Tactical Response Training – Try Not To Shoot The Photographer

According to the training school’s owner James Yeager, what you are about to see is perfectly safe.

The video is from 2009, but goes perfectly with my stupid training videos series:

His response video is equally as impressive *eye roll*. WTF?

Yeager pulled the 1st vid off youtube after much criticism, yet in the response video he’s quite clear that he thinks it was perfectly safe.  Whatevs bro… This is exactly why we need to save youtube vids, because otherwise lolz like this are lost forever.

“putting someone infront of the firing line makes people safer” – James Yeager

James Yeager’s school is called Tactical Response, you can check it out – HERE   Maybe if you take a class from him, you’ll get a chance to spend some time downrange while your classmates can shoot 2ft away from your head.  Maybe James will even spend some time down range while you’re shooting… why not? it’s safe right?

Maybe he’s not aware, but most camera’s come with remotes now that you can trigger the shutter with the press of a button. Life is cheap I guess.

Hat tip: Brent S.


84 responses to “Tactical Response Training – Try Not To Shoot The Photographer”

  1. This makes me think of something from my new hobby – motorcycle riding. A problem many riders (even experienced ones) have more often than you’d think is hitting an obstacle in the roadway because of target fixation. They really don’t want to hit it, but they can’t help looking at it. The bike will go where you look, so you can figure out how this would be a bad thing. It takes conscious effort to look at the escape path(s) around the object and avoid it.
    I can see something very similar happening all too easily here only the sights would come over to the photographer’s head. NOT good.

    1. As someone who also rides a motorcycle, I completely understand. It’s almost ironic isn’t it? You see an obstacle in the roadway, and if you keep looking at it chances are you’re going to hit it. And yes, one of those guys at some point is going to look at the camera man and unconsciously aim AT him. I do not see this guy lasting much longer lawsuit free.

    2. that is an excellent point. I ride also, and could see how target fixation could cause a tragedy in this situation.

  2. tailypoe Avatar

    so much lol and also so much cringing.

  3. Bat Masterson Avatar
    Bat Masterson

    There are several ways I feel compelled to go with each video.

    One the one hand, it’s one thing to have an experienced cameraman doing the above with an experienced shooter in a relatively controlled environment. To do it during a class exercise seems a bit of an undue risk.

    His “response” video sure didn’t help him. He would have been much better to make his justification and leave it at that. As it is, he rambles on and on, attempting to degrade the ideas of “they” in general, and never making his own point in particular.

    I can understand that he is fed up with the over-the-top regulations and safety requirements that create thoughtless training. But those regulations exist for a reason; at the very least to limit liability. It is fine to disagree with them – even to choose not to follow or implement them in his own training – but the onus is his to explain why and defend that position.

  4. Jared C Avatar

    Cant believe people pay for this bullshit.

    1. Would you rather pay to shoot close to someone you don’t really know well and know how you react under that type of stress. Or get “on the job experience” when you have a home invasion and your family member/kids unknowingly steps into field of fire (not to be mistaken with firing line)?

      IF you do it in a class, you have the confidence to that you’ll probably react that same way. Probably, because anything could happen. In the real world, you or I could break down and not take that shot. Which could lead to an even worse outcome.

      1. Gee we know who got suckered into this guys class. Or is it the guy himself. Anyone that condones this behavior is on unstable ground. Your arguement is ridiculous. If you want real adrenaline induced stress training play scenario based paintball, airsoft or simunition games. Having someone stand in front of you with a live firearm is not “Cutting edge training” it is flat out stupid! The only people that have ever been killed or injured by a gun were IN FRONT OF THE MUZZLE OF THE GUN! Why on earth would you put yourself IN FRONT OF THE MUZZLE OF A GUN! And as a shooter why would you put yourself in the position to get your but sued. When (and I do mean When because it will happen) someone gets hurt or killed by this guys stupidity he will be to busy paying his lawyer to defend him and the shooter will be stuck with covering their part of the lawsuit because you know the camera guys family will sue everyone within a 25 mile radius WHEN he gets shot.

