A growing number of women in and around the Raleigh NC area, and in fact around the country, are taking interest in purchasing handguns and getting firearms training. Once you’ve made your purchase of your handgun, where can you find trustworthy, reliable training suited for your needs?
When searching for a firearms training instructor, know what kind of training you want, and be sure to find someone like John who has credible credentials. One size does not fit all. Are you interested in learning about self defense or home protection? Do you want tactical training? Or do you want to learn how to shoot in competition, such as USPSA or IDPA? Do you want an NRA Certified Instructor? You can certainly find qualified and experienced instructors, and depending on their backgrounds each will provide his/her own style. An instructor who has prior law enforcement or military background may teach with a different mindset and use different terminology than an instructor who has many years of experience and training as a competitive shooter. Fortunately for you, John has experience as a competitive shooter and knowledge from his previous military background, so he can provide different approaches to teaching that relate to your needs and make you feel comfortable.
What specific questions do you have that you need your instructor to answer? Do you have questions about how to maintain and clean your handgun? Do you have a certain issue you need help with, such as being cross eye dominant, not being aggressive enough with your stance/posture, difficulty in pulling back the slide on a semi-automatic, help with correcting your shot placement on your targets? Do you prefer group instruction or one-on-one instruction?
Additionally, what type of materials, handouts or resource notes will your instructor give you to take away from the class? Hard copies of information allows you to look back later at what you learned so you don’t have to remember everything that you covered during your instruction time.
Most importantly, make sure you are taught and understand gun safety! Gun safety rules must always be repeatedly stressed and applied. Wherever your instructor will be conducting your training, ask BEFORE you go what are the safety protocols for that range or club. Don’t go to your class with a loaded gun (I recommend magazine out and slide locked open for semi-automatics, or cylinder open and empty for revolvers), and don’t take your handgun out of your range bag or pistol bag until your instructor tells you to do so. Safety should always be the highest priority at any range.
I invite you to contact John and take your training class with him (read John’s Q&A page). He wants to make sure new gun owners and new shooters start with the training and attention they need. He offers various classes depending on what you want to learn, and can show you the safe, proper, fun ways to get started!