The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 2, 2010, 08:30 AM   #1
phenrichs
Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2010
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 24
How about for beginners

I have seen alot of threads on range practice and quick shooting and the like. How about a good "for the beginner" thread.

Basics of handgunning: stance, grip, sight picture, ranging.
I have been rifle shooting for years and have spent a very limited time with pistols of varying type and caliber (all owned by friends) so I am not a complete beginner. However I know that other than basics and safety it is a different world as far as doing it correctly. Anyone can pull a trigger and put a ball down range. I want to do it accurately. I have a local range that will allow me to rent and practice but can I ask them to show me the right way? Is that allowed?
phenrichs is offline  
Old July 2, 2010, 12:58 PM   #2
Buzzcook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,619
Any range worth its salt will have some form of instruction available. Either directly through the range or with private instructors that use the range facilities.

All you have to do is ask.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old July 2, 2010, 05:49 PM   #3
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 5,041
There's a lot of very good introduction instruction as to the basics available on the web.
Do a search on youtube, liveleak and myoutdoors web sites for Clint Smith, Todd Jarrett, Matt Burkett, and Gunsite for starters.
All have dvds to buy, as well.
g.willikers is offline  
Old July 2, 2010, 07:44 PM   #4
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,656
See if there are any NRA certified instructors near you who are putting on a Basic Handgun class. An in person class with live instruction will always be better and more effective than just trying to get it all over the Internet.

And in any case, an absolutely great site for a beginner is http://corneredcat.com/. It's directed toward women, but it's full of useful and authoritative information for any beginner (and every shooter, for that matter).

If you're going to try on YouTube, stick with the names g.willikers mentions in the preceding post. There are some absolutely God awful guys playing instructor on YouTube who have no idea what they are doing.
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old July 3, 2010, 01:14 AM   #5
stickhauler
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2009
Posts: 244
Or try this option:

http://www.guntalktv.com/site.php

Tom Gresham's site, it has short videos about most anything you'd want to know about shooting, with additional videos added all the time.
stickhauler is offline  
Old July 3, 2010, 08:32 AM   #6
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,786
No harm in asking and to me shows you are serious about shooting and wanting to learn and do it right. You can also seek private instruction to learn the art of handgun shooting.
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old July 3, 2010, 06:15 PM   #7
HoraceHogsnort
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2008
Location: Stanislaus Co., Mexifornia
Posts: 615
Beginners need to go to http://www.thearmedcitizen.com/ and check out the huge numbers of people (in the archives) who've managed to defend themselves with a firearm and yet have NEVER had one minute of specialized training. There are those here who'd have you believe that unless you have a Ph.D from Frontsite you can't defend yourself with a gun. HOGWASH!! Two or three million people do it each year and I'd bet my next paycheck that fewer than .5% of them have ever had any firearms combat training. Outside the home situational awareness is key and inside the home it's "open fire on sight". It ain't thermonuclear science folks, it's just common sense.
HoraceHogsnort is offline  
Old July 3, 2010, 06:26 PM   #8
kodiakbeer
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2010
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 791
The first step is to buy a .22. All of the grip, stance, trigger, reload techniques in the world aren't very helpful if you can't put thousands of rounds down range to instill it all into muscle memory.

You can shoot a .22 for pennies per shot and get very good, very fast.

Buy the .22 first.
kodiakbeer is offline  
Old July 3, 2010, 06:59 PM   #9
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoraceHogsnort
...check out the huge numbers of people (in the archives) who've managed to defend themselves with a firearm and yet have NEVER had one minute of specialized training...
[1] How do you know how much, or how little, training and practice some of those folks have had? That sort of information just isn't provided.

[2] I often wonder how many people have tried to defend themselves and failed. That's not the sort of information we seem to get on these RKBA websites.

[3] We do sometimes see stories about folks who made bad decisions about when to use lethal force and wound up in a great deal of legal trouble. See, for example:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=365213

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=365683

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=370984

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=411205

Could proper training have helped these folks avoid these "life altering" legal entanglements?

