courtesy Phoenix Firearms Training

Friend and fellow outdoor writer Kevin Creighton wrote a good piece regarding who needs firearms training. To formulate the answer he spoke to a trio of respected instructors in the firearms industry. To see the complete article click here. My favorite quote came from superbly talented gunsmith and author Grant Cunningham who had this to say about who needs training:

Anyone who has a firearm for the purposes of self-defense (shotgun, rifle, whatever). There’s a lot that goes into using it, like knowing when you legally can and should use it. Doesn’t matter if you’re old or young, female or male (men are bad at this). There are three parts to gun safety awareness: How to make the gun go bang; when you can make it go bang; and when you should make it go bang. – Kevin Creighton for NRA Family, Why You (Yes You) Need Basic Gun Training

The Tactical Professor Claude Werner also posed this question:

Can the potential student put five shots into a 4-inch circle, four times in a row, at 10 feet? That’s the standard for the NRA Basic Pistol class.

So, can you? Remember, that’s the bare minimum. Get training and lots of it. Self-defense skills are perishable and you quite literally never stop learning and practicing.

117 COMMENTS

    • Me neither. I’ve been putting my shots into a 2 inch hole at 25 yards since I was 12. But none of that fits with the preferred agenda, so we need training, just like the rankest newbie. We actually don’t, but hey! Never let facts stand in the way of a sale.
      That is what this site lost when RF departed. Someone who would listen to, and care about, the readers. Instead of just drive an agenda.

      • Whoopie. Can you do that under stress? Can you do that when your adrenaline is flowing and someone is trying to hurt you? What kind of physical shape are you in? The root word in gunfight is fight. Just because you can shoot a can off the fence post at a given range on a sunny 75 degree day dosent mean you could successfully defend yourself in a life or death situation. YOU are the type of people the article is referring to. Because you THINK, you know everything. You might want to google dunning-Kruger and read up.

        • Unless the training is military grade, which the lawyers and safety sallies won’t allow, cause people get hurt and killed during military grade training, your normal citizen type ‘training’ does little to nothing to prepare you for the real thing. It just provides a good living for the ex operators selling it.

          Right here on TTAG we’ve had many examples of folks, in at least one case he had never fired a gun before his moment of truth, prevailing in self defense scenarios.

          Everybody needs to learn to safely handle their firearms for self defense situations. We handle our firearms daily. But it is extremely rare for us to have to use them in self defense. In a nation of 350 million we have 250,000 to 1 million dgu’s a year. Small chance that you will be one.

          No citizen that is non sworn needs to learn to kick doors or any of that other tactifool nonsense that is so common in the ‘training’ nowadays.

          If that’s what you want to do instead of some other leisure activity like golf or bowling, fine. It’s your time and money. Do as you please. But don’t try to convince others that it’s needed.

          That way leads to mandatory training before you can buy a gun.

        • They are talking basic training not operator training. There are a lot of new shooters who have never been exposed to firearms and would be well served to take a basic pistol course. Most of the people who comment learned basic skills the old fashion way — older parents, uncle’s or older friends. When someone hasn’t had those opportunities then a class is a good way to go.

