First handgun training - formal - informal??


October 23, 2003, 11:22 AM
I'm primarily here thinking of CCW .... so training is a broad term, meaning in essence some method of gaining competance, safety and proficiency - such that the individual is safe, for him/herself and others.

I guess age will have some effect on answers here ..... because in more recent years I know there are many CCW states where some form of instruction/training is mandated in the process of permit aquisition. It is therefore in those cases a pre-requisite.

Amongst us older shooters I would imagine this has been less the case, in particular if you have been shooting a long time. The question I guess is directed most at this group.

I started shooting as a kid but only into handguns about 23 years ago. I joined a club and started off with a club revo ... and had the benefit of established senior members schooling me on safety, handling and technique. By the time I had my first own revo my ''probationary'' status had been waived and I built on my starting tuition, to improve and hone my skills. This I will call ''informal'' as against some sort of ''certified instructor'' training.

I guess (hope!) there has always been someone to teach, for everyone, when they started ..... such that the learning process was not a trial-and-error deal ..... maybe it was for some? Is that dangerous ..... or not?

Probably the most important initial lessons needed are the ''big four'' ... safety has to come first ... and the rest follows.

In PA, as a ''shall-issue'' there is no mandatory tuition required, or even any inquiry into the individual's ''readiness'', past experience etc.... just a ''hand-out'' sorta flier on safety! I do on occasions have slight concerns about that ..... not only because of an individual's own safety concerns but those around also! I relish the freedom aspect but wonder if this is wholly wise, for total newbies in particular.?

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October 23, 2003, 03:14 PM
I too have been around firearms for a long time. I just got serious about self-defense and eventual CCW this year. If you decide to defend yourself with a gun whether in your home or out and about, you need to take some training The possible ramifications of shooting someone need to be explained with regard to the laws and what you can and can not do. Worth every penny.

October 23, 2003, 04:18 PM
Michigan accepts the NRA Personal Protection in the Home class, along with some range time and a briefing on state law from an attorney. I recommend the NRA class and familiarization with your state laws as a good starting place.

October 23, 2003, 04:54 PM
If we are truly talking from a defensive standpoint; then my first training was formal.

Was asked to go along on a trip with a bunch of guys that had reserved Powderhorn Ranch ( for a week.

It changed my outlook on a lot of things.

Been back a bucnh of times. Hope to go some more. Have even R.O.ed for them some.

C. H. Luke
October 23, 2003, 06:09 PM
Started shooting handguns in the mid '50's and did not seek Professional training until the mid '90's.
Opened up a whole new World and an interesting one at that.
Had to retrain quite a bit to get rid of the bad habits developed
in competition like IDPA, etc. Well worth the effort!

October 23, 2003, 06:17 PM
I started shooting in the pre-teens and started buying and owning handguns and longguns in the teens. During that time, no formal education about shooting at all. Strictly parents/relatives/friends doing the teaching.

Had some (ie almost none) training in the military. Fortunately, I knew enough about firearms before entering that this was not a problem.

After discharge, began getting into serious firearms collecting and training, taking many classes which continues to this day. Somewhere along the way, got certified as a NRA instructor to pass on the information.

October 23, 2003, 06:56 PM
Hkmp5sd -

Have meant to ask about this before ...... what is the process for achieving NRA certification?

Standing Wolf
October 23, 2003, 09:45 PM
I took my first genuine official shooting course a year and a month or two ago, and it proved well worth the time and cost.

That saidâ„¢, I've never seen anything in the Second Amendment about the right of trained people to keep and bear arms.

October 23, 2003, 09:54 PM
what is the process for achieving NRA certification?

You just have to get with a NRA Counselor in your area and attend his class. You can usually find them being taught on weekends so you don't have to take time off from work to attend.

October 23, 2003, 10:00 PM
I've never seen anything in the Second Amendment about the right of trained people to keep and bear arms. The right SW goes across the board regardless ... no dispute on that - a right is a right - is a right. I only bring up the tuition aspect because .... there is safe and competant firearms handling and abilities .. and at the other end of the spectrum .... downright abyssmal ...... and dangerous incompetance.

Call me selfish here but I'd well prefer to have gun owners around me who have either an inherent skill level or a learned one. Seen too many near disasters to wish otherwise. It's the ones taking up their rights who treat them as ''toys'' who can sometimes scare the ***** outa me!:p In particular the ones who maybe adopt CCW way too casually IMO.

October 23, 2003, 10:02 PM
Thanks Hkmp5sd ........ can I track down a NRA Counselor thru NRA ..... what's easiest IYO.? I will look into this.

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