NRA Certified Instructor: Which is Most Useful?


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jakemccoy
September 2, 2008, 04:08 PM
I want to have credentials when I invite others to come shooting with me. Mostly, I'll be inviting women who may be anti-gun to come to the pistol range. I'm not interested in secondary income. I'm interested in one-on-one sessions to educate others about firearms.

For my goal, I was thinking that the NRA Certified Pistol Instructor would be the best certification for me to get. What do you think? Here are the NRA certifications...


http://www.nrahq.org/education/training/instructor.asp
BASIC PISTOL SHOOTING COURSE
# NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
# NRA Assistant Pistol Instructor
# NRA Apprentice Pistol Instructor

# BASIC RIFLE SHOOTING COURSE NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
# NRA Assistant Rifle Instructor
# NRA Apprentice Rifle Instructor

# BASIC SHOTGUN SHOOTING COURSE NRA Certified Shotgun Instructor
# NRA Assistant Shotgun Instructor
# NRA Apprentice Shotgun Instructor

# BASIC MUZZLELOADING PISTOL COURSE NRA-NMLRA Certified Muzzleloading Pistol Instructor
# NRA-NMLRA Assistant Muzzleloading Pistol Instructor

# BASIC MUZZLELOADING RIFLE COURSE NRA-NMLRA Certified Muzzleloading Rifle Instructor
# NRA-NMLRA Assistant Muzzleloading Rifle Instructor

# BASIC MUZZLELOADING SHOTGUN COURSE NRA-NMLRA Certified Muzzleloading Shotgun Instructor
# NRA-NMLRA Assistant Muzzleloading Shotgun Instructor

# PERSONAL PROTECTION COURSE NRA Certified Personal Protection Inside The Home Instructor
# NRA Certified Personal Protection Outside The Home Instructor

# HOME FIREARM SAFETY COURSE NRA Certified Home Firearm Safety Instructor

# METALLIC CARTRIDGE RELOADING COURSE NRA Certified Reloading Instructor

# SHOTGUN SHELL RELOADING COURSE NRA Certified Reloading Instructor

# RANGE SAFETY OFFICER COURSE NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer Instructor

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hso
September 2, 2008, 04:10 PM
Moved from Activism to General

scrat
September 2, 2008, 04:14 PM
from what it sounds like your post gives the answer. Your going to be taking them to shoot pistol. The number one on the nra instructor is basic pistol. So i think that would cover anything you need

jnyork
September 2, 2008, 04:14 PM
You are on the right track, you should also get the Home Firearm Safety and the Range Safety Officer course if you can get it. These are subjects that will always come up when instructing new shooters, especially the ones you described.

thunderstorm
September 2, 2008, 04:22 PM
I would start with NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, then Certified Personal Protection Inside The Home Instructor and Certified Personal Protection Outside The Home. I would not look at it as a second income; you’re not going to be able “make a living off it”. By the time you get past your expenses you will only have a couple of dollars left, that being said I still went through it myself. We need to educate people as to what happens in real life and dispel the fiction that is in movies.

Trebor
September 2, 2008, 06:56 PM
You are on the right track.

Ever since I've become an instructor I've found that people I don't know are more willing to take me up on an offer to go to the range then when I was just "some guy who shoots."

For what you want to do I recommend the NRA Pistol disciplines.

Get training in:

Home Firearms Safety

First Steps

Basic Pistol (Includes First Steps)

That would get you started and would be enough to give you some credentials to get people you don't know to trust your competence to introduce them to shooting.

After that you can get the Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home classes. They are a logical next step, but are not absolutely required for what you said you want to do.

The nice thing about having the personal protection certs is that if you get students who take an intro lesson, or a whole Basic Pistol class, and then want to take more training in defensive shooting, you can meet that need as well.

I'd skip the rifle, shotgun, and reloading certs unless you really plan to teach those activities. Pistol works fine to introduce newbies to the sport.

For what you want to do look into the NRA's Women On Target program. Once you get certified you could work with a local range or gun club to host a WoT event. That's been a very succesful program in my area.

Two last thoughts:

Get the NRA instructor insurance.

And, if you don't already have one, get a good .22 pistol.

Now, trying to actually make money as an instructor is a whole other issue. I won't go into that here, except to say it's harder then it looks.

