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Old October 29, 2008, 08:55 AM   #1
Lead Sled
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New training outfit: Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy in Fredericksburg, Va.

I recently finished my 07E and 09E training at Tom Perroni’s Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy in Fredericksburg, Va.: So far as I know, it’s the only training center where you can shoot steel between NOVA and Blackwater. It’s a brand new facility, and he’s got a flexible training program. He added a lot to our classes – these were not the bear minimum 07 and 09E classes just to get the final tests done.

Tom is a shooting professional and an executive protection specialist, a former Fed security professional, and ex-cop. He’s taught at Bw and a host of other places, and he’s instructed first tier teams (and lower) all over.

So when we got to class, he taught us combat shooting basics (which are always good to go over again because of the little bad habits you develop) and then got high speed with executive protection shooting drills, shoot/no shoot drills, and accuracy drills.

He had us shooting two-inch circles for a while based the aim-small-miss-small concept. The shoot/no shoot drills were based on time lapsed PowerPoint slides in a classroom. These were one-on-one sessions with Tom while the rest of the class was quarantined so as not to give the exercise away. Going through the drills, we issued commands to the "threats" on the screen (huge screen on the wall), made decisions to draw or not, sought cover, and shot dry fire at threats. These were very real scenarios, and they put your head in the “threat space,” which is a place you have to train if you are in LE, EP, or security. It’d be great for any concealed carry class, too. Tom’s critiques taught us how quick a benign looking situation can get nasty, and vice versa.

We did executive protection drills outside with contacts with hostiles in a variety of scenarios at the classroom site, then we walked the same drills on the range and dry fired, and then we did it live fire on steel and paper. Tom did not issue range is hot until we had the drills down pat, so he runs a safe range (his medical bag always on him).

The live fire exercises are exactly what I needed and then some to get me up to speed on the bottom line of EP. It was much more than I thought we’d do. We even bounded live fire with pistols, something the SEALS do – we had an ex-SEAL in our class.

I recommend the Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy to anyone who wants to get better with a firearm – he can do regular shooting classes – but especially those who do security for a living or even part time.

Lead Sled
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Old October 29, 2008, 09:24 AM   #2
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What kind of ammo did you use for shooting steel up close?
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Old October 30, 2008, 07:34 PM   #3
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Steel Plates

Standard Ammo.

The Action Target System steel plates and reactive steel is designed to be shot at 7 yards.

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Old October 31, 2008, 05:51 PM   #4
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So nothing close than seven yards for steel if you're using standard non-frangible ammo, right?
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Old October 31, 2008, 06:51 PM   #5
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Old February 17, 2009, 07:28 PM   #6
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Figured I'd give this topic a bump. Just finished Tom Perroni's Tactical Carbine Course and had a *very* good experience.

Here's my AAR copied and pasted from


This was my first carbine course, so keep in mind I don't have a baseline to compare it to.

First impressions/Classroom

The facilities were top notch--I'm used to crappy class rooms rented out from the local shooting range, so, upon arrival in to Tom Perroni's Tactical Training Academy I was surprised by the professionalism. Everything was done in a well thought out and structured manner.

First, we went through a slide show of the basics--field strip, lubrication and cleaning points, such as how to clean your gas tube without removing it. Then as the teaching section progressed we learned about tactical reloads, methods of charging and clearing the weapon etc.

There were a couple things that stood out about the classroom instruction portion.

1.) Mr. Perroni/Tom told us that he was teaching us, "a way" rather than "the way." It showed a level of open mindedness not often found with my previous firearm instructors.

2.) Everything he taught, he backed it up with a rationale. i.e. The squared up fighting stance rather than the weaver stance--done as to maximize the chances of a innocuous plate strike, rather than a critical shoulder hit.

3.) Clarification--some of the other shooters were absolutely new to their weapons, and Tom was *very* patient with them, even through live-fire drills.

