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How much training do you have?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by robb01, Jan 18, 2012.


Have you taken any formal firearms training?

Poll closed Feb 17, 2012.
  1. None

    47 vote(s)
  2. Some Training

    55 vote(s)
  3. Moderate Training

    40 vote(s)
  4. Train whenever possible

    35 vote(s)
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  1. robb01

    robb01 Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    I'll admit that I really have no formal firearms training. I grew up shooting guns, took the hunters safety course, and shot some guns in Scouts. I really just enjoy informal target shooting and plinking. I've been considering getting some formal traning from an NRA certified instructor, just to help broaden my knowledge base. It got me wondering, how many others have some form of training, be it military experience, or from an instructor.
  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Speaking strictly as an NRA-certified instructor: I've never taken a class I sincerely wanted to take, ("I already know all that stuff, et cetera,") but I've also never taken a class I wasn't glad I took. Let me add, please, formal competitive shooting is equally helpful, and I'm sure it doesn't matter whether you shoot bullseye, olympic, IDPA, IPSC, or any other discipline. There's a reason so many of us get hooked on this, that, or a dozen other kinds of shooting: you've got to work at it to shoot well.

    Best of success to you, eh?
  3. CmpsdNoMore

    CmpsdNoMore Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Some training. I've taken the Wisconsin hunter's safety course which included shooting clays and a .22 rifle. I also attended an intro to trap shooting.

    As far as informal training, I've spent countless hours watching videos and reading about proper stance, firearm fitting, etc.
  4. PastorAaron

    PastorAaron Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    I do dry fire practice daily, and train with Modern American Warrior (my fathers training school) out of The Woodlands, TX once or twice a year.
  5. Nushif

    Nushif Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    Corvallis, OR
    I do daily dryfire practice, and have done three training classes, one of which was the CCW, the second one was all about gun handling under bad circumstances and the third was a 250 round drills only course.
    And of course I have a basic set of literature and a .22 conversion kit, which has enabled me to narrow my shooting to one handgun, finally.

    So I clicked moderate training.

    Oh yeah, and the Air Force, Navy and NG might have trained me a little bit. Not a lot though.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  6. Stophel

    Stophel Member

    Dec 13, 2009
    If Ed McGivern or Bill Jordan were still alive, I might take classes from them....

    otherwise, no. I'm decidedly "anti-tactical". :D
  7. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    I was a small arms and tank weapons instructor in the Army about a hundred years ago. I trained with some AMU guys back in my Bianchi Cup - Europe days. I took the CHL class two license renewals ago and took the CLEET Armed Security Officer course more recently. My agency requires qualification with any handgun you carry every six months. My boss has me scheduled for a patrol rifle class with my personal Ruger Mini-14.

    I'd train more, but my wife has this weird idea that I should spend time with her when we aren't working.


    HOWARD J Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    S/E Michigan
    I had the same training I had for a drivers license---you had to learn how to drive as best as you could because they had no drivers training in school. An older friend let me drive his car & that is how I learned how to drive. Then you had to convince some cop that you could drive & he gave you your license.
    With a gun I was on my own---started at 13 & went from there.
    Had 8 hours of baloney in a CCW class--waste of time--state money maker.
  9. jreagan

    jreagan Member

    Dec 9, 2009
    Nashua NH
    Since I live in NH, I've taken several courses at Sig. Great facility, awesome instruction, and great loaner equipment. I'm about to sign up for another one...
  10. Sgt_R

    Sgt_R Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    I answered "Some Training."

    I've been in the USAF for 11 years, and have trained repeatedly on M9 pistol and M16 rifle. I've actually carried the M16 in Iraq, though I never had to use it. I have also taken NRA Basic Pistol, Ohio CCW, Utah CCW, and SC CCW. I regularly do dry fire practice in my home, and enjoy shooting recreationally, though I only get to practice on the 'square range.' In short, I consider myself well versed in the basics.

    I will need quite a bit more training, including dynamic drills & FOF, and posibly some IDPA type competition experience, before I will consider myself "Moderately Trained."

  11. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I too answered "Some Training."

