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Sandman

My review of Tactical Response: Fighting Pistol

49 posts in this topic

I recently completed Tactical Responses' Fighting Pistol class. I thought I would attempt to write a review in case you are like me and wondering if it is worth the time and money.

Friday:

I left Knoxville at 1500 and heading straight to Camden, TN. It took me 4 hours on the dot to arrive there. When I signed up for the class I opted to stay in the team room (more on that later). I arrived at the team room and was greeted by Jay Gibson who actually lives there. He showed me around and I picked my bunk, grabbed some dinner, and called it a night.

Saturday:

We met at the Tactical Response store at 0900 for class. The class started with introductions. Teachers, a dentist, construction workers, medical people, and firearms instructors were all in attendance. We went over proper draws, malfunctions, sight alignment, mind preparation for fights, and of course range rules. After a relatively short class period, we all loaded our cars and caravanned to the range. Once on the range we again went over the rules and what to do in a medical emergency.

We started off with proper draws in steps. An instructor was available for about every 3-4 people. They critiqued you, were picky, and weren't afraid to piss you off. They took their jobs seriously and wanted you to do it correctly. We begin with one shot drills followed by the 360 degree scan. We moved from DEA dot drills, to reloads, FAST drills, all type of malfunctions, kneeling, supine shooting, strong hand drills, shooting on the move, one hand reloads and malfunction clearance.

After range day, the guys decided to have a cook out and about 10 of us went. We stopped at walmart and got whatever food we wanted, went and cooked it. We all told stories that we have come across in our occupations. It was a good time for all.

Sunday:

Again we met at the store at 0900. The lecture lasted three hours and was amazing. James Yeager spoke on mindset, tactics, and lethal force. This lecture was worth the drive by itself. After lunch we hit the range again. We learned shooting on the move, retention drills, and cover/concealment. After the final drill, we all got our certificates and loaded back up dirty and tired.

Team room:

This is a free place to stay that is in the home of James Yeager. It is in his basement and has two bunk rooms that sleep 6 each (12 total). Our class was lucky and only about 6 stayed there so the one bathroom and one shower didn't seem too bad. They have a refridgator for whatever you wanna keep cool as well as microwaves and foreman grills. Jay has a mega collection of movies and we all watched some each night.

James Yeager:

Cool dude. I looked him up before the class and people either love him or hate him. I really liked him. He's a very down to earth guy and I believe he knows what he is talking about. His goal is to teach you how to FIGHT and not how to shoot. In fact, at the beginning of each drill the instructor will yell FIGHT! to denote the beginning of the drill.

Jay Gibson:

This fella knew his stuff. When I first arrived at the team room the conversation(s) we had were like pulling teeth. We have nothing in common other than a mutual love for guns. He has been a contractor and knows his stuff but outside of class, I found it difficult to carry a conversation. It didn't bother me much since I was there to learn how to fight and not make a Facebook friend.

Guns:

Bring a Glock 19. If you don't, they will make fun of whatever gun you have (in a nice way). A fella brought a 1911 and they gave him so much crap. It worked the entire class and only got a little funky on the last drill as the mags got dirty. I brought a Glock 30, so of course I had a small penis since I shot .45. :)

Thoughts:

This is my PERSONAL opinion so please keep that in mind. I LOVED this class. I would take it again. In fact, there were MULTIPLE people taking this class for the second or third time. The team room is a great place to stay if you have more experience than I do. I felt a but excluded during conversations since I've never been to Iraq or shot someone. I would probably stay there again b/c I'm a cheapo, but I would strongly consider a hotel next time (note the next time). The classwork, range time, ad instructors were all top notch and I feel like I'm truly a better fighter now. I can't wait for the next class.

Note two things:

1. If you are offended by language, then you will hate your life. I heard the F word about 700 times (ironically the number of bullets I used).

2. You will throw your gun on the gravel. We all lined up our sights and the instructor said for us all to drop our guns. My 30 hit the ground and didn't go bang. None of the guns did. The 1911 fella cringed a little when his Kimber hit the ground though.

Hope this helps anyone considering taking a class from Tactical Response. I highly recommend it.

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Having taken Fighting Rifle and Advanced Fighting Rifle at Tactical Response, I must concur with your AAR. Lots of good training and good instructors I want to take Fighting Pistol next, and hopefully I will take that soon. I know Yeager and Tactical Response get a pounding on the boards now and then, but it really is good training. I would definitely recommend them to anyone considering adding to their toolbox of training.

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Great review, thanks! Been considering taking "Fighting Pistol" since I live so close but, $450.00 is a lot of ammo!