[4] You have no idea what your problem, if you have one, is going to be. So you have no idea what you may need to have to be able to do to solve it. If you find yourself needing to defend yourself in a violent encounter, how good will you need to be to prevail? I sure don't know. You don't know either. If you're good enough, you'll be okay. If not, you'll be another statistic. It's up to you how hard you work at developing your survival skills.

[5] Police often have some good training, and sometimes they lose. Do you think that means that less training is better?

[6] There’s more to training than learning to hit the target. There’s learning about how to decide if shooting is even the right thing to do. There’s knowing the applicable laws. There’s getting good enough so that you don’t have to think about how to operate your gun and can focus your attention on assessing the situation and deciding what to do.
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old July 4, 2010, 01:30 AM   #10
HoraceHogsnort
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2008
Location: Stanislaus Co., Mexifornia
Posts: 615
I'm not buying it fiddletown.
HoraceHogsnort is offline  
Old July 4, 2010, 01:47 AM   #11
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoraceHogsnort
I'm not buying it fiddletown.
I wouldn't expect a member of the "Training? I ain't got no training. I don't need no stinkin' training crowd" to buy it.

If you don't want to bother training and instead want to try to rationalize that you'll do okay in an emergency even so, be my guest. It won't be my problem.

But unless you're clairvoyant, you don't know what your emergency will be. And as long as you don't know that, you can't know whether or not you'll be up to it.

Have a nice life.

Last edited by Frank Ettin; July 4, 2010 at 01:59 AM.
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old July 4, 2010, 07:09 AM   #12
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 5,041
Is it better to depend on luck or skill?
Relying on luck is easier and cheaper, but Lady Luck has no heart.
g.willikers is offline  
Old July 4, 2010, 10:35 AM   #13
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers
Is it better to depend on luck or skill?
Relying on luck is easier and cheaper, but Lady Luck has no heart.
I think it was Samuel Goldwyn who said, "The harder I work, the luckier I get."
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old July 4, 2010, 10:56 AM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
Staff
 
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 15,634
It is very useful to denounce training as necessary so that if or when you go to court, you cannot articulate the reasons for your action.

Yep, that's a great plan. Note BTW, that if folks are antigun or you are a woman, some potential jurors may take offense at your skill level.

Thus, you need a good lawyer who is cognizant of those issues during voir dire and during the presentation of your tale.

In cop trials, lack of training has been a real issue. In civilian trials, some DAs have tried to play the civilian commando nutso card. But expert trainers can defuse that.

However, if you don't believe in knowing such stuff - good for you.
__________________
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc.
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...05_Feature.htm
Being an Academic Shooter
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...11_Feature.htm
Being an Active Shooter
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  
Old July 4, 2010, 11:05 AM   #15
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,411
Quote:
Basics of hand gunning: stance, grip, sight picture, ranging.
Where are you in South Dakota?

The reason I ask is that I will be putting on a Bullseye Pistol Clinic later this summer at Newcastle WY, which is in NE Wyoming just across the state line from South Dakota.

This isn't a Self Defense course, but it will stress the basic fundamentals of pistol shooting, which is needed before you can shoot any pistol.

I don't charge for my course. Its similar to the SAFS they have prior to the National Matches at Perry or any other service championships.

Let my know if you are interested and I'll put you on my mailing list for when I come up with the dates.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old July 4, 2010, 11:50 AM   #16
Capt Charlie
Staff
 
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,304
Thread drift

Um... folks? Some of us are kinda doing a disservice to the OP here.

Phenrichs didn't ask whether or not training is necessary. Clearly, he's recognized the merits of training and has asked for tips to that end.

Quote:
How about a good "for the beginner" thread.

Basics of handgunning: stance, grip, sight picture, ranging.
How 'bout we help the guy out and save the "training ain't necessary" debate for another thread?
__________________
TFL Members are ambassadors to the world for firearm owners. What kind of ambassador does your post make you?

I train in earnest, to do the things that I pray in earnest, I'll never have to do.

