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Top Ten Signs You’ve Chosen a Bad CCW Instructor
‘From the home office in Paulden, Arizona, the Top Ten Signs You’ve Chosen a Bad CCW Instructor…
- He starts off his safety speech by saying “Accidental discharges are something you need to get used to.”
- He shows off his challenge coin from Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
- He spends more time complimenting your choice of camo gear than he does correcting your shooting stance.
- He demonstrates techniques he learned from playing Call of Duty.
- His class coursework on aiming your gun properly refers to “site picture”.
- He’s wearing a drop leg holster. On his arm.
- He’s proud of the fact he’s teaching like they did in the ’50s. The 1850s.
- His talk on the legalities of carrying a firearm is “Shoot first, ask questions later” and nothing more.
- He says he can’t pick up yours or anyone else’s guns because his felony conviction is still on appeal.
And the #1 sign you’ve chosen a bad CCW instructor…
- He starts off the range session with “Here, hold my beer while I try this.”
Unless he is this guy:
Then it is understandable.
(Of course, it may mean you have fallen into a time warp.)
I had allowed my CCH to lapse, so that’s exactly how I spent the day today.
My instructor had this guy beat by a mile. He set up tapper at the range, so he just set his beer down on the bar which was part of the tapper rig.
(I keed! I keed! He and his instructor wife and and his army reserve son brought a small portion of their arsenal and after the range qualification portion was finished, we were invited to sample – should we desire – .22, .380, 9mm, .45, .223 and .308. Darkness, however, overtook the ability to complete all the selections.
One of the best parts of the day was a couple who had never fired a gun before. The wife was the more enthusiastic and skillful of the two. She qualified with a .22, putting about 25 out of 30 shots in the 10-ring of a B-27 target. Then, successively bigger “Wow”s as she shot a 9mm and then a .223. She ended the day with a huge smile saying, “Wait ’till I tell all my liberal friends how I spent the day.”
How much training do you think necessary to safely carry? I had extensive training while in the military, but that was a decade ago. Some things never go away (the verbatim definition of deadly force may be my dying words), but how much of what I learned and practiced then needs refreshing now?
Washington State is a shall issue state. There is no training requirement for a concealed license, which I like, but judging by the number of people at the sheriff’s office when I renewed mine the law of averages says there are some people carrying around here who shouldn’t.
Sorry – does everyone know what CCW means but me?
Concealed carry something?
I had to do this on another thread when “SJW” didn’t ring a bell. Could I suggest a standard wherein abbreviations are written out the first time so everyone can follow?
Carry? Know the Three (or Four) Rules of Gun Safety, get a good holster and gun belt, go shootin’ every once in a while, try not to suck.
Win a gunfight?
I went to Front Sight a few years ago, and lil’ ol’ USPSA C-Class (at the time) me shot better than 90% of the class, and those were people who cared about marksmanship enough to get some training. Imagine how poorly a street thug shoots who’s probably put less than 100 rounds downrange his entire life.
The thing is, there are plenty of incidents where people with little or no training defended their lives successfully with a firearm. There are also plenty of times when someone with no winter driving experience successfully negotiated black ice. However, as Louis Pasteur once said, fortune favors the prepared mind. Thankfully, it probably won’t be Todd Jarrett you’ll be facing on the worst day of your life, so there is that . As a guideline, I’d recommend shooting a half-dozen IDPA/USPSA matches, a two-day class, and follow that up with at least 50 rounds of serious skill practice each month.
“Carry Concealed Weapon” license, also known as a CHL (Concealed Handgun License) or CPL (I’ll let you figure that out. :D ).
CCW – Concealed Carry Weapon
CCH – Concealed Carry Handgun
CWP – Concealed Weapon Permit
CHP – Concealed Handgun Permit
CCP – Concealed Carry Permit
and, of course,
LSMFT – Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco
Same thing, different states. Except that last one. That’s used to be NC.
Nonsense. Circle-strafing is the perfect technique for dealing with a home invader (or an overbearing government) and head-shots are the only shots worth getting.
The Navy was pretty heavy on the 4 primary rules of safety, and my youngest can quote them from memory, so I’ve had to cement them in my mind again to teach them. Most of my time in the Navy was really light on training, just 55 rounds a year to qualify. I went to a week long school several years ago that changed the paradigm. I shot more rounds each day in that class than I shot cumulative the rest of the 14 years I was in. And, on the last day we had to expend ammo, meaning 5 cans of 9mm, 4 cans of .556, and 4 cans of 12 gauge. We basically shot till our fingers were sore then reloaded till our thumbs were sore, rinse and repeat. But, the best part of the class was arming up first thing in the morning and carrying all day. Everyone left the class much more comfortable with arms.
You forgot CPL, concealed pistol license. (Wa)
Kevin didn’t ;)
Actually, when I trained with Gabe Suarez, he pretty much taught us that technique as a component of the “don’t get shot” part of winning a gunfight. I’m not sure it’s something to use every time, but it did bring a new sense of reality to things.
Thanks for the clarifications!
Instructors ? Recall a video of an off duty officer instructing a class. The officer after a lenghty speech, drew his weapon and nearly shot his own foot off in the classroom. “Accidental Discharge” and well beyond any measure of safety or common sense.
Range rules have changed over time and for good reason for the benifit of all. Try this for an example.
