It was a great class this past Saturday at Angeles Ranges with Phoenix Tactical Solutions, and I highly recommend them!
I arrived a little late around 9:15, and Maani and Sean from Phoenix Tactical already had the range fully setup with about a dozen target stands using their custom silhouette targets and were going through some basic drills. I have taken classes with them before, so after a brief weapons check and safety review we started into the class.
The Class was very comprehensive, and they did a good job of working gradually from simple to more challenging exercises, and they constantly gauge your abilities and modify the course to suit and challenge your individual skill level.
All the drills are done drawing from a holster to practice safe draw, and then adding speed as you progress throughout the day.
Phoenix uses custom targets with 2 highlighted "A" zones. The heart is about 4-5 inches, and the ocular area is about 2x5 inches. They work well because they force you to aim and shoot precisely. The goal was to have all shots, for all exercises, in the two gray target zones. Very precise and very tough in some exercises trying to do "heart shots" and "head shots" while moving or off the draw from 25 yards away.
We continued the class with close contact shooting, first single targets then on to multiple targets. Next we did some drills where the target was to our strong side or weak side or behind us. We had to pivot 90 or 180 degrees, draw, and then shoot. That progressed into multiple target engagement with double taps and eventually into a "fail to stop" (mozambique) drill. Lastly, we did several shooting and moving drills, starting from 1 arm length, shooting from the draw, and then continued shooting as we walked backwards.
The final (and most fun) part of the class was the Assault Course. They setup all of the target stands into a single course of fire that included all of the things we learned and practiced. Starting from 5' away with the targets behind you, turn and draw, double-tap three targets in the heart, then run to cover with muzzle safety and hit 3 targets from behind the barricade. The barricade has cut-outs and staggered sides, so you shoot the targets twice each standing, squatting, and then kneeling from different locations. Still behind cover, do a speed or tac reload, then 1-2 shots each on 4 more targets while moving towards them. Occasionally, just when we thought we were finished with the last shot, we would pause, check our surroundings and be ready to holster, and they would call out a surprise drill--"One to the head" and we had to immediately react and hit the target.
One thing I really appreciated about the class was the instructors' attention to detail. They were constantly watching the mechanics of how you shoot, telling me if my stance was off, if I was didn't grip my gun correctly at the draw, or if I had a weak grip on my support hand. A lot of little things that helped improve my accuracy. I was watching where I hit, and they were wathcing how I shot..... That type of the real-time feedback really helps to clean up some bad habits and improve your accuracy.
If you take a Phoenix Class, which I highly recommend you do, be ready to shoot A LOT! Although it was only a half day class, we were almost always shooting, and I went through all 500 rounds I took.
A BIG THANKS to Maani and Sean for another great class. Their insight, instruction, and helpful tips made this a very beneficial class. You really should check them out.
(link to testimonial: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=538575)
The short of it: These guys at Phoenix Tactical are amazing! I have never shot so accurately and fluidly. The instructors are fantastic they are detail oriented, professional and very friendly. Simply said they are really good at what they do! You will have hours of stories for your friends. Look now further, these are the guys to go with. We are already talking about the next time we are going to do this!
The long of it: Well just this holiday my two buddies and I treated ourselves to a class with Phoenix Tactical. We arranged for an all day private lesson. We did Handgun in the morning and Carbine in the afternoon. (Let me say 8 hours of training and you’ll be in bed by 8:30pm and sore guaranteed.) We got to the range and there were 3 instructors for 3 trainees! Great first impression! Since we didn’t own handguns they set us up with some glocks. Now since we didn’t own any handguns you could ascertain that we weren’t the best shot. But from the first draw from the holster we were all on target. Now I said these guys are detail oriented and I didn’t lie. The torso on your target isn’t acceptable it’s got to be in the heart every time and that was the case no matter what the distance or the circumstance. We impressed ourselves that goes to show you the level at which they teach. When we moved over into the carbines the same was true for those. Fantastic! Something we had all never done but once again we were on target all day and it was tons of fun! We shot from 9am to 5:15pm (sunset) with a 20 min break for lunch. Talk about getting your money’s worth. Now Phoenix Tactical does do group lessons which are 5 hours or so and less expensive then the way we did it but that being said I wouldn’t hesitate for one second doing this again. Call it “Man Camp” and take your closest friends and go do it!
Summary: Ok so you’re concerned I have now hyped this up so much that it’s gonna be a let down. You’re so wrong! I got home and it was all I could talk about. In fact it has been the point of conversations and questions from my friends for the last week. Well worth the money! A truly incredible experience!
(link to testimonial: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=518325)
LCDR Christopher "Hi Ho" Silva
First, I would like to say thank you very much to Maani and Sean for their time, knowledge, and professionalism. They are extremely good instructors that maintain your level of confidence by allowing your skill level to set the pace of your learning and not just rush through the days training. I had never shot from a holster so I was looking to start out very slow until I got the hang of it. Maani and Sean were exactly the instructors that I was looking for because they never made me feel uncomfortable and were readily willing to go extra slow until I felt confident in the task being performed.
I took this class because I wanted to become more confident my Sig P228. I was looking for a course that could train me to feel extremely confident with it since I’m mainly an AR guy and the handgun was my weakness. I wanted training that would take my handgun skills to the next level and I found it (I actually think I went an extra level, which is cool). On top of the skills that I learned I think one thing that sticks out with me the most is that I feel safer now with my Sig than I ever have after completing this class. It’s hard to describe but when you feel safe you are safe, you feel confident, you shoot better, and that’s great.
