I recently took Tactical Response's Fighting Pistol and Fighting Rifle (Feb 9-12, 06) at the Bradford Sporting Clays (Correct me if I'm wrong on that name) in Graham, FL (Starke). The class was instructed by Rob Edwards.
First off, a big thanks to Rob Edwards for instructing us. He flew it solo cuz rest of the Tactical Response crew were off at SHOT. He did an outstanding job. Very likeable guy and full of good info. Rob ran an informal class, but kept us in line and kicked us in the ass when it was needed. Next I'd like to thank the guys at the range. We were treated very well, and more importantly left alone!! The only time, our class was interrupted, was when one of the crew came down to us and and invited us to their cookout (they were running a trap match on the other ranges). Knowing it to be impolite to turn down free food from the locals, we all went. Despite our appearance (mud, knee pads, etc.) we were warmly greeted and treated like everyone else. This was my first time to this range and I feel they are all a class act!
Ok, in case you don't care about anything else, here are the pics that I got...
And now, a few random thoughts about...
Fighting Pistol and Fighting Rifle:
I'm not going to break this class down or discuss much of the drills. Take the class and experience it for yourself so you get the full effect.
Conditions were sand and mud with a mix of sun and clouds; third day (first Rifle day) was scattered showers. Temperatures ranged from mid 30's on one morning to mid 60's.
These were GREAT classes. They are by no means beginner classes. Know your gun and
gunhandling basics prior to class. Have your gun zeroed and broke in.
The Mindset lecture was outstanding!!
I was very impressed with the handouts that we received. You receive a lot of info in 4 days and such great handouts help keep it all fresh. The Norte position was new to me (as well as most of the rest of the students) and took a lot to get used to. I was pleased to see all the open minds there that tried it and everything else that we were presented with; which brings me to my classmates.
Six guys were in the pistol class and seven in the rifle class. About half attended both classes. Great bunch of guys to train with. There was no whining, despite weather conditions, and a hot (loaded) range. I've experienced heated tempers in a class before and it is embarrassing and a big downer for all. In this class, everyone was very helpful. Class was made up of a good mix of experience. We had some with former Marine and Army training, a current Army Reservist recently back from a year in Iraq, a couple of LEO types, and many guys with tactical classes already under their belt. We even had a shooter who works in the body armor industry. A lot of people pulled some good stories or tips from their own area of experience, yet we didn't have anyone hotdogging and trying to take over Rob's job. I enjoyed everyone's company, and the jokes were firing off as much as our guns. Everyone used good discipline, and I never felt unsafe around anyone in this group.
There is a high round count in these classes. That's one big thing that sets them apart of other classes I've taken. Definitely a good thing, cuz we all love shooting; and like they say, "if it's worth shooting, it's worth shooting twice."
Equipment used was mostly RACK-style rigs (Eagle Universal Rigs, MAV, Weesatch, etc), with one Chicom AK rig. Holsters were a good mix of leather and kydex made, OWB, IWB, and drop-leg. Rifles were all AR style, with one AK... :rolleyes: there's one in every group. Pistols were a Kimber Warrior, Glock 19's, Glock 22, Glock 20, and a Makarov (see above AK comment).
My Guns and Gear:
I used most all of the weapons I brought to the class for at least one day. I brought a Colt Ar15A3 Carbine, a Bushmaster/Rock River 20" AR, two Glock 22's (one stayed in reserve) and a Glock 23.
My web gear was a Tactical Tailor Two-piece MAV with four single AR mag pouches (TT), and a Emdom small Utili-shingle for a blowout kit. I wore a Diamondback Tactical Assaulter's Belt (Modular) with a Safariland 6280 on a Safariland molle adapter, a Specter single mag pouch holding a Gerber Multiplier, a Specter handcuff pouch, a Maxpedition Rolly Polly Pouch (Medium, and by day two of the Rifle class, it had migrated onto the front left of my MAV), a Surefire G2 holster (V72?), and two Emdom single mag pouches. I wore my Blade-tech IWB holster and a Blackhawk CQC mag pouch under a t-shirt for one day of the pistol class. I also tried out some Alta knee pads, some Hatch Shorty Operator gloves and a Wilderness 5-stitch belt.
Ok, here's where I talk a little about what I got out of the class and color myself the dumbass for a few things.
