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Competition, Action Shooting And Training. Competition, Three gun, IPSC, IDPA , and Training discussion here.

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  #1  
Old 07-25-2011, 7:17 PM
SPE SPE is offline
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Thumbs up AAR: Phoenix Tactical Solutions Handgun Skillbuilder

AAR: Phoenix Tactical Solutions Handgun Skillbuilder

7/21/2011
Angeles Ranges - Eagle's Nest C Private Range

I had a fantastic Saturday at Angeles Ranges attending the Phoenix Tactical Solutions handgun skillbuilder. It was a great class, and I highly recommend them!

Miataguy and I arrived early around 8:40am, and Maani and Sean from Phoenix Tactical already had the range fully setup. They had a dozen target stands prepared with their custom silhouette targets, and even setup a patio umbrella for us to give us some shade during the quick breaks.

I have tried to remember the different drills that we did--I may have mixed a few up or missed one or two, but the session was very comprehensive, and did a nice job of working gradually from simple to more challenging exercises.

We started with basic 5 yard drills, drawing from holster to practice safe draw, and then doing "heart shots" and "head shots" into the cardio and ocular areas of the custom targets.



The heart is about 4-5 inches, and the ocular area is about 2x5 inches. The custom targets were great, because they forced you to aim and shoot precisely. The goal was to have all shots, for all exercises, in the two gray target zones, which is much more precise / demanding than any other class I've taken--and was very good practice for me.

We then moved on to close contact shooting, where we shot with one hand from count 2 on the draw. After a few drills, we were able to hit the heart on two targets rapidly with one hand. Next we did some fixed drills where the target was to our left or right or behind us, and we had to pivot 90 or 180 degrees, draw, and then shoot. Last, we did several shooting and moving drills, starting from 1 arm length, shooting from the draw, and then shooting as we walked backwards.

They then setup all of the target stands into a single course of fire that included all of the things we learned and practiced. Starting from arms length, shoot two targets in the heart, then shoot them 2-4 times in the heart and head while walking backwards. Then run to cover with muzzle safety and hit 4 targets from behind the cover. Then run 10 yards while doing a speed or tac reload, then 1-2 shots each to 4 more targets while moving. Occasionally, just when we thought we were finished with the last shot, we would pause, check our surroundings and be ready to holster, and they would call out a surprise drill--"One to the head" and we had to immediately react and hit the target.

To wrap up the day, they gave us a primer on vehicle shooting. We sat in a truck with the seat belt on, and had to exit the vehicle safely while drawing from our holster, and then shooting four targets from behind the vehicle door. We all acknowledged that it wasn't a likely scenario for those of us in California, but it was a great exercise, as you realize how awkward and distracting it is to try and exit a vehicle safely with a loaded handgun and then try and hit several targets.

What I really appreciated about the class was the instructors' attention to detail. They showed me my stance was a little off, that I tended to lean to the side a bit, and that I was bringing my head down a little to meet the sights instead of bringing the gun up to meet my eyes. Adjusting those items immediately improved my accuracy. They watched nearly every shot to confirm where I hit, and reminded me when I wasn't doing a proper trigger reset and when I was focusing on the target instead of my front sight, and they showed us how we could tell based on where our hits were on the target. I loved all of the real-time feedback as I worked to clean up some bad habits that I had developed.

Although it is only a "half day" class, we were almost always shooting, and we went through about 550-600 rounds. I had seven 10-round mags and I was constantly reloading. UpLula to the rescue! By the end of the day, I was very tired, so be ready for a workout!

http://phoenixtacticalsolutions.com/


Here are some videos of their drills:

http://phoenixtacticalsolutions.com/videos/


Recommendations for students:

--If you haven't already taken a class that teaches drawing from a holster and covers holster drills, you should probably speak with them about their Pistol I class before doing this skill builder.

--Bring lots of liquids for the summer classes. It was moderately warm (80s) and I went through 3 Gatorades, two bottles of water, and a coke and I was still dehydrated when I got home.

--Bring a hat and sunscreen

--If you don't have an UpLula, get one. You may feel manly loading your mags by hand, but when you have a pile of mags to reload quickly, UpLula saves you alot of time and alot of wear and tear on your hands.

Last edited by SPE; 07-25-2011 at 7:19 PM..
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Old 07-25-2011, 8:06 PM
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ZombieTactics ZombieTactics is offline
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Nice AAR. I am looking forward to training with Phoenix in a few weeks!
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Old 07-26-2011, 8:35 PM
Jack's Smirking Revenge Jack's Smirking Revenge is offline
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Hey Zombie,

If you are coming down to SoCal, do you plan on attending any training courses with ITTS or Falcon Security? I would enjoy seeing one of your video AAR's on one or both of those training groups.
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Old 07-26-2011, 8:54 PM
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ZombieTactics ZombieTactics is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack's Smirking Revenge View Post
Hey Zombie,

If you are coming down to SoCal, do you plan on attending any training courses with ITTS or Falcon Security? I would enjoy seeing one of your video AAR's on one or both of those training groups.
They are on my list, but planning for SoCal ... as well as locations across the country takes a bit of effort.

Thanks for expressing the interest ... it helps me know where I need to concentrate my efforts.
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Old 07-26-2011, 8:59 PM
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FourLoko FourLoko is offline
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sounds like an excessive number of rounds for a half day course
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Old 07-26-2011, 9:08 PM
Jack's Smirking Revenge Jack's Smirking Revenge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZombieTactics View Post
They are on my list, but planning for SoCal ... as well as locations across the country takes a bit of effort.

Thanks for expressing the interest ... it helps me know where I need to concentrate my efforts.
Wow!! Thanks for the quick reply. I look forward to your next AAR.
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Old 07-26-2011, 9:59 PM
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PhoenixTacticalSolutions PhoenixTacticalSolutions is online now
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Thanks SPE!!! It was a pleasure working with you and Miataguy. Look forward to seeing you guys again. Thanks again for the kind words.

ZombieTactics: We look forward to it as well.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:59 AM
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ZombieTactics ZombieTactics is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FourLoko View Post
sounds like an excessive number of rounds for a half day course
It's really not, when you consider that it's a skill-builder type of course ... not heavy on the lecture component.
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