AAR: Trident Concepts Pistol 2, Bastrop TX 2 MAR-4 MAR 2012

TRICON (Trident Concepts) held their Pistol 2 class at picturesque Texas acreage just south of Bastrop, TX in quiet Smithville over this weekend. *NOTE: Due to some scheduling issues I was able to only attend the first 2 days, and Jeff was very accomodating in allowing me to still get in on the instruction.

WX was gorgeous; warm(ish) on TD-1, and sunny, cool and breezy on TD-2. Perfection.

Class size was/is 8, with various backgrounds, including 2 SWAT officers from 2 very serious local departments. Every hand brought their best effort, every evolution. Sometimes we sucked, sometimes we crushed it. As time progressed, competition started to really get thick -and that was awesome. (*If nothing else; "IT PAYS TO BE A WINNER" is never more true that when you don't have to be the last guy fighting with the infuriating tape to negative-tape your target, because your misses were low/non-existent.)

Course Review:

NOTE: There won't be a bullet point breakdown, itemized list of sequential events, per se, and I will explain why. Jeff emphasized students take away what they take away. What they get fixed, what goes from broken to working, from sub-optimal to functioning optimally -that's what you should take away. If a drill is part of it, or a certain evolution -so be it. And that's important, as it leads to one of the fundamental benefits of this course.

Diagnostics.

We began from the jump on TD-1 with shooter skills test, basically seeing where everyone was at. Not unlike a Mod Navy Qual at an AR class, it allows your issues to literally be on-paper.

Back to diagnostic shooting, as the course of instruction progresses, every motion, skill, movement, component of effectively employing the pistol in a fight is broken down. Then explained and discussed. Then -and specifically helpful in my case- mysteries and information gaps are filled in.

This allows the shooter to begin to purposefully take control of every variable involved. If one doesn't take control of every variable, fluidly, it will control you. Seeing/evaluating the target (in this course, it's a given that you are shooting the threat), grip/draw stroke, punch/present, sight picture, sight alignment, trigger press/break of the shot, follow through, scan/assess, etc. -every one of those has to work fluidly, but every component has pieces and variables that need to be understood, controlled, and made to work together, fluidly and properly.

Example: taking control of not only my sight alignment --but what I am actually aiming at, and not just "the round will hit on my target where God wills it". No! I control HOW I aim -and WHAT I am aiming at. Groups shrink. And there is great rejoicing.

After repetitions, feedback, adjustments, etc., you find, in essence, that having disassembled your entire shooting "vehicle", all the parts are spread out in front of you. You find good stuff, ugliness, pounds and pounds of bad habits, a spare tire that was completely flat due to poorly chosen front sight, things that you have just had in the "vehicle" 'just because', with no real foundation in reality, or reality based experience -for you, the shooter. So, work has to be done and attention given: what stays? what goes? What gets set on fire? What sacred cow is holding you back? What missing components should be there that isn't? *Once these are addressed, and key to this class -once new parts installed, old parts fixed -they are slowly, methodically and rigorously reassembled.

The functioning "parts" all are trying to get you somewhere -that you and those with you don't just survive a fight, but dominate a fight.

Alot of your stuff gets tossed aside; both technique and TTPs, as well as hardware.

Sound techniques need to be trusted, and allowed to work for you. "First best sight picture" means what it sounds like it means, and I need to trust it, and let it work for me; and get out of my own way. Controlling all the variables also means controlling the biggest variable of all -myself. The blaster will work -provided it's a Glock. Wink But seriously; it will work. The techniques will work. *As a friend of mine who is a pilot has said to me about aircraft; "The plane wants to fly". The Gun wants to shoot and be accurate. I am the variable, and controlling your mind, movements and the variables involved are where your money is made.

Jeff has a lot of competitive drills and evolutions; and it gets your heart-rate going, because the pressure is on. If you are actually stepping up to take a class of this sort, it's a good bet you don't like to lose. Ever. And you can see where the control or lack of control of the variables involved pay off or sink you.

Some mention has been made of the high round-count of TRICON classes, and I'm not qualified nor possess a broad enough training spectrum to comment one way or the other. I can say, however, that I attended my two days of class with 1500 rounds, and returned home with just over 30 rounds -and I regret not shooting those! Every shot counts in class; is graded/scored/assessed. The mental demand to make every shot count -and as you go, finally seeing and feeling what it is to execute things properly and successfully, and beging to latch on to consciously and subconciously of that success -pays rich dividends. What it looks like to properly ride your sights in to the target, what it felt like to get that good trigger press, how it resonated in your mind when you made a great shot -as little as we shoot the small gun, the benefit of this, for me cannot be overstated.

Simply, if you've been doing things wrong for a long time, you need to do them right for a long time to make success become a consciously unconscious thing.

I cannot recommend enough enrolling in to "Dr. Gonzales' School of Diagnostic Gunfighting". Cool

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Equipment:

-Glock 17 with Warren/Sevigny sights; plain rear, red fiber-optic front; Dawson magwell, Vickers mag release, Glock OEM slide-stop.
-Glock 17rd OEM mags with Glock OEM +2 extensions
*Notes: Plain front sight will be installed and the F/O removed as soon as possible. GripForce adapter was removed until I can work with it to not wear a circular hole in the web of my shooting hand. Dawson magwell --may get removed, but I am going to hold on as long as possible.

Also, I will be adding an RDO to a Glock slide as soon as possible. *However, I want to keep working my fixed sights extensively and exhaustively, as I have a better understanding of the standards that I'm chasing, and what it takes to get there.