    Over the years I've taken several defensive handgun classes, defensive folding knife, kubotan, couple of long range rifle classes, classes required for CCW in a couple of states, etc. So "some training" under my belt. But I don't formally train on a regular basis, which would be my threshold for moderate training, and I'm a long way from having to train/qualify regularly in any capacity.
  12. devans0

    devans0 Member

    Oct 30, 2011
    Three CCW courses, NRA/Winchester pistol program (distinguished expert) for basic accuracy, and I feel qualified enough to START real training. Waiting for warmer weather to coincide with schedules. The trainers are less than eager to teach in the cold. I have had quite a few years of martial training, Pistols are new. I posted some training, but feel that that is a generous assessment.
  13. Odd Job
    • Contributing Member

    Odd Job Can probably X-ray it

    Jul 16, 2006
    London (ex SA)
    To me, formal training means you get a certificate or equivalent documentation of the type of training and trainer. Or maybe a change in rank or status that is accepted in the industry as being dependant on having been successfully trained in a certain activity.

    So with that in mind, I can only answer "some."

    Intermediate handgun course
    Tactical Pistol Course One
    Basic Rifle Training Course
    Intermediate rifle course
    Tactical Shotgun course
    Intermediate rimfire handgun and rifle

    All those were done in South Africa some years ago, and that kind of shooting isn't what I can do here in the UK, so most of that is "perished"
  14. Bobson

    Bobson Member

    Aug 9, 2011
    Snohomish County, Washington
    Some training. A hunter's safety course, Air Force basic training, and more in-depth training just before a deployment to Iraq. No civilian-specific training so far, and likely not at all. LEO-specific training is anticipated in the near future.
  15. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

    Nov 16, 2010
    I picked moderate, but after writing this I realize I should have picked "ongoing" or whatever. I don't train all time perse, but I do train for and will participate in some competitions this summer. Good question really.

    I HAD a lot of training in urban fighting, SDM and sniper schools, also was an SDM instructor, so I'm better than the average bear with a fighting rifle. So-so with pistols. I don't really train to fight anymore, I mostly target shoot and run some drills, but my fighting days are over. I suppose there are always new skills to learn, but there are also new skills to forget, so I guess I'm just hanging onto what I've got and that's probably more than enough for anything I could get into.

    I'd still go to those civilian training schools if I could, if they were cheap enough and I could guarantee I'd learn enough to be worthwhile. Who wouldn't?

    I also heard it from AMU that they have been approached to teach 3gun techniques to infantrymen. Yep, it is happening. The army is finally admitting that competitive shooting has something to add, particularly the action shooting as it applies to infantry skills and urban warfare. Took long enough.

    In SDM school, we stressed the NM shoot in the beginning. CMP match with irons and a sling, but using an M4 instead. This made it a lot easier to teach long range shooting as it applies to an SDM. If you want good training with respect to long range shooting, sniping, etc., then I highly recommend these kinds of shoots. Highly.

    For handgunning, I saw it on one of the shooting shows on Wednesdays on the Outdoor Channel, that IPSC and/or IDPA is becoming a training tool for defensive pistol. The action pistol shoots stem from training to begin with, but came full circle.

    All of these competitive shoots evolved in one way or another from some kind of military or police type training. They evolved into a sport, became divorced from the original application as they became popular, but have indeed come full circle in that they are again being turned to as the ideal place to witness, practice with and compete against some of the best. It is where to hone up on skills, learn new or improved skills, and of course, work on the fundamentals --or maybe really learn them the first time.

    So if you want state of the art run and gun training, 3gun or one of the action pistol or rifle sports will give you that. All dependent on the caliber of people you are around of course. NM shooting will make you a better long range shooter in general, and helps to master fundamentals, which are critical here. Then highpower shooting with optics. So on and so on.

    And all of the above is better than any training you will get in the military with respect to shooting. Go master those competitions, and you'll be a better shooter than most people in general, and most all soldiers save some special ones. Seriously. The military teaches you how to use the weapon as a tool in a fight, the tactical stuff, but they value little the concept of marksmanship in general.

    Bottom line: in my opinion, you can get better marksmanship and action training by competing in various matches, have more fun, and it will cost less. And if it works for the army (finally) then it should work for you. Worth a shot, worst thing that can happen is you'll get a little more experience and might learn something. Good luck to all that do!
  16. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    At 12 years old, I took small arms training courses through the NRA at the local YMCA Range. I shot smallbore (22 rimfire) and worked my way up to Sharpshooter. I was in several matches and ended up quitting the match shooting when I was tied with another shooter for the trophy and that shooter was in his range, I was a visitor. The way I looked at it, they manipulated the scores in his favor (his father, his buddies, his friends scoring).

