Interview with Brian Hoffner from Hoffners Training Academy, Part 1

Brian D. Hoffner from Hoffners Training Academy
Brian D. Hoffner from Hoffners Training Academy
I have fantastic surprise for readers of the Blog! I am starting series of interviews with top firearms and self-defense instructors.

Today, I am happy to introduce you Brian D. Hoffner, Director of the Hoffners Training Academy. Brian has over 30 years of military and law enforcement experience which he generously shares with us.

Hoffners Training Academy
1302 Waugh Dr # 727
Houston, TX 77019
Office 281.855.8800
Toll Free 1.877.HOFFNER

Vitaly Pedchenko: Readers of the blog are owners of Remington 870 shotguns. Brian, what do you think about this shotgun?

Brian Hoffner: The Remington 870 is my choice of pump shotgun. It is well-built, and proven dependable through nearly a century of law enforcement and military use. It is a compatible sister weapon to my Benneli M1/2, because the forend release is in the same location as the shell release on the Benelli. The safety is the same location and configuration as both, therefore; the indexes and reactive skills are the same. I can count on the 870 to work when I need it. It is a great defensive weapon and my choice of pump shotgun. This is a weapon that, in my training program, you can learn to hit the target from 15 yards and closer with five shots in less than 2 seconds. Consider every shot firing nine 32 caliber pellets, that’s 45 hits in under 2 seconds. Impossible to do with any other weapon system at that distance.

Hoffners Training Academy
Hoffners Training Academy
Vitaly Pedchenko: What type of shotgun ammunition would you prefer in a home defense situation?

Brian Hoffner: It is important that you included the word “situation” in your question as home defense is indeed situational. If there are children in the home bird shot would be highly recommended. Birdshot does not have the level of penetration as buckshot but will make a mass of flesh and bone at close range.

Angles of fire, where children’s beds are positioned, and how the family is trained are all factors to consider. If there are no children in the home than buckshot would be a good choice as long as your spouse is in a safe place.

Vitaly Pedchenko: What dry fire drills do you recommend to do at home?

Brian Hoffner: Two things are very important when dry firing. First make sure both the chamber and magazine tube are unloaded each and every time you touch the gun. Never take safety for granted. The same safety rules for pressing the trigger in live fire are applied to dry fire. Do not press the trigger in dry fire without having sights on the target in the decision made to hit. Otherwise we create an arbitrary trigger press in our reactive mind. Dry fire is extremely important. Proper manipulation and rhythm are learned with good dry fire disciplines.

Vitaly Pedchenko: Could you please describe several common mistakes of the beginners which just started to use a shotgun?

Hoffners Training Academy
Hoffners Training Academy
Brian Hoffner: It is important to operate this shotgun both dry and live fire properly from the get-go. If not, we reinforce bad and potentially unsafe habits. Like all other shotguns the 870 is built with a safety. Beginners tend to disregard the safety and not train with it. The manufacturers put the safety on the shotgun for one reason only, safety. If you choose not to use the safety, not to train using the safety, and something bad happens, the manufacturers will show up in court with their high-powered attorneys explain why the safety is on the gun and you will lose.

More importantly, if you do not practice utilizing the safety and indexing the safety, you are training to fail. Indexing the safety with your finger keeps your eyes on the scan while feeling that the safety is on and buttons or gear will not discharge the trigger from the rear. At the same time we are prepared to knock off the safety on presentation to the threat and assure that the gun will go bang once we wanted to.

Another common mistake is improper body index. New shooters tend to put the stock of the shotgun in the shoulder. The rotator cuff has a high level of nerves that pass over it. When you pound those nerves with the shotgun it is very painful and shooters have an unpleasant experience. Instead it is important to learn the proper body index that allows the stock to plant in the pocket as the shoulder wraps around the stock to hold it in place. This provides a relatively painless experience while shooting and at the same time creates an extremely effective fighting platform. Beginners must practice the proper indexes, manipulations, follow-through is to second sight, from the very beginning, otherwise they get very good at being less efficient in creating pain for themselves. At Hoffner’s training Academy we take the time to ensure a positive shooting experience for all shooters.

Vitaly Pedchenko: What shotgun(s) do you own? Which is your favourite one?

Brian Hoffner: I own many firearms including many shotguns. But I only operate using one of two shotguns, either the 870 or the Benneli M1/M2. Because of the common manipulation features it is easy for me to go from one to the other. My primary gun is my 870. I keep it with me ready to go at all times. It is my home gun and my car gun, secured in my vehicle, in vehicle mode, and ready at home in vehicle mode.

Check the second part of the interview with Brian Hoffner

Related Post:

Interview with Chris Costa

Vitaly Pedchenko

My name is Vitaly Pedchenko, I started this blog and forum to share information, tips, photos, and advice about the Remington 870 shotgun, accessories, and upgrades. Now I also own AR-15 rifle and MP5 pistol caliber carbine. I am firearms instructor, competitive shooter and IPSC Range Officer. I participate in practical shooting and 3-Gun competitions because they are the best way for me to test equipment and upgrades under stress. I am member of the PRACTICA shooting club. I also participate in REAGO, which provides Tactical Combat Casualty Care training. The main purpose of the blog and forum is to have a compilation of information about the Remington 870 shotgun in one organized, accessible place.

2 thoughts on “Interview with Brian Hoffner from Hoffners Training Academy, Part 1

  • 14.08.2011 at 10:47

    I met Brian Hoffner this year in Dallas, T, on the TTPOA Swat Conference.
    Its a great man, as a friend or as instructor.
    Lucky are the students who learn with him or from him.
    Highly professional, teaches the real thing for real situations.

    Fernandes,Senior Corporal
    Corrections Dept.

  • 20.07.2012 at 13:13

    One other factor it is important to consider is Lighting.

    You have to be able to see your target. You can’t afford to have last-minute split-second thoughts about whether the person you’re aiming at is a true Home Invader, or perhaps just a drunk sibling who lost their keys and is clumsily entering the home.

    Conversations in the dark with possibly armed invaders is just not a way to go.

    I’m not saying a home invader needs to see you, but you need to see them.


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