AAR: Dave Shaw’s Birthday Shoot Off

The Planning:

Dave Shaw contacted me about a month ago to plan a small get together where he could shoot with some of his closest shooting buddies for his 44th birthday and he wanted me to facilitate the session.  He wanted a session where he could get enough rounds down range and drill and learn what ever he felt deficient. I agreed. The planning of the shooting session began with finding the location of the range. As most ranges are full  a year in advance for any weekend slots. Since Dave’s birthday was on Aug 3rd – Monday, we explored the idea of doing it on that Monday.  Ranges were available where we reserved Angeles Shooting Range’s Tom George range.  Soon we discovered that Tom George range does not allow steels to be shot and only can accommodate 10 shooters across we switched to D range.  Soon Dave wanted to expand the list to how ever many people who could fit on the range, but had low hopes as it fell on a weekday.  We immediately inquired the members of TAC-1 via Facebook to see who may be interested in attending. Within minutes, show of hand flocked. Dave wanted to get a catering truck to come out to feed the crew and needed a solid commitment from everyone interested in attending. TAC-1 registration for the birthday shoot-off was opened. With a solid 13 committed shooters, the party was on.

Dave soon found out that Babe’s and Burger was too costly, he resorted to asking Angie to help with the craft table. She put in an order to Chipotle for 13 shooters. Since catering truck was going to be out of the equation, I recommended Dave to switch the range to A Place to Shoot from Angeles for better accommodations such as better parking, covered area and easier access to bathroom. The change of venue announcement was made via Facebook and some with text messages.

Due to the change, some began to drop out of the roster.  Mike Steinwender had to take care business at his church, Asim was summoned to work and Matthew mysteriously was no show. Matthew did leave a text message stating that something had come up. Immediately 3 people dropped out on the day of the training. Good thing we didn’t have excess burritos from Chipotle which Henry would have been more than happy to discard for us.

Range time:

Thanks to Mike Dozier the range supply and equipment had arrived by 07:30 am.  We had pursuit the idea of using the Private Range instead to accommodate the large number of shooters. Mike was asked by Tom of A Place to Shoot to stay up on the Law Enforcement Range instead.  We complied.

We waited until 08:40 am for those who had not shown up including Gio, Henry and Matthew before we started to warm up. I knew in advance that Mike Steinwender and Asim Rasheed was going to be a no show.  After a proper safety briefing, we started the drills.

We also had a guest shooters, Gio and Henry. Although they are not a regular TAC-1 students they like to show up for workshop sessions to shoot side to side with us. They both demonstrated their enthusiasm for shooting.

We warmed up with 3 rounds in 6 second at 7 yards. Repeated 4 times. We up the number to 4 rounds in 6 sec, 5 rounds in 6 sec and finally 6 rounds in 6 sec. all from holster. This drill was to warm up the trigger finger without going too fast at first but to gradually speeding up the presses without force.

Statice Reload / Varied Target Drill:
The next drill was a reloading drill where we’d shoot 2 rounds at the head, out of battery reload, shoot 2 rounds to the center body mass from holster. This was repeated 5 times.

In battery speed reload drill: Shooter will start on target with finger on the trigger. On the buzzer, shooter will release the magazine and reload, fire 1 rounds.

Moving Reload Drill:

This drill was enhanced with incorporating movements. The shooter would shoot 2 rounds, reload with one step to the side, and shoot 2 more rounds. This was repeated several more times.

Pistol-I Marksmanship Test: (5 rds from 5, 10, 15, 20 yards = 20 rounds from holster)
Shooters always welcome shooting this simple marksmanship test regardless of their abilities.  The first attempt was with time limit where students had a part time of 5 sec at 5 yards, 6 seconds from 10 yards, 7 seconds from 15 yard and 10 seconds from 20 yards to fire 5 rounds from each yard line.  Oscar took first place with 192/200.  Paul and I came in second with 190/200 each. Timed shooting is never easy adding stress to trigger control which often magnifies any anomalies to the shooter’s fundamental.

