Testimonials from current and past students

I took a patrol rifle instructor course in Billings MT, I believe April or May 2018? Mike showed up to teach instructors, and held a standard of us being instructors. I not only took face-value drills and expectations from the course, but I left with a much better understanding on how to train and teach firearms as a whole. His experience is evident. It is one of the best instructor-level courses I have attended. Best of luck on your new website, sir.
— -Ben Milam, Head Firearms Instructor for Billings Police Dept.
I have been training seriously for over ten years now and the classes that I have taken with a multitude of instructors encompassing subjects to include concealed carry, carbine, medical, combatives, etc. and I can assure you that Mike is one of the finest teachers that I have ever had the pleasure of learning from. I have had the pleasure of training with Mike more than once over the years and I believe that his Covert Carry course should be a required course for anyone carrying a concealed firearm. His direction is clear, concise, and includes well thought out curriculum that anyone from the concealed carrier such as myself, to the armed professional will learn from. The lessons imparted are based in efficiency from a lifetime of actual use and experience. Mike is also one of the few teachers that has taken the time to continue to improve and challenge his own thinking through training with other instructors and competing at a high level. I cannot recommend Mike Pannone enough for a shooter of any level, looking to improve their skills with concealed carry or competition. I thoroughly look forward to learning from Mike again soon.
— Tim Elmer, Multiple Student/Graduate of Covert Carry
My team and I have been fortunate enough to have been exposed to Mike’s training classes from his entry level pistol course up through and including his Instructor course. There is no wasted motion or nonsense with his courses. Straight forward strategies and tactics that are either battle proven or proven against a clock. I can tell you first hand that when my partner and I faced the ultimate test we prevailed in large part because of Mike’s teachings. I will never forget the mark you have made with my team.
— Shane J

There are few names as legendary or as well respected in the special operations community as Mike Pannone’s. The Recon Marine who became a Green Beret, and then became an operator in 1st SFOD-D. After losing an eye in the service of his country, rather than rest in retirement he was one of the first state department contractors in Iraq during the surge, in the early days of Triple Canopy. He also stood up the Federal Air Marshal firearms program, and saw yet more combat as an advisor fighting alongside his beloved Marine Corps. Not content to rest on his laurels, Mike has also become an accomplished action shooting competitor with carbine and pistol, and is ranked as a Master Class shooter by the US Practical Shooting Association.

I’ve trained with Mike in tactical and shooting courses, and brought him in to train my SWAT team before I retired. He combines a wealth of hard earned real world knowledge and experience with a passion for teaching and a drive to help his students learn. Every piece of information he conveys is based on practical experience not unproven theory, and every performance point is one he can demonstrate himself on demand. Even more importantly, he can show you how you can learn to do the same. The truly impressive part though, is that Mike doesn’t do this for his own gain. He does it because he honestly wants to help his students learn. He does it to give the benefits of his experience to others. If you care about developing your skill and knowledge, you need to put a priority on making it to one of his classes.

-Matthew Little, US Army Special Forces combat veteran, retired Chicago Police SWAT, and USPSA Master Class competitor


I started shooting about 12-13 years ago. I spent the last ten years as an instructor at a nationally recognized training facility that specializes in six levels of handgun classes, multiple TacRifle classes, and Active Shooter defense. In that time I’ve taken over 750 hours of instruction from instructors throughout the USA and provided more than 2500 hours of instruction to others near Cincinnati.

On October 27-28, 2016 I took Mike Pannone’s Covert Carry for Law Enforcement class in Hammond, Indiana. It was the most specific, hands on, detailed and demanding instruction that I have experienced to date. I tell those that I have instructed that in the training community there are great shooters, some (far from all) great teachers, and some (again far from all) that actually care whether the students actually learn and progress.

In my class Mike Pannone checks all those boxes and more. First, he is a true American patriot and hero. Second, he is a student of shooting physiology and an able instructor on those fine points. He is a great shooter and thoroughly instructs on his theories and methods. He cares that you learn. My class had 20 students of varying abilities. Each of us received the individual attention we needed to improve. Finally, he’s a heck of a guy. When, late on the second day I reinjured a compromised knee, Mike spent time with me to assure that I was physically and emotionally OK. Who does that? Mike Pannone.

When you get the opportunity take one of his classes. You won’t be disappointed. You’ll be inspired.

-Bill Posey


“What is there to say, one of the best human being/instructors you will ever meet in a lifetime. I clearly remember the first class I took with Mike. I drove from the Bay Area Ca, to Casa Grande, AZ, for the 2-Day Urban Vehicles Countermeasures course on March 2015. All I could say was, wow!!!   My 12 hours drive back was spent processing the quality of the training, and the enrich wealth of knowledge that I just got passed down to me in the last 2 days. I know right there & then that I will be back for more.

As a grown man, training & learning from someone that knows so much, that have done so much, a true master of his trade, and upon all remains as humble as fc##, is an experience that positively impacts your life as a person.  All I can say is, thank you, Brother Mike, for being you & for sharing those bits of knowledge earned in blood, sweat, and through perseverance.  

A common saying in firearms related training is, " you take what works for you from an Instructor & disregard what doesn't "  Mike's training is one of the very few where you will take all that you heard & learned.

 As my wife said after training with Mike, " Dang! Mike makes shooting feel so natural ."

      Urban Vehicles Countermeasures, Casa Grande AZ  03/2015

     2 day Carbine Course, Reno NV 04/2015

     2day Low  Light Pistol, Richmond CA 11/2015

     2 day Shooting on the Move  Chino Hills, CA 03/2016

     2 day Low Light Pistol, Richmond CA 03/ 2017.

     2 day Covert Carry, Richmond CA 08/2016, etc                                                                                                                                                                      

 F. Shadrxxx

I am a non-LEO/Mil that has had the privilege of training with Mike
twice - Hybrid Pistol (02/17-02/18/18) and Covert Carry
(09/19-09/20/15). Both courses were conducted at Ancient City Shooting
Range, St Augustine FL.

Mike has a gift for teaching. A highly experienced instructor who has
not only “been there, done that,” but is also someone who can
describe, demonstrate and diagnose a concept in a manner that
facilitates retention of learning. Techniques are explained in
detail, with Mike outlining “what, “how,” “why,” and “when.” My
proficiency with handling a firearm, specifically from concealment,
has increased exponentially due to Mike’s instruction.

I rate Mike as one of the finest instructors, regardless of subject,
that I have had in my academic or professional career. I wouldn’t
hesitate to recommend Mike to anyone of any skill level. I look
forward to training with him again in the future.
— Geoff