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Tactical Response - Fighting Pistol Review

This is a discussion on Tactical Response - Fighting Pistol Review within the Handguns forums, part of the Gun Forum category; This is long review - I owe it to my brothers and sisters here to be honest and thorough. I am an NRA Training Counselor ...

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Old June 19th, 2016, 08:56 AM   #1
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Tactical Response - Fighting Pistol Review

This is long review - I owe it to my brothers and sisters here to be honest and thorough.

I am an NRA Training Counselor and Firearms Instructor. I instruct around 300+ students per year. I try and attend as many professional classes as my calendar and wallet allow.

My Instructors at Tactical Response were Gary, Jay, Don, David and James Yeager. They were all competent and safe. It was Gary's last class as he is moving to Pennsylvania, he is one heck of an instructor, Don is also know as the MFarmorer, David runs the training for the State of Tennessee for Corrections, Jay is one bad@$$ Operator and one of the best instructors I have ever seen......and then there is James.

James Yeager is the best instructor from whom I have taken instruction. He has so many stories of application and command of defense principles that it was hard to takes notes furiously enough to mine the golden nuggets of wisdom and stay with them. He did not boast, he demonstrated and modeled everything. In addition he spent time with all of us before and after class, took us to dinner, spoke to us about anything we wanted to know and included his family.

The Fighting Pistol Class is designed to ingrain muscle memory into the student. Fight, get off the bad guy's "X", clear/reload from movement, assess your shots, 365 degree scanning, topping off...these are all run over and over and over until you can do it without thinking about it. Multiple drills and scenarios are run and these common themes are burned into your movements until it is learned and verified.

Drills: We did the draw, Loading, live fire reloads, assessment drills, scanning drills, DEA Dot drills, speed reloads, type 1,2 & 3 malfunction and how to deal with them under stress, anatomy shooting, kneeling and supine shooting, strong hand/off hand one-handed drills, covert ready drills, turns shooting, shooting on the move (humbling...very humbling), cover/concealment, CQB fighting and many other drills I am forgetting due to the heat.

James says when you need to act "You will NOT rise to the occasion. You will NOT default to your level of training. You will only default to the level of training you have MASTERED". In in honest moment, I must confess I have a long way to go toward "MASTERY". And this is why I train.

My Gear was basically a Glock 19, 5 mags, Blackpoint Tactical OWB Holster and double-mag holster, 1,000 rounds of Federal ammo (never had 1 problem!) and a Lula Loader (I was the prettiest girl at the dance when it cam time for my fellow students to reload).

Range conditions were 100 degrees and 90% humidity. 4 students fell out and had to quit. We re-hydrated after every drill and everybody kept an eye on each other for signs of dehydration. I am not going to lie, it was HELL. I got light headed many times, thought I was going to puke many times. I consider myself in great shape, this kicked my tail.

I am INSANELY left-eye dominant and right handed. This has caused me to learn how to shoot with both eyes open. This works great out to 25 yards shooting at paper on a range, not so much shooting and moving between cover/concealment and putting effective shots on target (heart/cranial vault) under stress. And they do anything they can to put you under stress. Slow repetition with thoughtful instruction convinced me to go ahead and squint my dominant eye (regardless of me being a big, bad instructor and knowing MY business) and let the trigger do the work. Eye-opening moment for me.

Among other bad habits I discovered (Stubborn, set in my ways, slow, etc), I had to admit to myself that I do not train to fight. I train to shoot well and teach others to shoot well. Shooting well is great for competitions, but does not serve me well if I must fight. Increasingly I am convinced I must train others to fight and that my role is one of a protector.

I cannot recommend this training highly enough. I will be going over the drills and techniques for years to come. I will adopt many of the themes in my professional training. I got more than I paid for.


As a forum member I am asking you not to turn this thread onto something it is not. I am sharing this course review with others that are considering a similar experience.

I have taken instruction from people I would consider pompous, incompetent, over-bearing, self-righteous and cold. James Yeager is none of these things. After spending 2 days and nights with him I am convinced he is one of the most honest, kind, caring and competent MEN for which I have taken measure. He is so transparent and authentic and lives his life so freely I am in awe that more people do not hate him. I am so grateful to have taken instruction from him and his guys. They are rough dudes that put you under stress just like the bad guys. They do it because they care and keep making sure you understand this.

This course has my seal of approval (that and $5 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks) and I am looking forward to taking combat medical and fighting rifle from hm as well at a later date (Got to go see Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch first).

If you made it this far. Thanks for reading and God Bless.

Last edited by Doug Carlton; June 21st, 2016 at 05:11 AM.
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Old June 19th, 2016, 09:04 AM   #2
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Thank you Wade.


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Old June 19th, 2016, 09:21 AM   #3
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Glad you had time to go and that the class was helpful! Never met the guy but it's interesting how a seemingly polarizing personality gets so much bad press or at least equally polarizing comments.

I can admit that I've been aware of my deficiencies using pistols as fight ending tools and have been working on similar ways to get out of the paper bullseye only drills. Sadly most gun ranges don't allow practical drills so this class would be a great option for lots of us.

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Old June 20th, 2016, 08:38 AM   #4
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Excellent post and review. Yep, there has been an incident or 2 at his courses, no denying that. All perpetrated by those very same styled, instructors you pointed out. But any of us in the military know that you can't hardly go a week without a decent snafu!
Thanks for the write up, it kinda one of those classes I'm on the fence about taking and decent review is always appreciated.

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Old June 20th, 2016, 10:24 AM   #5
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Taking Way of the Pistol in September. Thanks for the info

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Old June 20th, 2016, 10:41 AM   #6
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THANKS for this Wade. Been wanting to take a course, or two, with TR, but always held in TN. Checked again after reading this and see, finally, some being held Bastrop, TX. not all too far from us and real close to my nephew in Bastrop. In the fall too when it's not 100+. Would have missed it for sure.

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Old June 20th, 2016, 10:42 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing, always looking for additional quality training.

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Old June 20th, 2016, 10:43 AM   #8
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Well done review there Wade.

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Old June 20th, 2016, 11:33 AM   #9
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I know you did not want this to turn into a thread about James Yeager.

But in all fairness to the members of this board, please do your own research on this individual first before committing to any association with him or TR.

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Old June 20th, 2016, 11:34 AM   #10
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I live in TX. But Bastrop would only save 2hrs on the drive!

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Old June 20th, 2016, 01:12 PM   #11
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Great review, Wade.

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Old April 13th, 2017, 12:38 PM   #12
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Going back to Tactical Response all next week for Fighting Rifle and Advanced Fighting Rifle Instruction. Had to go with the poodle shooter but saved about $1,800.00 going .556 vs .308

After action report to follow, most likely in Geedunk.

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