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Some thoughts on The Value of Firearms Training

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Having been involved with firearms most of my life and that is a few years, I have had the opportunity to receive training from several different sources. Depending on the expediency of the training or if I paid for it often determined what I learned and what I RETAINED. Retention is the key here.

I’m a man, had my first toy gun before I can remember, my first rifle at age six, could field strip and put back together a Colt 1911 at age seven. Needless to say I know everything there is to know about handguns…..NOT. Well I was born with a Y chromosome so of course it’s genetic; I know how to shoot, particularly better than women…..NOT.

My point is I believe that today so many people, in particular men, think they go purchase a handgun and voila, they are now shooters…well I am here to tell you from experience YOU ARE NOT A GOOD SHOOTER just because you bought a handgun, or that you bought a $1,000 handgun and you go to the range regularly and throw a $100 worth of ammunition downrange at a piece of paper.

My partner and I go to a range on average of two to three days a week, most often with students but still often by ourselves. We go to teach, and when we do we learn from our students. We go to practice our perishable skills. We go to practice new techniques we learned. We go to work with different guns to improve our skills and knowledge. ALL OF THIS GOING to the range is a lot of fun but for us as instructors it is often very frustrating because we get to see the wide population of shooters. It’s frustrating because we see people who spend all this time and money and just plain CANNOT SHOOT FOR SHIT.

Many of you think you shoot well and that if you only throw a few more hundred dollars downrange you will get better. My guess you will only accomplish spending a few more hundred dollars for without TRAINING from a qualified shooting instructor you ARE NOT GOING TO IMPROVE. Without good instruction from someone knowledgeable in the various types of marksmanship you will not get better. I heard this great line; “if you practice crap all you will become is a Crap Master”, and we see this over and over.

We were at a range recently with four young ladies who had never shot a handgun prior to that day. While there several men were commenting on how well these gals were shooting. One guy came up to me and asked if we were part of a shooting club. I replied no, we were instructors and these ladies were new to pistol shooting that very day. He quickly spun on his heels and went back to his stall to continue to throw dollars downrange without improving his skills. He was what I call the typical male shooter, been shooting for many years, may own several guns, spends a couple hundred dollars a month on bad practice and was completely put off that four girls who had never shot before that day were shooting into ONE ragged hole whereas his target looked like it was hit with a 14” barrel shotgun, with few if any holes in the bullseye. I offered him a card which he refused because he did not need training; he already was a shooter in his mind.

This one is a must add. I was at TGR recently trying out a new Sig P220 and was shooting in a stall next to a couple. The lady seemed new to shooting and the guy was "apparently" teaching her. Her target looked like so many new and old shooters, rounds all over the place and very few in the x-ring. Bad thing about this story is the "teachers" target looked about the same. When the guy came outside he laid his target on the counter and said "Guess that bad guy won't be going anywhere fast." I could not help myself, grabbed a card and handed it to him and said if he wanted to shoot better to give us a call. He quickly replied he did not need training and portrayed himself as a LEO or that he had received POST Training. His target looked laughable because he could not shoot for shit... sorry but that's the facts Jack.

There are literally hundreds of stories I could tell you just like these, all with the same result, the person knows they cannot shoot for shit, won’t admit they need to take lessons or believe lessons are TOO expensive, they throw money down the range toilet and think that spending $200 for a day’s training is too much.

Different types of training are available out there, some pretty darn good and some no better than practicing crap. Unless it is the highest quality school going to the range with one instructor and fifteen or twenty shooters will accomplish nothing more than going by yourself because you are not going to receive any instruction. Paying $45 for a class is going to get you a $45 class, which is akin to buying a loved one a $45 diamond, a pretty worthless experience.

The last major class we attended was four days of advanced tactical pistol; we paid $500 a day per person and shot over 200 rounds a day. It was worth every cent. Plus we had travel, food and lodging expense on top of the daily fee.

So I want to end by trying to put this into perspective with a few cogent points: You will spend several hundred dollars for a new TV but $200 to improve your life saving self-defense skills is too much, you will purchase a $1,000 hand gun but $200 is too much to learn how to use it effectively, you can go downtown for dinner on the weekend and drop $200 plus and then walk into a mugging not knowing what to do and $200 for some marksmanship training is too much.

What is your ability to effectively use a handgun worth to you? Owning one does not mean you can use it, go give a car to a 12 year old and find out first hand about ownership and effective use.

In today’s world there is an ever increasing amount of asocial violence, people who were not raised in a civilized manner, that believe it is their right to take from you whatever and however they want. Home invasions are on the rise. Gun sales are reaching epic numbers, and ammunition is as scarce as hens’ teeth. You have two choices in life when placed in a violent confrontation; you can be walking away okay, or lying on the ground with grave bodily injuries. Your choice really is to decide to improve your self-defense shooting skills. You can take training to learn more, to get better, or not, your choice.

Those who think that a gun is some sort of a magic wand that will keep them safe and ward off evil are gravely mistaken. You can go to a range everyday and that will essentially be useless in a violent confrontation. Without effective training, training in real life situations under stress, your gun will not be practical for use in your self defense or for the defense of loved ones. In a violent confrontation your accuracy will be less than half of that on your worst day at the range. So if you are not putting all of your rounds into an eight inch circle without the benefit of a perfect sight picture you are not going to stop any violent attacks. FBI statistics show that 90% of police shootings are fired at the assailant at a distance of five feet, is over in 3 seconds. NYPD statistics show that the "hit ratio" in 1999 was only 13%. Despite these facts far too many handgun owners believe they will magically do better than this just because they own a gun and go to the range. . . NOT!!! If you have never taken any formal firearms training you would be completely floored by your improvement with just one lesson.

If you want to improve your marksmanship and safe gun handling skills call or email us. We will show you how to improve your skill set and leave you with the tools to improve on your own, at your own pace. Your choice.

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