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In the kind of emergency that warrants the use of a firearm, there will certainly be more things that need attention than one person can effectively attend to.  The situation may well demand you focus on two things at once, which is impossible.  (E.g.: The problem may be in one direction and your oblivious child in the other; one cannot shoot and call the police at the same time.)  With the stress and distraction, one could use some help.  Fortunately, most of us have people in our lives who are very likely to be around in the event trouble finds us.  We can, and should, plan and train to work with them effectively.

Spouses are prime examples of pairs of individuals who would benefit from working out a plan.  Others include good friends or family with whom we spend our recreational time, co-workers with whom we travel, and close friends or neighbors.  Much can be gained from organizing and coordinating what you and one of these partners do.  

But more often than not, this valuable resource is simply disregarded.  

Learn to Work Together

 “Two-person tactics” is about two people working out ways to assist each other more effectively, thereby making the whole greater than the sum of the parts.  This is so even if the person you expect to be with is not likely to be armed.  At a minimum, they are a second pair of eyes and ears, and someone to watch your back and call for help.  If they don’t know what to do, however, they can add to your problems.

This course assumes that trouble has found you in your home, car, or workplace, and the two of you must now assess and address a potentially life-threatening problem.  It is about getting signals straight, having a plan that is easy to remember and simple enough to work, minimizing confusion and indecision, avoiding duplication of effort, and, above all, not getting in each other’s way.  In this course, we determine what resources participants actually have at their disposal day-to-day, and assume that is what you will be working with.  This instruction is designed for who we actually are, not some idealized “warrior.” 

Issues addressed in the course include:

  • Secure communication (verbal and non-verbal).

  • Being predictable to your partner without broadcasting your intentions.

  • How and where to move relative to one-another.

  • Assigning roles for different emergencies (e.g.: child abduction vs. robbery).

  • Taking advantage of all available eyes and ears.

  • Recognizing who must be making the decisions, when, and passing off control in a deliberate way.

  • Planning for extremely difficult decisions (such as when to leave the other behind). 

  • Training with the other person in mind.

The course may only be attended by people in pairs.  To attend alone would defeat the whole course objective.  At least one person in any pair must be a shooter.  Because many people trained to use firearms share their life with someone who chooses not to train with firearms, one non-shooting member of any team is perfectly acceptable.  Ideally, both partners will be armed, and both may shoot if they meet the minimum training requirements.  Even where one party will not be armed, the total effectiveness of the pair can be multiplied, and disastrous errors voided, if only the two put some advance effort into learning how to work together.  

For purposes of the course, it is perfectly okay to just come with a friend, even if that is not the person with whom you expect to be operating in an emergency.

