Picking the right gun class to jump start your gun training

A group of women take aim at targets during a Girl and a Gun Shooting League event. (Photo: A Girl and A Gun)

Education is a vital component of gun ownership. Grasping the basic safety rules as well as the fundamentals of marksmanship sets new gun owners on the path for success. With a sea of options available, deciphering how to find the best gun class for you can seem overwhelming. That’s why Guns.com is here to help with some tips on why gun classes are a great investment and how to find one near you.

Why take a class?

Classes are useful resources that not only set gun owners on the right path but also save time and money in the long run. A basic or introductory class is a phenomenal way to familiarize yourself with your firearm while also gaining the basic tools of success at the range.

Safety is the foremost concern as a gun owner and good habits, and even bad ones, stick with you; therefore, it’s essential to start out on the right foot. Taking a class introduces you to the basics of gun safety, ensuring you and others remain safe while shooting and handling firearms. Though it seems like a no-brainer, an instructor can help reinforce good habits and prevent any bad ones from slipping into your routine. A quality gun instructor and class will drive home those basics of firearms safety that are necessary to responsibly own a gun.

In addition, a gun course will also reinforce good handling habits as well as marksmanship skills. Learning how to shoot well from the get-go will not only save on frustration at the range but also makes effective use of range time. Ultimately, starting the gun journey from a point of understanding and with good habits backing you will ensure that no time or money is wasted when you head to the range to practice.

Tips on finding the right class in a sea of options

Instructors from Trigger Happy Firearm Training help students on the range. (Photo: Trigger Happy Firearm Instruction)

The first step in enrollment is finding a class nearby. Organizations and shooting leagues dedicated to education are a good place to start. The NRA runs its own basic, introductory courses that can serve as a starting point for those just jumping into the gun pool. A Girl and a Gun shooting league is also a great resource for women looking for female instructors to begin their gun training with.

Another option is to talk to local gun stores and ranges to determine instructors in your area. Most ranges are staffed by those in the local gun community who often have a pulse on who’s who in the community. Start by asking for recommendations then take to the web. Follow-up their list with a search online and on sites like Yelp and Facebook to narrow down potential instructors.

Once a solid list is formulated, start calling respective schools or instructors and speak with the teacher of the course you’re interested in taking. Things to ask include:

  1. What background in firearms does the instructor have?
  2. How long have they been teaching?
  3. What certifications do they hold?
  4. Who have they trained under in the past?
  5. What is the most recent class they have attended?
  6. What classes are they taking or how do they stay current on information?
  7. Are they first aid certified?
  8. What is their style of instruction?

By asking these questions, you’re getting to the heart of who the instructor is in the classroom. Be wary of instructors who deflect answering the questions or who don’t seem interested in pursuing continuing education. The most effective instructors are those that continue to learn on their own time.  These are the teachers you want teaching you.

In addition to learning about the instructor him/herself also inquire about the course. Basics like days/times of the class, how long the class runs, prices and what equipment is required are all fundamental points to be aware of. Though it might be tempting to go with a “cheaper” class, bear in mind that quality is more sound investment than price.

We live in a day of social media and video, so don’t forget to use that to your advantage. Most good instructors will have videos of their class or themselves shooting online. Be wary of any instructor who seems reluctant to share their skills in front of their students.

When it’s all said and done and information has been gathered, evaluate your options. Decipher which instructor you jive with better and which course is in the direction you want your gun lifestyle to grow. All that’s left is to sign up!

Final thoughts

In the search for good gun training remember that you are investing in a lifelong skill and let that be the motivating factor. Also, keep in mind that gun training shouldn’t be a one and done venture. Continuing to take classes and educate yourself on tactics and techniques, no matter your style of shooting, will help you achieve your goals on your gun journey.

Editor’s Note: Check out Alliance Police Training for a great list of instructor’s and courses in the Midwest.

This article was syndicated from Guns.com Guns.com is a niche news web site that publishes original reporting on the wide range of topics within the gun world. We publish Monday through Saturday. Our approach is to explore the topic of guns through the widest lens possible, to deliver these findings as fairly and accurately as possible and to host the opinions and perspectives of our writers and readers as selflessly as possible, trying our best not to get in the way of our contributors. Our desire is to allow our writers and readers to tell their stories, no matter what the story is, as long as we believe a) it will benefit or interest gun owners and b) conforms to ethical journalistic methods and practices. Our headquarters are in Illinois but our contributors submit to us from across the United States — from Maine to California, from Texas to Alaska and every state in between.