Rangemaster Tactical Conference 2023 AAR

KR Training was well represented at the 2023 Rangemaster Tactical Conference, with 3 on the KR Training staff teaching (Karl Rehn, John Daub and Dave Reichek), 2 attending (Ed Vinyard & Tracy Thronburg) along with many graduates of our courses. TacCon began in the early 2000’s as a winter event held at the original Rangemaster indoor range/training facility in Memphis. Over time it evolved from less of a pistol competition to what it is today, a conference where trainers present short blocks and get the opportunity to observe and participate in other trainers’ sessions, along with a few hundred attendees. This year’s event had 42 different presenters and 400 attendees, 60% of whom had never attended a previous TacCon. The full list of topics and course descriptions is here. Topics ranged from live fire sessions, unarmed, knife and impact weapon sessions, force on force scenarios, classroom lectures and other activities.

Tom Givens and the Rangemaster team have settled in to the Dallas Pistol Club as the new home of the Tactical Conference (“for as long as they will have us”).

The Dallas Pistol Club has two major airports within 15 minutes, and dozens of hotels and restaurants nearby. It has many shooting bays and classrooms, supplemented by tents used to make additional classrooms, and spring weather usually cooperates. Rains on Friday affected some of the sessions and the pistol match, but weather on Saturday and Sunday was perfect for the event.

Karl’s Sessions Taught

Karl taught a 2 hour classroom block on Lessons Learned from Expert Witness cases on Saturday morning. Much of the talk focused on outcomes of road rage incidents involving KR Training students (that didn’t result in criminal charges and cases involving others that he assisted as an expert witness.

On Sunday morning Karl and Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics took over the social tent to run 2 hours of Force on Force Plus Medical scenarios, typically involving 4-6 students at a time. All the scenarios were built on the same premise: owners of a small country store returning to it after a natural disaster and power outage. This caused them to encounter looters, squatters, people that had broken in for shelter, injured/sick people or other strangers, solving a use of force or physical security problem and a medical problem. Working in groups of 4-6, we were able to let every student participate in 2 scenarios and observe 4 scenarios in the fast paced 2 hour block.

Karl’s final session late Sunday afternoon was a three hour block of historical handgun drills from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. Many of these drills required shooting from 25 and 50 yards, including shooting from cover.

Video of me shooting the 1920’s police revolver qualification drill that we shot in my TacCon session.

I also taught some of the history of target evolution to the class, specifically how we got from the B21 to the B27.

John’s Sessions Taught

John taught several sessions of his AIWB Skills course, a repeat from last year’s TacCon.

John also joined Erick Gelhaus and Lee Weems for a session called The Aftermath, where they discussed the legal and psychological aftermath of using deadly force, from their own experiences as a private citizen and law enforcement officers. This was another session originally offered last year, and was brought back due to popular demand.

John has also written his own TacCon23 AAR available here.

Dave’s Sessions Taught

Dave has been one of the regular roleplayers used by Craig Douglas in the Shivworks “Experiential Learning Lab” block. Craig puts students in challenging force on force scenarios. This year Dave was the primary aggressor in the scenario. No pictures or video were available from this year’s scenarios, but Dave suggested that we share his AAR from the 2022 TacCon, because many observations from 2023 were common to the previous year. Lisa Causey from Lone Star Medics was the other primary roleplayer, giving TacCon a pair of KR Training/Lone Star Medics force on force collaborations this year.

The Pistol Match

The level of shooting in the TacCon match improves every year, with margins between competitors shrinking each time. As in the previous year, part 1 of the match was a series of par time drills. This year’s match involved 4 sec target exposures with turning targets, with strings at different distances. Each string started from a ready position, strings were short (5 or fewer rounds), with no reloads on the clock, making the match a pure test of shooting skill. The tiebreaker was shot by anyone shooting a perfect score on part 1. The tiebreaker was to draw from concealment and shoot 5 shots into a 4″ circle at 5 yards, as quickly as you could. The tiebreaker was scored as Comstock (points divided by time). 50 points in 2 seconds was a score of 25, for example. For the first time in the last few years I shot clean on part 1 and was fast enough on the tiebreaker to slip into the shootoff in the 16th slot. The difference in tie-breaker times between 16th and 12th was 0.1 second (2.3 to 2.4 on time).

As someone observed, previous match winners were scattered across the top 50, as even a single point down or a tenth of a second on the tiebreaker was enough to move down a few (or 5 or 10) places in a crowded field. Part 3 of the match, which determined the final winner, was a best 2 of 3 shootoff on falling steel targets. Being 16th meant I was paired against 1st overall Tim Herron, and he advanced to the top 8. Official match photographer Tamara Keel got a good pic of us on run #2.

Mirko Muggli ended up winning the shootoff and was match winner for the second year in a row.

Heather Reeves was top woman, winning the top 8 shootoff, and Lane Thayer was top law officer, shooting from duty gear.


John and I also used TacCon23 as the official release event for the 2023 update of our book, Strategies and Standards for Defensive Pistol. We sold all of the 100 print copies that we signed and brought to the event. To make myself easy to find, I purchased a purple backpack at Walmart after I arrived in Dallas, and took it with me everywhere I went.

You can order signed copies of the updated book (40+ pages of new content) from us directly here.