DVD Review: Tactical Pistol Operator with Paul Howe

If you are reading this, it is likely that you have read my short review of Paul’s carbine DVD, if not, you can find it under the training heading on the side.

Paul’s approach to teaching pistol is the same as his approach to teaching rifle.  You will notice little flash and pop, no exciting drills, just introductory techniques and his standards.   The stuff that makes you a better shooter.

For those of you new to Paul Howe and his training company, Combat Shooting and Tactics, his standards require some explanation.  Over the years Paul has developed a set of hadngun standards, that are shot on a CSAT (modified IPSC target with a bold line approximately the same place as the A zone) target within a certain time constraint.  This standard provide structure to your shooting sessions and are shot pass and fail. There is no almost, you either make the standard or you don’t. Standards are shot as a self regulated exercise.  A disciplined shooter would then practice the standards that give you the most difficulty.  For the handgun standards all you need are two targets, a pistol, timer and 25 rounds of ammo.

I have listed a few standards below, a full list is available on his website

Standard one require 1 shot in the “A” box in one second from ready from seven yards
Standard two, requires 1 shot in the “A” box from the holster in 1.7 seconds from seven yards
Standard ten requires the shooter to start standing, weapon in holster, and fire one shot kneeling into the “A” box at 25 yards in 3.25 second

Having shot the CSAT pistol and rifle standards for awhile, I find his handgun standards more difficult then his carbine standards.  I can shoot his carbine standards cold and easily pass them, however, his pistol standards require a huge amount of discipline and focus in order to successfully complete.  You immediately notice that you have enough to to complete the standard if you do everything right and follow the fundamentals, however, if you make any mistakes you will not pass the standard. Incidentally, I had purchased these videos because I had been using Paul’s standard for a while and wanted to avoid freeloading.

Paul’s video walks you through the basic techniques and equipment and concludes with a walk through the standards.  You watch a master class shooter, shoot an highly disciplined course of fire. I like Paul’s views on dry firing and shooting in general.  98% of what he does is exactly the same approach I take and teach. It is worth the money if you want to become a better pistol shooter.

This brings me to a somewhat jaded review I read about this video on amazon.com, the reviewer actually recommended a pretty crappy video over this one.  Since I actually know how to shoot I guess I am at a slight disadvantage.  The video he recommended had all kinds of cool tactical looking stuff in it with little substance.  I wasn’t surprised since I see it all the time.  When you approach your shooting you make a decision, do you want to be a better gamer or are you doing this just to have fun, or do you want to be a better marksman.  You need to make a decision. If you want to get a little better at a game or just go for a pony ride and get a balloon and cream sickle at the end, you don’t need much focus or discipline.  If you want to become a better shooter and focus on marksmanship it requires discipline, this video will help.