        • Jwm, you really haven’t a clue of what you’re talking about! You’re so dumb it cracks me up!
          “Unless it’s military grade training which the lawyers and safety sallies won’t allow because people get hurt and killed during military type training”… HAHAHAHAHA OH MY WORD! I won’t argue with you for long because I already feel myself getting stupider for at least trying to reason with you and show you, well, frankly, you don’t have a fucking clue.
          Ok, let’s break it down to baby chunks shall we? Basic pistol. Something that everyone should take when they buy their first pistol. It really should be something that you should have to take BEFORE you buy a first pistol. Why? Because the student will be better off in making an informed decision on their first purchase and be able to safely practice and use their first gun. Basic pistol goes over safety rules, operation of pistols, nomenclature (so you can understand when your reading about different weapons) basic shooting techniques, laws, ammo. All the things to safely and lawfully operate your new pistol. After the student becomes proficient with being able to run the gun and hit with consistent accuracy, maybe they want to go to the next level and carry concealed. A concealed carry class will get into holster selection, holster position, drawing from the holster, shooting from behind cover, shooting while moving to cover, multiple attackers, etc etc etc. Notice there is no door kicking!
          I really don’t know where you get your info on such things but you really need to check the source as you’ve got lots to learn. It’s never too late to start learning either.
          You seem to have this fascination with the few stories of people who are unskilled and successfully use a weapon to protect themselves. Or that the chances of needing a gun to defend yourself are so slim you don’t need training. You know there is a thing called luck. Chances are you will not have to use a fire extinguisher either. Is that a reason not to have them in the house? You really want to take the gamble not having any training that you will prevail in a life and death situation? That’s the most absurd thing I’ve heard all week! Go ahead flip a coin, and I don’t even think your chances are THAT good.

        • JD

          I have one quibble about the luck part. If you practice regularly then you are way ahead of the threat you are going to face. That swings the odds in your favor. The other two factors that swing the odds in your favor is that many DGUs take place on home ground which is highly favorable to the defender and outside the home you got selected because the bad guy thought you were an easy victim so you have the element of surprise. But other than that I pretty much agree with you on this. My philosophy is that you can use a defensive pistol course and then practice those skills on a regular basis.

        • JD,

          I said this recently — and to you I believe:

          Operating a handgun responsibly and effectively for self-defense, for the overwhelming majority of self-defense events, is exceedingly simple and only requires a few minutes of instruction.

          Remember, the overwhelming majority of self-defense events involves one or two attackers just a few feet away. All you need to do is point your handgun at your attackers and pull the trigger until they are no longer a credible, imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. And when your attackers are so close, no marksmanship and no practice is necessary for acceptable “combat accuracy”: if you can accurately point your finger at someone who is five feet away — and everyone can — then you can accurately point a handgun at someone who is five feet away.

          So, training (for the overwhelming majority of self-defense events) comes down to this:
          (1) Knowing that your attacker must present a credible, imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm before you are legally justified to use deadly force.
          (2) Knowing that once you are legally justified to use deadly force, you draw your handgun, point it at your attackers, and pull the trigger until your attackers are no longer an imminent threat.
          (3) Knowing that you should reholster your handgun as soon as your attackers are no longer an imminent threat.

          That instruction takes all of five minutes, if that.

          And I would include two simple addendums for training as well:
          (1) Do not attempt to shoot attackers who are 15+ feet away unless you KNOW that you are accurate at that range — or — there are no bystanders that you would injure if you miss.
          (2) Handle your handgun responsibly when you are not using it for self-defense. (Always assume every firearm is loaded, always point your handgun in a safe direction, and always keep your finger off the trigger until you are aiming at a safe target.)

          Again, covering those two points takes all of five minutes, if that.

          Of course no one is willing to pay $100 or more for a few minutes of such simple explanation and instruction. Thus instructors concoct unnecessarily complex training environments.

          By all means, I encourage anyone and everyone to train as much as they enjoy and/or can justify. What I always discourage is the notion that we are all bumbling idiots who need days of training before we can responsibly and effectively defend ourselves.

        • “We handle our firearms daily.”

          And in my case sexily.

          What can I say, when she’s got a hot chamber I’m gonna stuff a round in there!

        • I’m completely confused as to what you guys are talking about.

          Am I to understand that there’s some new-fangled “basic pistol” course out there that takes a person who’s brand new to guns and gets them into shape and inoculates them against stress in a fight? One that prepares them for “life and death” situations but is still marketed as an intro-level course?

        • Nobody is claiming that a basic pistol course turns you into Doc Holliday. But before you get to be Doc you got to learn the basics.

        • But if one IS Doc holiday, this item still says he needs training, because he, and Miculik, and everybody else, are all part of everybody. Who needs MORE training. Enough is never enough, but only if YOU are the one selling the training….
          THAT is the point.