Claude Clay
September 2, 2008, 07:10 PM
+1 on all the above.
a s&w 422 is a good, light plinker with iron sights and minimal recoil. very little effort to rake the slide--everyone ( yes, everyone) likes it. for qualifing and beginners training it is a must have. a p229 or 239 in 40 with a 9mm comped bbl is second favorite. if you reload possibilities are many as you can work up from a light 38 to a 357 in the same gun ( s&w 60 -3 or 5 inch and/or 64 or 65 4"). good luck to you.

Ben Shepherd
September 3, 2008, 12:56 AM
First and foremost: Range safety officer.

Then pick the appropriate individual disiplines. In your case, basic pistol sounds the most useful by far.

I'm currently certified as RSO, pistol, rifle, and shotgun. If a local scout troop finds out you're certified, LOOK OUT.:D

loop
September 3, 2008, 07:03 AM
I've been certified in the basic pistol, personal protection, home safety and RO in one class. It was 24 hours and I took it over two days.

In non-NRA courses I've law been enforcement certified to instruct in shotgun and sub-gun.

If you are just going to take a few people to the range from time to time I'd just get the basic pistol training. Since it rarely works out that you "just take people to the range," I'd make sure to add the personal protection and home safety courses.

My NRA certifications were bundled because they were required to be a CHL instructor. Taking them as a group may not be available to you in your area.

I do feel the basic pistol course is a must for anyone who would teach novices safe gun handling.

Trebor
September 3, 2008, 12:27 PM
Don't get RSO first. Get your instructor cert and then you can get RSO as a home study course instead. It's just easier and quicker that way, and probably less expensive as well.

okey0
September 10, 2008, 09:29 PM
what is the approx cost of b ecoming a certified pistol instructor?

thunderstorm
September 10, 2008, 09:58 PM
Instructor training ranges from free (MO department of conservation use to have free class all you had to pay for was materials ) to $125 and as much as $500 (and up) depending on who, where, how may class they teach together.
To get you certificate from the NRA you need to also send them $10 to $30 to register yourself for each discipline.

Then you need insurance, training materials and equipment, a place to hold classes, advertising, and so on.

Javelin
September 10, 2008, 10:05 PM
I would start with NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, then Certified Personal Protection Inside The Home Instructor and Certified Personal Protection Outside The Home. I would not look at it as a second income; you’re not going to be able “make a living off it”. By the time you get past your expenses you will only have a couple of dollars left, that being said I still went through it myself. We need to educate people as to what happens in real life and dispel the fiction that is in movies.


I agree 100%. Thats what I did. And you can deduct a pistol or rifle a year from taxes due to being used as training aids....

:)

BHPshooter
September 10, 2008, 10:38 PM
I agree with Ben -- RSO is probably the most important.

They're all good classes, though. I've been through about 2/3 of that list, and I haven't regretted taking a single one.

Wes

langenc
September 10, 2008, 10:48 PM
Once you get an instructors card Ruger offers 'deals' once in a while. Perhaps others, also.

thunderstorm
September 10, 2008, 11:12 PM
Here is a link to the special offers.

http://www.nrahq.org/youth/specialoffers/

All in all I would encourage get your certification, you will work away with a vast knowledge that you can use not only in the shooting sports but in day to day life.

Ben Shepherd
September 11, 2008, 12:00 AM
The reason I posted RSO first is it's universal nature. It applies to all the other certifications, it drops insurance costs, and looks better to folks that are on the nervous side and new to guns.

SoCalShooter
September 11, 2008, 12:06 AM
I would not get the Pistol course before you get RSO, the fundamentals of handling a firearm and the safety issues involved in my opinion are just as important as knowing how to use the weapon.

Mickstix
September 11, 2008, 12:08 AM
Mostly, I'll be inviting women who may be anti-gun to come to the pistol range.

Good idea you dirty dog!! (or should it be "Lucky" dog) :neener:

Pat-inCO
September 11, 2008, 12:37 AM
I had five certifications at one point and have let two of them lapse. I still carry Home Firearm Safety, Basic Pistol and Personal Protection. For your use, I recommend all three. Let me explain:

1) Home Firearm Safety covers firearms in general and how to safely handle them in your home (DUH). Think about how that might be useful for a new shooter.