1) Don't half-ass your gun cleaning before a class. Based on previous classes, with much lower round counts, I didn't go very far with my gun prepping. The first day of rifle had my Colt failing to feed. The "Tap" portion of tap, rack, bang was all that was needed to get it up and running though.
2) Sometimes I'm stubborn about trying new things. I finally used some Gunscrubber in my cleaning. HOLY CRAP, this stuff rocks!! Yeah yeah, I know...
3) Doing tactical reloads after each incident is something I have been aware of for a long time, however this is the first time I've been forced to do it after every drill in a class. Great addition to my routine.
4) The jury is still out on how I will integrate the instructed way of reloading, as well as the Norte position; however, I will say that they are definitely techniques I will add to my toolbox.
5) Make sure your gun is loaded with one in the chamber at all times. Having to do a failure drill because my dumb ass didn't load the gun made me feel nice and stupid.
6) Rob helped me with my pistol shooting. I received a few pointers that let me see immediate results.
7) I'm very glad that I've practiced my concealed carry rig. I ran it for a whole day and I feel I did pretty well getting it out from under my tshirt. Just goes to show that practicing your dry fire exercises at home really does work.
8) My MAV rig continues to do well. I removed my dump pouch from my belt after day one of the rifle course. It was placed on the front left of my MAV; under my left most AR mag pouch, utilizing the silk clip. Economy of motion was taught during the class, and reaching behind me to drop a mag in the pouch took up valuable time. More than once during the team drills, I got caught with a mag in my hand when I was needed to cover my buddy. It sucks having to drop a partial mag in the mud when it isn't really necessary.
9) I'm happy with my new DBT modular belt. It was very easy to don and very comfortable. No complaints.
10) My relatively new Alta knee pads, and new Shorty Operator gloves functioned just fine.
11) I've been wearing a Wilderness 5-stitch belt on a daily basis for a few weeks. It is a very comfortable belt and continued to function flawlessly during the class. The extensive holster draws from the day I wore my IWB holster showed no sign of discomfort or excessive wear.
12) A hot muzzle in your pants (IWB holster) takes a little getting used to. You may feel a slight sting.
13) Ashlocke is a monster and must be controlled!!! He is also too young to have that much money!
14) My new 20" AR with TA31F Acog worked great. The rifle never missed a beat. The Acog was a little blurry at point blank ranges, but I was able to get the job done.
15) I tried out two new things with my rifles. First, I added a bungee loop to my belt. I run a single point sling and I wanted to try this idea to keep the rifle from swinging so much. It works, but seems like an admin only deal. It's not very quick to remove the rifle (might be better with a SBR), and a hot barrel with melt it. The second thing I tried was running a strap from the back of my TT x Harness as a rig-based single point sling. It worked excellently. It did everything my single point slings could do, but kept the extra strapping from around me. Using this method, I experienced no extra pull to the left side of my MAV.
16) Another dumbass moment I had, was when I realized that I had dropped my rear BUIS in the mud. Loctite EVERYTHING!!! On the same drill, I also dropped a battery compartment cover from my Vltor stock. I thought that was odd that it came out, but luckily, I keep the stock in so close that the batteries were not able to fall out.
17) Syphillis is bad!
18) Running an AK quickly and accurately can definitely be done. Ron3 rocked on his after very little adjustment. It really makes me want to get back on my AK.
18) Don't be a Buddy Fucker (Blue Falcon)!!!
19) Work the fuck out!!! I've been trying to get out of shape, but my fat ass still has a long way to go. This was not the most strenuous class I've taken, but there were two drills in particular that, I'm embarrassed to say, I was unable to do properly due to arm/shoulder fatigue.
20) Amplified hearing protection is a Godsend! With team exercises especially, they greatly aid you in a high intensity classes such as these.
21) Saw a few malfunctions on other folks weapons, but I didn't get all the details, so I'll let those folks chime in and explain them. I do believe they were all mag and dirt/cleaing issues though.
22) I want to buy the Fighting Pistol DVD and a Tactical Response Tshirt!!!
23) Rob Edwards is a pervert! :nuts:
24) And last, but not least, I definitely want to train with Tactical Response again!
Well, there is my .02. I hope this was informative. I apologize for not being better organized with my thoughts.
Wow, cool write up. Any more courses like this being offered in the future?
There are classes you can take in FL from some good people. As far as Tactical Response specifically, I don't know if they have any other planned for Florida right at this time. I think some of us are going to do what we can to get them back here though!