        • I don’t they say more training. They say get some training period. And I would go on to say get the training that is appropriate for your situation. I would add that if you aren’t a cop, military or security professional that kind of training is not going to do you any good. I have heard Claude Werner say that on a number of occasions.

        • @Uncommon sense. Yes it was me and obviously you didn’t read my response clearly stating how much you would suck as an instructor. Go back and read it because I don’t feel like typing all that again.

        • somebody pulls a gun on you…you reach for yours in response…he shoots and possibly kills you…and the perp walks..claiming self-defense…something to think about because it can [and has] happened….

      • Been a firearms instructor for nearly 30 years. And, yeah, most people need it. Learned from Uncle Bubba? Guess what? You’ve probably got all of Uncle Bubba’s bad habits. Military grade training? I watched a range NCO shoot himself with an M-60. They also told me we could shoot 7.62X39 in 7.62X51. I learned how to really shoot from a professional firearms instructor between the military and a career in law enforcement. He had never been in either, but he sure as shit knew what he was doing. I had been shooting since I was five, but I found out I didn’t really know a damn thing. Anyway, since then I’ve instructed hundreds so they could get their CCW. Most men showed up with the attitude, “I’m taking this class because I have to to get my CCW, but I’m not going to learn anything because I’ve already seen every John Wayne movie ever made.” Of course, most of these guys had no idea of what they were doing. Couldn’t hit a pepper popper at seven yards. Shitty leather, if any at all. About half could barely handle their weapon with any real competence. And I trained everyone from professional NFL players to grandmothers. I’ll tell you something else. On the money thing? I barely broke even. I did it because I enjoyed it. I closed every class with two questions. “Did everyone learn something today?” and “Did everyone have fun?” If anyone answered no to either of those questions they still got their paperwork and they didn’t owe me a dime. No one ever said no. Even the guys who had watched The Shootist. Get competent professional training. I have since 1989. Worth every penny I spent.

    • a lot of people won’t bother…they buy the gun, throw it in a drawer and forget about it…in a pinch you point it and it goes “bang”….it’s not rocket science….

      • Right, until you forget to take the safety off and it goes click instead of bang. Guess what, you’re all done at that point.

  1. To formulate the answer he spoke to a trio of respected instructors in the firearms industry.

    In other news, association of barbers recommends more frequent haircuts.

    • You win the internet for today. I was going to post the same, but you beat me to it!
      I was going to make it car salesmen recommending more cars, but it’s the same thing.
      One little caveat here; never trust ANYONE with a vested interest, because there opinion will not be their own. Their words have been bought and paid for, but not by you.
      Secondly never trust any teacher/instructor/trainer, etc. who speaks in absolutes (like… you! Yes, YOU! This product is for everybody! If they sound like a salesman, it’s because they are one).
      The good(ethical) ones know better, because they know that all rules have exceptions, and everything is situation dependent. The bad ones either don’t care, because they’re getting paid, or they just don’t know any better. Either way, avoid such ones like the plague.

    • I was going to go with owners of Doughnut (Donut?) Shops saying we need training in how to eat them things.

      But, Barbers is good too. Also, less fattening, which is a big plus.

    • Well who was he supposed to talk to, to give credibility to the article? The morons on this forum? HAHAHAHA Just reading some of the comments here, like yours, tells me the author is on to something.

        • “My superiority is proven every time …”

          JD, Google ‘Dunning–Kruger effect’ sometime, it applies ‘in spades’ to *you*.

          Here, I’ll help :

          “In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence.[1]”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

          That’s *you* JD.

          Free clue – You’re kinda new ’round here in TTAG. You’re not impressing *anyone* with your loud bullshit…

        • “Congrats. Your false air of superiority has convinced me you are one of those ‘morons’ of whom you speak.”

          You *nailed it* JWM.

          Flat NAILED it…

          *snicker* 😉

        • JDs the only one in the room with the experience to handle a firearm. LMAO.

