- May 16, 2011
- West of Boston
Tactical Response, Fighting Pistol
August 17,18 2019 Annville PA
CLASS REVIEW, AAR
August 17,18 2019 Annville PA
CLASS REVIEW, AAR
Instructors: Yeager, Jay Gibson, Tim Morris, Brian Sayer +3 local helpers.
Weather: HOT! Sunny 90’s humidity: 90+/-
Location: Lebanon County Police Combat Pistol Club
Class Size: 32 men | 2 ladies
Arrived at the range around 7am. Beautiful ride to the range in & around high cornfields & big open farms with awesome looking barns. Reminded me of a cross between the movie Casino where Joe Pesci gets wacked & a beautiful landscape painting.
Pulling in the parking lot other students were already unloading their gear & Tim & Jay were setting up the line. Tim came over & said hello, showed us where to set up our gear. Coolers, canopy’s, chairs, range bags, ammo cans were all be carried & dragged over the setup area. As we were getting our gear & our living quarters situated I was thinking GEEZ, we bring more shit to the range than when I had newborns… Brought a smile. Yeager & Brian arrived & they said hello, shook hands & hugs to old friends. Today was going to be a good day!
We filled out our paperwork in case of a training accident while the instructors were giving short introductions & bios. It was followed by a medical briefing as well as a safety briefing, going over the safety rules so we would not have to use our medical plan.
We broke up into two groups, group one headed to the line with Tim & Jay, while my group sat back & waiting for our turn. It was just a few short minutes & we were up. Jay took us through the draw procedure & the correct way to get off the X & how to properly clear our cover garment. We did a few reps & started slowly shooting into DEA dot at about 10 feet. We got three reps of each drill before recharging our magazines & rehydrating while the other group was on the line. It was hot out, the instructors were always keeping on us to drink lots of water.
We were shown how & when to load magazines, Wyatt Protocol (FAST), we added dummy rounds to each of our magazines & shown how to fix all the types of malfunctions. We practiced each new skill with a drill (three reps) & continued using that skill-building on to the following drills throughout the two days.
Having two groups allowed us just enough time to recharge the mags we used, pound some water & then it was our turn. The turn around time was fast.
Dot target was changed out for humanoid targets & we were shown where exactly to shoot the bad guy to make him stop doing bad shit. We were shown on a human were in the front, sides & back precisely where to aim. We practiced, & practiced hitting the heart & the narrow brain box. It was FUN!
We were aimed in at the heart of the bad guy & were told to open our hands & allow the gun to be dropped to the ground simulating the Police ordering us to do so. We shot one-handed, both strong & weak hand. We learned how to reload & fix malfunctions with one hand incase one hand was injured or occupied with another task. During the short setup time between drills, Yeager was floating answering questions. Tim, Jay & Brian were answering questions, bonding with students & having fun. As the day got hotter Tim’s jokes went further downhill, which was funny in itself.
We broke for lunch. The instructors walked around answering questions, telling jokes & getting to know each of us. I have been in training classes where at lunch they would go to their vehicles & sit on their phones not interacting with the students until the break was over. This was NOT that type of class. Yeager was fixing a few students sights & helping them get their gear sorted out.
After lunch we practiced covert ready, both ending the drill with shooting the target & other times going back into the holster surreptitiously. We shot from supine, seated, knees working our way to our feet while firing into the heart of the bad guy. AWESOME SAUCE! Jay would say sometimes you don’t know you’re in a fight until you find yourself on the ground.
There was a woman shooting to the right of me, every time she needed to be coached an instructor would politely ask if they had permission to touch her before placing a hand on her back, shoulder, arm or hand. I have seen other instructors go up & aggressively fix students without warning.
We learned how to safely turn towards the threat before drawing our gun, we shot moving forward & backwards. Final drill of day one was 1 person at a time moving around barrels & firing fixing malfunctions when the dummy round found their way into the chamber, changing magazines while moving our feet & completing the drill with FAST.
