Firearms Training Should Include Shooting a Real Firearm!

OK I have to say I am just a bit astounded and disappointed. I just discovered someone I thought was a reputable, stand up instructor of firearms is actually teaching concealed firearm carry license classes where the students do not even shoot real firearms as part of the “firearms” training class.

Now I am all for teaching as many law abiding citizens as we can to properly and safely carry firearms for self-defense. I do not believe that getting a license should be required to do so, it’s a right protected by the U.S. Constitution. But I also am a responsible adult and if I were new to firearms I would want to get trained and become educated on the firearms basics. Part of that would of course include shooting a real firearm.

Having taught firearms to law enforcement officers for more than 25 years and also citizens for a good portion of that, and still teaching them both, I know that you cannot teach someone how to shoot a firearm without shooting a firearm. Sure you can teach the laws, the fundamentals, how to do just about everything without shooting a firearm, but you can’t teach someone how to shoot a firearm without shooting a firearm! There is a huge difference between shooting a real firearm and say something like an plastic pellet or BB type pistol and a real handgun that goes bang.

Part of proper training with a firearm includes learning about how the firearm functions when you shoot it and becoming comfortable with the noise and action of a real handgun. The noise, the recoil, the grip and more are all different with real firearms. You must shoot a real firearm to experience that and become comfortable enough to carry one for self-defense. And malfunction training requires a real firearm.

Also I have enough experience training people in firearms to know that you cannot teach a large group of people a basic firearms class in just a few hours. The Basic Handgun class I teach takes at least 8 hours for a large class and that includes a couple hours on the actual firearms range shooting actual firearms.

I guess this bothers me so much because I realize that the people taking these classes at gun shows and from others where you do not shoot a real firearm are being done a huge disservice and it’s more about the money than proper training. Just remember you usually get what you pay for, a $20 couple of hours course verse an all day training session on a real range with real firearms is no comparison.

Don’t let the first time you actually shoot a real firearm be when you need it most, to defend your life or the life of another. Get training with real firearms and learn the right way. And just think of sitting in a courtroom and saying that the training you got for your concealed carry license didn’t require you to shoot a firearm. Might not go over to well with the jury or judge.

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The internet is good for some things, but not for telling you what firearm is best for you!

Recently on a Facebook group I read and follow a well meaning person asked the group in general what type of handgun she should buy. She gave a little bit of info in that she was a shorter in stature female but that was it.

And of course the responses were many and varied as greatly as the types of firearms recommended. And some of the responses are just plain bad advice.

And while some of those are great suggestions, Firearms are not a one size fits a certain sized person. Also some handguns are not made for concealed carry or for personal defense although almost all will do that if you have it in your hand at the time.

If you are looking at getting a handgun first what are you getting it for? Learning to shoot a handgun? Self defense at home or to concealed carry? There are many factors that go into what you look for in a handgun and to be honest, the internet and complete strangers is not the place to look for help.

If you are looking for a handgun or wanting to learn to shoot a handgun, go to a reputable gun range or gun store. Or find a reputable firearms instructor that you check the references or reviews on and get them to show you different firearms. DO NOT buy a firearm you have not shot the same model on a range! Handguns can look and feel very different. But until you actually shoot it on the range, you can not know how it feels in your hand and how you like or dislike the way it functions. Not all handguns are created equal.

So if you are new to firearms or handguns, do not take advice from the internet. Find a real person who is a professional and knows what they are doing when it comes to handguns or training.

Once you do decide on a handgun, make sure to get training in how to use it properly and how to shoot it. Remember why you were getting it in the first place. Isn’t your life (or the life of your loved ones) worth the time, effort and money to do it right?