Ask an Instructor: What's your biggest training question?

Oh, I see what you’re saying now. I still think it is ok, as long as your finger is outside the trigger guard. There really isn’t another position to have your finger if you wish to just use the tac light.

The only thing some will get anxious over is potentially pointing the weapon at something you don’t intend to shoot, just to use the light. But, I’m sure you’ve already thought of that and heard that argument. :slight_smile:

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Yeah I carry a 1300 lumen flashlight as well and hold it away from body. 1 is none and 2 is 1.


That’s why you need to slam them home. Some firearms are particularly bad about this. Some are not.

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Sometimes parents are not the right instructors. Has nothing to do with the parents ability to teach, just the relationship (I’m not saying your relationship is bad. I’m reflecting on how my dad and I were at each other’s throat when I was learning to drive).

When she’s ready, she can pay for her own training and buy her own weapon.
It sounds like she is more than adequately prepared to defend herself with what she has for now. Just my oppinion. I mainly wanted to share about how my dad couldn’t teach me to drive. It could have been a mix of ego from both of us, or just not the right teacher student combination. I’ve heard it can be the same with ones spouse. Some spouses learn better from an instructor than there husbands micro managing (whether they are right or wrong).


Same with significant others…

My sons don’t want me teaching them … until they watch me outshoot them at the range every time. :wink:


You need to show them who is the Boss now :+1:
Probably one day students become better than the teacher…

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both eyes open
Find your dominant eye
Set up three or more targets and focus on your front sights with dominant eye. Move from target to target keeping your focus on your front sight. Your body position might fight you on this so if you are having problems at times, pay attention to your body position. Your aim will be challenged if you do not have a natural point of aim as well as your target engagement.
Practice, practice, practice!!!

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I am new to gun ownership, spent my life anti-gun, even though I grew up with them always in the home, I was never taught about them.
So when I changed my opinion, I found every online resource I can get my hands on and learned everything I could, being I am disabled from work injuries my income is very limited so I don’t get to pay for online courses. I did find an NRA course for basic pistol shooting online that I was able to go through the instructor side of it for free but I didn’t get a cert because it was the instructor side and not the student side.
That said, I have been practicing dry fire drills at home nightly and going to the range once a week. I have saved enough to take a CPL course but they can’t do the course until our range allows gatherings again.

I find that when I am shooting at the range I am hitting my target fine but I am unable to hold a group. Meaning that I take 12 shots from about 7 yards and 4 or more always end up left, low or low right. I have recorded my shots and have a failed attempt at recording my hands while shooting. I am taking my wife next week to record my hands in slow motion so I can see what I am doing wrong. I apologize for the long back story but I wanted you to know where I was coming from. I am 47 and have a masters degree in IT but never got to use it because of my disability. I am a sponge when it comes to learning so any help you can give me I will definitely try repeatedly.

At home I do multiple drills, I do draw drills, reloading drills, two to the body one to the head, el presidente, I even have a target set up that has 10 different drills in 2 inch circles. When I go to the range I find myself focusing only on getting my shots to land where I want them to. I go with the intention of doing similar drills as at home but I always see that I am off and end up slowing everything down and trying to just keep my shots on the center target, most to the body but some to the head and the two targets right and left of the head. I recently even started doing the NRA B-2 circle target but again staying center is not happening. I come home watch videos and feel like I am on to something but then live it goes differently. Now today I found when I was trying to make a video for youtube to see if someone could point out what I was doing wrong, I shot way better and only had 3 shots miss the center and my headshot which are usually low ended up dead on.

My question is this, should I be focusing more on training drills and less on accuracy or should I keep focusing on accuracy until I am accurate enough to perform the drills?

With a laser trainer at home, I am very accurate from any distance I try, so I am sure the problem has to be in my form, stance, and/or anticipation, although I don’t feel like I am moving prior to pulling the trigger, I can’t see it being the gun and I have tried different ammo both the federal Champion 9mm 115gr aluminum and the Federal American eagle 124gr. Any suggestions are greatly and I mean greatly appreciated. If you suggest any videos or any other training please post the links I will definitely check them out, Keep in mind, It takes me time to save up for specific training but I will definitely do so. I eventually would like to one day become an instructor, if I can get my skills on par.
Roger Thornton

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If you’re “pulling or pushing” shots low but not seeing that when training with a laser, its sounds like anticipation. A very easy way to diagnose that is put some dummy rounds in a magazine ( dont memorize where they are in the magazine the point is to be surprised) and see what happens when it goes click instead of bang.

My personal goal for accuracy is shooting 10 rounds into an 8 inch circle from 7 yards away as fast as I can with 100% hits. I started slow and I have been speeding up till I have a miss. Then I slow down a little bit. As I train my speed increases. I still do slow and precise drills but my ultimate goal for lack of better terms is good combat accuracy


I found early on that I was focusing too much on the bullseye. In the effort to line up the “perfect” shot, my point of aim might begin to drift. Then, as I observed the shot I wanted, I would rush my trigger press. Jerking the trigger was one issue I overcame by not concentrating on that perfect shot, but instead seeking combat accuracy. Focusing more then on the middle of the target versus the exact bullseye. Doing so then helped my groups shrink. My particular challenge was shooting low and left, caused by a number of mainly grip issues.


