Range Pre-Qual for NRA Instructor Class

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Craig_VA, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Craig_VA
    • Contributing Member

    Craig_VA Contributing Member

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    I've decided to take an NRA Pistol Instructor class to improve my own shooting (I doubt I will do any formal training with the certificate). I learned that there is a prerequisite shooting skill test of putting at least 16 of 20 shots into a 6" area of an 8" target at 15 yards. The schools teaching the class emphasize that there is no calibre restriction on passing that test (HINT, HINT).
    After a practice day at the range with my .45 ACP 1911, Model 66 (shooting .38sp), M&P 9m (my EDC), Hi Standard model 103 (.22lr), and Heritage Rough Rider, I will be using the Rough Rider for my actual test.
    So, my question for others.. if you have gone through this process, what gun did you use?
     
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  2. buba68

    buba68 Member

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    To be sure I passed the test the first time I probably would use my Ruger MK IV with a red dot sight. I can do that at 50 feet offhand with it. I also have a Canik TP9 FSx 9mm with a red dot that I can keep a 6" group or less at 50 feet so I could run either one for the test. Oops, Just reread your post. No I have not gone through the actual NRA test.
     
  3. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    I've never done the NRA test, but I have had to pass other time and accuracy standards for other instructor schools. In the tests I have taken, a common self defense caliber had to be used, but given your stipulations I would definitely pick a .22, and if I had to pick which one it would be one of the Volquartsens.
     
  4. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    If that’s your plan, you would be much better served by taking an actual shooting class rather than an instructor class.

    Instructor classes are designed to teach you how to TEACH, not how to shoot. There’s a lot more to being an instructor than being able to shoot well.

    It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the syllabus for the pistol instructor class, but I don’t think there’s much shooting beyond the prerequisite test. If you’re goal is to become a better shooter, I think you’ll be really disappointed in the class.
     
  5. Craig_VA
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    Craig_VA Contributing Member

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    Well, I started thinking about this route when I had at least three certified instructors each advise that taking an instructor course is the best way to move forward in skill development. Learning details of what to advise students to help improve should help focus on what I need to do, too. I am also taking shooting courses as we go along, too. I did one in February, another in July, and a third already paid for in December.
    There is also a Tom Givens course next summer I am considering, and I figured the NRA effort would be good prep for that event.
    By the way, if you talk to any teacher, especially university level, most will admit that we (I have taught a couple of such courses) learn as much or more in teaching than in just being a student.
     
  6. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    I’ve taught in professional environments and I definitely agree that as an instructor you learn the material better than if you just took the class itself. The thing is, you don’t necessarily get that from the instructor course. You get that knowledge from either teaching and answering questions / helping students, or more likely during your preparation when you’re working through the material and going through a process of “if they ask this question, how would I answer it”. If you’re not planning on teaching, it’s less likely that you’ll get that benefit.

    Maybe I’ve just not been really impressed with the NRA Instructors I’ve seen in the past, but I think if you want to focus on improving a specific area of your shooting you would be better served by taking a course which is designed to focus on that specific aspect. That will let you take advantage of an instructor’s knowledge to see exactly what you are doing and make immediate changes to improve your form. For example, if you want to work on fundamentals, find a class that focuses on that. Or take a class for bullseye shooting. Sure you may eventually get to the same knowledge by being an instructor, but going to the expert at the start is going to make it a much faster process.

    If you want to take the instructor class, by all means go for it. The class it teaches you to instruct is based around taking people with no (or little) exposure to firearms and making them safe shooters. Not expert shooters. I just don’t see how learning how to teach that class is going to be the best way to increase your own shooting skills (especially if you don’t want to actually teach the class).
     
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  7. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    You actually have to teach students afterwards to get any real value out of an instructor course. I took Tom Givens' instructor course over the summer. Students are paired with one another and switched up randomly on the range (about 12 hours of range time) to get as much experience with observing, identifying, diagnosing and correcting shooter errors. Problem is the class was chock full of excellent shooters who made very few errors.

    I've taken the NRA Pistol Instructor course. You're not going to learn anything there that will improve your shooting. As somebody previously advised, take a shooting course to learn what you don't know and to improve your skill.

    Good luck!
     
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  8. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    I passed the instructor qualification with a Springfield Armory 1911, .45 ACP, in 2014. Recently requalified with a S&W Model 15. That was the only shooting in conjunction with the class.

    While the Instructor class has good information and I enjoy the ability to teach students, the class didn't do much to improve my accuracy.
     
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  9. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, that's true. However, you just said you won't be teaching. Taking an instructor level course isn't the same as teaching, it's just taking a more difficult course. Also, that course is really more about assessing your proficiency than improving it.

