Rangemaster Tactical Conference

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most common questions attendees ask about Tac-Con. We’ll post additional information in the Tac-Con course descriptions and the Tac-Con Facebook group. Information also goes out to all registrants by email. If you have a question that isn’t covered in any of those resources, please feel free to contact us

We require everyone to use common sense and be responsible adults. We also strictly enforce the four universal safety rules:

  • Rule #1: Gun-Handling: All guns are always loaded. Assume that’s the case, and behave accordingly. 
  • Rule #2: Muzzles: Never let your muzzle point at anything you are not willing to destroy.
  • Rule #3: Trigger Fingers: Keep your trigger off the trigger and well above the trigger guard until your sights are on a target and you have decided to shoot.
  • Rule #4: Targets: Be certain of your target, what’s around it, and what’s behind it.

Tac-Con RSOs will be watching all live-fire classes for compliance with these rules. Repeatedly resting your finger on the trigger when it shouldn’t be there could result in being dismissed from the firing line. Pointing a gun at any non-threatening person at any time (whether intentionally or not) is grounds for ejection from the firing line or ejection from the entire Conference.

Please be vigilant and proactive in protecting yourself and fellow Conference attendees. Masks are not required, but if you choose to wear a mask, please feel free. There will be hand cleaning stations around the grounds, but bring your own personal supply of hand sanitizer as well. Be courteous and respectful of others. Move away from people and cover your nose and mouth whenever you sneeze or cough. 

And most importantly, if you have symptoms or have been exposed to anyone with COVID within two weeks of the Conference, please stay home.

Generally, just leave it in your holster, on your body. Tac-Con is a “hot” event, meaning we fully expect everyone to be wearing their usual complement of everyday carry gear. Therefore, no one should need to pull guns out of bags or boxes or cases. Your carry gun will be holstered on your person, unless you are on the firing line in a sanctioned Tac-Con live-fire class and under the instruction of a Tac-Con trainer. For hands-on classes where live weapons are prohibited, please secure your gear in your car (see details below).

Long guns should be cased (unloaded) or slung (unloaded) when transporting them from vehicle to long gun classes. Have the action open. Use a chamber flag. If slung, please be sure the weapon is slung with the muzzle straight up or straight down, so as to not sweep others with your muzzle while walking.

As soon as it’s finalized, the schedule is posted here on the Tac-Con website. You can find more details in the Tac-Con mobile app. Printed schedules will also be posted onsite. Please check the schedule often, as we we sometimes have to make adjustments.

You will be ejected from the Conference. Gun-handing is prohibited anywhere on the premises except in live-fire classes under the instruction of a Tac-Con trainer. 😊

You will be ejected from the Conference. Gun-handing is prohibited anywhere on the premises except in live-fire classes under the instruction of a Tac-Con trainer. 😊

In short, yes. The beauty of Tac-Con is that there are up to nine tracks of coursework happening simultaneously all weekend, so each attendee can select the best-fitting classes and tailor his/her own itinerary to meet specific needs.

Most of the live fire classes are designed for concealed carriers who are familiar with holster work and have a solid grasp on basic gun-handling (the four safety rules are already ingrained). There are plenty of classes where instructors move at a faster pace or introduce new challenges. However, each year we offer at least one baseline live-fire class on Friday (and sometimes several) for attendees who are new to concealed carry or new to Tac-Con.

But there is more to this event than live-fire. Lots of people come to Tac-Con and never fire a single shot. There are three classroom lectures and at least one empty-hand course happening at any given time, and you can easily get your money’s worth by just attending those. Bottom line: at Tac-Con, there’s something for just about everybody, regardless of where you are in your defensive training journey. 

There will be Range Safety Officers (RSOs) assigned to every live-fire range. All RSOs will have radios to contact the Chief RSO (Aqil Qadir) in case of emergency. Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKs) will be staged throughout the premises, and many trainers and RSOs will have additional IFAKs on their person. RSOs and Tac-Con trainers will take the lead on procedure and instructions in the event of an emergency. If there is an incident on the range that requires urgent medical attention, stop firing immediately and follow the commands of the nearest RSO or the Tac-Con trainer. 

For these classes, protocols have been explained in the Facebook Group and in the mobile app. Go to your vehicle, take the holster off with the gun in it, and stow the holstered gun in your car. Please be certain you have removed all live gear from your person before you go the class. But DO NOT take your gun out of the holster. Remove the entire holster, containing the gun. Trainers and RSOs will check to confirm that you have no live weapons or ammunition on your person before starting, so please expect to be frisked. 