    I went home empty-handed.
  17. gym

    gym member

    Dec 9, 2007
    Not to be a blowhard, but I just naturally shoot well, Same with any eye hand required task. I don't get there as much as I like. But when my back was really impossible to travel, years went by, I still shot the same after a few mags. The important thing is situational awareness. If you aren't at one with your surroundings, it won't matter as you won't see it coming. The gun is just part of it. One must learn to be an observer and scan an area and remember what you saw.I am sure a couple of combat courses would not hurt, but like I said I shot well no matter what the gap is, not championship good, but I hit bullseyes at 25 yards with my 26. I shoot fast also, I double tap my 45's, and hadn't had a govt in 15 yrs, it was like it never left. I really don't have the time money or inclanation to go for a lesson that I already know. It's a shame that it got so expensive for retired guys to shoot like we did when the money was pouring in. I dry fire and mentally prepare myself and family, it works for me. In NY they gave you permit and that was that, broke your chops for a year to get it and once you had it, see ya. I trained at the FBI combat range upstate, and NYPD, shot against all of them at one time or another,shot birds, clay, but I been doing this for almost 40 years. I can't go running through some obsticle course anymore, but if I draw my weapon whatever I aim at is history, that's what counts. Also can still play xbox with the youngsters, and not get my butt kicked, try that just to see if you can operate 10 controls at once.
  18. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

    Oct 7, 2010
    Western NYS
    retired LEO

    Was an LEO for 26 years and some of that time was firearms instr.

    Took FBI course at Peekskill FBI academy [ was founded 1930's ].

    I still shoot with pistol team,and do instructing for Niagara Youth Cadets as well as friends.

    I try to do 'real' training at least twice a year,meaning only live and fast stuff.
  19. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

    Jan 3, 2011
    Southern Louisiana
    It's always fun to think of yourself as better than most people. When it comes to shooting or driving, most Americans have no idea how really bad they are and how badly they need training. It's called "illusory superiority" if you're interested.

    I taught a tactical pistol class and ran a local IDPA matches for about 7 years. It was always funny to watch the untrained "naturally good" shooters in action!

  20. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Mesa, AZ
    I answered some but am trying to figure out the difference between "moderate" and "some"
  21. Devilfrog

    Devilfrog Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    Picked moderate. The Marine Corps provided me with lots of training as a machinegunner and then a primary marksmanship instructor. Since then I've attended various pistol, rifle and shotgun courses locally. They are both fun and educational.
  22. smalls

    smalls Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Macomb County, MI
    I have no formal training, besides my CPL class. I usually watch videos, fry fire with what I learned, then try it out at the range. I plan on taking a few classes eventually, but for right now I teach myself everything.
  23. hermannr

    hermannr Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    Okanogan Highlans
    There is a problem with your question in that your "formal" training can mean different things to different people.

    There is basic firearm safety that most of us got from out brothers/dads/granddads etc, and almost everyone has had hunters ed, no?. It is just as valuable as the training on how to control the trigger on a heavy machine gun so you can get off one or 2 round bursts without switching (if possible) to single fire, and hitting a man sized target at 1000m with that one or 2 rounds...

    Then there is military training. Basic, advanced, competitive. Police training, firearms instructor training..and on and on

    I have a lot of training behind me...I'm retired...but what difference does it make? You train for the position, the compitition, for hunting, etc. If you are never going to do those things, how is any of it better (or worse) than that initial safety training you got as a kid?

    "Training" is blown way out of proportion. Training is good for some specific skill, but if you do not need that skill....
  24. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

    May 1, 2011
    Formal training? Um, let's think...

    I got .75 hours of formal training at that camp where I fired a shotgun. It was just a video followed by a bit of practical safety stuff.

    I got .25 hours of formal training at this gun range where dad took my brother and I trap shooting.

    I got 2 hours of formal training at another skeet place back in October in safety and basic shotgun skills.

    So that's about 3 formal training hours.
  25. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Leavenworth, KS
    I’ve had some formal training some good, some not so good. I still try to get in a class now and then.

    Distant Past:
    Basic Training, Army
    Military Police AIT
    Reserve Police Officer

    Recent (within last 4 years)
    KS CCW
    Basic Combat Pistol I
    Low Light tactics
    Basic Combat Shotgun
    Basic Tactical Rifle/Carbine
    Advanced Pistol
    Advanced Combat Rifle/Carbine

    Competed in: NRA Small Bore, CAS, IDPA, Trap, Skeet, BPCRS.

    I actually think classes/training is pretty fun, maybe because since I retired I miss doing “Army Stuff”.

    Agreed, I was a certified IDPA RO, and was amazed at how "good" shooters performed once the buzzer sounded.

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