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Why choosing the proper firearms instructor is such an important decision.

by Blaine Schwerdtfeger/NRA Instructor

Now as you can imagine, a simple google search will provide a plethora of firearms training and instructors out there. While most are very well trained themselves and offer a great program you must do your homework and research to find the right fit for you. After all, your life may depend on it.

Anyone can take a class and call themselves an “expert” but there are some things you need to look out for when choosing the proper instructor. Let’s take a look at this poor example of a firearms instructor, or great example of what not to do.

Now after painfully watching that there is so much that he was doing wrong, just to name a couple. First, always keep your weapon pointed in a safe direction. Not like this guy, waving a loaded .44 magnum around all willie nillie. Second, your trigger finger is and should be your safety. Never put your finger on the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire. The list goes on but I think you get the point of firearms 101, something an instructor should definitely know and live by.

Now luckily no one was injured during this fiasco but there have been other cases where students were injured. One case happened back in 2017 in Michigan when an instructor discharged a round from a 9mm during a class. It went through a door hitting another student in the leg. The instructor claimed he didn’t know the gun was loaded but that brings me to another point. Always handle a firearm as though it is loaded. 

So, what to look for when researching a firearms instructor.  

1. Credentials

Look for all of their certifications. The right instructor will have them all listed for you to see. We are very proud of them and want you to know what we have learned and are able to teach you. If you only see a basic pistol certification and/or firearms safety you might want to keep looking.

2. Experience

Look into who the instructor is professionally. Most of the time instructors will have a bio posted to give you a glimpse into their life. Military and Law Enforcement experience is always a plus when picking an instructor, albeit not necessary. Also, how long have they been an instructor is important as well.

3. Teaching Style

Here’s something that probably won’t be listed but should definitely be considered. Using reviews from other students would be a great source for finding this out. I’ve known some great people with tons of experience and knowledge but would seriously question them if they were to teach a class. Some of the mandatory material can drag on at times but a good instructor will find ways to make the entire class fun while being professional and informative.

4. Safety

This being an imperfect world, things happen that are sometimes out of our control. A good instructor will be prepared for any and all situations. Having some level of medical training and tools to apply first aid is a must. My motto has always been Hope for the best, Plan for the worst.

For shooting drills and other great info from a true professional, check out the link below

Choosing the best and safest storage for your firearms

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