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Old September 28, 2005, 12:34 PM   #1
FirearmFan
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How good are NRA training classes?

Hi Everyone.

I wanted to take a local NRA training class before heading off to one of the big firearm schools ie:Sigarms, thunder ranch, etc. How good are the classes and is it worth the money?

I have basic firearm skills which I learned from my friends father, retired swat cop. Does the NRA course off more comprehensive stuff?

Thanks for the help.
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Old September 28, 2005, 12:55 PM   #2
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FirearmFan,

Depends on what class you are taking. If just basic pistol or basic defense (home/person defense) then it will be half classroom and then about half range. There will not be any real training, just an eval. of if you follow the rules, that you are safe, and that you can hit your target.

Most instructors won't allow you to take the more advanced classes without the basic course. They do get more involved with the advanced but if you're going to a real gun school like Thunder Ranch, the NRA class is good to get all your basics (safety, handling, etc..) and that will most likely help out at the gun schools.

Wayne
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Old September 28, 2005, 03:40 PM   #3
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That's a hard question to answer. First, it depending heavily on the person teaching it. There will be better and worse instructors.

Second, a lot will depend on how well the instructor interest match yours.

Third, realize that the NRA classes are basic classes. So it is quite possible that you already know much of the material. That being said, I find many students have a background in part of shooting but often don't have a comprehensive basis in firearms. Courses like these often fill in the gaps.

My best advice is to call the instructor and discuss your background, current skill level and expectations from the course. This will allow you to judge the instructors ability to teach and how the class will benefit you.
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Old September 28, 2005, 04:44 PM   #4
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I feel that another good reason to take an "official" course is to have that piece of paper. If a situation were to develop where you had to use the weapon in self-defense, that little piece of paper could very well help you out in court if it ever went there. A brother at the fire dept offered to go through the whole handgun thing with me (I have previous experience with shooting rifles from way back and have general firearms knowledge, just had nothing specific to handguns) which was nice but doesn't really help me in case I have to use my handgun and end up in court.

A defense lawyer certainly couldn't say that I was never trained. I have that certificate from Sigarms Academy that says I was. Might help, might not, but the training was more than worth it for both myself and my wife. I'll also be taking the NRA course that's offered at my local range just to cement what I've already learned and also to have that cert just in case.
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Old September 28, 2005, 04:44 PM   #5
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I took the NRA basic class. It was VERY basic. Lots of going over the foundation of safety. Be sure of target and beyond, never point the gun at anything you dont want to destroy and the like. There was also a lot of explanation of single action, double action only, etc... There was instruction on stance, trigger pull, proper grip. We did some dry firing but no live fire exercises. I didn't find it all that useful after growing up around guns in a well supervised environment but took it to turn in the certificate with my CC permit. I did learn some things but not 8 hours worth. In my opinion, with my background, it was not useful for much except for the certificate.
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Old September 28, 2005, 04:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
but no live fire exercises
as an NRA certified instructor since 1991, i was taught that you CAN NOT call an NRA class an NRA class if you do not follow the training regimen...

the basic class is to include LIVE FIRE EXERCISES in sitting bench rested, standing 2 handed and standing 1 handed...

ive always done this, and i have provided ruger 22/45 22s for those exercises. then i let everyone shoot their own stuff or one of the 8-10 pistols ive brought for demonstration. i go thru alot of ammunition...

david
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Old September 28, 2005, 08:58 PM   #7
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Do you know if that applies to NY state? The law here says I can not touch a hangdun that is not listed on my permit. No idea if there is an exception with training classes or not. 90% of the people there did not have a permit.
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Old September 28, 2005, 09:10 PM   #8
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obviously you have to follow all applicable laws but there still should have been some live fire exercises IMO...

david
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Old September 28, 2005, 09:51 PM   #9
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I definately agree that it would have been helpful. I just don't know the way the law is worded. I know NY has some pretty strict laws. I'll do some reading online when i have time and post up what I find.
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Old September 28, 2005, 10:30 PM   #10
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NRA Basic Firearm Safety courses are just that.

They are HEAVILY oriented toward safe handling, safe storage, safe operation, safe cleaning, etc.

They will cover the basics of shooting (grip, stance, etc.) but are designed as introductory, not remedial. They're not going to help you become a better shooter, they're going to show you how it's supposed to be done.

If you have never owned or operated a firearm then the applicable (Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun) course would be very useful and educational. When you're done, you will have a pretty comprehensive knowledge of the particular class of firearm covered, and a very good basis in firearm safety.

If you're trying to improve your marksmanship then it's not really what you want.

Ditto on the folks stating that live-fire is part of an NRA Basic Firearm Safety course. If you don't follow the provided course outline and structure then it's not an NRA Basic Firearm Safety course.
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Old September 28, 2005, 10:43 PM   #11
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Darkvibe, you mention something about knowing your target and what is beyond, I'm not familiar with that what does it mean? Thanks for your time.
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Old September 28, 2005, 11:02 PM   #12
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"Do you know if that applies to NY state? The law here says I can not touch a hangdun that is not listed on my permit."

That is untrue, You are not allowed to possess, carry or transport handguns unless they are listed on your permit. You can touch and fire my handguns all day as long as I am present to take the responsibility of my handguns.

kenny b
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Old September 28, 2005, 11:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TIYAA
Darkvibe, you mention something about knowing your target and what is beyond, I'm not familiar with that what does it mean? Thanks for your time.
im not darkvibe but I can answer this.

it means always be sure of your target, ie, never shoot what you cant see, and always be sure of what is beyond your target in case of a miss, or overpenertration... a bullet is deadly for a LONG LONG ways....