+1 on Neeglik's AAR, and a big +1 for Tactical Response's Rob Edwards!
why do ya gotta roll your eyes when u talk of the AK.....lol....I love how u say LEO types, thats means wanna be cop in my book......I have been to these before, they are full of good info and u usually have fun al long as the gung ho types keep quiet, there is almost always a big fat guy ( like me ) and some tactical comando joe....great pics, glad it was a good time
Neeglik said it much better than me..
"why do ya gotta roll your eyes when u talk of the AK.....lol....I love how u say LEO types, thats means wanna be cop in my book"
I was just giving the AK guy a hard time. It's just in fun. He rocked with the AK and it made me want to get mine out and practice more with it.
LEO-types just means that there are a lot of LEO's out there of differing variety...local, state, fed, patrol, detective, etc. By no means did I mean wannabe.
I think variety in a training class is great as long as everyone is competent and safe. If the class make up is right, you can learn from both the instructors and your classmates.
Videos for those interested:
Click here to watch Instructor-Leads-Student-with-Pistol
Click here to watch Moving-Forward-and-Back
Click here to watch Fight-Back-to-Cover
Click here to watch Left-to-Right-Movement
Click here to watch Save-the-Hostage
Click here to watch One-Man-Bounding-Drill
Click here to watch Weak-Shoulder-Drill
Click here to watch Two-2-man-Teams-Bounding
If that sort of thing makes you nervous, you wouldn't want to be a part of the training. The photo is of a threat assessment taking place after firing upon the target. Every class member did the threat assessment after firing to check 360 degrees after every repetition and then performed a tactical reload. Some shooters were more proficient than others as you could see some performing the assessment while others were still shooting their target. Some participants were just faster than others completing the drills.
Besides, there was nothing unsafe about it whatsoever, as all of the handguns were held in the Suhl position during the assessment drill. If you will observe, the support hand is under and behind the gun hand, the muzzle is pointed directly down towards the ground not sweeping the legs or feet, and the shooter's finger is outside the trigger guard held on the slide, not the triggerguard.
+1 to what Burney said. Watch the videos I posted. This is one of the first things we're shown to do, and we were expected to do it for the next four days. No way to do good combat training without moving about with a hot weapon. Train the way you fight.
What specifically makes you nervous about that picture ? The shooter was within arms reach of a veteran instructor and SWAT officer who is GTG as far as range safety. His muzzle is pointed down and his finger is off the trigger. What I like about this is it's an action shot, not staged.
I have shot with this shooter, he is one of the fastest , most accurate pistol shooters I know and I never pause for a second o nthe lien with him. I would actually rather stand on the line beside him and have done so on many occasion. He is performing the Drill safely and as instructed to do so by the instructor.
I know your nervousness is not a personal attack against the shooter, you don't know him and he doesn't know you so I'm assuming it's towards the technique. If you consider yourself an experienced shooter and that made picture made you nervous, you need to look harder at your skillset . This is not novice stuff, it's medium to highspeed stuff, well executed. Definitelty no room to fuck up. If you are a relatively new shooter, or relatively inexperienced (unlike the shooter in the Pic) then this is something you should aspire to.
If you are just generally nervous by nature. PM me your name, I''' make sure I stay off any class rosters with your on it... Joke
Florida doesn't seem to get a ton of classes. Firms come here, but they don't seem to come as often as other places. If you don't mind going as far as Atlanta, that is a city that appears to stay quite busy.
Also, most firms will come to you if you can provide them a range and 10 or so paying students.
The following are a few groups that I have trained with or want to, and I know that they come to Atlanta, or closer:
Personal Defense Training
Adler and Associates (Dedicated Professionals)
Options for Personal Security
Roger's Shooting School
I dont think observers comments about nurvous were directed towards that shooter, just he might have , like me have been to these shoots where, THE WANNA BE & ( COMMANDO JOE ) doesnt have excellent muzzel control...and that pic it looks af if the instructor is walking the line, what about the others shooters at the end of the line who are also going to turn, he can't reach out and grab everybody....I knowwhat u are saying, some people dont like to shoot in these classes unless they are comfortable with the other in the class
Rentprop....I assure you there was no Wannabes or Commando Joes in these classes. Everyone performed to the standard demanded or was gone.Both classes were small. 6 in the pistol and 7 in the carbine, no room to hide on a big line . The instructor was well able to keep control of the firing line if needed. However these were experienced shooters who knew what they were doing and policed themselves very well. I am not aware of any safety issues from the Pistol class nor did I witness any safety violations at the Carbine class.