    I don't think it makes sense to take the course unless you plan to use it to teach.
    Card.jpg
     
  10. JWM

    JWM Member

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    Took the course in April 2018. They stipulated “any caliber, any action”, so why not insure a passing score with a soft shooting gun ? I chose my four inch, S&W model 617, .22 caliber. You have the option to shoot the pre-qual either single or double action mode if using a revolver. I choose to fire the entire 20 shots double action. Got 100% on the first attempt. The head instructor said that I was the only instructor candidate who passed the pre-qual on the first attempt.
     
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  11. buba68

    buba68 Member

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    First time I have been to the range in a couple weeks. Wanted to see if I could qualify for the shooting test. Used my Ruger MK IV 22-45 and did not have any problem keeping all 20 round inside the 6 X 6 target. Next time I go will take the Canik 9mm and see if I could qualify with it.

    45 ft target.jpg
     
  12. MrChicken

    MrChicken Member

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    Edit: Below is in regard to TG's instructor course, not the NRA course.

    Be tuned up on your shooting skills. Especially at 25 yards. Bring the pistol you shoot and manipulate the best that is .38 and up.
    Bring lots of magazines or speed loaders. You spend a lot of time on the range and the less time you spend reloading mags or speed loaders the better.
    Have a spare gun, if yours breaks and you can't get a loaner you fail.
    Make sure your equipment is up to the task, don't show up with a gun/ammo that isn't reliable or accurate. Test your ammo and know that POA is POI.
    Give yourself every advantage, tuition, travel and ammo, this won't be cheap. Ex: take the G34 not the G27, or take your 9MM 1911 instead of the 10MM 1911.

    Tom Given's instructor class is like a badge of honor. He doesn't give away certificates, you have to earn it.
    You'll work your butt off and if you can't pass either the written or shooting test you fail. If you can't speak to a crowd, as in teach, you'll fail. If you can't give meaningful instruction on the range... yep fail.
    I've watched several "instructors" fail this course.

    Oh, one last piece of advice. Don't leave your pistol on top of the toilet, Tom really doesn't like that :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
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  13. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    My 1911. You should be able to do this with every gun you have listed. A 6" group at 15yards is a gun handling competency test.
     
  14. Craig_VA
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    Craig_VA Contributing Member

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    I agree, but clearly I am still working on my skill set.
     
  15. straightShot

    straightShot Member

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    It really doesn't matter which gun you use, as long as it's a shooter. It's all up to you. What you have to realize is that you have to have a firm grip on any handgun so that when you squeeze the trigger and hold the gun steady, the bullet goes where you want it to go. Once you realize that a firm, strong grip is the key, you'll pass any test. Too many people don't realize this, and it's sad.
     
  16. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    If that's your goal you'll be wasting your time and money. There are lots of better options out there to improve your shooting skills. That class is designed to teach you how to teach the NRA Basic Pistol class, nothing more.
    I used a Glock 19, but that's a very basic test. You should be able to easily pass that with any gun you intend to regularly carry.
     
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  17. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    I got obsessed with this when I took the instructors course and did it with every gun I had. The LCP and Shield took the most time and concentration.

    Officially I passed it with a 5" 686 firing DA.

    I took the old First Steps course years ago taking a .22lr for the range portion. The instructor gently chided me about it and challenged me that I should be able to do it with any caliber. He also strongly suggested students do the NRA Distinguished Expert course. So I took him up on it by doing the course with a .44mag
     
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  18. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    We all are. There are lots of good shooting classes to help with that.
     
  19. Lineman65

    Lineman65 Member

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    This response says it all. I’m an instructor in Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun and a couple of others. I used to teach in a youth program and NRA certification was required. It was of no value to me as a shooter. Some guys liked the discounts, but I wasn’t really interested in that aspect of it.
    If you are truly interested in improving, competition is the quickest means to that end in my opinion.
    Best of luck to you.
     
  20. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    I used a Buckmark when I took it.
     
  21. Craig_VA
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    Craig_VA Contributing Member

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    STATUS Update:
    I passed the shooting test (used my Heritage Rough Rider) and the 'how to instruct the NRA way' portion of the class on Saturday, and the 'teaching the NRA pistol course' portion on Sunday. I got what I had been looking for in the course, and it was both informative and enjoyable. Met some really nice folks among the students, including one cop, one (armed) private security guy, and one state game & fish field manager. Interestingly, two of the students own a hunting lodge with outdoor range (they hosted the course), and plan to start offering classes there. They asked me if I would be available to teach for them, so this may be turning into a nice side-gig for me.
    I think it will take about month for me NRA to certify me.

    I agree with you, and that is why I have also been enjoying an IDPA-style informal competition each month since last spring.
     
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