Safety is our primary objective. Everything we do is built around a safe training experience for you, our student. Safety is the responsibility of everyone on the range. If you witness something that appears unsafe, you also have the responsibility to yell “Stop!” We will immediately correct the problem and quickly get back to the training. There is certainly no embarrassment in giving the “Stop!” command.
Rule # 1
All firearms are loaded. No exceptions. Always assume that any and all firearms are loaded at all times. Perform a chamber check and a magazine check each and every time you pick up a weapon. When a weapon is handed to you or you hand off a weapon, perform a chamber check to confirm that your weapon is not loaded.
Rule # 2
Never cover the muzzle of your firearm with anything you are not willing to shoot. This includes everything that you can think of: a person(s), your feet, hands or any body parts.
Rule # 3
Keep your finger off of the trigger (and off the trigger guard) until you have made the command decision to fire. This should be rule number one. Find and locate a reference point on the weapon and know it. This should be a location outside the trigger guard, not the magazine release, but simply a spot that your finger is on prior to trigger placement. Negligent discharges only happen when the trigger is pressed. A firearm is a mechanical device that requires a physical action to “fire”. You cannot tell it to fire; the trigger must be pressed. So, keep your finger off of the trigger and the trigger guard.
Rule # 4
Be sure of your target and what is behind it. You must be aware of the berm, barrier or back stop. Never shoot without assuring that the round you fire down range can be stopped by an intended body or a cover that is sufficient to the ballistic caliber and cartridge you are shooting. Know what is behind your target at all times. Equally important, you must guarantee your hits. If you miss the target then you have missed your guarantee that the bullet will be stopped. Do not shoot at sounds or a target that you cannot positively identify. Know what is in line with the target and what is behind it (bullets are designed to go through things). Be aware of your surroundings at all times including range, desert, urban, interior, and all environments which you may be confined.
Your Individual Learning Pace
We have designed our curriculum over decades so that everyone improves, regardless of your existing skill level. Whether you are an experienced shooter or new, we will work with you on exactly what you need. If you are more advanced, we will help you perfect every aspect of your technique. As the course progresses, even the experienced shooter will be challenged. If you are new, we will concentrate on one technique at a time to make certain you are comfortable with it before we move on. If appropriate, we can work with you one-on-one. We will work with you patiently and consistently. If you start to feel fatigued or overwhelmed, simply speak up.
ATAC Instructional Methodology
Our instructional method utilizes minimal and basic manipulations, which translates to a greater efficiency of thought processing during stressful applications. During your training, you will find out what works for you personally for you and your teammates.
Stick to what your personal disabilities can efficiently perform with guaranteed hits, then continue your knowledge base through an open-minded philosophy. When it comes to making the decision to shoot or not to shoot, you will be prepared. The harder you train the easier the fight.
We also promote dry fire/practice. Many people still believe that dry firing a firearm is “bad” for a weapon. This is not the case; dry practice can have tremendous results if taken seriously. Only dry practice at a shooting range. Train as if it is a real situation, not a game. Train as if your life depends on it, because it does. The gun is not what is damaged in a gunfight. Most often it is a human life or a tangible item. A human on the receiving end of a bullet has two outcomes: badly hurt or dead. Train with safety, intelligence and diligence. The more educated you are (removed then) the better chances of survival.
As with most tactical skills they are perishable. Anyone can learn or improve upon their knowledge base if they follow a proven system and learn from an experienced leadership staff. ATAC E-Learning teaches three predominant learning styles to bring you courses that challenge all the senses while offering you maximum memory retention.
How does E-Learning Work: http://atacuniversity.com/how-does-atac-e-learning-work/
ATAC E-Learning FAQ’s: http://atacuniversity.com/e-learning-faqs/
There is no such thing as a “stupid question”. The only “stupid question” is the one that goes unasked. Feel free to interrupt at any time, whether we are in the classroom or out on the ranges. I’ll go one step further and say it is actually your “responsibility” to ask a question when something is not clear. If you attempt to progress past a misunderstanding, you won’t do very well from that point forward. Speak up!
ATAC strongly recommends complying with all Federal, State, County, and City Laws regarding transportation of weapons and ammunition.
Each student is required to bring a legally-owned weapon in safe operating condition. A spare weapon is highly recommended in the event that your primary weapon breaks during the course. It is not uncommon during the course to have 15% of the weapons fail to function for a variety of reasons. These failures often require replacement parts and a competent gunsmith to correct the problems; therefore it is best to be prepared with a back-up weapon.
Safety and Training Gear
Eye Protection: WARNING – CAUTION: You must always wear safety glasses. Injury may result from metallic particles, gases, carbon and lubricant residue. Any of this, but not limited to, can and will result from normal firearm use.
