Is a marksmanship/firearm handling course necessary?

This is a discussion on Is a marksmanship/firearm handling course necessary? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have no formal training at handleing or shooting a gun. All that I know has been from what the guys in gunshops have told ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29

Thread: Is a marksmanship/firearm handling course necessary?

  1. #1
    Member Array HUSTLEnomics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Dallas, Tx
    Posts
    148

    Is a marksmanship/firearm handling course necessary?

    I have no formal training at handleing or shooting a gun. All that I know has been from what the guys in gunshops have told me or what I've learned on Internet. I go to the range more these days, but for most of my time owning guns I lived in state of "HOPE"! I HOPE to never have to use my firearm", and "I HOPE I can hit the BG if situation causes me to draw my firearm!"

    __I have a family now, and have decided to take my 2A rights more seriously. I want to carry legally & with confidence that I will be able to use my weapon accurately. I chose a firearm that has an accurate/reliable reputation(Glock 26). Now I want to be sure that I can use it accurately.

    __I don't want to take my CHL certification class and end up flunking the shooting accuracy portion. I found a person that offers one on one trainging on marksmanship/gun handling. He also teaches course to obtain CHL in Tx. It's a 2hr deal including instruction/shooting. I was told by his partner that it can be geared specifically towards preparing me to pass the CHL licensing course.

    __The course cost is like $100, CHL traing classes have been advertised for $120 including fingerprinting, etc. I'm not sure but I have been told that that does not include state fees, which can run up to another $100+. I have no problem paying the fees to get my CHL, but if this marksmanship training is not worth it then I'd like to know before I decide to do it. No sense in wasting my money.

    __If some of you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth(TX) metroplex & are aware of similar trainers, or if you do this type of training by profession I'd love to know your input. If you are a local trainer provide a link or details of your business for contact here or via PM(not sure if that's considered illegal ad posting). If anyone has taken such a course I'd love to know if you thought it was money well spent, and details of what was the immediate impact upon completion(knowledge, better shooting mechanics, etc.).

    I hope someone out here can help steer me in the right direction!
    Don't Knock The HU$TLE! When all else fails, I have a HU$TLER's Ambition! When the economy goes to crap, I will maintain and u wont! The hunger I have to survive, and your inability to handle the struggles we have ahead is what seperates you & I!

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    Senior Member Array ntkb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Detroit Michigan
    Posts
    674
    Not sure what you will get for a hundred bucks, but I know what would happen if you went to an IDPA shoot and asked for help in handling skills where I live in Michigan.
    You would get friendly advice that you can use and a fun time learning the new things that you need to feel safe and competent.
    I checked out IDPA for Dallas TX and they have one in Greenville. Go to the web sight get out on the range! I am sure that you will find them to be some of the most friendly people you have ever met.
    That’s just how gun people are

  4. #3
    Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    44,692
    I try to take a SD pistol course each year. One never stops learning and there are plenty of instructors out there who take you where you are...and help to move you a notch higher.
    If you really want to move up on the SD scale, find a 'point shooting' course...it's what happens in a Wally World parking lot. OMOYMV
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

    ***********************************
    Certified Glock Armorer
    NRA Life Member[/B]

  5. #4
    Member Array HUSTLEnomics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Dallas, Tx
    Posts
    148
    What does IDPA stand for?

    I'm not sure what you get in a 8-10hr CHL course, but it costs $120! This marksmanship/handling course is only 2hrs and cost a little less at $100. When you read the info about taking some of these CHL classes it says that the purpose is not to teach you how to shoot. So that said, they remove the assumption that everyone can just walk thru the door, learn to shoot well in 8-10hrs, and pass all portions of there CHL certification. The fear of failing the shooting portion of the CHL certification & being forced to repay/retake the class has me in search of some type of help.
    Don't Knock The HU$TLE! When all else fails, I have a HU$TLER's Ambition! When the economy goes to crap, I will maintain and u wont! The hunger I have to survive, and your inability to handle the struggles we have ahead is what seperates you & I!

  6. #5
    Member Array hellhound94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Westlake OH
    Posts
    158
    I think most of these classes are aimed at people who, in most cases, are not experts. There were people in my class (in Ohio) that had never even fired a handgun in their lives! But the instructor took that into consideration and made it fun, as well as educational, for ALL class members.

    The instructor wants you to SUCCEED and will do everything in his or her power to make that happen, as will your fellow students.

    I had some of the same feelings that you did and I'll bet most of the others did as well. But we all passed and we all had a good time doing it.

    My advice is simple: go for it! YOU CAN DO IT!

  7. #6
    Senior Moderator
    Array HotGuns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,894
    Any class that you must take for a concealed weapons license, by necessity will be very basic.

