Applied Fundamentals

If you’re an intermediate shooter, competitor, or law enforcement officer looking to improve your pistol skills at speed, the three-day Applied Fundamentals is the accelerated program for you. The class focuses on mental planning as a method to run your handgun at speed in a variety of conditions.

You’ll be shooting approximately 1,300 to 1,500 rounds during the intensive three-day program. This is not a course for a beginner.


Suitable for the intermediate to advanced competitive shooters or armed professionals, Applied Fundamentals does have prerequisites. At a minimum, class participants should be able to safely draw a pistol and hit a man-sized target at seven yards in roughly 1.5 seconds. Ideally, participants will have attended an OpSpec Training two or three day Practical Fundamentals class or equivalent training within the last three years.

Applied Fundamentals – Building on our flagship program

The goal of Applied Fundamentals is to take the building blocks shooters have learned in Practical Fundamentals or other trigger control-based programs and learn to apply those skills methodically to solve shooting problems.

Too often, shooters have mental knowledge and physical skill sets that they struggle to demonstrate or employ under stress, or, when presented with unfamiliar shooting scenarios, they “fail to perform.” This program addresses this issue directly.

Shooters will be exposed to an intensive, highly focused series of exercises with very specific goal sets. Applied Fundamentals’ one-on-one instructor-student structure our instructional staff to systematically address shooter’s physical (weapons handling) deficiencies and overcome the mental obstacles within their paths.

This is not a basic class. Prospective students should come in with a solid understanding of firearms safety, gun handling, and shooting skills. The course is structured and laid out in a manner that will be as mentally challenging as it is physically. Information will be chunked and repeated in a manner proven to accelerate physical and cognitive skills.

Participants will be exposed to the methods top athletes use to learn and engrain new skills. Shooters will not just see improvement, they will, more importantly, be given a language that will allow them to understand how that improvement was achieved and how it can be further enhanced. The sky is the limit. The structure of Applied Fundamentals will help remove the obstacles to your success both during and after class has wrapped.

If you are prepared for a lot of hard work and constant-one on-one feedback, come see what Applied Fundamentals has to offer.

Course Objectives

All course objectives will be achieved with a strong emphasis on safety.

  • Understanding “visual patience” and applying it to technical marksmanship
  • Cultivating the ability to drive the gun aggressively and successfully on a variety of target types
  • Understanding technical marksmanship concepts and how to apply them to the tactical/defensive and practical competition world
  • Understanding value based training drills
  • Understanding process oriented marksmanship versus results oriented

Required Equipment

  • Pistol in one of the following calibers: 9MM, .40S&W, .357 SIG, or .45 ACP
  • Kydex belt or paddle holster (no holsters that require the trigger finger to deactivate a retention device)
  • A minimum of four magazines (a few more if single stack)
  • Some safe means to carry magazines, on your person, to recharge your firearm two times (e.g. two magazine carriers/pouches)
  • Wraparound eye protection
  • Hearing protection (electronic hearing protection is recommended)
  • Notepad and pen
  • Weather and temperature appropriate attire. Jeans, BDUs, or canvas type pants are recommended
  • Gloves, socks, boots, rain coat, etc.
  • Cleaning and maintenance supplies for daily pistol maintenance


  • Estimated round count: 1,300 to 1,500 rounds

What to Bring

First, review the general overview of What to Bring to a Pistol Class.

For this specific class, you’ll also need to bring:

  • Handgun
  • Kydex, outside-the-waistband holster.
  • About 1,300 – 1,500 rounds of ammunition.
  • At least four magazines for your pistol.
  • At least two magazine carriers.

Course Fees

The course fee for Applied Fundamentals is $700, plus applicable range fees. Contact us for information on group rates.


Classes listed are not in date order. If none are listed, we do not have any on the schedule at this time.

Student Testimonials

Best class I’ve taken to date

Prep more, suck less! The best class I’ve taken to date. Coach HR developed a training program that delivers results. His ability to break down the concept of trigger control and effectively present it to shooters of different proficiency levels is unparalleled. The one-on-one instruction along with the coach’s additional input will not allow one to go through the motions of pulling the trigger. This three-day course requires you to follow the methodology and keep your focus, if you can do that, good results will follow. The technique and drills taught are easily transferred to practice at home with both dry and live fire. Take this course from OpSpec Training and you will NOT be disappointed!