          A legend in his own mind (and keyboard).

          I’m betting that its James Yeager trolling.

        • I know all about dunning-kruger. And I know what I’m capable of. But judging from the responses I’ve read yours included, are a bunch of hacks.

        • @geoff (he who spells his name the gay way kinda like Stephen when it should really be Steven) I’m not trying to impress anyone on here. Just adding my 2 cents like everyone else. But unlike a lot of posts, mine are at least worth something. And oh I’m kinda new around here, yeah, SO?!

      • Looks like JD has a bit of Narcissism going on.

        Next he’ll be writing articles here wagging his finger at us. I just laugh when an anonymous poster on the internet claims to know what other anonymous posters are about.

      • about 90% sure that JD is either a new or returning lefty troll that wants to play at being a shooter to troll the board. Notice he states

        Basic pistol. Something that everyone should take when they buy their first pistol. It really should be something that you should have to take BEFORE you buy a first pistol.

        get on with that statist mandate drivel

      • I haven’t been to a barber in something like 20 years. I have a buzz cut and do it myself with electric clippers. 😉

        It is all a conspiracy!

        • I’ve been doing the same, ever since the closure of the last Barber Shop. I simply will not make an appointment weeks ahead of time for a fuckin’ haircut!
          These women think they’re doctors for Christ’s sake! Wake up stupid sheeple. I, for at least one(two with cloudbuster), will not play that game. I’ll shave my whole head first…

    • Sorta how the ADA (American Dental Association) recommends you brush your teeth 3 times a day for at least 2 minutes per session using a silicate mixture & sodium fluoride based compound (one is abrasive, the other an industrial waste byproduct from aluminum refining that’s a level 3 severe health hazard–e.g. a poison…a neurotoxin).

      Before you call me a nut, the US Govt. mandated OSHA/NIOSH MSDS for Sodium Fluoride is here:
      https://hazard.com/msds/mf/baker/baker/files/s3722.htm

      “AFFECTS RESPIRATORY SYSTEM, HEART, SKELETON, CIRCULATORY SYSTEM, CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM AND KIDNEYS. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT”
      (yeah, that all sounds terrific, let me run a continual long-term exposure of that stuff to my system–what could go wrong?)

      Read through it, it’s quite enlightening what is known about this stuff yet people willfully scrub the part of their skeleton that’s exposed (teeth)…considering it deteriorates the skeleton (amongst many other things).

      But my point is most “professionals” that have a vested interest in staying in business would put their own livelihoods above the end-user’s best possible outcome. As always, when looking at any “recommendation,” consider the source and look at qui bono.

      The smartest recommendation is one you make for yourself once you consider your situation, needs and means. Be an adult, determine what you *need* and meet that need in the most efficient and responsible method possible. Seek professional advice but always question the giver’s motivations to yourself to vet the advice.

  2. Is training a good idea? Sure.

    Should training be required in order to exercise a right? No – in that case it wouldn’t really be a right, would it?

    • “Can the potential student put five shots into a 4-inch circle, four times in a row, at 10 feet? That’s the standard for the NRA Basic Pistol class” We’re not really talking “training” here anyway- marksmanship takes practice, unless one figures out that the act of “practice” is owner-operated training. All one can really hope for is that if the gun becomes necessary for a life-saving event the person gripping it will be familiar enough with its operation to make the projectile go near where it is intended, when it was released. Marksmanship is not always as important in a DGU as the mindset.

  3. What could putting 5 shots in a 4″ circle at 10′ have to do with self defense? First, in how much time? If you’re being attacked and your attacker is 10′ away you need to put 2 or 3 in a 12″ circle as fast as possible. Finer accuracy is great but totally unnecessary at 10′. How about 5 shots in a 12″ circle at 25 yards? But then justifiable shootings at 25 yards are extremely rare. Seems pretty impractical to me unless you’re going to get attacked by a rabid squirrel that just won’t go down in 4 shots.

