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Old November 17, 2002, 09:32 AM   #1
GBTX01
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Tactical Shooting School

I have the oppurtunity to attend a tactical shooting school. They offer Tac Pistol, Tac Carbine, and Tac Shotgun. I can only choose one right now. For those of you who have had the chance to attend similiar courses which do you think was the most benificial? I am good with a rifle and shotgun and acceptable with a pistol. For that reason I am leaning toward the pistol course. I figure that is where I can learna nd improve the most. Am I missing anything?
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Old November 17, 2002, 02:54 PM   #2
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I would choose a SG class first. I shoot a ton of pistol and frankly I do not consider the pistol to be much of a "tactical" tool. Don't get me wrong. I really like pistol's and pistol shooting. In fact I am looking to expand my pistol experience by some competitions but as a tool (which it is) it has a very specific purpose.
A self-defense class might be neat though.
A shotgun is an awesome and versatile tool and it's value is under-taught in my opinion. A good tac-school should be a real eye-opener for shotgunners, both novice and skeet or trap experts.
Pistol and rifle shooting is fun but can be self-taught with range time. Shotguns are so versatile that there are many things that you just can not do at a range (at least any that I frequent) and a good tactical school can really expand your horizon's in that regard.
Rifle would be my second choice as I know there are a bunch of things I could learn there but SG would be way out in front of those three choices, for me.
Have fun,
Mike
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Old November 17, 2002, 03:24 PM   #3
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What you carry everyday? Pick that skul.

For me, I carry pistols everyday so that is what I focus on first.

I'll never forget reading a gun rag, I forget which one, where the flower-shirted was telling us how he stumbled upon a pistol class at the SIG Academy after reviewing a class for "Advanced Sniper Training." Ask yourself, how often are you walking to the office with a 14 pound rifle with 12X scope vs. a pistol?

Skul is not just shooting. Mindset, gunhandling, moving and fighting with the weapon are all highly important. As wise man in Tejas sez, "people don't get in trouble because they can't shooting, but because they can't run their gear."

Good luck and have fun.
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Old November 17, 2002, 09:10 PM   #4
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Where are you attending the class? the staff makes a difference and would/could help wit the decision.

On the other hand, which would you be more likely to carry?

My pistol is always on me, but the shotgun and carbine are in the car in the parking lot. The pistol is to get me to those better defensive choices.
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Old November 17, 2002, 09:58 PM   #5
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I know that I already voted once but I want to add (or repeat) that there is a difference in training to shoot and carry a pistol responsibly and "tactical" training.
Nothing beats practice and range time plus some IDPA or IPSC (sp?) will get you a ton for your pistol.
If you can only afford one class, pistol just seems like a waste of time to me.
There are plenty of inexpensive range instructors around to teach you to shoot. Many of these ranges also provide classroom training, for pistols, that cover local carry laws as well. These are not what I'd call tactical as much as perhaps practical.
Tactical pistol? What is that?
I will shut up now and go back to the shotgun forum.
Mike

edited to add this:
I have never been to a "tactical" pistol course so perhaps there is a wealth of tactical applications of which I am unaware. I imagine that it is quite possible that there is a myriad of "tactical" things that you can do with a pistol that only a tactical class can teach. If so, then I apologize for offering this opinion with no evidence to back it up. Please bear in mind that it is just an opinion though and quite possibly wrong.
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Old November 17, 2002, 11:22 PM   #6
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Mike, so what does tactical mean such that it refers to arms such as shotguns but not to handguns? Also, how is it that something is practical, such as the regular carry of a pistol, but not tactical? I almost get the impression that practical and tactical are exclusionary of each other, although I am sure that is not what you are arguing.

For a 'tactical' pistol, you queried, "what is that?" By parallel querying, what is a tactical shotgun?

I am rather intrigued by the statement you made that pistol and rifle skills can be self taught, but apparently shotgun skills require a class.

Also I am curious about what the very specific purpose of the pistol is that apparently limits its usefulness so much such that the use disqualifies it as being 'tactical.'
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Old November 18, 2002, 09:40 AM   #7
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We should probably start a new thread for this but.....

While a pistol is a fine tool, it has a limited application. I am not saying that it less valuable but it's role has a narrower application. It's like a hammer. If you practice enough with it, you can learn it. I did not say it could be self taught and a shotgun could not. At least that is not what I meant to say.
I did say that you could learn pistol from an instructor at a range. Once you learn the basics, you can practice them easily on your own at most local ranges.
A shotgun is like a whole toolbox. Until you are exposed to all the things that it can do, you will not appreciate it's amazing range of uses.
It is my opinion that most folks stand to learn a lot more about shotguns than pistols just because they can do a lot more.