Joseph D
Applied Fundamentals
SIG Sauer Academy - July 2021

All four instructors want you to be a better shooter

All four instructors want you to be a better shooter taking the time to analyze every shot you took. On a personal note, HR is the best and he really pushed me with the exercises in class and correcting my bad habits and shooting style from years of poor instruction.

Thomas J.
Former LEO
Applied Fundamentals
SIG Sauer Academy - July 2021

I very strongly recommend this class

I very strongly recommend this class to any shooter that wants to take their skill to the next level. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been shooting for 1 year or 40 years, everyone leaves a much better shooter with a whole new level of understanding trigger control.

Steve P.
Applied Fundamentals
SIG Sauer Academy - July 2021

Take your skills to the next level

HR and his assistants Steve and Alan provide you with the opportunity to take your skills to the next level. You will work hard and push yourself to be successful. Great instruction delivered in an entertaining and clear manner. regardless of where you were at prior to the course, you will walk away with more knowledge, insight and capability than when you started.

Brian P.
Active LEO, Former Military, Instructor
Applied Fundamentals
SIG Sauer Academy - July 2021

Not just a “have fun” on the range class

This class is a great learning experience where the students will not just learn technique, but also a wealth of knowledge. This class is not just a “have fun” on the range class. This is straight forward no non-sense learning experience on trigger control techniques. If you are serious on improving your skills, and welcome instructor feedback that will make you better, this is the class for you. This class will mostly be enjoyed by serious shooters, who are looking to greatly improve their abilities.

Mark S
Active LEO, Instructor
Applied Fundamentals
SIG Sauer Academy - July 2021

Ability to pass on his knowledge is incomprehensible

I recently attended the Applied Fundamentals class with HR Hawkins. The depth of HR’s understanding of the subject matter, his awareness of what is happening on an unimaginable level and his ability to pass on his knowledge is incomprehensible.

Steve F.
Applied Fundamentals
Okeechobee, Fla. - Dec. 2019

Ultra-refined instruction on trigger control

The class to take if you want to become a better shooter. You will receive an ultra-refined instruction on trigger control that will result in immediate and significant improvement. Make every effort to take this class. OpSpec Training is light years ahead of other organizations in their approach to teaching trigger control and improved marksmanship.

Antonio M.
Applied Fundamentals
Okeechobee, Fla. - Dec. 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this course

HR and Troy were excellent instructors. Well informed, knowledgeable and skilled in pistol shooting. Took the stress of anticipation away by saying “there was nothing new to be learned” after the first hour. However, little gradual additions were made along the course so that realistically we performed much different “courses of fire” at the end than in the beginning.

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and would come to other Florida based courses limited to 3-3.5 days. Excellent.

George R
Applied Fundamentals
Okeechobee, Fla. - Dec. 2019

The first time I have taken time to give a review of a class

I just finished a class last weekend at Okeechobee with HR and the team at OpSpec Training. Over the last 20 years I have been to more than 30 classes in four different states.

HR is one of the finest instructors I have had the pleasure of spending time with. He not only can handle a firearm very well and has the safest handling I have seen.

When I would call my wife during the class she wanted to know how safe it was this time. She was very happy to hear my report. Not only is he a great speaker, but for someone of his abilities to be able to slow down enough to teach people that are new to his teachings is incredible!

By the way, this is the first time I have taken time to give a review of a class.

Horatio S.
Applied Fundamentals
Okeechobee, Fla. - Dec. 2019

Well structured and very well executed

Excellent. HR was extremely knowledgable, professional, polite and very focused on safety and first aid. Troy and Emmitt were very professional as well and great guys to boot.

An excellent class well structured and very well executed. Top notch instruction from top notch people. 5 stars all the way. I will be attending another class early next year. Thank you!

Graham C.
Applied Fundamentals
Okeechobee, Fla. - Dec. 2019

Individual improvement regardless of initial skill level

The one-on-one instruction over the course of three days and over 1,500 rounds allowed for individual improvement regardless of initial skill level. Highly recommended.

Mike P.
Former LEO, Firearms Instructor
Applied Fundamentals
SIG Sauer Academy - Sept. 2019

Every round you fire is watched

Don’t take this class if you only take courses for the cool “experience” or if you are sensitive about having your trigger work x-rayed by serious dudes. Every round you fire is watched… every frigging round. There is constant feedback when you’re shooting. That means there’s nowhere to hide and no way to switch off your brain and just cruise.