Chad
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Old September 28, 2005, 11:57 PM   #14
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I just got back from one a few hours ago. It was pretty useful. I didnt learn a big amount but I learned a useful thing or two.
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:52 PM   #15
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andrew where did you take it?....

ETA: and how much?

Chad
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Old September 29, 2005, 07:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkvibe
Do you know if that applies to NY state? The law here says I can not touch a hangdun that is not listed on my permit. No idea if there is an exception with training classes or not. 90% of the people there did not have a permit.

I used to live on LI and had a pistol permit there. My friend and I used to go to the range together and fire each other's handguns. I was never made aware that this was illegal. What are you basing this statement on? Can you cite something in the actual law for us? I don't think it's true...

But I do think that the way the Suffolk County permit was set up, I could not have taken my friend's handguns to the range with him absent, and I could not store them at my house or stuff like that.


-blackmind
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Old September 29, 2005, 07:37 PM   #17
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Nimitz,
I took it at Shooting Sports in Tampa, Florida. Its on North Dale Mabry. Youll have to call for rate though. The guy was top of the line. I literatly went there thinking I wasnt going to learn anything. His name was Phil. Very nice and treats you like a human being . Id highly highly highly reccomend him.

PM me if you need contact info .
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Old September 29, 2005, 08:06 PM   #18
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nah i know where it is...i go up there when i visit my dad in tampa maybe we can get together and go shooting one weekend...

I've been meaning to take a NRA course....

Chad
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Old September 29, 2005, 08:11 PM   #19
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Nimitz that sounds like fun. PM me and let me know next time you think youll be around in town. I usually by my ammo in bulk weeks before I intend to go. (Bulk for me being 200-500 rounds) lol.
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Old September 29, 2005, 08:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmind
I used to live on LI and had a pistol permit there. My friend and I used to go to the range together and fire each other's handguns. I was never made aware that this was illegal. What are you basing this statement on? Can you cite something in the actual law for us? I don't think it's true...

But I do think that the way the Suffolk County permit was set up, I could not have taken my friend's handguns to the range with him absent, and I could not store them at my house or stuff like that.
I thought i read it in the Ny gun law book (black 3 ring binder, i forget the title) that I borrowed from someone. I must be wrong. kennybs plbg said above that you are allowed to fire just not posess, carry or transport. I tried searching online but couldn't find anything either way.
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Old September 29, 2005, 08:41 PM   #21
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Blackmind,

Quote:
I used to live on LI and had a pistol permit there. My friend and I used to go to the range together and fire each other's handguns. I was never made aware that this was illegal. What are you basing this statement on? Can you cite something in the actual law for us? I don't think it's true...
IIRC (I left NY in 1993, was stationed at Griffiss), by law you could not touch a handgun in a gun shop or even fire it if you didn't have the "tag" on your permit. But I will admit that I only went to one gun shop in NY the entire time that I was there, was told that I needed to get a permit first.

I had to be in state for a year (which I did) and then get my commander to sign off and then try for my permit or actual license. I did and sent in the paperwork.

Griffiss was closed 6 months later and I got moved to Moody AFB, GA. Got my permit there, no problem, and forgot about NY.

6 months later and then in GA, I got my restricted NY permit with the two guns that I had at the time on it (GP-100 and the Jennings .22).

It's expired now, so it's just a "looky what I got" (if I can find it again).

But the gun stores in NY wouldn't even let you touch a handgun without a license and if you had one, they would let you look at, but they didn't like it very much (from what I saw).

As for shooting other peoples guns, I don't know. All I know is that they allowed me to fire fully auto (well, 3 shots at a time) M-16 and the M-9 while in NY but that was on base, not outside it.

Wayne
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Old September 29, 2005, 09:33 PM   #22
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The first firearms course I ever took was the NRA "Personal Protection in the Home" course. It is considered an intermediate course and is about the most complex class that the NRA has standards for (though basic rifle is pretty comprehensive). The Basic Pistol class is recommended prior to taking Personal Protection, but most folks who have been around pistols for any length of time and have a basic understanding of safety and the general manual of arms could easily make the jump.

I'd also recommend talking directly to the instructor prior to enrolling in a class. Ask also for contact information of former students who can give their opinion of the class and instructor.

NRA has a website where you can find a class in your area: http://www.nrahq.org/education/training/find.asp

Hope this helps!

-Dave
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Old October 2, 2005, 08:22 PM   #23
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Most people who have a basic familiarity with handguns would be FAR better off taking a one-day or two-day Tactical Pistol class from one of the top schools (Tactical Response, Rangemaster, John Farnam, et al) than to spend one or two days taking the NRA Basic Pistol and NRA Personal Protection classes.

You'll learn FAR more from Yeager, Givens or Farnam in those two days because their curricula are much better oriented toward the defensive use of a handgun in the real world. Mindset, awareness, avoidance, weapon retention, multiple adversaries, low light shooting, etc. are just not included in the NRA lesson plans in a fashion that is comparable to the top defensive/tactical trainers.
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Old October 4, 2005, 03:21 PM   #24
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I agree with The Bluesman. I started years ago with Personal Protection and went from there. It was a good intro.

Then a beginner's set of tactical or skill courses are worthy.
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Old October 7, 2005, 08:56 PM   #25
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As an NRA certified instructor, I will say that if you have not had formal handgun safety instruction, then I strongly recommend that you take an NRA Basic Pistol class. There are a lot of folks who "learned to shoot from their dad 20 years ago" who learned a bunch of really unsafe habits.

NRA Basic Pistol is just that -- basic. It focuses on firearm safety and basic marksmanship. If you've already been shooting a while it may be repititious. But repitition is good.

It is NOT about defense shooting.

As for how good it is, that's very dependent upon the instructor.
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