During the days training we covered close contact and intermediate engagements, support side shooting, shooting on the move, shooting during retreat, Type 2 and 3 malfunctions, and more. Best of all you learn three of the best skills for tactical shooting: 1. Who’s your best friend? (thanks Sean. I still can't believe how well this works.) 2. How to shoot extremely fast without sacrificing accuracy. 3. A skill that could safe your life when reloading. (thanks for drilling this over and over Gents) These alone were worth their weight in gold. Take the course and I’m sure you will agree.
I got everything I wanted, and then some, from this training and had a blast as well, no pun intended . I would recommend this class for anyone who wishes to take their handgun skills to the next level, feel safer handling their firearm, or those who wish to feel “one with the gun” as the Phoenix Tactical Solution website says. I truly feel one with my Sig now and I appreciate and thank those who got me here.
I do recommend bringing: plenty of water or Gatorade hat and sunscreen and an UpLula is a definitely a must have for reloading I hope this helps folks in thinking of taking a class! Safe shooting to all!
(link to testimonial: www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=482743)
I personally shot 600 rounds in the 4 hour session....... all of it with very close up demonstration, instruction, feedback, and advice from the instructors.
We did almost everything they show in their videos....
ASSAULT COURSE: http://www.youtube.com/user/PhoenixTacSolutions?feature=mhee#p/u/5/8TBuFaLLz_M
INTERMEDIATE ENGAGEMENTS: http://www.youtube.com/user/PhoenixTacSolutions?feature=mhee#p/u/8/damJTjTRdyE
MULTIPLE TARGETS - VARYING DISTANCES: http://www.youtube.com/user/PhoenixTacSolutions?feature=mhee#p/u/12/pLo8VezVc8Y
If you're like me and like to shoot (duh), then their classes are a must for you. You'll shoot a ton and get some good training also.
Those of you who couldn't make it REALLY missed out on a great day all around.
(link to testimonial: www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=444878)
I had a fantastic Saturday at Angeles Ranges attending the Phoenix Tactical Solutions handgun skillbuilder. It was a great class, and I highly recommend them!
Miataguy and I arrived early around 8:40am, and Maani and Sean from Phoenix Tactical already had the range fully setup. They had a dozen target stands prepared with their custom silhouette targets, and even setup a patio umbrella for us to give us some shade during the quick breaks.
I have tried to remember the different drills that we did--I may have mixed a few up or missed one or two, but the session was very comprehensive, and did a nice job of working gradually from simple to more challenging exercises.
We started with basic 5 yard drills, drawing from holster to practice safe draw, and then doing "heart shots" and "head shots" into the cardio and ocular areas of the custom targets.
The heart is about 4-5 inches, and the ocular area is about 2x5 inches. The custom targets were great, because they forced you to aim and shoot precisely. The goal was to have all shots, for all exercises, in the two gray target zones, which is much more precise / demanding than any other class I've taken--and was very good practice for me.
We then moved on to close contact shooting, where we shot with one hand from count 2 on the draw. After a few drills, we were able to hit the heart on two targets rapidly with one hand. Next we did some fixed drills where the target was to our left or right or behind us, and we had to pivot 90 or 180 degrees, draw, and then shoot. Last, we did several shooting and moving drills, starting from 1 arm length, shooting from the draw, and then shooting as we walked backwards.
They then setup all of the target stands into a single course of fire that included all of the things we learned and practiced. Starting from arms length, shoot two targets in the heart, then shoot them 2-4 times in the heart and head while walking backwards. Then run to cover with muzzle safety and hit 4 targets from behind the cover. Then run 10 yards while doing a speed or tac reload, then 1-2 shots each to 4 more targets while moving. Occasionally, just when we thought we were finished with the last shot, we would pause, check our surroundings and be ready to holster, and they would call out a surprise drill--"One to the head" and we had to immediately react and hit the target.
To wrap up the day, they gave us a primer on vehicle shooting. We sat in a truck with the seat belt on, and had to exit the vehicle safely while drawing from our holster, and then shooting four targets from behind the vehicle door. We all acknowledged that it wasn't a likely scenario for those of us in California, but it was a great exercise, as you realize how awkward and distracting it is to try and exit a vehicle safely with a loaded handgun and then try and hit several targets.
What I really appreciated about the class was the instructors' attention to detail. They showed me my stance was a little off, that I tended to lean to the side a bit, and that I was bringing my head down a little to meet the sights instead of bringing the gun up to meet my eyes. Adjusting those items immediately improved my accuracy. They watched nearly every shot to confirm where I hit, and reminded me when I wasn't doing a proper trigger reset and when I was focusing on the target instead of my front sight, and they showed us how we could tell based on where our hits were on the target. I loved all of the real-time feedback as I worked to clean up some bad habits that I had developed.
Although it is only a "half day" class, we were almost always shooting, and we went through about 550-600 rounds. I had seven 10-round mags and I was constantly reloading. UpLula to the rescue! By the end of the day, I was very tired, so be ready for a workout!
Here are some videos of their drills: http://phoenixtacticalsolutions.com/videos/
Recommendations for students:
--If you haven't already taken a class that teaches drawing from a holster and covers holster drills, you should probably speak with them about their Pistol I class before doing this skill builder.
--Bring lots of liquids for the summer classes. It was moderately warm (80s) and I went through 3 Gatorades, two bottles of water, and a coke and I was still dehydrated when I got home.
--Bring a hat and sunscreen
--If you don't have an UpLula, get one. You may feel manly loading your mags by hand, but when you have a pile of mags to reload quickly, UpLula saves you alot of time and alot of wear and tear on your hands.
(link to testimonial: www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=459370)