  5. Why is simunition not being used?! Why is that camera man not wearing body armor!? Why is Private Pyle out of his bunk after lights out?! This kind of training is completely questionable in regards to safety, especially given advances in technology (body armor, frangibles, simunition, etc). Tsk-tsk-tsk.

    1. Because it compounds the mistakes. It makes the mistakes real every time they pull that trigger.

      I’ve seen alot of CHL shooters, shoot and hold 8 inch groups at 3 yards. Not once or twice mind you, Every Saturday for the last 4 months.

      Is that acceptable?

    2. MinouRoron Avatar

      I am laughing so hard right now. I hate when people just can’t admit that they were wrong. It just shows lack of character. He needs to man up and change his attitude before someone does get killed. Nobody is perfect. He needs to admit his mistake and move on. And the people taking his classes need to stop and think for themselves. As for the camera dude, get the hell off the firing line dude! What the hell.

  6. That one guy Avatar
    That one guy

    “putting someone infront of the firing line makes people safer”

    It works somewhat. :D

    1. Putting bad guys in front of the firing line makes people safer.

  7. Whoops! Sorry, I put a little too much trigger finger on that shot. My bad!

    Pass me the QuickClot please.

    1. If you’re yanking close to a yard to the left or right from the 3 yard line, why the hell do you own a firearm?

      It’s not how much finger is on the trigger, it’s how “you are” able to pull it straight back in a straight line-everytime.

      1. ENDO-Mike Avatar

        Can I shoot an apple off your head? I’m really good with a compound bow, trust me. Same shit different weapon… there’s just no need to pull a stunt like the one Yeager is.

        1. Let me see you do that 200 times for 2 days straight and I might consider it. Gotta remember, the photographer made the choice to go out there.

  8. Crunkleross Avatar

    A tape measure and the glock lingerie model could end this stupid crap without anyone getting shot.

    1. I don’t think they got that one, but I’ll be in the top percentage at 8 1/4″ from the top no cheating here… Last time I heard that was from a sailor while I was in San Diego.

  9. Sid Meier needs to design his next game around the tactical schools. You can have them walk rails with weapons drawn and loaded, swing from vines trying to shoot at targets and have students shoot at photographers.

  10. Dontshootmebro Avatar

    The logo for his school is ironic to say the least. Brilliant.

  11. I stopped watching the second video when he started talking about philosophical standpoints and scientific facts; it was getting too ridiculous for me. I can understand the desire to take pictures from that angle, but why not do something to mitigate the danger? As somebody suggested earlier, the photographer could at least be wearing body armor. They could have built a wall of sandbags and given him a kevlar helmet, greatly reducing the area that’s exposed.

    In the end, the worst part is that this is supposed to be a professional training school, and they post video of them doing stupid shit like this. Seems like bad business to me…

    1. It’s bad business if they allow you to miss 12×24 target at 3-5 yards. You do realize how hard that is to do, right?

      1. ENDO-Mike Avatar

        Ever heard of a negligent discharge? Accidental discharge? Also, I have a feeling you live in some sort of “call of duty” fantasy world where nothing else comes out of the barrel but a perfectly straight flying clean copper jacketed bullet. Go to bed Yeager.

        1. Yes I have. As a Range Safety Officer, you always keep your eyes on the student’s muzzle and trigger finger. If your gun is having safety issues, I’d advise to get a better gun.

          I live in Texas and I work at shooting range. I know how easy it is to hold a 3-4inch group at 3 yards. I’ve also seen many ppl that don’t understand front sight and pull the trigger back in a straight line.

          I’m assuming you’re one of those ignorant/stupid instituted idiotsl. Shoot in a cradling manner, let the muzzle ride you like a 2-bit whore, then you pick up the pieces when the recoil is over to make the next shot.
          I’m also assuming you’re not able to put 5 shots out 3 secs from the 3 yard line within a 3inch group.

          1. ENDO-Mike Avatar

            I’m also assuming you’re not able to put 5 shots out 3 secs from the 3 yard line within a 3inch group.

            That’s right I can’t. Do you think everyone that the photographer is standing in front of can preform that well? Your arguments are so weak and yet you’re calling me the idiot. hah

            1. That’s it?

              Why would you assume he is not a student of Yeager’s?