The Staff

The folks there were all pros with years of experience. Tom is the author of "Getting off the X" an article I read a while back regarding shooting and moving, rather than getting 'ventilated.' In addition, he has years and years of real world experience, including...(I think) serving as an instructor for Blackwater, operating with the Dept. of State. Sec. Service, and a whole plethora of other impressive activities.

Here's a quick list of the Carbine Instructors:

Chris Pick PTTA & CCJA Lead Adjunct Firearms Instructor (Former) U.S Army Current M4 Armorer / Instructor.

Angela Tasky PTTA & CCJA Adjunct Firearms Instructor (Former) U.S. Secret Service PPD POTUS Detail Current Director for Contract Gov OCONUS /CONUS Security.

Tom Perroni (Former) U.S Dept of State Firearms Inst. (Former) Blackwater Instructor (Former) Law Enforcement, Current M4 Armorer / Instructor.

Mark Quinnell PTTA & CCJA Adjunct Firearms Instructor (Former) Law Enforcement Current Black Water Operator Current Bushmaster M4 Armorer.

Brad Naylor PTTA & CCJA Adjunct Firearms Instructor (Former) Law Enforcement Current PM for Contract Gov OCONUS /CONUS Security M4 Armorer/Instructor.

Don Sheridan PTTA & CCJA Master Armorer / Rifle Builder (Former) Marine Corps Armorer Current owner Special Projects Unlimited

The Range

The shooting facility is located near the back of a farm. Flag markers indicate 25 yards, 50 yards and 100 yards. Our targets were mainly steel targets--great, since we were training for combat accuracy, not target shooting. Hence every hit was rewarded with a 'ping' instead of looking for a new hole.

One of the highlights of this course was shooting through a Suburban SUV. We were able to practice using the engine block and wheel axel as cover during engagements and reloading.

The Instruction

Keep in mind, I've never used my AR outside of a flat shooting range.

1.) Shooting while slowly moving out from 10 yards to 25 yards, to 30, to 50, and so on all the way to 100 yards. We would engage. Stop, go to the back of the line and shoot again. In this manner we slowly increased our distance from the targets. Once we reached 100 our bad habits were magnified so the instructors were able to rectify our problems.

2.) Communications. We learned how to communicate reloads and engagements using phrases like, "Contact Front" and "Cover!" to signify enemies and when we were temporarily out of the fight. I learned a lot from this, since it showed me the "Prepatory and Execution" method of communicating in engagements.

It was also amazing since they taught us the rationale behind it--for example, yelling "up" after reloading, since someone might be shooting over us for cover. Sometimes, when we reloaded, and yelled "cover" Tom would come around with his AR and start shooting to simulate covering fire.

3.) Utilizing cover. This was a treat, since we did a lot of tricky things. First, we learned how to 'pop out' and engage. Then, we learned how to do this while transitioning stances from standing, to kneeling, to prone. Finally, we learned how to transition to our weak hand--something particularly hard to do, but I was grateful for the chance to do it on a live-fire range.

We also utilized the Suburban SUV as cover--which was incredible since it removed us from the whole 'barrels as cover' sort of thing we often see in competition shooting courses. We were able to shoot through the windows, over the engine block and around the tailgate.

4.) Shooting while moving. The aforementioned Snake Drills and such. Very hard, but the instructors taught us how to walk as to minimize 'sight bounce.'

5.) Night time shooting. I had never shot in the dark, so again, this was very new to me. We were able to engage targets after dark at steel plates, while utilizing cover. In short, it was amazing since we were able to practice temporarily turning on the flashlights and see what it was like to shoot in the dark.

The Verdict

I went with an Ex-Airborne Army friend of mine. His comments? "I learned more here in one day than I did 4 years in the military."

This is one facility that I'll definitely return to over and over again. It was a great experience and I had a great time both learning and just hanging out with other gun enthusiasts.
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bounding , close protection , combat tactics , shoot no shoot

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