Yes! We have arranged for food trucks to serve meals for lunch (12 noon to 1:45pm). The local food truck scene was almost entirely decimated by the pandemic, so let’s generously patronize these vendors and give them plenty of business. Consider arriving early to beat the lines!

Long guns should be cased (unloaded) or slung (unloaded) when transporting them from vehicle to long gun classes. Have the action open. Use a chamber flag. If slung, please be sure the weapon is slung with the muzzle straight up or straight down, so as to not sweep others with your muzzle while walking.

Trainers’ bios, websites, social media links, welcome videos, and contact information are available in the Tac-Con mobile app. The trainers’ videos are also posted on Tom Givens’s YouTube Channel. and on the Rangemaster YouTube Channel.

Don’t. Gun-handing is prohibited anywhere on the premises except in live-fire classes under the instruction of a Tac-Con trainer. If you really need to do something with your firearm, please find a Tac-Con RSO to accompany you to the backstop on one of the ranges. Unauthorized gun-handling may result in ejection from the Conference.

Tac-Con Trainers will give instructions about when and where to swap ammo at the beginning of their live-fire classes.

Tac-Con attendees are among the finest people in the world, but please use all normal precautions. Place valuables out of sight and lock your vehicle. 

The best way to stay connected to other Tac-Con attendees is through our Tac-Con Facebook group. People often post their dinner plans on the discussion board on Facebook. You can also connect with attendees, post comments, and send messages on the Tac-Con mobile app.

For classroom blocks, you can simply show up. For live-fire blocks, participants were required to sign-up in advance. Live-fire assignments are typically released in January, so if you were not assigned to a live-fire class, then you will not be allowed to shoot in that class. The RSOs will have an attendance list and will check people off the list as they arrive.

However, no advance sign-up is required to simply watch a class. There will be a designated spectators area behind all the live-fire bays. 

We tried filing a complaint. We’re still waiting to hear back from the Rain Gods. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to pack rain gear, mud boots, bug spray, extra patience, and a positive attitude.

Absolutely! If you were not assigned to a live-fire block that interests you, you’re still welcome (and encouraged) to attend and observe from the spectators’ area. RSOs will be keeping all spectators away from the firing line to leave plenty of space for the instructors and staff to move about. Please also keep side conversations to a minimum in the spectators area so as not to disturb or distract the trainers and shooters.

Um, that’d be a NO. Absolutely not. Anyone with alcohol or illicit drugs will be enthusiastically ejected from the Conference, period.


You can read the Texas state law on concealed carry here. Another helpful resource for local carry laws is HandgunLaw.us (but remember, you are still responsible for researching and reading the law yourself).

RSOs will be wearing bright red shirts with the Tac-Con logo on the front and the letters “RSO” on the back. They might also be wearing bright yellow safety vests.

If an RSO asks you to do something, please follow those instructions and do not argue. The RSOs are authorized to dismiss anyone from the firing line for safety violations. This year’s Chief RSO is Aqil Qadir. If you have any questions about the Range Safety Officers assigned to the live-fire classes, please see Aqil.

Yep! It’s #TacCon23 (no dashes) for anything specific to this year’s conference. To tag Rangemaster, use #RangemasterLLC. If you use plain old #Rangemaster, you’ll find yourself suddenly fraternizing with an international community of culinary enthusiasts.

Absolutely! And in fact, there is a photo contest. If you snap pics and vids over the weekend and post them to social media, please tag them with the hashtag #TacCon23. On Sunday, Tom will choose the best photo of the weekend and award the photographer with a free ticket to the next year’s Tac-Con.

However, please be safe and courteous while photographing classes. Many of the trainers are presenting content that they worked hard to refine over many years, and it is their intellectual property. Please make sure you get trainers’ permission before photographing instructional materials like PowerPoint slides (and certainly before posting them publicly).

Also, never step forward of the firing line, ever. This applies to photographers as much as to anyone else. Even though you might get a better shot by stepping a few feet ahead of the line, that is strictly prohibited. We also need you to avoid distracting the shooters or interfering with the trainers’ instruction. If an RSO or a trainer asks you to relocate or to stop filming, please comply promptly.

There’s no official Tac-Con gunsmith, although several of the trainers are also armorers. More importantly, there will be no time to stop class and fix guns. The best plan is to bring more than one gun in case you need to switch to a spare.

