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Old November 13, 2001, 03:01 PM   #1
9mmMike
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COMTAC in PA

Howdy,
Has anyone here been to this place?
http://www.comtac.com/
I would like to hear any reviews on the shotgun (or any classes) classes.
Thanks,
Mike
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Old November 23, 2001, 04:00 PM   #2
Matrix
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Interesting. I didn't know there were any shooting/training schools in the area. Looks like the instructors have some good experience if they have been affiliated with Gunsite and the N.T.I.

The facilities are nice too.

I'd be interested in taking a class or two.
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Old November 24, 2001, 09:38 PM   #3
Marty Hayes
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If Chuck Davis is still the director, then it is a first class operation. Haven't talked to Chuck for a few years, but when I was participating in NTI, (National Tactical Invitational). he was one of the shining lights of the board. I would love to take a class from him if I was in the area. I am sure I would learn a lot.
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Old December 5, 2001, 06:55 PM   #4
9mmMike
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The kind folks at COMTAC sent me the 2002 schedule.
I am planning on attending the April Tactical Shotgun 200 class. It looks pretty entry-level but it is a pre-req for the advanced class and I really could use a dose of the basics.
Another bonus, at least for me, is that it is in PA so I have no gun-toting/shipping issues.
Jeepers, April is soooooo far away!
Mike
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Last edited by 9mmMike; December 6, 2001 at 08:52 AM.
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Old December 7, 2001, 06:23 AM   #5
ROSANGHAL
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Matrix

Comtac isn't the only school around the area. InSights, DTI (John Farnam) and Gunsite all come out to Harrisburg and use the facilities at Harrisburgh West Shore Sportsmans club.

I have also discussed with Andy Stanford plans on having him run some classes here in PA also. So plan on seeing OPS (Options for Personal Security) here soo too.

American Tactical Shooting Association also trains there every 3rd Saturday of the month. These are the people who run the NTI every year. So you have quite a few options if you are looking to train in Pennsylvania.

Here is a write up I did on one of the ATSA study group days that I attended recently:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...hlight=weekend

--------------------------------------------------

Here is a testimonial on Comtac that I wrote up after I attended one of their Tactical Pistol 300 courses a good while back.


I just wanted to let you know about how I spent last weekend. It was spent near where I was raised in a place called Warrior Ridge. The facility is called
COMTAC. Their web site is http://www.comtac.com.

I spent 4 days shooting some rounds through my fairly new 1911 and some code-eagle rounds through simunitions guns.

COMTAC is owned by Chuck Davis, one of the founders of the National Tactical Invitational, with the crew of Mike Queen, Ed Lopez and Joe Seppy. I'm not
sure if there are any others and if there are it's either because I haven't met them or corresponded with them thru email.

COMTAC is pretty much out in the middle of nowhere. It has several ranges, at least 5 that we used and they have a lot of land for more. In one of the ranges,
which is a 360 degree range, they have a house built in it for tactical exercises. The house is pretty cool in that it is modular so that walls can be moved and doors
can be moved to different areas of the wall. You can go in once and the next time the floor plan will be different!

They also have a huge barn on the facility where we do class room work and an area where we did some red gun exercises.

A little bit of history that I find amusing is it used to be a hippie commune and a lot of the locals aren't aware of the COMTAC facility and if you mention the "Big
barn", they say, "Oh you're at the hippie barn." It then became a headquarters for a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. They were there for a couple years and had a
yearly KKK Bar-b-que festival thingy there until the locals got fed up with them and ran them out. What I find amusing is the place that used to be a Klan facility is
now teaching ME :-) how to be more tactical with a pistol. That just gives me the warm fuzzies deep down in my chest. :-) Rumor has it that there is a nudist colony
somewhere in those parts but I haven't found it. Yes! I tried looking and I also wondered if they wanted to be tactical, how would they carry concealed? :-)

What surprised me was the size of the class. Only 3 including me was there and they still ran it. I'm glad they did and we thanked them for doing it instead of
canceling. 2 instructors and 3 students were really good student/instructor ratio. I know other schools would've cancelled days before. I had it happen to me once. I
wasn't happy about that one. But I commend COMTAC for still wanting to teach us.

