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Old 05-03-2021, 10:15 AM
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Default LAPD Metro Division/SWAT + ITTS Quals - After Action Report (AAR)

UPDATE 5/30: Added text to the Course Description as per feedback...


Course Name: Quals Course - ITTS, LAPD Metro, LAPD SWAT
Location: Angeles Shooting Range
Dates/Times: May 2, 2021 9:00am~4:30pm
Round Count: 150+ rounds (website says 250+)
Cost: $275
Prerequisites: Equivalent of ITTS Handgun 3
Course Description: "This class is for all the civilians out there that have ever wondered how their skills stack up against regular patrol officers, LAPD Metropolitan Division officers and finally, SWAT officers!" https://internationaltactical.com/metroSwat_qual.html


Handgun: Walther Q5 Match SF (*) I don't bring to tactical/defensive classes the gun I shoot the most... I know - it's one of my craziness... Why NOT train in the gun that I would most likely use in SD/HD situation? I digress...
Holster: Comp-Tac International Holster
Belt: Safe Life Defense Tactical Belt
Mag Pouches: G-Code Softshell Scorpion
Ammo: Fiocchi 124GR (factory)


Reviewer Background: Amost 5-years of handgun experience. Defensive pistol practitioner and competition shooting hobbyist. Have taken several classes that are specific to either competition or tactical/defensive. No MIL/LE credentials; just a simple 'corporate slave'.



In spite of the crazy heat at Angeles (enough to give me a freaking headache by the time I got home to SGV) - it was a very enjoyable day going through the handgun shooting qualifications of the LAPD Metro/SWAT, while also partaking of the insights from former/active SWAT officers' stories of themselves going through their own quals.

Obviously, as I am not allowed to give details of the tests (the LAPD Metro/SWAT are not shared even with active LEOs in the class); I can at least give a few peeks...
  • This is less of a class but rather a "skills test" day. Although we did a few dry repetitions and a few live fire drills to "warm up," alluding to the reality that, to paraphrase, even highly paid sports atheletes need to warm up before performing at peak.
  • During these warm-up drills, there were tips/coaching from the instructors. But during the test, unless a shooter is having difficulty and/or having a glaring deficiency in a fundamental, they would NOT get any coaching.
  • The ITTS quals is heavy on the application of the fundamentals. Very accuracy intensive. While most drills/tests would somehow start from Close to Far, ITTS' test starts FAR to close. Most of the strings are from the 20~25-yard lines. The first string is 5-shots from the holster at the 25-yard line in 7-seconds.
  • In contrast, the Metro and SWAT courses start from the 3-yard line, with most of the strings at the more "realistic" ranges of 10-yards and in...
  • The Metro/SWAT tests have LOTS of Failure Drill (Mozambique) strings. In particular are strings that require single-handed Failure Drills, BOTH Primary and Support hands.
  • If I would remember correctly - the SWAT test has target transitions.
  • SWAT has two (2) handgun tests - one is from the holster; and the other is from the ready (with harsher par times). Time only allowed the class to do the "from the holster" test.
  • The ITTS test has a section of a one-shot string from the holster to a steel silhoutte at 135-yards with a par of 5-sec. I remember getting this done with time to spare. A "ragged hole drill," say 2-shots to a 1-inch target at 5-yards in 6-secs from the draw should help with this...
  • Scoring for ITTS is "points down," ie., anything outside the gray "combat accuracy" zones. Metro/SWAT has "-5 points" for those in the black and "-10 points" for those in the white.
  • Insightful, btw, is how LAPD SWAT does the test. The officers do NOT use their own pistol. They will use a Kimber 1911 45ACP from the armory that is zeroed for 25-yards and tested by the team's "top shots."
  • We started the tests with ITTS, then Metro, and wrapping up with SWAT. At least in my case, the accuracy-intensive ITTS test did prepare me for the Metro test as one could see with my grouping. Unfortunately, they are indeed tiring tests (both physically and mentally). The afternoon heat didn't help either, my groups opened up during the SWAT test.


Below are my targets...


ITTS Handgun Qual - Down 3 out of 30.



LAPD Metro Division Qual - 490 out of 500. Passing is 450+.



LAPD Team D (SWAT) Handgun Qual (from the holster) - 490 out of 500. Passing is 450+.




