Gator Farms Tactical "Basic" Class review
This is a discussion on Gator Farms Tactical "Basic" Class review within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Today I jumped in my carriage and traveled to Ft. Huachuca, AZ for some training. It's run by Dan Southard, AKA Threefeathers here on the ...
July 23rd, 2010 03:05 AM
Gator Farms Tactical "Basic" Class review
Today I jumped in my carriage and traveled to Ft. Huachuca, AZ for some training. It's run by Dan Southard, AKA Threefeathers here on the forum, also known as Gator Farms Tactical. This is the "Free to Active Duty Military and LEO" course that has been posted here on the forum.
This is called the "Basic" course, but it is NOT A BASIC CLASS! You have to not only know which end of the gun the boolits come out of, but how to draw, reholster and obtain a correct sight picture. Things start fast, and get faster and tougher as the day progresses. I will attempt to lay out the positives, as well as the few negatives, from my point of view. This class is also offered to civilians on a fee basis and one that maybe should be considered.
Dan does a good job of making you shoot from your non-dominant hand at various distances, and from what many would consider a non-traditional firing platform. Make no mistake about it, this class is about keeping you in the fight once you have been wounded. Lots of time is spent shooting from the downed officer position. To me that makes perfect sense, as often people are wounded in the gun hand or arm. Hence, non-dominant drills from sitting and lying down are a natural continuation from the old stand and shoot drills of the square range.
You also do some "shoot and move" drills in each direction, as well as getting the gun out of the holster and putting one round in the target before the sights are "properly aligned". This is not point shooting, as you are instructed to not fire until you can see the sights in your periphery, so I liken it to a cross between Point Shooting and Sighted Fire. It's for putting a bullet in your target, in a vital area, when your target is close and is trying to kill you.
I found the Assistant Instructors to be knowledgeable and helpful, along with Dan. For me this class pointed out some glaring weaknesses that I have, and things I need to work on. It also validated some other things for me. Dan also offers an Advanced Course that has more movement and drills, and I look forward to taking that class in the future.
The only negatives that I could find were the lack of good communication/audibility. Gator Farms needs to break down and buy a Bullhorn, or use some form of P.A. device. Even with amplified shooting ear muffs I was having trouble. Also, while I knew who the Instructors and Staff were I really think it would benefit everyone if they all wore red "Range Master" shirts so that they can be quickly identified.
The class was designed by Massad Ayoob, Marty Hayes and Dan Southard. Dan, being retired military and knowing the level of training or lack there of, that the average G.I. Joe and Jane receive and how hard it is to get troops released from duty for training designed this course as a quick immersion course for those needing to get "up to speed" before going into harm's way. The little bit of knowledge that Dan gives you may make the difference between coming home, or not.
For the LEO's taking the course, some of it will be a repetition of stuff already learned, but with a twist. Some departments and agencies are real good about providing ongoing training. Others, not so much. For those that provide ongoing training you will receive validation that what you've learned is effective, and works. For those not fortunate enough to have an employer that provides much, if any, ongoing training you will be exposed to techniques that maybe were only mentioned at the Academy, but not taught, or taught to their full potential.
If you are in AZ, or the surrounding area, I would strongly encourage any military folks about to be deployed, or LEO's, to give serious consideration to this class. Hey, it's free after all, and what you get out of it is more than what it cost you, in my humble opinion.
July 23rd, 2010 03:19 AM
Sounds like a good experience for ya Biker. It's always a good thing to step outside your comfort zone, and a great thing that you are able to use that to see your weaknesses. Every now and then we will do a range during training that brings with it some mind blowing realizations of things that need worked on, which is a good thing.
I am looking forward to taking more professional training classes once I get back to the CONUS permanently, as there are few opportunities to do so in Hawaii. I also think that it is great that this organization is doing the class for free for AD military. I know that training levels vary widely, mostly dependent on chain of command and MOS, and this class will probably make a difference for some service member in the future, and help him/her bring themselves, and their friends home.
Fortes Fortuna Juvat
Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor
July 23rd, 2010 10:18 AM
July 23rd, 2010 05:33 PM
And red shirts?
July 23rd, 2010 11:05 PM
I just finished both classes today. Great instruction.
In my case, I had :
Some old information/training that needed to be updated
Some new training that expanded my knowledge and tested my skills, or lack of (which were corrected/improved)
One segment of the training was the unsupported two handed shootings at 61 meters at a silhouette simulates a shot taken by a AF policeman several years ago, on a military base. (See insert)
A significant event at Fairchild occurred on June 20, 1994 when Dean Mellberg, an ex-Air Force member entered the base hospital and shot and killed five people and wounded many others. Mellberg had been discharged after failing psychological evaluations by base psychologists Maj. Thomas Brigham and Captain Alan London. At the time of the shooting, Fairchild's hospital was an ungated facility. The gunman, armed with a Chinese-made MAK-90, an AK-47 clone entered the office of Brigham and London and killed both men. Mellberg continued to move through the hospital, injuring and killing several people, including 8-year-old Christin McCarron. The gunman then walked out of the building into the parking lot, where after killing Anita Linder, was confronted by Security Policeman, Senior Airman Andy Brown. From approximately 70 yards away, Brown ordered Mellberg to drop his weapon. After Mellberg refused, from a kneeling position Brown fired four shots from his 9mm pistol, two rounds hitting the perpetrator in the head and shoulder, killing him. After an investigation it was concluded that Airman Brown was justified in his actions, saving countless lives, and was awarded the Airman's Medal by President Clinton.
After the training I placed 5 out 6 shots COM. All 6 hit the target.
This is a skill that I filed away in my might need to know/use someday
July 24th, 2010 02:05 AM
In today's world having to make the long shot, such as the length of a Mall interior, a parkng lit, a school hallway are probable settings for violence against innocent people.
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