I did the deed and completed the Tactical Pistol 1 Course with TFA. Overall the course was really good. And when I say I good, I mean I didn’t accidentally shoot myself trying to learn how to be a better shooter. The class was a decent size of 15 students with two instructors, three safety officers and one EMS medic.
The personal attention I got on the range for sucking was good and bad. Bad because I know I suck. Good that John helped coached my trigger jerk issue for the first half of the shooting portion. During the other half, they rotated the students and I ended up working with Andy. At the end of the day, it definitely beats talking to dudes at the gun store for shooting advices and tips.
On paper, the course seems simple. On the range, it was definitely challenging to comprehend quickly while keeping up with the other students. I had to set aside any self-disappointment for not nailing the targets each time in order for me to be surprised at what I was able to accomplish at the end of the course – cause we had to pass their qualification exam to get our certificates.
The class was eight hours long. The first four hours were non-shooting. We went over a lot of dry fire drills and exercises. But he did let us shoot just one round. One round into the target to see where our skills are currently at.
Yep, I nailed that target dead on, expect it was on the wrong row. Damn it. This day is going to suck big time for me or not.
As a new shooter, I was surprised about a lot of things that I thought I knew or assumed, but really didn’t. But it was definitely refreshing to have a group of instructors than watching a YouTube playlist on shooting. Also a lot different from what I was seeing from that Magpul DVD.
From what I remember, the class was heavily dominated mostly by Glocks, some Berettas along with one Springfield XDM 45 and a 1911 (45ACP). I personally didn’t care who shot with what guns, cause all I cared about was about my ability to run my gun safely and properly.
However, I will say this though, at times I felt like a black sheep in the class. Not because I was new to shooting, but from some of the comments I got here and there. It just seems like having a 45 for a new shooter might not be a good choice selection…
What can I say? They weren’t there when I bought my gun…
But man did I get the most unwanted attention for my gun. Even the safety officers knew nothing of my gun cause they had to ask me several times if my gun was decocked or not. Maybe it’s me, but I got this impression that neither instructors are fans of HK or maybe they just don’t like the 45 or maybe they just don’t like DA/SA guns??
The lead instructor said that I should give up my brand new HK for a 22.
Huh? No! Never!
Sure I understand their logic as to why I should switch to a 22, but I honestly refuse to hear it. Why? Because I just spent a shit load of money for this 45. And I’m not going to spend even more money just for a 22. Guess this is where I’m going to be stubborn about keeping the 45. So I might as well learn on the hardest gun there is and dominant on the 22; someday.
Throughout the day, the instructors definitely gave me plenty of attention with my trigger slap.
John did let me shoot his Glock something, but I will admit it was pretty damn cool. He had this glowing sights that made sight picture oh so perfect. And maybe since I’ve been shooting 45 all day and all month, the 9 was a lot more manageable. I’m also going to say that having a striker fire gun is a lot different from having a double action gun. I did notice the trigger pull was a lot shorter or lighter. Didn’t have that really long trigger pull. (My guess is that the double action pull on my gun is what’s probably causing me that flinching and dipping. Maybe it’s because I’m also not very use to that long ass pull. Still, I need a way to learn how to correct this issue.)
Did I see a big difference between John’s Glock and my 45? I sure did! But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to ditch my HK for a Glock… (See, told you I’m stubborn! I will master this gun! Just you watch!!)
Finally, I guess this is where the added value of their “continued education” comes in handy. TFA so far are the only ones that offered student training nights for $22 (that’s to cover the outdoor range cost). You show up and the instructors will have you do drills with other students (at various levels) that you normally can’t really do at a typical indoor range. To me, this should be a great value to have in further expanding and honing my skills (like working on my trigger control).
So what is my verdict on TFA? Would I recommend these instructors to new shooters? Absolutely! Is this class really a “Tactical” class? Hard to say really because I didn’t take anything away from it that would say “tactical”. If anything, this class covers a real good depth of the fundamentals and handling of a firearm. Definitely a very good beginner’s course. The TFA instructors are definitely a lot more helpful to learn from, especially as a brand new shooter.
I haven’t taken their Tactical Pistol 2 or 3 class, but maybe that is where I’ll probably see some real tactical application stuff and apply everything learned from this course.
However, there is so much more that I need to work on my own. And this class does illustrate the need for me to start using dry fire sessions and a lot more focus on the fundamentals.