    • Because flat out missing is going to get you killed. And I have seen people miss a target at 10 feet. Not knowing how to draw correctly is also going to get you killed when you put a round in your leg. Not knowing how to safely handle the firearm is far more likely to end up with you shooting some one you didn’t want to shoot that you ever shooting it self defense.

      You don’t have to take a formal class, but people learning how to safely and effectively use a firearm strengthens the Second Amendment. Lack of education can actually hurt the right to keep and bear arms.

      • My issue isn’t with learning how to draw and shoot quickly with reasonable accuracy. I was simply pointing out that 5 shots in a 4″ circle at 10′ is pointless. Even if your life depended on a heart or head shot, why would you need 5 of them? Why not practice drawing and placing one shot in a 4″ circle at 10′ as quickly as possible? Or maybe 2 shots in a 12″ circle and one in a 4″ circle about a foot and a half above the 12″ one?

        • That standard has nothing to do with self defense. It is meant to measure the students grasp of the basics. With proper grip sight alignment, sight picture and follow through, everyone should be able to hit a 4” circle at 10 feet. You don’t want to make it so easy so as the student doesn’t have to focus and concentrate on what they’re doing. But also it shouldn’t be so difficult that the student will become discouraged. A 4” target is easy enough to miss if you’re not paying attention to the fundamentals.

        • Well that would make sense, but it seems that in the article it was suggested in the context of self defense.

    • just remember not to use the damn thing unless you absolutely have to…and don’t go look ing for trouble….and 99% of the time you’ll be just fine…it’s not something you buy to use..and hope to hell you never have to…

  4. Can the potential student put five shots into a 4-inch circle, four times in a row, at 10 feet? That’s the standard for the NRA Basic Pistol class.

    Not without reloading their “I don’t need more ammo for self defense” CCW micro pistol at least twice.

    • Mouse guns have their place. For some people in their circumstances they cannot carry anything bigger.

      Even so, heck yeah they should learn to shoot and put holes in the target.

    • I am not going to lie I can shoot a full sized pistol much better then my G43 but I can still shoot my G43 with reasonable accuracy up to 25 meters. I also carry my G43 everywhere.

    • One could argue that having to reload as part of that exercise would be a good thing. Besides, it may not be quite as small as the new crop, but my G26 gives me 11 out of the holster and 15-21 from there.

  5. The article advocates voluntary training, which is a good idea. A former mentor once told me, “No one is as good as they think they are.”, and I found that to be some of the best advice I ever got. Where shooting is concerned, I see time and again people with pistols at the shooting range blasting away, scattering shots all over their target be it a silhouette or a bullseye.
    Training can be costly, but so is continually buying ammunition and repeatedly reinforcing poor shooting skills. Even the skill required to stand in a fixed position in a stall and shoot good groups at a fixed target up to ten yards way will be helpful should you get into a defensive shooting situation. If you cannot do that, you really should get basic training to find-out and learn how to do it better. It’s not so much about where the shots go, it’s about where they don’t go, and there can be a lot of factors involved beyond the shooter’s skill level.
    The question of knowing when it is legal to shoot and when you should shoot is as important as knowing how to shoot, but a discussion for another time.

  6. I’ve seen plenty of people at police and private security requalification that couldn’t shoot hardly at all. We all need more training, but some need it more than others

    • I used to shoot consistently in the 290’s without any training or practice…either you can or you can’t….one quick trip to the range just before qualification just to make sure it still worked and could accurately place shots was sufficient….then it all just went away…no matter how much I practiced….that’s when I bought a “Judge”…and a “shockwave”…..

  7. Not everyone needs basic firearms training. Everyone does, however, need more training.

    Don’t take a beginner’s class 75 times. Take it once, master it, and take more advanced classes (as resources allow) until you need to retake a class to master it.

    Am I missing something or is that what the article meant/should’ve said?

  8. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Go back to the first part, “well regulated” refers to training. Not to the NFA 1934 or the GCA 1968 or the rest, but to training in the use of arms in the context of a Militia,. Training to work together with good order and discipline.

