AAR: Tim Herron 2-Day Practical Performance; May 23-24, 2020; Meadhall Range, OK

Plene Paratus

Special Hen
Jul 2, 2018
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Tim Herron 2-Day Practical Performance AAR

Background: 24-years LE, 20 with a large Metropolitan agency. Currently assigned as a fulltime Firearms Instructor with the Firearms Training Unit. Four years USMC Infantry. Multiple classes with Patrick Rogers/EAG Tactical; Patrick Mcnamara TAPS Pistol and Rifle; Patrick Mcnamara TAPS Instructor; Frank Proctor Performance Pistol and Rifle; GPS Defense Basic,/Advanced/Instructor Sniper Course; FLETC Firearms Instructor Training Program; FLETC Advanced Pistol Training Program; NRA LE Division Handgun/Shotgun Instructor; Tom Givens Instructor Development; Tom Givens Advanced Instructor; Rogers Shooting School; William Petty VCQB Instructor; Glock Operator Course; Alexander Global Strategies Executive Protection Course; FLETC Basic Tactical Medical Instructor Training Program; FLETC Active Shooter Threat Instructor Training Program; ITTS (Keary Miller) Law Enforcement Tactical Trauma Course; Presscheck Consulting No-Fail Pistol x2; Sentinel Concepts Practical Shotgun; Sentinel Concepts Carbine Essentials; Sage Dynamics RDS Handgun Instructor Course; Sheriff of Baghdad 2-Day Pistol Marksmanship Course; Sheriff of Baghdad Carbine Marksmanship Course; several hundred hours of department firearms training; several regional firearms courses

Location: Meadhall Range, Mcloud, OK

Disclaimer: The range is owned by a close friend. However, that does not change the fact that it is a very nice facility.

Range consists of ten lanes, with turning targets. There are also two moving targets on the line. Turners are double-spaced, so target stands can easily fit between each turner, with room to spare. Range goes back to 300 yards (technically 312). There is a large, modern classroom building near the 300-yard line, which is usable as-is (separate indoor bathrooms for male/female; large, fully equipped kitchen; office; entryway/sign-in area; virtual range; storage; and classroom, which has seating for 30+, interactive projector, white boards, tvs, internet, and in-floor electrical for students), and is in the final stages of being completed – there is also a large covered area outside to provide shade for students at the farther yard-lines. Range also has a restroom building near the 25-yard line (also two separate bathrooms for male/female; also climate-controlled), a target shed, a large shade structure near the 50-yard line (with concrete pad; several picnic tables; outdoor fans; outdoor propane heater; and electrical outlets). The range has a large assortment of steel targets, including plate racks, dueling trees, hostage targets, full and reduced-sized IPSCs, poppers, plates of various sizes, and a swinger target. Additionally, there are multiple movable target stands, and a large array of paper and cardboard targets kept on-hand, as well as sections of snow fence walls, cones, etc.

For this class, we shot from the 30 yard-line and in.

Dates: May 23-24, 2020

Instructor: Tim Herron

Tim Herron is a USPSA Grand Master in both Single Stack and Limited division, with experience in defensive shooting, IDPA, Steel Challenge, bullseye and target shooting, Bianchi, and the occasional trick shot. Titles include, but are not limited to:

2018-USPSA Handgun National Championships Single Stack Division Top 10 (7th overall)

2018-New Mexico High Desert Classic Single Stack Champion

2018-Illinois Sectional Single Stack Champion (4th consecutive title)

2018-Kansas Sectional Single Stack Champion (3rd consecutive title)

2018-3rd overall USPSA Single Stack Classic Nationals

2018-3rd overall USPSA Battle in the Bluegrass

2017- Top 16 USPSA Single Stack National Championships

2014, 2017- USPSA Area 4 HOA SS Division Champion

2014, 2016-USPSA Area 3 HOA SS Division Champion

2013-2017- 5 time MO State USPSA Single Stack Champion

Students: Nine total

One Active Duty military

Four competition shooters

One LE

Three civilian

Weather: Mid to High-80’s, with high humidity both days. Intermittent clouds

Round Count: 800 rounds 9mm 147gr AE.

Equipment: I ran my issued Glock 17M with Dawson Adjustable 3-dot tritium sights, and used a mix of OEM, and Magpul magazines. Four OEM magazines had Taran Tactical +6 extenders. Class was run from my duty belt, which consists of Safariland 6354DO holster, double Esstac KYWI magazine pouch, EGL Loppy dump pouch, Mayflower R&C low-pro IFAK, SOFTT-W tourniquet, in 11-10 holder, mounted via bracket to the holster. Ear pro was a set of Otto Noizebarriers. Everything performed as expected.

