AAR: Handgun I CCJA 5/8/2010 - Tom Perroni

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  • vette97

    Active Member
    Feb 9, 2008
    Karroll Kounty, Marylandistan
    I'm just out of the shower, and just opened my laptop at the Hospitality House in Frederick. I wanted to write up my after action report while it was still fresh in my mind. I took Tom's Carbine I course last month and enjoyed the challenge so much, I decided to take Handgun I (and Handgun II tomorrow). I also met "Patrick" from the forum and his wife at the range today. It's nice to see other forum members face to face!

    A little background. My previous experience with handguns goes back to when I was a kid, .22 pistols. I then got a .357 Magnum when I was old enough and used that for hunting. It was my only self-defense weapon until I got into C&R guns 3 years ago and this damn forum got me interested in so much more. Over the past 3 years, I started going to the range, a lot. I critique myself, a lot. I also do dry fire drills at home, a lot. So, I felt pretty good coming to Tom's class hoping to actually use those skills on a 360 degree hot range.

    Before the course, I picked up a copy of Tactical Pistol Shooting: Your Guide to Tactics & Techniques that Work. I used the illustrations and explanations to practice dry firing at home. It really prepared me for the course, so I highly recommend it.

    I was using a Sig Sauer P226 which I upgraded with Truglo TFO sights (Thanks to Apone for that suggestion), a spring kit swap and a Hogue grip all done by yours truly. I shoot better with a Sig than anything else I've fired, so this will be my training and (someday) competition rig. I kept six Mec-Gar magazines on my person and never ran dry.

    So, how did the course go? First off, my hat is off to Tom for his very appropriate and fast response to a student who didn't exhibit good muzzle discipline. Tom did exactly what I would have done in the same situation! I commend him for his actions to ensure everyone's safety and correct the issue.

    There were a lot of people with different degrees of competancy. Some were there for recertification for government or contract jobs. Other's, like me, wanted the experience and challenge only Tom can provide. The morning started off with me sharing a story with Tom, how his previous Carbine class helped me with my situational awareness. I would have been "in the white" if it wasn't for something Tom mentioned in the class, using a public place to become familiar with the people and their actions to increase awareness, or "in the yellow." Not even 24 hours after his class last month, I identified a criminal 5 minutes prior to the crime based on how he carried himself and would have totally not seen him if I wasn't "in the yellow." This allowed me to make a mental picture of him, which I later provided to police when I saw him jump into the back of a pickup with flat panel TVs a few minutes after I left the store. The perp hid them by an emergency exit (with a deactivated alarm), then went outside, popped the door and grabbed them. I knew he was suspicious 5 minutes earlier. My suspicions were confirmed in the parking lot. My information helped police apprehend the criminal and recover Walmart's stolen property. I got a $25 reward from the store, thanks to Tom. Therefore, his classes DO provide real world use even if it's not totally firearms related.

    OK, back to the course... A lot of other AAR's are out there so I don't want to repeat them word for word. In short, Tom and Chris professionally instructed us using Tom's Basic Pistol Course booklet which is available on his site. Safety was paramount. Focus was on front sight and trigger control. I didn't require too much attention but Tom and Chris did really well fixing the grips and stance of many shooters. Tom's method is not THE way, just A way, but it really works. Shooters who were landing shots outside a 2" dot at 3 yards were shooting through the same hole with his guidance. He was extremely patient with these shooters. The torture dots were a lot of fun, but it was time to move onto center mass targets, doing reset drills. Fire, keep the trigger back, release to reset, fire immediately, while maintaining proper stance, grip, front site focus and breathing. It all works so well! This is where I need to focus my attention. I don't do these drills enough.

    Next, we made it more fun, working on "fight to your feet" drills. Laying on the ground facing the threat, drawing safely, fireing two shots from the supine, then two from the sitting position, then two from kneeling and finally two from standing. Then, Tom asked me to kick off the supine over-the-head shots to a target behind (above) me. This was my first time doing this ever, and to have a whole class watching me be the first to demo it was a tiny bit intimidating, but I felt so good putting rounds in the same hole on the silhouette target from this position, I just couldn't stop. Tom had to call a cease fire before I ran my magazine out. It felt so good! :party29:

    We moved onto some steel shooting. This was a challenge for the entire class. Two congo lines at around 25' from the target, I believe. 12 steel discs, each of six inches in diameter, I believe. Each student got six shots at six discs and the one who knocked down the most discs first, was kept in the game while the other was eliminated, as we cycled through students. This was my first time doing this ever, but I'm glad I had the experience as I'm shooting a 3-gun Zombie Competition in June, so this was a nice chance to try out my skill. I knocked all six of my discs down the first time on the line. This amazed me, but I reverted back to Tom's training. Subsequent times back up at the line, I got more sloppy. Probably because I got a little too comfortable. But, luckily, I ended up being the last man standing after a lot of great shooters gave me a challenge. I still don't know who won the bet, Tom or Chris??? Anyway, what an excellent confidence booster!!!

    Lastly, we did some close quarters combat drills on targets at VERY close range. During the draw, at the step where the pistol reaches the ribs, you shoot, using the pressure of your arm to hold the pistol against your side, using your twisting body to aim. I never did this before and it was interesting to say the least.

    Thanks, Tom and Chris for keeping it fun and interesting. I'm looking forward to Handgun II tomorrow!

    DAY 2 HERE: http://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?t=36897
    Last edited:


    Active Member
    Oct 30, 2007
    Nice write up Vette! Looking forward to your HG2 AAR.

    Now get yourself to the English Pub!


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