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Lessons from the Glock Operator Course

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Like the word “Coke” for any carbonated beverage in some parts of the deep south, Glocks are nearly so ubiquitous they've replaced the word for pistol in some places. Hell, who hasn't seen this too-close-to-the-truth-to-be-funny image?

While this may be a minor annoyance for the purveyors of gun shops and tacticalish forums, it is an effective demonstration of the sheer proliferation and popularity of Glock.

Glock has been steadily rolling out new models; the compact 42's and 43‘s, the Gen 4 pistols, and recently we even saw some images of their MHS submission. But the most afresh release isn't a pistol at all, but training courses.

Sure, the Glock Armorer's Course has been around forever—but now there's more to see, and they're all consolidated under the Glock Professional banner. Current courses available are two levels of armorer courses, an instructor workshop, a Glock-18 course, and the Glock Operator Course.


Last week I found myself down in Smyrna, Georgia to attend the Glock Operator Course and also zip some rounds through a factory Glock 18C. Life is rough. There are some prerequisites, but nothing that consists of unobtanium. Per their webpage:

To take this course you must be one of the following: Active or Reserve Law Enforcement. Active or Reserve Military. Licensed Armed Security Officers. Current GSSF Members. Current NRA Firearms Instructor. Documentation of these certifications is required upon request.

Early August in Georgia isn't known for comfortable weather, so it was a pleasant surprise to find myself in a well-ventilated and air-conditioned 25 yard indoor range facility.

The instructor cadre was all clearly experienced and well versed in their craft. Even if you're a seasoned shooter, there's little doubt that they'll challenge you and hold your attention. What became very clear from the beginning was that the instructors didn't advocate the way, but a way—give an instructed method a good shake, and then toss it if you don't like it. They were also receptive to student questions and even suggestions. Far different than a typical domineering range master course.

Instead of just rolling through a rote AAR, here are some takeaways:

Practice at Distance
Any angular deviation of your muzzle, be it from poor technique or otherwise, increases exponentially with range. We started with shots on the bull at 25 yards, likely only because it was the longest range available. Does your trigger control suck? It will show. Is your recoil management not up to snuff? That will pop-up too. Blasting away at the 3 yard line hides a helluva lot of errors.


Focus on One Task at a Time
When shooting, especially at the beginner levels, there are a million tiny considerations. Instead of handling them all at once, focus on one task at a time. Is your grip weak? Focus on your grip during a set of drills. Having trouble tracking that front sight? It becomes your world for another set.

Go Fast Where You Can, Not Where You Can't

When you need to take a precise hit, you need that extra split second to ensure sight alignment before that pull. But there's no reason why your draw from the holster should be slower just because your fine target acquisition is going to take slightly more time. Give your gun the most direct route from the holster to on-target.

Practice Under Pressure
Use a shot clock. Shoot in front of your [judgmental] peers. Hold yourself to a high standard in accuracy, speed, and economy of motion. If the wheels come off because you're worried about embarrassing yourself, what's going to happen if you're in a life-or-death scenario?

At the end of the Glock Operator Course, we were put through a 22-round standards drill. Even though nearly all of the timed drill took place at a mere seven yards, it's a humbling course of fire. You're under the clock performing different skills. And miss one shot, you're screwed. There are four different levels that are attainable, with four being the highest. While I wish I could say I shot a solid level four, I only made it to three. This is just fine, as now I have a new goal to work towards.

For more information or to find a class near you, head on over to

And as a bonus, let's check out some Glock 18C action:

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