Then we shot the P-I Test with no time limit. However, after shooting fast ordinary shooter will begin to push into their gun as they pressed – anticipation was becoming noticeable. Both Paul and Oscar shot high 198 demonstrating their TAC-1 “Master” classification. Dave Shaw, the Birthday Boy, choked with 183/200 pt. Dave asked me if I remember witnessing him shooting a 199/200 a time ago. I reminded him that yesterday was yesterday and needed to focus on today.

Drill Break Down
1 P1 Test Timed
2 P1 Test No Time
3 L&R Hand 2 rds
4 Dot Torture
5 Draw Single
6 Fast Test #1
7 Fast Test #2
8 1-2-3 & 4-5

Alphabetical Order

Pistol Workshop and Cost Breakdown (#150803WS)
Last First Weapon 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Ascencio Oscar Sig X5 9mm 192 198 196 48 1.12 5.87+3 7.37 5.80+0 5.80 13.43
Gio Cuarez CZ-75 9mm 169 180 186 41 1.49 7.11+2 8.11 7.25+2 8.25 13.48
Hattori Shoji 1911, G34 .45 Cal 190 194 196 48 1.25 5.15+1 5.65 5.16+0 5.16 8.69
Luna Paul Arsenal 9mm 190 198 200 45 0.84 5.62+4 7.62 5.17+1 5.67 10.81
Luna Daniel Glock 9mm 180 189 192 38 1.3 5.97+5 8.47 6.73+3 8.23 13.49
Parente Henry 1911 .45 Cal 116 175 176 39 1.53 8.78+3 10.28 9.72+2 10.72 20.64
Reinheart Erich Beretta, XD9 9mm 168 185 185 38 1.15 5.25+4 7.25 ? ? 12.18
Shaw Dave M&P 9mm 181 183 190 47 1.34 5.48+2 6.48 5.14+2 6.14 13.04
Weir Christopher M&P 9mm 177 194 182 38 1.28 5.49+4 7.49 6.72+3 8.22 12.04
Wisdom Lance M&P 9mm 185 185 193 35 1.1 5.90+1 6.4 4.46+2 5.46 13.98

Support & Strong Hand Transfer Drill:
Draw and Transfer to the support hand and fire 2 shots to the body, then transfer to the strong hand and fire 2 shots to the same area.  Paul shot all 20 rounds within the 10 ring of the silhouette target capturing first place for this drill. Chris Weir always struggled to shoot with his support hand single hand and his deficiency showed with placing 8th in this drill.

Dot Torture Test:
We believe that precise trigger press will only enhance the fundamental and Dot Torture Test is a great tool to drill the trigger control.  Since the target area is small, proper sight picture in conjunction with excellent trigger control becomes indispensable in being successful with this test. At TAC-1, Pistol-I students will shoot this at 3 yards, Pistol-II students will shoot at 4 yards and advanced shooters are pushed to shoot the test at 5 yards. For this Birthday Shoot Off, we asked the students to shoot the test at 5 yards.  Oscar shot the highest score with 48/50 point with his Sig X5 9mm.

The next evaluation drill was to draw and fire one round from 7 yards in the A or C zone of the IPSC target.  We practiced this drawing and shooting several times for time.  Everyone continuously got faster with every draw. Much of TAC-1 shooters were able to draw and fire one round in 1.35 at 7 yards and maintain hits.  Paul was eventually able to pull off .84 who was the fastest of all.

I introduced the F.A.S.Test for the first time at TAC-1.  I had seen this drill posted on pistol-training.com which I thought was suitable for this workshop. It is a great standard test to assess the shooter’s manipulation, speed and accuracy. This drill is usually shot twice to ensure that 5 sec and under par time was not a luck.

