AAR: 7/25 Tom Perroni's Tactical Handgun I

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  • kac

    Active Member
    Dec 9, 2007
    I attended this class in Fredericksburg, VA yesterday. Although I've been shooting quite some time, I've never considered myself more than an adequate shooter, and I wanted to see if having someone of Tom's ability give me some instruction would help.

    I'm not going to bury the lede, as they say in the newspaper business. After the classroom portion and about thirty minutes on the range, my accuracy had improved literally by maybe 200%. I'm not kidding. Now understand, I took the frightening step of letting him take apart my entire way of gripping a gun, which, like a golf coach taking apart a swing and rebuilding it, is a bit disconcerting. But the whole point of going in there was knowing and trusting Tom (from previously having taken his Tactical Carbine course), and I can only say it worked. I was achieving accuracy results I wouldn't have thought possible.

    In the classroom part of the course, we went over some basics, including discussion of the OODA loop, Col. Cooper's color coding (as amended by Tom), and Lt. Col. Grossman's understanding of the psychology of combat.

    Tom also reduces the entirety of handgun shooting to TWO factors on which to concentrate. Tom has a demonstrated clear understanding of how a person acts in a gunfight, and the physiological and psychological changes that same induce. His gunfighting technique is based on that understanding, and thus has a solid grounding in giving people methods and modalities that will help in the real world. If you're attempting to learn how to repeatedly hit the x-ring at Camp Perry, this is not the place for you. If you're trying to protect yourself, your unit, your home, or your family, you've come to the right place.

    Out of the classroom, we went out to the range where we first addressed the accuracy issue to attempt to put the concepts learned in class to use. The teacher/student ratio was very high, and we had tons of instant feedback from Tom as well as his assistants, all of whom are guys who have BTDT. Through now two classes with Tom, I can only say it is impossible to not be impressed with the real world background of the instruction. These are all guys who have seen the elephant (Marines, Blackwater, Police, etc.)

    What is just amazing is that Tom picks guys who are not only greatly knowledgeable instructors, also they are great guys. I've been in two classes so far (many more to come), and although I'm surrounded by other students who are Air Force, Marines, Security, etc. (and many who are 20 years younger than I am), I have always been treated with the utmost respect as if I'm the most valued guy they have. It is impossible to imagine that the Special Forces guys Tom trains get any more care, concern, and attention than I have gotten. There is no attitude or looking down on people--it's all about improving your ability to fight, whatever your circumstances.

    Because the guys in my group were fairly squared away and knew what end a round comes out of, we were able to move through some pretty interesting drills. Tom takes each class where its own interests and abilities lie. He often can tailor things on the fly depending on what the individuals need and want.

    A sampling of the shooting we did once we got through basic accuracy work included: a concentration on reloads, fighting from the ground to your feet, close shooting, extremely CQB shooting, forward and lateral movement, working with cover, and carjacking situations. Tom will often tell you, "This is the same thing I teach the operators coming in next week on a contract."

    Obviously I could go on for hours about this course, all I can say is to go in with an open mind, take his instruction to heart, and there is no doubt that your shooting, and more importantly your gunfighting will improve. The cost, $150, is ridiculously low for what you get out of it. As I have said before, if you don't take classes with Tom, and you are interested in fighting with your rifle or pistol, you're only cheating yourself.
    Last edited:


    Active Member
    Oct 30, 2007
    Great AAR, thank you for taking the time to write this up.

    Just a thought, are you sure this is the correct forum for the posting?



    Active Member
    Dec 9, 2007
    It's not, and thanks. I've asked DD to move it to Training. We used to have all the training stuff here in the depot, but not any more.


    Active Member
    Dec 9, 2007
    Great write up. I can't wait til I can take one of his classes next month. :party29::thumbsup:

    I wish I could be there with you guys, but I'll have a bass in my hand that whole weekend. No, sportsmen, I'm not referring to the fish.

    Now I certainly don't want to let any cats out of any bags, but I'll either join you guys for the two day Advanced Carbine when everybody takes it (I guarantee you you will want to), or, ahem, for an interesting course that may well be offered in the October time frame.

    Tom, want to comment on that?


    Active Member
    Dec 9, 2007
    Great write up. I would like to do something like that one day.

    Thank you, sir.

    And there is no way I mean this rudely, but what is stopping you?

    I sat around realizing I had fallen into the classic American mindset. I have spent probably tens of thousands of dollars on guns (before that horrible boating accident), and not one cent on training. I realized that the fanciest, go-fast gear doesn't mean s___ if the guy pulling the trigger doesn't know what he's doing.

    What I had done was treat my firearms like some sort of magic talisman that by themselves would ward away evil. It don't work like that.

