Pistol-II(D): Examination & Certification (#171021P2D)

This Pistol-II(D) is the 4th Examination and Classification TAC-1 had offered in the last 7 years.  With each test the difficulty of the shooting course is increased and this class was no different.  Students will now have to shoot 200 rounds for the shooting portion of the test and of which 17 rounds are fired into a 12 inch steel target at the distance of 10 to 15 yards in a low light condition. 171021P2d is by far the most difficult test TAC-1 students had to yet face. Most of the course of fire were set to PAR time and anything shot outside of the allotted time will mean a penalty of best point off of the target.

The P2D test is a solid 5 hour examination with almost no break once the shooting begins. It is physically and mentally exhausting and that is by design. We test our student at it’s most difficulty elements including fatigue, hunger, stress, frustration, confusion and at times with defeat. It is easy for anyone to do well when they are fresh and at his/her best condition, but we need to see how students perform under adverse situations. If the student has not developed the endurance through rigorous training in long hours on the range, it is likely that the student will not do well. If a student is not able to hear and comprehend the range command and unable to repeat the direction, such student will not do well. If the student showed up tired, hunged over, malnourished, dehydrated, etc, such student will not do well.

Fortunately for the students the weather cooperated with mild heat of upper 80’s under sunny sky. The wind often interfered with our targets but students quickly adjusted.  When the night fell, the temperature only dropped to mid 70’s for a perfect condition. The test began at 1400 hrs and concluded at 1930 hrs.

Written & Manipulation Test

The first test administered was the written test followed by the Manipulation test. The written test is given to ensure that all of the TAC-1 students understand the 4 Firearms Safety Rule per TAC-1 handout. Students are expected to write the safety rule VERBATIM to ensure that they know the safety rule with every small detail and not memorized in a contradictory way.  Therefore knowing and understanding the rules verbatim is the only way to ensure that the students had learnt the safety rule correctly. To many students’ demise, they were not able to repeat back verbatim and some even had answered that were taken from some other organization which we do not observe. All of the elements may have been in the answer however, when not repeated in our own wording it is safe to say that it is wrong.

The manipulation test was administered one person at a time in alphabetical order. Each student took approximately 5 min to complete the test. With 11 students, that amounted to about about 55 mins of waiting for some. This time could have been wisely used if the students were to practice in preparation for the test.  As non of these students ever had to take a manipulation test in the past it was clear that they were caught off guard. Many thought that simply showing up and performed something close to what they were expected to perform was good enough – wrong.  Many could not correctly load the weapon without missing the verification of the weapon each time they load and unload – chamber check. What we are attempting to instill in our student is that they check their weapon each time they load and unload to prevent misfire and unintentional discharge.  If a shooter holsters a weapon after loading without checking the chamber to ensure that he/she completed the chambering they are risking to draw and fire without anything in the chamber. We saw a few of this actually occurring during the test wasting valuable time. If that had occurred to a police officer, that could likely lead to certain death or serious injury as result of getting shot or unable to stop the threat in timely manner. If a shooter holster’s their weapon after unloading and did not check the chamber that could lead to a dangerous condition where he/she thinks their is a unloaded weapon in their holster. That could lead to a dangerous condition where the shooter’s expectation may differ from the actual condition.

Manipulation clearing by many students were simply non existent. When asked to perform the task they simply stared at their weapon not knowing what to do. This is also a dangerous condition if it was during a deadly encounter. Malfunction clearing must be practiced numerous times to occur automatically and almost subconsciously.  Most students were thinking their way which caused them to be confused and unable to perform the functions in timely manner. Some even endued additional malfunction as result of using wrong technique to clear a malfunction. This can also be a deadly mistake. Some had serious safety violation during manipulation where they had their finger on the trigger on each of the reloading technique and malfunction clearing.  Any violation of the safety rule will result in receiving a zero (0) in that particular section of the test. Such mistakes need to be immediately addressed and fixed to ensure that the student is safe to shoot on the range among other students.

Many did not understand the concept of “Work Space”. Some had taken the Pistol-I course more than a year ago which led them to not to  understanding the simple drawing and exhibiting steps. Some never took P1 module and did what ever they learnt elsewhere and received very low score.

