April 12th, 2009 10:27 AM
AAR - Basic Pistol Course - Tom Perroni
I originally posted this as a reply to the course advertisement, but it would do it more justice if it had its own thread for view.
I attended the course yesterday and I'd like to take the opportunity to write about my experience.
Let me start out by saying that you simply aren't going to get more for your money - anywhere, period.
A note on Tom Perroni: For those that have only read about him and have never trained with him, take the time and register for one of his courses. Tom is a consummate professional. From his impressive resume of qualifications and experience to his demeanor and patience, Tom delivers top-quality instruction at a price that fits most budgets. He took the time to work with each student, reinforcing the fundamentals taught during the course until every student was comfortable with performing the things we learned. For those that may have doubted his ability to do some of the things he said "worked" during instruction, he quickly showed that not only it could be done, but it could be done by us. Bottom line: Best instructor you could ever have for a weapons-related period of instruction; he comes armed with a wealth of experience and gives of himself the entire course.
This is supposed to be "Basic Pistol", right? There was nothing basic about it. For those that may feel they don't need to shell out the money for it, let me tell you something - there's no way you are going to get what we did jammed into one day for that price, no way, no how.
The "basics" taught in the classroom started with what you may expect; we covered weapons safety, range safety, weapons handling (one of the best parts and definitely among the most useful), etc. etc.
The classroom portion was comprehensive. We had a fairly mixed bag of folks from those that had qualification requirements to regular citizens like me. Everyone received the same instruction as if we all walked in the door that morning together for the first time. We started with safety and moved right into color codes of awareness.
Everything that was covered about awareness was spot on. I found myself being able to relate all that I heard and watched Tom demonstrate to real world, day-to-day life. From basic scenarios of unawareness and heightened awareness (yellow stage) all the way through the crap hitting the fan and the process we all go through to assess and react to the situation.
We went into detail about in that portion from acronyms like M.O.V.E., to colors (white, yellow, orange, red, black, and platinum), to the OODA Loop; let's just say there's more than I could cover here on how much we learned.
In the classroom, with the assistance of other instructors, we suited up with tips on the how to carry the handgun and proper placement (recommended placement; Tom wasn't trying to change what worked for anyone) of extra magazines. That was followed with how to draw and be ready... one of my favorite parts of this course.
We drilled on going from the holster to full extension aimed down range, over and over again with changes to take you from holster to different stages of the draw to keep you on your toes. The other instructors provided lots, and I mean lots, of one-on-one spot corrections and reinforcement of the fundamentals we were taught. By the time we were finished with the drills we were drawing fast and had stability in aiming with good weapon control.
Tom taught us how to properly aim and we went into trigger control. Of course everyone that reads this will agree that you can teach an entire course on trigger control. From Tom putting a marker line on our fingers to the personal attention at the range reinforcing what we learned, I can say that not only is he right but those that listened realized they could hit steel with their non-dominant hand from behind cover (like me - thanks Tom). I think citizens, operators, and law enforcement officers alike can benefit from this portion alone.
On the range:
Here's where the fun begins. Tom is stickler on safety and doesn't tolerate safety violators. If you take this course, pay attention, pay attention, pay attention. Listen. Enough said.
We went through a number of courses of fire. We started with close range "dot focus" that demonstrated our ability to put a hole through paper as advertised, so to speak, earlier in the classroom. That was followed by a number of drills that took us through everything from single hand stability canting a weapon with each hand (it works), to shooting from the ground and fighting our way to our feet again.
The entire time we are given lots of verbal instruction on how and why what we're being taught to do works and if anyone doubted, Tom quickly put rounds on target with blinding speed and accuracy. We continued drills and incorporated them into whatever we did further strengthening what we learned throughout the day.
The day... it was all day. This is no 4-hour course where you sit around a projector snacking and drinking coffee followed by a 100-round course of fire. This was all day long. After we covered the course of instruction Tom gave us a chance to offer up what we would like to work on further. That's where it got really fun and I realize I have some practicing to do... never realized how challenging it would be to put the gun in my left hand and establish proper grip with both hands; I can only equate it to trying to swing a bat left-handed, but like I said earlier - I was able to hit the target from behind cover following Tom's instruction.
We did everything you could possibly imagine and I could go on as long as we spent out there writing about it. There were "other" things we did too, but don't want to spoil anything for you if this is on your list of classes to take with Tom; you'll have to go out there and see for yourself.
So like I said earlier, there was nothing "basic" about the "Basic Pistol (Handgun) Course". It was anything but that and I can say everyone in the class agreed, both veteran shooters and newbies alike.
This is probably the most complete and comprehensive package you can get, let alone for what the course costs. Highly recommended, even if you don't consider yourself "basic" material.
Tom, well done! It was great training with you; looking forward to the next course.
April 12th, 2009 11:17 AM
I am 99 % percent sure that I wil be taking the FoF classs given by Tom, Brownie,Matt in Oct. I am looking forward to it.
April 12th, 2009 02:28 PM
Thank you for the kind words and the very nice AAR.
I think it would be fair to say that you came to this course with above average Handgun skills. However I am very pleased to hear you left with some new tools to put in your tactical tool box.
Thank you for articulating how ALL the students were training on the same page.
I must get 300 e-mails a month from perspective students for (Handgun, Shotgun or Carbine/M4)
asking me if they are experienced enough to take the Basic Course. The answer is YES! The reason the SWAT cops and the Contractors come to the Basic courses is they know that the fundamentals are the KEY component for success on the range and in a gunfight. I also feel that it is important for them to train together so that the cops understand the CCW folks and the CCW folks understand the cops. More importantly the side conversations alone with all the in-depth experience form the cops and contractors on how a gunfight happens and what you will actually do is of paramount importance to the reason behind why we train in the skills we do. The handgun is not the answer to every problem that presents itself in self defense situation.
(O.K. off the soap box)
I think a good time was had by everyone, more importantly I think everyone received some solid handgun training. I am proud of your progress on the range you showed great improvement. Your groups tightened up significantly. Moreover your enthusiastic participation on the range and in the class discussions helped to make the course a rewarding experience for everyone else involved.
Remember getting new skills in a class and practicing is kind of like buying a new car and making payments. After you make enough payments the car is yours. If you go to the range and "make payments" the new skills will be yours too. Skip a few payments and they get repossessed. So don’t forget to practice the five points to the draw, practice sight alignment and trigger press. When not on the range “Dry Practice” is certainly better than no practice at all. I hope you can use my book as a reference, but feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
P.S. I know I told you guys I wasn’t going to do this anymore…but I couldn’t help myself!
Stay Safe & Shoot Straight!
April 13th, 2009 12:34 PM
Thanks again for everything Tom. The instruction and personal attention paid off; I took away more than my fair share and have lots that I'll be practicing. I'm especially hooked on the 5 stages of draw.
Looking forward to the next opportunity to train with you and your staff.
As for those that may still be undecided trust me... you will not be disappointed and you'll be telling your friends. All of Tom's courses are jam packed full of current, relevant training that can be used by all.
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