What are my KEY take-aways?
  • Establish a rhythm/cadence that makes use of the ALLOTED time. My mindset going into the test is like what I go through in a match - fastest time with the least "points down." Unfortunately - my times are FASTER than what is required by the qualifications. There is lots of time. As the safety officers remarked, "If I just pace myself... If I just reduce my speed, I would not miss." Once example is a course of fire of "2-Reload-2" to the head at 6-sec par at 5-yards even if the head has the same scoring area as the torso.
  • Work on practicing/training my support hand grip. This I would most attribute to my shots tending left.
  • For cases like these, a qualifications test - I need to work on the mental aspect. Instead of focusing in making my hits in the par time, ie., shooting the test, I should forget the test and focus on the target. Yeah, easier said than done...
  • Firearms' skill is very perishable!?! Due to the ammo crunch and the uncertainty when it will all ease up, I was cognizant of my stash. Lesser live fire practice, lesser match participation, lesser classes, etc.
  • Next time out - again try the qualifications with the pistol I shoot the most - a Glock 34 Gen 3. Then, the 3rd time should be to what LAPD uses - a 1911 in 45ACP.
  • Last but not the least... In spite of taking my Q5 Match SF to two matches, two defensive classes, and a couple of months of dry practice, I cannot seem to replicate my performance I have with the Glock 34 Gen 3. Yes, it may be easier to become more accurate at distance, but in the ranges that do matter (25-yards and in, IMO), I am faster and just as accurate with the Glock. Is the Q5 a bad pistol? Nope. It is just that the amount of time I spent with the Glock is way much more. The grip angle is different, the grip form factor is different, the sights to bore distance is different, the weight is different, etc. etc. In dry practice, I can still do a "Four Aces" in 1.9~2.0 with the Glock in spite of not handling it for several weeks. With the Q5, I still can't comfortably break through 2.1~2.2.


In Closing

As the course description goes, "This class is for all the civilians out there that have ever wondered how their skills stack up against regular patrol officers, LAPD Metropolitan Division officers and finally, SWAT officers!"... I would invite shooters to check the class if nothing more than an opportunity to look at ourselves in the mirror when it comes to handgun competency (note: NOT tactics!!).

That said, I thought that this was a new offering but actually it was just taken out of the curriculum for a few years. However, the course director, Uncle Scotty's son, said that they are planning to make this a regular class a couple of times per year while bringing in other LAPD Metro/SWAT qualifications tests as well - shotgun, carbine, etc. This should be make for an interesting lineup.



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Last edited by rodralig; 05-30-2021 at 11:15 AM.. Reason: Feedback from response
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2021, 1:44 PM
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Uncle Scotty is a legend. Thank you for your AAR.
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Old 05-03-2021, 1:48 PM
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Looks like fun. I have to take that one day.
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Old 05-03-2021, 3:11 PM
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If not LEO and qualifying, why would one take this qual over and actual class?
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Old 05-03-2021, 3:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
If not LEO and qualifying, why would one take this qual over and actual class?
Why then would one NOT take this qualification over an actual class?


On a more serious note - AFAIK, most of the class have gone through several iterations of ITTS' classes. Obviously there were exceptions - Hollywood division officers who wanted to see how the Metro/SWAT quals are like because they would like to become SWAT one day...

To answer your question... IMO (as there could be many answers as there are shooters) - I go back the description of the course - how do I stack up against some of the more proficient individuals in the state that carry firearms in their jobs and are expected to precisely perform when needed... Would you trust your life to SWAT officers that are NOT up to par? Would you trust your firearms skills if they are NOT up to par not with some arbitrary self-evaluation but with a common and comparable standard? This is a good opportunity, again, to look into the mirror and see how I measure in terms of handgun competency.

My favorite anecdote - "I am a good shooter. Yeah, really. I am a good shot." "By what standard? Can you quantify?" "..... *silence* .... Nah, I don't need those..."

Personally, if I get the chance - would really like to try the FBI and FAM tests... That would be interesting! And definitely enlightening...

That said - many classes across the spectrum that I have taken really don't have a recap/skills test at the end. For those that do have, I find that the tests specifically brings to "where you are in your evolution as a shooter" and "what are the deficiencies one has to work on," etc.




Quote:
Originally Posted by DRM6000 View Post
Looks like fun. I have to take that one day.
You should. It is not in the current calendar, but I would remember them saying they will open up a weekend for another go with the quals.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911su16b870 View Post
Uncle Scotty is a legend. Thank you for your AAR.
You're welcome.



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Last edited by rodralig; 05-03-2021 at 3:48 PM..
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Old 05-03-2021, 9:25 PM
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Good to know.

I usually take Carbine III and Adv HG or Master's class every year as a refresher, but maybe this year I'll try this one as well.

Since it's 1 day and 1/2 the price, seems like a no brainer.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:21 PM
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Old 05-04-2021, 7:58 AM
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Gotta respect ITTS' hustle by getting people to voluntarily pay $275 to "qualify."
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Old 05-04-2021, 8:23 AM
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Good writeup!

Personally, I've found that if you are consistently shooting at B-Class or IDPA Expert level, you can nail all the most well known standards including the old school FAMS and insert-your-three-letter-agency-here quals. I've met many dudes who thought they were good shooters for acing their quals and can barely make the IDPA Expert classifier. YMMV.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKAllTheThings View Post
Good writeup!
Thank you!!!


