Firearms training

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by BLCKWLF, Apr 29, 2012.


    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    I am thinking about starting my own training company. Do you have to be certified to offer firearms training? If so, who and what classes should I take? I would like to offer basic marksmanship training on all platforms, rifle, shotgun, and pistol. What is the best way to go about doing this?
  2. jonm61

    jonm61 New Member

    I would start with NRA certification. It's been a while since I've looked, but IIRC, you take the class...basic handgun for instance...then take the instructor course and you get certified to teach it. I'm pretty sure you have to take each class you want to teach, but only have to take the instructor course once. Don't quote me on that, but that's how I remember it.

    That's where I would start. You'll need a place to teach them of course. You might want to find a local range that offers classes, take one to decide if you like the instructor (if it happens to be one of your needed NRA courses, all the better) and then see if that instructor will mentor you. Then see if you can teach a couple of additional classes, like when the instructor isn't available, to gain experience. Then find a range that doesn't offer classes and see if they'll let you teach at their range.

    I've taken a class at one local range. They do their classes, at least the shooting portion, after the range has closed. Another range is divided into handgun only on one side and anything goes on the other. The two halves are separated by a concrete block wall. They shut down the handgun only side for their classes.

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Certification alone, or even with a decade of shooting experience, doesn't make a good instructor. You can be the best shooter in the world and not be able to teach a class. You need experience teaching classes and that really can/should only be gained under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

    I've done training classes and train the trainer classes. Not everyone is a natural trainer, but it is a skill that can be taught.


    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    I have been teaching merits in Royal Rangers (a derivative of Boy Scouts) for years. I enjoy teaching the merits, and the boys enjoy the classes. I know certification is beneficial, but if I were to offer personal training while I was in the process of getting certified to teach classes, would that be ok? Or do I have to be certified to do any type of firearm teaching?

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    I know there are courses available, but I don't have the money for them now. If I were to offer training, and build you some money to get certified, would that theoretically be allowed.

    Let me rephrase the question.

    Getting certified by the NRA as an instructor is my ultimate goal. In the mean time, can I offer non-certified training? Is this allowed?
  5. brutusvk

    brutusvk New Member

    Here's what it comes down to, what do you off that others don't? Do not take this the wrong way at all. I am saying this from a consumers point of view. Funny thing is, there is even a trainer in AZ with your user name. I thought you were him when I first saw your name. He is a good guy too. Known him for like 8 or 9 yrs now.

    When I trained dogs I competed to show what I could do. I also did it so I could market myself. I attended seminars and such so I could seperate myself from the talkers and keyboard commandos.

    As a shooter it is even more important IMO. What do YOU bring to the table? How are you able to protect yourself from liability? When one of your students uses you as a reference in court, what is your training background? What can you offer up to a defense attorney? (being cross examined sucks, for the record!) There is a ton to think about and consider. I am in no way attacking you or your abilities.

    The invite to come shoot with us still stands. I welcome the chance to learn from others always.
  6. Trotac

    Trotac New Member

    That is sound advice. People are going to want to know your background, and know what you can do.

    I myself am a FBI certified firearms instructor for my agency, but since I am quite new at it I'm still trying to build up the number of classes I take as a student. That is so that I can be a better instructor for my students. I have accumulated a fair number of shooting schools during my career and I shoot well enough to at least be competitive in the local matches that I compete in. But I am always seeking to learn more and get better, especially when it comes to the art of giving instruction. I can't remember another time when there were so many GOOD instructors around. So when I'm shopping for a class, I will primarily look at the background of the instructor. Numerous former SF guys are teaching now, and I can reasonably assume that those guys have A LOT of trigger time as well as enough real world experience to know things that do or do not work. Those guys also have good communication skills and natural leadership abilities, both of which make for a better instructor. They are typically who I will look to first when selecting a school to attend.

    Another instructor background that I give preference to is experienced and accomplished competition shooters, since those guys must know their way around a gun as well. So, if they can instruct well, they usually seem to run an excellent class.

    If you don't have a big nice resume and background, you may really want to consider "apprenticing" under someone who does just to establish some validity to your abilities as a trainer.

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    Never heard of him, maybe I'll give him a call.