**Malfunctions: 1. Stovepipe; yesterday. Swept away, and drove on. No other problems.

-Safariland ALS with QLS on a medium-drop UBL.
*Notes: The ability to have a holster system that is interchangeable is invaluable, for me. Rugged, reliable, easy to use.

Fitness note: This class, prior to attending, scared to $#!+ out of me -which was a large part of why I took it.

I dropped almost 2 pants sizes in the lead-up/work-up prior to attending. Being in the best shape I've been in in 9 years certainly was a huge benefit, both confidence-wise and ability-wise. Shooting out of shape, shooting in OK shape, and shooting in better-than-OK shape; I can say that better is better. (That's science, baby.) Shoulders, back, core, legs --and GRIP: the benefit of these being sound cannot be emphasized enough. It's hard to fight -or even practice fighting- if you're a fatty.

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Let me say a word or two about Jeff, if I may. I will always be grateful for the men who've taken their time to train me in this serious art. JBierlyRN, SCU70 have worked with me 1 on 1 and I still am using their gunhandling techniques to this day with great success, that it feels like cheating. Pat Rogers, for being patient while he put up with me in his Pistol 2 class, while I think I should have been in Pre-School Pistol for Special Children. If it weren't for the informational and mindset downloads from Pat over these last few years, privately and in person, I would not have had the grounding and perspective to see that this is serious business, nor see the value in a class such as this. *Also; f I hadn't had that EAG Pistol 2 class, I would have been utterly lost in this class with Jeff. Which brings me to this point:

Do not be intimidated by this or any TRICON class you are able to attend, especially if you have recieved prior training from vetted instructors, in particularly EAG Tactical. They compliment one another almost seemlessly, with great individual merit and unique aspects, along with the overlap that aids in further strengthening your baseline.

Jeff is not %50 mechanics, %50 fighting. Or, %50 accuract, %25 fighting, %25 speed or some such equation. He's %100 in everything -*and I am not rating his skill level, I am referring to his personal emphasis on these topics. Everything is important. %100 fighting, %100 mechanics, %100 accuracy, etc. You have to be strong in everything. Being strong in everything will make you smoothe and fluid, able to concentrate on your priorities and process the threats, and will over time make you fast.

I walked away from this class with a literal emberassment of riches. By even 3 hours in to TD-1, I had already had questions and mysteries that have plagued me the entire time I have been shooting either be answered, removed, replaced, fixed or finally understood. I am not where I want to be -but I am a heck of a lot better than I was on Thursday, and feel like a kid making snowangels in fresh powder, revelling in new found confidence, in what I have recieved in this class. Also, reaffirmed confidence in the things I've recieved prior to this class that are sound, functional, and of benefit.

Final note: The following is primarily for those in this 'circle' who have desire, but may have not yet -like me- had the chance or commitment to get out and experience more quality instruction. All these amazing instructors we have access to, they obviously are all different. They are going to pull you in every which direction; but go with it. Broaden your horizons; let them pull you. Bleed them dry. Leave no question unasked. Because when you find yourself in front of your targets -practice or real- you'll find through all that stretching, pulling, etc., that your own personal baseline and foundation has grown into a deep foundation from which your own confidence can take root.

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Thanks to Jeff and Kane at TRICON, Tyson Brown our host. Special thanks to Boadie, Jeff, Ken, Jerry, and Cory; my fellow students. Also, to FJB for making an appearance on mid-day, TD-2. My heartfelt thanks to Paul G; hell on wheels. Brother, it was a pleasure. See you in Brady.

A special thanks to Zushwa, without whose mentoring and encouragement I would not be be taking aggressive steps this year to broaden my horizons, in particular with my shooting.
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"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
Original Post
Very well written AAR....

quote:
Originally posted by Duke:

I cannot recommend enough enrolling in to "Dr. Gonzales' School of Diagnostic Gunfighting".


Funny you should make the Ph.D comment. You couldn't be more spot on.

Jeff Gonzlaes is one of the brightest guys I've even been around. I mean scary intelligent.

If he is around, be doubly aware of "engage brain before opening mouth." Can't tell you how many times that I assumed that I thought something through from every angle, only to have my idea go down in flames with a one line answer.

Don't take this as him being intimidating. Jeff is one of the most humble dudes around. He'll just respectfully remind you that you just stated 2+2=5 Smile

As Pat noted, if you haven't trained with TRICON, you should.
First off, Duke outstanding AAR. Incredibly insightful and spot on. It was great to work with you and as you can tell we missed you on TD3. I'm working on my AAR and will get it added as soon as possible. Had a bit of bad news Sunday so playing catch-up on some admin stuff.

Pat and all, as always thanks for your kind words and support. I really hope I can make it out for a day or so while you are in Brady and I am bending back time to make it happen.

I'm looking forward to more classes in CENTEX so we should have a blast this year.

Jeff L. Gonzales President Trident Concepts, LLC

Duke,
Great AAR. Wished I could have spent more of TD2 and all of TD3 with everyone. Unfortunately I was covered up with commitments Saturday evening and Sunday.

No worries. I have taken the TRICON old COC course with Pat back in Sept '07 and been able to jump in on several of Jeff's other carbine classes from time to time to shake down various optics and rifles. Jeff and Pat are both very gracious in that regard.

However, this was my first time taking a pistol class with Jeff. Granted it was only for 1/2 a day on TD2, but the instruction and shooting drills were exactly what I have come to expect from Jeff. Superb.