    Our society isn’t structured around citizen militias anymore, which is unfortunate. But as a civic duty, it is something people can voluntarily do. Doesn’t mean you have to join a militia or take expensive courses. Do take a hard, critical look at your marksmanship, your handling of guns, your knowledge of the laws where you live. Study and read up. Learn what other people are doing to become and stay proficient. Come up with some shooting drills and do them seriously. Human size targets at distances that make sense.

    I’ve a young (compared to me anyhow) shooter I recently gave a Ruger 10/22, but she’s been shooting my guns for years. In a couple of years she will be old enough for a concealed carry license where she lives. I plan to make her a gift of a pistol and a professional course in defensive pistol shooting. I know she can shoot and be safe, that’s not the point.

    Point is to give her the benefit of someone else’s greater skill and knowledge.

    Because her life is worth vastly more than the price of whatever training I find.

    • “Go back to the first part, “well regulated” refers to training.”

      Not specifically. The definition at the time meant that something was “properly calibrated”, “properly working” or “working as expected”.

      So, substitute the phrases (takes a little work in some cases to make it sound right in modern English) and we get a statement such as “A properly functioning militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This statement has an entirely different meaning from “A properly trained militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

      Now, you can argue that a properly functioning militia requires training but that clearly is not the intent of the statement above which is quite obviously referring to the fact that for a militia to work as expected it requires tools and the government has no right to infringe on the access to those tools. It further follows logic that the people who wrote the 2A understood that training would depend on how the militia was formed and how it was to fight. A marine unit would fight differently from general infantry which the Founders certainly knew since the concept of a marine had been around since the Roman Republic.

      To establish the right to own the gear is pretty obviously the intent of the 2A. Armed but untrained people can learn how to fight but bunch of well trained but unarmed people are screwed against the well armed military of a tyrannical or foreign government. That’s what Lexington and Concorde were all about, seizing powder and weapons, not stopping training.

    • sounds nice but most people won’t bother…preaching to the choir is pointless…most will only do what they’re legally required to..and little or nothing more…they’d much rather be doing other things….

  9. Over the last few years this whole tactical training fad for the average joe has basically turned into a fantasy gun camp for cubicle dwellers….

    The main selling point for most of these firearms training courses is having an outdoor range where people can draw from a holster and shoot fast.

    Most of gun ranges are indoors and have strict rules against drawing and rapid fire which increases the allure for people to sign up for these tactical “shoot into a burm 1500 times” courses.

    In reality, the vast majority of non police civilians protecting themselves with guns have no formal training and the contact with the threat is broken or over in seconds. Consistent dry practice would work for most folks.

    I have taken one of these self defense pistol courses and saw a ND and was muzzled by fellow students a dozen times. I was more focused on not being accidentally shot than learning anything…..

    • And that is exactly the point! Those nitwits who muzzled you and the one who had a ND were the same type we see on here like jwm that thinks they know what they are doing, and they really know shit. There is no shame in saying to oneself, I should take a class because I’ve never done this before. Like draw from a holster with a live round in the chamber.

      • Uh, JWM was trained by the military and dirt-napped people for said military… pretty sure he knows a thing or two more than you’re suggesting.

        I’d certainly trust him to watch my back over, say… 95% of “tactical” instructors like that idiot James Yeager. The same way I’d just JWT to patch me up over something like 95% of the “tactical medicine” instructors out there.

      • If he was muzzled a dozen times in the class, it was an ineffective class, or instructor, resulting in training of errors. I also don’t think it takes a class to learn how to draw a loaded gun from a holster. Let’s don’t conflate training and instruction.

        • A class might be helpful for some instruction works for others. The truth is until about 15 years ago, most people of the gun were taught by other people of the gun passing along knowledge. Not instructors paid to give classes of dubious quality. That being said classes from instructors can definitely help as long as you check their credentials. Also anyone who says they are teaching Military techniques better be very specific because 95% of military training is collective.

