Tactical Application of Practical Shooting, or TAPS, by Pat McNamara is the first firearm training focused book I read. Pat is one of the instructors I've been following for the longest, alongside Travis Haley, Chris Costa, and a few others. I love training as much as everyone else, but classes and ammunition are expensive. Luckily, many instructors have a strong online presence, and even more put their thoughts down in physical books.
In only 152 pages, TAPS covers a broad range of topics. You won't be an expert in any subject by reading this book, but it will help point you in the right direction. Think of it as more of a primer than a textbook. For those who are less than literate (Marines), Pat includes a fair amount of pictures and illustrations in TAPS to help you along.
What Does TAPS Cover?
I won't hit every subject in the book here, but Pat does a great job covering important subjects. You'll learn about accountability in training by taking responsibility for your shots and ensuring you properly execute your fundamentals to avoid negative training--even when going fast.
New shooters will be pleased to find that the basics are covered as well. Fundamental safety rules, sight picture and alignment, trigger press, the proper draw technique for handguns, and even dry fire. Like with most subjects in TAPS, these are briefly touched on and should be supplemented with other material.
Other topics include removing your ego from training to stay honest and focused. Pat busts a few quick myths that are especially prevalent in military circles, many of which I have heard on more than one occasion. Mindset in defensive encounters is also brought up, hoping to ensure you stay as cool in real life as you do in training.
The majority of TAPS is focused on improving your training regimen. Nearly 100 pages are dedicated to various drills covering a broad range of topics for both rifles and handguns. These are a mix of IPSC, Bianchi Cup, and NRA Bullseye stage designs, military courses of fire, and more traditional square range drills.
In this segment Pat provides well detailed descriptions of each course of fire, along with graphics of targets and stage designs. Anyone looking to vary their training would do well to look at the back half of the book. While many designs can be found online, this provides an excellent quick reference guide for shooters.
I think TAPS does a great job covering a wide range of topics in a short and easily digestible format. While it won't make you an expert in any subject, it will help get your feet wet while pointing you in the right direction. I snagged my copy for $15 and it was a great investment. Shooters would do well to have this book on their shelf.
You can find TAPS: Tactical Application of Practical Shooting by Pat McNamara >>HERE<<
If you want to train with Pat, his website is found HERE
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