Tac Con 2024 AAR

During the Trainer’s Dinner, Tom asked me if I could remember how many TacCon’s I’ve attended/taught at. I think the number is 23. I missed the very first one, but traveled to Memphis as an attendee for the second Polite Society Conference, back when the event had that name and it was held at the Rangemaster “mother ship” facility in Memphis. I hosted Tom and Jim Higginbotham at my range several times, and he graciously invited me to start teaching (mostly running Force on Force scenarios) in 2004.

If you want a sample of that era, here are some videos of an episode of Shooting Gallery from 2005, featuring Tom, Michael Bane, John Farnam, William Aprill and me.

Tom and I figured out that Farnam, me and John Hearne had been to the most events. Since I missed two of them for work conflicts, I’m probably 3rd on the list behind the other two.

2024 Tactical Conference

This year’s event was held at the Dallas Pistol Club, a convenient 3 hour drive from Bryan. More than 40 trainers presented 69 different blocks of instruction, plus the pistol match and shootoff. It sold out in 30 minutes after registration opened spring 2023. I taught 4 blocks (8 hours) in 2 days, that included two lecture blocks of new material and two live fire sessions of the Top 10 Drills program taken from our Strategies and Standards for Defensive Pistol book. John Daub was supposed to co-teach with me but a family trip come up, so I taught all 4 sessions solo. I had a rock and roll gig to play with the Black Cat Choir Thursday night, so my original plan was to drive up Friday morning, attend sessions Friday afternoon and teach Saturday and Sunday.

Car Troubles

Friday I stopped for early lunch in Corsicana Texas and my car didn’t start when I got in it to get back on the road. Used my AAA account to summon a tow truck and he jump started me, which got me on the road in search of a shop that could install a new battery. The battery in my car appeared to be the factory one so it had 90K miles on it. Replacing the battery on a Honda Pilot requires removing a giant plastic part the width of the hood, and removing an air duct. I bought a new battery at AutoZone and installed it in their parking lot. Battery did not solve the problem. At this point I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to get to TacCon and what to do about a car that might have to be left at a shop over the weekend for repair. I ended up calling Allstate because (on the advice of preparedness guru Paul Martin) I had purchased a 100K mile extended warranty. They gave me the names of several shops in town they had worked with and I found one (the Chevy dealer) that actually worked on Saturdays fixing cars. I was only an hour from TacCon and Tracy said she would drive down and pick me up if needed.

Call AAA for another tow truck. Tow truck driver says “let me try jumping it before we tow it” and surprisingly enough the jump worked, so I drove it to the Chevy place and they ran a bunch of tests (except testing the battery which we all believed to be good because it was new). They found no problems and sent me on my way…so I drove on up to TacCon. Car started up just fine Friday after dinner and again Saturday morning…until I stopped in the parking lot to get my nametag and check in before I had to teach at 8 a.m… and the car wouldn’t start again. KR Training alum JJ saw me trying to get the car started and handed me his GooLoo lithium battery car jumper box


This worked to get the car restarted, and I used it to jump the car multiple times until I got it home to the Honda dealer…where they found that the “new” Autozone battery was defective. Autozone in Bryan was able to pull up my purchase and give me a full refund on it and since then I’ve had no problems.

Moral to this story: if you install a new battery and it doesn’t work, don’t assume the new battery is good.

Teaching at TacCon

My first block to teach was a 2 hour lecture on Designing Scenarios. The intent was to make it applicable to finger gun, red gun, SIRT gun, Airsoft, Simunition and live fire. Attendees got a worksheet and we went through the process I use to fully design a scenario: location, equipment, desired outcome (harsh word, threat of deadly force, OC, physical, shooting), level of aggression from roleplayer, additional roleplayers (bystanders, family, friends, workers, multiple attackers), and other variables. Designing a scenario is more complex than just telling a roleplayer “go in the store and rob it”.

