Pat McNamara 2 day carbine/pistol TAPS S Hill VA 2-21/22

AllaSnackbah

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I've been wanting to take a class with Pat McNamara for a few years now, i got some free time recently so I finally decided to jump into a random open enrollment class in South Hill, Virginia, and get it done.

Enrolled online on aliastraining.com, they book for a lot of guys, mac, pannone, vickers, etc, they take half the $ on enrollment, and half a week or so before the class. About a week before class I got an email from alias giving me directions to the range, hotels in the area etc. I drove down the night before and stayed at the hotel which was about 5 miles from the private range in the S Hill VA area.

The Range: The range is privately owned, I forget the owners name but holy sh*t it is nice. 200 yards, berms on 3 sides. Located out in the middle of nowhere. The only downside, if your a pussy or dont want to get your $200 crye bitchpants muddy, is the dirt is this red clay mud type shit, very slippery and spongey, and it sticks to everything.








Day 1: The instructions from Alias said class started at 8:30, being it was the first day and the directions weren't the best, I left an hour early and arrived at about 7:45, Mac and two other guys were already there. We waited for the rest of the class to show up, about 20 people in all. I should take a second to discuss the class demographics, lots of average joes, only one or two cops, some guys from Beretta, a photographer from Alias, and some government employee guys from VA Beach and DC, but nobody too serious. We gassed up and commenced firing with the rifles at 8:30. We started off on ballistics and trajectories. Pat did not say use one zero or the other, but i believe he personally uses a 50/200. He explained POA/POI for 25y, 50y, and 100y. We shot 50 and 100 and the shooter could use their own thought process to pick which fit for them. finding our rifles zeros, discussing different zero philosophies, etc. We got through that quicker than other classes I have taken, mostly because most people in the class seemed to have their shit squared away before showing up to a 2 days class. If you're new to classes like this this is a huge tip, classes are not the time to try out new shit, dont swap your kit around a day before a class like this hoping to try it out for the first time during the class, you're going to have a bad time, and you're going to piss people off who are waiting for you to unfrock yourself/your equipment.

Mac's take on the whole “Train Like You Fight” thing is that you should do fundamentals slick, learn what you need and extend the learning time by not being beaten up by heavy gear. There is a time and a place for training in full kit but don’t do it just to do it.

His analogy for this was a question to doubters: Do you workout to perform your job better? Do you wear your full kit when you work out? It should be a light bulb moment for them…

One Drill I liked:
At 50 Yards, staple 4 standard bullseye targets.
Starting with 200 points
5 rounds each target
Positions: Standing, Kneeling/Rice Paddy Prone, Sitting, Prone
Scoring: 10 ring deduct 0, 9 ring deduct 1, 8 ring deduct 2, 7 ring deduct 3, outside 7 deduct 10.

Timer can be added for fun.


After zeroing rifles both irons and optics from 50 out to 200, and trying different positions, rests, etc, we switched to pistol.

We worked from the ready position which is what we call inside ready or the compressed ready two hand grip close to the chest. We shot single rounds from the ready, two rounds from the ready, two rounds from the holster and two rounds from the holster Strong Hand Only.

Next were 5 second standards. 2 from the ready, 2 from holster, 2 from holster SHO. At 7yards, 10 yards, and 15 yards. A-zone hits

Then we did an accuracy check at 15 yards aiming at the Credit Card on the IPSC targets we shot 5 rounds from the ready, SHO, and Support hand only.

At this point we broke up into teams. Mac had a bunch of shot timers, one for each group. This allowed shooters to group with shooters of similar skill and helped to keep the flow of training continuous. This is a small example of his experience and ability. We were not just left by ourselves without direction Mac was always watching and throwing out corrections as needed. We worked pistol accuracy from 7 yards out to 50 both two-handed, strong hand, and weak hand. Targets were mostly either cardboard IDPA targets or 10 ring bullseye type. After lunch we did a pistol competition for Mac's "Certificate of Victory" called "pick your poison".