              “Your arguments are so weak and yet you’re calling me the idiot. hah”

            2. What does it matter on what you assume about me? I did it last Wednesday, I did again yesterday.

              I assumed that about you, because you seem to live in a box. Accepting limitations as walls, instead of challenge that you can overcome or break through. That’s what this website is about right? Everyday ON, no days off.

          2. Shut your whore mouth.

      2. HNoob you need your firearms card pulled, along with your brain card. As Bill Engval says “here’s your sign”. Let me give you a scenario. I was taking my yearly certification test with the AR-15. The Armory officer at my agency is very thorough with his weapons and spends the majority of his day ensuring his weapons are in good working order. I fired my first test round all was good as my trigger finger let up to the reset for my second round the gun went off again to my surprise. Before I realized it another shot fired off. What happened? My AR-15 had a malfunction (the gas rings went bad) which caused my firearm to fire more shots than I intended. Point being things go wrong sometimes no matter how good your equipment is things go bad. Do you think I am an idiot or incapable because my firearm malfunctioned. I have also seen glocks have something go bad that caused the glock to fire full auto imagine if that happened while the camer guy was standing next to the target. It is STUPID to have someone standing down range because S&*% happens. That Murphy is a Mother F!#$%!

        1. So… your saying your firearm had a malfunction thus leading to multiple rounds going off unintentionally? Was the AR15 pointed downrange or was treated as loaded? Did the bullets tumble off the line of bore axis(s)? Were you not prepared to shoot the ar15? Is there a different stance for shooting a single round for QUAL vs. multiple rounds? How come you are not inspecting the equipment yourself? Do you know what to look for? Do you know how to check if there’s problem with the trigger group (unloaded)? We had the same malfunction happen recently for the WEEKLY training session and no one got hurt. The guy just thought his new trigger was “that good” until someone else tried and realize that it was just a disconnector was slipping.

          So you’re saying it’s ok to NOT be prepared when SHIT HITS THE FAN? When Uncle Murphy shows up unannounced,because he got mugged in the area. Do you tell him “Oh man that sucks, I’m not really prepared to deal with this situation at the moment”. You just get a bad run and that’s acceptable to “qualify that one time a year” or be “victim due to things outside of your control”. Yes-shit happens. Yes- you can push hard to very last breath. Yes-you only rise to the skill level you train at.

          You can take my firearms card and brain card, because you apparently need to re-adjust your mindset/skillset. I’ll just make a new one, because I understand the mindset and the fundamentals to get someone shooting a 2inch group (3 yards) within 20 sec lesson.

          See this is why I choose the name Noob, because ppl title themselves experienced or expert thus stopping the evolution of skill. “I know what works and that’s final” vs “I know what works, but why? How come this other person is shooting different, but able to get the same results? How is he mitigating recoil better then me, even tho we have the same grip? Why am I hitting left,even when i “press the trigger” slowly?” “How is this 9 yr old kid shooting 44 magnum?”

          Which way would a sheepdog think?

        2. thundercracker Avatar

          Lol first you say your armory guy keeps the weapons tip top then say worn gas rings caused a runway ar15. While possible, it’s implausible. Worn gas rings would prevent it from cycling. The trigger ‘s disconnecter would prevent multiple rounds from firing. Ur claim of runaway glock doesn’t present enough information for me to pick apart but taken in totality with the previous diagnosis of worn gas rings causing multiple unintended discharges, I question your veracity. As for shooting with people downrange, even some line units in the army allow people to check 25 meter targets with 15 deg of separation from someone shooting. While playing William tell games is unwise, scenarios where the shooter is aware of people other then the “Enemy” is acceptable. It’s not 1999 any more and safety Sally games are even more a detriment to realistic training.

    2. I agree at the very least Ballistic Glass that way he can get the up front shot he wants while being safe.

  12. Safer? Well, I guess a dead man can’t be killed again.

  13. Driving is more dangerous than standing in front of a shooter? Theres a stretch. The part that he forgot to mention is that when driving you have roughly half a ton (or more) of steel and aluminum separating you from the other car. That photographer had… 6 inches of camera? Doesn’t really add up. No, its not terribly dangerous to have someone a little in front of you, even 45 degrees from you. That photographer was RIGHT NEXT TO THE FREAKING TARGET MAN! COME ON!

