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Old October 16, 2022, 04:39 AM   #1
chaim
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Thinking about a training class, where should I start?

I have been shooting handguns for 20 some years (22 or 23). Early in my shooting days, I took a few training classes through local shops and trainers (none through NRA or USCCA). Some were all classroom, some were mostly range. Since my initial two or three years of shooting, I've taken one shooting class years ago, a UT CCW class (all classroom) just over a decade ago, and I recently took the class for my MD permit (it requires 16 hours, the curriculum the state requires only fills a couple hours so there was a lot of potential depending upon what your trainer does with all the extra time, mine wasted it).

To put into perspective how long it has been, in my range based classes, I was taught to use the Weaver stance (I've only recently started changing over to the Isosceles stance).

Now, most basics classes really are basics, and I have gun safety down (review is always a good thing, but not to the level of wasting time and money on a class for new gun owners). However, some of the more basic defensive oriented classes will sometimes include one or two things in which I'm self-taught that were never covered by the classes I've taken (such as drawing from a holster). What I am looking for is identifying and fixing any marksmanship mistakes I may be making to improve my actual shooting where I am an intermediate level student, but I also want to learn more "tactical" skills which none of the classes I've taken have covered.

While I may use a training company that doesn't use the USCCA curriculum, I'll use their course offerings as a standard that you can find nationwide.

Should I start with the Defensive Shooting Fundamentals class, or one of the "Beyond the Basics" offerings? It sounds like Defensive Shooting Fundamentals covers a lot of things I already know (proper stance, grip and shooting technique), but depending on how much is range time, shooting while monitored by a trainer to identify and fix any issues can be useful. However, "Beyond the Basics, Skills Assessment" seems like it would cover what would actually be useful for me in Defensive Shooting Fundamentals, and "Beyond the Basics, Optimizing the Draw" and "BTB, Movement, Cover and Barricades" would better cover what I feel like are my needs.

One complication is that, many training companies (especially those who don't offer the USCCA curriculum specifically) require pre-requisites (the USCCA "Beyond the Basics" seem to allow a quick skills assessment in lieu of proof of the classes). They require specific classes before taking a more advanced class. It has been 10-15 years since my last training class (other than the CCW classes) and 20 years since my last beginning shooter type classes, so I don't have any documentation that I took them. Some may accept my MD permit (once I have it- the application process in MD is indefensibly long), and others will allow a quick skills assessment, but for some trainers I may not have a choice.
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Old October 16, 2022, 07:42 AM   #2
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Old October 16, 2022, 05:42 PM   #3
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Don't use the guy Deja vu just had...
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Old October 24, 2022, 05:36 AM   #4
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Thunder ranch is on my bucket list. Warrior poet is focused on fundamentals as best i can tell but looks great as well.
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Old November 19, 2022, 09:56 AM   #5
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Old November 22, 2022, 08:05 AM   #6
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Start with a local trainer. If you call your local range owner they will likely know a few. I try to use a local trainer about once a year. Once a life time I’d recommend going to thunder ranch or gunsight for training. It’s very effective and a lot of fun. If I could afford it I’d go again.

Here is what I recommend as far as keeping skills sharp.

1. Once a life time (or once a decade if you can afford it) attend a major firearms school
2. Once a year attend a local training
3. Once a month attend some kind of firearms competition.
4. Once a week go to the range.
5. Once a day do dry fire practice.

I can’t claim I follow this perfectly but it’s what I strive for.

You can use any firearm you like but your ccw should always be used as well.
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Old November 22, 2022, 10:23 AM   #7
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Warrior Poet is good training. They might require taking their Pistol 1 class before being able to take 2 and 3 though unless you can show you had equivalent training. They put out a good class though. The pace is fast and they cover a lot of good material without downtime.
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Old December 30, 2022, 03:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Deja vu View Post
Here is what I recommend as far as keeping skills sharp.

1. Once a life time (or once a decade if you can afford it) attend a major firearms school
2. Once a year attend a local training
3. Once a month attend some kind of firearms competition.
4. Once a week go to the range.
5. Once a day do dry fire practice.
Could you please provide an annual cost estimate for adhering to this regimen?

Last edited by Limnophile; January 2, 2023 at 02:57 AM.
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Old December 30, 2022, 04:04 PM   #9
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What good would it be for him to provide what costs he totals up? All bullet-points provided vary on what training facility you choose, the specific event for competition, and charges for local range times.
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Old December 30, 2022, 04:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Shane Tuttle
What good would it be for him to provide what costs he totals up? All bullet-points provided vary on what training facility you choose, the specific event for competition, and charges for local range times.
Not to mention the cost of travel to and from the training facility (or competition), and the cost of ammunition.

There are simply too many variables.
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Old December 31, 2022, 09:40 PM   #11
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If you always follow the Four Rules and have good fundamental skills, sounds like an intermediate class would be appropriate. Maybe find a combo "level 2 & 3" type class.
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Old December 31, 2022, 10:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by chaim View Post
I have been shooting handguns for 20 some years (22 or 23). Early in my shooting days, I took a few training classes through local shops and trainers (none through NRA or USCCA). Some were all classroom, some were mostly range. Since my initial two or three years of shooting, I've taken one shooting class years ago, a UT CCW class (all classroom) just over a decade ago, and I recently took the class for my MD permit (it requires 16 hours, the curriculum the state requires only fills a couple hours so there was a lot of potential depending upon what your trainer does with all the extra time, mine wasted it).

To put into perspective how long it has been, in my range based classes, I was taught to use the Weaver stance (I've only recently started changing over to the Isosceles stance).

Now, most basics classes really are basics, and I have gun safety down (review is always a good thing, but not to the level of wasting time and money on a class for new gun owners). However, some of the more basic defensive oriented classes will sometimes include one or two things in which I'm self-taught that were never covered by the classes I've taken (such as drawing from a holster). What I am looking for is identifying and fixing any marksmanship mistakes I may be making to improve my actual shooting where I am an intermediate level student, but I also want to learn more "tactical" skills which none of the classes I've taken have covered.

While I may use a training company that doesn't use the USCCA curriculum, I'll use their course offerings as a standard that you can find nationwide.

Should I start with the Defensive Shooting Fundamentals class, or one of the "Beyond the Basics" offerings? It sounds like Defensive Shooting Fundamentals covers a lot of things I already know (proper stance, grip and shooting technique), but depending on how much is range time, shooting while monitored by a trainer to identify and fix any issues can be useful. However, "Beyond the Basics, Skills Assessment" seems like it would cover what would actually be useful for me in Defensive Shooting Fundamentals, and "Beyond the Basics, Optimizing the Draw" and "BTB, Movement, Cover and Barricades" would better cover what I feel like are my needs.

One complication is that, many training companies (especially those who don't offer the USCCA curriculum specifically) require pre-requisites (the USCCA "Beyond the Basics" seem to allow a quick skills assessment in lieu of proof of the classes). They require specific classes before taking a more advanced class. It has been 10-15 years since my last training class (other than the CCW classes) and 20 years since my last beginning shooter type classes, so I don't have any documentation that I took them. Some may accept my MD permit (once I have it- the application process in MD is indefensibly long), and others will allow a quick skills assessment, but for some trainers I may not have a choice.
I would self-evaluate and determine what skills are needed or what needs improvement. The way I look at it is that even if you walk away with just a bit more knowledge than you started with, you have bettered yourself. Most courses will overlap information, and I hear students complain about this all the time; however, repetition is often a good thing.
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Old December 31, 2022, 11:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Shane Tuttle View Post
What good would it be for him to provide what costs he totals up? All bullet-points provided vary on what training facility you choose, the specific event for competition, and charges for local range times.
I am interested, and I'm sure others would be also, in knowing the annualized cost of the proposed training regimen. An exact estimate is not necessary; an order of magnitude will suffice.
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Old December 31, 2022, 11:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
Not to mention the cost of travel to and from the training facility (or competition), and the cost of ammunition.

There are simply too many variables.
That's some Karine Jean-Pierre-tier argumentation right thar! The same lame argument could be applied to virtually any cost estimate, yet that doesn't stop people from asking for them and people performing them. Some of them even turn out to be meaningfully accurate.

Last edited by Limnophile; January 1, 2023 at 04:01 AM.
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Old December 31, 2022, 11:45 PM   #15
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Some of them even turn out to be meaningfully accurate.
If you really want something that's meaningfully accurate and are not just being argumentative, then it would be simple to do your own estimate.

Use your range costs.
The type/cost of ammunition you would use.
How much would be shot during weekly training sessions.
The cost of your preferred targets and how many would be used weekly.
The cost of your preferred cleaning/maintenance products.
The cost of mileage and gas for trips to the range.
The cost of the local training classes you would prefer and how much ammunition each class would require.
The cost of the lifetime/decade training you prefer and how much ammunition it would require.
The cost of travel to the lifetime/decade training you prefer. (if necessary)
Accommodations at your preferred lifetime/decade training class (if necessary).

Surely you can understand how that estimate would be far more valuable to you than an estimate that uses someone else's data. Right?

Let's say you choose to practice weekly with 100 rounds of factory .357SIG ammo at a local indoor range that charges $30 per visit while someone else chooses to practice weekly with 50 rounds of their own reloads on their own property--or vice versa. Right there, that difference in cost would render their estimate pretty much meaningless to you.
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Old January 1, 2023, 04:03 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by chaim View Post
I have been shooting handguns for 20 some years (22 or 23). Early in my shooting days, I took a few training classes through local shops and trainers (none through NRA or USCCA). … Since my initial two or three years of shooting, I've taken one shooting class years ago, a UT CCW class (all classroom) just over a decade ago, and I recently took the class for my MD permit … .



… I have gun safety down … .

… What I am looking for is identifying and fixing any marksmanship mistakes I may be making to improve my actual shooting where I am an intermediate level student, but I also want to learn more "tactical" skills which none of the classes I've taken have covered.

You are an experienced shooter and know what training you want. Your best return on your training dollar is likely to get one-on-one training on the specific topics you desire. The hardest part of this course of action, which happens to apply to any type of training and all types of professional services, is to acknowledge the 80-20 rule and strive to select a service provider that falls within the 20% that truly know what they are doing. (Spend an evening critically perusing internet videos of supposed experts to understand most are incompetent, ignorant, downright stupid, or outright malicious.)

I have two questions for you:

1) Do you really have gun safety down!
2) Do you understand the law of self defense?

I ask the first question because the gun community is replete with those who obviously don't understand fundamental gun safety, or, if they do understand it, tbey don't practice it. Then there are those vermin to advocate others to act unsafely.

I ask the second question because most people do not understand the law, and an understanding of the law is likely more important in a defensive use of force scenario than is tactitard training. Andrew Branca's "The Law of Self Defense" website is a must visit for anyone open to using force to defend himself of another should the necessity arise. You can download a free poster that summarizes the generic law of self defense in all US jurisdictions, and he will send you his book on the subject for the cost of shipping. Learning relevant law is not as fun as tactitard training, but having the knowledge to keep from getting convicted of felonious use of force is more important than shaving milliseconds from your draw time.
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Old January 1, 2023, 04:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
If you really want something that's meaningfully accurate and are not just being argumentative, then it would be simple to do your own estimate.
With all due respect, the argumentative one is you. I find myself wondering why you are vehemently opposed to cost reporting/estimation. A trainimg regimen being followed was reported, and it's reasonable to assume the gentleman has his fingers on the pulse of how much his regimen is costing him.
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Old January 1, 2023, 05:13 AM   #18
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A trainimg regimen being followed was reported...
To be perfectly accurate, a training regimen was recommended. He specifically said he couldn't claim to follow it perfectly.
Quote:
I find myself wondering why you are vehemently opposed to cost reporting/estimation.
Don't be silly.

1. The only thing you are wondering is how you can justify making a request that would very obviously provide no useful information to you.

2. Nothing I said could even broadly qualify as being "vehement".

3. I'm not at all opposed to reporting, it's just clear that one shooter's costs won't provide any useful information to someone who makes different choices in terms of ammunition, weekly training intensity, different local range costs, goes to training classes in different locations, etc., etc.

If you really wanted an estimate that would be useful, it's quite obvious at this point that you could easily do one and get a number that would actually apply to you. One could assume that you didn't realize that initially, but now it's been explained to you very carefully and yet you still persist.

There are only two reasonable conclusions:

1. You don't have the ability to comprehend the explanations.

2. You aren't really interested in trying to determine what the training regimen would cost you and your request had some other motivation.

It seems very unlikely to me that you are incapable of understanding the explanations which leaves only one question. What was your actual purpose for making the request?
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Old January 1, 2023, 12:42 PM   #19
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I am interested, and I'm sure others would be also, in knowing the annualized cost of the proposed training regimen. An exact estimate is not necessary; an order of magnitude will suffice.
What good would my estimate be for anyone when the probability of it being even reasonably close to someone else's is nil?

Why isn't JohnKSa's itemized list good enough for you to use to itemize costs and find a more accurate total?

Why is it more important for you to know what estimate I come up with that would hold little to no value to further answer the OP's question?

Quote:
With all due respect, the argumentative one is you.
Our rules specifically state it's within privilege to attack another statement. None of his, or anyone else's comments, used any derogatory descriptives. Can't say the same for yours, especially using the current press secretary to help paint a picture. While you have one finger pointing at someone else, be advised you have 3 fingers pointing back when doing so. I would advise to move forward.
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Old January 2, 2023, 04:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
To be perfectly accurate, a training regimen was recommended. He specifically said he couldn't claim to follow it perfectly.
Agreed

Quote:
Don't be silly.

1. The only thing you are wondering is how you can justify making a request that would very obviously provide no useful information to you.
Please refrain from straw-man argumentation. You cannot read my mind, and you do not know what info will be of use to me.[/QUOTE]

Quote:
2. Nothing I said could even broadly qualify as being "vehement".
The voluminous effort you've put in to criticizing my request along with your fallacious argumentation fits the definition of "vehement" to a tee:

vehement
adjective
: marked by forceful energy : POWERFUL
: such as
a : intensely emotional : IMPASSIONED, FERVID
b(1) : deeply felt
(2) : forcibly expressed
vehement denunciations
c : bitterly antagonistic
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vehement[/QUOTE]

Quote:
3. I'm not at all opposed to reporting, it's just clear that one shooter's costs won't provide any useful information to someone who makes different choices in terms of ammunition, weekly training intensity, different local range costs, goes to training classes in different locations, etc., etc.

If you really wanted an estimate that would be useful, it's quite obvious at this point that you could easily do one and get a number that would actually apply to you. One could assume that you didn't realize that initially, but now it's been explained to you very carefully and yet you still persist.

There are only two reasonable conclusions:

1. You don't have the ability to comprehend the explanations.

2. You aren't really interested in trying to determine what the training regimen would cost you and your request had some other motivation.

It seems very unlikely to me that you are incapable of understanding the explanations which leaves only one question. What was your actual purpose for making the request?
The purpose of my polite request — "Could you please provide an annual cost estimate for adhering to this regimen?" — was not to extrapolate Deja vu's costs to me, but to see what he believes a reasonable training regimen costs. I assume you are motivated to suppress his disclosure (feel free to correct me, if necessary) because you know his proposed regimen is outside the means of the average American.

I'm more interested in a training regimen that is within the reach of "working class" Americans. Too many states are imposing high priced training requirements that puts the cost of statutory carry outside the reach of many. For example, I have a friend in the Chicago area who bought a carry pistol for about $500. When the 7th Circuit told Illinois to provide a means of statutory carry and the state developed a CWL program, the cost of licensing and training added up to another $500. This was far from a prohibition for my friend, but it is for too many. To top that off by recommending a $1,000-ish annual training regimen is absurd from the perspective of the middle class and smacks of elitism.

Furthermore, extensive training is not needed to be effective in use of a firearm in defense of self or another. As John Lott, Jr points out in "More Guns, Less Crime," expensive training requirements serve as a barrier for the poor to obtain carry permits, and even untrained individuals (i.e., women), on average, are better off defending themselves from a felonious assailant than passively submitting to him.

When I got my CPL in 2012, I resolved to hit the range once a month and fire 100 rounds. I kept this up for 9 months until my disabilities progressed to the point I was unable to continue. Pre-Newton, my monthly cost was about $45. I thought this reasonable, but those days seem to be over. More importantly, $45/mo is not going to be affordable on most "working class" incomes.
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Old January 2, 2023, 04:38 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Shane Tuttle View Post
What good would my estimate be for anyone when the probability of it being even reasonably close to someone else's is nil?

Why isn't JohnKSa's itemized list good enough for you to use to itemize costs and find a more accurate total?

Why is it more important for you to know what estimate I come up with that would hold little to no value to further answer the OP's question?
Why are you ganging up on me to suppress my polite request?

Quote:
Our rules specifically state it's within privilege to attack another statement. None of his, or anyone else's comments, used any derogatory descriptives. Can't say the same for yours, especially using the current press secretary to help paint a picture. While you have one finger pointing at someone else, be advised you have 3 fingers pointing back when doing so. I would advise to move forward.
The use of straw-man argumentation is derogatory.

Characterizing an argument as "Karine Jean-Pierre-tier" is a permissible attact on the argument, not the man making it.
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Old January 2, 2023, 05:58 AM   #22
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The voluminous effort you've put in to criticizing my request along with your fallacious argumentation fits the definition of "vehement" to a tee:
That definition is, of course, correct. It's just that nothing I've posted fits it.
Quote:
The purpose of my polite request — "Could you please provide an annual cost estimate for adhering to this regimen?" — was not to extrapolate Deja vu's costs to me, but to see what he believes a reasonable training regimen costs. I assume you are motivated to suppress his disclosure (feel free to correct me, if necessary) because you know his proposed regimen is outside the means of the average American.
1. Nobody suppressed anything. He's always been free to respond if he wanted.

2. In other words, as asserted several times, by more than one person, his response will, in fact, provide no useful information to you (you claim you already know what he would say) and my rationale was exactly correct, not fallacious as you assert. Your request was a gambit to provide fodder to attack his recommendation, not, in fact, merely a polite request for information as you suggest.
Quote:
Too many states are imposing high priced training requirements that puts the cost of statutory carry outside the reach of many.
No one on this thread is recommending that the government mandate training.
Quote:
To top that off by recommending a $1,000-ish annual training regimen is absurd from the perspective of the middle class and smacks of elitism.
Of course it doesn't "smack of elitism". Let's assume your number is correct. What's really absurd is the idea that the average American doesn't have $20-ish a week of disposable income. According to the latest numbers, the average American spends more than $1000 a year on coffee alone.
Quote:
When I got my CPL in 2012, I resolved to hit the range once a month and fire 100 rounds. I kept this up for 9 months until my disabilities progressed to the point I was unable to continue. Pre-Newton, my monthly cost was about $45. I thought this reasonable, but those days seem to be over. More importantly, $45/mo is not going to be affordable on most "working class" incomes.
Nobody is indicting you because you can't, or choose not to follow a training regimen someone recommended on the internet.

If you don't agree, you just provide your own take on the subject--as you finally got around to once it was clear you weren't going to be able to spring the trap you planned--and then everyone can discuss it dispassionately.
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Old January 3, 2023, 11:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Limnophile View Post
I am interested, and I'm sure others would be also, in knowing the annualized cost of the proposed training regimen. An exact estimate is not necessary; an order of magnitude will suffice.
Recently I spoke to a guy who took the Maryland CCW course; he paid $850. I teach that course for $200. Granted, some instructors provide a pistol and ammunition to the student to be used in the live fire exercise, but still, that difference is unbelievable. I didn't ask him if his course provided the pistol and ammunition. So, coming up with an estimate of costs would depend more on your shooting habits, what you want to learn, and your selected instructor.
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Old January 4, 2023, 09:51 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Limnophile View Post
Could you please provide an annual cost estimate for adhering to this regimen?
Quick look on the...

1) Thunder Ranch - Defensive Handgun - $1300
2) Local to me - Level 2 Pistol - $200
3) Local to me - USPSA - $100
4) Local to me - $25 (I reload, so ammo is lower cost), also membership is not considered
5) $0

So approx. $1650 for me, needless to say someone is going to mention it cost me "X" times more, or "X" times less...there is no pleasing some on here. So there you have it.
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Old January 4, 2023, 07:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by GE-Minigun View Post
Quick look on the...

1) Thunder Ranch - Defensive Handgun - $1300
2) Local to me - Level 2 Pistol - $200
3) Local to me - USPSA - $100
4) Local to me - $25 (I reload, so ammo is lower cost), also membership is not considered
5) $0

So approx. $1650 for me, needless to say someone is going to mention it cost me "X" times more, or "X" times less...there is no pleasing some on here. So there you have it.
He did say that thunder ranch was once in a lifetime (more only if you can afford it) so I would not count that.

so basically $300 a year on top of range fees and ammo costs.
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