One shooter was from the Pittsburgh area shooting a Glock 26 and he had incredible accuracy. The other shooter was from the Florida area whose background in
shooting was bullseye shooting. His desire to be more self-defense oriented led him to that school. By his groups, which easily put me to shame, you can tell he's
spent a lot of his time around a 1911. For this class he was using a full-sized Kimber Stainless. They were a good group of guys I plan on staying in touch with.

I used my D&L fullsized 1911 with a Ky-tac IWB holster and Blade-tech mag carriers. I believe the other two were using Blade-tech holsters and sure-fire kydex
holsters for their lights. I used my 9P Surefire in a Blade-Tech carrier and also new Wilson 7 rounders.

I managed to be able to take the 300 class because once a month I participate in a tactical study group, called ATSA American Tactical Shooting Association. Mike
Queen one of the instructors also participates so he vouched that I knew what I needed to know to go to 300 without having to go through 100 and 200.

On the first day we started with drawing from concealment and doing double taps to the A-zone of IDPA targets. Then we moved to failure drills which is two to the
A-zone then one to the head. They stressed moving off the line of force during the draw to gain just a little more time so the BG (badguy) would have to re-orient
himself and have to react to your action. Remember action always beats reaction. Then after you stop or get the hits on target you have to assess. They stressed
doing a 360 degree scan but since we were just starting the class we just scanned from one target to the next. In the assessing you are checking to see if the current
aggressor is down and staying down and scanning for the other bad guy, you know the +1 rule. If there is one bad guy expect one more, if there is two expect one
more....and so on and so on. We did these drills at various distances. Anywhere from 7 to 25 yards.

We then shot at steel pepper poppers and and steel plates moving the whole time. We hardly ever stood still. Barricade shooting was then thrown in and I got asked
a question on my weird stance. It was sorta a slumpted lean and I was asked why are you standing that way? My answer was to make myself a smaller target. The
comment was made that "If you worry about getting hurt, you will most likely get hurt. Your purpose is to stop the BG and stop the BG now." I thought that is how I
would shoot and I shot that way but I was there to learn their way and see if it worked for me. I love to crouch and get as low as possible whenever I shoot all the
time and different instructors have commented on me being extremely low but I'm comfortable that way. I tried it there way for the time.

We then shot at steel plates while moving. We where at (estimating) 10 yrds shooting at 3 4in. circles and at the far right was a white square that resets the the whole
thing. Again we did this while on the move and re-assessing I had a difficult one on this one but as the days past with the help of instructor Ed Lopez it got better,
much better.

We then moved to a different target set up. They had IDPA target stands and a 4 in. plate to the left of it at knee level. The object was to do two to the center of
mass on the IDPA then one on the plate. When a hit on the plate is made the IDPA target goes down and a new one goes up. We do a failure drill on the new one.
Again while, on the move and scaning afterwards. Those were pretty cool.

The first day we ran through about 300 rounds.

The second day was grueling. We ran about 550 rounds through our pistols doing all of the drills on the first day. We also did movement from cover to cover, more
shooting on the move and shooting at moving targets. At first we shot at moving targets standing still, one of the only times we stood still to shoot, but then moved on
to moving while shooting moving targets. The moving target mechanism is a motor running a line back and forth with either an IDPA target or a photographic target
set up there.

As it started to get dark we redid the IDPA target with plates except this time they had pictured target to where shoot, no-shoot decisions had to be made. We all
tried different forms for holding our surefire lights and I found the most comfortable for me was shooting one handed with the light held in my non-shooting hand held
near my shoulder. But I did notice that my groups were slightly better when I did the laser hold, where you assume the two handed hold but in your non-shooting
hand you have your light cupped and put pressure on the light from your palm while retaining a grip on your pistol with the same hand.

Then it got really dark and we started doing the house exercises. We all went through the house one at a time with one instructor while the other one worked on
movement and accuracy drills on another range. It was neat in how they set up the lessons in the house because you could see the logical progression in what they
were trying to do.