I only brought 250 rnds and a G21 that used to be my go to pistol from 1993 to 2005. I now typically shoot a 1911 or M&P45. However, Robbie Barrkman did a ROBAR grip reduction and NP3 the slide. I love the grip reduction, but the NP3 makes it look more like a "pimp" gun. Ha! I hadn't shot since I got it back over a year ago.

Well my shots at 25yards kept grouping about 3" - 4" to the left. So I was thinking it has been a while and I must be pushing the trigger. So I focused up on trigger control. No change. Hmmm...must be gripping to hard with my left hand. Relaxed that grip. No change. Only after 150 rounds did remember that in order to NP3 finish the slide they had to remove the sights and reinstall them. So then I shifted my aim and started hitting where I should be hitting. Saved the last fifty rounds and will be adjusting my rear sight today.

Thus, my 1.5 hour trip to Smithville was definitely worth my time. Especially because, I got to visit with Jeff, Duke, and Paul, as well as meet the other great guys in the class.

As Pat states, "if you have not shot with Jeff, you absolutely should."

S/F

"Your moral obligation to your Marines is to train them accomplish the mission, fight, win, survive, and come home alive. All other activities are secondary."

quote:
Originally posted by TSean:
Great AAR Duke (as always). Thank you for sharing.

What made you decide to ditch the fiber optic front and go with the plain (black) front going forward? Thanks.


I have an identical second Glock 17 set up, but it will more than likely either have Ameriglo Defoor sights or Heines. Reason being; I found the bright red dot made me aim with the dot, instead of using proper sight alignment. This is old news to most, however [comma] to me it was earth-shattering: use whatever visual device in your front sight -tritium, f/o, brass bead, white circle -to find the front sight, and then achieve proper sight alignment, not just find the dot and press.

So, I want to go back to the basics, with no frills, until such a time that proper sight alignment -to me- is unconcsious, and then I'll consider adding back in other items.

Now, I still have a Dawson tritium front sight on my carry Glock 19 -for the above reason. But the guns most all of my live fire reps are on are my Glock 17s.

As I said before; I have been like a Glock yard sale since this past weekend. I was throwing hardware, left and right, at software problems and not gaining anything. Training; properly supervised practice, will fill the blanks in concerning questions or TTP gaps I may have.

I know people who have F/O front sights and can burn it down like its their job. *For some -it is their job. But my having identical kit as cool guys, without the cool guy instruction and cool guy repititions, is throwing hardware at a software deficiency.

*For me.
------------------------------

"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
Duke,

If you dont want to buy new sights you could use Sight Black. Link

I was intoduced to the stuff by TigerSwan. Just spray a dab on your front sight and you have a plain black sight. When you are done, water and a qtip will take it right off and you are back to having a tritium/fiber sight.
___________________
He would have went on livin, but he made one fatal slip, when he tried to match the Ranger with the big iron on his hip.

Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better
I used a black paint pen, with my usual OCD gave me a temporary win. Big Grin Next comes a sight press, and a tutorial block via Skype with a bro who could do this in his sleep (and probably has).
------------------------------

"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
quote:
Originally posted by ptrlcop:
Duke,

If you dont want to buy new sights you could use Sight Black. Link

I was intoduced to the stuff by TigerSwan. Just spray a dab on your front sight and you have a plain black sight. When you are done, water and a qtip will take it right off and you are back to having a tritium/fiber sight.


Sight Black has been around for several decades.
I used it back to the 80's at least.

And prior to that were carbide lamps...
Thank you for the reply Duke. Those are pretty much my thoughts on it (for whatever that is worth ha!), but I wanted to hear your experience/take and see if there was something else to consider. I shoot Dawson adjustables with a red fiber optic front or 10-8 sights with a tritium front on my Glocks, and the f.o. is definitely the more tempting of the two to just "shoot the dot" so I completely understand, and definitely have to focus a little more on seeing the dot then pressing the sight all the way to the correct sight picture instead of stopping on the dot. Were you finding yourself shooting with the front sight high (i.e. having the top of the rear sight intersect the dot instead of level with the top of the front sight blade)? Where was this affecting you most (high accuracy type shots or were you just generally displeased with not consistently having the perfect sight picture no matter the type of shot?). Thanks again.

-Sean
Without delving in to an inadequate attempt to describe what was going on, I was in essence not using the red F/O properly, was shooting with the dot versus the sight itself -and worst of all, I was chasing the dot, just like on a carbine.

Meaning; if I didn't break the shot in the sweet-spot zone of pressing out the blaster and getting my first good sight picture, things quickly deteriorated.

Some of that is my mechanics, and not the sights fault --in fact, NONE OF IT is the sight's fault. It's my fault. The sight is brilliant --if you possess the foundation to use it properly. I don't feel that I do -yet. I may just swap out the slide with one that has plain sights, and practice practice practice, and then give the F/O another whirl. Or, I may black out a portion of the F/O to just *barely* have some color to assist in finding the front sight.

Bottom line is: all the advantageous hardware on a blaster, as awesome as it is, is useless if I am a pig staring at a wristwatch. So, among other goals, I am rectifying what I can change in my mechanics. Then we'll see about goodies and gadgetry.
------------------------------

"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
Cool thanks for the discussion Duke, sounds like you've got a good handle on it and will likely be having a banner week for dry-fire ha! It's always great to hear people working things like this out in class and through training rather than just getting gear/decision paralysis via discussion while never shooting the stuff. Rock on dude, I'm sure you'll be burning it down (to your standards since I'm sure you already burn it down) in short order.

-Sean
something that became quite clear, based on Jeff's comments, and resulting personal circumstances.

