Gun owners seeking tactical instruction have no shortage of options. The problem is deciding which option yields the best result for the dollar. Even if the instructor’s resume checks out, the listed real-world experience is for naught if he or she can’t impart that knowledge upon students. Without a well-thought-out curriculum, tests and a training/practice plan to follow after the course is over, you’re just paying for war stories. Having a sensible training method coupled with objective performance standards is key.
Paul Howe is a high-risk training instructor with experience in law enforcement and 20 years of active-duty service in the U.S. Army, 10 of which were in special operations. Howe also was with 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta during the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993. As a tactical team leader, Howe led multiple combat operations and was a senior instructor for tier-one personnel before retiring as a master sergeant. Howe is the type of soldier G.I. Joe wishes he could be. Howe started CSAT (Combat Shooting And Tactics) as a training business in 2000 and purchased land in Nacogdoches, Texas, for a permanent school in 2004. Initially starting with 220 acres, the facility was expanded to 330 acres in 2009 and features multiple square ranges for pistol, rifle and law enforcement classes, and Sniper Hill, which goes out to nearly 1,000 yards. Several ranges feature multiple cars, simulating urban environments such as parking lots, as well as various structures. Shoothouses are surrounded by berms, allowing the use of all ammunition types. Even the obstacle course has berms and can be used for live fire. In addition to classes and law enforcement support, the facility has a sportsman’s range catering to local shooters. The on-site barracks accommodate up to 24 students and has hot-water showers, a kitchen with refrigerators and a sink, a dining/recreation room, a wet bar, gym equipment, a classroom, multiple bathrooms, a gun shop and a gun-cleaning shed.
First Things First
Bill Wilson shot with us and generously provided all the guns, equipment and ammunition. For pistols we used Wilson Combat X-TAC Compact pistols with Wilson magazines, sheathed in a mix of the company’s Practical and Rapid Response holsters and firing Bill Wilson Signature Match ammunition. We started with a meeting at the CSAT classroom for an overview of the company and Howe’s philosophy…