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

View Poll Results: Favorite Tactical Firearms Training outfit(s) in SoCal
Academi/U.S. Training Center/Blackwater 7 4.55%
FOG (Falcon Operations Group) 41 26.62%
FTA (Firearms Training Associates) 12 7.79%
GGT (Grey Group Training) 15 9.74%
ITTS (International Tactical Training Seminars) 24 15.58%
TAC-1 (Tactical Advanced Combat) 12 7.79%
TASC (The Academy of Saint Crispian) 59 38.31%
TFTT (Tactical Firearms Training Team) 13 8.44%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 154. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-01-2012, 8:10 PM
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Default Your favorite Tactical Training outfit(s) in SoCal

Pick as many as you want and if you wish tell us why...

Personally, I was more interested in classes being held locally in SoCal and these are the outfits that I have either taken classes with or will be doing so within the next few weeks. If I left some worthy ones out I plead ignorance. There are some that I've taken classes with that I personally deem unworthy to be on this list and thus you won't find them here. After all, it's my list...

By the way, Grey Group Training is not strictly a firearms training outfit but does arrange, promote and bring some of the best instructors or outfits to SoCal. For example, Jason Falla, Ken Hackathorn, Larry Vickers, Mike Pannone, TigerSwan, Pat McNamara, Northern Red, Kyle Defoor, Super Dave Harrington, etc.

Here are the websites for the various outfits listed:

  1. Academi/U.S. Training Center/Blackwater
  2. FOG (Falcon Operations Group)
  3. FTA (Firearms Training Associates)
  4. GGT (Grey Group Training)
  5. ITTS (International Tactical Training Seminars)
  6. TAC-1 (Tactical Advanced Combat)
  7. TASC (The Academy of Saint Crispian)
  8. TFTT (Tactical Firearms Training Team)

Note that some of the instructors that used to be marketed by Grey Group Training are now handled by Alias Training & Security Services

A few more outfits that I've tried since the original post:
  1. Covered 6 (C6)
  2. Phoenix Tactical Solutions (PTS)
  3. Dynamic Training Concepts (DTC)
  4. Mossie Tactics (MT)
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Last edited by ramzar; 08-23-2012 at 10:17 PM.. Reason: Add new outfits with links
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2012, 8:38 PM
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I selected multiple because I haven't had a bad one yet but I haven't trained with them all. The same material is usually covered although the emphasis can be different for each course. It just depends on what you want to learn.
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Old 02-02-2012, 7:52 AM
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You are missing quite a few that are located in SoCal as well! St. Crispan, Mossie Tactics, myself, etc...

That being said, I know a number of the other instructors and they do provide top notch training as well.
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Old 02-02-2012, 8:16 AM
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TASC is in there.

The 3 I know are:
TAC-1 solid foundation with years of LEO experience on the instructors resumes. Mainly civilian clientele.

FOG (Falcon Operations Group) Great instruction, always a mix of LEO, Mil, civilian.
Offer mainly pistol , rifle, shotgun courses. Lacking in tactics courses.
FOG also offers 50% reduced rate for returning students on the same course!

TFTT (Tactical Firearms Training Team) Great instruction with years of real world experience to explain the how and why. You will see mainly LEO/MIL or ex mil and civilians who are used to training at a higher level of intensity at these courses.

Im sure there are other outfits that provode a good service as well.
There are also some not so good......
Seems like everybody and there brother are a firearms "instructor" now.
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Old 02-02-2012, 9:03 AM
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Here's a question for you all.. how do you measure 'goodness' for a course? The amount of fun you have? The lasting improvement you see in your shooting? The novel ideas you get from it? Your compatibility with the instructor and material being presented? It's hard to answer, at least for me.

I'd even venture to say that if you took one of the many AARs and removed the names, it'd be hard to distinguish the outfit. So, the only things that end up standing out are the really bad outfits to avoid.
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2012, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramzar View Post
Pick as many as you want and if you wish tell us why...

Personally, I was more interested in classes being held locally in SoCal and these are the outfits that I have either taken classes with or will be doing so within the next few weeks. If I left some worthy ones out I plead ignorance. There are some that I've taken classes with that I personally deem unworthy to be on this list and thus you won't find them here. After all, it's my list...

By the way, Grey Group Training is not strictly a firearms training outfit but does arrange, promote and bring some of the best instructors or outfits to SoCal. For example, Jason Falla, Ken Hackathorn, Larry Vickers, Mike Pannone, TigerSwan, Pat McNamara, Northern Red, Kyle Defoor, Super Dave Harrington, etc.
Right now my favorite is GGT because my main focus is to refine my fundamentals of marksmanship even further. The folks that have the highest standards and show you how to achieve them are Kyle Defoor, TigerSwan, JD (Northern Red), Larry Vickers and Ken Hackathorn.