I can't speak for others and won't; but all of my gear paralysis/situationa-wargaming ("do I carry a backup gun on my support side, or do I...") is due to a lack of training and a lack of experience. There was easily a half dozen long-standing questions I'd personally had, that during the right drill sequence and lecture, were cleared up in about 5 seconds.

Again; throwing hardware at a software deficiency.

So, there are still several more, dozens more, questions I have in regards to TTPs and gear; however, instead of trying to fill in the blanks with trends, latest/greatest, and hardware -I'm going to LET those blanks be filled in training in the categories the questions fall under.
------------------------------

"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
quote:
Originally posted by Duke:
I used a black paint pen, with my usual OCD gave me a temporary win. Big Grin Next comes a sight press, and a tutorial block via Skype with a bro who could do this in his sleep (and probably has).


Duke,
I have the proper Glock Front sight tools. You purchase the front sight and we'll make this happen. Bring the family up for some Axis burgers!

S/F

"Your moral obligation to your Marines is to train them accomplish the mission, fight, win, survive, and come home alive. All other activities are secondary."

------------------------------

"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
quote:
So, there are still several more, dozens more, questions I have in regards to TTPs and gear; however, instead of trying to fill in the blanks with trends, latest/greatest, and hardware -I'm going to LET those blanks be filled in training in the categories the questions fall under.


Right on, I'm sure you will get it sorted out. Just don't let your brain get in the way Big Grin

Jeff L. Gonzales President Trident Concepts, LLC

quote:
Originally posted by JLG:
quote:
So, there are still several more, dozens more, questions I have in regards to TTPs and gear; however, instead of trying to fill in the blanks with trends, latest/greatest, and hardware -I'm going to LET those blanks be filled in training in the categories the questions fall under.


Right on, I'm sure you will get it sorted out. Just don't let your brain get in the way Big Grin


You mean; "don't let your brain get in the way again". Cool You were being nice, and I thank you. Wink
------------------------------

"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
quote:
Originally posted by JLG:
Duke, the "again" is implied with you and this is a public forum Big Grin




This is me... behind the Line. Big Grin

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"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
Trident Concepts, LLC
AAR #3-12 Austin, TX

Trident Concepts conducted a three day Combative Pistol, Level 2 in CENTEX just outside Austin, TX. This intermediate class had a good range of skill level along with various occupations some including active LE SWAT members. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, breezy and crisp in the morning then nice and sunny in the afternoon.

We started out TD1 with a brief discussion on weapon manipulation and the importance of developing continuity in your techniques. It also gives me the opportunity to inspect the various gear we have in the class. We had two 1911’s that ran flawlessly. One kept having grip panel screws coming loose, but other than that no problems to report. I still love the old warhorse, but when you place shot placement at the top of the list for caliber becomes a mute point and then it is down to magazine capacity. In a side bar conversation I spoke with one of the students who was commenting how their department was re-evaluating the employment of the 1911. There was a Sig and while I have tremendous affection for this pistol, I don’t choose to shoot one anymore for the simple reason I want a single and simple trigger system. There were a few M&P’s in the class and while I know many people are fond of these pistols, I haven’t found any love. I’m just not convinced they offer anything better over what I’m currently using. The Glock family rounded out the remaining pistols.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the mission drives the gear. If you don’t know what your mission is then don’t be surprised if you can’t sort out your gear issues. I encourage folks to put some thought into what their expectations and goals are so they can streamline their equipment selection. When I do this it really helps to streamline your choices, not that you eliminate mistakes, you just reduce the chance of a poor choice, by thinning the options.

We had a typical assortment of holster selections, open tops to tactical rigs. This is a class that while you could use an IWB I wouldn’t encourage it on the first go around. Stick with a good open top and my preference is still for a good quality leather holster. On the tactical rigs, we had two Safariland ALS type holsters. One had the added retention feature of the SLS, which I feel to be unnecessary, the ALS is pretty damn awesome so need to complicate matters, which is exactly what happens when you add the SLS. The defeat methodology for the SLS is to push down and forward. Then the student has to pull back to defeat the ALS. Watching the student he was clearly slower than other retention methods and when rushed had a hard time with a clean draw stroke. Gunfights are hard enough; don’t make them any harder. My other beef with these holsters was they all had a forward cant, even my holster has it much to my chagrin. The only solution is to utilize the QLS to adjust the cant, but it still only does so much. In speaking with Safariland at SHOT we brough this to their attention and hopefully they do something about it. That is really that is standing between this holster and greatness.

We have decided to ban the use of Serpa style holsters due the higher change of negligent discharges during the draw stroke. Yet, that didn’t stop us from seeing one in class. I didn’t have a replacement holster so we had to run with it, but in the future we will be very specific about not allowing them in classes.

An honorable mention goes to Paul G. and his new tricycle. For those who don’t know Paul, he is confined to a wheelchair, but that doesn’t stop him one bit from being an excellent shooter. This new device attached to the front of his wheelchair elevating the smaller wheels and replacing them with a larger wheel. It seemed that he was much more maneuverable a concern I had that quickly vanished. Of course, that didn’t help him navigate through all the cow patties, but it added to the beauty of the range.

The class did really well during the skills assessment and we started with some marksmanship preparation. I cannot emphasis it enough how important it is to truly understand marksmanship fundamentals. Many think they do, but I really doubt they have high-level understanding. If I had to choose the most important fundamental, it would be trigger management. It starts with trigger finger placement, location and then prepping the trigger. I use the term press past the detonation so that students can apply good technique. It seems to make sense to folks that instead of flying off the trigger press it straight to rear until it contacts the rear of the frame. Some triggers were easier to work than others; I liked how we were able to progress on this front.

Many had some difficulties focusing on the dot instead of the top of the front sight and it is amazing the difference you can see at 10 yards much less 25 yards. Later in the day when we did some drills that really call into question your consistency we could see folks having a hard time generating hits. There is nothing like standards to keep everything in check. That is another bothersome point; the difference between “wants” and “needs”. You may want some wiz-bang, but do you really need it.

The day progressed really well and we got a chance to get away for a really nice lunch at a pretty good BBQ joint. It is always nice to enjoy a good meal with a good group. By the time we hit the afternoon things were going pretty smoothly. The diagnostic drills are tough, but we made huge gains on TD1, only to forget much of it on TD2, but it is a lot to soak up. I feel the best approach is to absorb what you can, don’t try to take on too much or you will do a half ass job of everything. Once you have digested something then you can take on more and more. Progression is the name of the game here.

We finished off the day with a head to head competition and congrats to the winner. I had an extra backpack lying around that went to the winner.

TD2 started out a bit brisk and some folks opted to wear gloves. I love gloves and from a professional standpoint they are a must. I remember hating to train with them because they really affected my shooting. Actually, my shooting wasn’t that good and the gloves just made things worse. It took me a while to perfect my technique to the point the gloves didn’t deteriorate my shooting. So, during some of the diagnostics we saw some suboptimal performance.

I liked being able to get right into movement early in the morning and most everyone did well. Folks got to get rid of the notion a technique will help you while moving. All that is really going to help you understands the window of opportunity will be minute and you have to break the shot when it is there. Don’t get wrapped up in all the craziness, as soon as you have the first, best sight picture, bust it. Easier said than done, but I like this drill for that reason. Folks who haven’t worked FBSP will have a hard time with this drill. Others do surprising well.

In the afternoon we had some more elimination drills and these add a different dimension to the party. First, you can only shoot accurately as fast as you can see the sights. If you are not programmed to consciously pick up the sight, don’t be surprised when a little pressure is added. Now, add trigger management and it is no surprise why folks have a hard time with this drill. Something that I think is super important has to do with the grip. I think a lot of people believe they are gripping the pistol correctly, but watching them you can see it needs work, lots of work. If you can take away one simple tool from the class it is to grip from your pinkies up the frame. Combined with a clamshell grip it will give you a superior grip every time. Definitely something everyone should work on; grip strength.

TD3 was probably the most beautiful of all and we were short one student who due to family obligations couldn’t attend the last day. We all made sure he knew he was missed and loved by sending a group picture and our day started out awesome. The diagnostics were much improved and everyone was at times putting it all together. Mid-morning I got word that a close friend had died the night before in a skydiving accident. Over the last decades we have all lost loved ones and it really never gets easy. This one was especially hard because it was so unexpected. I wish DP a heart felt fair winds and following seas. As Pat says, “we are diminished by his loss.” After getting my shit together we proceed with the rest of the day and despite the setback it went really well. Life moves on and the class did a great job, I spent most of the lunch on the phone, but they were very patient with me.

Once back at the range we got it on with some elimination drills and about the only thing I was disappointed in was we just couldn’t seem to get people to advance forward. For whatever reason this drill was tough for everyone. We got to another favorite drill of mine where we randomly introduce dummy rounds into the magazines. On TD1 I had one of the students with a nasty trigger slap add them to just about every magazine and it paid off big time as he was able to sort through his major issue to his accuracy which was poor trigger management. Because of all the moving parts folks tend to forget about the dummy rounds and you see it in this drill. We finished the school drills with a run at the El Presidente. This is our marksmanship drill for the Marksmanship Badge we issue out, the little brother to the Modified Navy Qualification. Most folks were really doing well until the timer comes out and then we saw folks trying to race the clock instead of pushing themselves to work things in the proper sequence as fast as they can do it correctly. Still saw some good stuff and we had a blast, hard not to have fun in that drill. We setup of the test and for the most part the class did really well, it would have been nice to see more folks pass, but steady progress is more valuable than a piece of paper.

One thing that I have been playing with now is the Deltapoint on my G17. I have to admit that I love this setup and I will go on record saying we should see gun manufactures producing at the factory guns configured for this option next year. While there still is plenty of room for improvement the concept is rock solid and now it is just a matter of the 1,000lb brain dudes getting their act together and making this thing as bombproof as possible. I don’t really see anything negative other than the extra cost, which compared to some of the trigger jobs folks are doing to other guns is more valuable in my opinion. Now, that there is continuity between primary and secondary I can see little slowing down during transitions.

What I’m most impressed with is my accuracy, the furthest I have shot it back to 100yd and the damn things is literally hard to miss with and makes shots at those distance not only into the realm of possibility but easily repeatable. For my next trip, starting to establish baselines for 100yd drills. I know plenty of folks will bitch, so don’t worry those are more for my own PRODEV than anything.

While I feel the optic will improve rapidly, supporting equipment will lag behind. Once I did get my Safariland holsters though, there was really nothing stopping me from just going hog wild. For those with aging eyes, this is your new meal ticket. Everyone who has a problem with their eyesight or seeing the front sight has literally jumped for joy when they see that triangle as clear as day, well maybe a little fuzzy, but you get my point. I will be putting several thousand rounds through this new setup in our classes so more to follow.

We wrapped up our debrief, then finished with a brass call and got everyone out the door. We will be doing a lot more classes in CENTEX and they will become my defacto personalized classes, where we keep the classes small. We are also changing the May CP2 to a Combative Pistol, Level 1 so now there really isn’t a reason to get folks to come out and play.

