The “How Not” of Gun Training

Granted the site is satirical in nature. Toward the bottom of the site there is a statement to that effect, expressing the importance of choosing good training.  Which leads me into the real topic of this post.




It can be far to easy for many of us to collect guns, but not collect training.  This is akin to a soccer player buying lots of balls but never going out into the field to grow his skills.

While some advocate a $1 for training for every $1 of a gun. I don’t think that the average Joe is likely to do that. But at a minimum you should have a full course of training for pistols, rifles and shotguns.  By full course, I mean either a week long program or a series of step programs (ie: NRA First Steps, Basic Pistol, Protection in the Home, Protection outside of the home).  I’d also recommend additional training courses at least every 5 yrs – minimum.

That said, you don’t want jut any training, you want good training. Bad training can be as dangerous as no training at all.  There are reports out there of  instructors sweeping their students with loaded guns. Frightful.

The more gimmicks a training center offers, the more leery I am of it.  Take two hypothetical training centers that both charge $1,000 for a week long course.  Okay, so training center A offers a free handgun and training center B does not.  So “A” is clearly the better deal, right? Depends. A handgun is about $400-$500. Is one course really just a $500 dollar program with a gun tossed in to sweeten the deal and entice you? I’d see more value in a training program that included a set of those ear plugs with the sound dampening technology.  Much more beneficial to have all the student’s hearing protected while at the same time facilitating the hearing of the training centers instructors. Wow…that would have merit.  But a freebie that doesn’t really aid in training should make someone question why it’s there. Why it needs to be there.

Don’t get me wrong. Not all freebies are a bad thing. Many ranges/dealers will offer discounts on firearm purchases to those who complete their courses. The idea there being to bring new shooters in, train them, and provide the with a firearm.

I believe there are two keys to good training, they  are the following “quality of reputation” and “personality”:

– research the trainer/training facility, ensure that the instructors have a qualified background and a good reputation (especially for the larger training centers)…remember “Google is your friend!”

– meet the instructor, or chat on the phone. Make sure that you connect with the instructor. Not everyone’s personalities click together. You may encounter a great instructor who’s delivery just doesn’t do it for you. Maybe the instructor is just over-bearing and over-zealous, he might be great for your friend Bob who has owned guns for years, but not quite right for you. Be sure to find someone you can learn from.

NOTE: The parody site is published by Joel Rosenberg  of, firearms instructor and fiction author.  Author of Everything You Need to Know About (Legally) Carrying a Handgun in Minnesota and Everything You Need to Know About (Legally) Carrying a Handgun in Missouri. That said, I do not know much about Joel Rosenberg except what is included in Wikipedia. But I like science fiction and I like guns. So he scores two points there.

H/T to my father for sending me the link.

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The best bang for your buck once you have a basic course or two are the guys who bring traveling trainers to local ranges. I’m really lucky to have NEShooters ( in my back yard. They bring 5 or 6 nationally known trainers a year to a range about half an hour from me. There are groups like this all over. A great value is to attend a training conference. It’s usually pretty short money ($200-$300) for two days of 2 or 4 hour blocks with various traveling trainers. It’s a great way to get a taste of a bunch of different programs and get to meet the trainers.

    If self defense is your only goal, your budget should go entirely to training and ammo once you have a small set of guns. Say, at the most, rifle, shotgun, home defense pistol, main carry pistol, pocket handgun.

    That said, I fully recognize that gun collecting and shooting sports are perfectly valid and enjoyable hobbies. Just don’t confuse them with purely self defense.

  2. Some good insight there Jeff.

    I agree that if it’s soley defense. You spend enough to try out a number of firearms. Purchase the one(s) you like. And then the rest goes into training & practice (a.k.a. ammo)

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