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Things to know before taking a CCW Class

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by StuntHeavy, Sep 4, 2009.

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  1. StuntHeavy

    StuntHeavy Member

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    So I've seen alot of threads on different boards about which class to take, what permit(s) are best, which holster, which style of carry, which firearm, which ammo, and so on and so forth. But I can't recall ever seeing a thread about things to go over, to prep yourself before taking a ccw course.

    What are some things that should be gone over/practiced/knowledge that should be known by those who are looking to take a CCW course in the near future?

    I believe general firearm safety, ears & eyes, and the 4 are pretty much a given, but is there anything on top of that?

    I'm looking to enroll in a class in the new few months (once I get my pennies saved up...I want to take the class, and send in for different permits at the same time, to cover all my bases), so I have some spare time on my hands until then.

    I don't want to waste the instructor's, or my time having to be taught something I should already know.

    How proficient does one have to be? I'd currently consider myself decent with a handgun, but theres always room for improvement. Are there any particular distances that I should know, so that I could practice those specifically?
     
  2. w_houle

    w_houle Member

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    I don't want to waste the instructor's, or my time having to be taught something I should already know.

    You pay for the course, might as well get it.
     
  3. bensdad

    bensdad Member

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    Try to know the laws (re. carry) in your state before the class. that way, you can ask more detailed, informed questions. If you're really a half-way decent shot, the qual should be no problem. I'm not in Maine, but I can't imagine that it's much different.

    One thing to be really cognizant of is trigger finger. There was one person in my class who had the rest of us a little upset. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL READY TO SHOOT!

    There's also one very serious thing to consider. Are you willing to spend the rest of your life in prison for protecting yourself or your family? I know none of us ever plans on going to prison. However, a jury can be a fickle thing.

    just sayin.
     
  4. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    The class I took made the class material available ahead of time.
    Going over that and the state laws regarding CC allowed me to ask intelligent questions, unlike some of the people who obviously reserved a spot and did zero research before the class.

    Just casual research online will make you look like a genius in the class, most likely.
     
  5. StealthyBlagga

    StealthyBlagga Member

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    Can you safely draw from a holster ? Can you safely reload and reholster ? Make sure you can do these things proficiently - don't worry about speed, just safety. If you are not sure, practice with an UNLOADED weapon (double check unloaded, no ammo in the room, still observe the 4 rules etc.).
     
  6. WTBguns10kOK

    WTBguns10kOK Member

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    Just make sure you're awake and breathing normally on the day of the class. I did that for 4 hours, signed my own documents and viola I wented to get a permit.
     
  7. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    StealthyBlagga, the AZ course included working with a holster?
    The Ohio one didn't, which I found odd.
     
  8. loop

    loop Member

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    What you need to know is that you need to listen to your instructor. No matter what you know your instructor earned the right to teach. You have not.

    Pay attention and show respect.

    Understand that some of your fellow students were lost at the word breech.

    If you are so advanced that you don't really need the class, show it on the firing line - not before.

    Try to subtly and quietly help the students who are lagging.

    Do not be argumentative with your instructor. Don't ask stupid questions because you can.

    Be honest, helpful and focused.

    Don't worry about your equipment. Worry about what you do with it.

    The last thing I want in one of my classes is someone who has all the "right" equipment and knows how to do everything.

    In short - be a student.
     
  9. ezypikns

    ezypikns Member

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    Excellent Advice.

    I don't know how it is in Maine, but here in Texas it is assumed that you know firearms safety and are familiar with your weapon before you ever sign up for a class. At the same time, there are always a few who bring their new pistol or revolver to the class to learn all about it. Very bad choice.

    As someone pointed out earlier, you'll probably receive information in the mail before the class. It's nice but not necessary that you review this information.

    Pretend you know nothing. Listen and pay attention. Do exactly as you're instructed.

    When you're on the firing line, pay particular attention to what is being said.


    The people I've seen in CHL/CCW courses who have problems are usually the ones who believe they know more than the instructor.


    I believe you'll find the range qualification to be the easiest part of the course.


    The hardest part is waiting for your license to arrive in the mail.
     