Pick your poison drill: On a fresh IPSC target you decide if you are a 150 point, 140 point, or a 130 point shooter.
150 = -10 points for any shots out of the A zone
140 = -5 points for any shots out of the A or C zone
130 = -1 point for any shot out of the A C or D zone

10 rounds at 20 yards both hands
10 rounds at 15 yards Strong hand Only
10 rounds at 10 yards Support hand Only

I was feeling pretty good about myself and went for the 150 point aggregate, and subsequently threw a pair of my shots outside the A-zone and put myself down to 130. So I got beat by a guy who picked the 140 aggregate and shot it clean. Lesson learned...

We then switched to some basic drills, bill drills, etc for time, and that pretty much rounded up day 1 for us.

Day 2

I got to the range early again on sunday because I wanted to workout for an hour or so before we got started. Mac showed up early as well and shared some cool info from his Combat Strength Training regimen. Mac is not a fan of Crossfit. lol. Once everyone showed up we got into it.

Started off with some carbine Drills:
3x3x3 drill: 7 yards, A zone hits, 3 rounds AR, speed reload, 3 rounds AR, Transition to pistol for 3 rounds. All A zone hits.
Now this drill provided several teaching points. First was the reload. Mac stresses putting the safety on while reloading. On transitions from rifle to pistols Mac simply says to lower it out of the way, get to your pistol asap. No Gimmicks here. Also a discussion on when to transition to the pistol VS reloading the carbine. He pretty much said if you are within CQB distances transition if you are further out reload the carbine.

We then switched to pistols. We shot steel at 10 yards.
1 round from the holster 3 times get timed each run
Face up range turn 1 round from the holster 3 times get time
Step off the line of attack 1 round from the holster 3 times get time

We next shot a 500 point aggregate:
Clean B-8 target 20 yard line 50 rounds
No time limit: 10 rounds two hands, 10 rounds SHO, 10 rounds Support HO
You score and mark these.
Then it is: 10 rounds 30 seconds two hands, then 15 seconds 10 rounds
Score these and total them up.
Mac said to strive for 400 points. Myself and several others in the class made 400.

Then we cleared all the cardboard targets off the line and replaced them with a bunch of steel, and setup 3 courses of fire.

1) Set it off: I ran this consistently clean.
Stress Points: Call your reloads, Call your movements, safety on at all times unless you have sight picture.

2) Shoulder transition drill:
20 rounds @50 yards on a steal idea plate, swap your shoulder each time you fire, safety on every time you transition shoulders. a lot of guys were smoked physically on this, so its great to practice.

3) The scrambler: This makes you think, there are 4 targets downrange, 2 black b-zone, 2 white b-zone. 2 barricades.
1 mag 2 rounds, 1 mag 3 rounds, 1 mag 4 rounds.
you have to shoot one black target 4 times, the other once. the two white targets get one each. you have to shoot black targets from one barricade, and white targets from the other. its up to you to figure out how to do it clean.

Good video example.

We did this drill for the certificate of victory day two, we had one practice run the first time, then did it for the championship. My first run i burned it down, shot it clean in 14 seconds. the second time, the time that counted, i somehow forgot to shoot the 4 round black target with 4 rounds, only shooting it 3 times, and by the time i figured it out i was up to a total of 23 seconds, so i got beat there. I still had the fastest time of the day, just not on the run that counted, oh well.

After this, we transitioned to pistol and ran several of these drills:

Turn and burn

Blaze X:

Grid of Fire

This got us towards the end of the day, we cleaned up bullshitted for a while, and then cleared out.