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Nice review!

Great review, thanks! Been considering taking "Fighting Pistol" since I live so close but, $450.00 is a lot of ammo!

It's more than worth it.

Jay Gibson:

This fella knew his stuff. When I first arrived at the team room the conversation(s) we had were like pulling teeth. We have nothing in common other than a mutual love for guns. He has been a contractor and knows his stuff but outside of class, I found it difficult to carry a conversation. It didn't bother me much since I was there to learn how to fight and not make a Facebook friend.

Jay's a funny dude. It takes a little while to get to know him. He's one of the most modest men I've ever met in my life. Once you get to know him, It's amazing some of the things he has been through and seen in this world. He is a wealth of knowledge.

The team room is a great place to stay if you have more experience than I do. I felt a but excluded during conversations since I've never been to Iraq or shot someone. I would probably stay there again b/c I'm a cheapo, but I would strongly consider a hotel next time

It's a different atmosphere there. It's not for everyone.

Mike

Edited by Mike

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......and the purpose of throwing your gun on the ground?????

To show that a gun won't go off and that it is a tool, not a pretty little thing you just admire. Not saying I agree with throwing it down but that was their reasoning.

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I have thought about taking that course. Now that I know how they might react to my Beretta I am thinking even more of taking it. LOL.

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That is not the reason, its the glock mentality. The instructors favor glocks and do not respect anything else. I would take the cost of a refinish job out of their fees if they made me do this to my guns. I will be quite happy to throw THEIR gun on the ground however.

I know my guns will not go off if I take a sawsall to it and hack off the barrel crown. I know it will not go off if I take a dremel tool and carve "glocks R teh shiz" in the size of it. Pointless damage to your gun is pointless and proves nothing at all.

The rest of it sounds pretty useful, but I distrust instructors that favor one brand over another, one manual of arms over another, or the like. It would be difficult for me to take this class seriously at all if the instructors were making fun of functional weapons constantly.

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That is not the reason, its the glock mentality. The instructors favor glocks and do not respect anything else. I would take the cost of a refinish job out of their fees if they made me do this to my guns. I will be quite happy to throw THEIR gun on the ground however.

I know my guns will not go off if I take a sawsall to it and hack off the barrel crown. I know it will not go off if I take a dremel tool and carve "glocks R teh shiz" in the size of it. Pointless damage to your gun is pointless and proves nothing at all.

The rest of it sounds pretty useful, but I distrust instructors that favor one brand over another, one manual of arms over another, or the like. It would be difficult for me to take this class seriously at all if the instructors were making fun of functional weapons constantly.

All the guns worked. They just like glocks and like 9 mm. They do not like 1911 and didn't say a word against the hks, m&p, or xd there.

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Oh, I see, misunderstood "Bring a Glock 19. If you don't, they will make fun of whatever gun you have" to mean they were picking on everything including the smaller glocks.

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I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that I think "they will make fun of you" means good-natured teasing. Shooting is still new to me but I've played sports and been involved in outdoor and competitive activities my entire life. Usually, when someone is "giving you sh*t" it's just their way of relating to you. I'm sure they'll gladly accept your money and train you if you bring a Sig, HK, M&P etc...I'm really speculating here but I think if your gun works, you'd be GTG.

Edited by JReedEsq
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I'm glad you had a good class...

I've dropped pistols and carbines before during training. If you are pushing hard it can happen. Purposely throwing a handgun down just to show that it truly is drop safe is a bit extreme to me. I have seen other instructors do it but only on their personal guns. I'm not throwing mine down just to prove a point that I already believe.

Getting ridiculed for not participating in that drill would probably not go over well with me.

I have friends that I trust 100% that have taken classes there and really enjoy it. I have other friends that I trust 100% that left before the end of the first day due to poor instructor attitudes and getting lip from the instructors for not participating in things the student considered unsafe.

If you had a good time I think going back is a great idea. I have a couple of places that I go back to every year. I also try to add one new school or instructor each year to continue to get different experiences. I always get something good or bad from each new school.

I hope you offer other AAR's as you continue your training journey, Mark

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I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that I think "they will make fun of you" means good-natured teasing. Shooting is still new to me but I've played sports and been involved in outdoor and competitive activities my entire life. Usually, when someone is "giving you sh*t" it's just their way of relating to you. I'm sure they'll gladly accept your money and train you if you bring a Sig, HK, M&P etc...I'm really speculating here but I think if your gun works, you'd be GTG.

This. They played fun at the guy with a Ruger. If they could tell you were bothered by it they would back off. It's all for fun.

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I'm glad you had a good class...

