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Old February 21, 2016, 03:00 PM   #1
45Gunner
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What shortcoming(s) did you have in your training?

Did your Dad or other family member teach you to shoot?

Did you take a formal training program or individual private instruction along the way?

What were the shortcomings in your training that you discovered were shortcomings once you gained experience?

What is the most important thing your instructor taught you in addition to the cardinal safety rules? Stance? Grip? Target acquisition? etc.
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Old February 21, 2016, 05:32 PM   #2
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I grew up with a dad and grandfather who were combat vets...best thing they taught me was to shoot with both eyes open and not get sucked into the tunnels. .....tunnel vision and shooting tunnels
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Old February 21, 2016, 08:22 PM   #3
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Dad an Uncle taught me. Gun safety, positions, acquiring target, rifle, and shotgun accuracy. Best thing I learned was breath control. It started with a .22 with them and many thousands of BB's on my own. I learned a lot on my own as well. I wish we used pistols more. It would have saved more expensive ammo as an adult.
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Old February 22, 2016, 03:40 AM   #4
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I took an interest because I thought guns were cool. I never had a lesson before except for that 15 minute introductory safety lesson.

I haven't shot a lot since I started, but the thing that helped me the most was to first read up on how to shoot, then become really really really conscious about all those rules when I shoot.

When I'm pulling the trigger I'm thinking "isolate that finger... don't move anything else, just that finger..."

It's worked out for me since now I have a decent amount of precision and accuracy, but more practice is needed.
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Old February 22, 2016, 05:04 AM   #5
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My Dad and Uncle started me off. Later I shot competitively in the CMP program. I got boring because my only competition was the instructors grand son and grand daughter if they showed up. I got lucky one day when I was in California shooting at a local range. I just by luck happened into a range that the Junior Olympic program was using and happened into Bob Chow who for what ever miracal happened to have some free time before his Olympic Hopefuls got to the range.

Locally I have been bugging the new range staff about when they are going to provide more services such as a Kill House which is badly need in the area. I have found an instructor willing to teach a small group but no facility yet.
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Old February 22, 2016, 09:38 PM   #6
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My father is a veteran of the Korean War so I learned from him, as well as my grandfather and uncles. I hunted at an early age with them and as an 8 yr old my first rifle was a borrowed rifle in 30-06 cal which for me kicked like a mule on steroids. Since then I only hunt with a 30-06.

I learned to shoot as well with a daisy BB gun. Back than I used to buy the bags of toy soldiers and Cowboys and Indians and those were my targets as well as any big red fire ants crossing my path.

I than joined the army for 21 years and shot my 1911 and m16A1, and also the m60 machine gun and when I became the tank commander on the howizer m109A1 the 50 cal.

But I always maintain my skills using 22 rim fire for my hand guns and rifles shooting 400 yds with 10/22 Ruger and shooting golf balls to 85 yds with my browning buckmark. Best way to get range time is with rim fire ammo, it won't break your wallet and you get to practice all your fundamentals.
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Old February 22, 2016, 10:21 PM   #7
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So I originally was taught how to shoot by my Dad who grew up on a cattle ranch here in the southwest. When he was young he would shoot rabbits and squirrels for the stew pot and coyotes and other vermin that would pester the cattle. So he grew up being quite the practical marksman. He taught me everything he knew about shooting, as a result I too was quite the marksman. At a young age I would go out with Dad and his friends. Dad would pit me against his buddies and I would always out shoot Dad's buddies with ease.

With that said, he didn't know squat. I have had over 225 hours of prefesional instruction on shooting precision rifles, A little more time on carbines and probably 500 hours of formal training on handguns at this point in my life. So what can be learned by perfessional firearm instructors is invaluable and is leaps and bounds above what dad and granddad have to offer, not that their information is bad but typically way dated.
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Old February 23, 2016, 09:20 AM   #8
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Self taught grew up in a non-gun household. I read everything I could early on. Took a basic NRA course and started shooting. Now I try to take a high quality pistol course once a year. If I had to do it all over again I would have started with more training in the beginning. It would have saved me $$ in the long run because I would have had a better foundation and sent less meaningless rounds down the range.

The most important things I have learned in training is trigger control (hard trigger prep) and sight picture. Those two things allow me to shoot better groups at speed.