2) Basic Pistol is more specifically oriented to the pistol (another DUH) and includes live fire.

3) Personal Protection has all of the elements of Basic Pistol but also has items they may(?) need to think about, if the need to use this information should ever present itself.

If you have all three, you not only have a well rounded education but you have been introduced to teaching all of that material. If you get questions that cross course boundaries, you are better prepared to answer them.

Ghost Walker
September 11, 2008, 01:12 AM
I'm currently certified as RSO, pistol, rifle, and shotgun. If a local scout troop finds out you're certified, LOOK OUT.

:confused: Are the Boy Scouts still teaching riflery and shotgun?

I agree with Trebor: First get your Home Firearm Safety and Pistol certifications. (Which many Training Councilors will offer as a package deal.) Then pursue Range Safety Officer training on your own.

Years ago when I got my certifications I shopped around until I found a TC/police trainer who agreed to provide all 5 basic certifications for one lump sum which he, also, agreed to reduce according to the number of people in the class. I contacted every serious shooter I knew (including a local range owner and his staff) and put together an 18 person class for him. The man was as good as his word; and, he gave me all 5 certifications for the approximate cost of just 1 certification, today. ($300.00)

It was a long, 8 to 10 hour, 2 day course that was divided about 80/20 between classroom and range. It really really helps if you purchase all the texts and course materials about 3 months in advance. That’s what I did; and, I read all of those manuals from cover-to-cover, at least, twice before the class began. The exams appeared to be deceptively easy and were open book; but, in fact, they were quite tough enough.

(There’s a heck of a lot to understand and remember; and the right answers are well-buried inside pages and pages of text. If you seriously screwed up on the range, our TC made it very clear that he would refund all monies, except the initial deposit, and immediately wave bye-bye!)

I should tell you this: When you’re an NRA Instructor, there’s your opinion and your way of doing things, and there’s the NRA way. You will be strictly required to keep your methods and opinions to yourself, and do everything the NRA way – No joke! Sometimes this can be a little frustrating; but, you always need to remember that YOU might have to answer for what you teach. NRA pistol training is NOT combat handgunning! ;)

Ben Shepherd
September 11, 2008, 01:20 AM
Yeah, the scouts still have a rifle and a shotgun merit badge. The varsity scouts do muzzleloaders and skeet shoots as well.

ALL these events require, by BSA guidelines, an NRA instructor to be present. Not a bad idea to step in......you want them playing X-box? Or pulling a trigger?:D

rc109a
September 11, 2008, 08:04 AM
Can any of this course work be done online? I am a Police Firearms Instructor (DCJS) and would like to carry some of this over to help teach some of the NRA courses. I went to the website and it was a little vauge. I agree with getting a basic pistol since that appears to be the biggest question I am asked when i talk to people about firearms in the line of duty.

thunderstorm
September 11, 2008, 08:21 AM
It’s my understanding that you can complete the “Range safety officer”, and the “Reloading” courses as "home study' only after you are a certified instructor. I suspect that because as some have already stated the NRA courses are to be taught the NRA way, weather you are a instructor training students or a Training Counselors teaching Instructors, classes are not offered online. If someone knows of online courses please let us know.

Guntalk
September 11, 2008, 09:54 AM
Is there a renewal requirement on the instructor certificates?

Trebor
September 11, 2008, 03:06 PM
Is there a renewal requirement on the instructor certificates?

Yes.

The first time you are issued the certification you need to renew after one year.

After that, the renewals are every three years.

(I think. It might be every five years. I don't have my certs handy to check)

You are required to send one page reports on whenever you hold a NRA class and they check your activity based on those reports when you renew. I don't know what the "minimum" activitity level is, but I understand you need to give a good reason for a renewal if you try to renew without having done any instructor work since your last renewal.

Havegunjoe
September 11, 2008, 03:23 PM
I am certified in Pistol and Personal Protection and I think they are the best overall options.

scurtis_34471
September 12, 2008, 12:27 AM
I would start with NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, then Certified Personal Protection Inside The Home Instructor and Certified Personal Protection Outside The Home. I would not look at it as a second income; you’re not going to be able “make a living off it”. By the time you get past your expenses you will only have a couple of dollars left, that being said I still went through it myself. We need to educate people as to what happens in real life and dispel the fiction that is in movies.

