We (my wife Lizz and I) had our “1st steps” pistol training class the other day and let me tell you, it was indeed “1st steps”. Always point the gun in a safe direction, always leave the gun unloaded until you’re ready to use it, and so on. Anyone with a shred of proper gun knowledge knows these things, but I guess you need to start people somewhere. It just made for a boring first hour.
That being said, I’d say it was worth the time and money. $60 per person for 2.5 hours of NRA certified training including 40 rounds of indoor range shooting with a rental gun isn’t bad. Plus it gets you in the door at the range and helps you become comfortable with their layout and rules.
Some of the info I found useful pertained mostly to the mechanics of pistols, revolvers as well as semi-automatics. How to identify the slide lock, magazine release, safety, hammer (or no hammer designs), cocking and de-cocking, properly clearing the gun, etc. All good stuff and all helps in selecting a gun to buy.
Also, I’d say that even someone with a bit of pistol experience that’s thinking of going for a CCW license could get some benefit from the class, even if it’s just some brush up on proper trigger control and stances. Not to mention it wouldn’t hurt to get to know your CCW class instructors ahead of time. I mean, it’s $60 and an evening of your time.
It is a 1st steps class though, so if you’re looking for a CCW prepare to be covering a lot of common knowledge stuff. But, if you’re a total newbie to shooting, pistols or rifles, this is an excellent class to take! I can’t stress or recommend enough that people looking to get into shooting firearms get proper training. Seriously, it’ll make you a better and MUCH SAFER shooter. Do it.
After the classroom time we got into the range to actually put into practice what we had just learned. After putting 8 rounds into the target high left thinking that it was just me getting used to shooting a pistol I decided to just adjust my aim lower and ended up putting the rest of my 40 shots into the 10 circle. Throughout the time I alternated between the stances and techniques to get a feel for what worked better for me and ended up finding the Weaver Position to feel the most stable.
Next steps for me will be getting into the range regularly and narrowing in on my first pistol to buy. One of my goals will be getting a CCW license and then seeing where that takes me. All in all it was a great time and growing experience. Looking forward to more shooting!