This is a 3-day exercise in mental discipline. It just so happens you have a gun in your hand. But if you keep engaged, you will get better. More importantly you’ll take away skills to help you diagnose and improve your shooting.

Terry R
Applied Fundamentals
SIG Sauer Academy - Sept. 2019

I got faster AND more accurate

From Day 1 to Day 3, I cut my score in half on the assessment drills. I got faster AND more accurate. A simple premise that we practice for three days and have confirmation at the end that we got better. Harold, Tony & Doug were awesome, each seeing different things in each of us and we got to work with all three.

Tommy J.
Applied Fundamentals
SIG Sauer Academy - Sept. 2019

A complete game changer

This class was a complete game changer. It forced me to actually track and understand what I was doing as I was doing it. This allowed me much more control over my shooting. This class gave me what I have been looking for over these last seven years. If you have any opportunity to take this class, you absolutely should.

Nick T.
Applied Fundamentals
Paducah, Ky - Nov. 2018

Take this class

If you truly want to improve you shooting skills take this class.

Former Military, Former LEO, Firearms Instructor
Applied Fundamentals
Wilmington, Ohio - July 2018

The course is both challenging and rewarding

Applied Fundamentals provides the advanced level of instruction needed to prepare the student for action shooting competition, with focus and training on both the physical and mental levels. The course is both challenging and rewarding, and upon completion the student demonstrates significant improvement, while obtaining knowledge and guidance for establishing their own future training sessions to support continued development.

Doug S.
Applied Fundamentals
Wilmington, Ohio - July 2018

Best bang for my buck, hands down

Just finished three days of Applied Fundamentals. You can throw money at training anytime. But, if you’re going to spend the money choose to invest in yourself by training with OpSpec. HR Hawkins and Jerry Jones are truly gifted communicators in breaking it all down into incremental steps, resulting in huge gains in not only skill, but in understanding the how and why of it all.

Best bang for my buck, hands down. Thanks, OpSpec, I’ll be back.

Beth G.
Firearms Instructor
Applied Fundamentals
Wilmington, Ohio - July 2018

Amazing instructor

HR is an amazing instructor, and his unique approach to analyzing problems and training is truly a gift. I’m sure there is no one else teaching it this way, unless they got it from HR. Even then, I’m not sure they could teach it as well. He seemed to be always observing and processing, pointing out not only errors while we were shooting, but even spotting errors during warmup or visualization that would lead to errors while shooting.

Rich N.
Former Military
Applied Fundamentals
Wilmington, Ohio - July 2018

This is training I could’ve used thirty years ago

This is training I could’ve used thirty years ago. The entire weekend was focused on one thing and one thing only – trigger control. I’ve always known I wasn’t doing things exactly the way I should be, but never had it broken down for me. Now I have. And every bit as importantly, I now have the tools going forward to self-diagnose.

Kim C.
Former Military, Firearms Instructor
Applied Fundamentals
Wilmington, Ohio - July 2018

Provided me the tools to become a better competitive and tactical shooter

Anyone can shoot fast and most of us can shoot accurate but shooting fast and accurate while changing positions and sight pictures is a totally different thing. Applied Fundamentals provided me the tools to become a better competitive and tactical shooter.

Dan N.
Applied Fundamentals
Wilmington, Ohio - July 2018

The one-on-one training was invaluable

I really enjoyed my three day course! The one-on-one training was invaluable to my progress. I am already planning to attend many more OpSpec Training classes, especially MOAC!

Michael N.
Active LEO
Applied Fundamentals
Mesa, Ariz. - Dec. 2017

The OpSpec Training instructors were top notch

This was my third Operation Specific class after Practical Fundamentals and MOAC. Even though MOAC was billed as a high level class, I felt the Practical Fundamentals was more difficult because it focused solely on trigger reset and prep – in other words, the foundation for faster shooting. As we discussed in class, this is simple but not easy.

I would retake this class because it is the single most important skill I need to improve my shooting.

As usual, the Op Spec instructors were top notch.

Allan S.
Applied Fundamentals
Mesa, Ariz. - Dec. 2017