I am also shallow on tactics so to fill that gap I am looking forward to SouthNarc's AMIS so that is another class arranged by GGT.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:47 AM
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T.A.S.C., I love the real world experience! Stan is also a great communicator.
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:03 PM
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I haven't attended any others to compare, but I think Stan's classes at TASC are excellent.
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:13 PM
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GGT FTW-- they offer an All Star lineup of instructors such as Kyle Defoor, the training cadre of Northern Red, the LAV, Jason Falla, Ken Hackathorn and Mike Pannone to name just a few. Had great experiences with these guys- can't beat 'em and they're all great instructors with real world experience. Not surprising since most of them have SF backgrounds-- with one of their missions being the training of indigenous forces. Just wish they offered a wider variety of courses here in SoCal. I've taken courses from some of the others listed above and the level training (and safety checks) IMO has been really uneven. For curiosity's sake, why was Magpul Dynamics left out-- has it totally gone downhill now that Haley and Costa are gone? I'm wondering how they are doing with their own training programs now.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIGSHOOTR View Post
For curiosity's sake, why was Magpul Dynamics left out-- has it totally gone downhill now that Haley and Costa are gone? I'm wondering how they are doing with their own training programs now.
In his original post, Ram said that his list was only based on those outfits with whom he has already taken classes...or has some imminently scheduled.

My hunch is that he didnt mention Magpul only because he might not have taken their classes personally. I wouldnt take the omission as anything other than that.

For what it's worth, I've attended many classes with Ram (both students), and found him to be not only one hell of a shooter, but an even better student.

best,

g
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:26 PM
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To me variety in training with reputable & safe outfits is one of the keys to improving your skills and becoming more consistent. To me consistency is the key above all. So, why not stay with just one outfit? Tried it because it was closest to me, I enjoyed myself and it was fun. However, I was not improving much and money was being wasted. I had hit a wall. As soon as I started going to many more outfits I had a remarkable improvement in fairly short order. So, in effect, you can take a short cut by doing that. I also added more static and dynamic range time on my own and with shooting buddies. A timer is one of the greatest tools for both static and dynamic ranges. You have to run the same drills once every 1-2 months to see where you’re at. The 10-8 Pistol Test and IDPA Classifier are two great ones. Need time and misses per stage. Strengths and weaknesses are thus highlighted and you have your homework. Also, you need to practice often (dry practice, static range, dynamic range and training courses) to keep the rusticles away!

It’s great that GGT has brought so many great and renowned instructors to SoCal. Of course, I wish I had known about them sooner (my first class was not until Nov. 2010). Through them I have taken Jason Falla (twice), Ken Hackathorn, Larry Vickers, Mike Pannone and TigerSwan. This year I’m scheduled for Pat McNamara, Northern Red (J.D. Potynsky), Kyle Defoor and Dave Harrington.

Another big benefit was when Chris Costa came to SoCal with his new company Costa Ludus and conducted two 3-day classes: Advanced Carbine (Carbine Employment 2) and Advanced Handgun (Handgun Employment 2). Some of the best training I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, I had never taken a class with Magpul Dynamics although I've watched their DVDs several times. You sure can learn a lot from DVDs as well. Not a substitute for actual training but great to review and do slow mo.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIGSHOOTR View Post
Just wish GGT offered a wider variety of courses here in SoCal.
Totally agree. Personally, like more Advanced Handgun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SIGSHOOTR View Post
I've taken courses from some of the others listed above and the level training (and safety checks) IMO has been really uneven.
True!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SIGSHOOTR View Post
For curiosity's sake, why was Magpul Dynamics left out-- has it totally gone downhill now that Haley and Costa are gone? I'm wondering how they are doing with their own training programs now.
Never got a chance to take a class with Magpul Dynamics but did take 3-day Advanced Handgun and 3-day Advanced Carbine with Chris Costa in early January 2012. Fantastic!

Magpul Dynamics without Chris Costa and Travis Haley (left in December 2010) just doesn't sound right but they finally have their signature Carbine and Handgun classes scheduled starting in April. I don’t know who the instructors are…
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:54 PM
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I have limited training experience - namely, the LAV AK 2 Day and Pistol 101 and 202 with TASC. I find that both instructors (LAV and Stan) offered VERY valuable information with regards to the information being taught. However, for the average (or poor) citizen like myself, I feel that Stan nailed it on the head with his business model / training structure.