Class: TD1: Class began with intros from the instructor and students, as well as a thorough safety brief and med plan. Tim explained that one of the big takeaways from class should be an understanding of metrics, and how to use them. He also stated the only fundamentals he believed were important were Grip, and Managing Sights (basically a combo of Sight Alignment and Sight Picture). As he explained it, when shooting, either in competition or in a self-defense/LE/mil context, Stance would most likely be compromised, as would Breathing. Tim said that calling your shots correctly was extremely important, and that doing so negated the need for Follow Through. Finally, if you have an adequate grip, Trigger Control is a non-issue – a properly-gripped gun was not subject to the inputs people are concerned about from a finger. As long as the trigger press is straight to the rear, one can be as aggressive with it as needed. This is very closely in-line with many of the other instructors I have trained with.

After some brief class time, we moved down to the 30-yard line, and were allowed a few minutes to walk through a stage Tim had set up. This stage consisted of five sections, and was a 30-round course of fire. Targets were placed between approximately 2 yards away, out to 25-yards away. All but two targets were cardboard IPSC targets, with a few “no-shoot” targets interspersed. There was a large popper, which activated a swinger upon falling, and a small popper. Multiple points of cover were present, including one very hard lean.

After our walk-thru, each person ran the stage for time and score, while Tim observed and took notes. Some of the things he was looking for were Aggression, Time to get on target, Grip, Transitions, and Sight pictures/calling the shot. After our initial run through the stage, and a debrief, where Tim gave each of us personalized input, we broke for lunch.

Lunch was followed by time on the other side of the range, where we began working on a series of drills that worked the individual components involved in the stage. Tim explained that these drills were his practice regimen.

TD2: TD2 consisted of more drills focusing on various components of competition shooting. Although Tim has no history in LE or military, he was able to easily correlate the skills needed in competition to usefulness in the “real world.” An example being when he broke down time saved by having the gun up sooner (Tim’s mantra is “Shoot SOONER, not faster”). He timed himself doing a drill in two ways – one having the gun up and ready to work, and the other with the gun at a high ready. The difference in time was 0.6 seconds between the two (spoiler, gun up was faster). As he explained it, this translated to three extra potential rounds coming at you (the average person can easily achieve 0.2 second splits).

During TD2, we also got one more practice run on the Stage, a chance to win his Barrel Drill patch (no winners in the class), and a final “this one counts” run on the stage.

Thoughts/Takeaways: I went to this class, not because I am interested in competition. I went because I want to learn to be a better, more efficient shooter, and competition shooters are the best at efficiency. I have gone to dozens of other classes in the past, and am at a stage in my training where I do not go to a class expecting to hear something “new.” I go, hoping to get the occasional nugget, or to hear an instructor explain things in a new way that might resonate more with me than what I have heard in the past.

This class far exceeded my expectations. I got the nuggets, and I heard the new ways of explaining things. I also came away with one thing that totally changed how I shoot – something I had never heard before. I’m not a believer in putting instructor’s magic out on the internet, taking from their livelihood, so that is as far into it as I will go.

As far as Tim goes, he is one of the nicest guys I have met, a phenomenal shooter, and an excellent instructor who is able to get his ideas across to even the dumbest of students (I’m looking at myself here). I stepped way outside my comfort zone for this class, and had an absolute blast doing so. I unequivocally recommend this class to anyone that wants to up their game with a handgun, while hanging out with a super-nice guy who can absolutely walk the walk.

As an example of what kind of person Tim is – one of the students is a pastor, and he could only attend one day of class, as he had to be back preaching the next day. Tim stayed after class and worked one-on-one with that student for over an hour, making sure he got as much out of the class as possible. This is after a very long, very hot and humid day, when everyone was exhausted, including Tim.

A quote that really resonated with me as an instructor:

“We don’t learn from our perceived success. We learn from our observed failures.” A lot of people will say they felt “good” about a run, or about a day shooting, without having any metric to base that on. Without those metrics, our feelings mean little or nothing. We have no idea where we are, so we have no way to push farther. On the other hand, pushing to failure lets us know exactly where we are (provided we have measured it), and gives us a starting point to improvement.
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