How can you train to shoot a gun properly and safely? From Wendy.
First thought when looking to learn how to shoot properly and safely would be to Google something. But the results can be overwhelming. And how do you know what you are learning is correct? I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to marry someone who was a weapons instructor for the Air Force. Often you can learn to shoot from an experienced friend, however, this method can have mixed results. Not everyone knows how to shoot properly or knows how to teach others. And of course not everyone that enjoys shooting uses the most effective techniques, or follows proper safety protocols.
A great option is to start with a local NRA certified instructor or an instructor at a local shooting range. Most instructors offer general basic firearms training as well as training specific to the type of weapon you wish to shoot. This should get you ready to safely shoot by covering the basics of firearms. It’s always a good idea to try to take a course designed around the type of firearm you intend to shoot. For instance a handgun course will do little to teach you to shoot a rifle well, a precision rifle course will do you little good with your shotgun. Finding a course designed for your particular firearm is a good way to become familiar with the weapon.
If you are up for more advanced training, look for local classes, possibly offered by one of the nationally know instructors. As with any class you want to take make sure to vet the instructor before signing up for a course. Ask friends and acquaintances who have had firearms training what they thought of their training and the instructors that provided it. Check online reviews or after action reports (often referred to as AARs) of courses a particular instructor offers. While most certified instructors are qualified to teach basic marksmanship and firearms safety, many are not ideally suited for teaching self defense, concealed carry, or other specialized classes.
In other words the more advanced the training you wish to receive the more effort you should place in vetting the instructor. Don’t be afraid to ask about their training, certifications and experience. With a little research you can usually find a very highly regarded instructor or shooting school within a reasonable distance from your home.
At the end of the day there is a lot more to using a firearm for self defense then being able to hit a paper bulls-eye. For self defense training I highly recommend finding an instructor that specializes in self defense training and they type of weapon you intend to use (handgun, revolver, carbine, etc). For this you are not looking for your typical concealed carry permit or NRA handgun course. You want a course that will actually teach you about properly drawing a firearm from concealment, reloads, getting your weapon working in case of
a malfunction, cover, concealment, mindset, when to shoot and when not to as well as cover some of your local laws.
Do you have a question for Gun Talk? Send me an email to Rachel@YellowTennessee.com