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Old 5 May 2014, 11:59
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Pat McNamara 2 day TAPS Carbine and Pistol Course

I took this course this weekend and wanted to share a quick AAR.

For those of you that don't know, Pat McNamara is a retired SGM from an Army Special Mission Unit, where his last assignment was one of the Lead OCT marksmanship training. He had several other SOF assignments to include starting as an SF Baby in 1st SFG. Turns out I recycled him through scuba school.....

The course was two days and was based on train the trainer format, showing not only techniques, but the teaching principles behind them. He had some painfully simple and effective solutions to some issues I was having and a few other surprises.

Day One AM: This block starts with a safety briefing where "Mac" disagreed with Rule #1, Every gun is always loaded. He stated "This is just not true..." He altered it to "Always know the status of your weapons system" The class was taught under big boy rules in accordance with this version of rule #1. 20+ students and not one ND. He also stated that rule #4, know your target and beyond should be know your target, behind, in front and periphery. Pat went on to state that the Chris Costa "Search and Assess" was theater, not tactics. Every movement has a purpose.

Next was a quick class on external ballistics, zero and onto Basic Rifle Marksmanship. I do not shoot my rifle as much as I should and suffered through this, especially the kneeling and sitting courses of fire. After zero, five shots, each position in under a minute. Pat also stresses throughout the entire class the importance of a timer to induce stress. He says the timer is for stress, not outcome. He has dozens of clever teachning points, one of which is the Important of an outcome is never achieved until you are willing to let it go. Meaning you will never realize an outcome until you start to train for performance (accuracy). I also learned that the reticle on my red dot sucks.

Day One PM: Pistol Basics. Mac states that sometimes too much information is given on some basic tasks. For instance the draw stroke. His guidance is "Just draw your pistol" No need for 3-5 jerky isolated movements, just draw your pistol. He said that he discussed the draw stroke with Rob Leatham and Leatham said " Look at how you holster your pistol, just do the opposite of that..." We then shot a course of 3 shots from the high ready, from the draw and from the draw strong hand only from 7, 10 and 15 yds. The day ended shooting a modified El Prez and a drill called "Pick Your Poison". On turning around for this drill, Mac says "Dude, just turn around.."

He also solved my "pushing left" problem. He stated that an Army Marksmanship Unit coach told him to bury your finger on the trigger of a Glock. It pulled my left leaning shots back to center.

Day Two AM: BRM on IPSC targets for time. Add 1 second for C zone shots, 3 for D zone and 10 for misses. Next came shooting transition drills. Three rounds rifle, reload from an open bolt, three more, transition one shot pistol. The morning rifle session was finished with three separate rifle stages that require movement, reloads, communication and awareness of the status of your weapons system. The AM session finished with 50 yd pistol marksmanship.

Day Two PM: Pistol scrambler, Burn it down and Grid of Fire. All drills that require movement, shot placement and some degree of tactical limitation such as strong hand only, mandatory a hit from each position or a limit on the number of rounds fired from each position. The class ended with a debrief and words of wisdom from Pat.

All in all a great course. I think the thing that was most impressive was the simplicity in the drills yet the telling information on each individual's performance. Pat McNamara is also a tremendous instructor with a practical and effective perspective on teaching the art of tactical marksmanship.
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Last edited by The Fat Guy; 5 May 2014 at 12:08.
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Old 5 May 2014, 13:05
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This is a refreshing AAR, TFG. Too many instructors seem wrapped up in the theater, as referred to above, when it simply isn't that fricking hard. If it were that difficult, old ladies would not be dropping assholes, and Inread every now and again that they do -- so fuck theatrics. All of them.

Thanks for the AAR. Now hacksaw your Garand in half and go take anotjer course and let us know how you did....
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Old 5 May 2014, 13:05
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This is a refreshing AAR, TFG. Too many instructors seem wrapped up in the theater, as referred to above, when it simply isn't that fricking hard. If it were that difficult, old ladies would not be dropping assholes, and Inread every now and again that they do -- so fuck theatrics. All of them.

Thanks for the AAR. Now hacksaw your Garand in half and go take anotjer course and let us know how you did....
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Old 5 May 2014, 13:35
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Almost done.....

