I have purchased a major cross-section of all Tactrainers products and I can say
that they are all wonderful, fun, durable, functional, great for training, well made and
designed. I also have three of their air hose adapters connected in parallel to a
small air compressor.
It has been an excellent training tool for me, and has been much more fun and
effective then dry-fire/laser training for me.
When I invite friends and family over to shoot with me, it gets insane very quickly as
they invite people too and it soon becomes a massive shooting party. At least 60 percent
of them usually have never fired a gun before, with many misconceptions about guns
from the news media and video games. In every group I've also had a few with anti-gun
attitudes in the crowd to begin with.
It has been a great environment to straighten out common misconceptions about guns
and anti-gun attitudes. Every time I've done that, each group has always warmed up and
become anxiously involved, ending up shooting between 6,000 to 8,000 bb's at those
targets in each session alone. So by the time they leave, every person's perspective of
the shooting sports and guns has always been super positive even from the one teenage
girl who wouldn't even try it.
I have a good balance between their plain steel targets, poppers, falling plates,
plate racks, Texas Star, and Polish Plate racks. But before I had the Texas Star and
Polish Plate racks, nobody ever wanted to stop shooting long enough to reset any targets.
So make sure you have a Texas Star and/or a Polish Plate Rack if you are getting any
falling plates, and you'll always have time and at least one person excited to reset plates
for everyone. The guns I use all shoot between 240 - 550 fps, and use all types of
biodegradeable and standard bb's of every weight. When you use the harder bb's,
expect a few bb's will come back at you when your are less then 15-20 feeet away.
The materials, workmanship, and finish are all excellent with no damages and very little
paint chipping despite thousands of rounds fired at them in each session. They'll send
them to you all incredibly carefully packed so that nothing is ever scratched or damaged.
I am not affiliated with this company or its workers in any way, have purchased them all
with my own money, and wasn't asked or compensated for this review. I simply like their
products and think everyone else will too, and felt like I had to when I see few others
taking the time to review them.
Shoot the Pistol Fast, the Rifle Accurately and Hit your shotgun reloads
Shooting the pistol fast:A good majority of 3 gun shooters come from a background in pistol shooting. They shoot either USPSA or IDPA or something similar. This means that a lot of 3 gunners are competent and skilled with the handgun. Therefore the playing field, as far as pistol is concerned, is more level. That is until you add speed. 90% of 3 gunners can shoot their pistol well. The other 10% separate themselves from the rest by shooting their pistol fast AND well. The key to this isn’t necessarily just pulling the trigger faster, it’s utilizing your skills with the pistol to accurately take down targets quicker than anyone else. This is achieved through quick double taps, fast transitions, and most importantly shooting on the move. I remember a stage at the Midnight 3 gun match up in Oregon a few years back that was all pistol. Daniel Horner had some ungodly fast time on it. The stage was pretty straight forward, except that it was in the dark and in the middle of the night. Most of us had a few places where we stopped and shot a slew of targets. It was a good strategy to make sure you didn’t walk by any targets, but it wasn’t the winning strategy. In 3 gun you win stages by constantly being on the move. There are times when you are forced to stop and shoot a target, but if you want to win, you should be constantly moving. You can be moving at a snails pace, but at least your moving. The only way to accomplish this is to practice it. We all get in a habit of going to the range and standing in front of the target and shooting it, but if your range allows, move, in every direction and practice safely engaging the target. If you can’t practice moving and shooting
at your range, then do it dry firing or get an airsoft set up and practice what you’ll actually be (or should be) doing in competition. This is the winning strategy. Move or lose.
Shooting your rifle accurately.The key to success in 3 gun with your rifle is getting those long range targets with your first shot. This is what separates the pros from the joes. When I first started 3 gun, I'd stubbornly shoot an entire mag at one target because I just knew I could hit it. I had a background in rifle and my pride would get in the way. Next thing you know I'm down an entire mag of ammo, I'd wasted all the time it took to shoot that entire mag & I had a penalty for not hitting the target. Some stages my stubbornness would put me dangerously close to timing out. Fast forward a couple of years of 3 gun practice and some advise from better 3 gunners and I'm hitting my targets or moving on after only a few shots. Misses happen, I'm no stranger to that. In biathlon we got seriously penalized for a miss. We'd have to ski an extra 150 meter penalty loop for each target we missed. Not only did that take longer, which hurt your over all time, but it made you more tired & it was humiliating because the crowd usually added a few boos while your skied off your mistakes. In biathlon and in 3 gun if you make a mistake on your first shot you have to be able to quickly analyze why you missed. Was it you? Did you jerk the trigger? Was it not a good hold? Or was it an external factor, like wind or the sun, etc. being able to quickly figure out why you missed can help you follow up a mistake with a hit. The way to learn this is by shooting...a lot. This is something that has to become instinctual. You shouldn't have to think about it, you should just know, "I jerked the trigger", or "that
wind gust pulled my shot left". With round after round at the range you should be able to start noticing patterns and start to develop an ability to call your shots. A great way to develop this skill in practice is to have someone with a spotting scope to help you. You shoot at a target (preferably cardboard or paper so they can see the hits) and you "call the shot". You tell the person with the spotting scope where you think the bullet went. They'll correct you if you're wrong, but after a while you should be able to accurately tell the spotter where you hit (and even why), this is how you successfully call your shots. This skill will help you to figure out where you are missing.
The key to getting the hit with your first shot is knowing your rifle and the ammunition your are shooting. Long range shooting can be a bit of a science, but knowing where your bullet hits at a certain distance, at a certain altitude and pressure, with a certain wind speed, etc will help you to hit that first shot almost every time at any range. You don't have to have some fancy app that will tell you where to hold, but you do have to know your equipment and how it shoots. Again, the only way this is solved is by going to the range and shooting a lot, from different positions, angles, distances, etc. sighting in at each different range you shoot at will also give you an idea on where your likely to hit. Every range is different and has different conditions that will affect your shot. Practicing what you’ll see in competition is a winning strategy. Hitting your shots on the first try will get you the win, and being able to call your shots to recover from a miss will separate you from the rest of the shooters who just bang away at the targets.
Hitting your shotgun reloads.
Let's face it, there are enough of us weekend 3 gun warriors that practice and dry fire. That means we can't afford to not hit our reloads. If your dropping shells on the ground you've just separated yourself from the top tier. The thing that's separates the very top from the top half is they are hitting their reloads at top speed. Check out John McClain reload 8 rounds in 3.2 seconds here: https://youtu.be/yh1ofcjU7JM. Now there's something to shoot for. The next step is to then practice loading on the move & then loading without looking. If you can successfully load with you eyes on the targets instead of with your head down staring at your lifter, then you can better anticipate and prepare for your next shots. The key though, as you saw in the video and you’ll see while shooting a match, is consistency. You don’t have to be the fastest loader out there, but you can be the most consistent and that will help you to win.