    It should be the beginning of training, not the end.

    Its all about practice, practice and more practice,but it must be done right.
    The best thing you can do is find someone that is well versed and get them to mentor you. You need to know how to manipulate the gun, all the controls, the hows and the whats. You need to understand how to sight and how to squeeze the trigger while the sights are on target. You need to know how to smoothly draw, come up on target and fire without much conscious thought.

    All of this takes practice. Of course, knowing the laws of your state and knowing when to shoot or not shoot is just as important. A good mentor is a major asset, because sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and being told and then shown how to do something works better for some people.

    You have the attitude to bring it all together. Good luck on that, and keep us posted. What you write here may help someone else in the same situation.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
    http://bobbailey1959.wordpress.com/

  8. #7
    Member Array greenLED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beaver Nation
    Posts
    162
    Hustle, if I may, I think you would benefit from taking a course (or more; it becomes sort of addictive because it's so much fun to learn gun skills).

    At this stage you might be somewhere between "unconscious incompetence" (a person is not aware of what they don't know) and "conscious competence" (a person is becoming aware of what they might learn). That's a very favorable place to be to start taking training seriously, since you haven't yet ingrained bad habits to the point where they are too hard to modify, and you are still open to new ideas and corrections on your techniques.

    BTW, training is not a bunch of marksmanship classes. Defensive training will expose you to everything from the legal framework within which law-abiding citizens must operate, through basic marksmanship (after all, you need to properly and safely handle a gun!), all the way up to tactics and "after action drills" (what to do after a shooting).

    Hopefully somebody in your area will chime in with suggestions. I personally do not consider IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association; people shoot targets planted in "scenarios" that supposedly mimic potential situations; competitions are timed, fastest/most accurate person wins) to be "proper" training. I shoot it, and it does help keep up on people's "gun skills", but there's nothing like actual defensive training to learn what you really need to know to defend yourself with a gun.

    Good luck!
    If handguns cause crime, mine are deffective - Ted Nugent

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    3,403
    Taking the course would not be a bad idea. Don't expect to become an expert shot in two hours. Expect to learn the basics. Accuracy will improve with practice. I know that it is not reasonable to think that everyone can shoot a couple of times a week, but it has been my experience that the more often you practice correctly the more accuracy improves. What I am saying is think shooting 50 rounds a week is better than 200 rounds a month. Ten rounds a day is better than 50 rounds a week. You should be able to find out the requirements for the CHL test and practice for that. Sounds like the course can be geared toward quals. I say take a good course.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

  10. #9
    Member Array HUSTLEnomics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Dallas, Tx
    Posts
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    Taking the course would not be a bad idea. Don't expect to become an expert shot in two hours. Expect to learn the basics. Accuracy will improve with practice.
    Yeah, I understand that the course will not make me instantly accurate. What I hope too get out of it regarding my accuracy is the knowledge of how to properly shoot a gun on target. The proper mechanics involved in the shooting process. The right way to perform maintenance on my firearm. Things like that.

    Hopefully someone from my neck of the woods will post some good training course info, or recommend an instructor/trainer for me to consider.
    Don't Knock The HU$TLE! When all else fails, I have a HU$TLER's Ambition! When the economy goes to crap, I will maintain and u wont! The hunger I have to survive, and your inability to handle the struggles we have ahead is what seperates you & I!

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26,767
    I have no formal training at handleing or shooting a gun.
    Knowing this, it's clear that training on these things will help you gain competency, be safe, learn how different basic marksmanship is from defensive carry and use of a weapon in a situation.

    Do I believe that training is necessary? Absolutely, if you want any sort of competency in the prime area that matters: your actual, practical ability to defend against attack.

    Can't get that out of a book. Can't get it by osmosis. You've actually got to spend time "locking horns" with others in a training environment under the tutelage of good trainers, before you'll finally get some measure of competence. I don't think any of this sort of training can be called a waste, if you select your training well.

    Particularly in the area of gun handling and safety, it's important with a family to ensure that things are well in hand, else folks can get hurt. Better still, with a family it can be highly useful to have the whole family become a part of the security strategy and posture that the family presents. It's all well and good for you to be armed, but if that's the only step then it's a good bet that you're not protected from much of anything.

    Find a way to get a few courses under your belt, such as: a GunSite course; Ayoob's four-day seminar (previously known as LFI-1); a weekend engagement with Gabe Suarez. I doubt you'll never regret it, as the instruction is top-notch.

