Question for instructors: do you teach or mention cleaning during a basic class?

This is a discussion on Question for instructors: do you teach or mention cleaning during a basic class? within the Firearm Cleaning & Maintenance forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; I participate in a club/informal class that meets once a month. Skill level varies but everyone has had some prior basic training (think NRA Basic ...

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Thread: Question for instructors: do you teach or mention cleaning during a basic class?

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    Question for instructors: do you teach or mention cleaning during a basic class?

    I participate in a club/informal class that meets once a month. Skill level varies but everyone has had some prior basic training (think NRA Basic Pistol) at the very least.

    Well this past meet one of the member guns started malfunctioning pretty spectacularly. Failure to eject resulting in double feeds several times per magazine and multiple mags. I won't mention any names but it's one of the several popular combat handguns that is known for it's reliability. The instructors all took turns looking at it, tried different ammo etc... One suspected the extractor spring and then he asked the member when the last time he cleaned and oiled it was since it seemed the slide was "dragging". The member just looked at him bewildered, shrugged his shoulders and said never. The instructor broke it down, gave it a quick clean and I had some oil so he lubed it up. AFAIK he had no more issues that day (but it still could be a weak extractor as well). I'm not sure how long he has had it or has shot it but with the club meetings it's a few thousand round easy.

    He had never been told/taught that it needed to be cleaned/oiled. I know when I took my basic pistol course after the NRA approved stuff was covered the instructor quickly discussed cleaning/oiling and what he liked etc, but gave the students a lot of options. He even offered to do one on one cleaning for free with students when they got their handguns. It got me wondering how commonplace that is (just the overview not necessarily the free cleaning lesson) and maybe it's something you at least want to mention it to your students to prevent similar situations. It could of been really bad if he had to use that weapon in a defensive situation.

    On the upside he had some good immediate action practice.
    "I got a lot of problems with you people!" - Frank Costanza

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    Disassembly/assembly/cleaning and lubrication are integral parts of the classes we teach.
    claude clay likes this.
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    That's a REQUIRED part of the NRA basic pistol and here in NC it's also part of the concealed handgun permit training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    That's a REQUIRED part of the NRA basic pistol
    My mistake, it's been a while. I should of looked up the curriculum instead of relying on my memory.

    I guess my initial question is pointless now.

    Although that makes me wonder if it was never covered in his class or maybe it wasn't stressed enough that it was part of regular maintenance.
    "I got a lot of problems with you people!" - Frank Costanza

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    Heck, I'm a hunter safety instructor and we even cover it.

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    I also send the gals to the cornered cat website where cleaning is well covered. Thanks Kathy.
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Disassembly/assembly/cleaning and lubrication are integral parts of the classes we teach.
    along with how the parts interact is necessary to the students overall understanding. afterall, the better you understand how & why something does what it does--correctly, the better will be your control of it.
    and the more likely you will be to 'feel' when something is amiss before it goes bad.

    besides, cleaning and maintaince have a seperate chapter in the NRA book.
    Be aware, be deliberate in your actions and be accurate.
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    I am not a formal instructor by any means. But the few friends who I have helped in the gun selection/purchasing process I have always started with the basics of the various parts that make up a pistol. And after we've been shooting I show them how to clean it.

    When I bought my first pistol I had no clue how to clean it and luckily I had a friend who gave me the same courtesy which I impart now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastk9dad View Post
    My mistake, it's been a while. I should of looked up the curriculum instead of relying on my memory.

    I guess my initial question is pointless now.

    Although that makes me wonder if it was never covered in his class or maybe it wasn't stressed enough that it was part of regular maintenance.
    This brings up a point that I try to emphasize in my classes. There is a TON of information being covered in a basic pistol class especially for a brand new shooter who is for the first time holding and shooting a handgun.

    They need to understand that they will not magically be imbibed with all of the knowledge and wisdom gained over the years being presented that day. They NEED to study, ask questions, and take additional training to begin the journey to being a well rounded shooter.

    For my first time shooters the cleaning and detailed mechanics are not the priority. The number one priority I stress over and over is SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY. As long as they can retain the rules of safe shooting the rest comes with time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    This brings up a point that I try to emphasize in my classes. There is a TON of information being covered in a basic pistol class especially for a brand new shooter who is for the first time holding and shooting a handgun.

    They need to understand that they will not magically be imbibed with all of the knowledge and wisdom gained over the years being presented that day. They NEED to study, ask questions, and take additional training to begin the journey to being a well rounded shooter.

    For my first time shooters the cleaning and detailed mechanics are not the priority. The number one priority I stress over and over is SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY. As long as they can retain the rules of safe shooting the rest comes with time.
    I stick to the program which the NRA has certified me to teach and the State of Ohio requires me to attest to in accordance with section 2923.15 (G)(2) of the Ohio Revised Code, under penalty of perjury .
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
    Tuco

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    I stick to the program which the NRA has certified me to teach and the State of Ohio requires me to attest to in accordance with section 2923.15 (G)(2) of the Ohio Revised Code, under penalty of perjury .
    I stick to the programs also but that doesn't mean you can't place priorities on what you want the students to take away with a firm understanding. Safety is more important than remembering multiple choices of cleaning fluids and brands of brushes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    For my first time shooters the cleaning and detailed mechanics are not the priority. The number one priority I stress over and over is SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY. As long as they can retain the rules of safe shooting the rest comes with time.
    I can't fault you there and I totally agree. I'm not sure where the disconnect was with this particular shooter, but I'm sure that happens to a lot of people.
    "I got a lot of problems with you people!" - Frank Costanza

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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    I stick to the programs also but that doesn't mean you can't place priorities on what you want the students to take away with a firm understanding. Safety is more important than remembering multiple choices of cleaning fluids and brands of brushes.
    You and I must be administering different tests, as those topics don't appear on the ones I give.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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    Yes I teach basic firearms cleaning and Stress it's importance.
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