Are you considering attending a firearms training course? These 8 tips may help you have a more successful class.
1. Attend firearms training with an open mind.
Listen to the instructors and follow the tactics and techniques they teach (unless it is unsafe). Even if it is a technique you may not agree with, why not try it? Take full advantage of everything being taught. See it, hear it and try it. When I attend someone’s training I listen intently to what they say. When the technique is then being demonstrated, I make sure to move myself to an area where I have a good view of the demonstration. Most importantly, I concentrate when I implement the technique myself, making sure I understand the process.
2. Know your firearm.
Although most instructors will help you, remember there are others in the class and you shouldn’t take up time trying to figure out your gun. This may mean reading your gun’s manual or perhaps watching some online videos ahead of time. Since I know how to disassemble my gun, I always make sure it is both clean and lubricated before I attend a class.
3. Bring all the equipment needed.
Did the instructor provide a list of the items needed? How much ammunition? Do you need a holster? Since I train both indoors and outdoors I wear ESS glasses with interchangeable lenses. That way I am ready for any lighting situation. I also bring both earplugs and electronic earmuffs. I can double up my hearing protect if necessary, or choose one or the other. When a holster is needed for a class, consider the type of training. Unless it is specifically a concealed carry class, I wear an outside-the-waistband drop holster, along with a double magazine pouch. Most importantly, I bring extra ammunition.
4. Wear the appropriate clothing.
Are you training inside or outside? If outside, did you check the weather forecast? Will you be shooting paper or steel? Since I wear a holster that needs a belt when I train, I wear long pants with belt loops. The long pants also keep me from getting injured by any splash back, especially when shooting steel. Regardless of the elements a baseball hat is also a good idea. Not only does is keep brass from hitting my face, it also keeps both the sun and rain off my glasses. Speaking of rain, make sure to pack rain gear and layers if you are going to be outside. As well as the proper shoes for the surface you will be shooting on.
5. Pack a lunch, snacks and water.
Many times, depending on where the range is, you may need to travel far to buy a lunch. When I train, I bring a packed lunch with me. There are many times when the most valuable information from a training is learned during lunch time. It would be a shame to miss that because you have to make a trip to McDonalds. Staying hydrated and having snacks to keep your energy up is also important. There are many different types of snack bars, look for ones with a high amount of protein in them. And besides bringing just water, pack some mixes with electrolytes, especially on a hot day.
6. Ask questions.
If you don’t understand terminology, ask the instructor to explain it to you. Restate what you think he means in your own words to confirm you have the correct understanding. Remember, more than likely there is someone else in the class that has the same question, but is afraid to ask.
7. Don’t except everything you hear as gospel.
Although the principle points of instructors may be the same, you will certainly learn new tactics and some of his own techniques, that may be helpful. Try what you learn, see if it helps you improve, and go forward from there. You ultimately have to decide what works best for you.
8. Be on time.
Show up on time … actually arrive early. Find out how the instructor wants your gear organized. Usually class begins with an unloaded firearm and no ammunition in the classroom.