“I cannot say enough about Doug and Zach’s patience, professionalism and all around charisma. Having fun and learning do not always go hand and hand but they are able to pull it off in a comfortable, safe and positive setting. GREAT JOB GUYS. Hats off to you for a stellar successful weekend! We will never forget this as I feel we are even more prepared as good citizens after this experience. God Bless the USA!!!”
~ R.K. – Texas
“I cannot say enough about Doug’s instinctive shooting style. In all my years of law enforcement I have never taken so much away from training as I did with Doug. In my opinion every law enforcement officer in the Country should be taught his course! Highly recommended! ”
~ Police Officer (ret.) Robert J. La Bianca
“After a lifetime of operations and firearms training from Vietnam to Afghanistan, the Highlands Tactical shooting courses prepare you for the real world of seeing the elephant. They are fast, lots of rounds down range, and expertly taught by Doug and his team. I recommend them to any civilian carrying a CCW, police patrol officer, or a special operator who wants to add to his skills. The training is well worth the time and bargain price.”
~ L.Z. Colonel (ret.) U.S. Army Special Forces
“I have taken several shooting classes over the years. However, Doug Dryden is the only instructor that ever taught me the instinctive shooting style. His hands on approach was wonderful. We became very familiar with our guns and how to handle them. There was some class time, but the majority of the course is spent on the range. The material is practical and useful. As a woman, it was nice to have an instructor that recognized our issues and addressed them. Doug was helpful, informative, supportive and encouraging. He is a wonderful instructor. His course is full of useful material that a woman can relate to. Not only do you learn the law in Montana, but you shoot your gun. You shoot it a lot. You shoot it and learn how to handle it. You shoot it and you lose your fear of it. Then you learn how to tear it apart and clean it. I have and will continue to recommend this course to anyone that expresses an interest in learning how to handle a gun.”
~ Deborah W.
“Thank you Doug and Zach for the awesome training on Saturday. I’ve been shooting handguns for 50+ years, and I learned more useful, practical techniques in your 4 hour course than I ever thought possible. The work you do training law abiding citizens to effectively protect themselves and their families is making a huge difference in this country. I’m looking forward to taking more of your classes.”
~ E.W. – Montana
“In June of this year I participated in an intensive two-day school of tactical combat pistol instruction put on by Doug Dryden of Highlands Tactical Training Group. Before attending, I had learned that Doug provides self defense / combat pistol and tactical rifle training for military personnel, tactical LE shooters and private citizens around the country and abroad.
The premise of Doug’s instruction is “instinctive” pistol shooting, which is different from the “aiming down the sights” method most of us have been taught to use. After two days of Doug’s instruction, I can say that if you took pliers and removed the front and rear sights from my defense pistol it would not make a difference to me. His training makes perfect sense once you learn and practice it, and it worked for all participants in our class, from experienced shooters to novices.
The program was intense, exhausting and supremely enjoyable. Included were drills on drawing the weapon, instinctive aiming, trigger technique, reloading under stress, stress shooting with noise and distractions, shooting while moving in all directions, jam/malfunction drills, double taps, rapid fire drills, team shooting, engaging multiple threats and much more. By the second day, tight target groups were produced by all participants from distances out as far as 33 feet – and this while shooting under stress.
I greatly enjoyed Doug’s instruction and getting to know him in between the intensive range drills. A proud Scotsman by lineage, Doug is a real gentleman, a man of faith and a gentle spirit – but at the same time quite a fighter and one heck of a combat pistol instructor. If you had to take someone with you into a troublesome situation, or more likely find someone to teach you how to handle a troublesome situation, my money would be on Doug Dryden.
As an enthusiast who goes to the pistol range frequently and thought I knew what I was doing (before meeting Doug Dryden), I can report that Doug’s instruction turned my technique on its head and has completely changed the way I shoot a handgun – for the better.
I can sum up my Highlands Tactical Shooting School experience in one word: EXCELLENCE.”
~ S. Hall
“I remember my best friend talking me into taking Doug Dryden’s gun course. On the day of the class, I was so afraid of guns that I had a hard time coming out of the bathroom at the shooting range to start shooting. But when I finally did, Doug, his wife and my best friend took the extra time to make me feel comfortable with a gun before they ever had me shoot it. Now I am excited to take the next Highland’s Tactical shooting course and hopefully get my own gun for Christmas. I highly recommend this course to anyone who has even a slight fear of guns. There is nothing to fear!”
~ Shannon A. – Montana
“The instinctive shooting training that Doug and his team provided was outstanding. The class brought an entirely new dimension to my understanding of defensive handgun shooting.”
~ Bob M. – Austin, Texas
“Before I took the Highlands Tactical course, I was not very comfortable with my handgun. After taking the class I am very confident and very comfortable with my weapon!”
~ Rheda M. – Austin, Texas
“My careers have included over 44 years of government service to include the United States Marine Corps and civilian law enforcement. While in the military I served for a period as a marksmanship instructor and served combat tours in Viet Nam. While serving as a law enforcement officer my experiences ranged from patrol officer and up through the ranks to Undersheriff and retiring as a Chief of Police. During those law enforcement years I received countless hours of weapons training and range qualifications. I served on the police department’s tactical team as a sniper, again adding even more weapons training.
