Author Topic: Choosing a handgun class  (Read 6904 times)

Offline MNSunflower

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Choosing a handgun class
« on: July 03, 2015, 08:12:22 PM »
I'm looking into taking some basic handgun classes and am wondering if anyone has suggestions on things to look for or questions to ask.  I am familiar with guns, having hunted for years but mostly using rifles.  I've really never seriously worked on my handgun skills.  I found a few local people who offer classes so I thought I'd gather some ideas before making calls.  Of course I'll take into account things like how they treat me and such.  Thanks in advance!

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Choosing a handgun class
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 01:56:50 AM »
The first thing you need to ask for is a list of other women who have taken their course, and you need to call them and ask about their experiences.

A good instructor/course will have references, not just claims and boasts.

Our local club has a Ladies Day a couple of times each year and the women members run the show.  No bossy know it all men allowed.   A couple of our women are NRA instructor certified and run training just for the women.

Offline LizardGurl

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Re: Choosing a handgun class
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 08:43:19 AM »
The NRA has a program for women called Women on Target.  I ave taken handgun, rifle & shot gun classes through this program.  They had one instructor for 2 women when we moved from the classroom to the range.  I felt comfortable and had fun in all the classes.

Here's a link to their find a clinic near you page:

http://women.nra.org/womens-instructional-shooting-clinics/find-a-clinic-near-you.aspx

LG

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Choosing a handgun class
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2015, 10:59:55 AM »
Well, there is good in your situation.  If you have not really spent much time getting formal instruction on the handgun, the good news is many many different classes including ones with local instructors that may not be world class but still quite helpful to you.  To be honest a good instructor who is intellectually honest and a good teacher in general should be fine for your first few classes.

While it is not the be all, end all, instructors with law enforcement experience and accomplished competition shooters are an easy filter to make sure you are not getting a complete mouth breather.  Be cautious around those that claim their stuff is for the streetz and see no point in competition unless they have significant LE experience like full time firearms training unit instructor or time on a full time SWAT team.  Also be leery about those who teach "point shooting" or "instinctive shooting" as the primary method of handgun engagement. 

Finally, this is not the Asian martial arts, do not become a disciple of a certain instructor or school.    Spread your training dollars out among more than one source to reduce the chance of falling pray to instructor's blind spots or their own derp.  There are instructors, schools and courses I do not like however to the neophyte only a handful will not be valuable.  Understand that the better you get as a student of the pistol the further afield you will need to go to get instruction of value to you (unless you are exceedingly lucky to live near the home range of one of the greats, but then you have to pay the "great instructor" prices  ;D ).

I also suggest adopting a "standards" shooting test after your first class.  It is a simple measure of shooting ability to measure yourself against.  Think of it like weight lifting and writing down your progress so you can track and work on your performance.

Offline MaddoginMass

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Re: Choosing a handgun class
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2015, 11:33:58 AM »
Women on Target is a great program.  My daughter went through it the year before last and I volunteered at it.  It is top notch.

Offline LizardGurl

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Re: Choosing a handgun class
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 09:13:23 AM »
Women on Target is a great program.  My daughter went through it the year before last and I volunteered at it.  It is top notch.
I agree!  The last time I did the handgun course, I was one on one with my range instructor.  She was also the range instructor for a local law enforcement unit. 

I've taken the handgun course several times.  The range they use is nice.  I always learn something new, because I get a different instructor at the range.  Another advantage is that I get to try a variety of guns.  I'm trying  to figure out which I like best, so this is helpful.

LG

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Re: Choosing a handgun class
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 06:27:10 PM »
It doesn't look like John has any women's specific or basic classes in your area, but him and his wife put on a great women's specific class. Vicky even wrote a book specific to teaching women in Law Enforcement.

http://defense-training.com/dti/2015-schedule/

If you had more experience, I'd highly recommend his airsoft class, but it's really an advanced class, not for beginners.

Offline Kilroy

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Re: Choosing a handgun class - Becoming an Outdoors Woman
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2015, 10:16:56 PM »
From Firearm Safety to shooting handguns, shotguns and rifles.  Plus, many other essential outdoor skills.

http://gfp.sd.gov/outdoor-learning/BOW.aspx


Offline David in MN

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Re: Choosing a handgun class
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2015, 06:09:36 PM »
I'm rashly guessing we share the same MN...

This state (region) is the land that training forgot. Everybody here who shoots learned from a family member and NRA support is kinda thin compared to the south Midwest.

All that said, there are some ranges that offer courses (Bill's comes to mind) and deals on crowd cut (my wife watches it). You can find basics but don't expect in-depth training.

If you're in the cities, PM me if you want a "range buddy". If I can part with the kiddo I'll gladly shoot with you (and bring a selection of handguns)  ;D .

Offline Odin's Son

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Re: Choosing a handgun class
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2015, 12:52:19 PM »
Well obviously I'm not a woman and my wife is a police officer too, so she's probably not the best example either but I would like to give my 2 cents as an instructor.  First I would question myself, do I want a woman's only course? Let me be clear, i'm a big proponent of womens only courses.  I love them!   But ask why you would want one.  If you can think of even one reason then by all means, take one.  I think it's a great idea to take one before going to any mixed class if for nothing other than gaining the confidence needed to deal with some of the a-holes that sometimes are found in shooting classes/clubs. 

More questions I would ask of a woman's only course;

What makes this course different from your mixed course? - Find out if there are specific areas that are focused on for women or is this just the same shooting course but without men around?  Of course some of the class will be the same but some should be different. 
 
What are the qualifications of the instructors, male or female?   - You should want the best instructors possible, not instructors chosen because they are women.  You want the best you can find, regardless of sex. 

What kind of class is this?  - Meaning is this a basic pistol course or a concealed carry course or a self defense style course.

With just these basic questions and the answers given, it should spark more indepth questions that can help you decide if the course is for you or not. 

edit:  I'm assuming your leaning toward a women's only course since this didn't get posted on one of the weapons boards.  If I'm wrong, by all means tell me.  I can post a course outline of our basic pistol class and you can use that as a guide to what some good topics I would look for. 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 12:57:36 PM by Odin's Son »