  10. How fast do I have to put 5 shots in a 4 in. circle, 4 times in a row?

    Unless I use a pistol with a 20 round )or larger) magazine, there is at least 1 reload in there.

    I could do it in less than 20 seconds with a PMR30.

  11. Ok. Click bait war accomplished.

    Now…how about some real journalism and interview 4 or 5 regular people who have defended themselves successfully.

    Yes ..skills training is good. Should it be a requirement for defensive carry? Hell no.

    This is getting old.

    • That active self defense channel on YouTube showscases a a shit ton of self defense shootings by civilians and hardly any of those people have formal training. Most are pocket carrying small pistols and revolvers.

      I have yet to see one of these mean-muggin’, tight t-shirt wearin’ Tactical beard knuckleheads draw a stippled g19 with an rmr from apendix and double tap a threat….

  12. . If America had a government we could trust( sorry I don’t) it would probably be a good idea. Only the Rich, America, yeah buddy

    • “government we could trust”

      Speaking of fantasies, right? I’d love to consider the possibility that such a thing could ever possibly exist, but I have to go feed my unicorn.

  13. I am not fast but I do hit what I’m aiming at.

    A drill I used to do at ranges just isn’t possible anymore, they won’t tolerate it. I’d go to an outdoor range on a slow time of day when you can expect few shooters. Set up at a bench away from the rest. Put up targets at several distances

    On the bench lay out and load a variety of guns. Rifles and handguns, various calibers. One time I included a 12ga loaded with slugs. The fun and the discipline comes next.

    Randomly, pick up a gun and fire a properly aimed shot at each target in any order. Put the gun down and randomly chose another. Mix up how many shots per target, the target order, the gun order, keep it random. Keep this going until all guns are empty, randomly changing targets and guns but always with the discipline to make well aimed shots. I’ve done this with a mix of bolt action, lever action, semi-auto rifles plus revolvers and pistols. And that slug gun, one time.

    First time I did it was at an outdoor range east of San Diego around 1980. Just looked at Google Earth, it’s nothing but houses now.

    Unknown to me the range officer walked up behind to stop me, but he held off until a cease fire was called at the far end of the line. What he said was usually they do not allow people to fire standing up as too many shooters had trouble hitting their own target, let alone three. And I wasn’t supposed to put up more than one target. But just as he was about to shut me down he saw I was hitting all my targets and when the cease fire was called, he watched me safe all my guns properly.

    So he said I could keep doing that kind of shooting as long as nobody raised a stink about it.

    These days I just go out to public land, pick a good safe spot and set up a folding table for the guns.

    Good times and I think good training too.

    • We have full maneuver bays around here. The RSO oversees but as long you are being an idiot you can do what you want, shoot and move all directions ,transition weapon systems and set up obstacles. The RSO checks the scenario to ensure safety.

      • as long as i’m being an idiot i can do what i want certainly applies to my moto, beer and women philosophies, but that’s a pretty heady range tenet.
        maybe i can mix in a little mi tierra and call it a working vaca.

  14. There should be a training mandate in gun legislation. We can call it “The Full Employment for Gun Trainers Act.” It will be good for the economy, since most full-time trainers are otherwise unemployable.

  15. A copy of your state’s firearms code AND Justification for the use of force would be very handy. Not just to sit on a shelf but to read more than once. And check for updates every year. Legislatures don’t make public announcements about those sorts of things unless the changes are dramatic. It might be advantageous to make a reduced copy of justification to carry in your wallet.3Or with your pocket copy of the Constitution. The Constitution is also handy if you ever get into a discussion with people who haven’t actually read it.

    • read it all you want…there’s always something in there you’re unaware of…lawyers need work and keeping us ignorant is lucrative…not to mention the subjective nature of interpretation and it’s variance from one jurisdiction to another…the best advice?…when in doubt…don’t….and keep your mouth shut if you do until you get counsel…employing a firearm for self-defense is like tip-toeing through a minefield…….