  14. I have seen some of his other YouTube vids and was kind of shocked at this and his response to it….sure, the modern gunfighting classroom is doing away with the square range in favor or more dynamic training where the shooter must totally be aware of not only his targets but also other shooters…but that is not what I am seeing here…like it was pointed out, wouldn’t remote cameras be a better solution?

    1. …wouldn’t remote cameras be a better solution?

      I don’t know how Nikon does it, but Canon and Nikon are the big names in DSLR photography. I can tell you that for a Canon camera, the remote to do this kind of shooting would probably have to be their model that attaches to the hot shoe of the camera; it runs upwards of $600 – not something even the average professional photographer uses. I’ve never used one. For one of my cameras I have a wired remote, which acts just like the shutter button on the camera, and allows me to take long exposure shots without touching the camera. I also have a wireless remote for it. The thing about that though is that it does what the two-second timer does – it focuses the lens and gives you two seconds to hide your remote and pose for the shot. It wouldn’t work for this sort of thing, and the wired remote isn’t long enough.

      1. The Nikon one is a $12 IR remote, and the receiver is built into the camera (at least it was on my D40x). Cheap, simple, and safer than what this tool is doing.

        1. The most important difference between the cabled shutter release and the remote one is that the cabled one works exactly like the button on the camera – i can hold it down and the camera will snap at 6.5 frames per second to capture all the action. The wireless one is just one frame per press of the button. If it can’t run the camera in burst mode, it’s useless for something like this.

      2. Both Canon and Nikon DSLRs can be operated from a laptop; Google “tethered DSLR shooting” for more info. Motorized pan-tilt tripod heads are available for under $150. For far less than the cost of a vest the cameraman could be two target stands to the right (or even behind the shooter with a long enough cable) and still get awesome shots.

        It’s not about lack of access to technology to make it safer, or how many dollars that technology would cost. It’s about some jackass with a God complex who wants to attract a certain type of student (and more importantly, their money).

  15. Mr. Normal Avatar
    Mr. Normal

    As filmed by the renown Vietnamese director –

  16. Crunkleross Avatar

    Downrange photo’s are taken using remote cameras all the time at shooting matches, the technology is available.

    1. I was going to say use a remote down range camera. They have been out a long time. Hell, I have not shot a match in over 12 years and they had them then. Simple fact the camera man was put mortal danger. No amount of justification can change that fact. I don’t care what his resume says , where he served. His rights as an instructor should be removed.

  17. No. Just. Plain. No.

    I do not care how “safe” these idiots think the photographer is – by putting him downrange and without any protection, they are opening him to dangers he would not have otherwise had to face. They are increasing his risk, and as firearm carriers, it is incumbent upon us to reduce our risks at every opportunity available – that is why most of us bear arms, after all.

    I am still looking for some good self-defense training here in the Patron State of Shootin’ Stuff, but you can bet your bottom dollar I will never pay for that gos-se.

  18. Dougefresh91 Avatar

    Wow. That’s ridiculous. Get I tripod, fella.

  19. Dougefresh91 Avatar

    Get a* tripod, I meant. *sigh*

  20. Wow. I would have just refused and asked for my money back.

  21. True stupid is unobtainable. It doesn’t exist. But if you work really hard you can be as stupid as this guy.

    1. Yea.. he’s really stupid. That’s why Barrett Firearms Manufacturing lets him field test all their rifles.

      No matter how loud you talk,sir. You’re still a wuss

  22. CrunkleRoss Avatar

    Have any of you checked out who James Yeager is? He does have real world experience.

    1. Doesnt matter if hes John Moses Browning, stupid is as stupid does.

    2. What Vhyrus said. You can be the baddest, most awesome trainer in the world and all it takes is a stupid moment like this to bring it all crashing down. Even if everyone said a guy was the greatest EVAR if I saw them do something like this, I wouldn’t go anywhere near their class.

      1. i DO know who he is, and he is a piece of trash. aside from the video above hes just a turd nugget.

    3. Real world experience as a failure in Iraq with Edinburgh Risk.

  23. *tactical facepalm* Here comes another Darwin Award….

