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Old January 1, 2009, 08:04 AM   #1
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Most useful portion of your CCW course?

Since this is Tactics and Training, I would like to ask a question of all of you that involves your initial CCW training course.

I admit, I have little experience teaching on the civilian side, but have noticed what I believe is an injustice in most of our state's CCW courses.

Most appear to center around a 6 to 8 hour long academic course covering the state's mandated material, and a quick jaunt to the range. Truth be told, I believe this to be a little *** backwards.

So the question is......What was the most useful portion of your initial CCW course? What portion influenced you the most positively, and what would you have changed?
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Old January 1, 2009, 09:15 AM   #2
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For me the most useful part of the course was the legal aid and advice. One of the primary instructors is a local attorney and offered some nice insight in to the whole process of what happens after the shooting stops. Prior to the course date, when I initially called to reserve a spot in the class; he spent almost an hour on the phone with me just discussing different concealed carry topics.

What I would like to see improved upon......... range time and gun handling techniques. Call me something dirty if you want, but slowly shooting a .22 from a rested position at a target 15 yards away doesn't show anything about how skilled one is with a firearm in a defensive situation. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for an armed citizenry, but the thought of some of the ladies who were there drawing and firing in public absolutely terrifies me. That's not a comment about women shooting, it's just an observation about those particular individuals. The RO also would NOT allow me to shoot standing and unsupported, and tried to keep me from shooting the S&W 617 I qualified with DA.

Instead of spending 1 1/2 - 2 hours on the nomenclature of handguns and their parts, that time could've been spent teaching safe gun handling and carrying methods. Or getting more time in at the range, or teaching failure drills, or any number of better things than reciting "hammer, firing pin, trigger, trigger guard, rear sight, barrel, front sight........yadda yadda yadda".
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Old January 1, 2009, 09:24 AM   #3
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Most appear to center around a 6 to 8 hour long academic course covering the state's mandated material, and a quick jaunt to the range. Truth be told, I believe this to be a little *** backwards.
Different perspective: The primary goal of the state's CCW course is to ensure CCW'ers know when they CAN'T shoot, brandish, hold people at gunpoint, etc. They only care if you can shoot within fairly broad limits, hence the jaunt to the range. The really important part is instructing Joe Citizen that the CCW does not make him a one man police force, and he can't draw down on his neighbor that lets the dog dump in his yard, or the guy stealing his newspaper.

Lots of different reasons for getting a CCW, but your average Joe doesn't know didly about the law, other than what he sees on Law & Order. The state has it right because every guy who abuses his CCW makes it just that more likely that the public will want the CCW process returned to its more restrictive past.
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Old January 1, 2009, 09:30 AM   #4
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I agree with Jolly.
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Old January 1, 2009, 09:34 AM   #5
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I think that the discussion on criminal and civil liability was very eye-opening. A lot of people don't realize what they're getting into until they hear that.

Just for example, they told us that if you use a gun to defend yourself, prepare to be arrested, because now you have to defend yourself against criminal charges. Later on, you will face civil charges. So, be sure that you only use it in a life threatening situation.
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Old January 1, 2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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I agree that the legal consequences of a SD shooting was a very useful portion. I will also add that seeing how the majority of the 50+ students at the course I took actually shoot was very important... now I know I better shoot first or the average joe in South Carolina will probably hit me while aiming at the bad guy!
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Old January 1, 2009, 01:55 PM   #7
Glenn E. Meyer
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The courses aren't designed to teach you to shoot. Is that the responsibility of the state?

The best they can do is:

1. Make sure you are not a total idiot with the gun if there is a range portion.
2. Tell you the legal rules for your state.
3. Try to de-rambozo the ninjas or sort them out.
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Old January 1, 2009, 01:59 PM   #8
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I personally felt that the training needed for CCW is so very limited that it does not offer much benefit at all. The only part I ever find the least bit beneficial is the safe handling training. Everyone, even the most seasoned giun owner, can benefit from the occasional refresh of the safety rules.
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Old January 1, 2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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I'm also with Jolly 100% on this one. More time at the range would be nice, but I think the most important part is the academics.

The most useful part of my CC class was the personal stories told by the instructor. He really took a lot of time reading through police reports and news stories to see exactly what works and what doesn't. He also had a lot of first hand experience in both combat and SD situations.