Drill begins from the holster, pistol loaded with exactly two rounds. On the buzzer:

  1. draw
  2. fire two rounds at the 3×5 box
  3. perform a slidelock reload
  4. fire four rounds at the 8″ circle

We used the IPSC target instead of the IDPA target which is the standard for this test. They are ultimately about the same one is narrower & longer and  the other is wider and shorter for the center hit. Most students demonstrated they had the speed to get into the 5 second mark, however marksmanship suffered for most.  The 2 headshots proved to be the most difficult.  In order to be successful, the reloading must had to be flawless. Under 5 sec was requested.  Only Lance made the raw time of 4.46 with 2 misses.  Each misses added .5 sec to their raw time. Even with these 2 misses, Lance came in at the top with 5.46 sec.  Even the instructor (me) couldn’t muster all 6 six rounds under 5 sec.  I vowed to get them in under 5 seconds within this year.

We took down all of the paper targets and stands to prepare for the steel target shooting.  The first drill was 1-2-3 & 4-5 drill.  Set up three targets across – T1, T2, T3 respectively.  Shooter will fire 1 rd on T1, 2 rd on T2, 3 rd on T3, 4 rd on T2 and out of battery speed reload and 5 on T1. We practiced this drill competitively with man to man shoot off.  Interesting phenomenon began to occur. Chris Weir beats Tom Luna. Dave Shaw bests me. In my defense I shot over 10 rds on the T1 in the last sequence just to mess around thinking that Dave was way behind me. That will never happen again…Lol

Each shooter shot the drill for time. Paul’s crazy fast trigger presses (learnt from his paint ball days) got him in the first place with 10.81 sec.

Finally the workshop ended with a tournament style man-to-man shoot off utilizing the duel tree target that Tom had brought.  The course of fire consisted of: starting at 25 year line with empty gun holstered. They would run down to 12 yard line and draw and make ready. Fire 1 round each of the 3 steel targets equally spaced and sized. Then they would attempt to shoot 3 of the dueling tree targets and what ever the steels that was flipped over from the opponent. The point of the dueling tree is to flip over all of the plates to the other side before your opponent.  Every one loaded each of the 3 magazines to 10 rounds only.

During the first round, Oscar dropped his X5 on the ground while running to the 12 yard line. This mishap cost him dearly where the Birthday Boy smoked him out of the contention. Oscar needs to reevaluate his holster which was designed for competition use and not built for running while holstered.   Oscar was given a Wild Card position to fill the uneven tree for the Semi Final to give him an opportunity to redeem himself against Tom Luna.

First round:

Paul (W) vs Daniel (L)
Gio (L) vs Erich (W)
Oscar (L) vs David (W)
Henry (L) vs Shoji (W)
Chris Weir (W) vs Lance (L)
Tom Luna (BY)

Second Round: 

Paul (W) vs Erich (L)
David (L) vs Shoji (W)
Chris (L) vs Tom (W)

Semi Final:

Paul (L) vs Shoji (W)
Tom (W) vs Oscar (L Wild Card)

Tom won the man-to-man shoot off winning the LAPG range bag as the prize. Great job!…not that he needs it.


Shoji (L) vs Tom (W)

Workshop Summery

Each Workshop has gotten more challenging and most TAC-1’er are able to hang with the pace. For some, they are excelling to the point that they are giving the instructors hard time to keep up with the pace. This is attributed to their solid fundamental earned in TAC-1 courses and their time invested in local matches on the weekend. Our special guests, Gio and Henry came out to have fun and celebrate Dave Shaw’s 44th birthday on the range.  Hats off to them for bravely stepping on the range with the rest to share their trigger time with TAC-1. Chris Weir has been shooting for about a year now with TAC-1.  He began as a novice and quickly moved up the ranks at TAC-1 – this is directly attributed to his commitment to training and time invested in all of the repeated classes.

Paul and Oscar continue to take the top ranking spots in these workshop.  Paul is one of the original TAC-1’er from the start of the organization. His accomplished background in paint ball competition has positively reflected in his ability to shoot fast and accurately. His fast advancement is giving his brother, Tom run for his money. At the same time Oscar hits local matches regularly and gets the necessary trigger time.  His ability to shoot competitively appears to be his number one goal.  I would like to see him pursuit more tactical shooting with proper gear and defensive mindset which he can easily excel.

