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-   -   [2013] Your Favorite Firearms Training Outfits in SoCal (https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=715723)

ramzar 03-02-2013 11:37 AM

[2013] Your Favorite Firearms Training Outfits in SoCal
 
Pick as many as you want and if you wish tell us why.

Polls are limited to only 12 so I left 4 out but all 16 are listed below with website links.

This time (2012 version) I took out the over-used word “tactical” and as far as locality I even included those who visited a couple of times a year.

I have personally taken classes with all of these outfits. There are a few outfits that I've taken classes with that I personally deem unworthy to be on this list and thus you won't find them here.

By the way, Alias Training is not strictly a firearms training outfit but does arrange, promote and bring some of the best instructors or outfits to SoCal. For example, Ken Hackathorn, Larry Vickers, John McPhee, Mike Pannone, Pat McNamara, Kyle Defoor, Dave Harrington, Invictus Alliance Group, Northern Red, Rob Leatham, etc.

Last year we had Grey Group Training (GGT) until August 2012 and then most of the instructors on their roster moved to Alias Training and now GGT no longer has classes in SoCal but they do in NorCal.

Here are the websites for the various outfits listed:
  1. Academi/U.S. Training Center/Blackwater
  2. Alias Training & Security Services
  3. Costa Ludus (Chris Costa)
  4. Covered 6
  5. Dynamic Training Concepts (DTC)
  6. FOG (Falcon Operations Group)
  7. FTA (Firearms Training Associates)
  8. 5 Arrows Tactical Training (Darren Harlow)
  9. ITTS (International Tactical Training Seminars)
  10. Mossie Tactics (Buck Mossie)
  11. PTS (Phoenix Tactical Solutions)
  12. TAC-1 (Tactical Advanced Combat)
  13. TASC (The Academy of Saint Crispian / Stan Lee)
  14. TFTT (Tactical Firearms Training Team)
  15. TriCon (Trident Concepts – Jeff Gonzales)
  16. WOTG (Way of the Gun – Frank Proctor)

mabilis_matulis 03-02-2013 8:31 PM

I haven't tried any of them.. But thanks for posting the links.. I give it a shot at one of them if time permits..

geeknow 03-02-2013 8:45 PM

Ram,

You forgot the one that we both attended last weekend. Unless you intentionally left it out, due to their low key, "not really open to the public" nature, which I totally understand.

BTW, great shooting with you again. I look forward to the next trip out. I always learn a lot.

Best,

g

PS, they just released the trailer of the stuff that they filmed. Check it out. I think you'll like it.

;-)

ramzar 03-02-2013 9:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by geeknow (Post 10698406)
Ram,

You forgot the one that we both attended last weekend. Unless you intentionally left it out, due to their low key, "not really open to the public" nature, which I totally understand.

BTW, great shooting with you again. I look forward to the next trip out. I always learn a lot.

Best,

g

PS, they just released the trailer of the stuff that they filmed. Check it out. I think you'll like it.

;-)

G,

WOTG is on the poll and the list. Unless you meant VRG as the host. Don't have a website for them nor taken any classes with their instructors.

Great weekend of shooting.

Ram

geeknow 03-02-2013 9:18 PM

Indeed it was.

Ricky-Ray 03-02-2013 9:56 PM

Any chance of listing the outfit's that you have deemed unworthy also?

ramzar 03-02-2013 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricky-Ray (Post 10699038)
Any chance of listing the outfit's that you have deemed unworthy also?

No. Sorry, but I don't want to get into negative vibes. For me it's enough to simply not list them.

grivera05 03-03-2013 10:53 AM

Falcon Ops all the way... Costa Ludas was great as well but I took that course through Falcon. I have been through courses by almost all of those training cadres. All were good but Falcon's instructors and their passion for teaching set them apart. My opinion of course.

akjunkie 03-03-2013 11:05 AM

+1 for TASC

hotstix 03-03-2013 11:39 AM

+1 for falcon ops.

