Author Topic: CCDW Course Review - Marino Tactical  (Read 15277 times)

LostM

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CCDW Course Review - Marino Tactical
« on: September 03, 2016, 10:38:53 PM »
**This is my opinion, based on my interactions. Your interactions may be different**

I would like to be thorough, so I will start at the beginning.  It has been my philosophy, that if you are going to complain about something, do so constructively and with proposed actions to correct it, or dont complain at all. 

I was registered for a different companies course, but as they tend to do, my wife decided to make plans for that day and forced me to change.  The only course that was available to me within my time frame, and the first to respond,  was MarinoTactical.

It was not ideal, as it was about 1 hour away from me.  However, once contact was initiated via Email, I was registered and paid via their online invoicing in roughly an hour.

They add 4% for credit card transactions on top of their advertised pricing, which I found high as most credit card services charge less than 4%.  Most companies know to not charge extra for that, or at least figure it into the pricing so that the customer does not feel like they are overpaying/being nickel and dimed.

So course day comes and make my way down.  Even with GPS on, I drive past the location 2x since I see no sign for Marino Tactical, nor anything that appears to be formal house of instruction.  Blanchy's was a very small sign that appeared to be smaller than the usual political banners we see up these days. 

Park and go in. I place my coffee and pen/paper at a seat and walk back out to vehicle as i forgot something, receive a call that I have to take.  Go back inside and have to move to another seat as someone decided my stuff was not a good enough placeholder.

Ok, 8:30 rolls around. Class begins. I timed all of these things BTW

0830-0915 - Instructor Bio/Experience
0916-0929 - Overview of topics covered during the course
0930 - 0955 - Stories from older gents explaining their prior instruction/experience- Not to ask questions, but just to make sure everyone knows we have Veterans in the course; nothing of value added to class
0956-1000 - Break
1001-1130 - Death by PowerPoint. Slide by slide, page by page. Information was informative and useful/necessary.
1131-1205 - Explanation to one student that MD does not have reciprocity with DE,and the steps student needs to take while going from DE to MD; over and over again, and then again... and again.
1206- 1215 - Break
1216 - 1230 - Part 1 (indoor) of safety brief for live fire training
1231 - 1245 - Part 2 (outdoor) of safety  brief for live fire training
1246 - 1640 - Live fire exercises
1640 - 1700 - After action Q and A

So that surmises the actual timeline.

Deficiencies and recommendations:

Deficiency:
Although I only listed the largest student interruptions, throughout the entire day I estimated nearly 2 hours total of wasted time. Not to say students should not ask questions, but the types of questions and direction the conversations that ensued took, were of no benefit to anyone. I dont believe anyone cares about the CCW process for other states that you lived in, what firearm you carried in the service. The instructor should have curtailed sidebar conversations and asked that students with non- relevant inquires see him after the course or during a break.

Recommendation:
1- Instructor needs to maintain control of course and keep information on topic/relevant; Set and stick to a timeline.

Deficiency:
I have never felt so unsafe in the presence of firearms as I have during the live fire portion, and I have over 12 deployments and nearly 20 yrs of service.

The process for live firing was simple. At the back door of the classroom, outside, was an overhang with 2 tables set up. This area was where you loaded magazines, ate (class agreed on no 1 hour lunch break to "save time").  20 yds away was another table set up in which every student placed their weapon on the table, magazine removed, slide to the rear, chamber empty, on safe (if equipped). 20 yds beyond that was the "range".  When its your strings turn to go, you take your equipment, walk to table to grab your weapon and make your way to your position on the "firing line" ( no actual defined lines,the target trap is a 5ft berm on the side of the property). As I watched students grab their weapons, I saw nearly every student in my string leave the firearms safety rules on the table. 
 
During the firing I witnessed students not know how to load, or rack their own weapon; not know which lever was their safety; ask what caliber their own weapon is; fail to hit targets at 4 yds multiple times; not know how to clear a stoppage (likely shooter induced); fail to clear their own weapon w/o instructor assistance. Lastly, one student even informed the instructor that a weapon on the table was still loaded- sure enough, previous string was back at the rest area and their weapon was on the table round in chamber.


Recommendation:
2- Identify persons new to firearms prior to class commencing- be it during the registration process or first part of the day- rather than 45+ minutes of the instructors background, students self identify by the instructor asking specific questions to gain knowledge of their experience.
Incorporate actual firearms safety training for these individuals before Live Fire/ Develop live fire course catered to persons new to firearms. Have a 2nd instructor available so that the 2 separate strings could be grouped by experience, or at least so the instructor can engage in training with new persons while the other string is firing.  Nothing in the code says that you must complete XYZ courses of fire to pass the class, so why not use those rounds meaningfully. Additionally, the code states 100 rds at a minimum, if they need more to satisfactorily demonstrate competence, so be it.
The code states a person must complete an approved CCDW course. I would HIGHLY encourage setting a minimum standard to be met to COMPLETE the course. Simply ATTENDING the course should NOT be the minimum standard.

Deficiency:
Certificate of Completion. I could ask why it takes 7-10 business days to receive a certificate, but in reality, they could take as long as they want. No where before paying did I ever see this mentioned. It was not until after I paid and received the informational paper did I see this. Secondly, if that is the policy, stick to it. It has been longer than 10 business days, I was not informed nor am I aware of any reason that I did not meet the course standards to be issued a certificate, which is the only reason I could see this taking longer/not en-route.