I need to do more shooting on the move. I am not a competition guy and too many ranges I have used over the years restrict movement while shooting.
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Old February 23, 2016, 04:15 PM   #9
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Luckily my dad taught me to shoot. He was a competition shooter, and just about as good as anyone I've ever seen. I learned how to shoot on muzzle-loaders and .22's. At a young age I was shooting a heavy Anschutz target rifle. All the guns I shot when I was young had set triggers or very fine triggers. They also had very small fine sights. I got to be a very good patient precision shot. The Blackpowder target guns didn't recoil harshly and had set triggers. The heavy .22's I shot didn't recoil at all. I didn't hold them tight I just cradled them while holding my breath in an almost blissful peace and gently set off the extra light triggers.

When I got older I had a problem with recoil, larger sights, and unexceptional triggers. I managed to cure my troubles with rifles but still have trouble with handguns:

The biggest problem that I still have is large caliber light handguns. I can shoot a full size 1911 all right, but any 45acp lighter than that I find difficult to hit according to sights. On some guns such as large revolvers (45lc,.357mag, 44 mag) I manage to shoot good groups, but they are without fail higher on target than anyone firing the exact same gun. I have to adjust the sights for myself. On lightweight 9mms, the recoil is difficult to keep from limp-wristing on some compact polymer guns, so that's why I prefer steel full-size pistols. I'm gradually improving though, and have a hand squeeze thing that helps build wrist strength.

I'm also picky about triggers. The first time I shot a shot a normal hunting rifle (Marlin 336 30-30) I stood for a minute with my finger on the trigger. My friend asked what was wrong, I told him the gun won't go off. That was my first lesson that I had been absolutely trigger spoiled. Today, I've never gotten very good with striker fire pistols. It took a lot of effort to be able to handle an average single action trigger.

Big blocky sights especially on handguns are hard as well. I have to always remind myself that the same principles apply as with small sights.

I just keep trying to train & improve. I want to be able to handle any handgun as well as I can.
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Old February 23, 2016, 09:47 PM   #10
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Started with Col Cooper in 1967. And have done many courses with Hackathorn, and Mass since then. What I find is that many instructors teach one solution for all problems, instead of intuition. Most instructors are not former/active duty LEO, military oreven have CCW permits, nor have any current or past competition experience. Choose carefully.
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Old February 23, 2016, 11:33 PM   #11
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Early Shooting Training

Born in 1945, I grew up in Upstate New York in the 50's - 70's. My Dad and Grandfather taught me to shoot and instructed on firearm safety. By best friend in my early years also was taught by his Father and a Uncle. My Father did not hunt but I went hunting with my friend and his Father and Uncle.
Started shooting around 7 and at 8 a pellet rifle, at 10 a .22 rifle - at 12 a double 12 Ga - at 16 a 30-30 lever action and at 22 a M-16 from Uncle Sam.
Lifetime shooter - NRA Instructor and a New Mexico F&G instructor. I shoot everything pistol, rifle, shotgun & muzzleloaders. It has been quite the ride. It beats the hell out of sitting and playing video games all day.
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Old February 24, 2016, 12:06 AM   #12
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I never could do a jump double sidekick.

I kept saying to myself, "there is no spoon."

But you know what? There is one.

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Old February 24, 2016, 12:48 AM   #13
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I learned to shoot from my grandfather when I was 7.

Before I went to Parris Island in 2010 I shot ok. Six years in the Marines have made me good, not pretty good, not great, just good enough to put rounds somewhere on a man sized target at 500 yds with irons.

Before then I had no idea I was leaving out so many components of good marksmanship. My breathing technique was flawed, trigger control needed tweaking, hadn't ever even heard of getting bone support vs muscling a rifle.

Before I went to a LE academy my pistol shooting was very rough, now I'm ok-ish. I need a lot more practice but I'm making improvements and I can draw and put rounds on target at 7 yards or so under a LOT of stress and distraction.
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Old February 26, 2016, 01:15 AM   #14
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My dad taught me to shoot at an early age. He gave me a .22 LR single shot lever-action Ithaca when I was 8. He wanted me to concentrate on accuracy and not try to compensate with firepower. Compared to my friends with their semiauto .22 rifles, it seemed to work. They were always amazed at how ell I could shoot with my Ithaca.

I'm sure my dad taught me technique, but what stuck most was safety.

