21 Jun Gun Training: Choosing Your First Class
Allow us to pose a brief hypothetical — you’ve just purchased a firearm, or you’re planning on doing so in the near future. Once you’ve got your gun, your first step should be to learn more about it — how to operate it, how to handle it safely, and how to ensure you can hit what you’re aiming at — so gun training should be high on your list of priorities, regardless of your skill level or prior firearms knowledge.
The rub, however, is in the fact that gun training classes are numerous, so it might be something of a hurdle to figure out exactly what your first class should be. Thankfully, we’ve got more than enough information to help you narrow down your options and point you in the right direction. Read on, as we explain the importance of firearms training, and offer some tips on choosing the first of your gun classes in Bellevue.
Why Take a Training Class?
The age old question of “why” is one that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are plenty of reasons to take different firearms courses, but we can boil the advice down to three major factors: safety, proficiency, and confidence.
If you’re new to guns, it’s “safe” to say that you might not yet grasp all of the important elements of firearms safety. That’s OK; no one is born knowing these skills, but you’ll want to take the steps to empower yourself with this knowledge. This will serve the dual purpose of making you more competent in handling firearms and replacing the fear you may hold for guns with a healthy level of respect with what they can do (while simultaneously knowing you understand how they operate).
If you’ve handled guns before and already know a bit about gun safety, that still doesn’t mean that training is something that you should discount. There are always new skills to master, and training will help you build proficiency with various firearms, improving your shooting and giving you a chance to work on any weaknesses you might possess. The feedback you’ll receive from an expert instructor is invaluable in this regard, and you’ll find that with training, your shooting will reach heights you likely never even imagined.
Finally, the combination of understanding firearms safety and continually building your proficiency in shooting will lead to greater confidence with firearms overall. You’ll come to understand that learning about guns is an ongoing process, and there are always new skills to absorb and new sources from which you can pull critical information. This is all part and parcel of developing yourself into a better marksman.
With these factors in mind, let’s move onto what training courses you should consider first. These will vary, obviously, depending on your level of skill and what kind of firearms you’ll want to shoot, and making the right choice will help set you down the path of success in developing your shooting skills.
If You’re New to Firearms
If you’re new to firearms, then basic and entry-level courses are going to be your main focus. A beginner class that will yield hand-on, practical skills on safely handling and discharging your firearm is always a great choice, and you can find these tailored to handguns, rifles, and shotguns, but for most raw beginners, introductory handgun training is one of the best places to start. Specifics may vary, but for something like an intro handgun class, you’ll want to make sure you’ll be learning topics like:
- Firearm safety
- Basic weapon handling/manipulation
- Proper shooting techniques
- Quick and safe reloading
- How to draw your firearm
- Building accuracy
- Shooting in low-light conditions
- Basics on firearms laws
In addition to these topics, you’ll want to make sure that the instructors you choose to work with know their stuff. With any potential instructors, you should research the amount of experience they have in training, their credentials, whether or not they have insurance, and reviews of their services. You can start by checking their website, asking others who you know about their experiences with the instructors, and checking out testimonials via Facebook, Google, and other review services.
Beyond that, it might also be a good idea to meet in person to get an idea of their teaching style and real world experience. Will the instructor make the class both informative and engaging? Do they encourage questions if there’s a topic you don’t quite understand? Will they make sure you grasp one skill before moving on to another? Additionally, do they have a law enforcement, military, or firearms background that lends to their credibility, and do they practice the lessons that they teach on a day-to-day basis? These might seem like minor points at first, but they go a long way into identifying whether or not a class and instructor are going to impart the skills you need to develop as a shooter.
If You’re a Bit More Advanced
If you already know a bit about handling a firearm, then your goal is likely to continue improving your skills as a marksman. In this case, intermediate and perhaps even advanced courses will likely be your aim. In these courses, the focus will be on breaking any poor habits you may have formed that are detracting from your firearms proficiency, as well as forming new skills that will help you on the road to firearms mastery. This includes topics like:
- Using a firearm in defensive situations
- Maintaining control of your weapon
- Competition shooting and drills
- Improving shooting accuracy
- Movement while firing safely
Depending on how serious you are about taking your shooting skills to the next level, you might even consider trying some private training lessons with an instructor. One-on-one tutelage can help promote accelerated development of your skills, and will also help you hone in on specific goals that you want to achieve. Again, making sure that your instructor is knowledgeable and capable is a must, and will go a long way in ensuring your time spent at the range is beneficial.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to build on your foundation of firearms skills, gun training is always a great idea. Check out what classes Bellevue Gun Club has available, and be sure to carve out some time in your schedule to start developing your skills as a superior marksman.