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Old October 16, 2022, 04:39 AM   #1
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Location: Maryland
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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.
chaim is offline  
Old October 16, 2022, 07:42 AM   #2
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Call the one you're interested in and ask.

*I'd give right arm to be ambidextrous*
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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.
I don't believe in "range fodder" that is why I reload.
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Old November 19, 2022, 09:56 AM   #5
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Thunder ranch is on my bucket list
Mine too
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Old November 22, 2022, 08:05 AM   #6
Deja vu
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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.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did 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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