“The Constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people...it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”  –Thomas Jefferson


A Visit To KR Training


Chris Bird
Privateer Publications


KR Training is a firearms training facility east of Austin in rural central Texas.  It is owned and run by Karl Rehn who has been a trainer since 1991.  His credentials include more than 2500 hours of coursework from more than 60 different instructors.  He is qualified as a USPSA Grand Master, IDPA Master, NRA Training Counselor, Texas License To Carry Instructor, Texas School Safety Instructor and Rangemaster Advanced Instructor.  He is assisted by John Daub who has been an instructor since 2008.

KR Training’s A-Zone range consists of three ranges and an air-conditioned classroom on 88 acres at the end of a dead-end road off State Highway 21 near Lincoln.  It took me a little more than two hours to reach the range from San Antonio, much of it driving into the rising sun.

The first class was a series of handgun drills based on the 10 drills described at the end of a new book, Strategies and Standards for Defensive Handgun Training, written by Rehn and Daub.  In the book Rehn and Daub consider the 10 drills a good baseline handgun shooters can use to maintain and develop skills.  The drills get progressively more difficult and complicated with some of them involving movement, reloading and clearing malfunctions.

After a safety briefing by Rehn in the classroom, 16 of us repaired to the center range.  The first drill was the NRA basic pistol qualification which required us to fire 10 shots at 10 feet at a four-inch circle.  This was followed by the Texas License To Carry course shot on an IDPA target rather than the usual B-27 target. These two courses are relatively easy.

The last drill was called 16x16x16 – 16 rounds, fired at 16 feet in 16 seconds at a KRT-1 target.  This target consists of circles and squares with numbers in them, plus two triangles.  The numbers corresponded to the number of shots to be fired at that symbol.  There was a large triangle marked A and a smaller one above it marked B.  We were told to fire three at the A and one at the B.  But wait.  To make it more difficult we had to spread our 16 rounds between two magazines so we required a reload to complete the drill.

Familiarity with the drills should mark an improvement as I washed out on a couple of the more complicated ones.  This was the first time Rehn had run the 10 drills course so we were the guinea pigs.

After lunch in the air-conditioned classroom, we did the Back Up Gun course with Daub as the instructor and Rehn assisting.  Among the eight students, I was the only one who was using a revolver from an ankle holster.  Everyone else was carrying a small semi-automatic.  The only woman in the class used a bra holster while the others used pocket and inside the belt holsters.

We started off with some dry fire – guns unloaded.  Then with guns loaded we shot at three yards concentrating on the trigger press and sight picture. Daub then had us shoot using a mixture of live rounds and dummy rounds so we would get a “bang” followed by a “click.”

I just left two empty chambers in the cylinder of my five-shot Smith & Wesson Model 442 revolver.

When Daub started to time us I had two strings where I didn’t get a shot off in the time limit using the ankle holster.  I switched to my Model 640 – also a five-shot revolver – from a right-hip holster.

At the end of the lesson, we shot a test on a KRT-2 small figure target with our backup handguns then shot the same test with our primary handguns to see how much better we shot with our big guns.

At the end of the three-hour course, with the temperature crowding 100 degrees, I was hot and tired.  The drive home was a long one.

While many instructors hold two-, three- and even five-day courses, Rehn generally keeps his classes to half a day and one day. That way it is a smaller hit in the wallet to attend.

Both courses – the 10 drills and the backup gun – were excellent and both instructors are first class.  I recommend anyone wishing to improve their self-defense skills to attend KR Training.


Chris Bird was an officer in the British Army and served in the Royal Military Police.  He has been a newspaper and television reporter in Canada and Texas.  He teaches the Texas License To Carry course and is the author of three books:  The Concealed Handgun Manual, now in its seventh edition, Thank God I Had a Gun, and most recently, Surviving a Mass Killer Rampage:  When Seconds Count, Police Are Still Minutes Away.  His website is www.privateerpublications.com.