Getting my NRA Instructor Training this weekend...


May 13, 2003, 08:21 PM
I am finally getting around to getting my NRA Certified Instructor (Pistol) training this weekend in Northern Virginia.

I live in Southwest Virginia -- and the shooting facilities down here are few and far between.

Are there any good ranges (indoor or otherwise) in the Manassas or Fairfax area that I could visit while up there?

I have been told that the NRA range stays quite busy, so I am not expecting that will be possible. I have never even been to an indoor range.

Any helpful suggestions will be appreciated.


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May 13, 2003, 08:39 PM
Congrats!! :cool:

Standing Wolf
May 13, 2003, 08:56 PM
Good for you!

The instructors who put on my N.R.A. course last fall were top notch.

May 13, 2003, 09:06 PM
The NRA range is very busy. I was only there once and I did feel pretty rushed. The automation there is phenominal. Its defanitely a top notch indoor range. I believe it is a 50yd range.

I missed getting to the musuem on time but I plan on going back in the next couple months. The range is a great place for practical training. You can set the target to move at different speeds and distances.

Jim Diver
May 13, 2003, 10:03 PM

Teaching others to be safe and giving them a good start is always fun!

Country Boy
May 13, 2003, 10:15 PM
That's the certification I would like to get sonn Maybe you could give a short description of what you went through in the certification process. Thanks, and congrats!

May 13, 2003, 11:20 PM
It was fun but still "weird".
In my course we had to "teach" the folks that were there.

I had a problem with "teaching" folks that were shooting before I was born how to handle a firearm.

Lots of fun though, and you meet some good folks.

May 14, 2003, 04:57 AM
I did my NRA Instructor training about a month ago. We did the basic training, Basic Pistol and Personal Protection in the Home in one weekend. It was a lONGG weekend. We went from 8:00 to about 9:00 P.M. (or later), Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The worst thing is that we didn't even get dinner on Sunday because the instructors thought we'd be done by the time we'd normally get our dinner break and didn't order any food in. By the time they realized we'd be running late (the latest of the three nights, btw), it was too late to order.

It was still a great experience though. I learned a lot and I'll be teaching my first class at the end of the month. Looking forward to it.


May 14, 2003, 08:31 AM
there are a variety of indoor ranges in the area

blue ridge arsenal
gilbert's small arms
annandale small arms range

but the NRA range is the cheapest and neatest i think
depending on what time you're there it may not be too crowded

i personally prefer blue ridge arsenal usually

May 14, 2003, 08:37 AM
Why are you going so dang far? The Shawnee Hunt Club in Blacksburg will train Instructors. Of course you will have to join the club and help teach. But then again, why else would you want it?


May 14, 2003, 11:05 AM

Because I have to - I can't "join a club and help teach" at a club that is that far away from home.

Also, this instructor who is in Manassas is from this area of Virginia (the area in which I live), and I have taken two courses from him already - which is a big plus.


May 14, 2003, 11:16 AM
Cool. I am sure you will have a ball with it! Where is the closest city you are going to be teaching in? I have people asking all over the state about courses, and to be honest, there just ain't a lot of instructors down our way!


May 14, 2003, 11:19 AM

I am still "securing" a public range that I can get people to qualify at. This range will probably be somewhere in Smyth County - Marion, or Chilhowie area.

As for what cities, if someone can provide access to a public range, and meeting space and help me set up the meeting, I will travel anywhere in the state (within reason).

PM me if you want to discuss this in more detail - or email me.


D.W. Drang
May 14, 2003, 11:46 AM
Every year we do what we call a "Marathon" training session here in the Puget Sound area, take a three day weekend and train as many people as we can. Fortunately, we have so many clubs and ranges aound here we can do that--the local clubs are pretty good about support; the Boeing and Microsoft emplyee's clubs are very active and the local VFW Posts are very supportive. We have had people fly in from New Jersey!:what:

Typically Saturday AM starts with the pre-course assessment, in which all candidates must pass the Home Firearms Safety hgands-on assesment, which is to "check and make safe" the various types of gun actions taught in that class. (single and double actin revolvers, semi-auto pistol, and bolt, lever, pump, semi-auto, and break-action long arms, rifle or shotgun.)
Everyone gets certified to teach HFS; Day 1 is the NRA Instrucotr Course and then HFS. Yeah, it IS a long day!

We usually try to cater (box lunches) dinner in Saturday, and tell candidates to bring their own lunch AND dinner on Sunday AND Monday.

You can get up to two additional certifications on top of HFS; the most popular combination if Basic Pistol and Personal Protection in the Home. As mentioned, the technique is that the candidates teach as much of the courses to each other as possible, since it is ???-U-MEd :neener: that they already know the material, but may need practice teaching, and in any case do need to prove that they can teach "The NRA Way."

"The NRA Way" includes not using "The 'W' Word", which out here gets the head Training CVounsellor several cases of Guiness every year from LEOs and Military personnel who can't break themselves of the habit of saying "Weapon." (For the record, I started my training session the DAY my retirement from the Army was effective, and I never used "The 'W' Word!):evil:

Once you are certified you you can get certified in Reloading and Range Safety Officer via correspndance.

It would help to have taken the class you are being certified to teach beforehand, but not necessary. If you haven't, at least get ahold of the textbook and know iut well before showing up; especially with PPitH!

And remember, you're not trying to be Jeff Cooper or Clint Smith here, you're not rtealy competing with the guys who make a living teaching these things. You're just teaching the basics so the pros can teach the really lucrative stuff.

Almost forgot: Our "Fearless Leader" maintains a web site (with the NRA'spermission) for NRA Instructors to "advertise" for themselves and list their classes, which is pretty handy for to get students who can't find the course schedules on the NRA website.
It also has a link for us to submit a course reprt electronically, instead of mailing it in!

Pretty good, check it out!

May 14, 2003, 11:51 AM
Couple of things with the NRA range, I know I've bashed them before, but things are looking up to me.

I just got done with their Practical Rifle Class. Very well done, 3 nights 4 hours each and everybody was quite happy with it. Instructors were Heidi and Greg.

No full size targets, they dont like you taking head shots at 15 yards and having the round hit the ceiling, you need to fold the head down. It is a 50 yard range and I understand the reason for that one.

Check the hours of operation here before you drive out, it will make your life easier. Every time I dont look, the range is closed for a competition.

Blue Ridge is about 10-15 mins away depending on traffic. 25 yards, pistol caliber only. Under new ownership and things are looking up for it, have a year membership there that I am about to renew.

Have fun, PM if you have questions.


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