Brian1979 03-03-2013 11:53 AM

Ram you would have to be the one to answer this. My best guess is you are the only one to have done all of them probably 3 times each. I would assume those who have attended 1-2 will favor those and not really give any of us an accurate idea of which is best based on having experienced all of them.

Honestly for this topic you would be the only one I am interested in hearing from. So which is it and why?

TheBladeRunner 03-03-2013 12:57 PM

+1 for TASC

http://youtu.be/XO5X242rnU0

zombiescanlearn 03-03-2013 1:22 PM

Stan from TASC is great. When I first started shooting he was my first instructor and I think I was his first student in the civilian world. Very patient and professional, an all around good guy. Taught me all the fundamental of my weapon systems -- AR, pistols and shotgun. His more advance classes focus on movements, teamwork and leadership. Basically, he will teach you everything that he would teach his Marines.



Frank from WOTG is a great shooter and instructor. He really likes his job and it shows in his classes. He will teach you all you need to know to kick your skills up to another level. I would recommend that you take Stan's classes first before you take Frank's classes, you'll get more out of Frank's classes if you already have a good handle on the fundamentals which Stan will give you.



I'll be taking classes from these two gentlemen whenever my wife lets me out of the house for the foreseeable future. You should try them out.

Bambino83 03-03-2013 2:59 PM

Ram, I like your style.

I'm a FOG (Falcon Ops Group) Alumni. I first started firearms training late in 2011 and all through 2012 with FOG. I never took classes from other outfits due to scheduling conflicts or $$ situations.

Anyways, FOG has an outstanding team of instructors. They are really down to earth and knowledgable. Safety is their #1 priority too. This is especially important when training with other students I've never met before. FOG also hosts Chris Costa courses too.. Just saying.

It would be unfair for me to say they are the best. "One man's sugar is another man's lemon".

I always believed you can't get better at anything without training or practice. Get out and train everyone. It's your responsibility to know how to use these tools.

Be safe and see you out there! Thanks.

buriders 03-03-2013 5:24 PM

FOG
 
Those guys at falcon are extremely knowledgeable and give you a lot of hands on instruction. They really help you breakdown the dynamics of shooting. I have personally learned a lot from those guys. Ohh yea and there are 100% about safety and what to do if something were to happen. Anybody attending there classes will not be disappointed.

fat felixxx 03-03-2013 8:21 PM

I attended the Falcon pistol 1.0 class and absolutely loved it. Great instructors and great atmosphere for a new guy like me.

pickforfood 03-03-2013 8:33 PM

I took the carbine class with TASC and loved it .Very safe,informative,respectful.

Sofatactical 03-03-2013 10:02 PM

Without variety usually by default the only training is the "favorite"
I have been near some outfits not listed and can say, if you show up and see all the cadre wearing matching BDU outfits, you should get back in the car and leave.

ramzar 03-03-2013 10:21 PM

This is definitely not a scientific poll. More a popularity contest perhaps skewed by campaigning and the lack of variety by the student/shooter. Of course, it's flawed but it gives some insights and information especially since it's an inclusive list.

There are a few outfits that I have not taken a class with and you won't find them here. Reason being I just don't know them.

There are outfits that I have or have not taken classes with that are specifically excluded for various reasons. Naming them publicly just starts a whole negative campaign, hate, etc. and I for one don't want to go there. Let's keep it positive and take the high ground since as gun owners and shooters we are under the microscope.

Variety and specificity of training are key. They go hand in hand with quality, quantity and frequency.

SIGSHOOTR 03-04-2013 7:09 AM

I've taken a number of courses through Alias (and when some of the instructors were affiliated with Grey Group)- most recently with Kyle Defoor (prior DEVGRU SEAL) and John McPhee (prior CAG). Outstanding outfit with an all-star squad of instructors who all "have been there, done that". Great real world training and the instructors have all been great teachers- humble, thorough, approachable and a good laugh. Not surprising, since most of these guys are all prior green beanies (exception of Defoor) whose primary mission is to train indigenous guerilla forces. Definitely get what you pay for here. Northern Red-- JD (prior 3rd SFG) is another excellent instructor/teacher. Took his advanced carbine.