    There are plenty of courses within a short plane flight from Dallas. Suarez is offering a Intro Pistol course in January in Tyler, TX, for example, or a two-day Defensive Pistol course in March. Ayoob, Thunder Ranch and a number of other top trainers have courses at several sites around the country. I would suggest simply reviewing a number of them and picking a couple courses to attend. That will get you started.

    Remember: defense is so very much more than a single skill with a single tool, as it involves an entire array of skills and preparations. Think it through, then start filling the holes. Good to start with marksmanship and basic handling, but consider the whole area of security preparations and just what a small portion that gun handling really is.

    My $0.02.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  12. #11
    Member Array Jim Macklin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wichita, KS
    Posts
    236
    A concealed carry licensing course teaches the laws that apply to self-defense and certain other basic knowledge, such as gun storage, in Texas, even conflict resolution is a required subject.

    But the shooting test is just that a test. It presumes you have basic skills. The test is usually simple, big targets , good light, no or generous time limits.

    Take a basic firearms handling and shooting class, such as the NRA Basic Handgun class. Have the instructor observe your skills and tell you what you need to do before you take the CC class.

    Then after you take the class and make your application, and while waiting, check out the IDPA and other training classes.
    The People Think the Constitution Protects Their Rights;
    Government See IT as an Obstacle to be Over-come.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Bunny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    North Carolina - LKN
    Posts
    1,384
    Necessary? Not where it's legally not required. But a REALLY GOOD IDEA.

    I'd say try and take an NRA Basic Pistol or NRA First Steps pistol class near you. You can get into one for less than $100 usually. I teach the First Steps class and we have about 20% classroom, 80% range time, and usually a 2-1 ratio of students-to-instructor, or sometimes even less if we can. It's very hands on and the students really get to the basic fundamentals of shooting, plus then we help them fine tune their fundamentals and give them tools to help them with their marksmanship.

    I took the class as a student and found it incredibly valuable. I also hired NRA instructors to give me private training at the range, when I first started shooting. That was an amazing learning experience.

    If you can, I say find some NRA instructors near you and see if you can get either private training or a basic class. You'll be amazed at how much you didn't even know you didn't know! :)
    Don't frisk me, I am the weapon.


    Sig Sauer P239 DAK (9mm)
    NRA Member & Pistol Instructor

    www.vanguardnc.com

  14. #13
    Member Array HardCorps79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    156
    What I would recommend is before anything, take an NRA Firearms Safety in the Home course. This will introduce you to the basics. Then take the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course. This is usually coupled with the firearms safety course so you get 2-for-1. You'll learn the fundamentals of firearms functioning for both semi-automatics and revolvers. You'll also learn the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship- a good shooting position, sight alignment/sight picture, breath control, grip, trigger squeeze and follow-through.

    In my opinion this is the best place to begin learning. Don't know TX laws, but in MO if you take a slightly modified NRA basic pistol course and do a section on laws you've met the permit requirements.

    After your basic course, spend some time at the range just practicing the fundamentals of what you've learned. Review your course materials (books are included in the NRA student package)- they're in invaluable asset for the novice shooter.

    Later on I'd recommend taking the defensive in home and away from home courses. Honestly, I think anyone who is going to CCW should take them.

    Best bet- find an NRA instructor with a law enforcement background in your state (to explain the laws) and even better, who was also a military marksmanship instructor. Just my $.02.

    Good luck. Be safe.
    NRA Certified Instructor (6 years)
    Former LEO/DOD Contractor
    Active Duty Marine (Martial Arts Instructor)
    Glock 17, Kel-Tec P-11, S&W Model 60, various rifles

  15. #14
    Member Array HardCorps79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    156
    :******:
    Bunny beat me to it. Posted while I was typing. Chalk up another win for the mods.
    NRA Certified Instructor (6 years)
    Former LEO/DOD Contractor
    Active Duty Marine (Martial Arts Instructor)
    Glock 17, Kel-Tec P-11, S&W Model 60, various rifles

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    7,737
    IF you are not real familiar with guns, as you mention, then the $100 on firearms and handling could be the most valuable $100 you ever spent if it's with a good trainer & you follow what the advice they give you. Make sure it's with a good instructor... it could save your life or someone else's.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. NRA Marksmanship Self-driven Training - Do you do it?
    By merischino in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: March 8th, 2010, 07:09 AM
  2. Marksmanship made simple!
    By MinistrMalic in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: February 17th, 2010, 08:01 PM
  3. Does Conventional Marksmanship Win Gunfights?
    By Matthew Temkin in forum Defensive Carry & Tactical Training
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: January 25th, 2010, 10:23 PM
  4. Handling a firearm at a gun shop
    By ExactlyMyPoint in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: September 23rd, 2009, 09:25 PM