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Old March 9, 2008, 11:13 PM   #1
OnTheFly
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Muzzle sweep at CCW course today

I just completed a CCW course today. Everyone in the class seemed to be reasonably sharp. However, there was one individual who had just purchased a Glock before the course. I didn't get a chance to ask his experience, but he sure appeared to be relatively new to shooting. Not that I'm an old timer mind you. The first indication was when he didn't know how much pull to exert on the slide to rack it. The instructor had to help him with it. He also asked a few questions that displayed his "youth".

Before our range time, the instructor was very focused on safety. He gave us hard and fast rules to use on the range. He also gave specific examples of what he did NOT want to see. The plan was for us all to stand in a row while we completed our firing drills. I was on the far left of the line and the newb was immediately to my right. During one of the first reloads, he did EXACTLY what the instructor said not to do and he turned his firearm on its side pointing directly at me while he tried to figure out how to release the magazine.

I'm somewhat of a geek in everything I do. Ok...I'm pretty much a full fledged geek. I read everything I can find on training and my specific firearm. I try to implement what I learn at the range. What amazes me is that someone would come to such a course without a basic understanding of safety and extremely poor knowledge of their firearm.

All in all it's not a huge deal as long as he learned something. I didn't get hurt. In fact, if the instructor didn't catch him pointing his muzzle at me, I wouldn't have even known.

Just makes me wonder what might happen at the next firearm course I attend. One thing is for sure...I think I will request to be on the far right side of the line if we're all right handed.

Fly
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Old March 10, 2008, 12:29 AM   #2
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What makes you think next time will be much different ? Hmmmm so you prefer your back to all those 'relatively new to shooting' folks. You got guts I'll say that for you.
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Old March 10, 2008, 09:11 AM   #3
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He's a newbie. He'll learn.
As long as your instructor is that safety oriented your fine.

Everybody has been swept at one time or another. Rules or no rules.

AFS
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Old March 10, 2008, 09:11 AM   #4
garryc
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Sweeping someone is an instant out on any course I teach to people that are qualifying or re-qualifying. We always go over saftey with every class every day. I harp on it so heavily that I am justified being intolerant of saftey violations. The second violation that I harp on, and give only one warning for, is finger on the trigger.

The funny one is when I check fingernails. You cannot safley handle a weapon with a inch or more of fingernail sicking out. I carry a manicure set and some germicide. I tell them to cut them if they are not within regulations. That's 1/4" from the tip of the finger. Several times I've had the offending woman refuse because she paid big bucks for them. Too bad and bye-bye.

The liability for an injury or death caused by an AD is on me, it ain't happening. I'm not risking getting myself or anyone else shot. That's exactly what I tell the class.
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Old March 10, 2008, 09:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
The funny one is when I check fingernails. You cannot safley handle a weapon with a inch or more of fingernail sicking out. I carry a manicure set and some germicide. I tell them to cut them if they are not within regulations. That's 1/4" from the tip of the finger. Several times I've had the offending woman refuse because she paid big bucks for them. Too bad and bye-bye.
Nails over 1/4" (but less than a full inch) do not make it impossible to safely handle a firearm. It does take a conscious commitment to safety on the part of the shooter, because removing the finger from the trigger guard takes a little more deliberate effort than it otherwise would. That's a worthwhile lecture to give these folks, and likely to get good results because most women who have long, manicured fingernails are already aware of several things have to be done with more conscious care when those nails are in place.

But refusing to allow someone with nails 5/8ths of an inch long even to try to handle the firearm? Uh uh. I don't think that pre-emptively chasing new shooters off the range over their choice of cosmetics is anything to be proud of.

A commitment to safety is laudable. But chasing new shooters off the range when you have not yet seen any safety violations from them? Notsomuch.

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Old March 10, 2008, 10:25 AM   #6
AirForceShooter
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so we claim we want new shooters in the sport but we act like hard asses.
New shooters have to get cut some slack. Were you perfect in the beginning??? I bet you weren't.
I've told newbies "if you point that at me again I'll put it where the sun don't shine" But, I've never told one to leave.
I've been on military ranges where a recruit swept the DI. Recruit promptly was kicked in the ass and put down. HARD. But then it was "don't do that again". They weren't banned or dropped.
It takes time to learn.
Sorry, that's how I see it.

AFS
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Old March 10, 2008, 10:45 AM   #7
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+1 to AirForceShooter.

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Old March 10, 2008, 11:15 AM   #8
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My experience is as an instructor for my department, a little different than training civilians. The regulation is the regulation and I enforce it. Literally, I cannot order someone to do anything else but comply with the letter of the regulation. I can't say 1/2" is ok but 1-1/2 isn't because the regulation says 1/4". That's just the way it is.

My training is not done so people can enjoy the experience. It's more of a military style format. Now tell me guys, when you were in the military, did your DI give one half a darn if you enjoyed yourself? It's different with the public. I've informally instructed civilians and I take a softer approach, but safety is still paramount. I figure that this is the time to develop good safety habits, and if they can't do it on the range then the likely hood of doing so in there home is small. On the range I can simply not take them back, that's not the case with the department. Fortunately, muzzle awareness and safe handling is not a difficult habit to instill.


