View Full Version : I attended an "Intro to Handguns" class this weekend,,,

May 16, 2011, 10:11 AM
Actually, I didn't attend it so much as I sat in on it.

Stillwater Armory offered this class,,,
I bought two seats for young lady friends of mine,,,
Since I was the one who forked over the cash Tom allowed me to sit in.

Interesting class on the very basics of hand-gunnery,,,
These are the topics he went over.
1) 4 rules of safety.
2) The Cartridge.
3) SA Revolvers
4) SA/DA Revolvers
5) SA Pistols
6) SA/DA Pistols
7) Loading cylinders and Magazines with dummy rounds.
8) Safety again
9) Shooting stances (Isosceles & Weaver)
10) Controlled fire (load one round)
11) Controlled fire (Load 5 rounds)
12) Open fire (Load full mags-cylinders/fire at will)
13) Recap of safety.

Everyone got to handle/load dummy rounds into all 4 types of pistols,,,
He had a Heritage SA revolver, Taurus 970 SA/DA revolver, Buckmark and 22A SA pistols, Sig mosquito SA/DA pistol.

Everyone got to shoot all four handguns,,,
Class time was about 2.5 hours,,,
Range time was about 2.5 hours with a full 2 hours devoted to live fire.

There were 9 people in the class,,,
Everyone got to shot at least 250 rounds of .22 LR ammo,,,
Some of them took to it like duck to water and shot a heck of a lot more ammo.

The two young ladies I sponsored are both servers at my favorite watering hole,,,
Both are students (well, one graduated last week) at my university,,,
Both are very interested in learning to shoot handguns,,,
Both were pleased with the knowledge they gained.

It was very interesting to me to sit in on his class,,,
Tom Smith is an NRA certified firearms instructor as well as CLEET certified.

I am an Occupational Education professional myself,,,
My job is to develop the curriculum for and to implement training sessions,,,
As such I am fairly critical of any classroom effort I attend but was happily surprised here.

Well thought out curriculum development,,,
Good visual aids as well as instructional materials.

It cost me $50.00 for each seat in the class,,,
One was a 21st birthday present,,,
The other a graduation gift.

Money well spent in my opinion,,,
I could have taught them the same things,,,
But I wanted their initial training to be from a professional,,,
Not from the old guy they bring tons of beers to at their workplace.

Now when I take them to the range and need to correct them,,,
I can say "Remember what Tom said about safety/stance/operation of the pistol."

All in all a very fun Saturday outing.


May 16, 2011, 12:12 PM
Old people:barf:.......lol jkjkjk..sounds like some fun and ( educational stuff )...beats going to the movies...same price and you get to shoot stuff..:)

May 16, 2011, 12:25 PM
Not that 59 is ancient,,,
But I'm no spring chicken as it were.

The fun for me was watching my two friends,,,
Having a good time learning about and firing all the different handguns.

They both did fairly well I must say,,,
At 10 yards both of them were holding 4-5" groups.
One of the young ladies had never shot a handgun in her life,,,
She was very determined and shot very well for her first time on the range.

The other young lady does own a DAO Model 36 that her father gave to her,,,
I took her shooting one time and she did fairly well considering her gun,,,
The Model 36 is a fine handgun but it's a DAO bobbed hammer model,,,
Not the easiest gun for anyone to learn to shoot with,,,
She did much better with the guns at the class.

All in all it was a very fun day for me,,,
I believe the ladies had a blast ( no pun intended) as well.


May 16, 2011, 12:42 PM
Lol man I was raggin you a little bit.:D..and hey I would have a blast at a place like that...but I would probably have to drive halfway across my state to find one...and the more people you can get shooting the more power to ya :)......always wanted to go to a apple seed or to the us training center..but not yet..as im only 19 kind of a drag..but I work a full time job ( 60 hour week ) and just got my one year certificate from the local community college ( alabama southern )...I took machine technology...but anyways..I would love to go shoot and train at places like that :)

May 16, 2011, 03:25 PM
OLD GUY????????????????

I took a class from an "old guy"............I took the CMP GSM Master Instructor Course from Gary Anderson........he's an Old Guy.

He was winning Olympic Gold Medals before most people on this form were born. Still Holds the Record for ISU Offhand..........they young whipersnapers just can't knock him off his pirch.

May 16, 2011, 04:14 PM
Lol..I knew I was going to draw some heat when I made that comment :)...and amen to that bud..I have alot of respect for the old timers..but I also like to talk trash :)

May 17, 2011, 07:18 AM
I think he (Tom Smith) started the Stillwater Armory a little over a year ago,,,
He and his wife (Sabre) are both NRA Certified instructors.

