Course Review: TR "Fighting Pistol" June 23-24

Course Review: TR "Fighting Pistol" June 23-24

This is a discussion on Course Review: TR "Fighting Pistol" June 23-24 within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I recently (6/23-24) had the pleasure of attending a Tactical Response class at their headquarters in Camden, Tn. The class, titled "Fighting Pistol," was an ...

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Thread: Course Review: TR "Fighting Pistol" June 23-24

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    SW Missouri

    Course Review: TR "Fighting Pistol" June 23-24

    I recently (6/23-24) had the pleasure of attending a Tactical Response class at their headquarters in Camden, Tn.
    The class, titled "Fighting Pistol," was an absolute blast. The primary focus is on dealing with encounters at contact distance (0-1 yard), close quarters (1-3 yards), and intermediate range (4-15 yards) though there were a number of drills where we shot out to 25-30 yards.
    The overall emphasis is on developing the proper warrior mindset and using good tactics to win the fight. Very little emphasis was placed on which gun you use and which toys you have (more on this later).

    The Breakdown...

    Day 1 began in the classroom where we went over the course objectives and safety rules. Then the instructors covered the fundamentals of marksmanship (Sight-alignment, Sight-picture, Trigger-control, and Follow-through), and correct target areas (upper chest and head). We then headed to the range (great facility btw...) to begin the day's festivities. We started with some dry-work to cement a smooth consistent draw-stroke. Immediate movement off the line of attack as well as verbal commands were used as we began every draw. Then everyone loaded up and started shooting. We started the live-fire portion with some dot-drills to make sure that everyone's fundamentals were where they needed to be. Dummy rounds were also issued at this point and for the duration of the weekend, every magazine had to contain a dummy-round. This served to make the tap-rack an automatic response to a FTF. We also spent some time discussing Type 2 and Type 3 malfunctions and did a number of repetitions of each in order to ensure that everyone was comfortable dealing with these.
    ---lunch break (Kody's BBQ in Camden is Awesome!)---

    When we returned to the range, they had replaced the dot targets with torso targets with a heart-box and a "brain-box." We spent most of the afternoon with these targets working different drills and methods of shooting (strong-hand only, weak-hand only, kneeling, starting from the "covert-ready" position, etc.). Throughout the day, we were still getting constant practice with the drawstroke and malfunction clearing due to the dummy rounds.
    The last part of the day was spent engaging the targets while moving. This included moving towards and away from the target, and also moving parrallel to the target.
    One other thing that was covered that really "puts the mindset into practice" is the coninuum with which you deal with the situation. Tactical Response uses the acronym FASTTTT which stands for Fight, Assess, Scan, Top-off/tac-load, Take cover, deal with Trauma, and Talk (get on the horn to LE or backup). Every course of fire did not end until each student had assessed their targets to ensure that the threat was stopped (or in this case, that they had put the correct number of round into the correct target area), performed a 360-degree scan (to look for other threats), and "topped-off" their weapon (to be ready for more if necessary).
    So that was Day 1...Great instruction and a good day of shooting overall (though it was 100 degrees so everyone was a little worn out from the heat).

    Day 2 also began in the classroom where we were treated to the best lecture on the proper combative/warrior mindset that I have ever heard. These guys really have this down to an art and even though I've heard most of it before, they do an awesome job of "bringing it home." Other topics included a lecture on the legal aspects of using Deadly Force, The physical and mental effects of adreneline, the symptoms of Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder, and how to deal with LE in the aftermath of a shooting...Excellent material that is very valuable to anyone who studies self-defense.
    ---lunch break (Kody's BBQ again...what can I say, I loved the place )---

    When we hit the range for the day, we began by building on the previous day's material. We started with some cover&concealment drills that also incorporated movement and shooting on the move. After that we got into the retention shooting portion. I really enjoyed this part of the class because I feel that these types of drills really give you some valuable tools to deal with a real-life attack. Oftentimes, your attacker will be right in your face, but I digress...
    We also worked on shooting from the supine postition (a.k.a.: flat on your back). These drills (moving, C&C, and retention) took up the bulk of the afternoon. The last things we did were some drills to show how much progress had been made. One was a dot-drill using 1" dots, the other was shooting at a steel torso-target at about 75-yards. I definatley saw some improvement in my skill and I'm sure others did as well.
    I will add that it rained like a sonofabitch the second day so we were training (and dropping our mags) in about 4" of stuff.

