Tactical World - - Contents - By Mike Sear­son

Max­i­mize train­ing with­out ru­in­ing it for oth­ers.

You just signed up for a train­ing class. Maybe it’s your first or your 101st. Re­gard­less, there are a few rules of eti­quette that should be fol­lowed in to­day’s tac­ti­cal train­ing world. They’re some­thing ev­ery­one can all learn from, and they will help you get more out of your ed­u­ca­tion from the course – or at least keep you from be­ing la­beled as “that guy” for a week­end (or longer).

You may know how to safely han­dle a firearm at all times and have de­cent marks­man­ship, but there are prob­a­bly a few things you may not know or have taken for granted.

Read the Course De­scrip­tion

In our years of at­tend­ing pri­vate tac­ti­cal train­ing cour­ses, we have found this to be the num­ber one prob­lem area for stu­dents that have dif­fi­cul­ties.

Check Pre­req­ui­sites

Course pre­req­ui­sites seem to rub a lot of stu­dents the wrong way. Some see it as a “cash grab” from the school that’s teach­ing the course, try­ing to get you to take more cour­ses.

But con­sider this: Do you want to be in a class that in­volves run­ning around in the dark with a weapon-mounted light in a shoot-house with some­one whose shoot­ing re­sume in­cludes noth­ing but a four-hour CCW lecture? This goes back to learn­ing to crawl be­fore learn­ing to walk. All ef­fec­tive train­ing should be based on a strong foun­da­tion of fun­da­men­tals.

There may be some exceptions, such as stu­dents who have mil­i­tary or LEO ex­pe­ri­ence or have at­tended a sim­i­lar course from an­other in­struc­tor.

If you’re con­sid­er­ing a class that has pre­req­ui­sites, talk this over with the in­struc­tor be­fore­hand to see if you are good to go.

Bring the Right Equip­ment

Many tac­ti­cal cour­ses are held in re­mote lo­ca­tions with lim­ited fa­cil­i­ties. Food and wa­ter is not al­ways pro­vided and, in a few cases, the clos­est place to grab lunch may be 100 miles away. A 10-hour course will tire you out. Al­ways check food and wa­ter avail­abil­ity to keep you nour­ished.

Some gear may fail dur­ing train­ing, ei­ther be­cause it is old and worn out or new and un­proven. We al­ways ad­vise bring­ing a spare sling and hol­ster as well as ex­tra mag­a­zines.

If the course is a car­bine course and you are run­ning a long gun with an op­tic, make sure it is ze­roed be­fore you show up. These cour­ses are not cheap. The other par­tic­i­pants have paid their fees, and wait­ing for you to sight in is rude to the in­struc­tor and your fel­low stu­dents.

In a sim­i­lar vein, bring the right kind of firearms for the course. Most car­bine cour­ses are in­tended for an in­ter­me­di­ate rifle cal­iber; leave the .458 Win­mag or the .338 La­pua Mag­num at home.

Plan Your Ammo

The best way to avoid be­ing “that guy” is by not beg­ging for am­mu­ni­tion from your class­mates be­cause you failed to plan cor­rectly. Read the syl­labus, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing am­mu­ni­tion, and pre­pare ac­cord­ingly. Rather than buy­ing ammo at the train­ing venue, which can be pricey, look at the course re­quire­ments and bring your own ammo.

See if you can have your am­mu­ni­tion shipped to the event and held for you be­fore­hand. If you have a great dis­trust of the de­liv­ery ser­vices, most air­lines will al­low you to fly with up to 11 pounds of am­mu­ni­tion in your checked lug­gage.

Be­have in Class

Just like those class clowns in high school, hu­mor can lighten the mood with re­gard to learn­ing. The prob­lem is that some peo­ple do not know when enough is enough, so if you are not the in­struc­tor then stop with the jokes and com­ments.

Very few peo­ple are forced into at­tend­ing a tac­ti­cal train­ing course. If you find your­self not want­ing to be there, then go home and do not ruin the ex­pe­ri­ence for your fel­low stu­dents be­cause you have a crappy at­ti­tude.

Most cour­ses are bro­ken up by the les­son plan into dif­fer­ent seg­ments, and you may be given a 10 or 15 minute break to ab­sorb what you learned while the in­struc­tors set up for the next ses­sion. If you are told to take 15 min­utes, come back in 12. Fel­low stu­dents are pay­ing good money to be there, and when the class re­sumes, no­body wants to wait for “that guy” who is still smok­ing, eat­ing a bur­rito, on the phone with his wife or tak­ing a leisurely bio-break.

Keep an Open Mind

Per­haps the best piece of ad­vice we can give is to al­ways at­tend a train­ing course with an open mind. Tac­ti­cal train­ing can and may save your life one day. The best way to en­sure that is to be a good stu­dent with a will­ing­ness to learn. TW

Hav­ing enough ammo per the course de­scrip­tion will keep you from buy­ing more ex­pen­sive ammo at the range or be­ing “that guy” who’s mooching ammo from other stu­dents

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