You Gotta Pay to Play: 2018 Edition


Hello all and Happy New Year!  As I have done each of the last couple of years (see here and here), I thought it might be useful to list in one place all of the classes I took, the matches I participated in, the number of rounds I sent downrange in them, and the money I spent on them.  Thus, this is also the article where, after writing it, I say to myself, “Holy shit, I spent a lot of money on this stuff!”

In 2018, I reached a new single-year high with NINE classes attended:

1.  Massad Ayoob Group (Massad Ayoob) “MAG-20” (AAR)

2.  FPF Training (John Murphy) “Concealed Carry:  Foundation Skills” (AAR)

3.  Rangemaster (Tom Givens) “Defensive Shotgun” (John wrote the AAR for this one)

4.  Rangemaster (Tom Givens) “Combative Pistol” (AAR)

5.  ALICE Training Institute “ALICE Instructor Training” (AAR)

6.  Rangemaster (Tom Givens) “Three Day Firearms and Instructor Development Course” (AAR)

7.  Hardwired Tactical (Darryl Bolke & Wayne Dobbs) “First Responder Pistol” (AAR)

8.  Green Ops (Mike Green) “Defensive Carbine II” (AAR)

9.  Agile Training and Consulting (Chuck Haggard) “Civilian Pepper Spray and Flashlight Use” (AAR)

I spent a combined $2030 on tuition for these courses.  Considering I took 9 courses, this number is much lower than it “should” be.  This is because my work paid for one class (ALICE, which I think is normally in the $400-range…….whoever thought I could get my work to pay for a class??!!!!), I was gifted one class by an anonymous benefactor, John Murphy essentially invited me to audit one of his classes, and Mike Green only had me pay a $40 range fee for his class.  In short, I was lucky. 

My good fortune continued in that most of the classes were close enough to home that I did not require a lot of lodging expenses, and I only had to spend three nights in hotels (one class was further from home but I was able to stay with relatives).  I did not fly to any classes in 2018, so transportation costs were limited to gasoline and tolls.

Besides tuition, my biggest expense for the classes was ammunition.  I shot a total of 4,571 rounds in classes in 2018.  That number might seem a tad low for nine classes, but keep in mind that three of the classes did not require the firing of any live ammunition.  I will note that it was significantly more than I shot in classes during either of the last two years.

The above classes add up to 124 hours of instruction for 2018, which has brought me up to 524 hours since I started my journey several years ago.


I competed in a total of six matches in 2018 (one carbine and five IDPA).  I spent $40 on the carbine match and $20 on each of the IDPA matches for a total of $140.  There were no significant travel expenses incurred with my competitive shooting this year.  All matches were local, and I even carpooled to most of them.  I shot 751 combined rounds of ammunition in the six matches this year.

Final Thoughts

For those of you who like math done for them, this year I spent a combined $2170 on classes and matches and fired a combined total of 5,322 rounds in those classes and matches.  Again, journeys like this are not cheap.  Which is why John and I would like to remind you all to keep supporting us by making Amazon purchases through our Affiliate link located at the top of this page.  We receive a small percentage of the price of items purchased through the link AT NO COST TO YOU.  This helps us purchase new items to review (several reviews in the works!) and take classes we can review for you as well (so you will know if you want to take the classes or steer clear!).  Thanks for all of your continued support!  Happy New Year!

6 thoughts on “You Gotta Pay to Play: 2018 Edition

    1. Isaac,

      Thanks! 2019 goals are coming in an article next week. Still have more to say about 2018 in another article, and John will be sharing his thoughts in an article as well. Thanks for the comment!


      Liked by 1 person

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