Actually, you can make money doing it. I have several acquaintenaces who make their living doing it. It is not a get rich quick scheme or easy money, however. These guys do marketing, work with local gun shops, carefully cultivate referals from their students and work very hard to get repeat customers. It is a real business with all the requirements of a real business if you are going to make real money at it.

I've done the math. In my area, after paying for classroom space, range fees and NRA materials, I could clear about $50 per student per class. That's $500 for a class of 10. Do three classes a week and that's $1500, but getting 30 students a week is a lot of work, as mentioned above.

Trebor
September 12, 2008, 02:15 AM
That's $500 for a class of 10. Do three classes a week and that's $1500, but getting 30 students a week is a lot of work, as mentioned above.

If you are getting 30 students a week you are the most succesful NRA Instructor *ever!*

Unless you are *the* instructor for a local range, try more like 10 students a month.

The problem with trying to be *the* instructor at a local indoor range is you'll find they all already have an instructor, or two, working with them. Usually the owner, an employee, or someone who is a friend of the owner.

For guys who just rent range time by the hour you won't get that "low hanging fruit" of students who ask about classes at the store and then are refered to that store's own classes.

Now, if you can get a set up where you are *the* instructor for a local gun store, that's another thing entirely. Good luck on that though unless you have part ownership in the store or have worked their for awhile.

EDIT: I should say this may vary greatly by where you are in the country and how many other instructors there are in your area. I think in my part of Michigan we have more instructors per capitia then most everywhere else. You can't swing a blown-up Glock around here without hitting an instructor...

Ghost Walker
September 12, 2008, 09:15 AM
Yes. The first time you are issued the certification you need to renew after one year. After that, the renewals are every three years.

I just renewed! The paperwork is sitting, here, on my desk. 1 year is $24.00. 2 years is $46.00; and 3 years is $68.00.

I've done the math. In my area, after paying for classroom space, range fees, and NRA materials, I could clear about $50 per student per class. That's $500 for a class of 10. Do three classes a week and that's $1500, but getting 30 students a week is a lot of work, as mentioned above.

Back to the drawing boards! Don’t forget accident and liability insurance; and, ‘range fees’ do NOT include your own transportation all over the county, or that other frequent necessity: rented classroom space. You’re going to need that, too!

I got my certifications from one of the best known Training Councilors in Pennsylvania. He would often travel in order to hold classes and, only occasionally, taught these courses on his own farmland. As far as making, ‘money’ at it? Naaa, before he retired his real job was as a county Deputy Sheriff; and, after retiring, he became an associate professor and taught something to do with police science at Penn State.

I don’t think most instructors are in it for the money. The few that I’ve known who tried – and I’m being brutally honest – all blew out within a few years because they were simply: too greedy, too time conscious, and (in my opinion) too superficial. NRA training courses really aren’t the kind of classes you can run for profit. The motivation, the time, the effort, and the idealism, don’t lend themselves well to a typical commercial enterprise. It's altruism and love of the shooting sports that causes most people to continue on as NRA Instructors.

About the only way I know for a fulltime instructor to, ‘make money’ is to own some sort of shooting facility – or, maybe, work for an established shooting facility - where you can offer specific firearms courses as an additional range service. Even then, unless that shooting facility is nationally recognized, you’re going to be geographically limited to only the surrounding area and a finite number of shooting clientele.

Another thing: Instructor certifications have to be done in person. The only exceptions I know of are (1) Personal Protection Outside The Home, and (2) Reloading; and, then, only if someone is already a Certified Instructor in another pertinent discipline.

This is because, 'Personal Protection Outside The Home' training was initially included in the original comprehensive Personal Protection course. (The way it was when I became certified.) Later on I received a notice from the NRA that my original comprehensive personal protection certification was being separated into two programs for what were explained as, 'legal' reasons. At the time I was given an option to complete the new, 'outside' course at home.

Historically the NRA has, also, had a difficult time trying to find knowledgeable certified instructors who are, also, reloaders AND have some sort of portable bench setup that can be moved from class to class as they travel around. Finally, the shooting sports can always use more Range Safety Officers! It's just easier to become an RSO AFTER you're already an instructor. ;)

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