I didn't get many pictures but here are some the Alias guy took:

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Conclusion:

If you're even thinking of taking a class like this, Mac is probably one of the best guys out there right now. The way he is on his videos, is exactly how he is in real life, very high energy, kind of the randy savage of the shooting world, but behind the macho man is an extremely intelligent dude, he will go from 100mph to throwing some highly zen shit you're way. I went into this class a little skeptical, i had heard some shit about Mac not being that good of a shot, getting outshot by dudes in his class, etc. About halfway into day 1 I was convinced however that Mac is the real deal. He will tell you he's not as good as he used to be, he is 51 years old after all, and his eyes are going out, but as he explains drills he will tell you about guys beating him on them here and there, which is understandable, mac shoots with some of the best trigger pullers in the world, including dudes at Bragg. Im not too worried about it, i gauge instructors more so on their ability to shoot than their ability to outshoot guys who may be at the point where he was 25 years ago, YMMV, but the dude can absolutely shoot.

TLDR: Pro's: Awesome class, some very zenny moments where he throws shit at you, you apply it, and its like he handed you the rosetta stone of shooting. Great instructor, very down to earth, will teach you all day then go have beers with you after class. Completely genuine dude, no bullshit, no fake ass internet shit.

Cons: Mostly admin shit that is Alias' fault, i was pissed I couldn't get info from them until a week before, and the way they book classes sucks.

Other than that, I had a great time, i learned a lot, and i think my skills improved.
 
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LOL at whoever shit-talked MAC. He has only been stacking bodies in CAG for the majority of his adult life. Watch any interview with him, especially the one with Tyler Grey... the guy is an apex predator and non-phuckery emanating from his stare is terrifying.

- - - Updated - - -

By the way, you lucky bastard.
 

ACK495

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Yup. Very jealous. Guy seems legit and love his demeanor. Bet this class is as fun and high energy as it looks. Been eyeing taking a class from him or Kyle defoor very soon.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 
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What level of experience/training would you say is required for his courses? I could not find anything online specifically. I have been looking to take a few courses this summer.
 

AllaSnackbah

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What level of experience/training would you say is required for his courses? I could not find anything online specifically. I have been looking to take a few courses this summer.

if you are a beginner its not for you. id say you should be confident with your pistol on an idpa target out to 30-50 yards minimum to get as much as this guy has to offer out of the class. you will be shooting out to 50, maybe further, one handed too. otherwise your wasting his time, everyone elses time, and your money. nothing kills me at classes more than people who show up and are unable to either complete simple tasks, or are a danger to other people because they are unsafe. there were a couple people in this class who probably shouldn't have been there, at best this means they suck the whole time, they make the rest of us wait while they navigate basic weapons handling 101, and go home feeling like shit, I've been there, at worst, the instructor is forced to spend their time making sure people like that dont kill someone on their line when instead they could be spending said time helping people who are trying to take things to the next level instead of just learning to keep their finger off the trigger until they're ready to shoot. if your not sure of yourself there are plenty of local guys who could get you on the level you need to be at relatively quickly. check out cloverleaf firearms group.

if you are confident you can complete the tasks you will be expected to complete its well worth it.
 

xtry51

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if you are a beginner its not for you. id say you should be confident with your pistol on an idpa target out to 30-50 yards minimum to get as much as this guy has to offer out of the class. you will be shooting out to 50, maybe further, one handed too. otherwise your wasting his time, everyone elses time, and your money. nothing kills me at classes more than people who show up and are unable to either complete simple tasks, or are a danger to other people because they are unsafe. there were a couple people in this class who probably shouldn't have been there, at best this means they suck the whole time, they make the rest of us wait while they navigate basic weapons handling 101, and go home feeling like shit, I've been there, at worst, the instructor is forced to spend their time making sure people like that dont kill someone on their line when instead they could be spending said time helping people who are trying to take things to the next level instead of just learning to keep their finger off the trigger until they're ready to shoot. if your not sure of yourself there are plenty of local guys who could get you on the level you need to be at relatively quickly. check out cloverleaf firearms group.

if you are confident you can complete the tasks you will be expected to complete its well worth it.

All this.

If you don't take classes regularly and are unsure, take a class advertised as an entry level marksmanship class. Get a feel for what you know versus what an instructor wants you to know. Ask people you shoot with what they think you should do. If you don't normally shoot with people, find a couple on here and start shooting in a group setting.
 
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