This past Saturday and Sunday Shawn and I took the Tactical Response Inc Tactical Pistol class, and on Monday/Tuesday the Tactical Rifle Class.
I'm just going to cross post what we both iniatially posted on Lightfighter.com because I am lazy:
Originally posted by garryowen:
Where to start…
We signed on to the Tactical Response class actually at SHOT Show last February. From some drunken conversations with Yager, we agreed to go to the next class he had in AZ… Well with James over in Iraq, I figured the class would be canceled and I forgot all about it until Russell start pestering me about we need to buy ammo for the class…Oh Fuck!
So about a week before I get my shit together and me and Russell start getting our ammo/gear in order for the class (actually classes). The Pistol class is a beginner’s class, but it’s a 1000 round class. Russell and myself decide to make our lives easier (and save some money) by both using the same gun (Glock 17’s) and we both use our regular belt rigs we use for everyday carry. For the rifle/pistol class we opt for “field gear”. He uses his normal Spec-Ops “Battle Rig” with a military flap holster on the belt while I decide to use a HSG “Weesatch” with level III plates front and rear and a Spec-Ops “Vapor” drop leg holster. We both used CAV-16’s. I used a Trijicon Tri-Power while Russell used his ACOG to start but ditched it in favor of the Leopold CQT (wish I had one, it gave him a HUGE edge)
I was a little leery that Yager would not be teaching the class, but that Tracy Hightower and Scott Gatlin would be the instructors. Well as it turned out, not only where they excellent instructors, but far more pleasant to be around then Yager.
One of the problems I have with most training/trainers is that they spend a good poart of the class trying to convice you of 2 things:
1) That they are bad asses and they can kick your ass
2) That what ever it is they are teaching is the only way to do it and if you don’t use the gear they push and the way they push it, it’s no good.
There was none of that here. The Instructors presented the information is a low-key manner and explained why they did what they did how they did. They didn’t tell lots of “War Stories” to impresses, the “been there, done that” stories were told in an antidotal manner to help explain the how/why of the training. The instructors where very easy to talk with and communicated the instructions before each drill clearly and the training went very smoothly.
Both classes had about a dozen students each, which I thought was about ideal. As I stated, these were “beginners” classes, so we did have some folks who were starting from square one. What was nice that on the second day of both classes as the new folks were up to speed, we were able to throw in some more advanced training (something I don’t think we could have safely done with a larger class).
Both classes were excellent, but I really like the Rifle class best and for a “basic” class it touched into things that I would expect to see at more advanced classes, again I think the student to instructor ratio allowed us to cover a lot of ground while keep the level of instruction (as well as safety) high.
Overall both classes where well worth the money and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for some solid training. More pictures can be found on out web site.
Russell shot so well he won the limited addition "TR Cooler" (with old lunch meat and everything!)
Originally posted by SinistralRifleman:
First I would like to thank Yeager for inviting Shawn and I to attend the classes Tactical Response, Inc was putting on in Arizona.
Thanks also to Scott and Tracy, they were excellent instructors. Initially I was disappointed that Yeager was not going to be there (I have heard some colorful stories of his instruction techniques), but Scott and Tracy did not disappoint us they were professional, knowledgeable, and had some unique instruction techniques that made all of us think.
As Shawn mentioned for the tactical pistol class we both used Glock 17s in our daily carry holsters. My Glock was almost brand new and ran flawlessly through out the class.
The things I found most interesting about the class were related to maintaining situational awareness in a gunfight and throwing your adversary off balance. These things make the class worth taking for someone who considers themselves a good pistol shooter, but has not had exposure to tactics and mindset training.
For the duration of the Rifle class I used my Spec Ops Brand Battle Rig that is outfitted with a combination of SOB, Tactical Tailor, and Maxpedition Pouches. I brought most of my AR mags pre-loaded and stowed in my butt pack so my down time between drills reloading was minimized..
On the first day of the rifle class I used my 20” CAV-15 with ACOG. My reasoning was that I wanted to get some trigger time in using the BAC (Bindon Aiming Concept) of the ACOG that everyone raves about. My prior experience was that it was slower than a reflex sight, but I thought that might be from lack of practice.
The first day focused a lot on the basics of Fight, Assess, Scan, and Tac-Load, as well as hold over to hit targets in the A-Zone at CQB distances. Being left handed, I had never found a good way to tac-load retrieving a magazine before removing the partially full one. Scott, who some how shoots handguns right handed and rifles left handed, showed the lefties in the class a technique that works for tac-loading where a fresh magazine is grabbed first before the partial is removed. By the end of the class I had it down cold.
I shot well enough with the ACOG the first day but using the BAC combined with the required hold overs for the close in 3-10 yards work was not as fast as I liked, with my hits being at the bottom of the specified target areas consistently.
The second day I decided to use my 20” CAV-15 with the Leupold CQT. The 1-3X variable power made using it at distances from 3-15 yards much much easier than the ACOG. At 25 yards I set it at 3X to keep the rounds in the A-Zone for the head, and at 50 yards I did the same for all shots. After using the CQT all day I really like it, it is a very versatile scope. For things where all the shooting is 100 yards + I still prefer the ACOG…but the versatility of the CQT can’t be beat.
The second day was also the rifle qualification course, which required head shots and body shots from several shooting positions (prone, kneeling, sitting, standing) in a limited amount of time. I always carry a quick attach/detach bipod on my rifle or in the buttpack on my SOB “Battle Rig” that interfaces with a picatinny rail. For the prone shots I used the bipod, otherwise I kept it folded. I ended up scoring the highest on the rifle qualification, and won the Limited Edition Tactical Response Cooler. A couple of the students were giving me a good natured hard time about using the bipod on my rifle, to which I replied “the instructors told us; ‘always cheat, always win’” :-D
The latter half of the second day, was a lot of fun and the most interesting and informative part of the class. We were taught the basics of fire and movement drills and communication in 2-4 man teams. I’d never really had the opportunity to do anything like that before, and I think I learned a lot from doing it. I hope that we can find facilities or a location here to continue to practice these techniques now that we’ve learned them. This was definitely something I’d expect out of a more advanced course, but I was glad it was there, and the instructors did a good job of making sure we all did it safely and learned in the process.
The Tactical Response Inc Tactical Rifle class is the kind of course that anyone who owns a military style rifle should take. If you have friends that also own military style rifles, they should take this class with you. The team work, communication, and situational awareness skills that are taught in this class make it an incredible value for the $$$.
I am looking forward to taking more classes from Tactical Response when they return to Arizona in the Spring 2005.