Training Beginners
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Thread: Training Beginners

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Jackson Hole, Wyoming US

    Thumbs up Training Beginners

    Are you teaching a family member or friend to shoot for the first time?
    Following are some suggestions from that you might incorporate into your introductory lessons:

    • Safety. Make certain you emphasize your favorite safety rules, including muzzle control & finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

    • Start small. Too often new shooters are challenged to shoot a large bore rifle or a 44 magnum revolver. The recoil and noise can discourage a person from wanting to participate in shooting sports in the future. Try starting out with .22s until your student is comfortable, and then slowly move up.

    • See 1 - Do 1 - Teach 1. Skills are best learned when a student watches the correct procedure, is coached while performing and then teaches the instructor or someone else.

    • Ask for feedback. It is wise to ask many questions to illicit feedback, including “How does that feel” and “which way did it seem more natural” and “what is the toughest part of shooting for you?”

    What better way to make memories than to share our passion with those we care about?

  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Shootinjh View Post
    • See 1 - Do 1 - Teach 1. Skills are best learned when a student watches the correct procedure, is coached while performing and then teaches the instructor or someone else.
    Very important for the student to perform as they will retain much more from hands on experience! I would change the order to: "Instruct 1, Demonstrate 1, Teach 1, Do Many"

    I always put snap-caps randomly in a cylinder of a revolver or magazine of a semi-auto and watch for jerking from the student. It happens every time they reach it! And the student never forgets about trying to not jerk the weapon when they shoot. You can't teach that in the classroom.

    As far as the student teaching another person, you are so right about retention of what they have learned! They will rely on you as an instructor to help them because they will forget things. And after you help them remember it is strongly reinforced in their mind! I like to have two students, one shooting and one observing, then have them switch roles. During this they can teach the other. You've just killed two birds with one stone!

    You've given good info, nice post!
    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act!" -- George Orwell
    There is nothing more persuasive than a red dot on somebody's forehead (aside from the sound of a shotgun chambering a round).

  4. #3 not hand down bad habits..

    SAFETY in any manner is always the best advice when using firearms, I agree.
    Teaching techniques will all vary with the person teaching. The question becomes, Is the material being presented being received as it was intended?
    Firearms is an American RIGHT authorized by the Second Amendment. Most of us Americans, especially the males, have been initially taught about firearms by the male role models in our lives. Some of us have received introductory training in the Active Armed Forces, or Law enforcement academy.
    Still others have pursued "the profession of arms" through civilian programs such as the National Rifle Association and became proficient Instructors in the Art.
    My point is this.....many times we are taught what Dad, my Sergeant, my Drill Sergeant etc...taught me to to, and we still do it, right or wrong. If you have a family member or a loved one who would like to learn about Firearms for the first time, I would recommend that you find a reputable, experienced NRA Instructor who teaches First Steps or Basic Pistol training and enroll them in class. You will be glad that you did. Experience cannot be overstated...seldom does a summer camp in the local Army reserves or completing the Law Enforcement academy constitute "experience" in firearms.
    Be Safe,
    Owner, Self Defense CWP

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Jackson Hole, Wyoming US

    Thumbs up Best case scenario

    Jim, I agree that best case scenario for an introduction to firearms is not grandpa after a few drinks on Thanksgiving afternoon. :)

    I am a big fan of NRA education, especially when the classes are instructed by good teachers. Suarez International, Tiger Swan, Counter Violence Institute, Front Sight, Thunder Ranch and thousands of other academies also offer good instruction. It would be wonderful if we could all visit a formal school once a month for a weekend!

    Whether it is my preference or not though, 90% of the shooters out there are trained by mom, dad, uncle or grandpa. I think it is wise to improve lay instruction as much as possible, because even if the new shooter is not getting training from a great like Jeff Cooper, Anthony Copper, Shepard Humphries, Roger Phillips or Mark Roundtree; they are going to learn something. It seems wise to make that "something" as good as possible. :)

  6. #5


    I agree. I enjoyed your post!!
    Be Safe,
    Owner, Self Defense CWP

  7. #6
    Excellent thoughts! The only other thing I can think of is that we keep our First Steps (firearm orientation) class small - usually 3-6 students. We also encourage students to bring a spouse, family member or friend to help make the class more enjoyable. We had 4 students in First Steps this morning, including a husband & wife - great group dynamics. We'd like to think that if we can keep it very safe and enjoyable while training the fundamentals, than we can help inspire students to search out the training community for more advanced skill building as needs require.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    New Orleans, LA
    This thread has been closed now that we're posting these articles to the new homepage.

    You can reply to the article in its new location here:
    Firearms Training for Beginners | USA Carry
    Last edited by lukem; 02-08-2011 at 06:43 PM.

    Memberships: NRA, GOA, USCCA
    Guns: Glock 26, Ruger LCP, Beretta 90-Two .40, Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact 9MM, Beretta Tomcat, Bushmaster Patrolman M4

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