These steps are shown in our modules as we find them most Effective, Efficient and Safe.  Students entrust us and take our courses.  We expect our students to perform what we teach as we are testing them on what they learnt and understood in our classes. Think of it as being tested in the FORM in a martial arts school. Those martial art schools expect students to perform their style and not forms taught in other schools or no school at all – kind of making things up as they go.

The best possible score a student could have received was 270 pt in the written and manipulation portion of the test.  A student needed a 80% or 216 points or better to pass this portion of the test. The passing score in Written & Manipulation test is needed to receive the TAC-1 Ranking Belt.  Purple belt and higher require obtaining an outstanding score (90% or higher) in this portion of the test.  Out of 11 participating students only 6 had passed this section of the test.

Always seek our instructors or high ranking students to obtain assistance in learning these manipulation technique.

Marksmanship & Combat Test

There were a minute changes from the 200 round course course from 2016. Some times were changed and barricade was added in the Positional Shooting test. Also testing the Speed and Accuracy was performed on our 12 inch steel at the distances of 10, 12, 15 yards. The maximum score possible was 2000 point and 70% was Marksman, 80% Sharpshooter, 90% Expert, 95% Master was designated.

The Shooting test was done in high speed pace.  Understanding of the course of fire as they were given out was critical.  Some section required students to load their magazines in precise number or sometimes the direction to manage their ammo was given. If the student failed to manage their own ammo, they risked falling behind in the shooting and lost valuable time to complete the course.

Jason Stulbaum (Glock 17)  came in first with the score of 1833 achieving the level of EXPERT.  Jason had put in number of valuable training time at TAC-1 classes climbing steadily among shooters.  His dedication to the art and discipline to train the right way had payed off. Jason had also taken numerous carbine classes with high scores. His written & manipulation test was also the highest 266/270.  His manipulation was crisp and flawless. There was no thinking involved in his problem solving which earned him the highest possible score in almost all of this manipulation section.  Considering his great achievements in all aspect of the testing and his past performances, TAC-1 is very proud to welcome our new PURPLE Belt holder. Congratulations.

Jonathan Perez (Glock 17) is a very meticulous student and a very fast learner. He only began to train with TAC-1 in 2017 and quickly became one of the Top Shots in many of the classes he attended. Jonathan’s manipulations were excellent and crisp. He had certainly practiced and it showed. Jonathan was the only shooter who had shot the Dot Torture with a perfect score of 50 (500) at 4 yards which is no easy task and gives senior shooters run for their money.  Jonathan achieved a level of high Sharpshooter.  He is also a regular carbine class attendee.  We are very proud to welcome our new BLUE Belt holder. Congratulations.

Scott Cosenza (Glock 34 RMR) had scored near 90% on his manipulation test despite his long absence from TAC-1.  He was a regular figure at pistol classes often shooting in the 90 percentile in each of the classes he attended but some how he faded away – getting married and having a child on the way may have something to do with it.  Scott scored a strong 1718 pt reaching Sharpshooter level. This strong performance achieve him a BLUE Belt at TAC-1. Congratulations.

Gio Cuarez (CZ Tactical Sport) barely passed the manipulation test with 231/270 and shot a Sharpshooter in the shooting portion of the test. This was enough for him to receive the TAC-1 Blue Belt rank.  Congratulations.

Here are the new inductees into the TAC-1 Ranking system. Rick was grandfathered into the Blue Belt prior to this date. He has been a proud member of TAC-1 since 2011.

Our final note: The ranking is not the End to its Means – don’t forget that. This is just an indication of your level of dedication to the art. If you have not been shooting, if you have not been training, if you have done very little to prepare – then honestly one can not have expected to score and rank high. Those of whom are at the top of the list have put in their time with us or elsewhere – it doesn’t matter. This test standard is difficult. Do know that we are trying to provide you with some indication and a sense to see your progress and set higher goal for you to move towards. Let this be an inspiration to do better, train better, perform better, shoot better so that when you really need to use this deadly weapon you’ll come in first place. Remember there is no second place in a gun fight.

Stay in the Fight!