Standard shooting glasses, polarized safety or wraparound polycarbonate sunglasses are a must. Going a step further using ballistic rated, eye protection in the form of glasses or goggles which protect against flying debris & shrapnel can offer additional protection. Some manufacturers have interchangeable lenses as well as clear lenses for low/no light situations. Yellow and amber lens will brighten up your view. The amber (red tone) lens will also make colors appear more vivid. Smoked (dark) or mirrored lens for intense sunlight will assist in glare and reduction of light. Oakley and others now provide Rx shooting glasses. The better you can see during your training the better you will be able to focus on the vital aspects of training. Do not let your vision be a hindrance or subject your eyes to liability. Eyes cannot be replaced and they may not be able to be repaired properly. Using a hat with a visor or extension over the eyes is an additional form of eye protection that should not be neglected. Wear a ball cap or visor to prevent brass or any other object from lodging or falling between your eyebrow line and glass frame.
Ear Protection: WARNING – CAUTION: You must always use ear protection, ear plugs, or both when you are shooting. Injury and hearing loss may result from normal firearm use.
Ear protection comes in a wide variety today. In the past there were general earmuffs and foam plugs, both temporary/reusable or filtered, but now we have options of electronic to injected molded ear pieces. These small, discreet earplugs fit comfortably into the ear using various sized wax-guard tips allowing to covertly protect the ears of law enforcement, instructors, military personnel and sport shooters.
Simple earplugs will protect your hearing and not interfere with a cheek weld. There are many varieties, from disposable to reusable plugs. It is not a bad idea to carry extras in your range bag in case others do not have hearing protection. Never discharge a firearm without confirming that everyone on your range or proximity is wearing ear protection. Including those who may not intend to shoot must also have ear protection.
The electronic hearing protection has an option of communicating with two-way radios, while also amplifying your hearing abilities. Some designs can also fit under a helmet.
Hats: Ball Caps and Boonie Hats. Training hats are mandatory for preventative issues. Hot ejected brass can fall between your eyes and shooting glasses.
Knee and Elbow Pads: These are another mandatory piece of protection training gear. These are not only beneficial for supported positions, but also provide preventative protection for many different surfaces and conditions. Available in a variety of camouflaged patterns.
Flashlight: A flashlight (a simple model with a pressure on/off button on the endcap) is required for all courses, which have a night shoot.
Physical Conditioning: As in any confrontation, your physical conditioning is of the utmost importance. Some may think that they can be overweight or out of shape as long as they can still shoot with accuracy. This is not the proper attitude to have because upon confrontation your body produces epinephrine, also known as adrenalin, in order to prepare you for the fight. Adrenalin causes your heart to pump faster, your muscles to engorge with blood, your eyes to dilate, and your respirations to increase in order to supply oxygen for the increased demand. Can your heart handle the increased load or is it blocked with plaque? Do you still have your accuracy or are your arms bobbing up and down with each heartbeat? Can you acquire and maintain a prolonged position or are your muscles easily fatigued? Do you have the required pulmonary conditioning? Without physical conditioning, your mental conditioning has no foundation.
Mental Conditioning: Mental conditioning allows you to remain in control of the situation during your body’s automatic responses in stressful situations. During deadly confrontations, you need to be able to have the mental clarity that allows you to assess the situation and prioritize so that you can sufficiently tackle the task at hand.
Reliable Equipment: Some may think this is a strange category to have in “mindset”. If you do not have the physical conditioning and mind in good working order and you think you can get a skill set with the latest and best weapons, optics, and gear then you will fail in every confrontation off the range. Keep it simple and maintain the simple things. You need reliability and you must have trust in your gear. You also need to maintain and field test all old and new gear regularly. If you purchase new magazines, function test them-do not assume that they work because they look good or because they are new. Use them and know that they work. Repair your body’s injuries to the best possible whether surgically or with rehabilitation. You must have complete confidence in all of your equipment including your gear, your body, and your mind.
Approved Ammunition: We require the use of jacketed bullets. The bullet design may be full metal jacket (FMJ), total metal jacket TMJ), jacketed soft point, or jacketed hollow point. Shotgun ammunition must be lead; no steel shot. (Birdshot should be lead #8 or #7½ shot.) Semi-Auto Rifle ammunition CANNOT have a steel jacket or steel core.
- Bolt Action (Sniper Rifle) MUST BE PRE-APPROVED.
- Steel jacketed bullets (TEST YOUR AMMUNITION WITH A MAGNET BEFORE ARRIVING!)
- Steel core bullets (TEST YOUR AMMUNITION WITH A MAGNET BEFORE ARRIVING!)
- Lead bullets with no jacket
- Lead bullets with a thin copper “wash”, such as American Ammunition (not to be confused with American Eagle Ammunition made by Federal Cartridge Company)
- Armor piercing, tracers or other incendiary ammunition
- Steel shot or 3” shells for shotguns
Sun and Sunburn: Sunscreen is a must all year, regardless of the temperatures. By “sunscreen,” SPF 45 or more. Apply it liberally and you’ll be happy at the end of the day. A large-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses are also advisable.