  24. You know Mike, just when I was starting to think I’d seen it all, given the last few “tactical” training videos went up, this gets posted. Let me restate my point from a few posts back:
    Who in their right mind is paying for these classes? I mean really.

  25. I guess I’m not qualified according to Heraclitus’ famous 108091 rule then…

  26. I see Jeff Cooper the reaper standing behind this guy waiting =P

  27. Omg this is hilarious. Its… so… dumb… I can’t stop laughing at this tool. Its almost like he made the second video as a joke with the changing location shots like the BP commercials in South Park.

    On a more serious note I think this guy knows he wrong and is just backed into a corner and is unwilling to say he fucked up. He keeps trying to down play the mistake through the video saying the camera guy is just past the firing line. He shouldn’t have ever made this video and just pulled the other. If he doesn’t actually realize he is wrong and isn’t just lying to do damage control this guy has some serious issues and shouldn’t be working in that field anymore.

  28. Matt Gregg Avatar
    Matt Gregg

    I just feel bad for the people who take his classes and ‘learn’ from that crazy idiot.

  29. Mr Maigo Avatar

    Why don’t you put an apple on your head?

  30. I cant believe they found a photographer dumb enough to agree to do it.

    1. The photographer is another instructor

  31. i just thought of it , but what about an occasional flier? I see it no my targets at times

  32. He should give classes on how to hide in a ditch while everyone else in your PSD team fires back at the enemy and takes casualties. He’s a pro at that. There’s a reason why he doesn’t work overseas anymore.

    1. NotWagner Avatar

      Yeah…and from some who have taken classes from him, it’s a lot of horn-tooting….if ya know what I mean.

  33. Wow… that is all i can say. Really though first thing i thought of why are all these people shooting? Have they not been taught any better? I would have flatly refused to shoot down range right next to the camera man. I don’t care what this idiot says as far as how safe it is. If one man is an idiot why does that mean everyone on the line has to follow what he says? They should know it was wrong and should have refused to shoot. Goes to show people do whatever “authority” says they should. Would have got my money back if I were any of those people on the line.

    1. +1 for personal responsibility and moral courage.

  34. sbmittwa Avatar

    We’ve been to Frontsight a couple times. When I post on forums about how much we liked it I get flack from people (mostly who have never been) about how much FS sucks. I don’t care for their pushy hype marketing, but my wife and I have always felt “safe” there. After seeing this, I’m SOOO glad I didn’t start my gun training with this guy or someone like him. Newbies probably think this is the coolest thing ever.
    Violating industry standard guidelines are excellent ways to loose lawsuits.

  35. Bill Butler Avatar
    Bill Butler

    Famous quote: “I did not have sex with that women, Monika Lewinski.”

    Records as they relate to accidents are made because either a safety rule was ignored, justified by someone stating they are right. Those same accidents are the reasons safety rules are written. Any comparison given here acknowledges that people who follow the law and acknowledge the safety of others. It is against the law to hit people with your car, in most cases. But the person hit does not place their self in a position of danger to be hit by a car. I sense there will be a new safety rule created that will prohibit placing your self in harms way. Training with civilian weapons and firearms is training not to be confused with the Military. Placing this person at this position just violates common sense.

    1. Sometimes it’s best to thin out the herd. There are not enough laws to prevent stupidity so we typically just get laws made by stupid people that restrict law abiding people.

  36. AverageJoe Avatar

    So much fail. As much as the instructor or whatever is to blame, I put more blame on the shooters. As a shooter myself I would walk away if this was even considered, I would not be one of the shooters.

    Wonder if the range’s insurance company is ok with this.

  37. Red_Blue Avatar

    So… This guy is talking about “scientific fact” within a minute of alledging that two cars meeting on a 55 mph road will have a “combined impact speed” of 110 mph? And then he repeats the same absurd calculation with 30+30=60 mph?

    I guess he thinks that because the photographer is kneeling between two targets and two different shooters, there is only a half chance of him getting hit compared to him standing next to only one target and shooter…

    What a moron.

  38. I’ve heard of Instructor-Qualification test in some schools of Kali/Escrima, using real blades (ie, knife and machete). If the students cuts/knicks the instructor, he fails.

