Taking a Master Class in Hellcat Training

By Jeremy Tremp
Posted in #Skills
Save Remove from saved articles
Like Unlike
Facebook Share Twitter Share Pinterest Share

Taking a Master Class in Hellcat Training

May 29th, 2023

3:56 runtime

­When I heard that Rob Leatham and Chris Cerino were going to be teaching a two-day class based around the Hellcat family of pistols, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved. What’s more, the class was being taught at the Gun Talk Media’s HQ, Range Ready Studios just outside New Orleans, Louisiana.

master class in hellcat training
Gun Talk Media recently offered a master class in shooting with the Springfield Hellcat. It was taught by Chris Cerino and Rob Leatham.

I carry a Hellcat Pro pistol every single day, and I regularly train drawing from concealment as well as placing accurate shots with an elevated heart rate. But I will be the first to admit, my pistol skills are by far my weakest discipline in the shooting sports. It’s a very perishable skill and there is a lot of nuances to being a good shooter.

chris cerino instructor
Chris Cerino, an experienced trainer, competitive shooter and retired cop, is the Director of Training for Range Ready Studios.

Getting to learn from world champion shooter Rob Leatham is a rare opportunity, and one I wouldn’t miss out on. Adding to the roster of amazing talent was Range Ready’s own Chris Cerino, a respected trainer and two-time Top Shot runner up. Chris is a very accomplished shooter and comes from a law enforcement background with over 30 years of instruction.

In the Mix

The class had a mix of first-time shooters and veteran shooters alike. Generally, in a class with this kind of make-up, you move at the rate of the most inexperienced shooters. This was actually very interesting to watch, though. It was a treat to watch Chris and Rob quickly assess the shooters’ abilities, what they were doing right and wrong, and setting them on the correct course for successful shots. Also, let’s face it, we could all use some refresher basics to shake the dust off and run a self-diagnostic check.

rob leatham teaching people how to shoot the hellcat
Rob Leatham (above) is one of the world’s top shooters and an excellent instructor. He, with Chris Cerino, worked with students for two days on shooting techniques.

We were provided with a mixture of Hellcats, including the original as well as RDP and Pro models. Since I carry the Pro every day, I decided to patch up my skills with the original micro compact Hellcat, as well as try out the RDP (read our Hellcat RDP review here). We spent the first half of the day having some great conversations in the classroom discussing theories, best practices and understanding some basics about firearms and the mentality of carrying every day.

Getting a firehose of information from Chris and Rob with their vast experience was a unique experience. I really enjoyed their back-and-forth dialog as well when one of them had a differing or slightly unique perspective on a topic. They encouraged debate and appreciated each other’s viewpoints, which added to the learning experience.

On the Range

After our classroom time, we got to tour the Range Ready Facility. We got a sneak peek at the studio where they shoot a lot of the Gun Talk Media’s shows as well as the offices and the soon-to-be indoor shoothouse. I am very excited to see how the Range Ready facility grows over time as there is so much to offer with the team and property.

rob leatham demonstrating how to shoot
Rob Leatham demonstrates how to shoot the Springfield Armory Hellcat equipped with a red dot sight.

After the tour, it was time to get our hands on some pistols and hit the range. We began with some warm-up drills on paper, which allowed Chris and Rob to see which students needed what help and how much. As the day went on, they were guiding the class into some timed drills with specific round counts.

This drill showed them how many students were rushing shots and missing the target. Chris and Rob then dug into why it is so important to be accountable for every single round you fire and where that bullet strikes. Throughout the rest of the class, they laser focused in on making sure that every single student was able to begin making accurate hits 90% of the time.

rob leatham training a woman how to shoot the springfield armory hellcat
Individual instruction can help shooters overcome stumbling blocks. Here, Rob Leatham offers instruction on sight alignment.

It was quite an experience to watch Rob take a student from anticipating the shot to hitting bullseyes. I would watch them run through each technique they have learned to teach until they landed on the right one for that specific student. They were very intense and unrelenting, but ultimately encouraging and celebratory once the information was digested and success was created by the student.

Something that blew me away was the beginning of day two when Chris went student by student around the room, remembering their name and what he witnessed and wanted them to improve upon. He did this with no notes and was spot on with his information. The guy cares so deeply about the success of his students that he stays up late digesting information from the day to bring back and help each and every student. That’s pretty amazing.

chris cerino working with a shooter on the range
Chris Cerino works on the range with a shooter learning how to run the Hellcat with a red dot sight.

Another aspect I really enjoyed from the class was that Chris and Rob spent a good amount of time demoing the drills and the concepts. They didn’t just walk the line expecting results, they put themselves on the line to show exactly how it was done and that it is possible.


If you haven’t already checked out the vast array of shows that Gun Talk media produced, do yourself a favor and check out their content. Range Ready is also ramping up their public classes so if you are ever in the New Orleans area check out their schedule and sign up for a class. You will be sure to gain a new perspective and walk away being a more well-rounded and prepared firearms owner.

Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in!

Join the Discussion

Go to forum thread

Continue Reading
Did you enjoy this video?

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles and videos are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Product prices mentioned in articles and videos are current as of the date of publication.

Jeremy Tremp

Jeremy Tremp

Jeremy Tremp is a filmmaker/photographer who turned his passion for the firearms industry into a dream job. Having identified a need in the 2A space, he and some like-minded friends started Offensive Marketing Group to help bring their unique skillsets to an industry in dire need of "outside of the box" marketing approaches. One of the perks is getting access to some of the best gear and training in the industry. In his spare time, he loves to be at the range testing gear and learning to be a better shooter, firearms advocate and content creator.

© 2024 Springfield Armory. All rights reserved.

Springfield Armory

No account? Create One

Create Account

Have an account?