Lance has been quiet in the last year or so from classes but he has been training secretly on his own at local ranges. His manipulations are on the money and his reloads are swift. He is widely known at TAC-1 as the “sleeper” who can not be over looked. He is inching in to the top shooter category in these workshops.  We like to see him work on the marksmanship aspect of shooting in future classes.

The birthday boy Dave probably shoot more than anyone here as he is a member of the 1800 Club.  It was his idea to get this workshop going for his Birthday and it turned out to be a great idea. He is relentless in pursuing perfection.  He brings about the work discipline of a professional shooter…this is one of the reasons why he is successful in what he does as a musician – this unmatched work discipline. Happy 44th birthday!

Erich was pretty quiet early on in the workshop unable to dial in on his marksmanship.  He decided to mess around with a .40 Beretta which turned out to be a bad idea considering the level of competition among the group. Training with different gun is always a good idea and it is highly recommended. However, when you are going against time and cut throat nature of the gathering, sticking to the gun most comfortable would have been the best practice. When Erich realized the harsh nature and his low scores, he bust out his XD9 and began to place high in the ranking. However, I was not able to find his score for the 2nd FASTest which was left blank on the sheet. He got no credit for this which brought down his ranking tremendously.

Daniel Luna is a product of the US Army. He began to show up to TAC-1 workshop without taking any classes at TAC-1.  He has basic understanding of the fundamental of trigger control and manipulation. I am not clear about his past training(s), but seems he has had some training.  Daniel is very competitive in nature.  He understands the nature of these drills that we do and he speaks the same shooting “language” which justifies his place at these workshops. I feel that TAC-1 can dramatically excel him into a better shooter if he shows up to some classes and allow us to instruct him. Workshops are by nature not a instruction session, but rather a practice session on what was learnt in classes.

Gio and Henry are another guests we have had in past workshops. It is also a pleasure to have them on board. They are product of ITTS and they have been taught correctly with regards to the manipulation and the operation of the handgun. Their marksmanship definitely suffers and they should re-evaluate their trigger control.  Speed will come naturally, but trigger control will not unless purposely worked on.  Once again I feel that TAC-1 classes can offer them in that aspect.

Once again, thanks for your continued support for TAC-1.  Thanks to Dave Shaw for organizing the session and financially supported the workshop.

By the way Dave Shaw, we got together and agreed to pay in $20 bucks each to purchase a Gift Card from Smoking Barrel, courtesy of Chris Weir who went their in adavance and paid up front.  The money collected amounted to $220 dollars.  A nice chunk, but their way of saying thanks for organizing the workshop and a sincere Happy Birthday wish.

The Winner:

The final score was evaluated based adding the ranking from each of the drills that was shot for score except the last man-to-man shoot off.  For example, Paul ranked #2 on the Drill 1, #1 on Drill 2, 1 on Drill 3 and so on. When added all those numbers, he received the factor of 20.  The lesser the number is the higher the placement. What killed Paul’s position was Drill #7 which he came in 7th over all.  For Oscar, it was Drill #8 where he came in 6th which it hurt him greatly. I do not count as I was the facilitator but I shot with you guys and scored as well so I’d posted my result for your reference. (It got me worried for a second)

Ranking by score
Rank  Last First 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
# Hattori Shoji 2 2 2 1 5 1 1 1 15
1 Luna Paul 2 1 1 3 1 7 3 2 20
2 Ascencio Oscar 1 1 2 1 3 5 4 6 23
3 Wisdom Lance 3 4 3 7 2 2 2 9 32
4 Shaw Dave 4 5 5 2 8 3 5 5 37
5 Weir Chris 6 2 8 6 5 6 6 3 42
6 Reinheart Erich 8 4 7 6 4 4 10 4 47
7 Luna Daniel 5 3 4 6 7 9 7 8 49
8 Gio Cuarez 7 6 6 4 9 8 8 7 55
9 Parente Henry 9 7 8 5 10 10 9 10 68

Great Job and lets do this again soon.