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Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

“Train Like you Fight” is an overused and misunderstood axiom. Does it mean that we must train in full combat gear all of the time? Does it mean that we have to train until we drop? The answer is ‘No.’ It has nothing to do with how much black Velcro you strap on your person. The term comes from athletics of yore. ‘Practice like you play’. Instead of practicing on half court, practice on full court, for example.

When you work out or ‘PT’, to ensure your combat chassis is more effective and capable, do you do it in full kit? If the answer is ‘No’, then why do it?

If your objective to marksmanship training is to dissuade home invasion, should you be training in my boxer shorts?

‘Train like you fight’ means training beyond the drill. If the drill requires six shots to complete, think seven, eight or nine. Do not let the drill dictate to you when you should stop thinking.

Perform a focal shift. See things full spectrum. Once again, work beyond the drill. If the targets are directly in front of you, look beyond, in front of and understand what is flanking these targets.

Train during periods of limited visibility.

Train in adverse weather conditions.

Train to stay in the fight.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)


Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier special missions unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.

He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting).

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Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

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One Response to “Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

  1. wyoming grunt says:

    I attended one of Pats two day TAPS classes. It was truly outstanding. Great instructor, knowledge level is phenomenal. Any chance you get to train with a tier one guy, take it.