    Frankly, if you’re not holding 2-3inch groups at 3 yard line or if you’re yanking the trigger so bad that you’re hitting 2-3 feet to where you’re aiming. You should un-learn pistol shooting and start from square one again. Whatever you self-taught or was taught, isn’t working.

    1. Or they’re shooting a snub nose S&W 500 I can’t think of any more reasons to have such disparity in their shots from 3 meters.

  39. Also another note, All you guys say this so much fail and etc.

    You’re failing yourself for not keeping an open mind about the issue. This guy is well known in the PSD and Contractor world. Barrett Firearms Manufacturing has this same “fail” person run their guns in their HRCC courses as a field test. HRCC is one of the most difficult courses out there. You’re gonna get splinters,catch frag from an idiot that didn’t muzzle check, and injury yourself from rushing under pressure.

    IF you guys did more research, you’d know he’s a stickler on what’s teaching you. If you aren’t doing what he (or his fellow instructors) are teaching, he’ll(or they’ll) break it down and “1 on 1” with you till understand the principles.

    To me, if I feel comfortable about shooting a gun during a class. I’m not getting my money’s worth. I can do that shit at work (shooting range). It kills me that ppl want to be in a peaceful zen state to shoot. That’s fine, but you gotta keep in mind.

    THERE is nothing peaceful or zenful about shooting another person to save your life, family/friends, and ppl around you. “Keeping a sharp edge, is a good edge”

    1. This guy is well known in the PSD and Contractor world.

      I’m sure he’s well known in the contractor world (lower case; it’s not a proper noun). It would seem that he probably serves as a good example of how not to respond under pressure of enemy fire.

      To me, if I feel comfortable about shooting a gun during a class.


      I’m not getting my money’s worth.


      That’s fine, but you gotta keep in mind.

      Does the “Noob” part of your name refer to you being a newbie at constructing complete sentences? Not being very successful with it, I see.

      1. Wow.. you got your point across quick. Contractor is not a noun? What about PSD?

        I’m glad that the sentence structure got your attention . My goal was to make you stop and think, instead of speed reading through. Which it seems like you did.

        What about the peaceful/zenful part?

        HNoob is just a name.

        Props Josh, you’re douchebag. Armchair Commando onward brosef

        1. Contractor is not a noun? What about PSD?

          Read again, you missed the word “proper.” You may need to look it up to understand the difference. PSD? That’s called an acronym.

          I’m glad that the sentence structure got your attention .

          Of course it did. Any time someone makes a comment but can’t do so at an 8th grade level it gets my attention.

          Armchair Commando onward brosef?

          Eh. I’ve earned my Combat Infantryman Badge. I prefer an armchair now to a parachute harness and 70 pound ruck banging against my knees walking across the tarmac at Green Ramp.

  40. I was actually giving you Props… It was a test sir a nd you faiiled.

    So you’re WOG now? Great, like we need another useless uniform that can correct you’re (or your or you are, they have same meaning all, right?) grammar

    Do I give a shit that your comments have nothing to do with this article?
    – Not really, Top Commenter/WOG Josh.

    Also, thank you for your service and leading by example.

    How old are you?

  41. James Yeager needs to be institutionalized and have his head examined. This is not appropriate training. You never put someone in harms way. There is always a chance for an AD (accidental discharge), a stray round, a weapon malfunction, hell the photographer could lose his balance an fall into the bullet path. If James Yeager has a legitimate business license and insurance, I hope that first of all the governing munincipality would pull his license and second that his insurance carrier would see this video and deny him insurance coverage. James Yeager in my opinion is an imbecile!

    1. Mang.. you should really tell the security contractors/former seals that they have wasted their time attending his classes. Also, you should write a letter to Ronnie Barrett of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing that he should end all field test of their firearms by Tactical Response.

      I thought Everyday On, No days off was a manly website till I see all the wuss’ on this post.

  42. This guy has balls of steel; I’m a Combat Veteran and I’m cringing at this guy but I can’t help but wonder: Is he really this brave?, Is he fixated on taking the pictures to not care?, Did he just catch his wife in bed with someone else and wants to die?

  43. Which of the Cardinal Rules of Firearms handling were violated here?