--Capt. Charlie
Capt Charlie is offline  
Old July 4, 2010, 12:15 PM   #17
Glenn E. Meyer
Staff
 
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 15,634
I'm sorry - back to the OP - Brian Enos' book Practical Shooting is a good read on technique.
__________________
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc.
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...05_Feature.htm
Being an Academic Shooter
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...11_Feature.htm
Being an Active Shooter
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  
Old July 6, 2010, 08:21 AM   #18
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 7,785
Quote:
I have a local range that will allow me to rent and practice but can I ask them to show me the right way? Is that allowed?
You can alwasy ask - most of the time they will try to help you. However, note that on weekends, indoor ranges get busy and there may not be someone able to instruct you on these things. If you pick an off time, then there may be someone available to spend some time with you.

I'm not of the mindset that you need a firearms expert to teach you the basics of shooting, just someone familiar and competant with handguns. Afterall, who taught most of us how to shoot? It wasn't Mr. Ayoob. It was our dads, uncles, grandpas or a friend. And, in turn, many of us have taught folks handling a gun for the first time how to shoot it. But, many of us are far from being any kind of expert.

I see no problem with you asking someone working at a range to help you with the basics of shooting a handgun, as long as you pick a slow time at the range.
Skans is offline  
Old July 6, 2010, 08:58 AM   #19
shredder4286
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2010
Location: NE Washington
Posts: 361
i'm kind of in the same boat as the guy who started this thread in the first place, and see no reason to start another. I've owned and shot handguns for about 2 years now, but have had no formal instruction whatsoever. Now that i'm in iraq, and have been reading all these threads, i really think it's time to take my skills and training a little more seriously. anyone have some more links that i could read up on while i'm here? (that would cover stance, grip etc) after hearing about how accurately other people shoot, and the distances they shoot at, i realize that i must be doing something wrong. at 10 ft, i hit all over the place on a 1x1 target, and that's just not good enough for me. thanks in advance
shredder4286 is offline  
Old July 6, 2010, 10:18 AM   #20
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,411
Quote:
anyone have some more links that i could read up on while i'm here? (that would cover stance, grip etc)
PM me with your e-mail address and I'll send you the Army Marksmanship Unit's Pistol Marksmanship Guide in .pdf format.

Its the best reading on the fundamentals of pistol shooting written by the best shooters in the world.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old July 6, 2010, 08:21 PM   #21
MilProAkron
Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 39
There is an abundance of information online in the form of both articles and video tutorials. I've written a few myself. (I've been training troops and civilians for over 20 years - but they are being published on another site) The first step is to get a grip on a training plan. (assuming you already have a weapon to utilize) Knowing what you are trying to do and how to achieve it is the important part. Put a plan together, analyze your results, modify as needed, and track your progress. Then it comes down to time behind the gun. For you military guys, you are hindered if your only trigger time is military training. Most soldiers only get to fire their weapon twice per year. Nobody becomes an expert at anything doing it twice per year, regardless of how well you score. We really do a disservice to our troops in this regard in my opinion. Yes, some troops get to shoot more often, but your typical soldier is really left to their own devices. If you hit enough to qualify, they pat you on the back and tell you to get back to work.

Alot of civilians think that because we are currently fighting a war that it is different. Well, in the reserve and guard forces anyway, it just isn't true. When you deploy you spend more time at the range, but still, its inadequate.
__________________
Resist! Watch my training videos at YouTube's MilPro channel
MilProAkron is offline  
Old July 7, 2010, 11:22 AM   #22
OldMarksman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 1,950
Quote:
Posted by phenrichs: I have seen alot of threads on range practice and quick shooting and the like. How about a good "for the beginner" thread.

Basics of handgunning: stance, grip, sight picture, ranging.
I have been rifle shooting for years and have spent a very limited time with pistols of varying type and caliber (all owned by friends) so I am not a complete beginner. However I know that other than basics and safety it is a different world as far as doing it correctly. Anyone can pull a trigger and put a ball down range. I want to do it accurately. I have a local range that will allow me to rent and practice but can I ask them to show me the right way? Is that allowed?
Several links and suggestions have been provided. By all means, pursue them. Read about the basics and watch a few videos, but I do suggest not stopping there if you are serious.

As Fiddletown has pointed out, there is no substitute for personal instruction. The instructor can tell you what you are doing wrong and why and suggest ways of correcting your mistakes.