I've dropped pistols and carbines before during training. If you are pushing hard it can happen. Purposely throwing a handgun down just to show that it truly is drop safe is a bit extreme to me. I have seen other instructors do it but only on their personal guns. I'm not throwing mine down just to prove a point that I already believe.

Getting ridiculed for not participating in that drill would probably not go over well with me.

I have friends that I trust 100% that have taken classes there and really enjoy it. I have other friends that I trust 100% that left before the end of the first day due to poor instructor attitudes and getting lip from the instructors for not participating in things the student considered unsafe.

If you had a good time I think going back is a great idea. I have a couple of places that I go back to every year. I also try to add one new school or instructor each year to continue to get different experiences. I always get something good or bad from each new school.

I hope you offer other AAR's as you continue your training journey, Mark

AFAIK no one didn't do the drop drill so I'm not sure how they would have responded. They didn't ridicule anyone. I had read online somewhere that someone said they make you drop your guns and then someone said they didn't. I was just saying that the drop drill was part of our class.

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"Purposely throwing a handgun down just to show that it truly is drop safe is a bit extreme to me. I have seen other instructors do it but only on their personal guns. I'm not throwing mine down just to prove a point that I already believe".

Dropping the gun isn't to demonstrate that it's drop safe, but rather to each you to not try to grab it if you do happen to drop it. More peoplke shoot themselves accidently trying to catch a fumbled gun. If you fumble it, let it go. Trying to catch it on the way down incerases the chance of sticking a finger in the trigger and causing a ND.

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Don't bring your safe queen to the class and you won't be scared to drop it. :P

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I went to TR FP a few years back and no one was asked to toss their gun. But we did shoot all day in the rain and the guns and mags got plenty wet and muddy. I wouldn't take a safe queen there. But I wouldn't want to fight with a safe queen either.

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As far as them not liking 1911's, I guess the FBI SWAT and LAPD SWAT to just name two got it wrong...

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Thanks for the positive review of what sounds like a great class.

As far as the gun dropping thing goes...I would have told dude to #### off.

Edited by Garufa

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Thanks for the positive review of what sounds like a great class.

As far as the gun dropping thing goes...I would have told dude to #### off

+1

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"Purposely throwing a handgun down just to show that it truly is drop safe is a bit extreme to me. I have seen other instructors do it but only on their personal guns. I'm not throwing mine down just to prove a point that I already believe".

Dropping the gun isn't to demonstrate that it's drop safe, but rather to each you to not try to grab it if you do happen to drop it. More peoplke shoot themselves accidently trying to catch a fumbled gun. If you fumble it, let it go. Trying to catch it on the way down incerases the chance of sticking a finger in the trigger and causing a ND.

I agree that is a valid teaching moment and one that I have had several instructors make. Most of them used blue training guns or wood mock ups to make that point. The only valid reason to drop an actual firearm is to show that it:

1) won't go off

2) it will most likely work after being dropped.

No other reason to use an actual firearm for that part of the training

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As far as safe queens go it is hard to bring what you don't have to a class.

Edited by Mark A

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I understand instruction in NOT trying to grab a fumbled firearm, I also understand explaining how most guns won't fire when dropped, but to run a class and purposefully drop a firearm is stupid and dangerous. WHAT IF it goes off? Also, it violates one of the basic rules of never pointing a weapon at anything you wouldn't want to shoot, as a dropped gun WILL muzzle someone. Not to mention unnecessary damage to your firearm. Thanks for the heads-up, but such macho, cavalier attitudes have no place in public firearms training courses.

Edited by chances R

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Thanks for the heads-up, but such macho, cavalier attitudes have no place in public firearms training courses.

Have you been to a class there? No? Glad you can comment on this with an educated view point...

In all the classes I have taken out there; and I have taken most of their curriculum. There has never, EVER, been any sort of cavalier attitude towards safety. If you don't feel comfortable doing something you are never forced to do it. You are treated like an adult and are expected to handle yourself as one.

Not to mention unnecessary damage to your firearm.

If the gun you trust your life to will not take a 3-4' fall to the ground without damage you need to reconsider your options.

Mike

Edited by Mike
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Yeah, same thing here on the dropping the gun deal. I have tossed the Berettas on the ground at the range more than once when they run out and I go for the other one. I figure if it breaks I really do not want it. The range I go to is not gravel, but still. On occasion I have accidentally thrown them in the mud, which didn't bother anything, until that night when I went to clean them. That was a royal pain.

As to the gun snobbery, I am sure they mean well. I would just tell them to eat crap, then look down at their gun and say "nevermind, you have enough problems already."

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