  10. scottaschultz

    scottaschultz Member

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    I would say that the very first thing you should do is ask yourself why you want a CCW permit. Of course the obvious answer is to protect your own life and that of loved ones, but judging by some of the posts I see here and on other forums, I can't help but think that some people actually think that the CCW permit somehow empowers to uphold and enforce the law "because the police can't be everywhere".

    If you seriously want to apprehend "BG's" and make your town a safe place to live, enroll in your local academy. The other choice is to enlist. Not only is the training free, they actually pay you to get trained! On the down side, you are also being paid to be shot at!

    Scott
     
  11. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    Mine too. The instructor gave out a DVD (about two hours worth) when you sign up, to watch before you show up for the class, covering NC CC law with instructions to "drink a lot of coffee before you watch it... 'cause it's real boring and real important"...

    Les
     
  12. Ghost Walker

    Ghost Walker Member

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    Well, I am an instructor; and, straight off, I noticed something in your initial statements that would cause me to keep a careful eye on you.

    'The 4' should never be taken for granted. It is NOT enough to know these rules; Cooper's Four Safety Rules need to be inculcated into your: physical, emotional, and mental patterns of habitual reflex.

    (In other words, if you have to consciously stop and think about it then the lessons haven't really been learned!)

    A large majority of firearms owners know all about Cooper's Four Rules; however, this never seems to stop someone from either blowing his own brains out or shooting someone else in the foot. Don't take these rules for granted; don't be smug when referring to them, either.

    As I said, 'The Four Rules' have to become an intimate part of your everyday habits; otherwise you're only kidding yourself and that dreaded accident with a gun remains more likely to happen. If not right now then several, or more, years on down the road.

    (You can trust me on this. I've already seen it all, at least, twice!) ;)

    Yes, it's always a good idea to be familiar with your home state's gun laws; and, if you can, get the course literature in advance and read it over from cover to cover.

    Here, and strictly from my memory:

    1. The gun is ALWAYS loaded.

    2. Never allow the muzzle to, so much as, cross ANYTHING you are unwilling to see destroyed.

    3. Never place your finger inside the triggerguard until AFTER you have made a conscious decision to fire.

    4. 'Mark' your target AND what is behind it.


    Remember: These aren't rules; they're HABITS! ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  13. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    While being an instructor does NOT necessarily mean you are always right (even on course material), it DOES mean you are in charge, and you are the authority in the class.

    So, as a student, if you have a problem or disagree with something the instructor says, talk to him about it in private, not in front of the class. The instructor might have a reason to be teaching something which you think isn't right, but with some deeper wisdom turns out to be better than what you think is right. As a student, you're there to learn, not to undermine the teacher's authority or cast doubt in his abilities.

    And lastly, even if you think you know better on technique, try it his/her way, think of it as broadening your horizon. You may find you like it better after all.
     
  14. Nicodemus38

    Nicodemus38 Member

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    the first thing to check is if they allow you to use your own gun during the shooting test or if they make you use one of their loaner handguns. if you cant use your own gun, see what weapons you have to choose from and select the closest to what you shoot.
     
  15. flrfh213

    flrfh213 Member

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    i got my cfl in florida, i did as i was told when i was told and hit com when i was asked to SAFLEY DISCHARGE THE DIRECTED WEAPON, had 2/3 the class almost upset with my shot..... hit com with only shot and made it look easy... most just got round down range but passed. was no holster involved, it was pick up, point in safe direction down range and fire then safly set weapon down... easy direct and to the point...
     
  16. tpaw

    tpaw Member

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    Know the laws in your state especially the ones addressing "deadly physical force". If by any chance you have to use your firearm against another person, remember this, once that bullet leaves the barrel of your hand gun, you can't take it back!
     
  17. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    In CT we only have to take the NRA basic safety course and there is only one permit you can get. It is a catch all carry permit (CCW/Open). Just show up and be awake. There is not much to it but learning safety.
     
  18. StuntHeavy

    StuntHeavy Member

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    Thanks for all the great info gentlemen. This is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for.