Another great outfit-- TASC. For the price, you can't beat what Stan brings in terms of instruction. A combat proven Marine infantry officer, what I also love about Stan is that he makes himself available after class-- even will take extra time without pay to help out with skill building, rifle BZO, etc. And he recently introduced some cool courses like combat first aid (through a Navy corpsman) and the SULE (if you don't know what that means, look it up on his site).

Took Costa after watching the Mappul videos-- super nice dude and a great teacher. A lot of aerobic activity and gymnastics. You spew a lot of ammo downrange. But IMO, he teaches a lot of stuff that looks cool but is not practically useful. His real world credentials certainly do not match up to the guys mentioned above-- not sure about the credibility of techniques from a guy who did "special missions" for the US Coast Guard. And his tuition is one of the most expensive.

GM_77 03-04-2013 8:03 AM

Alias Training: This is the default training group I go with, anyone associated with them are top notch teachers/coaches with extraordinary amount of experience in the field.

TASC: So far only took the medical course, really liked what I saw going on and will definitely be back for more. I like the availability and reasonable price. Also the fact that all their instructors are very experienced in the field that they teach.

WoTG: Best shooting training course by far, for the tip of the iceberg here is an AAR. If you drew a Ven diagram of tactical shooting and practical that is where Frank lives. I think if you want to become a better shooter, I would go to a WoTG course if possible.

One trainer that visits CA that isn't on the list would be ShivWorks (SOUTHNARC). In my opinion probably one of the most top instructors I've met, if not the best. I really can't do justice to express how impressed I was with his teaching and the group of guys I trained with. The curriculum is fairly unique and I think arguably the most relevant to civilians and police officers.

Sicktone 03-04-2013 8:06 AM

+1 on TASC. I've attended two of Stan's classes, have another scheduled and plan to complete at least another half-dozen or so. He really breaks it down to realistic concepts keeps the drills interesting.

PS--The students that attended both classes were all great folks as well.

rd2play 03-04-2013 9:36 AM

TASC because Marines are the best instructors :)

Well, OK, there are most certainly other good instructors out there, but this is my own personal preference. Besides, the SULE class is outstanding and unique.

Sofatactical 03-04-2013 9:51 AM

If voting/commenting please name the outfits you have trained with that are on the list.
This will give a better picture of the diversity of the poll.
An ideal pollster would be someone who has trained with at least 4 and would pick a single favorite.

ramzar 03-04-2013 11:21 AM

I had been thinking along similar lines.

What if there was another poll where only poll-takers who had taken classes with at least 3 of the 12 outfits voted (can't stop others from voting though) and they could only only choose 1 of the 12 listed ones (instead of multiple choice).

Would it get skewed even more towards TASC & FOG?

Never Convicted 03-04-2013 11:29 AM

My vote is also for Falcon. Safety is their highest priority and real world experience is shared by their knowledgeable staff. See you at their next class.

SuperSet 03-04-2013 11:44 AM

Have done several and you guys know which one I prefer. :)
BTW, just did a quick search on other local gun boards and didn't see any similar polls so that speaks to the 1st world problems we face here in populous, sunny SoCal!

GM_77 03-04-2013 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ramzar (Post 10711767)
I had been thinking along similar lines.

What if there was another poll where only poll-takers who had taken classes with at least 3 of the 12 outfits voted (can't stop others from voting though) and they could only only choose 1 of the 12 listed ones (instead of multiple choice).

Would it get skewed even more towards TASC & FOG?

Polls reflect, opinions get skewed so I think the current poll is great and what you might be looking for is something other than a poll. I also agree with the philosophy that "Variety and specificity of training are key" so the multiple choices on the poll would be consistent with that line of thinking. I think you got it right the first time Ram!

TacticalChihuahua 03-04-2013 1:04 PM

Falcon ops is awesome. Love those guys! Safety is always first and they work very hard to deliver their technique and training properly. Best part is you can tell they enjoy what they are doing

kayaker55 03-04-2013 4:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grivera05 (Post 10702363)
Falcon Ops all the way... Costa Ludas was great as well but I took that course through Falcon. I have been through courses by almost all of those training cadres. All were good but Falcon's instructors and their passion for teaching set them apart. My opinion of course.

