The Saratoga Sun -

Aiming for control

Weapons training experts hold gun training classes at Spur Outfitters


Weapons trainers holding classes at the Spur Outfitters this week are, from left, Travis Gibson, Stan Tuma, Scott Shenk, Lew Shaver, Joe Russo, John Russo, Vince Sullivan, Jimmy Stuard, Tim Kelly and Tom Love.

John Russo had 10 professional gun trainers out at the Spur Outfitters pistol range Sunday to teach the Advanced Defensive Pistol course.

Fourteen students with skill levels ranging from never having fired a gun to fairly proficient attended the course in the proper defensive use of a semi-automatic pistol.

The 3-hour course began at 1 p.m. with a classroom-style general overview that went from parts and controls of a pistol to proper aiming, stance and trigger pull.

After the classroom instruction, attendees took a step outside to the range at the base of Baggot Rocks to get in some practice.

The class was then divided into skill levels and assigned group instructors.

Range practice began with various iterations of target practice while instructors checked stance and aim. The day ended with students firing a full magazine at a steel target in a timed event.

Russo has an extensive background in law enforcement and has served for almost 25 years in various areas at Southern California police departments doing everything from general patrol work to training SWAT snipers.

Russo's fellow trainers also have either similar law enforcement or military experience.

Russo originally came up to the Spur for a writer's event after he began writing for gun magazines. He was invited to come up by gun manufacturers who want writers to test and write about new weapons. During this event Russo got to know Spur Outfitters manager Dave Sturm, who found out about Russo's firearms training experience and asked him to come train the Spur staff.

John Russo demonstrates the proper two handed grip for maximum efficiency and recoil control.

Russo has now been coming to the Spur to teach firearms courses for four years now. Though the original intent was to train Spur personnel, it was eventually decided to open the training to the public. Russo stresses that he would like to see more kids come take the course as he feels that kids are much safer when properly trained.

Russo has been supervising 22 different gun training classes at the Spur this week and there are still classes available including another defensive pistol class, youth rimfire rifle and long range rifle on Saturday. Sunday a tactical pistol and long range rifle course will be taught.

Weapons and ammunition are provided, but students may bring their own weapons if they would like to be trained with those.

For more information or to sign up for the remaining classes, call Corina at Spur Outfitters 307-327-6505 or email


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