The first time in the house was a situation where your babysitter dropped your child at a house. Your hear gunfire and screaming, "I'm gonna kill everyone!" You
where then told everyone in the house is a hostile. That meant if you see a target shoot it. The next time throught the house was IDPA but this time there were shoot
no shoot. The no shoots were signaled with a large X on the torso and the shoots were all regular IDPAer. The third time through was shoot no shoot signified by
other markings. We weren't told what they were but there guns and badges were in this drill. What I saw they were doing was progressing us up the ladder of first
clearing a room with the intention of shooting a target, then there had to be a decision made, then we still had to make a decision but had to be able to make out
objects in the IDPA torso such as a gun or badge. While still remembering you have to stay moving you must assess and keep your accuracy intact.


Continued.........
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Old December 7, 2001, 06:24 AM   #6
ROSANGHAL
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The next day we went through the house but this time it was with mannequins. The first shooter through the house about had a heart attack because he saw a face
and body that resembled human features and almost froze. Then he saw the gun and proceeded

We were also taught that clearing a house is one of the worst things in the world you can do. All the badguy(s) would have to do is Alamo up and wait for you to
come into his kill zone and zap you. And they told us that if you want to stay alive you will not get into a situation like this, but sometimes you'll have to. I've learned
before this class chances of clearing a house are slim to none but I do also understand that sometimes you'll have to go in. In case of your wife, loved one, child,
father, mother. There aren't a lot of people out there that I would risk my life for but the ones I would I'd never forgive myself if I had the power to stop harm from
coming to them and chose not to. The message they gave us was logical and it also matched the way we (the students) felt. Don't do it unless Absolutely necessary.

We worked more on the moving targets and with the help of Mr. Lopez again my accuracy on them increased. I couldn't believe the hits I was getting while moving
and shooting at a mover. I really have to thank him for his analytical skill and pointing out what I needed to do to increase my accuracy.

We then had an exercise where we (one at a time) went into the woods to search out 6 badguys. The situation was told to us like this, "Wife and I are taking a
leisurely drive through an unfamiliar area. We see a trail and decide to go exploring, but at the last minute the wife says she's going to stay in the car and read the
paper with the air conditioner. So I take the portable radio and take a hike...... Literally. Then on the radio you hear a prison break by 6 armed men just happened
near the area you were in. Make it back to your car. This was the exercise that took the cake. I couldn't see diddly squat. The one target I did find on my own and
shot at the two bullets got deflected by a sappling! They would have been a sweet group too. They weren't but a inch and a half apart on the sappling which was
about 3 feet away from the target! I know, I know it's starting to sound like one of those fish stories

Well after the exercise I was taught when searching in this kind of enviornment to not scan horizontally, to do it going up and down and to crouch to see it from
different angles. Look for what didn't belong. Sounded easy enough but man was that exercise hard! The reasoning for searching up and down is if you scanned
horizontally, if what you're looking for was going in the same direction you may not see if by scanning behind it. If it's moving opposite your scan the moment it
crosses your sight is extremely fast. If you scan up and down you would be able to catch it from the ground up or vice versa. Look for movement, listen to sounds. It
was a very head filling experience.

More night shooting and house clearing with the lights. Then we just hung out and BS'd and saw strange lights in the sky......... but that's a different story.

On the last day we worked against each other. We did a couple simunition drills, red gun drills and when we shot we did 3 of us on the line draw from concealment,
move off the line and fire. Won a couple of those :-)

We finally got to do the house against one of the instructors with sims. After we all verified that all our guns, ammo, knives, keys or anything else that we might use to
instinctively hurt someone with was off of our body one of the instructors went off to the house. While the other instructor stayed with us. One by one we went in and
came back out. Some of us with paint and others being able to talk their way out of a situation. We did this twice and I had to draw twice but not fire a shot. I
managed to talk or run my way out of the situation without getting any stingers on me. Shwew! I know they hurt because I'm not always that lucky!