In the department training I have removed several people. Never have I removed them twice, with the stigma and supervisory criticism, once has always been enough. They generally listen real good next time around.


With the public I would take them aside and speak with them one on one. Kinder gentile approach. How many warnings I don't know. But surely not many.
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Old March 10, 2008, 01:13 PM   #9
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Back on:

"During one of the first reloads, he did EXACTLY what the instructor said not to do and he turned his firearm on its side pointing directly at me while he tried to figure out how to release the magazine."

This is an extremely, almost universal, beginner's error.

"What amazes me is that someone would come to such a course without a basic understanding of safety and extremely poor knowledge of their firearm."

Where but a beginner's course should a beginner turn to for what you're describing? (The question is rhetorical.)
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Old March 10, 2008, 02:18 PM   #10
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Wait a minute. This was a CCW course the OP was describing. I dont think a CCW course is where anyone should be learning HOW to shoot for the first time. A person taking a CCW course should already have the basics down by the time they reach the qualification shoot.
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Old March 10, 2008, 02:25 PM   #11
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I took my carry class about a month ago and there were 3 people out of 31 there who had never fired, let alone HANDLED a firearm before. It blew my mind! I mean, take a safety course first at least... you know? CCW classes are not training courses.
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Old March 10, 2008, 02:28 PM   #12
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This just a fragment of the debate about whether CCW mandates training.

OH, wait - we all drool about VT where there are no restrictions at all. No permit needed - we love Vermont.

Contradictions, contradictions - stun the mind of the true believer.
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Old March 10, 2008, 02:32 PM   #13
OnTheFly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook686
What makes you think next time will be much different ?
I imagine it will and does happen quite a bit. This taught me to be a little more aware of the surroundings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook686
Hmmmm so you prefer your back to all those 'relatively new to shooting' folks. You got guts I'll say that for you.
In a word..."WHAT????" I don't understand this comment. When did I say anything about having anyone behind me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik
Where but a beginner's course should a beginner turn to for what you're describing? (The question is rhetorical.)
I will get flamed for this newb comment. I haven't even scratched the surface of firearms training. Compared to the vast number of courses that are available, I suppose a CCW course would be considered a "beginners course". Though I think some basic firearms training, maybe on a specific handgun, would have been appropriate. I have a strong desire for knowledge and safe shooting skills. I would not think of carrying a firearm unless I had at least mastered shooting basics and have a firm understanding of at least the external functions of my gun. I guess some people just aren't as cautious. The frustration was not only mine. You could see it in the instructors face.

I am a professional pilot, and part of my job is to perform training/checking flights. I would no more expect someone to come to a CCW course without this basic knowledge than I would expect someone who had never flown to come to me and say "teach me how to fly a jet at 500mph".

Fly
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Old March 10, 2008, 02:53 PM   #14
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My experience is as an instructor for my department, a little different than training civilians. The regulation is the regulation and I enforce it.
Ahhh, context is everything, thanks. I thought you were talking about classes like the one in the opening post of the thread, a CCW class for regular citizens.

Carry on~!

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Old March 10, 2008, 03:01 PM   #15
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OnTheFly ~

A lot of people use the CCW classes as their first exposure to firearms.

Obviously, a single, state-required CCW class does not actually teach people everything they need to know in order to be really prepared to effectively defend their lives with a firearm. It can't. And it's not actually designed to do that.

Required CCW classes are only designed to reassure the state that permit holders have

1) been exposed to the laws about carrying and using weapons, and

2) possess the ability NOT to shoot an innocent bystander by accident.

That's it. That's all those classes are designed to do. You don't have to know anything going in, because they're not designed to teach you much except what the laws are and how not to shoot yourself or someone else while carrying the gun.

It's not surprising that you encountered a student who needed to learn what the class is intended to teach ...

pax

(Please don't take this as saying you can't sometimes learn more, even a lot more, from a required class. Sometimes you can, and often the instructors are excellent. But the above is all the required class is intended to accomplish in most states.)
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Old March 10, 2008, 03:23 PM   #16
Glenn E. Meyer
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I would no more expect someone to come to a CCW course without this basic knowledge than I would expect someone who had never flown to come to me and say "teach me how to fly a jet at 500mph".


9/11
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Old March 10, 2008, 04:09 PM   #17
OnTheFly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
I would no more expect someone to come to a CCW course without this basic knowledge than I would expect someone who had never flown to come to me and say "teach me how to fly a jet at 500mph".
Okay...let me rephrase that comment.

I would no more expect a rational, intelligent, law abiding citizen (terrorists excluded) to come to a CCW course without this basic knowledge than I would expect someone (who matches prior description) who had never flown to come to me and say "teach me how to fly a jet at 500mph".

Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
A lot of people use the CCW classes as their first exposure to firearms.
Pax,

I agree. Many people will try to use this class as their first exposure to firearms training. To be perfectly honest, this was MY first course. Besides being a pilot, I used to be an instructor in skydiving. We used to do something called "dirt diving" which was simply practicing on the ground what we were going to do in the sky so that the dive would be second nature. The same goes for flying. We have procedural trainers that help us get the mental/physical skills ingrained so when we have a real SHTF situation, we can deal with it. On my own I've done the same with shooting. I've read a lot of useful information. Much of it on TFL (thanks to everyone's helpful information), I've talked in-depth with friends who are experienced shooters, and I take my new learnings to the range to physically practice it.

I know we don't need more restrictions/cost associated with shooting, but if someone isn't willing to take the time to educate themselves, then they should have the common sense to get educated by an NRA instructor, military personnel, friend, or someone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
2) possess the ability NOT to shoot an innocent bystander by accident.
When this gentleman pointed his gun at me, I WAS the innocent bystander. Granted, he didn't shoot me, but he wasn't exactly demonstrating #2 in your list.

Thanks for the comments folks. It is helpful information.

Fly
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Old March 10, 2008, 04:33 PM   #18
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At least there wasnt a ND on a cold range at your qualifications.
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Old March 10, 2008, 05:51 PM   #19
OnTheFly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemanspiff
At least there wasnt a ND on a cold range at your qualifications.
Did this happen with your class?

Fly
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Old March 10, 2008, 06:10 PM   #20
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I make no apologies for being a "hard arse" when it comes to safety. Don't point your pistol at me. Period. Don't point your pistol at anyone else. Period. I'll tell you civilly only once.

Most don't seem to have a clue; almost to a man we'd feel threatened if someone pointed directly at our noses yet they have the temerity to feel "offended" that I tell them in no uncertain terms that if they do that again I'll drop them on their heads. I don't care if you're "new" to firearms and active and retired cops seem to be the biggest offenders. A weapon is a weapon; if they don't have the raw ability to keep a straight trigger finger and mind their muzzles they don't need to be around firearms. The point I make is that none of us are perfect especially myself and accidents will happen. I stress the rules such that their "inevitable" mistake will occur with an empty weapon or their ND will do no more than destroy sleeping bag.

Too many brain "dead" individuals who've absorbed too much BS on the big screen = holes in parts you didn't have prior to their immediate company.

I handed one gentleman a pistol with the action open and turn to put away ammo. I turn around and nearly bump my nose into the muzzle of the pistol. I physically removed him from the premises and I wasn't being gentle.

If they cannot follow the rules toss 'em. It doesn't take much concentration or mental ability to keep your finger off the trigger, don't point it at anything you aren't willing to destroy and hand it back in the condition and manner given. Good riddance.
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Old March 10, 2008, 10:47 PM   #21
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As for the people taking a CCP class as their first experience with firearms, it makes a lot of sense if you think about what they're told. Many of them are probably not firearm enthusiasts and will only own a gun for protection (namely, CC). When they research it, most of the time you're going to find something along the lines of "must pass firearms safety/training course". Most of the people on this board bought a gun and then got a CCP later on down the road. They probably don't realize that there are other training classes out there other than the ones that are so highly advertised (CCP courses).

Unfortunately, these are also the people who are likely to rarely (or never) step foot in a range.
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Old March 11, 2008, 01:34 AM   #22
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There needs to be more hands on training and evaluation in these CCP classes. I agree, some people are new and need to be cut some slack, but they also need some more training before they are ready for a CCP. Now you have someone running around with a CCW that has no idea how to use it. There is a lot of responsibility that goes with carrying a weapon and if you don't have the training and understanding, you don't know what these responsibilities are.
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Old March 11, 2008, 01:49 AM   #23
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Chui, +1. I'm very sympathetic to the plight of new shooters. I've taught many beginners the rudiments of trapshooting and wingshooting and I teach NRA Basic Handgun. I will sooner be certified in Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home. I make no money from my teaching because I believe in helping need shooters get started off correctly.

But for me safety is paramount and non-negotiable. The result of even a momentary lapse can be permanent and tragic. I start with safety and reinforce it continually. I should also note that at major schools I've attended, like Gunsite, a lapse in safety is not tolerated.
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Old March 11, 2008, 01:55 AM   #24
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This is why I don't trust BS, CCW instructors. Were there any dry drills beforehand. Weapon manipulation and relaod drills, before live ammo present?

You have to accept some training mistakes and immediately correct them, as presented earlier by AFS. Also, many people here are very afraid of firearms, and cannot fathom weapons being pointed at them. Take the good with the bad.
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Old March 11, 2008, 02:03 AM   #25
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When this gentleman pointed his gun at me, I WAS the innocent bystander. Granted, he didn't shoot me, but he wasn't exactly demonstrating #2 in your list.
Yeah, I got that. Thing is, he was demonstrating that he needed to learn what the class was intended to teach -- and that he hadn't learned it yet.

Glad your instructor was on the ball, caught him and corrected him so quickly. Too bad the instructor did not catch and stop him before he got all the way around to muzzling you! That's a failure on the instructor's part, right there.

What was the instructor/student ratio in the class? Was that guy the only newbie?

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