I was invited to participate in a different kind of weapons training and proficiency testing course this past year sponsored by Highlands Tactical Training led by Doug Dryden. Despite years of previous training, this course was akin to a new arena of tactical weapons handling. I entered the course with skepticism as to learning anything new, but in a short 8 hours I left with a whole new perspective of tactical weapon and skill competency that I would not thought of being possible for me.
Proficiency results from learning the right techniques first and then repeated applications of those techniques until the actions become natural and instinctive. This course will first perfect the technique through slow paced repetition and accelerate as the day progresses. Near the end of the day the mind, eye, body, and weapon become one fast, accurate, instinctive, and coordinated unit. We put 10 times the number of rounds down-range in one day with Highlands Tactical Training than we did in one week on the range in the Marine Corps.
There is no better training if you plan to be the one walking away from the fight.”
~ Rod B. – Chief of Police (ret.)
“Prior to the course, I had little experience in handling and firing a handgun. Doug’s approach to shooting felt natural and quickly allowed me to aim effectively and instinctively. It wasn’t long in the first day before I was out-shooting veteran police officers. I was able to move quickly from basic targeting to self-defense and tactical training. Anyone that wants to make their training count in life-threatening circumstances rather than comfortable target ranges would do well to be trained by Doug and his team.”
~ Tom C. Executive in California
“Growing up with two parents who were police officers, I was around firearms a lot. Both of my parents were very open about firearms, answering any questions I had about them and making sure I understood the basic principles of gun safety. I also had a very strong understanding that these were tools my parents used for work and not toys for myself or my friends to play with. Any time I wanted to shoot, my Dad was always willing to take me out. He taught me basic marksmanship principles for both rifles and hand guns which I still use to this day. Even though I feel comfortable around firearms, I have never felt confident in handling weapons if I was faced with a crisis situation.
This last summer my family visited Montana where my parents live. My Dad told me about an instinctive shooting class he had just taken and recommended it for my son and me. We decided to take the class and enjoyed every minute of it. Mr. Dryden’s class starts at the basics of holding the weapon and within just a few hours he has moved each student through engaging multiple threats with confidence and always reinforcing safety for the shooter and those around them.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Dryden’s teaching style and the class. I look forward to taking more classes in the future to improve and practice the skills I have already learned.”
~ Rod B. – Oregon
“I highly recommend the instinctive shooting class with Doug and Zach. I had never shot a pistol when I started the class and by the end of the class I felt completely confident in knowing how to use my weapon. The class was extremely fun and they know how to meet everyone’s needs from the experienced shooters to the beginners. I went from having help pulling the trigger at the beginning of day to doing partner shooting drills with my husband by the end of the day! I’ve told all my girlfriends to take the class because if you or your husband has a pistol at home it’s so important to know how to handle and use it safely. I plan on taking the class at least once a year!”
~ Keli S. – Austin, Texas
“I wanted to send a quick note to let you and Zach know that I thoroughly enjoyed class yesterday!! I’m a bit green when it comes to shooting, but I now feel 10 times more comfortable handling & shooting handguns. I couldn’t believe how accurate I was!”
~ Lee S. – Montana
“I have been shooting handguns competitively for years. After taking the Highlands Tactical class, I really understand what defensive shooting is and how to do it!”
~ Stephen P. – Austin, Texas
“Your KIND-majorly-informing-outta-the-ball-park pistol shooting/gun cleaning instructions were well received, and I can freely say: life changing for me and the Girls. The word EMPOWERING just about sums it up. I have been around and used guns my entire life; never have known this confidence with shooting.”
~ Heidi – Washington
“My dad wanted me to learn firearm safety, how to handle a weapon, and basic handgun skills. Up to this time I had no knowledge of firearms nor had I ever used one. I enrolled in Mr. Dryden’s civilian version of tactical defense shooting and completed his eight hour course.
At the end of the day I was as proficient in safety, weapons handling, and qualification as was every adult in the class. The instruction was intense but fun, very fast paced, and took me from a point of having to think about every movement to one that every action was instinctive and instant. It was as though my body and the weapon became one.
Not many people my age have the chance to experience this type of training, but Mr. Dryden’s methods of instruction took away my nervousness and gave me confidence that I could do it. If given the chance, I’d like to continue that training through the more advanced courses.”
~ Taylor B. – 14 years old – Oregon
“I have been shooting all sorts of firearms since I was a child. This is my first formal class and it has been a true transformation. I feel that my shooting at the range or in competition has improved significantly. Learning how to shoot instinctively really does open your eyes to how it should be.”
~ D. McCarty – Texas
“Highlands Tactical delivers the real world shooting scenarios, knowledge and tools that will forever change the way you shoot.”
~ Chris B. – Austin, Texas
“Dermot and I enjoyed your class immensely. You are a class act and we could not have chosen a better experience that provided us the right mix of instruction, knowledge, humor and challenge. I admire your abilities and experience; your love of family and our beloved state of Montana!”
~ Christie G. – Montana
“Thank you so much for coming to Bend and teaching us such critical instinctive handgun skills. Your instruction was awesome and fun. I have been shooting most of my life but never had a professional provide instruction on techniques of proper handgun operation and tactics. The proverbial light bulb has turned on for me when it comes to handgun shooting (no more sights baby!!!!!!). The class has provided a list of things that I can go to the range and practice. Also the laying down technique at 25 and 40 yards was great.”
~ R.S. – Oregon