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Choosing a Firearms Instructor | Firearms Training For Beginners

There are several types of firearms instructors to choose from. There’s the gun store salesman that calls himself/herself an instructor in order to trick you into paying for an infomercial to buy their guns. There’s the guy that’s “been around guns all his life” and has to try way too hard to prove it. There’s the highly talented shooter that’s lacks the ability to transfer skill. There’s the adult educator that champions multiple teaching styles to reach multiple learning styles. Don’t forget the instructors that have found a guaranteed revenue stream. There’s also the drive through window instructor that advertises a condensed introductory course…..because they don’t know enough about safety to teach a full course.







The most common mistake is choosing the gun store training. For $90 to $125, you will get 45 to 90 minutes of “training.” They’ll load the ammo into the magazine and load the gun for you…..so you won’t notice how difficult it is to load the gun that they’re trying to sell you. They’ll put a huge target about 10 feet away and praise you for getting half the shots on the paper. Their 2 goals are to convince you that you’re good at shooting and that you can handle firearms without hurting yourself. Their reward for convincing you of these 2 things is that you buy a gun and some ammo from them. You basically paid $90 to $125 to be tricked into paying too much for a gun you probably won’t like. If you take their level 2 class, you’ll find out that you can’t do quick reloads with the gun they talked you into buying. This allows them to easily advertise another gun.


Beginner Handgun Training


There’s no shortage of overly eager amateur instructors who desperately need to prove that they know how to use the gun they’ve been carrying for years. They’ll try to impress you by using the phrases “I’ve been around guns all my life” or “I grew up on a farm” as if that somehow qualifies them to teach safety, technique, and strategy. They’ll sum up their experience with their golden piece of advice……they’ll tell you that to find the right gun for you; you need to “find the one that feels best in your hand.” Again, you’ll end up with a gun you dislike and no real understanding of safety or technique.

It’s important to avoid the assumption that a great shooter is also a great teacher. I’ve learned from some of the best shooters and from some of the best instructors in the world. They are not necessarily one and the same. I paid over $500 for a weekend of learning from the best competitive handgun shooter in the world. He’s tremendously talented and a joy to be around. His physical abilities are jaw-dropping, but he couldn’t transfer skill to the students. He couldn’t put the technique into words and lacked an understanding of teaching styles and learning styles. It was like paying top dollar for front row seats at a concert and expecting to leave with musical abilities.


Firearms Training For Beginners


Some states require a firearms class in order to get a license to carry a handgun. This is a recipe for disaster. Aside from the fact that all limitations on firearms is a highly unethical infringement on constitutional rights, this requirement leads to an abundance of low-quality instructors. Since it’s a guaranteed revenue stream, the field gets flooded by people who only care about making money instead of focusing on teaching highly effective gun safety practices. You can find plenty of videos on YouTube of these pretend instructors screwing up at the range…..but they still get paid. Even states that don’t require a class are being flooded with low quality instructors lately because there has been a recent surge in new gun owners. Do yourself a favor and verify credentials before trusting someone to teach you and your loved ones gun safety.

I’ve noticed that several of the new instructors are offering introductory courses that last 4 hours or less. This is a huge red flag. They’ll tell you that customers won’t sign up for a full day. The truth is, they don’t know enough about gun safety to teach a full class. They tend to fill their shortened class time with product reviews and fluff. There’s a reason that the NRA, the USCCA, and any credible organization designs their introductory courses to last 8 hours. You should never rush through gun safety training. Cutting corners risks the lives of the students and their loved ones. If someone thinks that they can teach gun safety in a condensed version, they desperately need to start learning gun safety and leave the teaching to credentialed professionals.

There’s also the “shooting supervisor” who thinks that they’re an instructor. They come up with very creative names for their “tactical classes,” which make empty promises of instruction. Rather than teach technique and strategy, they distract you with targets that look like a geometry book and drills that lack purpose. When done right, target discrimination is a great thing to practice. The wrong way is to have someone call out a number, letter, color or shape to shoot…..unless you’re training to fight Triangle Man. It can be fun to have someone call out round counts for you to shoot at targets, but it doesn’t really develop your skill set. You’re effectively paying someone to watch you shoot. The right way to use drills in instruction is to select drills that serve a purpose, explain the purpose to the students, teach them techniques that will allow them to perform the drills more effectively, and measure their improvements. Without goals and development, it isn’t really a drill.





Choosing A Firearms Instructor | Concealed Carry Classes Indiana


Also, be careful when a significant other or relative offers to show you how to shoot. You may know someone who enjoys exercising their second amendment rights, who actually knows what they are doing. Still, I would caution you against taking them up on their offers of showing you the ropes in order to save money on formal training. Much like the professional shooter, your friend or loved one may understand safety and be good at using guns, but lacks the understanding of how to impart their knowledge to others. Unlike the adult educator, who has a background in how to develop a curriculum, they are likely to approach the training in a way that leaves out important elements. A professional instructor has the knowledge and experience to organize the training, teaching concepts and skills in a well-organized order, to ensure that the learner gains the best understanding and mastery of the concepts and skills taught. He or she will also be aware of common mistakes, knowing what to look for in their students and how to correct problems and misconceptions.

The adult educator understands and utilizes multiple teaching techniques in order to maximize knowledge retention across all learning styles. Studies have shown that the average adult learner retains 10% of what they hear, 15% of what they see, and a whopping 60% of what they do (hands-on learning). A talented adult educator combines learning styles to achieve knowledge retention greater than 85%. Understanding how each student learns allows us to ensure that no student gets left behind in their development. Classes at Indiana Firearms Training combine teaching through multiple modalities with the right amount of hands-on student involvement to address the learning styles of all of our participants.


NRA Firearms Instructor Course Certificates


At Indiana Firearms Training, our instructors utilize degrees in adult education and educational psychology to develop and deliver the highest quality training programs in the region. We also utilize high-tech training aids in our classes to give developing students the feedback they need to quickly and effectively build solid technique. Our instructors regularly travel the country learning from the greatest shooters, medics, grapplers, and instructors in the world in order to ensure our material constantly improves. We have achieved the highest gun safety certifications the NRA and USCCA have to offer in order to ensure our students can train in the safest environment. We have received NRA firearms instructors course certificates and USCCA instructor course certificates. Whether you are a beginner who is wanting to overcome a fear of firearms, have a desire to understand how to use and store firearms safely, correctly, and responsibly, or are a seasoned shooter looking to improve your skills or master self-defense, we are ready to meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Contact us today to get started!


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