the 21st.  The experience level of the students, each of which won their class spots through various giveaways, was widely varied.  A couple of the students had never fired an AR-15 and in some cases, even the most basic rules of gun handling we’re lacking.  Day 1 consisted primarily of zeroing the rifles and correcting bad habits but by day 2, things were pretty much on track.

Initially there was a little concern about 1 man teaching a class of 16 students but those worries quickly faded as Larry divided the class into two teams and had them run drills separately or straight down the line from shooter to shooter.  Over the 3 day event, Larry assigned different “nick names” to the teams and students.  In some cases, the names evolved based on performance, age, attire, etc…  We’ve all heard the saying: “It’s not what you say but how you say it.”  That has never been more true than in this class.  While Mr. Vickers teaching style could be considered somewhat offensive, the way he said things took a lot of the sting out while still driving the point home.  He also used stories and humor to keep things light and entertaining.

Codie Hellman 125 yards Larry Vickers

Prototype Aimpoint CoverBesides running multiple drills, Larry also took the time to answer all kinds of questions concerning gear, ammunition, and accessories.  He was more than willing to share his opinions and experiences whether they were good or bad.  Among the gear questions was one about a cover he had on his Aimpoint sight.  It turns out the cover is a prototype which is being made possible through a Kickstarter program.  Larry also spoke about the 2nd gen Tango Down magazines that he is currently testing out.Larry Vickers

I gave up my spot in the class so that others could have the opportunity to train with Larry Vickers and also so that I could better document the event with photos and some limited video.  Part of me wants to kick myself for doing this but in all honesty, just being there and seeing these things taught first hand allowed me to pick up quite a few pointers.  I found a number of steps I was missing in my own drills and even saw some accidental demonstrations of why the missing actions are necessary.

Codie "Stud Muffin" Hellman executing the "Prom Night."

Codie “Stud Muffin” Hellman executing the “Prom Night.”

By the end of the class, the average student’s improvement was blatantly obvious.  Not just in carbine use but also with handguns as Larry spent some time each day helping everybody hone their pistol skills too.  All in all this class was a success and something that will be remembered for years to come by those who, under normal circumstances, would never have had the chance to take a class of this nature.  I’d also like to point out that Larry’s typical class consists of experienced students who pay up to $1,000.00 for this training.  As such, the level of training his students have is usually a step or two above that of the students we brought to this party.  Clearly that can be frustrating and we truly appreciate the professionalism and adjustment required for this “special” group.  ;)

Students who were left after day 3

Students who were left after day 3

I’d again like to offer thanks to all of those who made this possible.  The list starts with Ben Bunker from The Bunker Law Group & who put this whole thing together.  Without Ben’s generosity, none of this would have happened.  Greg Wohler from GlockVector Industries hooked us up with Desert Sportsman’s Rifle & Pistol Club which typically does not allow training classes like this.  We appreciate DSRPC allowing access to their facility for this class.

The BCM AR-15 was displayed at Wild West Guns and several gun events.  During this time, some imperfections were noticed which required some additional work to the rifle.  At that point, Battle Comp sent out a new 1.5 and Matt Babb of Bentwood Gunsmithing re-worked parts of the rifle to dial it all in.  Aimpoint also came through as a last minute sponsor by donating a Micro T-1 red dot sight to the prize package.  By the time it was given away, the value of the grand prize was in excess of $4,000.00!

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10 Responses to Vickers Does Vegas

  1. ewilmore88 October 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    I just want to send out one last huge thank you to you guys. This past weekend was a blast! Getting to train and shoot with LAV was awesome! I owe it all to you guys and the rest of the sponsors for this fantastic event. Took away some great tips and will continue to train and better myself until the next class comes around. Thank you.

    Ernest “Costa” Wilmore Jr.

    • X702 October 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

      You’re very welcome Ernest. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and learned from Larry.

  2. DeezGsx October 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Looked like everyone had fun. Congrats to the winner!

  3. Codie October 24, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    The 702 BCM AR15 and Larry Vickers 3 day course was remarkable to say the least. First I would like to mention that this carbine is everything I expected and more, this rifle absolutely ran like a champ but, more importantly it was such an honor to participate in the Larry Vickers course with such a striking AR. I learned so much about the AR platform and different drills that will increase my shooting abilities. I also learned where I need the most work (trigger control) which I will work on every chance I get.
    I could not tell you how inspiring it was when Mr. Vickers told me he was proud of some shots I made with my handgun (my weak point). With all that being said, I was most amazed by how helpful everyone was, it was like I was part of the family. I’ve met some great people that I really hope to stay in contact with in the future. I’m sure everyone’s tired of hearing me say it but, it means a great deal to me so here it is again, THANK YOU Benjamin Bunker, Matt Shooter, Greg Wohler, Sarah Scott, Larry Vickers , and everyone else involved.
    I just Love that Prom Night Pic!!! :)

  4. ninpo_student October 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Having been interested in training with Larry for quite some time, I was very pleased to be offered a spot in the course by my good friend Ben. In return I furnished the stands, steel, target along with other range supplies and was on hand to provide medical support in the event of an injury ( there were none, unless you count pride ). LAV has an impressive resume but more importantly is able to download it to students in a manner they can understand. Overall the course was an excellent grounding in the fundamentals of carbine and pistol use, which in all honesty is the skill set most lacking in most of us ( myself included ). The class was filled with humor and a great deal of learning occurred. It may not have been what some folks were expecting, but as Larry said on day one ” I’m going to give you what you need, not necessarily what you want “.

    • X702 October 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

      Well said Sir.

      From now on, you can write the training reviews. ;)

      • X702 October 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

        No seriously….

  5. RACO October 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Thank you 702 Shooter, Ben Bunker and LAV for such a great course and a helluva fun time. To get instruction on these type of rifles was an eye opener for someone not trained with them, but to get it from LAV was fantastic! Great quotes, stories, training and food.

    Rick “Wall Street” Aco (one of Jerry’s kids)

  6. Codie October 25, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    I think by far my favorite quote by Mr. Vickers was “There’s no I in team but, there’s two in idiot.” I will take that to the grave. All in all I had a great time.
    Codie “Studmuffin” Hellman (team ATM)

  7. Ronin October 28, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Wonderful prize… look like everyone had a fantastic time… Of course I’m envious but there is always hope for next time… A big “Thank you!” to the photographer… I think it made us all feel a little like winners in that we could share the event with you… Best wishes to all!

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