Posted: 3/10/2012 12:32:40 AM
THE IMAGE ABOVE IS A PAID ADVERTISEMENT
T.I.G.E.R Valley, Waco Texas
President, Tiger Valley
T.J. Pilling has held assignments in Patrol, SWAT, Narcotics and Training. He has been a Precision Marksman for twenty-three years with SWAT, and has also served as senior instructor on the team. In the Training division, T.J. was assigned as Range Master and Firearms Instructor for the Police Department and held the position for seven years. During this time he hosted classes attended by State, Federal and Local Departments. He has instructed topics such as basic and advanced handgun, shotgun, subgun, precision rifle, concealed carry and tactics training.
I have done a lot things in the past year, but I have not been dry firing, practicing or even shooting many dirt clods. When a co-worker expressed a desire to attend a handgun class, I jumped at the chance to set us up for the level 1 handgun course at Tiger Valley. This was my 4th Training class and his 1st.
The bunkhouse is no more but they still allow camping and we had one student who pitched his tent for the two day class. I am unsure about R.V. hookups or if he even used the shower in the kitchen/former bunkhouse portion of the facility.
There were 8 students in the class, and from what I gathered no active duty military or current police officers. Of the 8 students we had one lady in this course. Notably we had three wrong handed people out of the eight students. Skillsets ranged from really good to novice, and everyone improved by the end of the course. As far as guns go, the GLOCK was the most common, a couple of 1911’s and one Beretta something or ‘nother.
Class started promptly at 0800 with a discussion of safety, and the scope of training. We started in North Bay 1 where we did the majority of our training. Weather on both days was pretty nice if a bit on the cool side with both days being windy. I believe T.J. has a standing request with the weather gods for wind at Tiger Valley.
We started shooting dots which is a great way to reveal your problems. From there we began working on correcting our problems while practicing proper sight picture, trigger control, reset, second sight picture and a threat scan. The folks at Tiger Valley really stress all of these. We worked on drills of increasing complexity throughout the day with the exception of one short break and the hour we had for lunch. As we progressed I noted that I was shooting better, and incorporating all of the steps required by the instructors. We shot until 1600 on TD1, or later, I would not swear to the time. After being dismissed a few of us bent T.J. and Bruce’s ears on gear, training, and other subjects before heading in to town to eat. TD1 saw me expend around 500 rounds.
TD2 started promptly in the class room from whence we adjourned to the 1000 yard KD range area. They had 8 targets between 55 and 15 yards for us to engage. At 0815 Sunday morning the safest place in the State was in front of my G19. I had the shakes, was sore and was not applying the fundamentals’ (a possum ate my homework, the sun was in my eyes, you get the idea). So I shot like shit. Inspired by my example the remaining shooters did pretty darn well. We then went to North 1 and ran drills we learned the day before to get going before adding new drills of increasing complexity. This included shooting on the move and shooting moving targets. The mantra of a good sight picture, trigger control, reset, second site picture and threat scanning was of course part and parcel of these as well.
Tiger Valley employs a timer extensively. This is great feedback I believe as you work to perform drills at your own no miss pace. They also employ steel targets extensively, as they feel steel provides great feedback to the trainee. Shooting a handgun at 100 yards is still cool as hell. Engaging a moving target is a great reminder that in a gunfight you are responsible for every round you fire. I shot over the 1200 rounds that I expected in the two days.
When we wrapped up TD2 T.J. and Bruce invited us up in the tower where we shot 2 AR’s and an AIA in .308 that was suppressed. 300 yard shots were no problem with this rig.
This is a great facility with excellent instructors. Shooters of any skill level can benefit from the training offered by Tiger Valley. That seems a bit lame to sum T.V. up. They have 120 acres under high fence with another 120 behind it as an impact zone. 10 tactical bays, a 1000 yard KD range with target butts, and a 1300 (?) yard unknown distance range. Mock up buildings, a big damn tower, fake tanks and tons of steel to shoot. T.J. and Bruce are both super nice guys that are extremely good at instructing.
Thus ends my first AAR. Sorry for the lack of photos, I did not take any. I also am sure I am forgetting to include a bunch of stuff that is really important. Feel free to correct any errors or oversights on my part.
My friend, a novice shooter had the following to offer “To everyone I spoke with, (my albeit limited) skills improved over 50% from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon”.
Posted: 5/22/2012 8:21:29 PM
Cool, you went back again. I went to Level 1 Carbine this year and learned a lot, including its easy to hit 400 yard movers in 20 mpf wind with an aimpoint, no magnification. Great range, great instructors great time.
Thanks Tsonda for posting this.