A long haired Hippie dude with a backpack walks into the indoor range one evening. Then inquires if he can fire full auto, to which the owner replies, Well Ok. (The range was pretty vacant). So the Hippie pulls out a MAC10 and lets loose – The downside ? Steel jacketed rounds brought a whole new meaning to the term Ricochet that night. The rules changed, post haste –
That old story and some folk at the range today still give one pause.
My local indoor range had to tighten its rules severely after an idiot left the stand with 2 rounds still in the magazine, then ND’d them into the ceiling and the observation window (thankfully bulletproof, no injuries). Now, no weapons leave the stand unless in a case. Makes packing and unpacking long guns a real PIA, but it only takes 1 idiot to ruin a day.
I’ll never do a PIT, but that seems a great PIT title.
Why not, Eeyore?
King Prawn, first I commend you for asking how much training is required to carry. Most people don’t bother to even consider that and if I ask them what it takes the answer is usually “a gun and license”. I ask them about a holster and usually get blank stares.
My recommendation for those in the DFW area is: 3 days and ~900 rounds. Defensive Handgun 1, Defensive Handgun 2, and Texas CHL.
I’ve seen arguments (maybe not good ones) that training is good but not necessary. The basic argument is that we’re not idiots, and that common sense/mindfulness is really the key to safety, and that’s not something which can be taught. I’m open to such arguments, but that school which had me carry condition 1 all day every day bludgeoned mindfulness into me. Since I haven’t carried much in a while I know I’ve lost some of that and wonder what it will take to get it back.
As for holsters, I have Comp-Tac for IWB and an Uncle Mike’s for OWB when I’m hiking. I may go with Aliengear next pistol.
How much training to carry safely? I really can’t answer that. As long as all you do is carry, then as long as you have a good holster and belt, that’s pretty safe. It’s when you have to do something else with it that the “how much training” situation becomes dicey. One thing’s for sure, you can never have enough training. Or practice. My goal is 50 rounds / carry firearm / month, not counting formal classes and qualification.
John, I’m having trouble decoding your post. Did that instructor really have a tapper on a range?
And Seawriter, who’s the guy in that picture?
I love my TT Gunleather IWB holsters. Your selection of a belt, though, is every bit as critical as a top – notch holster.
RIP Ford, pretty much the first Texas Ranger.
Kevin, thank you. These posts are invariably both interesting and useful. Have you thought about doing one on dry fire drills? I’ve been told that dry fire every night plus ~50 rounds a month at the range will transform my shooting, but the variety of drills out there is bewildering.
That’s 100% correct about dry fire: It’s helping me quite a lot, and I know it’s helping / has helped my good friend Jaci Janes become the shooting powerhouse she now is. As for specific drills, it’s more about recognizing where your weaknesses are and finding drills that work on improving those areas.
For me, starting out, those areas were “EVERYTHING!!!!”, but now as I progress, my accuracy is there, it’s speed and the draw that I need to work on. A good, quick drill that works all the time for just about anyone, though, is balance a penny on the front sight of your (triple-checked) unloaded gun, and pull the trigger. If you can do so and not have the penny hit the floor, you have a good trigger press.
Also, shoot a match and have someone video doing so, then video someone slightly better than you so you can see what needs to improve. The skills involved in a practical shooting match (fast draw, quick movement, accurate shots under pressure ) can be readily applied to defensive shooting as well, and there’s no better way to get better at actually running the gun that a practical pistol match.
I am less worried about safety because that is very habitual and practice daily. I am more concerned about building the habits and muscle memory that my skills will collapse to under elevated levels of stress.
I would run the Expected Value. What are the chances of needing to use your firearm, and what are the likely outcomes? To what extent would they be influenced by training?
For my purposes (home defense and intimidation of potential street mobs), I need to be able to store and carry safely. I need to remember the safety, and scream real loud. But aim? At 0-20 feet? Probably not that essential. I am a lousy shot anyway, but I reckon it is just like with photography: with enough shots, you’ll get some good ones.
My wife and I go on dates now and then and keep reasonably capable. But I am quite content with the 80% proficiency achieved with 20% of the work.
The Marine Corps taught me how to march with a rifle.
Then they taught me how to take it apart, clean it, and put it back together.
Then they spent a week teaching me how to hold the rifle so I could aim it accurately, how to see the sight picture, about adjusting the rear site for both windage and elevation, about squeezing the trigger, and about clearing the weapon when I was done shooting.
Then they spent a week teaching me how to shoot at 100 yards, 200 yards, and 500 yards.
Then they put me to the test.
God Bless the Marine Corps.
OK, I guess a little silliness is fine to lower the blood pressure. But this is a rather serious subject because the level of competence of CCW instructors ranges from excellent to very poor with way too much weight in the very poor category. It is simply not easy to be competent at imparting a high level of gun knowledge along with a few necessary motor skills to people who are new to gun handling and shooting. In fact, it is more hard work than many instructors are willing to do or even know how to do.
Some are more interested in the money than teaching. As a result, their teaching skills aren’t very good. The NRA is so frustrated with some of the bad apples who hold instructor certifications they have turned a large portion of the Basic Pistol Class into a self-guided internet class. I believe they did this to overcome the problem of too many instructors not following the prescribed class curriculum. Too many have been selling completion certificates without making sure their students have been taught everything necessary to have earned it.
Some students are no better than the bad instructors. Too many of them are perfectly happy with their lousy instructor because all they really want is the necessary certificate of training to get a CCW permit. This is why I like teaching women, most of them actually want the training and the knowledge. Most of them perform well in the class.
Any recommendations for an internet class?
Not allowed in most states. Must be in person, plus you have to range time.