We will report you to our official hall monitor, Lee Weems. We hereby disclaim any and all responsibility for whatever happens next.

Of course, everyone’s needs will be different. But here’s a sample packing list for reference:

  • Primary carry handgun, holster, at least one mag pouch
  • Identical or similar secondary gun in case primary breaks
  • As many magazines as possible (most live-fire classes recommend at least three)
  • Any long guns for classes you are taking
  • Blue gun or other inert replica if you plan to attend any hand-to-hand or disarming classes
  • Appropriate number of rounds for match and any classes you plan to attend
  • Brimmed hat
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Note-taking material (notebook, or tablet w/keyboard, or laptop).
  • Phone and charger (including portable battery charger if possible)
  • Raincoat or poncho
  • Mud boots
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Lunch/snacks (or money to buy them)
  • Bottled water
  • Medications
  • Folding chair

Please keep in mind that the entire Conference is outdoors. Other than the classroom sessions (which are held in large tents), all training blocks are uncovered. Please check the weather before you pack, and bring whatever you need to stay reasonably comfortable out in the elements.

The ammo counts for each live fire class are specified in in the course descriptions in the Tac-Con mobile app. Bring more than enough ammo for each live-fire class you’re attending, plus enough ammo to shoot the pistol match if you plan to compete.

Yes. We will post specific instructions in the Facebook group for shipping ammo. 

The match is blind. We don’t post the course of fire in advance. You will need less than 50 rounds of ammunition, and your handgun must be fully concealed on your person. When you arrive, please be prepared to shoot, with all your gear ready to go. The range safety officers will give further instructions once you arrive, including how to swap carry ammo for practice ammo. Please follow their instructions carefully. All RSOs are authorized to disqualify shooters for safety violations or for non-compliance with instructions or range rules. 

Try not to think of the match as a competition or a “game.” Instead, think of it as a series of defensive problems you’ll be called upon to solve. The Tactical Conference is about defensive shooting, not competition shooting. If you try to “game” your way through the course of fire, you’ll defeat the purpose of the match and deny yourself the defensive training opportunity it was intended to be. Please visit our Pistol Match page for videos and additional information.

Occasionally, we have shooters at the match who are used to shooting in national competition leagues like IDPA. This is completely different. Please do not come to the match with preconceived assumptions about the rules, the protocols, or the course of fire. If you have a question about anything, please don’t hesitate to ask. The staff is happy to assist however they can. But please do not argue with the Match Director, the RSOs, or the volunteers about what the rules should be, how the match should be run, or how the targets should be scored.

The Match Director is Will Dougan, and the overall Chief of Live-Fire Operations is Martin Hoffert. They have the final say on all decisions related to the match. Anyone who shoots the match does so with this precondition understood.

Typically, no. But there is a fantastic local ammo vendor that takes ammo orders in advance and delivers them to Tac-Con. Details are posted in the Tac-Con Facebook group.

Yes. Tac-Con trainers are multi-talented. And there is indeed rather memorable video evidence to prove it.

Unfortunately, no. Gun-handing of any kind for any reason is prohibited anywhere on the premises except in live-fire classes under the instruction of a Tac-Con trainer. There is no “open shooting” allowed at any time, even on empty range bays. Unauthorized gun-handling or unauthorized shooting could result in ejection from the Conference. If you really need to handle your gun for some reason, please find an official Tac-Con RSO to accompany you to the backstop on one of the ranges. Thanks in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

No one knows. Perhaps it’s an addiction. Or she could be just a creepy weirdo. If you are vehemently anti-hug, please keep your distance from Tiffany.

There are lots of videos available with footage from past conferences. A few are included below. You can also see all the “Meet the Trainers” videos in our Video gallery page or on Tom’s YouTube Channel. or on the Rangemaster YouTube channel.

Uh… because…they’re… super awesome? Duh.

Previous match results are posted on the Pistol Match page.

The conference started in 1998. Click here to read about the history of the conference. 

As of 2021, we are no longer selling Tac-Con t-shirts onsite. However, if you’d like to buy a shirt, you can get one at the Rangemaster Swag store.

There will be a suggestion box available onsite for submitting complaints. Good luck finding it.😊 Just kidding. If you do have a serious problem that you need to report, please see the Rangemaster staff in the Tac-Con HQ area. Thank you in advance for being polite, patient, and courteous.