I wish I had more time to read, and I wish I had more time to train with firearms. Sometimes I don’t have enough time for both, and that’s when I try to combine the two. I recently finished T.A.P.S. by Patrick McNamara. Patrick McNamara, aka Pat Mac, is currently a firearm instructor but is also a 22-year veteran of Army special operations. This includes time with the Army’s Premier Special Mission Unit, aka Delta force.
As the name applies, T.A.P.S. is the Tactical Application of Practical Shooting and is a guidebook for tactical shooting. This isn’t your typical guide to shooting for the individual. This book was more or less written for law enforcement agencies and military forces who are looking to start or improve a training program. It’s a book written for firearm instructors more than individuals, but I think it has something for everybody.
T.A.P.S. Inside the Information
T.A.P.S. presents the information throughout the guide very simply but also concisely. Each chapter is fairly short and doesn’t waste much time breaking down various concepts. Everything is presented with rapid-fire, fast-paced energy, which seems to match Pat Mac’s energy.
Each chapter is just a few pages that don’t meander or slowly walk you through every little thing. Instead, here are the safety rules, here’s why they are important, and how to present the information to the person you are training.
The book is fairly short, and I read through it in one day. It’s not a technical manual but a down and dirty breakdown of various concepts related to training. T.A.P.S. presents the information in a very logical order. We get introduced to training and some brief concepts, then safety, then fundamentals, creating standards, and more and more until we get to the back half of the book.
The Back Half of T.A.P.S.
In the back half, we get a ton of drills, courses of fire, and even some IPSC courses. These drills and training portions are built for the individual and even for team efforts. The team drills and training are perfect for law enforcement and military units and can be nice if you’ve got a group of friends dedicated to hard-core training.
Some of this training will be more difficult to accomplish than others. This is especially true if you are an individual and need to have access to a 300-yard range that allows movement.
Although some of the drills and courses of fire are very clever and I hope to get a few friends who are willing to try them out. They are very competitive-driven, and that always adds in a flair of pressure.
One of the running themes throughout T.A.P.S. is thinking. Think, think, think, and Pat Mac really stresses on shooters making decisions on the fly with a gun in their hand. One of my favorite lines from the book is: “Understands that TTPs are SOPs with a shelf life.”
Evolve, learn, and constantly educate yourself on what’s new and what works is a key takeaway from the book.
T.A.P.S. isn’t going to be well suited for new shooters. They won’t find much use here, and as mentioned, it’s aimed at instructors, trainers, military members, and police officers looking to create a program. With that in mind, it’s not a program but a book aimed at giving you the tools to create a program.
With that said, there is plenty of good information for the individual shooter in the manual. Lots of great drills, great explanations, and a good mindset are portrayed throughout the book. T.A.P.S. takes shooters and makes them self-aware. For the meager price tag, it demands T.A.P.S. is well worth the cost.