Online Firearms Classes: To Attempt or Avoid? | USCCA

When I was teaching English and communications classes at several college campuses about a decade ago, I took on the added responsibility of teaching some online courses. But I was a bit dumbfounded when one of the classes needed the most was an online speech class.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/blog/online-firearms-classes-to-attempt-or-avoid/
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If all one can afford is an online class, if it is by USCCA, or the NRA, or some other very reputable company, this can no doubt be beneficial.

However, if you’re a beginner and take a course that doesn’t teach proper firearm safety and best practices, it could be a nightmare scenario. Not only teaching the wrong time, the wrong way, but instilling poor firearm handling and bad or poor habits, that would be hard to un-learn.

Gunsite Academy has videos of their courses that I have bought as refreshers to the week long boot camps that I’ve attended. Even these videos don’t do the hands on, in class and in the field experience of actually interacting with your trained instructor, justice. The class and field training, sending between 1000 and 1500 rounds down range is unbeatable.

Many of the videos here on USCCA are very good and follow along the course scenarios taught at Gunsite.

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An online course that deals with the laws and requirements under a state law may be appropriate for someone with firearm experience. That is for the state legislators to decide.
If you are a beginner and want to understand what you are getting into, then these kind of classes may serve as a very sobering kind of wake up from which you choose to not get a firearm. Or you may choose to continue and meet additional requirements under state law for a firearms carry permit.

IMHO, different types of training environments can be used situationally. For example, I don’t want my phsyician learning surgery online. That said, having him learning anatomy, physiology, procedures–can be done in many different ways–as long as the practice is done after. To me, it comes back to once you’ve learned a skill in your head, take the time to build the muscle memory of that skill, and then continue to practice to improve your efficiency/skill.
Tangents—
Some of the best teaching I"ve seen was from Rob Pincus in a video series. His stuff just makes sense and it works, and it’s congruent with everything taught in the fundamentals course the USCCA provides.
What I’d recommend is GET A MENTOR–someone who can help you learn a right way (there are more than one obviously), but there are a TON of mistakes you’ll make on your own, and once you’ve practiced bad habits and built them into memory, you have done yourself a disservice. The other thing that really works is getting a clip on phone mount and then videotaping yourself doing everything from taking your gun out of the case to loading a mag to shooting. You’ll know if you’re always keeping the muzzle downrange, if you’re flinching, if your grip is consistent, if you’re changing mags efficiently, if you’re handling a misfire well–all those little things that end up being pretty important.
Si vis pacem, para bellum
AMN

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