Clothing – Firearms Courses: Dress in layers. Layering allows you the greatest flexibility to stay comfortable as the temperature changes throughout the day. If you plan to attend a handgun course, make sure you can tuck in your sweater or other garment such that it won’t interfere with the weapon and holster. Pants should be equipped with belt loops and cargo pockets. A quality gun belt is also a must. In the cooler months, sweaters, sweatshirts, or jackets are advisable.
Clothing – Rope and Rappel Courses: The rope and rappelling courses are conducted outdoors on the rappelling tower and rope facilities. Dress comfortably in clothes that are appropriate for the season. Shorts and T-shirts are generally preferred during the warm months. Long pants, jackets or sweatshirts are generally preferred for the cool months. Hiking boots or work boots are the best footwear for rappelling but athletic shoes will suffice. Do not wear excessively baggy or loose-fitting clothing or jewelry because they represent a hazard when working with ropes. Similarly, long hair should be kept in a ponytail (or similar configuration) to keep it away from ropes and hardware. Bring a pair of simple leatherwork gloves to protect your hands.
Proper Hydration: The Nevada high desert is an environment that is subject to severe heat and lack of humidity during the summer months. Functioning in this environment requires certain procedures be followed in order to prevent dehydration and heatstroke.
Proper hydration cannot be accomplished by reacting to the body when it is thirsty. Hydration must be accomplished in advance of exposure to heat and dryness. The following is a protocol to assure proper hydration and electrolyte balance which is essential for peak performance in a hot, arid environment.
Begin hydrating the night before by drinking water regularly during the course of the evening. Eight to ten ounces every half hour is adequate. A good measure is to check your urine to monitor that the color remains clear.
Prior to reporting to the range, drink a quart of water. Half strength Gatorade (half water half Gatorade) is better than just water. Eat a banana with your breakfast and refrain from caffeine. Alcohol the night before and in the evenings after the course will dehydrate you, so it is not advised.
During the day, drink water regularly between shooting relays and stay in the shade as much as possible. If you begin to feel weak or dizzy, or begin to get confused and notice your coordination disappearing, this is the beginning of dehydration and possibly heatstroke. Immediately seek shade and notify an instructor.
We give you this information in advance knowing that if you follow it you are much less likely to have any problems with the heat. Do not take the attitude that since you are accustomed to the heat you need not follow the strict protocol outlined above.
Note: Cardiovascular conditions, kidney dysfunction, and digestive disorders make it more difficult for your body to maintain proper temperature, hydration, and electrolyte balance. Certain prescription medications such as antibiotics, Beta Blockers, and blood pressure medications can also reduce your tolerance to heat. If you have these conditions or are taking these prescription medications, you require even closer monitoring to prevent dehydration and possible heatstroke.
Semi-Auto Rifle Classes
Slings: Mandatory for semi-auto rifles classes. We suggest a single point, but most all slings will work.
Magazines: Three magazines for semi-auto rifles as a minimum. We recommend having 6-12 magazines. Stick with factory magazines, aftermarket magazines have been troublesome other then MagPul PMAG. High-capacity magazines are the best choice if they are legal in your area.
Knee and Elbow Pads: Knee and elbow pads are recommended for all long gun (shotgun, rifle, submachine gun, M-16, etc.) courses and advanced handgun courses.
*Notepad and pen are recommended throughout the class
Bolt Action Rifle Classes
Complete sniper load out kit is recommended. Including soft pack and all related.
*Notepad and pen are recommended throughout the class
Range Bag: Range bags keep your gear organized, separated from others.
Iron Sights: Steel, fixed, sights with tritium inserts are recommended.
Holster: A holster is required. The holster must secure the weapon, cover the trigger guard and be worn on a waist belt.
Magazines: Three magazines for semi-auto pistols as a minimum. We recommend having 4-6 magazines. Stick with factory magazines, aftermarket magazines have been troublesome.
Holster Recommendations: Firing side, outside waistband (OWB) belt holsters are recommended for all handgun classes. Inside the waistband (IWB) holsters, depending on style, are permitted for all classes, but are not recommended. IWB holsters should not be worn forward or past the firing side hip for range use.
- Holsters must have full trigger guard coverage.
- FBI cant holsters are allowed, but discouraged. Holsters with a cant greater than 15 degrees are not allowed.
- Thumb-breaks must be taped out of the way.
- Blackhawk Serpa or similar holsters requiring trigger finger release mechanisms are not allowed.
- Thigh Holsters / Rigs are only for specific training.
We recommend Kydex or injection molded polymer holsters when possible. Factory supplied Springfield Armory XD/XDM holsters are not recommended. They are not designed for the frequency of use we demand of them.
*Notepad and pen are recommended throughout the class
Specialty courses (sub, general purpose machine guns, any advanced courses, navigation etc) will have direct memo sent to them on class requirements.
No photos, no cell phones during the class. If you need to make a call, please let the range master know and you will be excused to make your call.
If you have a questions as you get ready for your course, please email us at HQ@ATACGlobal.com