    Extra details:

    Of the 15 students (not counting me), we had 5 SWAT guys, a couple of doctors, a computer programer, a realtor, a couple of fire-investigators, a dentist, and a salesman...pretty diverse group.

    Weapons used were mostly Glocks in 9mm, .40, and .357 SIG. There were two people shooting SIG's, and a couple of people that tried to shoot 1911's. One of the guys was using a S&W 1911 the first day but was having a lot of problems with it (FTF's on almost every mag, etc.). The second day, he switched to an H&K USP and had no further problems. One of the other guys started Day 1 with a Para-Ordnance P-14 (with the LDA trigger). This gun only lasted about an hour and a half before one of the instructors asked him if he had a different gun to use (once again, muliple FTF's). After lunch he switched to a Springfield-Armory EMP 9mm which also gave him tons of problems. The second day, he used a Springfield XD-9 and didn't have any other issues. All the Glocks and the SIGs ran like swiss watches (no surprise there). I mentioned that it rained the second day didn't I? Well, I had so much mud on my gear that by the end of the day, several of my mags couldn't be loaded to capacity because of all the crud in them. Furthermore, there was enough mud in the mag-well that the mags wouldn't drop free. The slide was also not locking back on the last round. However, other than FTF's due to dummy-rounds, my weapon (Glock 19) did not suffer from a single malfunction. This definately inspired a lot of confidence in my equippment.

    An added benefit of taking a class in Camden is the "Team Room." James Yeager, the owner of TR, has converted the basement of his house into a "lodge" where any student attending a class can stay for FREE. There are bunk-beds that will sleep 12 and several couches and a ton of sleeping bags to handle any overflow. There is also a big-screen TV, an excellent library, and wireless internet access to entertain you when you're not in class. His hospitality was excellent and it was great to be able to interact with everyone outside of class. Think of it as a summer-camp for gun-people.

    Overall, this was an awesome class, it was definately worth the money/time. The instructors were professional, concerned with helping people improve, and definately experts in their field. The whole experience was great and I will be going back to Tactical Response for more training.

    I highly recommend that you check them out. Their training website is, their gear-store (some great deals and lots of neat stuff) is and their internet-forum (where you can find info on more classes, interact with the staff, and discuss SD issues and gear) is
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array OPFOR's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Excellent review - thanks for sharing. It's always very interesting to me to hear what people are teaching/focusing on in their classes.

    On another note - a 100% failure rate for 1911-style pistols? This simply can't be! It must have been sabotage by the Glock/Sig crowd... (Just kidding, of course...I couldn't help myself.)
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  3. #3
    Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    In the Superstitions

    Great review. Glad you enjoyed the TR class sir.

    As to the 1911's and their antics? Thats why after carrying one on the streets for over two decades, I no longer carry a 1911 type 45 for potentially serious social emgagements

    Others will swear by them, that they are as reliable as a glock or sig or XD, but thats not been my experience overall or with others I've seen carrying and shooting them either.

    Surpised to hear about the EMP, mine runs like a swiss watch, others do have some trouble cutting their teeth till breakin has occured or a specific issue has been resolved. The shooter should not have brought that gun to class knowing it was not 100% to begin with IMO.

    The mind is the limiting factor

    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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  5. #4
    Member Array Teak's Avatar
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    May 2007
    If you can only take on class to teach you how to fight WITH your handgun this is the one.
    My first ever firearms training class was with James and he set the bar rather high. I have since trained with quite a few others and found that because of the fundamentals taught in this class I had no problems keeping up. He not only teaches you the weapons basics but he also stresses the all important mindset factor. You will have to search high and low to find a better class and teacher!

    "Fear is what keeps you alive but panic is what kills you" - Leo

    "At contact distances, if you can't shoot him, hit him...Nothing says 'TAP' can't be accomplished by smashing the magazine into his face." - Gomez


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