The Ghost Ring Tactical Experience – Something unique and different in the world of firearms training

Last month I had the very good fortune to attend my first training camp at Ghost Ring Tactical. Ghost Ring is located in the high desert of New Mexico and is probably one of the most unique firearms training schools in the country. Nick Rians is the owner and CEO of Ghost Ring Tactical and operates the facility on his 400 acre property in New Mexico.

There are a number of firearms training schools across the country where students can receive world class firearms training. While you can expect world class firearms training from Rians and his team of professional instructors, that’s not what makes Ghost Ring unique.

One thing that’s different about Ghost Ring is that students stay on site for the duration of the class. Rians has built very comfortable, very clean bunk houses for the students. Rians also feeds students breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the duration of the four-day class. An added attraction is that the instructors cook all the meals for the students and the food is actually pretty good, definitely different.

The last bit of uniqueness is that Ghost Ring provides all the ammunition for the class. I took a four-day rifle and pistol class and all the 5.56 and 9mm ammo I needed was provided as part of the class. There was no scrimping on ammunition, we filled magazines regularly and shot as many rounds as I’ve shot in any firearms class I’ve ever attended. All the above is included in the price of the class.

While all that certainly sets Ghost Ring apart from most firearms training schools the real value is the quality of the training. I attended the Gunfighter 1 camp, a four-day pistol and carbine class. The class was moderately physical and that along with the excellent instruction allowed me to discover some things about myself and my equipment, what worked well and what didn’t.

Day one of the class started out with basic handgun drills and provided an opportunity for the instructors to see where each student was in terms of gun handling and operation. Reviews of drawing basics, drawing to first shot, and shooting and moving drills were all included. Students shot targets at various ranges in both timed and untimed drills. Day one included a fair amount of shooting and ended with a friendly shooting competition among students.

Day two focused mostly on carbine. Rians noted that most students have much more experience running their pistol than running their carbine which is certainly true in my case. The day again starts out with the basics; safe gun handling, working with a sling, transitions, and basic marksmanship. The day progresses to shooting and moving along with shooting at longer range targets.

Day three ties everything together and involves drills with both pistol and carbine. Students work in teams and practice moving in on a target, one student providing cover as the other student moves up with students alternating as they move in on the target. Students also shoot from a prone position, changing from left to right while remaining on the ground and behind cover.

Basic room clearing was also covered in the shoot house utilizing force on force drills with airsoft guns. Room clearing drills were later run using live fire with both pistol and carbine.

Students also got to run through the Tueller drill using airsoft guns. As an instructor, I’ve been aware of the 21 foot rule for years but had never really tried it, at Ghost Ring I got the opportunity. Two students would face each other at a distance of 21 feet, one student with a rubber knife, the other with a holstered airsoft pistol. At the signal, the student with the knife would run full speed towards the other student. The other student would try to draw and get shots on the advancing student before being contacted by the knife. It’s amazing how quickly a person can cover 21 feet, pretty much everyone gets stabbed.

The camp wrapped up on day four with the final mission which is run in two man teams. I won’t go into detail about the final mission scenario other than to say it requires teams to apply everything learned over the previous three days and is great fun.

For anyone who takes their firearms training seriously a trip to Ghost Ring Tactical should be high on the list of things to do in the coming year. Ghost Ring is an excellent value considering what is provided at a very reasonable price and the training is top notch. In addition, there are some less obvious benefits to the ghost ring experience.

At Ghost Ring, students have the opportunity to interact with instructors outside the training environment. Both students and instructors stay at the camp for the entire four days of class. The instructors cook for and eat with the students, and everyone tends to relax together in the evenings. Alcohol is also provided (all firearms and ammo are locked up at the end of class and remain up on the range) which adds to the socializing. A camaraderie tends to develop which you don’t see at other multiday courses where instructors and students tend to go their separate ways after class.

One last unique benefit to Ghost Ring is Tell Lowrance who is a professional photographer who works the classes and takes great professional photographs of the students attending class. Tell takes fantastic action shots of each student going through various drills over the four-day class. For a very reasonable fee, Tell will provide 30 to 40 very high quality digital pictures of a student’s class experience. For an additional, also very reasonable fee, hard copy professional prints can be had. Most photos people have of their firearms training experiences are selfies or cell phone pictures taken by other students, your Ghost Ring experience doesn’t have to be that way.

In closing I highly recommend taking a class at Ghost Ring Tactical, it’s a fantastic experience, with fantastic training, at a fantastic value. Ghost Ring will definitely be an annual event for me, hopefully it will be for you as well.

©2024 Joseph T Drammissi

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