Today we continue our Instructor Profile series with my interview of David Harrington Jr. from Harrington Shooting Sports. I hope you enjoy!
The words that come to mind when I think of my recent conversation with David are “no nonsense—common sense.” Don’t get me wrong, David is not a standoffish person at all. He was personable and patient enough to be chosen as Emily Maynard’s instructor during her time on the show “The Bachelorette.” What I do mean is that the information he gives is noticeably a direct result of his own experience and, therefore, inherently practical. It makes sense to me that his company’s tagline is professional, reliable, and practical instruction.
Also, interestingly enough a large percentage of David’s recent students have been female; that may be an encouraging indicator that our sport is trending away from male domination.
David Harrington has been a member of a local police department for over 20 years. In his current assignment, he is a Sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division. David is one of the department’s firearms instructors and is certified to teach the following:
- NC Law Enforcement Firearms
- NRA Pistol
- Low Light / Laser Firearms Fundamentals
- ASP Baton
- Rapid Deployment to an Active Shooter
- Mobile Video Operator
David has attended over 3,100 hours of additional training since completing the police academy. It’s interesting to note that David has been featured as an instructor on ABC’s The Bachelorette and on The Profile Series for The Discovery Channel.
Getting practical with David:
How should someone select a handgun?
The way the gun looks does play a role. Ask yourself, “what’s my budget? What safety features do I like?” (In David’s opinion, less is more.) Understand that there are 6-7 shots fired in the average law enforcement shooting. Think about capacity when you’re making your selection. For concealment, smaller is better.
What’s your preferred mode of carry?
I like my gun on my gun-side. Near the hip.
Would you talk with us about stance?
I think stance has a lot to do with eye dominance.
In real life, you’re probably going to wind up in an isosceles stance due to the startle factor.
What are your thoughts on defensive lighting?
A dedicated weapons-mounted handgun light is a secondary light. Use one if you like, but have a handheld light too.
Can you talk to us about sights?
Any three-dot system will do. Point shooting (thinking of your gun as an extension of your finger) is a practical skill to develop.
How should shooters keep their skills sharp?
Keep taking classes, keep current with your practice, and stay up to date with your knowledge of local laws. Train at home often.
What are your thoughts on a family safety plan?
Think of your firearm as your last line of defense. Use home lights, alarm systems, keep a dog, and prepare properly. Practice in low light conditions and make use of your home’s “tactical advantage.”
What’s around the corner for Harrington Shooting Sports?
Beginning a new legal block for students about use of force and introducing a civilian low-light environments class.
If you come train with us, you’ve got to hit Rock Store Barbecue and/or Hickory Tavern.
- Seek to minimize the curiosity factor with your kids and your firearms.
- Train with as many instructors/schools/facilities as possible. No instructor is perfect. Learn something from everybody.
- Make use of shooting diagnostic tools (like a range card).
- Situational awareness is important.
- Have a plan, but realize that most plans fail. Be able and willing to adapt quickly.
- Training can solve “cop dreams”.
- Keep training fun.
It depends on the individual, but mixing standardized classes with one-on-one instruction often works well.
David’s instructor short list:
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