Essential Carbine Skills

In the case of natural disaster or civil unrest, the weapon of choice is the combat rifle or carbine. In order to survive, you will want the skills taught in this course. Covered in our class are topics such as:

  • Weapon selection
  • Rapid and Tactical Reloading
  • Ammunition
  • Terminal Ballistics
  • Sight Adjustment
  • Sight Offset
  • Weapon accessories
  • Weapon modifications
  • Maintenance


Rifle: Quality detachable magazine feed autoloader . If you do not yet own one, DO NOT BUY ONE. We will provide as a courtesy, but you MUST let us know IN ADVANCE.

Ammunition: 300 rounds. If we provide the weapon, we will inform you of what ammunition you will need to purchase and where to purchase it.

Gear:   5 twenty (20)  round or greater capacity magazines

Magazine Pouch

Pen/pencil and paper



View Calendar for a list of Classes and Dates. Ready to take the Class? Go here to Sign-up/Register



Golden Triangle Defensive Tactics – Essential Carbine Skills – Memphis, TN area

Skills and Topics covered:
Weapon selection
Rapid and Tactical Reloading
Terminal Ballistics
Sight Adjustment
Sight Offset
Weapon accessories
Weapon modifications

Equipment Requirements:
Rifle (semi auto) with a detachable magazine
Three magazines of at least 15 rounds
Sling or carry strap
300 rounds of ammo (at least)
Handgun – holster and 50 rounds of ammo
Eye and ear protection
Rain Gear (rain will not cancel the class)
Lunch OR cash for lunch. There is a GREAT little burger place.


Let me start by saying that I am essentially a novice shooter. I have been shooting for about 4 years, but I have only really taken in seriously in the last year or so. I have taken levels 1,2 and 3 from GTDT for Handgun. Those classes were fantastic, and they really helped me learn how to carry, draw and deploy a handgun in a defensive situation. This review is not about those classes, but just know that they are excellent. Will Dougan is the instructor, and he is a very good teacher. His resume is on the website above. The classes I have taken have been very informative and entertaining; there is never a dull moment. I walked away knowing how to properly operate my firearm and how and what I need to work on in practice. If you are looking for a place to train in the Memphis or west Tennessee area, you will be hard pressed to find a better school. The classes offered are usually single day classes, and the prices are very reasonable. Will is also a very generous guy. If there is ANY gear in the list that you don’t have, just reach out to Will, and he will line it up for you to borrow for the class. This includes basic gear such as the rifle itself. If you want to take a class before buying your first rifle, this is your place.

Flow of the Class:

Hopefully I don’t leave anything out. We started off with 2 round drills from low ready and progressively started mixing in mag changes and 4 round drills. After that we moved into different ways of holding the rifle with your support hand, so you have an opportunity to find what was more natural and works better for you. We then went to shooting on the move. After that was different types of ways to carry your rifle and present from standing. We covered standard 2 point, single point, and African carry. At this point in the class there is a lot of repetition and correction going on to make sure that you have practiced enough of each skill to build up muscle memory and work on smoothing out the drill. Once through that we continued to run some drills involving several mag changes and shooting from standing (non-ready). We also covered some different ways of aiming such as standard shouldering, shouldering in the middle of your chest, and granny style and over the shoulder for extreme close range. Then there was lunch. There is a fantastic little place a block away called The Burger Basket. I would almost drive the hour from Memphis to get one. After lunch, we introduced cover to the mix and talked about the difference between cover and concealment. Once we got the hang of that on how to hide and aim, we were introduced to a more dynamic part of the course with multiple points of cover and moving to and from cover. We also covered retaining your weapon in a struggle which included different ways of regaining control and aiming while someone is holding your rifle and transitioning to your sidearm if need be. After that, we moved into sidearm transitions which were made more dynamic with incorporating them into moving to and from different cover points. I am sure there is some stuff that I left out, but you should have an idea of what the class looks like.


GTDT is a great place to train. Will is a fantastic instructor, the course content was great, and the prices are reasonable. We went through about 350 rounds total. This is not a high round count kind of class. The count is kept intentionally low to drive more focus on reloading and weapon manipulation and to help with the high cost of ammo. There was a brand new shooter in the mix at the class. It was literally his first time to ever shoot a gun. He did fantastic. Will was able to show him how to run his rifle, and he left a much more confident man. This class is really great for first time shooters and experienced shooter alike. If you get nothing else from this review, please know that YouTube, Magazines, DVDs and hunting can NOT replace real, personal, professional firearms instruction. There is a difference in “knowing” how to do something and actually learning how to do it and have a pro correct and instruct you. So, if you are in the Memphis or West TN area, and you want some quality training on your firearm, do not hesitate to train with GTDT. They are stand up folks and a great school. I am eagerly looking forward to Essential Shotgun at the end of the month!