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Old 5 May 2014, 13:40
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Excellent. Waiting for one of his courses to come within range.
Thanks, TFG.
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Old 5 May 2014, 18:19
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Where did you attend the course? I first met him in 1986 and just ran into him out here after 20plus years.
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Old 5 May 2014, 18:57
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He teaches all over the country. This class was just southeast of Kansas City, KS
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Old 7 May 2014, 21:00
HF0311 HF0311 is offline
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Thanks for the AAR, im taking the TAPS class in June, im pretty stocked for it, I just recently read both of Pats books and do a few of his drills, Turn and Burn and a modified version of his Holster and Hoist are two of my favorites.
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Old 8 May 2014, 13:16
HALO364 HALO364 is offline
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TFG

How many students participated? I've seen a trend of overselling classes in the circuit and I was interested if this has been resolved. I've seen one AAR with 29 students in class and Pat by himself.. The AAR continues to say everything was safe however instructor to student communication was light. The owner of Ali'as has not openly commented but last Pat has taken note. TAPS is on my short list. I hope the class size comes down to 12-ish before I commit.
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Old 8 May 2014, 13:17
HALO364 HALO364 is offline
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I just read the original AAR again and seen "20+ students" I answered my own question..
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Old 8 May 2014, 14:59
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Understand that the students are not citizens who want to learn to shoot, but those who at least by design are more experienced, I had all Vets in my group and most of the rest were SWAT guys and other LEO's. The most impressive shooters were the fucking hippies from the KC narcotics unit. Stink and all. We did have one kid that was 15 in my group, his Dad was a SWAT guy from MN (and there as well), but he was safer than any SF medic I have seen go armed.
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Old 24 August 2014, 20:27
HF0311 HF0311 is offline
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Just finished up with the same class today, it was originally scheduled for June but was changed to this weekend. Not really much I could add to FG's AAR, we had a smaller group, all rock solid shooters, so we did a few more drills- 2 man team movement, Burn-X, Mag Change Drill/Pistol transitions and a few more things. I was really impressed with Mac's training methodology and the way he ran a range, it pushed you while still letting you shoot and learn at your own pace. In all great weekend and I look forward to training with Pat again in the future.
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Old 24 August 2014, 20:35
8654maine 8654maine is offline
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HF, where was this class?
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Old 25 August 2014, 18:12
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Hampden, same exit as the Dysarts truck stop. I thought I sent you a pm to let you know, Kyle Defoor was up last weekend doing an open enrollment pistol class at the same range. Sorry for not letting you know about it..... are you on facebook by any chance?
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Old 25 August 2014, 18:22
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fat Guy View Post
He also solved my "pushing left" problem. He stated that an Army Marksmanship Unit coach told him to bury your finger on the trigger of a Glock. It pulled my left leaning shots back to center.
I had the exact same problem for ages and was damned if I could figure out why. Same fix as above suggested by a comrade...same results. Back on target. Great little tip to try out if you start pushing things left (or right if you are a lefty)
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Old 25 August 2014, 19:46
8654maine 8654maine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HF0311 View Post
Hampden, same exit as the Dysarts truck stop. I thought I sent you a pm to let you know, Kyle Defoor was up last weekend doing an open enrollment pistol class at the same range. Sorry for not letting you know about it..... are you on facebook by any chance?
Fuck.

My bad HF.

I missed Kyle, Pat and Sawman.
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Old 25 August 2014, 19:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fat Guy View Post
He also solved my "pushing left" problem. He stated that an Army Marksmanship Unit coach told him to bury your finger on the trigger of a Glock. It pulled my left leaning shots back to center.
Coincidentally we were issued our new Glocks this weekend, and my rounds were definitely hitting the left side of the paper. I'm not sure if this was the Glock or just me but least I have an excuse now!

When you say "bury you finger" what does that mean?
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Last edited by Macka; 25 August 2014 at 20:19.
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Old 25 August 2014, 20:17
HF0311 HF0311 is offline
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Originally Posted by 8654maine View Post
Fuck.

My bad HF.

I missed Kyle, Pat and Sawman.

Yeah, I wanted to take the Sawman class, but I was already signed up for Kyle and Pat, plus I took a few other classes earlier this year so I had to skip that one, hopefully I can catch him next time. Im going to try to make it down to the place that hosted him sometime this year though.
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Old 25 August 2014, 20:23
HF0311 HF0311 is offline
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When you say "bury you finger" what does that mean?

Instead of just using the pad of your finger or finger tip put as much of your finger on the trigger as possible, think of wrapping your finger around the trigger instead of touching the trigger. Travis Haley just recently put a vid on youtube discussing it, you should look that up, it will give you a better idea of the concept....... You might also be breaking your wrist, best bet, try the trigger thing, if problem persist, then have a buddy do some ball/dummy drills with you.
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Old 25 August 2014, 22:23
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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Originally Posted by Macka View Post
Coincidentally we were issued our new Glocks this weekend, and my rounds were definitely hitting the left side of the paper. I'm not sure if this was the Glock or just me but least I have an excuse now!

When you say "bury you finger" what does that mean?
If you have a good grouping, but just off to the left, definitely try giving it more trigger as HF0311 said. I go to the first joint instead of just the finger pad like when I shoot a Sig.
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