The 2019 Rangemaster Tactical Conference was held at the Nolatac Training Facility in New Orleans, March 15-17. I’ve been a part of this conference every year since the early 2000’s, presenting training at 17 of the past 21 events. This is part three of a series of posts summarizing the sessions I attended and observed, and my experiences shooting the match.
The final day started with the shootoff. Actually two shootoffs. In order to get the 22 people tied with the top 5 scores, there was a simple bullseye shootoff (two 5 round strings at 5 and 10 yards). Top 16 scores got in. A few of those that didn’t make the cut were previous match winners and people who had shot perfect scores in the main match. I made it into the top 16 shootoff, but ended up losing in the first tier to former student Hany Mahmoud, who went on to finish 3rd in the shootoff.
Men’s Finals: Rick Remington (1st), Chris Cerino (2nd), Hany Mahmoud (3rd).
Women’s Finals: Cindy Bowser (1st), Melody Lauer (2nd), Sara Ryan (3rd).
High Lawman: Wayne Dobbs
Perfect scores in the main match: Jason Ryan, John Johnston, Ryan McCann, Brian Hill.
This was the first year that shooters using red dot sights were top finishers in both the main match and shootoff. Were their scores significantly better than those running iron sights? The data doesn’t show it. A few of the RDS-using shooters that made the top 22 shootoff, including some with perfect scores in the main match, were among those that didn’t make the top 16.
The only definitive thing that can be said about the RDS aspect of this year’s match is that there were many more red dot sights being used, and just as with irons, in the hands of skilled shooters they can be used effectively and competitively.
After a nutritious lunch of chicken and waffle, I attended John Holschen’s “Surviving the Extreme Event” session. John is a longtime mentor of mine and he always has excellent material. He’s currently teaching for the Heiho Consulting Group and at West Coast Armory North in Everett, WA.
One interesting point he raised is that most of the deadliest mass shootings in US history have occurred in the past 3 years.
The final session of the conference was Tiffany Johnson and Aqil Qadir’s session on the Changing Face of the Industry. Hopefully they will present this session at the 2020 TacCon or find a way to get the information out to others. Their presentation received one of the few standing ovations I’ve ever seen at any TacCon. It addressed the changing demographics of the US generally, perceptions of the gun culture from those outside it, race and other diversity issues, and more. You can download their course notes at tiny.cc/save2a
The event ended on St. Patrick’s Day, and I had a great time that evening hanging out with San Antonio-area TacCon folks at their AirBNB house.
The Rangemaster Tactical Conference is an amazing event, offering 3 days of training from dozens of instructors. If you haven’t been, you should make plans to attend in 2020.