Wheelgunning at the Tactical Conference

This past weekend, Friday through Sunday, was the 20th Anniversary Rangemaster Tactical Conference. I have a long history of wheelgunning at the Conference, having shot it with a revolver in 1999 through 2001.

RM 2001 trophy crop

This year was no exception. I’ve also taught for many years at the Conference. This year I decided to re-visit teaching my Intro to Snubby Skills block of instruction. One of the other trainers had to cancel due to a family emergency. This gave me the opportunity to conduct my class on both Friday and Saturday. A total of 37 shooters took the two classes. I kept it to two hours and less than 50 rounds. Shooters sometimes lose their focus if the class is longer or the round count is higher and I want to set them up for success.

The topics I focused on were:

  • Grip the snub firmly
  • See the sights
  • Press the trigger smoothly
  • Followthrough

We did all the drills dry first and then live. For the live practice, most included spinning the cylinder after a few shots to create a ball and dummy drill. Revolvers do this much more efficiently than autoloaders. I also emphasize loading with loose rounds because speedloaders are not as secure an ammunition holding device as an autoloader’s magazine.

Sat Snub 3

Photo credit: Roka Arms

As the final exercise, the shooters fired all five shots into an eight inch circle, reloaded with two loose rounds and then fired both shots at a facial target 3 inches by 4 inches. This is a good exercise for practicing shooting quickly and then accurately.

After the second class, I then shot the Pistol Match with a Model 65 S&W revolver. Out of 186 people who chose to shoot the Match, two of us used revolvers. The Match featured turning targets, which made it both challenging and fun. The entire match is shot with the shooter’s equipment concealed.

Wheelgun action 7 (2)

Photo credit: Philip Young III‎

I’ve been using a Galco Walkabout holster for my J Frame so I used a homemade Kydex centerline speedloader carrier. I’m finding that a speedloader carrier at the centerline is extremely fast. One observer noted that on the Stage that required a mandatory reload, I finished first among my squad.

speedloader carrier

For each string, we had to shoot a given number of rounds in a fixed amount of time while the target faced. Those who fired a perfect score made it into the Semi-Finals.

2018 RM Course of Fire crop

The Semi-Finals were held on Sunday morning. Turning targets were used again but this time the Course of Fire was only 10 rounds and was shot on a B-8 25-Yard Timed and Rapid Fire Target. The Course of Fire  is revolver neutral but I threw two shots into the 7 ring and that put me out of the running for the Final Shootoff.

Shooting M65 in semifinals

Photo credit: Tamara Keel

The Final Shootoff was a single elimination contest shot on reactive falling targets. Two mannequins with a concealed steel hit area had to be knocked down first. Then a mini Pepper Popper had to be knocked down. Whichever shooter knocked down the Popper first was the winner. The competition was fierce and Mr. Gabe White was the winner.

Shootoff array

The Ladies did not have a Semi-Final and the top eight Lady shooters of the Match went straight to the Shootoff. It followed the same format as the Men’s Shootoff. Once again, the competition was fierce. Ms. Melody Lauer was the Winner.

Three days of good training was a true pleasure. There were more blocks of instruction, both live fire and lecture, than can be attended. It was a great time and I’m glad I was able to attend and present again.

TacCon 2018 schedule

Next year’s Conference will be held just north of New Orleans on March 15-17, 2019. It is open to all those interested in personal protection.

7 responses

  1. It was a pleasure training with you! Awesome class.

  2. Very well done AAR. I have been following your blog and I have purchased several of your instructional DVDs. I am comfortable with your training approach and plan to continue to emulate some of your ideas in my own personal range practice.

  3. […] Werner shares his thoughts on the conference at “Wheelgunning at the Tactical Conference”.  He also shares the lesson plan he used to teach the snubby revolver class at the […]

  4. I had attended your snubby class at last year’s TAC-CON; but this year, the firing lines were already full, so I could only just “Audit”. ‘Twas still a great refresher: Thanks!

    It seems interesting that you packed that class with shooters both last year and this; then also had demand for a second one the next day. Seems like a bunch of us still carry a snubby…

    Yet, in the “practical” match, thee and I were only two revolvers among the 200+ shooters. (As is to be expected, you did a bunch better.) Similarly, at Marty Hayes’ “Long Range Pistol” session, he and I were the only two with snubbies. And “my little friend J” and I were all alone at Randy Harris’ “Point Blank Pistol Skills”, too.

    Given that the snobby (drat, I’m tired of correcting autocorrect!) is notoriously hard to shoot well, seems like some might want to rethink their choice of training gun…

    1. I wondered who the other revolver shooter was. Thanks for bringing it.

  5. […] Claude Werner taught a revolver session and blogged about his session as well as shooting a revolver in the match. […]

  6. […] it on the line” moments to me was when the Tactical Professor, Claude Werner shot the course with a revolver, easily beating many of the semi-auto shooters on the reload […]

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