AZ CCW Class Review; Final Option

Final Option Tactical System is in Tucson, AZ. Run by Tom Wacker retired after 31 years from the U.S. Border Patrol as a Chief. During his thirty years with Border Patrol Tom served as Assistant Chief. in Tucson so he is familiar with the town, local laws, Law Enforcement policy and even the shooting activities (ranges, competition and clubs)

Sportsman’s Warehouse in North West Tucson offers a CCW class twice a month. We recently sat in on a class, here’s some pictures and a review. The Arizona CCW course is instructed by Tom Wacker of Final Option Tactical System. Tom has been instructing the class at Sportsmans Warehouse since the store opened. The class is held at the store, upstairs in a large classroom area between the employee breakroom and some storage. It’s a large, ell lit classroom with room for 20 students. This was Tom’s smallest class at just five students. This gave the group plenty of time for questions and even a few stories from both Tom and the students

Final Option – Tactical System
CCW Classes – Tactical Weapons Training
520-401-4442

Final Option Tactical System is in Tucson, AZ. Run by Tom Wacker retired after 31 years from the U.S. Border Patrol as a Chief. During his thirty years with Border Patrol Tom served as Assistant Chief. in Tucson so he is familiar with the town, local laws, Law Enforcement policy and even the shooting activities (ranges, competition and clubs)

Tom spent 19 months in Vietnam until the end of the war. He’s trained U.S. Air Marshals and he’s been trained by some of the best in the industry. He’s been shot at and is able to bring real life saving tactics too his CCW class

Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson is between Ina and Orange Grove just off Thorny dale. Follow the signs for Home Dept, they are right next door

The class is eight hours (required by state law) and runs from 9am to 5pm all in one day. It includes range time (and fees) as well as fingerprints. Students left at the end of the day with complete packets. Assuming they brought a check for the state fee with them, they could have mailed their applications right after class

We were welcomed by the store manager as the doors opened for the day at 9am. We were directed upstairs to the second floor at the front of the store. The classroom was ready for us, and Tom welcomed the students as they arrived

The classroom is between the employee break room (and washrooms) and some storage. The classroom is well lit, large and comfortable.

Tom’s teaching aids make an impressive display. As soon as students arrived they knew this was going to be in interesting day.

Tom started out as soon as the last student arrived with introductions and a quick run down of his history with Border patrol and various training he’s instructed and participated in and how those experiences would relate to the class.

We headed right into SAFETY, In fact a few times during the class we paused and re-read the 5 safety rules. By the end of class even the newest shooter should have remembered them. Tom carried a blue Safety Gun (solid plastic used for training) during class. No loaded guns are allowed in class

Tom used an outline, but the class was not rehearsed. He knows the subject and is comfortable instructing it. He’s obviously comfortable in front of a group and his professionalism was one of the highest I’ve experienced at a CCW class. Tom answered each question the class asked and we still ended on time, a sign of an able instructor

We started out with some information on how to effectively draw a pistol, where to shoot. this really got the students interested quick. I was impressed with this structure, it really made the day interesting and started off with a ‘bang’

We had a taste of WHAT do do then we covered WHEN to do it. We covered a lot in the first hour and most of us stayed around during the break and talked about what we just went over

We started up again with an explanation of the choices for CCW. Various revolver and pistol options. Tom had examples of each common style of handgun and explained the reasons for and against each for CCW

While obviously not recommended for CCW, it was interesting to see the difference between old and new style single action revolvers.

When we were talking about marksmanship and how to best defend yourself, Tom brought out a great set of visual aids to represent the front and rear sight

Using the visual aids, Tom was able to easily demonstrate common marksmanship errors and issues

We went over correct and incorrect draw and stance. Not that Tom said one was better than another, but that keeping your body in a position of control over the pistol is what’s important, then of course practicing good habits

We took 45 minutes for lunch (plenty of options in that area, literally dozens of restaurants within 5 miles) We finished up on laws after lunch. Tom would read the section , then offer an example of it’s application.

There is great benefit taking a class from prior law enforcement instructors, they have endless stories and examples from their years on the job. Tom was no exception. Having served in Tucson Tom had great stories about the area too

There are a lot of laws to cover, but the lecture went quickly with brief stories to highlight points or answer questions.

We discussed the concept that while the constitution says you can only be tried once for the same crime, you can actually be tried up to four times from various levels (state and federal) and civil and criminal

The class took the written exam (all passed) and we headed to the range for the shooting test

We drove over (mostly car-pooled) to the range a few miles south of Sportsman’s Warehouse.

While these guys were not professional shooters, and only one student had done any competition shooting their targets were impressive. This one was the best and was shot by a guy who hadn’t shot in many years.

Students turned in their eye and ear protection and headed back to Sportsmans Warehouse

Students were signed off, and had everything needed to send off their CCW application at the end of class.

We filled out forms as a group and Tom fingerprinted the students in no time (another plus for prior-LEO)

Tom suggested a few books worth getting for the CCW permit holder: The Operators Tactical Pistol Shooting Manual (see below), The Arizona Gun Owner’s Guide – 23rd Edition and Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States 2007 Edition

The use of the pistol for life-or-death encounters should be taken very seriously, for not much else is more important than saving your life and possibly taking someone else’s away.