How much expereince is enough?
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Thread: How much expereince is enough?

  1. #1

    How much expereince is enough?

    I am 25 and looking to start moving in some sort of definite direction for a career. I am currently working for a private univeristy that provides me and my family with a decent paycheck and good health benefits but I really want to do something in the firearm industry. Ideally instructing would be where I would like to start. I know taking NRA courses are the place to start but from everything I have read taking up an apprenticeship is the next step after that. So my question for all you instructors are: What are the best ways to begin an apprenticeship?
    As an instructor, whas is it that would benefit you to take on an apprentice? How much experience are you looking for? I ask that last question because i have a burning passion for firearms but i am still relatively new to everything. I grew up in central NY and had a healthy respect for guns. We had a .22 growing up and I have some experience with a bow. It wasnt until i had finished college in 2011 when I really got into handguns. I've owned a few different types in the last couple years but i know I am still a newbie. I try and shoot as much as I can but the extra expense makes it hard to go often. I read all that I can and try not to act like a know it all. I just want to learn more.

    So any advice/feedback from any instructors would be greatly appreciated.

    Rick Bobby
    "Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. - Prov. 22:29"

  3. #2
    Well you should definitely have quite a lot of experience. That is a must unless you start dealing with these firearms. A reg is also a thing to look out for.

  4. #3
    What type of classes are you wanting to teach?
    Hi-Caliber Training & Tactics
    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."- Theodore Roosevelt

  5. #4
    Ricky, I can appreciate the financial challenge you're facing. However, I'd encourage you to attend training courses as frequently as possible. There are plenty of instructors out there who do not have "loaded resumes" full of LEO and/or Military experience. Many have instructor resumes that simply list all the courses they've attended and other instructors/institutions where they've trained. I'm not advocating joining the military to get experience, but experience must come from somewhere.

    Any instructor worth their salt still trains elsewhere. Learning should never stop. "Once an instructor. Always a student."
    "There is no consitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen." (7th Cir. 1982, Bowers v. DeVito)Stay safe, and stay

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Keysville Va.
    Ricky I am 68 years old and spent 9 1/2 years in the Military and 25 years in Law Enforcement with 7 years as a Range Master and Armorer. I also spent over 22 years as a chief weapons instructor and 23 years on the SWAT team as a Sniper and the Sniper Unit Supervisor. I have now been retired for 20 years and I still shoot every week with both handguns and long guns.
    My point is that you never have enough training no matter what it has to do with firearms. With new laws and new types of weapons always coming out you never are at the top of your game without constant training. All the training in the world will not help you if you can't apply it in the right mode you must also have people skills to be able to get your point across. Learn all that you can and teach what you learn.
    I don't know if this helped any but I hope that it did.

  7. #6
    ezkl2230 Guest
    I'm not an instructor, per se, but I would think it would be worth your while to apprentice yourself to someone with an established reputation and credentials who is already doing it. This much I CAN say - you MUST become a student of firearms laws, both federal and those of your state. THAT you can do right now from your own computer. I sell firearms for a national outfitter which shall remain unnamed. 70% - 80% of my time is taken up with education, much of it concerning firearm laws, another chunk of it concerning defensive use, carry, etc. Part of my background includes serving as a legislative researcher for a MI State Representative; firearms law was one of my areas of expertise. I am constantly studying everything I can get my hands on to stay as current as possible.

  8. Ricky... I hope by now you have taken your NRA's Instructor Class. I think with your current teaching experience that should help you a lot in becoming an firearms instructor. Get some experience with a variety of guns... go to a range and practice, practice, practice, and learn as much as you can from experts (forums, articles, podcasts, etc). If you can find a mentor that would be great but, not absolutely necessary. You prior teaching experience will help you in many ways.
    Host - Firearms Instructor's Corner - Podcast
    NRA Member
    NRA Certified Instructor

  9. #8
    Go to Gunsite for a few courses. Talk to those instructors and see how much training they have under their belt.
    “An armed society is a polite society.”

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    South Carolina/Charleston
    Not trying to be funny or sarcastic but my comment relates to your problem. I would like nothing better than to become the Captain of a nuclear submarine, but I know and you know that I am about 20+ years away from any kind of schooling and experience and even military acceptance. Just because you "want" and just because you are "serious" is a very long way from "being". Replies have already indicated military and LEO experience as pretty much a 100% precursor. My instructor was a 30 year service deputy sheriff. I am smart but there is no way I can make-up that kind of experience. How about working at a gun shop or apprenticing with a gunsmith or even applying for a position at or with a gun mfgr.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Ricky_B There are a lot of great responses here. Two that standout to me are the ones from sgtbill (his speaks for itself) and kelcarry. kelcarry states exactly my thoughts.
    First off, most people as they advance their "gun" education would like an instructor that "has been there, done that".
    As an older guy with no LEO or Military experience I have given thought to becoming an instructor. Not as a career change, I am retired, but a chance to be involved and to pass on what I have learned. For me that would limit to teaching the NRA basic gun safety course, First Shots and possibly home protection course. I believe that I could pass on this basic knowledge without battle tried experience.
    I hope you don't mind the following advice. You have a good job that has benefits and by your words provides for you and your family. KEEP IT! Now pursue your love by taking courses to educate yourself in any part of the firearm industry you can. In this country, at least at one time, if you love something you will become good at it and no matter what it is you will make a buck at it.
    kelcarry makes a great point to be involved in the industry. Follow up on Gunsmithing and armoring. You don't have to be a race car driver to be a great mechanic. You may end up with a well known gun manufacturer and gain great product knowledge. You might parlay that into being a rep for that company which can make you some very nice money. You have many options. Just make sure you get some education and experience in the field without becoming a part of Barry Os economy. Do most of it while you have your current job. It's possible.
    NRA Life Member
    GOA Life Member
    NRA Certified RSO

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