Day 1 ended at 4:30. We cleaned up our gear & was told to be back on the range at 7:30.
Day 2, Yeager gave the famous mindset lecture himself. It was awesome, as he created the material he would elaborate some of the details, & give us some of the backstories on how or why that particular piece was added. It was really, really good. Every time I go through the talk I learn new things.
Medical & safety briefing. Our first shot of the day Tim told us to take extra time & concentrate on the cold first shot. If we were in a real situation it would be a cold shot & we needed to practice that first shot, there is no warmups in real life. Brian would say the most important shot is the first one after… (after reloading, after lunch, after a tap-rack, after anything…)
We shot right up against the target (retention shooting & protected retention shooting) & felt the power of the muzzle blast. LOVED IT! my favorite drills of the class. We would shoot a few rounds from contact position & start moving backward firing into the heart of the bad guy. SO MUCH FUN!
We were instructed how to use cover correctly & what were target indicators. Shoot the middle of the largest part of anything you can see of the bad guy. We shot from behind cover (really between cover & the bad guy) using it correctly to our advantage & moved to another piece of cover & shot from a different position & elevation. We varied our round count & elevation so the bad guy could not predict any sort of pattern & use it against us.
We had our final debrief & told the class something we had learned on day two. Jay offered to return 100% of the tuition paid if we felt the price was not worth the information & skills we got from the two-day class. No one took him up on that refund offer!
We clean ourselves up, broke down our gear & said goodbyes. We had made new friends, shared gear, food, water & sweated together. The instructors went around shaking hands, giving hugs out & telling us what a great class it had been. We had such a good time together & now it was over. Just a day ago we all arrived & setup as individuals, as the group was breaking down their canopies, chairs, coolers I noticed it was done by groups rather than individuals. Students & instructors were helping each other with gear & transporting to their vehicles. There is a special bond you make with people that you train with.
Hotel: 40 Winks motel in Annville. I would NOT recommend this motel. It was close to the range, inexpensive. $65/per night. No maid service, no fresh towels daily. The rooms were old & kind of falling apart while they were tidy they were not that clean. The bathroom & bedroom were not dirty on the surface, they were not “hotel clean” I was used to. Refrigerator, coffee maker, TV cable, WIFI. Next time I would stay at a Holiday Inn/Days Inn level hotel. I like to come back to a clean made-up room with fresh towels. I may be a princess!
Gear: M&P2.0c, 5 magazines, 1 OWB mag-carrier, Harrys AIWB, mag loader, Alta 50413 knee pads (had another M&P incase main gun went down. Not needed) Sunblock, canopy, folding chair, cart, cooler, bug spray, tums, Ibuprofen.
Clothing: T-shirt, 5.11 lite Pants, belt, sneakers, sun hat with brim & long tail.
Tips: Have an extra 1k of ammo in case you had a bad lot in the truck, have extra belt in case it breaks, extra holster. I always take an extra mag loader to lend out to other people.
I bring extra chairs to leave them in the truck in case others don’t have any, extra sunblock to share. If it is going to be super-hot out I’ll bring an extra cooler of ice water & Gatorade to hand out. Anything you can loan out to make others have a better experience & be more comfortable. You can tell the first-timers by their looks of apprehension. Go up & ease their anxiety as much as possible, especially to the solo ladies. A few positive comments about their abilities through the day from fellow students goes a long way to aid their self-confidence.
Bring an extra change of clothing to change into after the day is done. You will be dirty, sweaty, stinky, & want to get into a clean shirt, deodorant & pants for the ride home. Have a few towels in your car in case you are muddy & wet.
Good quality rain gear. Try it on before class. Make sure it works with your gear. Can you draw your gun? Can you access your mag carries? Depending on how hard its raining out I have worn Gore-Tex rain pants under my pants. I can access my pockets for mags, I can use a belt for a holster. I wear one size up rain jacket, I can draw my gun without getting caught up in the jacket. If you have an older rain jacket, toss it in your car, in case someone does not bring one. It can make a big difference for that student. ##