The next class I am going to take from them is night shooting,,,
The theory being that a lot of Self Defense situations happen after dark.

A lot of night shooting training is getting used to the muzzle flash,,,
But he's going to cover flashlight technique,,
As well as some other stuff.

Should be fun.


May 17, 2011, 11:40 AM
:barf: Old people.......lol jkjkjk

The jkjkjkjk is what I don't understand.

And remember, everything you have at age 19 is the result of some old persons efforts.

Now down to it,,,
Ask around at your local gun store,,,
There's bound to be some training gong on that's not too far away.


May 18, 2011, 12:43 PM
been around guns all my life, but learned a few things at the class - nra beginner which sounds the same - that i had to take in order to register my gun.

not bad, shot 100 rounds at range and went over basics. They had me do moving targets (hand wheel they did to move target) and shooting from the waist.

good fun.

May 18, 2011, 01:17 PM
The real question is, what is your favorite watering hole? Since I don't believe you're a student, my money is on The Harbor?

I'll be in Stillwater sometime in July to hang out with some buddies and play some golf. I should bring my pistol with me and do a class. Sounds fun!

May 18, 2011, 01:24 PM
good fun.

I liked what you said,,,
And I agree wholeheartedly.

I think this is the overlooked aspect in any "beginner" level class,,,
The fun aspect should be purposefully designed into the curriculum.

I know there are some training venues where fun is the least important aspect,,,
But in most things recreational the fun part can always be stressed.

It's sad but most firearm instructors I have met are grim curmudgeons,,,
They take the seriousness of what they teach to an extreme level,,,
This turns off a lot of people who otherwise would get involved.

I used to teach basic photography at a small community college,,,
I made the mistake initially of not focusing (npi) on fun,,,
I was all f-stops, depth of field, shutter speeds, etc.

Needless to say the classes weren't anywhere near as successful as I had hoped,,,
On the advice of a veteran professor I designed recreation into my lessons,,,
All of a sudden people had more interest and soon learned the details.

Now when I take a beginner out to the range I take fun targets,,,
I have one board to hang balloons on short strings from,,,
Moving targets that go Pop when you hit them,,,
Spinners that react to a good solid hit,,,
All those fun things to hook em.

Most of the newbies I have introduced to shooting,,,
Aren't so much interested in self defense at first as they are sport shooting.

Time enough to get serious after they are hooked,,,
But at first it should be good shooting fun.


May 18, 2011, 01:29 PM
The Harbor?,,,
Never been there,,,
I don't know where that place is.

I hang out at Joseppi's,,,
Finest restaurant bar in Stillwater,,,
Great food and a very friendly server staff.

I have my own table they call "Aarondinia",,,
They gave me my own fief after I was Knighted,,,
The gift card read, "As long as no one is sitting at Table #2, it's yours."


May 18, 2011, 03:23 PM
I frequented there for the $5 pizza on Wednesdays. Delicious. The Harbor is down Perkins just North of Lakeside, a lot of locals hang out there.

Have you taken many classes out there? Any recommendations if I have half of a Saturday to take one?

May 18, 2011, 03:56 PM
The $5.00 pizza is now a $6.00 pizza,,,
You were hanging there during the Allison era.

Allison was a Stillwater tourist attraction all by herself. :D

Here's the website (http://www.stillwaterarmory.com/) for the Stillwater Armory,,,
You will find the list of classes, the dates they are offered, and the prices.



May 19, 2011, 03:08 PM
Yes aaron, fun is a part of life - at least mine. Oh, there is work that is serious that must be done that is not fun, but a sport should be fun.
Don't get me wrong, there are still deathly serious parts of course to this sport - but it is true of skiing, dirt biking, etc. You can have fun, but if you are not smart and use your head you could kill yourself.

Just to note, the 2nd instructor made a point of showing me his vest as he was showing us how to shoot. I don't blame him, one of the guys in my class had never shot and he hardly hit the target.

May 19, 2011, 03:17 PM
Had to think a moment,,,
But then it dawned on me,,,
You meant his bullet-proof vest.

I don't think that would have been out of line,,,
After all, Tom was on the line in front of 9 newbies,,,
I don't know of the other folk but one of my friends had never shot before.

Tom ran the line very well though,,,
It was rigidly structured until he evaluated the people,,,
Then he allowed the free range open firing after he had them pegged.

But, when he had to step in front of the line,,,
He had them all lay their pistols on the tables, actions/cylinders open,,,
Then he had them take three steps back from the tables and show their empty hands.

I forget how he worded the command for empty hands,,,
But he made that a joke and had them all laughing.


Don P
May 20, 2011, 09:11 AM
59 old? I thought old was when passing wind ones dust comes out.:eek: