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Old November 24, 2014, 12:36 PM   #1
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firearms training and instructors?

I'm an advocate that practice is an absolute must if you're deciding to carry for defensive purposes. Hell just being proficient with your guns is a given IMO.

That said, there are many things you can train on your own, however, having a solid instructor can make a world if difference I think in regards to getting off on the right foot.

With that in mind, I'm looking to get into some firearms training classes, however, I'm not sure what I should be looking for.

Like anything in life, especially regarding instructors of various arts. There are good ones and bad ones. I'd like to have some ideas on what I should be looking for when trying to find some good schooling while I practice.

I currently live North of SLC and am curious af any fellow Utah folks know of some good instructors I can go to so that may get off on a good foot with my training that goes a little beyond the basic fundimentals of shooting rifles or handguns.
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Old November 24, 2014, 01:50 PM   #2
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Shooting/Tactical insrtuctors have become a booming industry . To me it would be like visiting a Civil War site and taking the group tour I would be like Hmm Drumm because the topic would be elementary or I would be wanting to point out somthing I thought was being left out . It wouldn't be good for the students that need it and would agrivate the heck out of the instructor . I actualy have done this on Civil War battlefield tours . Point is if you think you need the corse take it if not then you could wast your $ and the others time . I have known a few shooters that have taken tactical class's I guess for the " adventure " when we do the same thing on the shooting range .
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Old November 24, 2014, 04:28 PM   #3
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Seems like EVERYTHING gets rated now days. Books, restaurants, hotels etc. etc.

Midway USA even lets people rate their products. I've passed on a couple items that I kind of wanted because the bad comments pointed out some flaws in the product.

Amazon had a review of 'Cartridges of the World' that pointed out some of the errors in the book.

Maybe there's some rating for the classes in your area.
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Old November 24, 2014, 04:40 PM   #4
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Join a club, thats where I get a lot of my classes and assemblies, you hear about them left and right, I attend as many as I can... I have taken everything from hand to hand combat to a class solely on how to clear jams, a 6 hour gun class that a round never gets chambered, lol.
But there have been some very educating seminars also, obviously the live fires are the most fun, I have done them on home defence, CCW, and I have taken 3 active shooter classes, one was just over a month ago, they did a ton of work with hostage, 1st party hostage, ect It was awesome, that was specifically for law enforcement but I got to go along with a friend of mine because he knows I like it, I will give you 2 guesses on who played the hostage ....
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Old November 24, 2014, 04:43 PM   #5
serf 'rett
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Besides networking here, you might consider shooting IDPA at a local club. The folks there may be able to point you in a good direction for local instruction. Otherwise, you may begin looking into traveling to get good training.

I would encourage you to find good training. I shot IDPA for about three years and hovered around the bottom of the pile during that time. Folks I shot with tried to help - told me to do dry fire drills, etc, but I really didn't know how to establish a training program.

I took a Shooting Performance defensive handgun course, taught by Mike Seeklander, bought the training manual and DVD set. With a minimal time investment, but focused training, I'm now running about the middle of the pack - a significant improvement. Lot of good instruction out there, but Shooting Performance appears to be geared toward training. Web site:
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.

Last edited by serf 'rett; November 24, 2014 at 05:01 PM.
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Old November 24, 2014, 05:06 PM   #6
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Buy the latest Shooting Illustrated magazine --- December, 2014 --- and check out an article written by Paul Schoch, titled: The Zen of Shooting.

Paul Schoch is retired after 23 years of military service and 17 year's experience in Army Special Operations, including multiple combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He now trains and advises Special Operations units, government agencies and specialized police units.

Quote from Schoch's article --- "Since 'empty mind' is a difficult concept to convey, I've taken to telling my students to repeat in their minds 'wait...wait...wait' while concentrating on the sights and squeezing the trigger. This is close enough to an empty mind for our purposes."

I tried the "wait...wait...wait" mind routine --- coupled with muscle relaxation --- for the first time yesterday at our range, and my change in trigger control was so much remarkable for the better.
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

--- George Orwell

Last edited by Erno86; November 24, 2014 at 06:32 PM.
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Old November 25, 2014, 04:08 AM   #7
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Quite a few instructors travel. Try to keep an eye out for classes near you.
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Old November 25, 2014, 09:35 AM   #8
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My pet peeve with training, is not training per se, but what happens after training.

You can get training from the best instructors in the world, even several, but that training is meaningless without constant practice.

Shooting is not like riding a bicycle or learning to swim. It takes constant practice to become and remain proficient.

I had a lady (neighbor) who wanted me to certify her for her CC permit. Wyoming doesn't require permits but does have a permit system and Wyoming's permit is valid in several surrounding states.

I recommended she attend my lady's only firearms class a time or two before she tries to qualify. She says she's been shooting her whole life and doesn't need to shoot the course. She just wanted me to sign her off.

When she showed me her revolver (a good one) the way she handled it I can tell she hadn't had it in her hands in a while. Sure enough she admitted she hadn't shot it in about 6 years.

My contention is a handgun for SD should be as comfortable in her hand as a cell phone is in the hands of a teenager girl.

Instruction is just a start, you need constant an aggressive practice to remain proficient.

As too choosing a trainer, its hard to say, look at his/her background. Check with your state's issuing authority to see if he/she meets their standard. But you'll never know until you take their class. If you find the instructor doesn't measure up, find another and talk his/her class.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old November 25, 2014, 10:19 AM   #9
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I agree with you Kraigwy, and I have no intention of slacking off training wise. Truth of the matter is I'd like to get into competition shooting, and while I know some basics, I'd like to get some proper guidance to help me get the most out of my training sessions.

Essentially I don't want to be training bad habits if I can help it.
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Old November 26, 2014, 09:35 AM   #10
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OP...check with your local clubs and PD...I found a guy years ago who agreed to help me with some shooting bad habits...he simply watched and corrected. ...I can't put a price tag on his help.
No second place finishes in a gun fight.
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Old November 26, 2014, 01:24 PM   #11
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I advocate that you try as many different trainers as you can, from nationaly known people to locals that get a lot of good "word of mouth" from satisfied students. See what makes sense to you and what is superfulous razzle dazzle. John Farnam (Defense Training International) is a great place to start, and he travels. I think he was just through SLC recently. He is a no nonsense instructor that teaches students real gunfighting skills and how to take this stuff seriously. No "cold range" stuff, he expects you to arrive armed, locked and loaded, and leave the same way. If you plan to be a "Just when I think I might need it" gun carrier he will get you over it. His wife Vicky is also a nationally known law enforcement trainer in her own right and is usually along to help with training and coaching.
A good personal shooting coach is a great bonus. While many Instructors may be capable of coaching they seldom have a lot of individual time in the course of a class with 15 people.
After you learn what you need to work on, practice, practice, practice. And work on what you do poorly, not just what your good at. Yes, most self defense shootings happen at close yardage, but you just might have to contend with someone thats 25 yards, 40 yards, or more firing at your family with a long gun, and it won't matter how great you are at 3 yards, you are going to need to hunker down, ignore the incoming rounds, and put effective rounds in your attacker. It may be unlikely but it is possible, and you need to have a plan for dealing with the possible, not just the "likely". Good Luck
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