The funniest part was the sweet old lady that sat next to me. When asked why we all wanted a CCW her reply was: "I've been carrying my .45 in my purse for fourty darn years and legal or not, I'm never going to stop. The only darn reason I'm here is because I'm tired of my grandson pestering the crap out of me. He's afraid I'll get arrested." (cleaned up version).
A hit with a .45 ACP beats a hit with a .22 LR everytime. A hit with a .22 LR beats a miss with a .50 BMG everytime.
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Old January 1, 2009, 02:36 PM   #10
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The 10 rounds we fired at the range were fun. The rest was useless, if you ever taken a firearms safety course of ANY kind.
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Old January 1, 2009, 03:01 PM   #11
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i didnt need a ccw class, ive got a dd214.
i might need to take one to get my louisania permit tho.
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Old January 1, 2009, 03:05 PM   #12
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i didnt need a ccw class, ive got a dd214.
i might need to take one to get my louisania permit tho.
I am surprised they even let someone with your particular "fetish" even carry a gun...crazy fish lover.
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Old January 1, 2009, 03:08 PM   #13
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The first class I took, many years ago, was run by a Rambo-esque guy dressed in camo from head to toe and wearing jump boots. Looked like Tommy Lee Jones. He was a no-nonsense kind of guy that taught us how things will go if we ever have the misfortune to shoot somebody, or the great fortune to protect ourselves from a goblin, whichever way you want to look at it. The fact that a shooting team WILL be sent to your house to gather all the things that can and will be used against you in court to prove you a "gun nut", like simply keeping your best targets, or displaying your NRA stickers around. All derived from real trials, some won, some lost as far as the shooter goes. But win or lose, these points and ones like them were always brought up. I'm sure even sites like these listed on your computer are used against you by the prosecution, for that matter, though it wasn't mentioned. I found it interesting that the second class I took was pretty much devoid of this and far more "generic." It was pretty much gun-handling, laws, and range time, run by a gun shop owner and a lawyer, and like some of the above, I was appalled at some of the gun-handling skills of students in my over-crowded class.

I think real-world facts of today's shooting trials should be impressed upon every student. Personally, I do think everybody knows that everything is going to change if he has to pull the trigger. But too many think everything is going to be alright as long as they are justified. Unfortunately, it's generally not, at least not for a long while.
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Old January 1, 2009, 04:58 PM   #14
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Nothing more to add

JollyRoger and Stevie-Ray nailed it. The purpose of the CCW class is not to teach you the mechanics of shooting. It is an educational class covering the legal aspects of CCW with a proficiency exam of basic marksmanship.

As others have said, after seeing the lack of shooting skills exhibited and the gung-ho Rambo attitudes of my classmates, my wife and I are more leery of other CCW holders than we were before we took the class.

The best part of our class was the instructor telling us all his nightmare stories of what does happen to law abiding citizens that do shoot a BG.
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Old January 1, 2009, 05:44 PM   #15
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Living in Fla, the required course is basically one shot at the range and 2-3 hours of law review. The legal part was very informative and could have lasted a couple more hours for me. But I enjoy discussing facts and past cases to better understand how my peers will be viewing any case.

I've always thought that a single shot at the range is silly (you don't even have to load/unload) but if you look at the intent of the class, I guess it makes sense. Doubt anyone would appreciate if you have to do 40 hours of training, take a 3 hour written test and then qualify on the range w/ 50 shots at various targets.

Personally, I think everyone should take usage/tactics classes and as an incentive, I'd like to see the State give a discount on CCW fees for people who attend accredited training beyond the single shot.

I'd also think the State should have a quarterly newsletter online that covers changes to the laws, relevant cases and helpful suggestions.
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Old January 1, 2009, 06:03 PM   #16
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Ha, come live in Washington state. The only training course required is "How to Drive to the Court House and Write on a Form".

No other training is required, or suggested, at least in my experience. I agree 100% that courses are good to protect the honest, careful, legal gun owners. I just have to wonder if there are some people here in WA State who do not respect that with their CPL.

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Old January 1, 2009, 06:07 PM   #17
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I have to go along with the legal info crowd. Most informative and eye opening.

Yes, quite a few folks are not the best at handling a firearm. Some are plum terrible. These folks also have driving license which scares far more. I certainly don't want the state overseeing whatever they deem as a necessary minimum for the unwashed masses...
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Old January 1, 2009, 06:10 PM   #18
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Just a word of advice. Do not take what you learn in your CCW class regarding legalities as gospel. Our instructor was wrong on a couple items when challenged by another student and flat out did not know the answers to some very specific questions.
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Old January 1, 2009, 06:26 PM   #19
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The best, most practical info I learned was from a defensible, legal perspective, i.e. when NOT to shoot!
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Old January 1, 2009, 07:03 PM   #20
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The Range2000 Simulator was the best part of my CCW training. I am planning to go back and pay for another hour or so of 1 on 1 instructor-led sim time as soon as I can.
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Old January 2, 2009, 12:08 AM   #21
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Thank you for your feedback. I was kinda suprised by it, but I understand. I sometimes forget to look at things from outside the LEO/Military perspective. All of your comments were very helpful and I appreciate the time you took to share them.
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