Jeff L. Gonzales President Trident Concepts, LLC

Outstanding AAR Duke!

It has been a few years since I trained with Jeff in his excellent and demanding CP1 Class (near Denver...2004, IIRC), but he is one of the best in the business, period.

Glad to see Jeff posting here and to know that he plans courses in CENTEX for the future...although my work schedule supporting the US Army has me TDY OCONUS at what are often inopportune times, maybe I'll be able to get down there for some more training with Jeff (and Pat) at some point this year.

Again, excellent AAR...and you'll eventually be where you want to be on kit decisions...the only way to work them out is by doing exactly what you ARE doing...training with real professionals and soaking up what they teach, and what you experience on the line.

ATW... Mike

Ok, you got it! I am dying of envy for not attending such a training event. Mad

Thanks a lot for the outstanding AARs. A lot is learned just by learning your comments.

Joined: 30DEC08      Location: SPAIN

Take care, keep safe, stay frosty, brother!

tirotactico.net

Well I suppose I've procrastinated long enough now, and that I should finally get off my ass and fuck this monkey.


This is the third TRICON class I've attended, but the first handgun class of theirs. I always enjoy training with Jeff Gonzales and make no attempt to hide that he's been my favorite instructor to train with thus far in my long and arduous 2.5 year civilian training career. I always lay down in the hotel bed every night hurting at least a little, and usually quite a bit after Training Day 3. But no matter how much I'm hurting or how tired I am, I can't wait for the next training day so I can do it all over again. Not only are Jeff's classes usually a reasonably high round count (I shot around 1,700 rounds in this 3-day class), but he expects every last round to be within the 8" circle on the chest or 4" circle in the face (notice I said "face" and not "head," that's Jeff's intention). No exceptions. And in this particular class, this would prove to be quite a challenge for me to do consistently.


Jeff Gonzales showing us how it's done!



After switching over to the S&W M&P9 in March 2011, and giving my all to shoot that blasted gun for around 11 months with no solid luck (as well as investing an ass-ton of money in Apex trigger upgrades and mags), I finally decided to switch back to my beloved Glock 19 about 2 months ago. Although I was immediately better with my Glock when I picked it back up than I was in all 11 months with the M&P9, I'm still trying to get back to where I was with my Glock before stupidly making the switch to the M&P in the first place.

I've got an older video on YouTube from about 2 years ago where I'm shooting my Glock 19 with ease at 100 yards at a steel silhouette target and hit something like 7/8 times. I'm almost positive I couldn't do that again with consistency at this moment… not quite yet. But I'll get there again. Here's that video link btw:

Glock 19 at 100 Yards video:
http://youtu.be/ds1BJMsasQI


I mainly had issues in this class with not prepping the trigger and taking up the slack while presenting my gun to the target after drawing it from the holster. It took me until TD2 to even start putting my finger on the trigger BEFORE I completely presented my gun. For some damn reason I'd present my gun completely, get a sight picture and then finally touch the trigger and begin pressing it. I have no clue why I was doing that, especially considering I always prepped the trigger while presenting the gun BEFORE I switched guns a year ago, but at least it's now resolved (again). I was also pressing the trigger so insanely slow at the 25 yard line. Whenever I'd dry fire the gun it would work perfectly and beautifully every single time (of course!), but it's like my finger was working in slow motion when there was a live round in the chamber. And of course the longer you're holding your gun out there, and the longer you wait to shoot AFTER you already had that first best sight picture, you're "wobbling" more and more and you pretty much just fucked everything up.

It took me until the ass end of TD2 to FINALLY un-fuck myself and begin touching and prepping the trigger as I presented my gun to the target, pressing the trigger once I had the first best sight picture, and pressing all the way past detonation as Jeff instructed us to do very early on. Better late than never, though. I also realized my grip hasn't been as firm as it needs to be after Jeff pointed it out to me, and I made the conscious effort to get more aggressive with my grip throughout the class.

On TD2 I believe, we went over shooting with strong hand only. Jeff told us to make sure that we did everything the same as we would when shooting with both hands, and not to cant the gun at all or loosen our grip on it. He also instructed us to point our thumbs down. I've never been taught to do this before, and once I got used to doing that (since I'm usually pointing it forward and resting it on top of my support hand), it really helped me to control the gun more. Since I'm confined to a manual wheelchair, shooting with my strong hand only is something I need to do everything I can in order to master it. Unfortunately, bad guys in the real world aren't going to let me know ahead of time that they're getting ready to try and kill me -or someone else in front of me- and allow me to get squared up to them and lock my brakes so that I can draw and get both hands on the gun as I present it to NSR his or her ass(es). I'm going to likely have my left hand on my left wheel, stabilizing my wheelchair and/or preventing it from rolling in an undesired direction, while I draw and shoot my gun with my right hand. That's just the world I live in, so I need to adapt to this reality and train much more shooting and manipulating the gun with my strong hand only.

Another issue I have which applies to most everyone (some more than others), is shooting under pressure. When all eyes are on me and the pressure to succeed is in the forefront of my mind, I pretty much fuck everything up. This is obviously an embarrassing thing to admit, but it's the honest truth and my fellow students saw me choke under pressure on multiple occasions in this class. I had the chance to easily win the head to head competition on the evening of TD2, because my opponent missed a shot on the steel popper at 25 yards. I was tied in wins with another student and I was the last shooter, so I could've won 3 and taken the win without shooting off against him. I made my first shot, then heard that my opponent dropped one of his shots and knew he failed and that I had it in the bag, then I squeezed off my second shot too quickly and missed. Fucking. Miserable. Fail. I felt like a total douche. All I had to do was take my time and make the hit, but under the pressure I just went too damn fast and snatched the trigger. There was no reason at all for me to rush my shot, but I still did. When myself and the other student who also had 2 wins went into a shoot-off, we both choked. I was once again embarrassed.