The second lecture was material John and I put together on our Top 10 tips for teaching Gateway Students, since a lot of our training business is bringing people with carry permits into the training universe and (hopefully) motivating them to return for additional classes. A few attendees post some pics of me teaching that block.

Top 10 Drills Live Fire

John and I put several different versions of our Top 10 Drills in the 2023 version of our book, but for TacCon we created yet another variation optimized to reduce the number of different targets, target swaps, target taping, and anything else that might take up time in our limited 2 hour block. That list of drills will be the topic of a future blog post. Those sessions were attended by many trainers, including Don Redl and Unc.

Official TacCon photographer Tamara Keel took this great pic of me during one of the Top 10 sessions.

Sessions Attended

I only got to attend two sessions, since I was teaching for 4 of the 6 time blocks that I was present for. Saturday afternoon I went to Cecil Burch’s talk on the history of combatives and firearms. He reviewed training history, observing that unarmed and armed skills were often taught together, until the Gunsite era when armed and unarmed training separated. It wasn’t until the 1990’s when many events (UFC, invention of Simunition, National Tactical Invitational) and trainers (Kelly McCann, John Holschen, John Benner, Paul Gomez, Phil Messina and many others) brought the topics back together.

Sunday morning I was able to attend Rhett Neumayer’s Deep Carry class. Because I’ve been training a lot of armed teachers in the past year, deep carry has become a topic I’m very interested in. Deep carry, for teachers in a school environment, may be the best option. Rhett provided excellent instruction in his techniques for carrying with the gun completely below the beltline, guidance for what clothing works well (and what does not), and the proper way to access and reholster when the holster is completely below the belt. He has some great videos online. Here’s one of them. Anyone that is teaching concealed carry, whether you personally choose to carry this way or not, should understand it and be able to demonstrate it to others, as deep carry may be the only practical solution for many that can’t (or refuse to) wear an untucked shirt.

For Rhett’s class I was shooting my M&P Shield from an Enigma, and used an empty coffee cup I dug out of the trash bin to hold my loose ammo. Another student in class took this pic hoping to win the TacCon photo contest.

The Match

I almost didn’t shoot the match, since I had planned to shoot it Friday. However, I found a little time window during lunch Saturday to shoot. I managed to shoot a clean score on the standards (one stray strong hand only shot came perilously close to the edge), and decided to push for speed on the tiebreaker, knowing that it was going to be scored Comstock where a hit factor was going to matter.

They told me I had a time of 1.66, with one shot of the 5 head shots about 1″ above not just the head circle but the grey target area, so 40/50 points. When the scores were published later, it said my time was 1.76. (Note to self, check the scores that are written down next year). That 0.1 second difference mattered (and of course the missed shot). I ended up 19th overall, just below the cutoff for the top 16 shoot off. Worried about my car situation and needing to get home to be ready for our A Zone Eclipse Viewing on Monday, I left at lunch and didn’t watch the shootoff or attend any afternoon sessions.

As it turned out I missed a big afternoon for Team KR Training and Dave Reichek.

Dave was 9th overall after the tie breaker, but had a flawless run of 2-0 wins in the shootoff (winning every run of every bout) right up until the very last bout of a 2-2 match for overall match winner. The match came down to the last shot, as Simon Golob got his last steel target down a fraction of second faster than Dave did. Still, Dave ended up 2nd overall – a win made even better by his daughter Rachel (who attended TacCon) being present to see him win.

That picture ended up winning the TacCon photo contest.

Other articles

KR Training’s Uncle Zo wrote his own AAR

Greg Ellifritz also wrote about TacCon, mainly about a tragedy that occurred Thursday night at the match hotel when an event attendee had a major heart attack in the hotel lobby. Greg was one of several match trainers (including two ER docs) who responded.


TacCon 2025 will be held at the Dallas Pistol Club March 28-30, 2025. Registration has not yet opened but when it does I expect it will sell out quickly. I will be a presenter at the 2025 event.