  • Cost
    Cost: $475 (which includes a $75 range fee). Payment in full is required upon enrollment, and becomes non-refundable 30 days before the course date. If the course is cancelled for any reason, a full refund will be provided to you.
  • Course Format
    Course format: Lectures (approximately 5 hrs.), and live-fire exercises (approximately 18 hrs). There will be objective skills tests throughout the course.
  • Instructor
    Instructors: The Rangemaster is Peter Georgiades. Peter has 25+ years’ experience teaching firearms and defensive tactics. He has been certified to instruct by the NRA (rifle, pistol, shotgun, and personal protection), the State of Arizona (issued CCW Instructor Cert. No. 8769268), and by OSG as a contact distance defense instructor. Peter’s training as an instructor (as distinct from firearms training) includes the Gunsite Law Enforcement Carbine Instructor Cert. Course, Marksman's Enterprise 3-day instructor courses (carbine and pistol), and the LLC "Contact Weapons Defense Instructor" program. His most important training, however, has been working hundreds of hours directly under experienced, professional instructors. Other experienced range officers will assist. The instructors and staff have collectively accrued several thousand hours of formal training from experienced, professional firearms instructors.
  • Class Size
    Class size: In order to maintain a close instructor-to-student ratio, enrollment in this course is limited to 12 students.
  • Prerequisites
    Prerequisites: None. It is, however, expected students will have a basic familiarity with rifles. All participants must be 18 years of age. Proof of no criminal history is required. Holding a current Pennsylvania License to Carry Concealed or in a Motor Vehicle, or a license to practice a regulated profession which requires one not have any criminal history (such as a license to practice law or medicine, or a nursing license) will suffice.If those are not available, you can get a certificate of no criminal history from your local police department or Sheriff (the cost is under $20).The lead instructor is the final arbiter of whether the credentialing prerequisite has been satisfied.
  • Physical Requirements
    Physical Requirements: Because this course is designed to assist YOU to plan and make decisions using the resources YOU actually have; we will work with you in whatever condition you are in. The elderly or one with a physical disability may not be able to assume one or more of the shooting positions we cover, or perform one or more of the exercises. That’s okay. This course is not designed for training ninjas. Just notify the Rangemaster of any particular disabilities you may have. If you cannot do it one way, we will find another way. We expect you to refrain from attempting any exercise that is beyond your physical capability.
  • Equipment Requirements
    There is certain equipment which is REQUIRED in this course. One may not proceed without the following: · Ear protection and Eye protection. · Cap or hat with baseball-style bill. This is to prevent ejected brass from your or another shooter's rifle from falling between your eyewear and your eye, burning you. It is important gear. · Firearm, clean and zeroed. We do zero during the course, but zeroing before class saves time. · At least two magazines. We prefer you have three, in case one malfunctions. Either 20-round magazines or 30-round magazines will work fine in the course. Extended magazines or drum magazines are impractical. · Knee and elbow pads. The inexpensive kind worn by skateboarders, or pads worn by carpenters and carpet layers, are sufficient. · Magazine holster or pouch which is worn on the support side (“weak hand” side) of your belt. BDU pockets and M-16 ammo pouches will get you through, but will slow you down. · 750 Rounds of "Ball" Ammunition. Almost all shooting will be inside 50 yards, so there is no need for “match grade” ammunition, and its use would be a waste of money. By the same token, your investment of time and money in this course does justify the use of reasonably consistent factory ammunition. Different brands and loads of ammunition will significantly affect the “zero” of AR-15’s, so we recommend using one brand of ammunition throughout the course. No incendiary, tracer or armor-piercing ammunition is allowed. · A carry strap ("sling"). We run a “hot” range, and rifles must be slung unless they are racked, grounded, or in the shooter's hands on line. Any strap or sling which allows the rifle to be carried muzzle up or muzzle down is fine. No slings which hold the muzzle in a horizontal position while being carried are permitted. · A ground cloth, shooting mat or other cover (such as an old blanket), to cover the ground, upon which you will be periodically sitting or lying. · Sight-adjustment tool for iron sights on your particular rifle. (These are available at gun shows or mail order for between $7 and $25, depending upon the type.) There is other equipment that is not required, but which we believe will enhance your experience of the course. We therefore recommend you bring the following: · Optic or sight. Optics are optional - iron sights are fine. If you do use an optic, it should be of a low-power type (e.g., red-dot, or less than 4 X magnification). Higher power scopes will not work well. · Soft drinks or water. There is no water on the range itself, and the Club house is too far to run back and forth. No alcohol is to be consumed within eight hours of the start of any course session or during the course. · Lunch. Lunches and soft-drinks may be purchased at the Club, or you may pack your own. · Back-up rifle or complete bolt assembly. A second rifle is a good idea, if you own or can borrow one. Firearms do break, and we cannot stop the course to make repairs. If you do not have a second rifle, a complete bolt assembly will enable you to swap bolts in the AR-style rifles, as a 60 second repair to most malfunctions. · Something with which to take notes, binoculars, gloves, camera, sunscreen, folding chair.
  • Credentials
    Credentials: Proof that you are 18 or older and have no criminal history is required. A current Pennsylvania License to Carry Concealed or in a Motor Vehicle is sufficient proof of no criminal history. A a license to practice a regulated profession which requires one not have any criminal history (such as a license to practice law or medicine, or a nursing license) will also suffice, as will law enforcement officer credentials. If those are not available, you can get a certificate of no criminal history from your local police department or your County Sheriff (the cost is under $20). The Rangemaster is the final arbiter of whether the credentialing prerequisite has been satisfied.
  • Certificate
    Certificate: A certificate of completion is awarded to all who complete the course successfully. Because this course satisfies the continuing education requirement for NRA law enforcement instructor certification, if you are in that program and need the credits let us know and we will issue you a letter verifying your participation.
  • Next Session and Course Location:
    The next session of this course will be held on June 28 - 30, 2024. The location will be the Greater Pittsburgh Gun CLub, 920 King Road, Bulger, PA 16109. This is located 25 minutes from downtown. Thier web site is

Equipment Requirements

  • Ear protection and Eye protection.  

  • Cap or hat with baseball-style bill.  

  • Firearm, clean and zeroed with at least one spare magazine, speed loader, or shell carrier. (This applies only to those who intend to shoot.)

  • Knee and elbow pads.  

  • 150 Rounds of Ammunition.  “Match grade” or “carry” ammunition is unnecessary, and its use would be a waste of money.  All shooting will be inside 25 yards.  No incendiary, armor piercing or tracer ammunition is permitted.

  • An inert training replica of whatever weapon you will be shooting, with holster or sling to fit.  This means a “red gun,” “blue gun” or similar training replica. (If you let us know in advance you need one, we can provide a training AR-15 and many types of hand guns, but we cannot guarantee we have a replica of what you carry.)

  • A carry strap is required for any long gun.  If you have trained with a long gun, you know why.  If you have not trained with a long gun, you may not, of course, use a long gun in this course.

This course is sponsored as a public service by the Firearms Instruction Research & Education (FIRE) Institute, a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation.

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Col. Jeff Cooper  (U.S.M.C. Ret.) 

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