AAR- Tap Rack Tactical Tactical Pistol; Kent, WA Sept 14 & 15

MattJames

Certified Derpologist
Moderator
#1
Course- Tactical Pistol
Company- Tap Rack Tactical
Primary Instructor- Bill Blowers
Location- Kent, WA

Equipment for Class-
G19 w/ X300U
JM Kydex Holster
Ares Gear Belt
Assortment of mag holders
Magpul G17 magazines

Round Count- 500 rounds

I attented TRT's Tactical Pistol as a brush up and basic skill measure for myself. With my current job taking me to places that have minimal access to ranges, but still being expected to carry a firearm(s) I can tell every time I go back that my skills have atrophied. I'm slow, inefficient, and inconsistent until I get a few rounds under my belt and start making progress again and process information at a faster rate.

This course was coincidentally exactly what I needed out of a pistol class. This is not a typical "Pistol 1-2" style class. The entire class was filled with LEO's with me being the only odd exception as a security contractor.

Day 1
The first day started with the obligatory safety brief, medical emergency plan, and then dove in to an in depth discussion of the 4 firearm safety rules and what was expected of the student body. Seeing as the vast bulk of Bill's students are professional LEO's, the class is run pretty lax
We started with a basic discussion on performance and how it equates to us as individuals. The whole foundation of the course itself revolved around "Your Competition is You." Essentially, in order to make personal improvements and not just stay within the fairly lax confines of most agency qualification time and accuracy standards one must evaluate skills to ID holes in ones game. This may sound like a "no shit sherlock" statement, but as many known in professional circles there is a distinct, ego driven attitude that prevents people from not only IDing shortcomings they may have, but also performing in front of others to demonstrate said short comings.

Bill opening presentation for the course was focused on performance-based analysis to give the shooter the tools he/she needs to improve their core pistol handling skills and marksmanship, and go from there. He stress's recording everything so you have benchmark's in which to gauge your skills and see holes in your game, as well as formulate a plan.

First we began with a basic overview of the rudimentary skills- grip, stance, trigger finger placement, draw stroke, left/right hand transitions and shooting techniques, emergency reloads (slide lock), tactical reloads, and the minutia that goes with when and were each of those is appropriate.

We started our first day with a slightly modified Dot Torture run once we had a bit of a warm up. I scored a minus 12, which isn't great by any standard but being mister awesome at the range wasn't something I was worried about. Establish performance benchmarks was. So again, an area to improve.

We also worked on a 1 shot draw, which was pure time, in to the berm to set a speed standard which we could then measure as metric against follow on drills. From there we moved on too 1 shot draw to hit on a basic target, again pushing for speed but with the requirement to hit within a specific accuracy standard with my average being a 1.63 over 6 iterations. Again, an area I could have Each drill past that had a defined reason behind it to reinforce basic pistol handling skills.

Next was a raw speed reload, which was 1-reload-1 drill as another performance benchmark. Then moving on to 1-reload-2 drills.

At some point in the day we also conducted a 300 point aggregate to gauge our overall skill, with the point being driven home that all these data points were demonstrated to show were the holes in our game was. Needless to say I am not up to snuff in this area and its something I'm going to add to my regular rotation of drills to improve upon as I typically try to work longer distance shooting more then close. But my practice has been limited to just dry fire and that is an area I have been slacking off, and it really showed.



Day 2
The biggest takeaway from Day 2 for me was pistol malfunctions. Bills take on malfunctions is unique but makes a lot of logical sense. Let me break that down- he presented us with the typical catch all for most pistol malfunctions, which is Tap Rack Bang for anything short of a stuck case, short stroke, or stove pipe. What he proposed was eliminating the "Tap" portion from that routine. This makes a lot of sense for a few reasons, most of all being that if the pistol has been going bang up until the point of malfunction, then what that tells us is that it is likely not the magazine not being seated that is the issue. Thus, why does one need to tap and take up more time when getting the pistol back in action? Specifically in the LE context were if one was shooting already then things have already gone pear shaped as it is, and time is now a premium you can't afford. This was met with skeptical stares, but the reasoning stands up to scrutiny.

Bill then worked us through a few various white light techniques and presenting his preferred methods and his reasoning behind them, namely the chin-tuck method. Obviously he preferred weapon mounted white lights, which were worked afterword if the shooter had one mounted however that isn't always the case for some, whether by choice or due to department policy. White light techniques are generally something that is argued over for a variety of reasons, but bills reasoning behind the technique was simple- its the easiest all around and puts the shooter in the most compact position that allows them to manage the gun one handed as possible. The problems as he put it with shooting with the light in your support hand while gripping the pistol is that it both required a special ring to do well and isn't always feasible for variances in hand size. I know I struggle with that technique with a normal pocket surefire light due to my smallish hands. That and not all cops are using a surefire light, or may have this light in hand when they must draw their firearm. It might be a big ass mag light-style or other various large rechargeable units cops . Is he going to drop the light he already has out to go for the surefire on his belt? Probably not, so why not adopt a technique that fits the widest set of scenario's and is the easiest to master? We then moved on to use and live fire with weapon mounted lights were applicable.

Are you going to walk away from this class a gun slinger, esp if you are less then awesome before hand? Nope. But no class that lasts only two days is going to do that for you. What Bill's curriculum is going to do is show you what you are capable of walking in the door and give you the tools to get to were you as a CCW/LE/Mil guy NEED to be.

I would defiantly recommend Tap Rack Tactical for further instruction and this class was exactly what i needed at the time. I'm looking forward to when I can take a Carbine class from Bill.