  16. “Can the potential student put five shots into a 4-inch circle, four times in a row, at 10 feet? That’s the standard for the NRA Basic Pistol class.”

    Perhaps, perhaps not. But for sure they can put a bunch of shots into a pompous instructor.

    [email protected]

  17. Well, rats.

    I was prepared to pontificate brilliantly, and at length, about the insistence of some people that one cannot adequately protect themselves with a hand gun without some measure of formal training.

    But, no need.

    Sorry to interrupt.

      • “You’re sitting this one out? Who are you and what have you done with the real Sam?”

        Gotta keep things unpredictable.

        ‘Sides, an old dog needs a nap, now and then.

    • most people…even the so-called “professionals” miss at a distance….and just about everyone can hit something up close…..

  18. I have had a basic training class and the CCW class covered a lot of the law and when you are allowed to shoot a threat in self defense, etc. I also try to shoot at least once a month and enjoy that. However I am really a lot more worried I will get killed or maimed while driving where ever I am going than being being robbed where i am going.

    • Safely handling your firearm without posing a threat to yourself or others is the majority of what we average citizens need. Add a little knowledge about when its right to shoot and we are good.

      When did gun ownership become only about DGUs and urban combat? Does nobody own a gun today just for the love of the firearms and the fun that can be had with them?

  19. I don’t think an instructor for an organization that doesn’t understand the supreme law of the United States says “shall not be infringed” needs to be telling anyone they need the law explained to them.

  20. I shoot with many current and retired officers, Even with training, I still see many of these officers do not practice muzzle discipline. I believe it stems from the only time they go to the range is on qualification day. Scares the crap out of me. We had a female detective that was so bad that she literally did not know how to operate a Rem 870 pump shotgun. Many barely qualify. It’s even worse now with many millennial cops who never held a firearm until they became police officers. Trying to teach them, First have to tell them no cell phones on the firing line and there are no participation trophies. It’s pathetic that some of us retired guys out shoot the department and some of the SWAT guys to boot. I was taught how to shot in grade school. Our school had a shooting range in the basement, Parents signed up their kids for gun safety and marksmanship classes. . I guess those days are gone.

    • probably right about that…the days of sitting on the back porch on a sunday afternoon with friends or relatives and burning up a box or two of shells while passing around the .22 seem to be long gone….

  21. …Unfortunately, in some “Eastern Bloc Socialist Utopian Police-States” like M-Assachusetts…Where “Mandatory Safety Course” are used as roadblock to help prevent a MA resident from immediately exercising their 2nd amendment rights…Where as the “Mandatory Safety Certificate” only let’s you fill-out a “Local POLICE Department/ Application for an FID/LTC” and doesn’t “grant you ” any “firearms/weapons privileges” by the police unless approved…In a lengthy month long process, only if YOUR approved…Since of course, no MA resident can purchase any firearm or ammo without one of the 2 permits…That’s why M-Assachusetts is a Police-State….

  22. I am 65 years old and disabled. I have not shot a gun since I was 12 and that was an old .22 bolt action rifle. My wife is also disabled. Being an older disabled person in this country is becoming a scary proposition. I would like to purchase a handgun for both personal protection (CCW) and home defense. I am on a very limited income but will not buy an inferior weapon to protect us with. I am not asking for recommendations for a firearm as I will determine what I can handle a use well at a range. What I am asking is if anyone knows of a good store with a range and weapons that can be rented that will take the time with some one like me so that I can find a suitable handgun? I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Is there something like that here that does not cost a lot that I can check out?
    BTW this is not some kind of fake question.

    • “What I am asking is if anyone knows of a good store with a range and weapons that can be rented…”

      I would call the various ranges, and ask if they rent firearms. Would also expect that any place that rents firearms would have RSOs who are willing to work with you to find a satisfactory handgun. (understand that gun rentals will logically be a smaller sample of firearms that one might find at a pure gun store)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here