Once again I have to say that I have not been to a "tactical" pistol class so perhaps there are applications of a pistol of which I am unaware. I know that superman will duck if you wing one at him! For me, they are a tool for very close and personal encounters. This is a role that can also be filled by the shotgun. The only difference is that I find it difficult to carry a shotgun in my IWB holster.
Shotguns can shoot slugs accuarately at distance, they can be used for breeching, they can fire many versions of non lethal ammo, you can hunt creatures from small to tall with them and the list goes on.
A pistol can do some of these things but it is not going to do them as well as a shotgun (or a rifle) and it is also not being used for the job for which it was designed.

I hope this answer your questions or at least better explains my point of view?

Mike
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Old November 18, 2002, 06:00 PM   #8
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I attended John Farnam's Advanced Pistol class this weekend, and it was a real eye-opener. The course covered much more than shooting- we learned "de-selection" skills (posture, verbalization) movement while presenting the weapon, the importance of movement during the encounter, including reloading/malfunction clearance on the move... we learned techniques for reloading/clearing with one hand, (strongside/weakside) use of cover, gun disarms, weapon retention techniques, the importance of "scanning" your surroundings to avoid tunnel vision before, during, and after the encounter....

This was the first formal class (other than basic training 20 years ago) that I have taken. Like you, I have developed most of my skills on my own, with some guidance here and there.

Marksmanship is a very small portion of the skillsets that are needed to surive and prevail in a gunfight- If nothing else, learning that was worth the cost of the course. I have a much better appreciation of the things I need to practice.
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Old November 18, 2002, 06:04 PM   #9
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(The faint and silibant hiss of a fresh can of worms quietly opening)....

GB, the answer to your question about which to attend first is.....

All of the above.

Most of my training was paid for by various Govt Agencies. Quality ran from better than nothing to nothing better.

Common to all was using cover,knowing the weapon at hand,ground covering,target ID and acquisition, range estimation,low light shooting and so on.

IOW, attendance at one GOOD course had a spillover bennie with the other weapons.

All else equal,I'd go for a basic handgun course, because the handgun is the hardest one to learn to use effectively.

I've instructed with all of them.

The light carbine student can reach some level of proficiency if the student is gifted with near average talent in maybe 200 rounds.

The shotgunner reaches basic proficiency in 500 rounds or so, IF talent is average and the instructor knows how fit and form affect performance, and adjusts as needed.

For handgunners, figure 1000 rounds at a minumum.
It's just harder to shoot the handgun well.

And one BIG advantage of a school is the high volume of fire. A three day course using 300 rounds a day will get most folks up to speed with a handgun.

Or, figure what you need to improve most and go for that class...

HTH...
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Old November 18, 2002, 06:45 PM   #10
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fourdeuce82d,
That does sound like a ton of good info. Thanks for sharing. How many days was that school? Do you know how much ammo you turned into noise?
Mike
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Old November 19, 2002, 12:15 PM   #11
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The course started Firday evening with three hours of classtime. JF had us introduce ourselves, and tell what weapon we were going to be shooting. As we went around the room (~15 students) JF would discuss the pros/cons of each weapon mentioned, using examples from police departments around the country (and internationally)

He also provided some interesting statistics re: % of gunshot wounds that require more than a 24 hour hospital stay (<10%) hit ratios, etc. Main take away- handguns are wimpy. Fatal (hand)gun shots are unlikely- if you're hit, keep fighting, no matter what. The flip side is if you're shooting at someone, KEEP SHOOTING UNTIL THE THREAT IS GONE- don't expect your .45 ACP to knock the bad guy down.

We talked about how criminals select their prey, and what steps you can take to "deselect" yourself.

We spent two nine hour days on the line. I would estimate something like 325 rounds were "turned into noise" (nice phrase!)

This was *not* a marksmanship class- the emphasis was on tactical issues- JF is a HUGE believer in movement- good guys and bad buys both experience tunnel vision during high stress encounters- we lose peripheral vision. For a good guy, rapid lateral movement vastly complicates the bad guy's ability to target you- he mentioned a video which showed a goblin exchanging fire w/an LEO...and then freezing...and getting shot. When questioned later (he survived) he said something to the effect "I couldn't see him (the leo) he disapeared." The cop had moved 10' laterally, out of the goblin's reduced cone of vision.