I had been shooting bulls eyes informally, and rather well, with different handguns (target, service, and frontier type) at different ranges for just under fifty years, off and on, when I switched to a two hand hold. I had read books, studied training manuals, and so forth, but somewhere among the nuances, I was doing a few little things wrong that were hurting my performance. It took a little personal instruction to get it right. My results improved markedly.

If your sole objective is to be able to "put a ball down range accurately", just a little one-on-one instruction at the range from a qualified person, perhaps followed up after you start to improve, should suffice. I got some valuable help from one of the range masters and from a guy at the next target who shoots more than a thousand rounds a week with a Model 1911 pistol similar to mine with great results on the target range.

If your objective also happens to include gaining skills to defend your self with a handgun, learning the basics is a necessary first step, but being able to apply them appropriately them in realistic conditions is also necessary.

The best way to see that real training for self defense shooting is a good idea is to observe a good training session. Watch the participants at the beginning; time them from the signal to draw to their first shots; count hits; count misses. Repeat these observations after a day of training. Consider the difference in results.

In my recent training, almost all of the participants showed improvements of more than 30% in both accuracy (number of hits out of the shots fired) and time (time from the signal to completion).

We were firing rapidly at three steel plates at seven yards. That provides some of the skills for hitting a rapidly moving target very quickly or for defending against more than one assailant. Getting the stance, grip, sight picture, and trigger pull down pat was the essential first step. After that, repetition, with evaluation and coaching. We had one-on-one one instruction from professional instructors who compete in things like IDPA matches.

That's a pretty simple exercise, but it was an eye-opener to me, and the degree improvement clearly shows the advantage of actual training.

For more realistic exercises, which bring in shooting while moving at moving targets, the improvement is almost always more impressive.

One thing I noted, both in regards to my practice at the range and among the participants at the defensive pistol shooting course I took recently, was how the instruction helped in the "unlearning" of bad habits.

So--reading and watching videos is a good idea, necessary I think, but most probably not sufficient for most people.

I hope this expansion on the answer for which you asked proves helpful, phenrichs. Good luck!
OldMarksman is offline  
Old July 7, 2010, 08:41 PM   #23
TeamSinglestack
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2010
Posts: 166
Here's a good handgun beginner tip for a transitioning rifleman...do not underestimate the importance of the fundamentals.

As it is with a rifle, it's all about the fundamentals, and unlike a rifle, sloppy fundamentals will have a far greater impact, far closer than you would believe.

Go to any range with handgun shooters, and you will see a myriad of fundamental errors, which reflects in their shooting.

Stance - not balanced, weight not forward to help manage recoil for defensive shooting.

Grip - too low on the gun making recoil management more difficult, too loose, improper use of the support hand, improper alignment in the control hand, poor extension

Aiming - seeing too much based on range / target size, seeing too little

Breathing - overemphasizing, under-emphasizing based on range and target size

Trigger control - pulling on the trigger, pushing on the trigger, jerking the trigger

Follow through - fire and forget, failure to call shot, failure to track the sights

The hardest fundamentals to master, for me at least, are trigger squeeze, grip, and aiming.

Trigger squeeze - mastering the reset and staging of the trigger.
Grip - maintaining the same grip, every time, from the draw, FAST
Aiming - seeing what I need to see, which changes based on range and target size, seeing FASTER

Training helps, especially when you have access to trainers that are ahead of the game. It's not hard to develop proficiency and punch holes in targets, however, it IS hard to find that right compromise between precision and SPEED, both of which are needed in defensive shooting.

Like a rifle, it's a life long pursuit imo...
TeamSinglestack is offline  
Old July 7, 2010, 09:39 PM   #24
OldMarksman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 1,950
Post 23

About sums it up, for me.
OldMarksman is offline  
Old July 24, 2010, 10:27 PM   #25
Agent99
Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Posts: 18
NRA certified classes

I am looking at different handgun safety classes in my area and have found sportsman clubs offer classes at a very reasonable cost. One has a basic handgun instruction class and an NRA certified gun safety class. I understand there is a test at the end of the NRA certified class, but what is the benefit of having that certification?
Agent99 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13528 seconds with 7 queries