    Sorry if I worded my ideas awkwardly in my first post. That probably made them confusing, and I apologize for that. But, I certainly did not say take the 4 for granted. I meant to imply that it was a given that someone should at least be familiar with those 4, and know what was intended by them. I certainly dont want to be "that guy" sending a cannonball through my neighbors house 400yrds away (as seen in that other thread floating around here)

    I'm not too far from my school days, so I should retain the ability to keep my mouth shut, and scribble notes and facts furiously.

    Sounds like it'll be a great experience, and money well spent. I look forward to some formal training!
     
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I would think about what kinds of things are important to you and ask questions within that general topic when it is appropriate. Try not to interupt the instructor. You're paying for it, so let him/her instruct. The instruction generally follows a certain pattern and you will probably at least have an outline.

    I would be sure to shoot a day or so prior to the class with the handgun you are taking the shooting portion of the class.

    One of the things that interested me was how other people conceal their firearm. Seeing it is alot better than reading about it.

    Know how much ammo you need for the class. I would not use a 22LR even if it is legal to qualify with the gun. Shoot something that you actually may carry.
     
  20. KenWP

    KenWP member

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    From my experience most instructors have some kind of blind spot be it a saftey issue or some kind of prejudice about something. It is sometimes impossible to keep silent when he is saying something totally dumb that you know isn't right or he's presenting it wrong. Just because a guy has the words instructor along with his name dosn't mean he can instruct worth a darn. I alwasy go into a class like that ready to take on the instructor if he's got any flaws as most times he's got the job becasue nobody else wanted it.
     
  21. Ghost Walker

    Ghost Walker Member

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    :) It's OK! I just wanted you to be more aware of your mental thought processes regarding this subject. 'The 4' set me off because it is a very casual remark that might be indicative of an attitude that, 'won't really get the job done for you.'

    In more than 50 years on the line, believe me, I've seen it all, and been grazed twice! Know what? Sometimes, my own personal safety habits have slipped too. Confusion, distraction, preoccupation, whatever, it happens! All I'm trying to put across is that the concept of merely, 'knowing' the Four Rules isn't anywhere near enough to keep you and anyone else around you genuinely safe.

    In order to be truly effective you have to constantly: think, feel, and reflex in tune with these important safety ideals. Even then your habits might not be enough. In all these years I've never had a serious accident with a gun that I was handling. The same thing, however, cannot be said for some of the other people around me.

    (I could tell you stories; but, unquestionably, it was my habitual safety behaviors that always prevented worse from happening at the moment something suddenly went wrong!)

    Still, for all of my acquired caution and ingrained safety habits there was that time when I tripped and fell. The gun I was carrying landed in front of me with the muzzle pointing at a very understanding older woman who - seeing my face turn red - decided not to read me the, 'riot act'.

    Stuff happens, even to the most careful among us. Just be aware that there is no such thing as being 100% safe with a firearm. Things will, however, be a lot safer and trouble will be less likely to happen if you teach yourself how to use your daily habits in order to protect yourself and others.

    That's all I'm saying. ;)






    PS: Ken, you must be a, 'joy' to work with! :D
     
  22. jfdavis58

    jfdavis58 Member

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    I must be the exception because my instructor was one of the most gun knowledgeable and subject unbiased fellows I've ever met. He was patient and helpful, firm and level headed and friendly with everyone. In fact, the only problem any of us encountered in the class or on the range was guns that didn't fit their users.

    We had at least three people who had never fired a gun on a controlled range and they all brought small cannons to shoot-two 44mag and one 454!?!?!?. Lucky for them that many of the rest of us brought small arsenals of handguns spanning a full selection of gun & grip sizes and calibers.

    My suggestion for anyone considering concealed carry is spend some time at a controlled range (with a good range officer) which offers rental guns--get one that fits your hand well and in a caliber that you are comfortable controlling.
     
  23. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Made my evening. I just had to laugh.
     
  24. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    Me too.

    Jeez. I mean... eh?

    Les
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  25. Seven©

    Seven© Member

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    In some cases, if you are allowed to carry concealed. :)
    Seriously.
    I've seen guys go through the class, pass, then get denied a permit because they had a felony or prior assault conviction.
    Then they come back raising the devil. It's not an instructor's place to determine that. Well, not it my state anyways.
     
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