Wednesday, March 9, 2016

When I Recommend Shooters Get Training From A Certified Firearms Instructor...

...as a way not only to improve their shooting but to prepare themselves for the reason many of them carry in the first place - to defend themselves, I often get a lot of resentment from untrained, casually trained or self trained shooters. For some reason, way too many folks think anyone who suggests professional training is being some sort of snobbishly, arrogant, all knowing gun guru who believes that because of training they are better than the untrained.  They are right about one thing, when it comes right down to a self defense situation, in which I shoot to defend myself, chances are that because of my training, I almost always will be better off than someone without it. That is not snobbery nor arrogance, it is just that the odds would be with me because of the training I have received. It's no guarantee that I will always come out the winner, it is just good hedging.

I am suggesting, no I am telling you as a point of fact, that to become a responsible shooter, you would be much better off getting trained by a certified firearms instructor than you would be by being self taught. By getting training from a certified instructor, you also probably would be better off than you would be if your father, brother, uncle bubba or your best friend had taught you - that is at least if you are carrying for self defense. Of course, you could be taught to shoot competently by a knowledgeable friend or a relative. The thing is, unless they have received training from a certified instructor and unless that training has been fairly recent, you have almost no way of knowing that you are getting the right training or that the training you are getting is being done right. Sure, it can be turkey shoot even with a certified instructor but you are much more likely to be properly instructed by someone who has been certified by a well recognized training establishment such as the NRA, a private concern like Gunsite Academy, or a manufacturer of firearms that offers such training than by an untrained and uncertified individual. Also, please note, while I am talking mainly about tactical or self defense shooting, it probably goes for all types of shooting.

There are many aspects of self defense and or tactical shooting that a certified firearms instructor can teach you. You need to pick the right instructor and right type of training. I already mentioned how to pick the right instructor, go to one certified by a major and well respected firearms entity. As for the right course, that is pretty simple. You don't want to take a Hunter Safety Course and think that will get you ready for a gun battle against armed robbers in the street or to defend your loved ones and your home during a home invasion - you would want to take a course in self defense shooting. If you have a question about which type of instruction to seek, call someone like the NRA and ask for some advice.

Some of the topics a certified instructor of self defense or tactical shooting should cover with you are: basic firearms safety, firearms and ammunition nomenclature, sight alignment, sight picture, proper stances and other shooting positions, proper grip, drawing and holstering, holster selection, basic operation of different types of firearms such as revolvers, semi-auto pistols, defensive shotguns and rifles; trigger control, basic two handed shooting techniques and drills, basic one handed shooting, shooting mistakes to avoid, shooting from a rest, aimed versus point shooting, hip shooting, vertical tracking, basic tactical shooting, one handed tactical shooting and reloading, reloading and malfunction drills - both two and one handed, proper use of cover and concealment, man down shooting, shoot - don't shoot scenarios, situational awareness, shooting under stress, firearms retention, firearms takeaways, basic firearms maintenance, legal aspects of self defense, what to do post-shooting if involved in a shooting, how to avoid a shooting situation in the first place and proper mindset. That's certainly not an all inclusive list but it covers a lot of what you should know about and be able to do proficiently and reliably if you plan to carry for self defense.

There are lots of places to get decent firearms training that can supplement that which you receive from a certified instructor. You can find a wealth of information about different shooting methods, in addition to what a certified instructor has taught you. It is out there from basic shooting all the way up to advanced tactical and even sniper training. It's in books, professional videos, magazines, on the internet (both video and written) or available from shooting associates. Note that the most important word in first sentence of this paragraph was the word supplement. Such additional training - that you get from books, videos and other sources - should be secondary and supplemental to what you learned from a qualified and certified firearms instructor. You should want, and I think really need, a certified and competent instructor to show you how to do it before you try doing something you saw in a video or read in a book - at least until you have become a competent and well practiced shooter by which point you should be competent enough to self train within your limits and to improvise your previous training to a good extent; although, refresher courses from certified instructors are good things to take now and again.

So before you shoot, or at least before you carry for self defense,
I recommend you get some training from a certified instructor. If for no other reason, the main purpose of me saying that last is simple., it is safety. So even if you are hesitant to listen to me and follow my advice on it, then do it for no other reason than for your own safety and the safety of innocents around you. Believe me, if in a self defense shooting situation, you never want to hear the second loudest sound in the world. If you do hear it - you want to know how to effectively deal with it. You also never want to hear the loudest sound in the world and you want to know how to avoid it at all costs because all too often there is no acceptable way to deal with it. A certified instructor can teach you how to deal with the one and how to avoid the other in ways that are considered safe, effective and acceptable among the professional shooting community.

Now, you may be wondering, just what are those two sounds. Well, the second loudest sound in the world is "click" or the sound your gun misfiring when you had hoped for and needed it to go bang. That one can often be remedied and being properly trained in how to remedy it can save your life. The other one, the loudest sound in the world, that's "bang" when you didn't mean to fire a shot but did fire one. If, at the moment you fire it, it just happens to be pointed at someone and that someone is you, you may wind up dead. Yep, you may live long enough to have heard it. On the other hand, if that shot is pointed at someone you did not intend to shoot, you may soon wish you were dead. I assure you, if you kill an innocent person (maybe even a loved one) that "bang" will have been the loudest noise you ever will have heard and it will reverberate in your conscience for the rest of your life. There will be no way to silence it.

Take it or leave it, my advice to you is to get as much firearms training, from certified instructors, that you can get. While it is not a fail safe, proper training from a firearms instructor can go a long way to help you be the winner in a gun fight. Just as importantly, if you pay attention to the training, then faithfully practice what you have been taught, it may just help you avoid ever hearing the loudest sound in the world and that can only be a good thing.

All the best,
Glenn B

 

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All the best,
GB

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