Massad Ayoob Group MAG-120 course AAR

In December 2017, KR Training assistant instructor Tracy Thronburg attended the MAG-120 (formerly LFI III) course held in Live Oak, FL.

Tracy’s AAR

The course host owned the church where we had our classroom portion, is the pastor at same church, and who owns the range that we shot at. There were 16 students in class (3 women, 13 men).

Marty Hayes (from the Firearms Academy of Seattle and the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network) was there for the first three days of class.

We had some other assistant instructors , including an economist who works for the Fed govt,  a retired U2 pilot, and a physical therapist. Steve Denney is a retired LEO who goes back decades with Mas and was a first-rate handgun retention/disarm instructor. Very patient. Great explanation on techniques.

The MAG-120 is geared toward instructors. As such, each student had to give a 15-30 minute presentation on some aspect of threat management. We had some really good presentations.

Every day we did approximately a 2-hour block of handgun retention and disarming, led by Mas and Steve Denney. In the MAG-80, you are exposed to the Lindell method of handgun retention and disarming; in the 120, you become a practitioner of same.

I kept the class well supplied with ibuprofen.  The last day of class, we did a 4-hour block of Kubaton (TM) work, which was painful as hell and quite fun.

We went to the range every day in the afternoon. To judge our baseline, Mas took us to the range, and immediately we shot a double-speed MAG qual. (I shot a 297 or 298 out of 300, I believe).  We shot a mirror image qual, the FBI rifle qual, the Florida LE qual, and probably some others that I simply don’t remember.  A description of the single-speed MAG qual is here. In higher level classes, the time limits are cut in 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4th for a  “quad speed” qualification.

Mas set up a scenario whereby he drove you around in his personal vehicle and you shot steel (shooting from a moving vehicle). That was a fun challenge. (I shot everything one handed from the moving vehicle, as we all know I have T. Rex arms.) There was none of the odd position long-gun shooting in the MAG-120 that we had in the MAG-80. We shot two triple speed quals for score. This is the regular MAG 60-round qualification but shot in 1/3 the time of his single-speed qual. I tanked one triple speed qual but redeemed myself the next day by shooting a 280 out of 300.

We did some handgun “sniper” shooting at 100 yards on an IPSC target. I was the class champ on that.

We had a night shoot. One thing that we did in this night shoot that I had never done before was shot completely in the dark (no flashlight). You were only 4 yards from the target. You used your muzzle flash to illuminate the target. We also shot our carry ammo. We told one of the instructors the caliber, brand, and grain weight, and then fired six rounds while the rest of the class watched. Some of the students didn’t have any carry ammo with them (which surprised me). Sellier and Bellot ammo literally shot a fireball out of one student’s gun.

The only practice we had was shooting Harries technique at the night shoot. Everything else was shot for score. You pitched in a buck for every qual. High shooter got the money for that qual.

Two attorneys from California shot the class with M&P Shields. No one’s gun (that I saw) broke.

I shot the class with my STI Trojan 9 mm and a Frankenstein AR with a Spike’s ambi lower on a heavily customized M&P upper with a Vortex Strike Eagle optic.

The second afternoon of class we taught a group of home-schooled students and their parents to shoot our handguns. It was very obvious who had experience instructing and who needed a little bit more practice on that front.  I think the students and parents had a good time.

On the afternoon of our last day on the range, we shot a drill called “Outer Limits.” You shot the 60-round qual one shooter at a time. You ran the gun as fast as you absolutely could. The good news is that I shot at 5X Mas’s single-speed qual. The bad news is that I failed to achieve a 75% passing score. That means I need to work on dry fire at quad speed from now until the MAG-180 coming up June 2018.

The MAG-80 was fun, but the MAG-120 was the best class I’ve ever taken in terms of the varied skills you covered and the open-hand stuff you learned.  I’m looking forward to the MAG-180 in June of next year and becoming one of the few women to have taken that class.


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