Unless the instructor specializes in a specific skill set or weapon (ie., Rob Haught for shotgun, LAV for 1911s, Southnarc for combatives, etc.) I can no longer justify a GGT class when I can train more frequently and more affordably with local outfits like TASC.

Don't get me wrong, GGT offers great instructors and instruction... but the fundamentals of shooting and weapons manipulation should be the same across the board, no matter the instructor. Just because my instructor wasn't some sort of high speed SOF type doesn't mean that his instruction is not valuable, as many shooters out there like to believe.

I will continue to train wherever and whenever I can, but GGT and similar "big school" training has fallen from the top of my list of priorities in favor of smaller, local outfits.
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Old 02-02-2012, 1:47 PM
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TASC instructor Stan Lee gets my vote. Practical instruction and have a great mentoring approach
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Old 02-02-2012, 1:55 PM
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TASC all the way. I like the fact that Stan covers all that stuff which makes you a good individual shooter, which all the other schools do as well. But, I like that fact that his courses lead you up to working as a unit with your fellow students. I'm training now for his 12+ hour marathon class in December and I'm looking forward to all the stuff he has plan for his advance students. Stick with Stan through all his teaching modules, you'll be more than just a great shooter when you are done.

On top of that, his prices are more than reasonable. You'll only get good if you get a lot of practice and at those prices, you can get plenty of trigger time.
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Old 02-02-2012, 2:32 PM
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I was overcome by a moment of sheer terror when I saw that ADE and SI regional intructors were not on the list. Then I remembered that I don't train with those organizations.

I voted for ITTS and the FOG. For further see my numerous AAR's. I have future classes scheduled with FTA and GGT but I can't vouch for them until then. I also recommend Mossie Tactics and would have voted for Buck if he was on the list.

Last edited by Jack's Smirking Revenge; 02-02-2012 at 5:17 PM.. Reason: It's AAR not ARR.
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Old 02-02-2012, 2:43 PM
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Quote:
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I was overcome by a moment of sheer terror when I saw that ADE and SI regional intructors were not on the list. Then I remembered that I don't train with those organizations.
There are some that I've taken classes with that I personally deem unworthy to be on this list and thus you won't find them here.

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I also recommend Mossie Tactics and would have voted for Buck if he was on the list.
I will schedule a future class with Buck.
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Old 02-02-2012, 2:55 PM
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^^^ pretty much what Jack said above. I also voted only for ITTS and FOG, but because I have never trained elsewhere. Both are great outfits, but both have vastly different methods of training in my opinion.

I will continue to attend some ITTS courses over the next year (I have Sniper with them in 3 weeks), but for the most part will stick to Falcon for most of this year, probably another 10 classes or so. I already have 17+ class days with Falcon as opposed to 4 with ITTS. Voodoo, Hollywood and our fellow alumni are just too much fun to shoot with to miss too many classes with them.
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Old 02-02-2012, 5:30 PM
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There are some that I've taken classes with that I personally deem unworthy to be on this list and thus you won't find them here.
I know, that is why I mentioned them.
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Old 02-02-2012, 5:46 PM
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Created an account just to support Stan and TASC. I have taken 6 classes with him so far and have never been disappointed. He's doing a tremendous service to the Second Amendment by offering such valuable firearms instruction at an incredibly affordable price.
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Old 02-02-2012, 6:05 PM
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Created an account just to support Stan and TASC. I have taken 6 classes with him so far and have never been disappointed. He's doing a tremendous service to the Second Amendment by offering such valuable firearms instruction at an incredibly affordable price.
+1 I've taken two classes. And feel the same.
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Old 02-02-2012, 6:06 PM
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I'm attending my first class with Stan (TASC) this Sunday and looking forward to it. Obviously, Stan is hitting a lot of right notes! Signed up for them on Dec. 7th and actually paid for all classes below on Dec. 17th when I went to watch his class for a bit while attending a Pannone carbine class next range over at Prado.

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I'm going to leave my schedule open and attend these 4 classes (303 counting as 2) for $250 (that's 2 full training days with a $50 discount for paying for all in advance):
  • Rifle/Carbine 202: Sunday, 5 February 2012 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm $75.00
  • Pistol 202: Sunday, 5 February 2012 @ 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm $75.00
  • Combined Arms & Tactics 303: Sunday, 26 February 2012 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm $150.00
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Last edited by ramzar; 02-02-2012 at 6:42 PM.. Reason: Stan is TASC and TASC is Stan
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Old 02-02-2012, 6:15 PM
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Stan over @ TASC is the only I know personally, and he's a great guy. Look forward to taking more classes once I complete my next AR build. Good luck Stan
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Old 02-02-2012, 6:33 PM
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TASC classes are great for people who have tight schedules. He offers classes on Fridays and you have a choice of full day or half day. While it might be nice to spend 5 days at Gunsite or wherever, it ain't gonna happen for me.

