I recently completed the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) Firearms Instructor Certification. Eric Wise of Cornerstone Performance taught the class. Attending the class were three Austin Police Officers, an officer from the Bryan Texas Police Department (PD) tactical team, a Deputy Sheriff from Bandera Texas, a retired Homeland Security investigations Special Agent, Karl Rehn from KR Training, and me. It was a great class with learning all around.
The TCOLE Firearms Instructor Course requires students to shoot two courses of fire (handgun and shotgun) on the first day of the class with a minimum score of 90%. The handgun course of fire is 50 rounds on a TQ-19 target or equivalent from 25 - 3 yards with a possible score of 250 points. The shotgun course of fire is shot at 25, 15 and 10 yards with five slugs and five buckshot rounds. Any student who cannot achieve 90% or better on both is dismissed and cannot participate in the class.
I was familiar with the TCOLE qualification course since I use it in a number of my intermediate daylight and low light classes. The difference is that for local students in my classes I use a target that matches the city or county where the student lives. These targets are typically the San Antonio PD or the Austin PD targets which have a smaller scoring area than the fairly generous TQ-19 target. I scored a 100% or 250 on the handgun and the shotgun qualifications on the TQ-19.
The other students did very well also with a class average of 248.6 points on the handgun qualification. Out of the six law enforcement officers, four scored 250 on the handgun qualification, one scored a 245, and one scored a 244. Karl Rehn of KR Training scored a 250 as expected.
As the class progressed, it was apparent that every student was a very good shot. All of the students were shooting at the IDPA Master or USPSA A class or better. Our instructor Eric Wise, is a USPSA (Limited and Production) Master, an IDPA Master (Carry Optics Division), and a multiple division Grand Master in Steel Challenge. Eric’s shooting demonstrations reflected this skill level.
The TCOLE Handgun Qualification is as follows:
From the 25 yard line:
-- Starting with the pistol holstered, at the start signal draw and fire two shots in five seconds. You do this four times for a total of eight shots.
-- Starting with the pistol holstered, at the start signal draw and fire six shots in 20 seconds. You do this one time for a total of six shots.
From the fifteen yard line:
-- Starting with the pistol holstered, at the start signal draw and fire two shots in four seconds. You do this one time for a total of two shots.
-- Starting with the pistol at ready, at the start signal draw and fire two shots in four seconds. You do this five times for a total of ten shots.
From the seven yard line:
-- Starting with the pistol holstered with six rounds in the pistol, at the start signal draw and fire twelve shots in twenty seconds.
There is a timed reload on this stage.
From the three yard line:
-- Starting with the pistol holstered, hands at sides, at the start signal draw and fire six shots in twelve seconds using primary hand only.
* Safely transfer the pistol to the support hand.
-- Starting with the pistol in the support hand at the ready, at the start signal fire six shots in twelve seconds using support hand only.
Training days two – four were focused on shooting skill drills and learning the live fire material. On day four all of the students conducted “teach-backs” on our assigned live fire topics with the instructor Eric Wise. On training day five the students taught the live fire curriculum to an open enrollment class of students from the Austin, Bryan, and College Station areas.
The student skill level for this class varied from fairly good to brand new shooters who had no formal training. Each of the instructor-students taught their assigned training module to the class and then conducted live fire drills to practice the skill—all of the students showed significant improvement.
If you have the opportunity to take a class from Eric Wise, I would highly recommend him. Eric is a professional and competent instructor who knows his material and presents it in an easily-understood format. His company is Cornerstone Performance.
I take my instructor continuing education seriously and I typically attend 3-5 classes per year. Eric’s TCOLE class was my seventh class for this year. I have attended enough training that I consider a class a success if I walk away with three or four new teaching tidbits or skills. I walked away from Eric’s TCOLE Firearms Instructor class with an unusually large number of new ideas and/or approaches to teaching the handgun—a very satisfied student.
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