We then were told what the final was. Then we were told that there will be no re-shoot of the final. What you get is what you get. Oh and another thing. One miss
you fail, and only get a certificate of attendance. Now I learned a lot in those four days and the knowledge alone and skill I've gained was enough to satisfy me but I
know I didn't want to fail. I didn't want to just get an attendance certificate. I started to quietly panic. Because accuracy isn't my strongest asset in my bag of
goodies. I consider it OK and very lucky at times but there is a lot of room for improvement. So I started sweating. There was also a written test but All of us
thought it was easy and happy to say, I'm not getting a certificate of attendance!

We burned through at least 1260 rounds of very educational ammo.

At the end of the class what made these guys really stand out to me as a class act was the fact that they said they were happy we chose them to take training with.
And if one thing we must continue to train. Even if it's not with them to continue to train. They weren't pushing us to take more classes with them but they were telling
us to train more to get better even if it didn't benefit their facility.

Well I definitely will be training with them again to better my ability with my firearm and my hat goes off to these guys for having a great school, I just wish I knew
about it sooner.

There were a lot of other things I learned and got to do but this post is getting long enough. But if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Thanks

Ross T.

P.S. One more thing I forgot you might want to bring a gallon of water to use to wash hands and stuff before lunch. They don't have any running water at the facility.
Also bug spray can come in handy, but you'll also see some beautiful country out there especially at night. Stars you'd never see in the city. That's the added bonus
other than the shooting stuff.

One more time guys, thanks!


Thanks
Ross T.
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Old December 7, 2001, 09:17 AM   #7
9mmMike
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Thanks for the report Ross. That's what I was hoping.
Mike
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Old December 7, 2001, 12:19 PM   #8
ROSANGHAL
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No problem 9mmMike

Also sorry for addressing the posts only to Matrix. I forgot that it was you that posted the orignal quesiton.

Another thing I would like to clear up also, before there is any misunderstandings. Is this part of my post:

Quote:
What I find amusing is the place that used to be a Klan facility is now teaching ME :-) how to be more tactical with a pistol. That just gives me the warm fuzzies deep down in my chest. :-)
The reason I find it amusing is that I'm one of those minorities the KKK isn't to crazy about. I wasn't getting the warm fuzzies because I was training at a ex-Klan facility. I was getting the warm fuzzies because I know the KKK guys would turn over in their graves knowing that one of their past facilities is teaching minoities

That's why. Just wanted to set that straight before someone took it the wrong way.

Thanks
Ross T.
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Old December 7, 2001, 10:29 PM   #9
Matrix
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Thanks for the review! COMTAC seems to be a class organization.
The net page says that they stress the Weaver stance - how do they feel about students that prefer the modern isoceles?


It's good to hear that OPS and some other schools are going to be comng through.

The monthy ATSI meetings sound like a good way to spend
a Saturday, too. Harrisburg isn't too far, I could do that pretty easily.
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Old December 8, 2001, 12:29 AM   #10
ROSANGHAL
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Matrix

When I took Comtacs class, Weaver or Modern Isoceles wasn't a key issue. I'm not sure if the 100 or 200 class would be different. But they did say that since it was an advanced class and that the students were pretty much set in their ways they weren't going to change them. But they would help them using what the student had built up already.

Now if it's a 100 class they may emphasize the Weaver for the beginners, but for our class it wasn't a big deal to use Modern Isoceles. I used it the whole time and wasn't told to change to weaver.

The ATSA meeting are a really good way to get some excellent training in. Like I mentioned in the other post the best part of the training, for me at least, is the Force-on-force training. It's not a shooting drill, it's a "Stay alive" drill. You deal with people who react to your gestures, talk, body language and who may become hostile, frightened, angry, frustrated, timid or anything else in-between. You definetely will learn how you will react or crumble under stress in these excersises. Let me know if your coming one of these times and I'll make sure to introduce you to everybody.

Another thing is Comtac also has study group that is very similar to ATSA's. They hold their study group on the 2nd saturday of the month so that it wouldn't interfere with ATSA's study group. So if you wanted to you could attend both. I've attended Comtac's study group and have enjoyed the training there also. I would attend there more often but Harrisburg is much closer to where I live and the family gets a little cranky if I don't spend time with them

So I've been trying to get them to start training with me

Ross T.
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