I am looking forward to his more advanced offerings coming soon: urban combat + tactical first aid.

If you take a look at this Youtube vid of Air Force JTACs training, the fire and movement drills they do are very similar to what you learn from Stan in Combined Arms 303. The only real difference is that these guys are pros who have probably been working together for a while and it isn't their first time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUIw_...ure=plpp_video
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Old 02-02-2012, 8:59 PM
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I vote for TASC. Classs are small 8-10 max. Rates are very affordable.
$$$ I save on Tuition is $$$ I INVEST in Ammo! (For MORE Classes)
Classes offered at 2 locations. "Flexible" schedules for most people.
Stan is an excellent Instructor and great communicator.
I intend to take another (min) 6 classes with Stan this year.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:19 PM
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My take on Stan: a great instructor, no-nonsense professional, excellent communication skills, and more importantly a nice guy who really cares about the student's learning and growth as a tactical shooter. Also, very reasonable rates! I have already taken Pistol 1 & 2, Rifle 1 & 2, and plan to take all his courses. I highly recommend TASC. Stan's the Man!
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Old 02-03-2012, 7:14 AM
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I vote for TASC. Classs are small 8-10 max. Rates are very affordable.
$$$ I save on Tuition is $$$ I INVEST in Ammo! (For MORE Classes)
Classes offered at 2 locations. "Flexible" schedules for most people.
Stan is an excellent Instructor and great communicator.
I intend to take another (min) 6 classes with Stan this year.
+1 I take at least 2 classes a month with Stan. I'm hoping he will add more classes once the range in OC opens up this year.
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Old 02-03-2012, 7:29 AM
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TASC classes are great for people who have tight schedules. He offers classes on Fridays and you have a choice of full day or half day. While it might be nice to spend 5 days at Gunsite or wherever, it ain't gonna happen for me.

I am looking forward to his more advanced offerings coming soon: urban combat + tactical first aid.

If you take a look at this Youtube vid of Air Force JTACs training, the fire and movement drills they do are very similar to what you learn from Stan in Combined Arms 303. The only real difference is that these guys are pros who have probably been working together for a while and it isn't their first time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUIw_...ure=plpp_video
It actually looks like Stan's class minus the helmets
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:36 AM
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I've only taken Stan's class so I can't really compare. What I was most surprised with Stan was, was his patience. We had some issues in our class and he was unbelievably patient with the person. You just don't expect that from someone with a background like his. I learned a lot as well, and am excited to take more classes. I also agree with his pricepoint. I can afford to train more often which I think is crucial in being able to learn and react in real life situations.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:29 AM
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anyone know if Stan takes walk-ins? I see he has a rifle 202 course in 2 hours and a low light course this evening, I can make it up there if I leave in 30 minutes. didnt see a phone # on his website.

I would like to try him out. I have plenty of shooting experience, so dont worry about that.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:18 PM
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thanks ram, caldito also emailed me his #, thanks boys for backing me up
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:52 PM
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I called Stan, nice guy over the phone. He didn't have any students for the last 2 classes of the day, so we agreed I'll try again another date with more notice. Can't wait to try him out.
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Old 02-03-2012, 1:57 PM
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Stan is a great personable instructor. Teaches you safety first, and lets you go at your own pace and ability. Not intimidating like some other schools try to be. He will go above and beyond in trying to develop your firearm handling and marksmanship. I will definitely be back for more classes.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:49 AM
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Wow, these are some great choices! I'm shocked I did not see Don Busse from Martial Arms. On a serious note, I agree with Jack! FOG and ITTS are my choices! Oh and good shooting last week Jack. Nice to know you have my 6!
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Old 02-06-2012, 1:12 PM
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Does anyone have a link to TASC I can't find anything on the web about them.
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Old 02-06-2012, 1:19 PM
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TSAC
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Old 02-06-2012, 1:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhena81 View Post
Does anyone have a link to TASC I can't find anything on the web about them.
The Academy of Saint Crispian (TASC)

Included the website for the various outfits at the top post.
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Last edited by ramzar; 02-06-2012 at 1:57 PM.. Reason: Note to all websites in post #1
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:33 AM
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Thanks
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:44 AM
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Looks like it's hard to judge which outfit is best as most folks will only vote for the ones they have taken classes from. Seems to me that all of the above are good!!!
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:19 PM
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I signed up for 4 classes at TASC March 10th and 11th pistol 101, 102 and rifle 101, 102 its a hell of a deal.

Thanks Stan.
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