Quote:
Personally, I've found that if you are consistently shooting at B-Class or IDPA Expert level, you can nail all the most well known standards including the old school FAMS and insert-your-three-letter-agency-here quals. I've met many dudes who thought they were good shooters for acing their quals and can barely make the IDPA Expert classifier. YMMV.
Based on the qualifications' descriptions, I would believe the same...

But then again, I don't want anti-competition guys from the tactical-Timmy camp brushing off action/practical shooting classifications; hence, taking these quals, in retrospect, serves as a common anchor point (something that they can relate to) ...


As for reference, I find this chart quite insightful, though...





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Old 05-04-2021, 1:14 PM
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Good chart! I'm gonna start a class just on the FAST drill. $275, first come, first serve
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Old 05-29-2021, 9:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKAllTheThings View Post
Personally, I've found that if you are consistently shooting at B-Class or IDPA Expert level, you can nail all the most well known standards including the old school FAMS and insert-your-three-letter-agency-here quals. I've met many dudes who thought they were good shooters for acing their quals and can barely make the IDPA Expert classifier. YMMV.
An article came up in the recent Tactical Journal magazine of IDPA -

https://www.idpa.com/tactical-journa...-quarter-2021/

(Supposedly for members only... But I guess that IDPA HQ still need to work on their website - it is accessible to the public)



It is on page 16 where Louie Tirona of TPC (Tactical Performance Center in Utah / Ron Avery) where he ran a group of LEOs through the 5x5 Classifier (developed by Bill Wilson)...




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Old 05-30-2021, 7:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKAllTheThings View Post
I've met many dudes who thought they were good shooters for acing their quals and can barely make the IDPA Expert classifier. YMMV.
There used to be a police chief around here who is a USPSA GM. He even made it into the top 25 overall shoot off at the Steel Challenge with iron sights. Anyways, he was setting up the IDPA classifier for the club to shoot, but he decided to run his SWAT team through it. Afterwards, he chew them out for qualifying as Novice.
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Old 05-30-2021, 7:58 AM
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Nice review. But for those of us that have no idea what ITTS quals is, this bit should have gone right at the beginning of your post so we know wtf we are reading about.

"As the course description goes, "This class is for all the civilians out there that have ever wondered how their skills stack up against regular patrol officers, LAPD Metropolitan Division officers and finally, SWAT officers!"... I would invite shooters to check the class if nothing more than an opportunity to look at ourselves in the mirror when it comes to handgun competency (note: NOT tactics!!)."
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Old 05-30-2021, 8:21 AM
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"It is on page 16 where Louie Tirona..." - Now seems to start on page 30.
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Old 05-30-2021, 8:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodralig View Post
An article came up in the recent Tactical Journal magazine of IDPA -

https://www.idpa.com/tactical-journa...-quarter-2021/

(Supposedly for members only... But I guess that IDPA HQ still need to work on their website - it is accessible to the public)



It is on page 16 where Louie Tirona of TPC (Tactical Performance Center in Utah / Ron Avery) where he ran a group of LEOs through the 5x5 Classifier (developed by Bill Wilson)...




_
Unsurprising but Good data points. Hope those guys won’t have to draw their guns anytime soon.
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Old 05-30-2021, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AregularGuy View Post
Nice review. But for those of us that have no idea what ITTS quals is, this bit should have gone right at the beginning of your post so we know wtf we are reading about.
Thank you for your feedback. I will incorporate it in my next AAR for whatever class/event I find myself...





Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty View Post
There used to be a police chief around here who is a USPSA GM. He even made it into the top 25 overall shoot off at the Steel Challenge with iron sights. Anyways, he was setting up the IDPA classifier for the club to shoot, but he decided to run his SWAT team through it. Afterwards, he chew them out for qualifying as Novice.
Whoa!?!?!



Quote:
Originally Posted by HKAllTheThings View Post
Unsurprising but Good data points. Hope those guys won’t have to draw their guns anytime soon.
Exactly...!

This has been "known" for years now. There have already been numerous articles in Police1...

That said - a class I took June of last year... We were on the evaluations. One LEO didn't follow the prescribed course of fire (he was shooting while moving instead of shooting while in position). That LEO replied that he needed to beat the score of the guy next to him. Instructor remarked "that is cheating..." Another LEO (who, btw, really shoots bad) then sarcastically remarked somewhere along the lines that since this is a gunfight, cheating to win is a given...

I digress...



Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911-CV View Post
"It is on page 16 where Louie Tirona..." - Now seems to start on page 30.
That is strange. Still shows page 16 on my side...

Anyways - who is counting...





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Old 06-02-2021, 3:03 PM
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I don't understand... maybe members get fewer ads?

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Old 06-02-2021, 4:47 PM
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Default LAPD Metro Division/SWAT + ITTS Quals - After Action Report (AAR)

You’re right!!

Let me check when I get home. Is my issue missing some pages?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911-CV View Post
I don't understand... maybe members get fewer ads?

*LOL*

Could be... I pay $40 per year of membership (IDPA doesn’t offer Life like Glock or USPSA)...


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