Running My First Carbine Course: Zahal, The Tavor, and IDF Instructor Lovie

This is not an AAR, or a review: I was intimately involved in making this course, not the guy taking it!

But it was a hell of a lot of fun, and I’m going to write about it anyways. This course was a long time coming, and it was immensely rewarding to finally see it come together.

This course was a cooperative effort between myself, the Calgary Shooting Centre, Zahal.org, and IDF Instructor Lovie Malespin. We took 22 shooters, introduced them to the rifle, established the basic manipulations, and gave them a taste of IDF training.

If you’d like the opinion of someone who actually took the course, you can read a student’s AAR here: IDF Course AAR on CGN

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One of the hardest parts of this course for me was trying to balance between IDF doctrine and civilian shooters. To a certain extent: the IDF flavor is part of the appeal. But civilian shooters build and use their rifles differently than soldiers. I think we were a little heavy on the IDF component on this course, which made for some tired shooters!

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The other challenge was the sheer number of people. We started out hoping for 10 or 12, but wanted to try for more. By the time we put our foot down and capped the registration we were at 22 shooters! Having that many people leads to it’s own challenges, but also made the group exercises in dry fire that much better. On the ride to the airport Lovie said to me “I like it when they echo my commands back in unison. If you’ve only got six people in front of you they’re not going to shout like that.” But limited space in the range meant that our afternoon live-fire exercises had to be perfectly timed and executed.

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It was fantastic to have Lovie and Yoav from Israel come and visit us here in Canada. That alone was a huge effort on their part: an exhausting marathon of plane rides and jet lag to bring them to the base of the Rocky Mountains. Seems to me that I ought to return the favor and take a trip out there next year.

Zahal and I are currently planning to run more of these courses in 2016, likely divided into a Level I and Level II course. Level I will be very close to what we ran this past weekend (with some tweaking and refinement of course) while Level II will cover more advanced techniques, more civilian focused skill-sets, and possibly add an element of competition.

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This course really highlighted for me how Canadian the Tavor rifle is. We’re a small community of shooters compared to places like the USA, but we more than make up for it in raw enthusiasm and unwavering support of each other. I know lots of gun owners are worrying about the future of the sport now that we have a Liberal majority in this country. But we’re a stronger community than many think, and there’s lots of smart, passionate people committed to making things better. It’s great to have the chance at a course like this to meet them face to face.

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