Here's me Failing to hit steel!



On TD3 whenever we ran the El Presidente drill, I actually had 6 clean runs in a row (3 at 7 yards, 3 at 10 yards). Then whenever we did our qualifying runs and all eyes were on me during my turn, I dropped 2 damn shots. I was so pissed at myself, but I still somehow managed to be the only student who had a qualifying score. So then I had to run it again to earn my badge. I was 100% sure that I was going to bend El Presidente' over and show him who the fucking boss was, but for some asinine reason I forgot that there was a reload involved in this drill that I'd just gotten done running 7 damn times in a row over the past 30 minutes, and I paused ever-so-slightly after engaging the third target. I then realized my mistake and stripped the magazine from the gun like a madman and threw that bitch somewhere to my left, reloaded and stupidly tried to make up the lost 1/2-second by shooting faster than I'm capable of making good hits. I may have actually still qualified, even with my clusterfuck of a run, but I threw a round just off the silhouette into the white on the paper, which is an instant disqualification on ANY drill in a TRICON class.


Click Picture to view video of El Presidente qualifying run:



Although I did spend a little of this class being very angry with myself for a few instances of very poor performance by my standards, I realize that I just haven't spent near as much time with a handgun as I have with a carbine. I simply need to get out and shoot more with my handgun; that's the bottom line. I have no doubts that I will eventually be as confident with my handgun as I am with my carbine, but how soon that day arrives is up to me. Considering I carry a concealed handgun every day though (not a carbine), I need to make this happen sooner rather than later.

As for my gear, everything I ran performed great. As I've already gone over, I ran a Glock 19 in this class. I had no issues with it and no malfunctions, as is to be expected with a Glock. I ran Warren Tactical sights, with the fiber optic front. Like Duke explained in his fantastic AAR above, I too had issues on TD1 aiming with this sight setup. I kept placing the red fiber optic dot where I wanted to hit the target, rather than the top of the front sight itself. I eventually got it squared away, but also like Duke I'm thinking I might go more basic and try out a plain black front sight for a while to keep shit simple.

I ran a Raven Concealment holster on my right hip and double mag pouch on my left at around 10 o'clock, both of which worked well as expected. My Raven holster is actually for an M&P9, and has the "Magpul Dynamics" cut, but my Glock 19 fits inside of it great. On TD3 I mounted my Surefire X300 weapon light and used my relatively new "DSG Alpha" holster, which is a newly-released brand of holster sold by DSG Arms. It's essentially a Raven-style holster that only took me 2 days to receive via UPS after ordering it from DSG Arms, which is one of the things that makes it a great holster. So far I've run it throughout 2 classes and it's worked very well (I don't have a picture of it to share with you yet). The ammo I used was around 800 rounds of cheap ass Aguila 124gr FMJ, and 900 rounds of Speer Lawmen 124gr FMJ. I usually run 124gr loads in training classes due to the slightly increased recoil over 115gr ammo, so that it better represents the feel of my carry ammo.


Raven Concealment holster



I also brought along a new device for my wheelchair called the "FreeWheel," as Jeff mentioned in his AAR above. It attaches to the foot plate of my chair and when the lever is pressed downward, it lifts my two small rollerblade-type front wheels off the ground about 1-inch, and essentially turns my wheelchair into a 3-wheeler, which is much better suited for off road use. This thing kicks major ass and makes my life much easier when traversing in grass or other rough terrain. I love it!


My new "FreeWheel" attachment





Jeff also let me try out his Glock 17 with the Deltapoint red dot sight mounted. After shooting part of a familiarization drill with it, I now want to buy one for myself. It was that awesome! Unlike in the past where I had issues "finding" the dot when presenting the gun on target, I didn't really have any problem picking up the large 7MOA Triangle red dot as I drove the gun to the target, and it's so much faster and easier simply placing the dot on the target and pressing the trigger. I didn't have a single miss when running the red dot-equipped Glock 17. It allows you to focus on the actual target downrange instead of the standard front sight, just like running an Aimpoint on a carbine. I hope to be ordering one for myself fairly soon.


Jeff's Glock 17 with Deltapoint



I learned a lot at this class and despite occasionally being angry at my performance, I had a really great time as I always do. I got to meet some really cool people and make new friends, as well as hang out with a few from past classes. I finally got to meet Duke as well, and he's a really awesome dude! We shared lots of great laughs and there was plenty of ball-busting back and forth (like when he didn't do a Push/Pull when loading a mag while holstered behind the line and his full magazine dropped to the deck after drawing his gun for all to see and laugh at!). He's also a good shooter. One of my favorite things about attending training classes is meeting new people, and Jeff's classes tend to always attract squared away shooters.


Duke in all his glory!



Duke's full mag on the ground after failing to Push/Pull (sorry bro, I had to!)



I can't say enough about Jeff Gonzales. He's an outstanding instructor, as well as a person. I never get the feeling that he'd rather be anywhere else than at my class, and he gives 100% the entire time, which in turn makes me want to do the same. The dude is constantly running back and forth downrange to check and tape our targets during the multiple elimination drills each day throughout the class, and he just really motivates me in general to bust my ass for him as well. He's also a damn good shooter and I hope to be half as good as he is someday. Actually scratch that noise, I want to be better than him!

