New Shooters: Finding an Instructor

You’ve taken your concealed carry class or live in a Constitutional Carry state that doesn’t require any training, so you’re set! No further training required, no further training needed, right? Wrong.

There is so much to learn when you’re carrying a lethal weapon on a daily basis. And while you may have found some awesome videos on YouTube, you might not have the same results the student in the video does and there’s no one there to help you figure out why. And maybe the non-USCCA YouTube channel is teaching something in not the best way for you and any possible limitations you may have.

Or maybe you’ve finished level one USCCA Protector Academy and want to take that next step to apply that training on the range.

A private instructor or class can help you improve your technique and accuracy greatly. (You can find great USCCA Instructors in your area here.)

What benefits have you gained from working with a private instructor or from a defensive shooting class?

  1. Confidence
  2. Faster target acquisition
  3. Found habits I would never think about earlier
  4. Adjust shooting techniques to different situations

But the most important is that only regular class training keeps all listed above in your head. Otherwise you gonna go back to your regular “new shooter behavior”.

Even as an instructor, taking classes are refreshing and maybe even learn something new, improving your skill set. Having a second pair of eyes that are watching may find mistakes you might be taking. When I took my shooting qualification, I did not have a tight shooting pattern as I normally do. This was because I was in a different range having a peer watching me shoot and I am as only as good as my worst day of shooting then remove it by 40% to how I will perform in a life threatening situation.


What he said.
If you are willing to keep an open mind and continue to learn, instruction is a huge help.
For new shooters, it’s really important–it can get you into good habits before you have to break bad habits (harder thing to do).


I was lucky enough to have a lifelong firearms owner and hunter help me when I decided to purchase my first firearm. After my initial purchase, I spent an entire day having him help my get started. My first 8 hour day was:
-safety and the 4 golden rules of firearm ownership.
-understanding how the firearm works.
-safety and the 4 golden rules of firearm ownership.
-how different shooting stances affect your shot.
-the benefits to keeping both eyes open when shooting.
-how to choose quality ammo.
-safety and the 4 golden rules of firearm ownership.
-how to field strip, clean, and reassemble my firearm.
-what “printing” is and how to choose a quality holster.
-the benefits of obtaining a concealed carry permit.
-safety and the 4 golden rules of gun ownership.
-what the range commands mean and what to do based on the Range Master’s commands (my instructor is a Range Master at his range).
-what a stovepipe, a failure to fire and what a failure to eject all mean and what to do.
-and oh yeah… safety and the 4 golden rules of gun ownership :wink:
That was a full 8 hour day, and I never fired a round.

Day 2 was a full day at his range, one on one, helping me with my stance, how to safely draw from my holster, how to reload magazines, and about 4 hours of live fire shooting. I was lucky enough to have a stovepipe and a failure to fire which was a VERY beneficial occurrence on my first day as my trainer was right there with me to walk me through it.

I cannot convey enough the importance to any new gun owner that you find a resource that can help you get started on the right foot. At the end of my 2 day “crash course” I felt much more confident about owning a firearm and how to do that responsibly. Since the above, I have taken a concealed carry class which required live fire testing (also beneficial even if it not required in your state). I still go shooting with my first “trainer” and consider myself very lucky to have had such a resource when I bought my first firearm.

Hope this helps


@Charles230 - you were very fortunate.

We all need - and need to be - someone like your mentor.


I’m looking forward to hearing from a bunch of folks here!

After my classes I ask the student basically the same question, and many times it’s the same answer:
“I learned how much I actually don’t know”


Shooting in itself is a perishable skill, bad habits are only understood and corrected with help from a knowledgeable friend or instructor.


your friend did you one heck of a solid.
That was a significant investment of time and knowledge.
I do that with friends and family.
Here’s the thing–most people aren’t willing to pay what that is realistically worth. Two day classes are expensive for a good reason.


Agreed Aaron- I consider myself extremely fortunate to have such a knowledgeable friend who was willing to give up 2 full days to help me get started. I tried to pay him for his time (I don’t know what a professional trainer would have charged, but I offered him a hefty sum to compensate him for his time, which he refused) and we settled on a very good bottle of well aged scotch.


That’s what I call a win-win situation! :grinning:

1 Like

Ken- what I paid for that bottle was much less than what I offered initially, so I still believe I got the better end of that deal :wink:

1 Like