Thread: COMTAC in PA
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Old December 7, 2001, 06:23 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: October 27, 1998
Posts: 157

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:


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

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.

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