Recommendation:
CLEARLY STATE  that this is your policy. If you feel that is bad marketing advice, as I do, consider changing your policy. As an owner of several small business, I see NO reason why this is the standard. Most courses that I researched, clearly state that the certificate will be available that day, or mailed within 24 hours. If the issue is a notary, then have one scheduled, or have another person within the business become a notary to expedite the process.  Mail delays I can not fathom as all of this happens within the State. I dont believe 20+ days (and counting) is an acceptable time frame as the entire CCDW process is so long in itself.

I did not intend to hurt feelings, however I also do not care if I did. A business of any size can only get better when they are aware of their shortcomings. A business gains more respect when they have shown that they can receive criticism, take required action, and improve upon their product.

I will end this with saying that the classroom material was excellent, I have no issues with that. i will also say that the instructor himself was very nice, easy to talk to and well informed. Those area's of the course, I would not change.

I hope this is helpful for anyone looking into CCDW courses, as well as CCDW Instructors offering similar courses

 

















lynch

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Re: CCDW Course Review - Marino Tactical
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2016, 09:43:40 AM »
 Sorry to hear you had a bad experience, but I will always recommend Marino Tactical.
Used them twice and both times were great.
DE ccdw
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SturmRugerSR9

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Re: CCDW Course Review - Marino Tactical
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2016, 01:20:40 PM »
Wow, sounds picky. If he spent so much time, timing things, he probably missed a lot of good info, IMHO. He is the only person I have ever heard of that had a problem with Marino Tactical. I have taken the CCW course there and have recommended it to others that have taken courses there, and never a problem has been voiced.
Perhaps he should become a instructor and conduct his own classes if he thinks he can do better. If so don't count on most of us being there. I'll always go to Marino's, Kirk and Barry are tops in my book.
I'D RATHER HAVE A GUN IN MY HANDS, THAN A COP ON THE PHONE!

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PROTECT THE 1ST AND 2ND AMENDMENT!

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double tap

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Re: CCDW Course Review - Marino Tactical
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2016, 01:32:36 PM »
I took my class with Kirk and was very satisfied. I recommend Marino tactical to all my friends.
Double Tap

Lumspond

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Re: CCDW Course Review - Marino Tactical
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2016, 02:15:17 PM »
I appreciate his honest review. I did not use Marino Tactical. It reads like the main issue is the continued lack of a certificate. To the folks who give positive reviews, how long did it take to receive your certificate? That is nit mentioned. I used Dave Johnson in NCC, and had mine at class end.
Cheers!
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LostM

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Re: CCDW Course Review - Marino Tactical
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2016, 04:46:20 PM »
Wow, sounds picky. If he spent so much time, timing things, he probably missed a lot of good info, IMHO. He is the only person I have ever heard of that had a problem with Marino Tactical. I have taken the CCW course there and have recommended it to others that have taken courses there, and never a problem has been voiced.
Perhaps he should become a instructor and conduct his own classes if he thinks he can do better. If so don't count on most of us being there. I'll always go to Marino's, Kirk and Barry are tops in my book.

Im glad you had a positive experience. I did not. I anticipate groupies jumping to defend their purchases, it happens in every facet of life.

 Just to reiterate: I listened intently to all the information passed, and as I clearly stated, it was good information for those that were able to retain it.

I suppose its picky to to expect an instructor to keep an eye on and correct students failing 4/5 of firearms safety rules while handling weapons during live fire exercises.

I suppose its picky to expect an instructor to identify and closely watch students for cleared weapons after firing and before leaving the weapons unattended.

I offered simple solutions to correct what I found lacking; once corrected I believe the company would be well served and expand its reputation positively.

FYI, if you already have your ccdw permit, why would you attend a class if I were to do so? You would be better served attending a practical/advanced shooting course, IMHO.

And just to appy your own reasoning, change "gun" to "topic"

Start a thread on any gun that is new on the market or even new to you and everyone has to tell you why theirs is better. Nobody cares. Be happy with what you got.

True:
Anybody the has never made a mistake, has never done anything.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 04:48:53 PM by LostM »

Cbmarine

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Re: CCDW Course Review - Marino Tactical
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2016, 11:46:16 PM »
I used Marino Tactical also three years ago. The course composition was better than described but the range experience paralleled LostM's: another old geezer would regularly point his weapon near his foot with finger on trigger. Muzzle control was not evident. Also observed other poor gun handling. I was satisfied with the classroom briefing, however I had previously taken the UT course and may have had prior knowledge that filled in the blanks.
About LostM's review and subsequent comments:
1. Slow diploma delivery is a high impact dissatifaction and easily fixed. Inexcusable without extenuation.
2. Safe gun handling is paramount: nothing like a range 'accident' to destroy a business's reputation. Also a poorly trained graduate is a future liability.
3. Instuctor bios and attendee and anecdotes should be minimized. I judge an instructor by the quality of the presentation not by the resume.
4. Agree on having a pass/fail criteria
5. The tone of the review was tainted by the complaints about signage and seating.
6. Don't engage in personal invective even when provoked.

Lastly, exchanges such as demonstrated in this thread don't reflect well on this forum. Our more seasoned members should behave better. I am not an instructor but did see actionable advice in LostM's review.
Just a smelly deplorable dreg of society clinging to God and guns.
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CorBon

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Re: CCDW Course Review - Marino Tactical
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2016, 12:48:06 AM »
Wow, this is like a holiday fireworks show...
Very few guns are actually "illegal guns."  A gun misappropriated by a criminal is no more of an "illegal gun" than a stolen car is an "illegal car."