AAR Sage Dynamics RDS Handgun Instructor
Muncie Threat Assessment Center (MTAC), Muncie, IN
May 21-23, 2019
- Roland Special G19
- AE 147gr fmj (approx. 700 rounds), AE 115 gr fmj (approx.. 300 rounds), Federal HST 147 gr (50 rounds)
- Mix of Magpul and OEM magazines
- Safariland 6354DO holster
- BFG padded war belt
- Safariland Slimline 775 triple mag pouch
- Dark Angel Medical DARK Lite IFAK
- SOFTT-W in 1110 belt pouch
*also ran approximately 100 rounds of AE 147 gr fmj through Aaron’s Agency Arms G19, with Aimpoint ACRO on it
24-years LE, 20 with a large Metropolitan agency. Four years USMC Infantry. Multiple classes with Patrick Rogers/EAG Tactical, Pat Rogers/Steve Tarani ITOG Urban Conflict Resolution, Patrick Mcnamara TAPS Pistol and Rifle, Patrick Mcnamara TAPS Instructor, Frank Proctor Performance Pistol and Rifle, FLETC Firearms Instructor Training Program, FLETC Advanced Pistol Training Program, NRA LE Division Handgun/Shotgun Instructor, Tom Givens Instructor Development, Tom Givens Advanced Instructor, Rogers Shooting School, William Petty/Centrifuge Training VCQB Instructor, Glock Operator Course, Alexander Global Strategies Executive Protection Course, FLETC Basic Tactical Medical Instructor Training Program, FLETC Active Shooter Threat Instructor Training Program, ITTS/Keary Miller Law Enforcement Tactical Trauma Course, NAEMT TCCC, Presscheck Consulting No-Fail Pistol (x2), Sentinel Concepts Practical Shotgun, Sentinel Concepts Carbine Essentials, several hundred hours of department firearms training, several regional firearms courses.
The class was hosted by MTAC, and the classroom portion (TD1) was held at their facility. The host was attentive, bathrooms were clean, and coffee/water were provided.
TD2 and TD3 were range days, and were held at the Muncie FOP Range. The range was basic (approx.. 100 yds), with excellent front and side berms. There was a target building on-site, but few other amenities. Restrooms were located at the actual FOP lodge, which was approximately 4-500 yds away from the range.
19(?) shooters. All LE, with one exception – who works as a firearms instructor in the Chicago-area. One shooter had some kind of emergency between TD2 and TD3, and did not complete the class. All shooters were safe and competent. Most officers were representing IN, OH, and IL agencies.
I’ve been wanting to train with Aaron for quite some time. He’s always struck me as one of the more cerebral shooters out there, and my inner-nerd digs that. I was not disappointed. Anyone that has watched any of his reviews on the various RDS out there, or who has read his White Paper, knows Aaron gets pretty deep into the weeds on a given topic. This class was no exception.
Aaron covered everything from history of firearms (and sighting systems) to optometry on TD1. The data-driven knowledge he brings to RDS on handguns is reminiscent of William Petty with vehicles. Like I said, my inner-nerd loves this kinda stuff.
The range work was extremely well thought out, designed along a “more likely to happen, to less likely to happen” model, and covered all of the fundamentals of shooting a handgun, only with a focus on how things change when that handgun has a RDS on it. Malfunction reduction, including the various ways an optic might fail and how to deal with those failures, factored heavily in the course.
Other topics included diagnosing shooters (both with irons and optics), dot acquisition, shooting at speed, and designing a program for your agency. On that last, Aaron actually encouraged us to “steal his shit.” He is far more concerned about getting this information out to departments, than he is about potential IP issues. That’s pretty damn rare.
I had no issues with any of my gear in this class. As I mentioned above, I got an opportunity to run Aaron’s ACRO-equipped Agency Arms G17, and I had some trials with that. On loading it up the first time, I noticed it was pretty gritty going into battery, and shrugged it off. I experienced a handful of failures to return to battery, before pulling my head out of my ass and dropping some lube into the gun. Failures solved.
The other “issue” I encountered was the zero on the ACRO. Aaron had just come from Utah (an elevation change of approximately 4000 feet), and the ACRO had been zeroed there by a student, using an unknown ammo type. Fast-forward to me shooting AE 147gr in Indiana, and my hits were way off. I didn’t want to slow down the class, or start twisting on Aaron’s gun, so after about 100 rounds, I switched back to my Roland Special.
Neither of these were anything close to a real problem. Lube, ammo, and elevation matter. Ignore them, and that’s on you. I merely list any “issues” I have in a class, in the interest of complete honesty.
As I mention in all of my AAR’s, I no longer go to classes expecting to gain a ton of new stuff. For the most part, I go in hoping to gain one or two “nuggets” that will improve what I have already heard from others, or discovered through pure, dumb luck. While I have been running my Roland Special since April, 2016, and have about 27-28k rounds through it, I am far from an “expert” on the handgun RDS. I fully expected to learn a ton in this class, and I did.
As a cross-eye dominant lefty, it was a first for me to encounter an instructor who had the same disability. Being able to bounce questions off Aaron from that perspective was added-value.
Aaron has obviously spent a lot of time and effort in developing this program, and it shows. He presented it in a polished, professional, well thought-out manner, and answered the majority of my questions before I asked them. I will be returning for more of Aaron’s classes, and would absolutely recommend him to others.
As for the Aimpoint ACRO, and keeping my low round count on it in mind, I dug it. For me, acquisition seemed more consistent. The closed emitter is pretty awesome. It’s definitely daylight bright, and it has night vision settings. It was nowhere near as clunky as it appeared in pictures. It fit in my 6354DO perfectly. I’ll be ordering one, very soon, for my G45.