Where does Falcon Group train ? Not indicated on their schedule. Thanks.

C-Bee 03-04-2013 7:09 PM

Thanks for the opportunity to comment...
 
I have spent much time with PTS (Phoenix Tactical Solutions) and the training here is superb. I haven't tried other outfits but I will mention what stands out at PTS is the caliber of training you receive. You will absolutely leave the training feeling that you got every dollars worth in skill. I highly recommend the Handgun Skill Builder/Low Light training. I consider flashlight training a must and you get a lot out of this class. Here are two links that show my progression from the first session to my fourth session. It's like night and day. Whoever you go with I hope that you become a better shooter as I have with PTS. Good luck. First - http://youtu.be/EN7mGdS2uV0 Fourth - http://youtu.be/8V4DiL2JHQw

lewisracing 03-04-2013 7:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayaker55 (Post 10714646)
Where does Falcon Group train ? Not indicated on their schedule. Thanks.

Prado in Corona.

I voted FOG too, i have 200+ hours of training with them, safey has never been compromised and their course material is excellent. I always learn something new.

I also plan to train with TASC soon as well, heard nothing but good things about Stan.

Sofatactical 03-04-2013 7:29 PM

This is turning into a thread of subjective statements.

Steph 03-04-2013 7:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lewisracing (Post 10716824)
Prado in Corona.

I voted FOG too, i have 200+ hours of training with them, safey has never been compromised and their course material is excellent. I always learn something new.

I also plan to train with TASC soon as well, heard nothing but good things about Stan.

They have a nice fancy website, but weird that it doesn't mention anywhere where the courses are taught (unless we're just blind). :confused: Awesome that it's at Prado though, I've taken 2 classes with TASC there (my vote, sad he doesn't teach there anymore [edit: he switched to Raahagues in Corona, lot closer than ASR]). I'll have to try FOG sometime.

lewisracing 03-05-2013 3:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steph (Post 10717077)
They have a nice fancy website, but weird that it doesn't mention anywhere where the courses are taught (unless we're just blind). :confused: Awesome that it's at Prado though, I've taken 2 classes with TASC there (my vote, sad he doesn't teach there anymore [edit: he switched to Raahagues in Corona, lot closer than ASR]). I'll have to try FOG sometime.

Good to know that TASC switched to Raahagues cause ASR is a pain in the butt for me to get to.

Ricky-Ray 03-05-2013 3:28 PM

I have been going to Civilian Arms Training www.civilianarmstraining.com. Great group of instructors and you get a full day of training for an economical price.

I'll have to give FOG a try one day.

MetroP180 03-05-2013 5:20 PM

Falcon Ops all the way!!!!

Miataguy 03-05-2013 8:41 PM

Phoenix Tactical Solutions
 
I have to vote for Pheonix Tactical Solutions.
Why?
- Small class size means more individual attention.
- Instructors who are not overly "Gung-Ho", but very experienced and proficient
- Training is geared more towards "Real-Life" situations and senarios
- Viable and helpful feedback after practically every time you pull the trigger

Gonefishing 03-06-2013 7:27 AM

+1 for TASC: So far only took the shotgun 101 course. I like the availability and reasonable prices. Stan is always willing to run a class even if there are only a few guys available.

supernachos 03-07-2013 12:26 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiXsPKqg3uw

+1 for TASC .
...but then I only have taken classes from Stan! :D

Stan is an overall good instructor, not arrogant and wins the respect of his students by his knowledge and teaching methods and his overall likeable demeanor.

I also like the smaller class size of 10 students or less, unlike others where it seems to be 20+ students or more.

In the current *panic* climate, the cost of taking the trainig courses are relatively cheap compared to the cost of ammo needed to take the class. So looking at SMG's videos I would really like to venture out and take WOTG once ammo prices stabilize.


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