Summer Vacation 1998

From July 27 through July 31, 1998, I attended LFI-I at the Lethal Force Institute in Dunbarton, NH.  The following course description was taken from LFI's web page.

LFI-I  - Judicious Use of Deadly Force.  The most famous LFI course, 40 hours of immersion training that (lawyers and cops who've taken it agree) goes well beyond law school and the police academy in this critical decision-making area. Prevention, intervention and aftermath management are all thoroughly considered. The course includes: when the citizen can and cannot use a gun in self defense . . . tactics for home defense . . . street gunfighting tactics . . . how to take a criminal suspect at gunpoint . . . selection of guns, ammo, and holsters . . . psychological preparation for violent encounters . . . justifying your actions in court. Intensive combat shooting comprises 40% of the course, the remainder being lecture, video and student interaction.

The following photos touch on some of the highlights of the course.

1.  Spectacular view of southern Vermont along Route 9 on the way to New Hampshire (right).

2.  Classes met daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm at the Pioneer Sportsman's Club, Dunbarton, NH (left).

3.  Lectures, videos, and discussion were held in the clubhouse, along with manual drills and dry-fire exercises which were held in the club's indoor range (left).

4.  Daily range time began with "suiting up" and instruction for that day's drills (right).

5.  Massad Ayoob, master instructor, writer, competitive shooter, and founder of the Lethal Force Institute.  Here shown with a Glock 26 (left).

6.  Oh, and did I mention Mas is also a joke teller?  The young woman in the foreground is assistant instructor Deb Morris, a New Hampshire state legislator, power lifter, and competitive shooter (left).

7.  Relay 1 to the line!  These are first-day warm up drills at seven yards.  We're already working on proper stance, grip, sight picture, and trigger control (right).

8.  Guns on the line included Smiths, Glocks, Sigs, HKs, and a Browning High-Power.  Interestingly, the only guns that experienced problems during the week were the 9mm Glocks.  Probably ammo related (right).

9.  Assistant instructor Rick Devoid is a police officer and gunsmith.  He did a number of smithing jobs for class participants during the evenings, including honing the action on my Smith.  Here Rick is outlining the next drill (left).

10.  My turn! Seven yards from the classic Weaver stance.  I used a Smith & Wesson 4013 for the course, and brought a KelTec P11 converted to .40 S&W as backup.  Still breaking in the P11, so wasn't confident enough to use it for the whole course of fire.  Maybe next year! (right).

11.  Still at seven yards, this time with the modified Weaver, or Chapman stance.  I found this a much stronger hold for me.  Notice the Benchmade/Spyderco/Cold Steel in the right front pocket of each shooter?  Everyone in the course seemed to have at least one at all times (right).

12.  Mas shows us how it's done . . . with a 2-inch snubbie! (left).

13.  The view over Mas' left shoulder.  I know, I know; I focused on the target and not the front sight.  Still, that's a pretty ragged hole there.  Too bad I can't take credit for it! (left).

14.  Part of the drill.  Taping targets (right).

15.  Yours truly.  A bit of a "pattern" here, but my groups tightened up significantly as I learned that my rifle technique (light hold, trigger with pad of finger) doesn't transfer well to handguns.  The drill is: "power stance, high hand, crush grip, front sight, smooth press" (right).

16.  Mas examining the KelTec P11 with .40 caliber conversion.  Mas thinks highly of the P11 as a personal defense weapon.  He commented that "We could arm the entire country with these," and then demonstrated how the P11 would "disappear" in the front pocket of his BDUs  (left).

17.  Mas and me.  Not real clear, but that's the P11 emerging from his front pocket (left).

18.  Every shooting session ended with "policing your brass" (right).

19.  That goes for you guys with the aluminum-cased CCI ammo as well! (right).

20.  It was hot and humid on the range, so another part of the drill was keeping the fluid level up (left).

21.  Before the qualification shoot on the last day, we ran Teuller drills to demonstrate the potentially lethal threat from an assailant armed with a contact weapon inside 21 feet.  On average, our class was able to close this distance in 1.5 seconds, and the fastest among us did it in just over 1.2 seconds.  I think the drill also burned off some pre-qualification jitters (right).

22.  Finally, before the qualification, the instructional staff, those taking the course as a refresher, and a couple of LFI grads shot the course of fire to show us how it's done (left).

23.  Pre-qualification exhibition (left).

24.  Our instructional staff, standing, left to right:  Fred Stockmeyer, Rick Devoid, Dennis Luosey, Leah Garley, Deb Morris, and Massad Ayoob (right).

25.  Graduation!  Andy outshot Mas on the qualification shoot--both shot 300/300, but Andy's group was a half-inch tighter.  So Mas presented him with an autographed $5 bill in addition to his certificate.  Way to go, Andy!  (right).

26.  Special thanks to Will (a.k.a. "Mongo"), who got tapped by Mas to play the perp in many of the in-class exercises (left).

27.  Our class included an international economist, a university professor, an elementary school physical education teacher, a locksmith, an information systems consultant, a telephone line installer, an accounting systems manager, an engineer and business owner, several college students, etc.  Hardly a bunch of wackos.  Rather, a representative group of citizens committed to the right to keep and bear arms in the just defense of themselves and their loved ones, and serious enough about it to seek out the best training available (right).

Also see my:
Summer Vacation 1999 at LFI-II
Summer Vacation 2000 at InSights Training
Summer Vacation 2001 at Storm Mountain

Photos and text copyright 1998 by Ken A. Smith.