We practiced going into an "interview" stance (body bladed toward threat, weak hand out and pointing toward goblin, strong hand grasping concealment garment) and verbalizations- "hey man you got a match" "SORRY, CAN'T HELP YOU" and movement- if the bad guy is approaching, step vigorously offline, and check six to make sure he doesn't have a buddy.

When you see a weapon, step and draw, and verbalize "POLICE- DROP THE WEAPON! DROP THE WEAPON"

The idea here is to have one or two stock phrases that you always use- nothing fancy, no Clint Eastwood- simple phrases that you won't forget under stress, but communicate clearly to the bad guy. (oh, and if you're not a cop? "I said POlease DROP YOUR WEAPON") Also, YOU are now setting the agenda for any witnesses.

On command, we started firing- four rounds- move. Four rounds, move. Slide lock- move and change mags, shoot, move again.

I would recomend pistol first- for me anyway, that's what I carry here in houston- that's the weapon I'm most likely to have with me when TSHTF. I completely understand your position- I've spent a fair amount of time (and money!) at the range- this past summer I burned through 4K rounds of .45 alone, and made some significant improvements in my MARKSMANSHIP- until I took this course I thought I had a pretty good set of skillls. I was very, very humbled.

None of this stuff is that complex, but it's hard to put it all together smoothly and automatically. The final test was seven rounds, with a dummy round in your mag for a stoppage clearance, and a mag change. As part of the test you were required to transition to interview stance, scan six, draw on the move, clear your stoppage on the move, change mags on the move. Out of 15 guys, all shooters, two passed on their first try, and one had taken the test before in another JF class)


The rest of us (including a Master ranked IDPA shoorter) took between three and seven tries. I now know I have a lot of work ahead of me to translate what I learned into smooth, automatic habits.

There is no substitue for professional coaching. Good luck, and tell us how it goes!
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Old November 19, 2002, 12:36 PM   #12
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fourdeuce82d,

Good, informative post.

Interesting how less than 10% gunshot wounds require a hospital stay. I don't doubt it, but wonder what the instrutor's source of info is.

Larry
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Old November 19, 2002, 03:54 PM   #13
9mmMike
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"POlease DROP YOUR WEAPON"

Oh man, I really like that one.

Thanks,

Mike

PS. The phrase I usually use in "money into noise". It's like a code phrase for planning a weekend outing with guys at work.
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Old November 20, 2002, 05:18 PM   #14
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The course is in Ohio. It is a three day course, 3000rds. I have always thought that the pistol is the hardest tool to master. You are right though the shotgun is an extremely versatile weapon.

"This course will provide students with enhanced skills for the handgun in a fast-paced, CQB environment. Topics include: Tactical ready position, relative shooting positions, multi-threat engagment, moving target engagement, shooting on the move, reload drills, malfunction drills. working with a partner, cover/concealment use, gas mask drills.

http://www.tacticaldefensetraining.com/page17.htm
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Old November 21, 2002, 10:03 AM   #15
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I’m with you, pistol is by far the more difficult tool to master. Personally, I think (if you exclude trap/skeet) that shotgun is probably the easiest. Since these classes are of a “tactical” sort, I am not sure what is to be gained from a shotgun course. Perhaps I speak from ignorance (happens once or twice), but it seems to me that somebody proficient with a handgun could easily handle the non-trap/skeet skills of a shotgun. As well, somebody proficient with a rifle could easily translate that skill to the other applications of a shotgun. I guess what I am getting at is that to my way of thinking, knowing pistol-craft and knowing rifle-craft will mean you know shotgun-craft.
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Old December 1, 2002, 05:50 AM   #16
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A thousand rounds a day is impressive. Just the thought of loading the magazines makes my thumbs hurt. Hmm. That's over one hundred rounds an hour for an eight-hour day. Seems a bit intense. When do you fit in time for instruction, let alone any individual evaluation, critique, and/or correction? God forbid anyone has any bad habits that need de-programming.
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Old December 1, 2002, 11:06 PM   #17
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Heh, heh, heh

Quote:
Interesting how less than 10% gunshot wounds require a hospital stay. I don't doubt it, but wonder what the instrutor's source of info is.

He didn't say the other 90% head to the morgue, did he?

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