    If we spent, I don't know, 30% of what spent on the hardware on the software instead, we'd probably be in a much better place.

    Just MHO.

    Tom Perroni

    Active Member
    Mar 26, 2009
    My thoughts on 7/25/09 Tactical Pistol Course.

    My thoughts on 7/25/09 Tactical Pistol Course.

    First Thank you Kevin for the AAR!

    Great group of Students this allowed us to do cool stuff. :party29:

    I appreciate when students write an AAR this gives other folks who are interested in training with us a small glimpse into a class. However please note that no AAR no matter how detailed can substitute training from a certified instructor.

    My Handgun / Shotgun / Carbine courses are tailored to the student who want’s to learn how to fight with a firearm. As Kevin said we reduce the entirety of our firearms training to TWO factors on which to concentrate Target accuracy and Combat accuracy. The first thing I need to put out there is what I teach is “A” way not “THE” way to do anything.

    The students sign in and we introduce ourselves. They get a copy of my book Basic Pistol Shooting.

    The classroom portion starts off with SAFETY! We run a 360 degree HOT range so we do not tolerate unsafe shooters. We are ALL human and make mistakes however safety is our main goal.

    Combat mindset is the # 2 topic with help from Cooper, Boyd and Grossman we discuss the physiological and psychological changes the human body exhibits so that we can somewhat understand how and why we react under duress.

    We talk about the use of deadly force and its legal implications. It never hurts to have a lawyer in the classroom. We talk about ability, opportunity, jeopardy and preclusion. We discuss the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments to the constitution and how they affect citizens and police officers alike. We discuss The Garrity Warning for the cops and contractors.

    We them move to the Fundamentals of pistol shooting. While I discuss things like proper grip, stance, sight picture, sight alignment, follow through, I then focus on what I feel are the TWO most important fundamentals of shooting: Front Sight Focus and Trigger control. However please note we do lots of point shooting we feel you need a good blend of both. I would say the MOST IMPORTANT fundamental of shooting any type of firearm is trigger control.

    On to some of our drills. While I won’t give away the farm I will tell you what we do, just not how we do it!

    I start off each class with torture dots. This drill builds confidence and develops good trigger control habits and allows me and my instructor staff to know instantly if the student understands target accuracy. We are normally at close proximity to the target for this drill about 3 yards or 9 feet. We are using our dominant eye and instilling target accuracy for the “Hostage Taker” shots later in the day.

    Accuracy confirmed we move to Man size NRA LE targets. We will work on our draw and presentation, Reloads emergency speed and tactical. We will perform IAD (Immediate Action Drills) what do to when you pull the trigger and the gun won’t go bang. All the while shooting in the upper chest box and the head box of the NRA LE target.

    We will reinforce scanning left and right we will do “DEEP” scans and 360 scans with position “SUL”. Don’t re-holster until you feel safe in your environment.

    We then add movement: lateral, backwards forwards, shooting and reloading. We work the startle response drill. We then work on our one handed shooting right and left. We do wounded officer drills with one hand shooting and re-loading and malfunction clearing all with one hand.

    We the do the fight to your feet drill. Start on your back (simulating you were knocked to the ground) shoot from your back to sitting position then move to your knees shooting then stand up shooting.

    We will do the steel challenge where we will get you in a conga line and each person starting from 15 yards must put shots on steel. If you miss your out, if you get hits you’re in but we move back 10 yards until we have a loan shooter. (Keep in mind I have a 500 yard range) so this could go on for a while. However please note I get unlucky past 100 yards.

    Shooting from cover is next: Standing rolling out right and left. Kneeling right and left and prone right and left if you want to.

    Shooting from cover and moving to cover is next.

    CQB and Extreme CQB drills sometimes you got to shoot someone at 1 foot or less can you do it. How to move through your house with a handgun (Retention Position)

    Shooting from inside a vehicle (Car jacking drills) and through vehicles windows as well as what to use for cover. While vehicles are not cover there are places that are better to be than others when bullets are flying.

    Hostage taker drills all I can say is you got to come out and experience trying to hit the little red swinger at 25 yards under stress.

    I had a pro photographer on the range so I will try to post some pics. I hope this helps those who may have some questions.
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    Self confessed gun snob
    Aug 28, 2006
    White Marsh
    Good to see another positive AAR.

    After next months carbine class, I look foward to the 2 day carbineas well as the 1 & 2 day pistol class.

    It's great having a quality instructor with in driving range.

    Just out of curosity, what pistol did you use?


    Active Member
    Dec 9, 2007
    I concur with pretty much everything he said except where he describes me as the best shooter (no way), and himself as surly. I've been pretty lucky the two times I've been there--the students with almost no exception were a blast to hang with. The place seems to draw right guys who are there to learn.

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