I took two NRA hunter safety courses. One we brought .22 rifles and were taught gun handling within a deer hunting context. The second course we brought shotguns and were taught safety in the context of bird hunting. Interestingly, in indoor part of both classes was held in the local high school gymnasium, gun in hand, on a Saturday. Shooting was part of both classes. Again, I'm sure shooting technique was addressed, but what I remember a half century later is the safety aspects.

As a Boy Scout I earned my shooting merit badge at summer camp. As safety was well ingrained by that time, what I recall was the technique and positions, as a major part of the requirements was attaining a minimal score from, as I recall, four positions.

When I decided to get my CPL four years ago, no training is required in WA, but I opted to take a 4-hr handgun class. The lecture part was close to useless. The shooting portion allowed me to fire a range of handguns and help me narrow down my purchasing goals.

The biggest deficiency in the handgun class was that relevant laws were not addressed. Instead, the instructor advised us to consult an attorney. Fortunately, prior to passage of I-594 the state's firearms laws were relatively compact in size, so I was able to read them and understand them
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Old February 26, 2016, 11:37 AM   #15
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I learned to shoot from my mom and one of her cousin's who was a former Marine.

The only formal training I've had was my SC CWP class and a Utah CFP class. The SC class was a day and a half of instruction and a fifty round shooting test.

The Utah Class we took a four hour class at night, that didn't include any firing, just an overview of firearms safety and Utah state laws.

I would like to save up for a defensive shooting class one day.
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Old February 28, 2016, 02:25 PM   #16
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Minor Shortcoming

My CCW class was great and the instructor was overall very good. He was some kind of LEO. He was also the range master when it came to the shooting part of the class & that's where I found a shortcoming. He sort of barked orders much like I imagine a drill sergeant would. Vietnam was my war and I made a conscious choice not to participate in it. At any rate, I have very little experience of being spoken to in that manner and don't respond well to it.
In the grand scheme of things, this was just a mildly unpleasant half hour and I passed the test and have no ill feelings towards the instructor. It may well be that his style works well in a range situation. It might even be necessary for safety. No biggie, but the OP asked.
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Old February 28, 2016, 07:07 PM   #17
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Learned to shoot as a kid - then bird and big game hunting ( 50's & 60's ). Spent 12 yrs in military - had a little instruction.

About 20 yrs ago wanted to get better with my handguns - have skill to carry & shoot much better tactically - and started thru some professional courses ( mostly with "Insights firearms " trainers ).....and while i've taken most of classes I wanted - up thru advanced levels ...I think the single thing I understood the most -is to go back every 5 yrs even though I go to range 2 or 3 times a week & train --- and my buddies and I challenge each other once a week with a tactical course of fire, I recognize good professional instruction is really important to keep me at a high level as I've retired.

It's not a shortcoming -- so much as the recognition, I can't do it on my own 100%.

As i've gotten older - shoulder rebuilt, back surgery , arthritis , etc ----- instructors have helped me adapt a little to my physical realities ( went to a 1911 in 9mm vs .45acp recently ) improved my accuracy, split times & wear & tear on my hands....
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Old March 1, 2016, 07:33 PM   #18
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I learned from my Dad who taught me what he knew. I later did a lot with the 4H shooting program.

He was self taught via reading everything available to him and then experimenting with it. The result is a style that is very much his own and works for him.

Dad taught me to explore different schools and adapt what works for me into my own style/technique best.
4H taught me to slow down.
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Old March 1, 2016, 08:11 PM   #19
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Speed IS a tactic.
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Old March 1, 2016, 08:13 PM   #20
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My dad taught me to shoot when I was about 10. Uncle Sam taught me to shoot more accurate and under pressure.

Only short coming was dominant eye training.
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Old May 11, 2016, 10:55 AM   #21
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Shooting School

I didn't grow up shooting or anything, but a friend invited me to go with him to Thompson Long Range Shooting School in Logan, UT. I had shot rifles before at the range, but nothing near the level that they were teaching at Thompson's shooting school. It was really helpful to learn the basics of long range shooting, and by the end, I could hit a target from pretty far away.

Since then, I've been learning on my own and getting out to shoot as much as possible. I'd recommend a shooting school. It gave me a lot of the basics I wouldn't have gotten from teaching myself.
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Old May 11, 2016, 08:08 PM   #22
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Shotgunning and bird hunting was Grand Dad's farm in Kansas.

Handguns and Rifles, my Dad. Probably should have spent more time learning
to point-shoot and other combat style tactics with the handguns.
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