@Roger35 If you have the ability to do video that is fantastic but the thing you will need to do is verbalize each shot as it is taken and I mean precisely verbalize it after each shot. “Center” doesn’t tell me anything. “X ring, 4:00 just inside the line” tells me precisely where it went. It’s most important when you have “7ring 8:30 1/2 inch from the 6 ring” Now you can back the video up and slow it down and truly evaluate your grip, position, trigger pull etc. If you are hanging the gun out there for the full magazine and start throwing shots at the end it might be you are tired or that your foot position is wrong for your grip and you are fighting with your body to be on target. Natural point of aim has fixed many random fliers for a lot of shooters. Food for thought.




Some good training training exercises for accuracy from draw to round on target. Should I be slowing my draw down to get the accuracy up? Or keep the draw speed high and work more on placement. My draw time from concealed to target is sub 1.25 but they aren’t stop shots.

I’ve found that changing the angle of my body has alot to do with my accuracy.

There are A LOT of family dynamics that can cause family members to not want to be taught by other family members or relatives. The whole experience can then turn out to be a negative experience and firearm training and firearms in general can unfairly take the blame. Usually I’ve seen this when a husband/guy is potentially an overbearing male figure in the household.

The characteristics you should look for in an instructor IMO are:
Knowledge: An absolute knowledge of everything the instructor is going to teach. He/She should know their stuff. USCCA Certified Instructors “know their stuff” The bar is set very high for us to be Certified. It is not easy to get Certified.
Experience: Being in and around firearms or having an intense passion for firearms (as with a favorite hobby) is very valuable. Just as important as experience with firearms and the mechanics of the process is Experience training/teaching/talking in front of people. If you are not an expert “Knowing” firearms and “Teaching” you won’t have a 5 star experience.
Personality: You HAVE to be able to click with your instructor. Yes they have to be and act professionally but have to be able to captivate and hold a students attention. This is super hard to teach and is generally a built in trait of a person character and personality. As an example, with my students we have fun, I keep them amused, I talk and act with them on the same level of a normal “person”, all while providing them safely with the knowledge and hands on experience to be able to more efficiently protect themselves and their loved ones.

With that said, reach out to the Certified USCCA Instructor near you from the map on the “Training” tab above and start a conversation with them. I guarantee that if you take a class from one of them you will learn and have fun doing it.

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I have a drill that I really like that basically combines both of those things. I don’t remember who I originally learned the drill from (offhand I’m wanting to say I originally saw it from Travis Haley, but I could be wrong), but I didn’t make it up myself and I’m not trying to claim credit for doing so.

You’ll need a timer (phone app or stand alone timer) that allows you to set par times and register shot times. You can really work it on your target choice and from any distance, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish (I personally like an “A” zone target at about 7-10 yards.

Start out by setting your par time for 5 seconds. You’ll be drawing and firing a single shot. Objective is to force yourself move slowly and methodically, making sure your form is exact. You are trying to hit 5 seconds exactly for making the shot (that’s the goal, but being off by a little is expected). Get as close to the mark as you can. Making yourself go slowly really allows you to feel all the mechanics of the draw, realize exactly where you are (and where you should be) picking up your sights, and allows you to clean up any inconsistencies you have. Do it at this speed several times (call it 5).

Then you bring par time down to 4 seconds. Everything is done the same , but we’re moving slightly faster. Performing at this speed another 5 times or so.

Then bring par down to 3 seconds. Rinse and repeat. 2 seconds, same thing.

Once you hit 2 seconds’ish (your personal ability dictates this and it could be 2.5 for you if needed), you’re adjustments become what is personally challenging to you. As an example, if you feel proficient to do so, you can drop down to 1.5 seconds and then start going down by .1 seconds each time. The end goal is to push yourself towards personal bests while maintaining proper form and getting clean hits.

I don’t feel any drill works great for every person, but I personally like this and recommend giving it a shot to see if you can get results out of it.

James Yeager put out a great video on this, I agree with his assessment. Obviously retreating is always the best option. However if you can’t engage the loudest one first. The others are probably just following the lead. In my opinion this gives you the best odds and it’s my plan if encountered in this type of scenario

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Scrolling thru the questions I came up with one. I noticed comments on head shots and practicing them(no argument here), however something I’ve noticed something that doesn’t get brought up or talked about is the pelvis being a viable option in a self defense situation.

How many trainers talk about it?

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Not many trainers talk about pelvis. All drills they do include headshot, which I don’t like.
Being in shooting, which is the most stressful situation, I cannot image that somebody hits the center of head from even 3 - 5 feet. Additionally not clear headshot doesn’t stop the threat. Pelvis is much bigger and hitting it puts the threat on the ground.
I prefer shoot to stop over shoot to kill.


I have a stance question. I’m “goofy eyed”. Right handed but my left eye is dominate. Standing at the range, I am in the same basic stance as when shooting my shotgun. Left foot forward, right back, right arm straight. I’ve tried squaring up. Not only does it feel strange, but I can’t get my eyes to cooperate. WIll this just take practice to overcome years fo doing it the other way or is there something you can suggest?

Isosceles Stance seems to be the best option for cross dominance. With symmetrical side’s distances from the center of you body you can easily adjust left eye to right hand.

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I’m cross eyed dominant, shooting both eyes open and just turning your head slightly so your dominant eye is lined up on the sights is far more helpful than where your feet are. That’s been my experience