I know most of these guys, Muzzle control, trigger finger gerneral firearm admin not an issue. in all liklihood if you are going to shoots where the wannabes and comandos are causing issues then we don't travel in the same shooting circles. the only folks who seem to have issues with guys that travel in the groups I associate with are ones who do not like to run hot ranges, which is something we absolutely always do at these classes.
Lastly, This particular Group, Tactical Response offers a 100% no questions asked Money Back guarantee, if at the end of the course you do not feel you got your moneys worth, they will refund you. So next time the opportunity presents itself, I would respectfully suggest you and observer take a course and opine from a position of known fact as opposed to your judgment of a group based apparently on how they look in a picture and a collection of poor experiences you have had with crappy shooters who dress similarly You have nothing to lose.
Like I said it looks like a fun day, I enjoy shooting practical rifle matches and have looked into defensive pistol if I ever get the time so people training and walking around with hot weapons doesn't bother me.
However what makes me nervous about the photo is that there's a line of people to his right that are going to be in the potential path of his barrel as he spins to engage the target.
You're right that I don't know the guy from Adam and I have no idea of what his skill level is so it's certainly nothing personal but it appears that he's drawing from concealment, facing 180 degrees from the target, then spinning to engage the target. Seems to me like a lot of opportunities for an AD/ND but again I don't know the particulars.
Granted I say this as someone who has had a shooter (who I knew and trusted) behind me ND as he decocked a pistol so yeah maybe I've got a different perspective on it.
Damn don't take this shit personal, I'm certainly not 'high speed' and never claimed to be so if it the class works for you then I'm glad you had a good time (seriously). Anyday out shooting in the woods beats a day when you're not.
Does that clear it up? The shooter had already engaged the target as instructed and was performing the threat assessment drill as the other shooters were completing the shooting portion of the drill. The photos are chronological and the first pic of the series in question shows the shooter with pistol in hand "punching out" at the target, none of the other students have cleared the holster as yet. The second pic reveals brass flying and active shooting taking place. The third picture shows the assessment almost fully completed while the other shooters on the line are about to finish shooting or are about to perform the assessment themselves.
If you watch the video posted, you can see the shooter immediately go to the Suhl position after the instructor halts firing, and hear the pistol decock, and then the threat assessment.
This is the threat assessment technique I have seen and been taught at two different shooting schools. I really like the syllabus and course of instruction that Tactical Response offers. I will be attending their classes again.
I understand that you could assume a lot of things from just one picture. Just to echo what Burney said. The scan is done after the shoot to check for more targets. We always brought our weapons to the target and only the target. Again, if you watch the videos, this might be a little more clear.
Sorry to hear your friend had a ND right by you. I've had a ND occur in one of the classes I was in. It's scary; however, it could happen to anybody. Cooked off rounds and ND's are something that you have to be prepared for even if you take all the appropriate steps. Shit can and does happen, but again, this is part of high intensity training. Do your best to follow the basic safety rules, hopefully no one will get hurt.
Observer, I understand and have a much better idea of wheere you are coming from.
This guys muzzle was never anywhere it should not have been. One would need to be laying at his feet to have a chance of being covered by the muzzle and then I suspect he would see you and probably move to avoid you.
An ND can be a confidence wrecker and I see it shook your confidence in the safety of the line.
Remember this is a crawl, walk, jog, run type of thing..if at any point in time you become a little uncomfortable with where you are or feel you are getting a little too loose, drop back a bit and go back to the basics.
Anyone of us here would gladly spend some time even with red guns if that made you more comfortable doing some drills that may help with gun handling confidence. Again we have no idea of your skillset and we are by no means masters, however I consider us solid shooters, most days. And would always be happy If I could help another shooter , god knows I have been given a pointer or two .
Bottom line is you cannot grow or improva at anything unless you push your comfort zon, even just a little. If you don't do this you stagnate. however If you do it too much it is dangerous. Knowing your abilities and having a feel for how much shit can be thrown at you at one time will let you know where you fit in that window.
Boom : How have you been Dude ? i lost Valdez number Did he survive Katrina , tell him I said hello.
You need to check out the thread from Dedicated Professionals the Pistol Operator Class. Russ Adler is GTG