Saturday, May 17, 2014

On the Road to Becoming a Gun Instructor

I spent last night at the gun club teaching again. . . .

Although this was a bit different than the standard MA class I have been doing once a month with a team of instructors.  Last night we put on a class for folks that already had a permit and wanted to get better at shooting.  It started out with an email to the members that basically said "Hey you new to shooting?  Have a new gun you want to learn?  Want a free night with an instructor to go over the basics and help you with your own gun?  How to clean  your gun?  Come on down!"

It got a good response overall but once a date was set we only had a few folks actually show.  I think we will have to do it every so often so folks can take advantage of the class as everyone is so booked up these days.  (That and it is getting nice out after a nasty winter here)

So . . . when time came to do the class we had four folks show up and we had one on one instruction with them.  This worked out very well.  I spent an hour or more with a gentlemen who has had a permit for a year or so and just got his first pistol back in December, a nice new M&P 9mm. . . . which worked out great as that is my standard carry gun = )  He was new to shooting overall and just soaked it all in.  I remember asking him if I was dumping too much info on him. . . "feel free to tell me to slow down" I said . . . He quick answer was keep it coming!  The enthusiasm was great to see and he commented that even if he couldn't fix it all now he still wanted to hear about it so he could work on it later.  A great student to have!

This was an informal class in that we did a real quick review of the safety rules then hit the range.  The lest us go over proper shooting stance and grip then get to some shooting.  With the ability to work one on one I could stay with this guy and make corrections as we went along.   It also let him ask questions not only on his shooting but a bit on carry issues since he is looking to eventually carry.  We did stick mainly to the basics, grip, stance, sight picture and such so we could keep enforcing a few changes he needs to make in his grip.  He was shooting a great group by the end, with most shots in a 4" area and a few out to maybe 6". . .  it got a bit worse later on but I chalk that up to muscle fatigue after an hour of shooting, not his skills

I have to say I found it very rewarding to see the improvement in his shooting.

I am also  pleased with my own progress as a teacher.  I will always have things to work on but still, a year ago I had taught a few friends and family to shoot - the basics, but that was about it. . . . Now I am an NRA Certified Instructor, I have taught 8 group classes at the club with other instructors, and a few personal classes to help folks get certification and a Mass licence.  I have taken a few classes - reloading for pistols, carry concealed, action shooting and I have a NRA coaching class coming up.

I know I am just starting down this road but I like where it is going.  So much more to learn, but the great thing about the shooting community is so many folks willing to teach you and answer questions!  I have yet to meet someone I can't learn something from either watching them, talking to them, or by teaching them and answering questions.  What a great ride.

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