S/F Paul



Funniest moment of TD 2:

JLG: "Ok, shooting on the move... who here doesn't remember how to walk?"
Paul G: ((slowly raises hand))

So awesome.

Paul, as per your SOP, an outstanding, candid, brutally honest AAR. Thanks for taking the time to hang it all out there.
------------------------------

"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
Well, no matter how many times you proof read something there is always something you miss. Not too worried about the grammar stuff, but there potentially is something that could be confusing. In discussing the Sherpa I mentioned how it was more likely to experience an ND then I go on to say how we saw one in class. I was referencing we saw a Sherpa holster in class and NOT an ND. Hope that clears things up a bit.

Jeff L. Gonzales President Trident Concepts, LLC



BTW; there was an unusually in-depth lunch-break discussion about Paul's guy-who-works-the-register-at-an-Adult-Video-store mustache, and how it qualified him to work the 24-hour XXX store in Bastrop.
------------------------------

"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
quote:
Originally posted by Duke:

BTW; there was an unusually in-depth lunch-break discussion about Paul's guy-who-works-the-register-at-an-Adult-Video-store mustache, and how it qualified him to work the 24-hour XXX store in Bastrop.


Oh, burn!! I knew I shouldn't have posted the push/pull fail pic of your mag on the ground, lol!!

S/F Paul

Aw, heckfire; I deserved it. *Although I was *mildly* hurt how fast you wheeled your machine over to take pictures... I didn't see you move that fast all weekend. Jig's up, man. THE JIG IS UP! Big Grin

------------------------------

"Its not about shooting, its about fighting with a gun." -Pat Rogers


The answer to 1984 is 1776.

"I prefer evil sits in daylight for all to see rather than be hidden, forgotten about and possibly repeated." -Consigliere
quote:
Originally posted by Duke:


Funniest moment of TD 2:

JLG: "Ok, shooting on the move... who here doesn't remember how to walk?"
Paul G: ((slowly raises hand))

So awesome.


This was classic...

Jeff L. Gonzales President Trident Concepts, LLC

quote:
BTW; there was an unusually in-depth lunch-break discussion about Paul's guy-who-works-the-register-at-an-Adult-Video-store mustache, and how it qualified him to work the 24-hour XXX store in Bastrop.



That hurts!


Paul, don't worry, I support your mustache. And if it helped to get you the job that's good.

On the other hand, as usual, outstanding and useful AAR, bro! Thanks for sharing it.

S/F

Joined: 30DEC08      Location: SPAIN

Take care, keep safe, stay frosty, brother!

tirotactico.net

This is probably the first AAR I've fully read, and am glad I did. Through it all, this paragraph really stuck out when I was reading.

quote:
The class did really well during the skills assessment and we started with some marksmanship preparation. I cannot emphasis it enough how important it is to truly understand marksmanship fundamentals. Many think they do, but I really doubt they have high-level understanding. If I had to choose the most important fundamental, it would be trigger management. It starts with trigger finger placement, location and then prepping the trigger. I use the term press past the detonation so that students can apply good technique. It seems to make sense to folks that instead of flying off the trigger press it straight to rear until it contacts the rear of the frame. Some triggers were easier to work than others; I liked how we were able to progress on this front.


I'm curious if JLG, or anyone else cares to expound on this. I'll admit the only "training" I've received so far is through my current department, and we all know how basic firearms training with PD's can go. As long as you're hitting the correct target and qualifying, you're good to go. TRICON is the one agency I've been looking at classes due to the amount of pistol classes I've seen around the Texas area. Funding the class is my sole enemy. So without going too in-depth past the part of stuff I would have to pay for to receive from the class, which I wholly understand and hope to soon, and not derailing Duke's AAR too badly, can anyone elaborate on marksmanship fundamentals and proper trigger management?

Brian
__________________________

"My craving is, and always has been, to be involved in actions conducted to ensure America remains strong, safe, and free of those who have its destruction as their goal."
- Billy Waugh

‎"When you enter a room full of armed men, shoot the first person who makes a move, hostile or otherwise. He has started to think and is therefore dangerous."
- Robert "Paddy" Mayne

Paul,

Outstanding AAR. Very well written, w/ excellent photos.

I, took, took a detour into the world of M&P before coming back to Glock. Only, instead of an Apex trigger kit, I poured about $600 worth of custom work into one (Bowie stipping and trigger). The Glock is still crisper.

Jeff, really neat Deltapoint setup on the G17. I feel like I've seen it before Smile

Brian, it was the realization that my department's qualification program was a joke that led me to seek out higher level training. Within a few weeks after I came to this epiphany, I happened across a 5.11 Tactical catalog. The rest is history.

With regard to your comment on fundamentals...

I suggest that you consider picking up a copy of Jeff's book, Combative Fundamentals, an unconventional approach . Although coming up on ten years old, the information in this book is just as relevant as when it was released. Jeff is simply a phenomenal writer. A lot of guys can do, some can teach, but exceedingly few can write. This is getting even worse in the current IM/text generation, where all rules of grammar have gone out the window. The economic use of words and overall level of organization (in my opinion, the key to great writing) is just off the charts in this book.

The goal of good writing is basically to get information from one person's head into another's. With this book, it feels like it come by osmosis. Never once did I get the feeling "Is this what he means?" It's basically 300 pages of "I get it."
Brian,

I appreciate your request for knowledge, but it's difficult to get it in this format. My best suggestions is to isolate what it takes to guarantee a hit for you, sights, trigger and follow through. From there break it down even further, once you have it broken down to the core then practice those aspects as best as you can. Good luck...

Jeff L. Gonzales President Trident Concepts, LLC

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