Instructor Notes: Bring the right gear to training

There are many good comments here. To refocus some comments, the post is about gear and not the students aptitude or ability. With this said I think people just don’t read long emails, or posts (thanks to all for reading this long post). Everything has devolved to micro-bursts of info/data, i.e. instagram, twitter, tik-tok, etc.

@Jerzy Yes, people learn on their own. Once they are in class they quickly realize all sorts of problems. In a way this I guess is good as they learn the are far from “ready” in the event of a DCI.

@Brad Your motorcycle folks, I just don’t know what to say.?. I used to Bracket Race in my youth and I always made sure every piece of safety equipment was in perfect working order, Snell approved and up to date helmet, welded roll cage, external full pump off button, etc. Do your track people learn after they’ve dropped a bike or two?

@Jason148 You’re spot on. I think they have a willingness to learn but approach the training with the expectation that they will be able to shoot lightning fast and hit their target just as videos and FPS (First Person Shooter) games they play. It is gratifying to hear from a former student who had much trouble with … all their gear… email me to say they re-read my intro email and went and bought EVERYTHING as recommended. Even a new firearm. Now they want to take the class again or my Advanced class.

@Shamrock I carry extra gear as well. The class this past weekend I had to loan out both a pistol holster and a mag holster. The lady had to pry both of her holsters open with two hands to put her pistol and mag back. What a mess. I clearly state also to bring at least 2-3 extra magazines so we can practice and simulate emergency reloads as well as malfunction clearing. I don’t carry extra mags in ALL sorts of different firearms, so these people are just out of luck.

@Craig_AR The DSF class is and can be for beginners with no hands on experience as well as seasoned shooters. We are teaching folks the discipline of Self Defense shooting vs marksmanship, hunting, art/style/exhibition, or fun family shooting at paper targets and spinning ducks. Those are all fine and fun forms of shooting but even those are different from each other.

I do have a short Intro to Pistol for those who want to know how to field strip and clean their new firearm, magazine insertion, actuating the slide, mag release button, 4 safety rules, etc. This is interesting, I’ve NEVER had a guy take it. Only the ladies. I think guys, sadly, feel to macho to take the course, yet TONS of them need to take it.

@Jeff4 I start my conversation usually with, “What firearm and gear do you have?”. Usually they tell me about their awesome and amazing “gun” and that they do have a holster for it. Nothing about belts, headphones (with no audio passthrough), mag pouch (“i thought it was ok to use the same one I use for my AR”). Do you teach instructors on what initial email to send out? Or, bring extra gear, what to do when gear just doesn’t work?

@Barry54 I know I would care about this. When I’ve gone to Gunsite, it always seemed that all my fellow students carried a Glock or Sig, and there I was with a Ruger. Whereas it was 100% functional, I just felt odd that I wasn’t like the rest of the herd.

No, no refunds. I do reschedule if there is a scheduling issue. I will also reschedule if they just quite literally have totally wrong/busted gear.

In conclusion, I really think it boils down to the Twitter, Instagram, Tik-Tok, minimal max character.


So, um, we need a holsters?
List, was there a list?
But this is an expensive Gucci belt…

You people drove yourselves here, right??? scary


We’re years past this. I can’t recall the last time I followed someone who stayed on their own side 100% and didn’t ignore stop signs and red lights. I’d guess 2017 or earlier.

Very useful coments. Practice at home dry fire no ammunition present. Get range time in weekly. I see so many people get or carry a gun and never shoot it. Accident waiting to happen.


On occasions at Front Sight, I have gotten the impression from some ladies that it’s style first and functionality second. Not gear so much as clothing. Tight jeans that look like they’re painted on and blouses or halter tops which are open at the top. A hot piece of brass down the chute would cure that rather quickly but alas, the practice goes on with those who were not as unfortunate.

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I would hate hate to see some pretty cleavage scared by a piece of brass. Hate to think about her hopping around with a loaded weapon pointing it at everyone on the firing line too.


Skin tight pants on women shooting guns. I used to have those dreams as a teenager. Hubba Hubba.

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On advise (read “direction”) by legal counsel we are not permitted to warn someone they may inappropriately dressed to shoot at our range. We are permitted to offer first-aid, however.

Or maybe you need to modify your course to keep up with the newer shooters you are going to be dealing with?

Welcome to the forums.
I can’t change the core of the DSF class as it has specific portions of the class that are required for the student to obtain certification.

Not withstanding that, I’m not sure how changing the course would make a difference on the gear they’re required to bring. Maybe I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. :slight_smile:


Restaurants have “no shoes, no shirt, no service signs.

Think I would get a second opinion. Hot brass and twitchy fingers go together

I suggest you get a clarification from your legal counsel on the difference between inappropriately dressed and a safety hazard mitigation requirement. The former has to do with social norms, biases, and offensive garments. The latter is the basis for ranges legitimately requiring eye & ear protection and billed caps, and forbidding open-toed footwear (e.g. sandals) as well as low cut or scoop neck shirts, regardless of sex, gender, or sexual preference. A scoop-net shirt on a guy is just was likely to catch hot brass on a guy as on a girl. Also, your mandatory safety brief for the range should include what to do when you DO have hot brass caught in your clothing.
If your counsel is unable to make the above distinction, I think you need a new lawyer.

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To get onto our shooting lanes a person passes 3 signs posting firearm safety rules, and two warning “hot brass can be hazardous to your health.” There is a sign posted on the entrance door each day with notification of special events, stating lane restrictions and closures for the day. Each door into/out of the airlock is posted “Only One Door May be Open at any one Time”. Each bay has two signs directing shooters to push their expended brass into the brass pit. There are two signs at the entrance stating that masks may not be worn in the facility. Every day there are at least 6 -10 violations of these rules and warnings. Conclusion: People don’t read signs (aka “sight blindness”). On the brighter side, we have several entertaining hours of people doing the “hot brass break dance.”

Really? What is the reason for this particular rule? In a recent class Mas Ayoob told us he always now wears a mask at indoor ranges because of the lead dust in the air, saying he has had too many friends over the past 50 years succumb to lead poisoning damage (he did not say they died). He says he is amazed at the amount of dust on the mask when he has left the range.

Two reasons. 1) Local law enforcement want to be able to identify people in the security footage should that become necessary. 2) A couple of “near misses” due to fogged up eye-pro caused by their paper mask.

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At my local Range they put nice request to take off the mask and smile to the front entrance camera.
Once you are inside, you can wear the mask all day long.

Do all visitors comply? Definitely not, but this way we can separate truly responsibly armed people from morons.

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I provide a detailed “Range Day” checklist complete with attire, gear and ammo requirements, range rules, my rules, etc. My clients are required to read it and sign it and return it to me BEFORE the range day. Failure to sign and agree means cancellation with no refunds. 27 clients/students in and not one problem yet.

Takes care of that.


I wonder what percentage of firearm owners, especially new owners, do any research prior to their purchase. Whether you purchase the firearm for sport shooting, hunting or home defense there are many questions that need to be answered before the purchase.

How to select the right firearm for you? What training, both initially and ongoing, is needed? Yes, ongoing. If all you do is buy a gun and a box of ammo, then take one basic lesson you are not ready to use the firearm.

How much will all of this cost me?

And related to the original post above, what is the right gear for my firearm and use?

My wife and I went back to shooting about a year and a half ago after a many decades layoff. Spent time with instructors helping us select the right firearm, belts, holsters and mag carriers. Attended several classes and continue to train, one-on-one, with an instructor at least once a month. Not a low cost route.

If research means watching movies, 100%.

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