    By no means am I just gunna start up some training clinic next week. I want to really plan it out, come up with curriculum and materials, liability waivers, and range memberships.

    I don't offer any real specialized expertise in any particular area.

    I do wish to offer classes in some of the following areas...

    Basic firearm safety
    Basic pistol
    Basic rifle
    Basic shotgun
    Muzzleloading firearms (I have been a NMLRA certified shooter since 2005, competed in several competitions)
    Traditional archery (not only do I have a second place in state for shooting, but I made my bow)
    Modern archery (I also shoot compound bows)
    Tactical tomahawk (with growing popularity of the tactical tomahawk, I feel my experience in the traditional arts of using a tomahawk would be beneficial in instructing its proper use)
    Traditional knife and hawk (I have been throwing knife and hawk for years and years it's a great sport)
    Knife making (I am a blacksmith by hobby)
    Bow making (I have made bows and bow strings, its great hobby to get into.)

    I would like to develop these classes to also touch not only the fundamentals but the history, legal issues, and continued proficiency in each subject.

    My experience as a general shooter spans from shooting .22 pistols and rifles all the way to .50 cal rifles and .500 magnum. Over the last several years I have shot all sorts of weapons, semiauto, bolt action, pump, name it I shot it...

    I was also on my JROTC marksmanship team in high school. Requirements are to score a 100% on the army safety exam, no exceptions. I qualified as an expert marksman under that program. Scoring above 240/300 consistently.

    While I may only be 18 years old, I have years of experience. I would also like to offer personal coaching as well. Basically, I want to give back to the shooting community my vast array of general knowledge. If I don't know a particular thing, I know where to find the answer.

    As far as heading out shooting with you guys, when and where?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  8. brutusvk

    brutusvk New Member

    My wife and I go shooting at least once a week on Monday or Tuesday. We usually have a few friends with us too. My buddy Tony is much more of a gun nut than me and we manage to help each other improve. He also loves to teach people. My wife's friend Danielle has been shooting forever and she is very good with many types of firearms. We bring no egos with us. :) Lots of professional backgrounds from profesional fighters, law enforcement officers, detention officers, dog trainers, you name it. We sometimes go shoot out in the desert but usually we meet at the Peoria Shooter's World. Occasionally we go to SGC.

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    I haven't made it out to Peoria Shooters World yet. When is your next planned trip? I like the no-Ego group, Had I guy at shooters world phoenix trying to tell me all sorts of crap, it was frusterating. While I do offer my knowledge up to those who will take it, I gladly accept any and all information humbly offered, just don't try to shove anything down my throat or I'll bite you. I am sure we agree on that point.

    I want to put together a real well thought out program, aimed more towards the beginners and intermediate group. It will take some time putting stuff together, partnerships, and what not, but I want to do things right. I'll get some other instructors that I know to go through my proposed curriculum with me, and I have some friends willing to take some sample classes and give me feedback.

    Gunna be a long road, but it's what I feel is the right one at the moment. Something about this just feels right.
  10. brutusvk

    brutusvk New Member

    I am thinking Tuesday early afternoon. We usually go late AM but my wife has a Dr. appointment then.

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    so do I… Doctors appointment that is…
  12. Argyle64

    Argyle64 New Member

    The more credentials you have, the more business and successful you will become. Start with an NRA instructor's course and then take other courses. The more the better.

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    I would like to start with the course previously linked on this thread, from ShootersWorld. I just need to get some money together. In the mean time i think i will offer personal coaching to some friends, at a fair cost, and hopefully use that to come up with the money to get certified. I am currently looking into Business laws and tax codes to start a sole proprietorship.
  14. There's probably no more economical way to go that to get the NRA certifications for each discipline you are interested in obtaining. You could probably become a certified NRA instructor in Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun for around $600.00 or so. That would provide you with a good starting point from which you could go on to take more training from other accredited organizations.

    By the way, being a firearms instructor is generally not a very lucrative business to get into. I hope you aren't planning on making it your sole income.

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    Not planning on it being my sole income. Just a little job to do on the side.
  16. Trotac

    Trotac New Member

    It sounds like you're going about things the right way. I would never discourage someone who is desiring to get more people into shooting, and more importantly, getting shooters into some decent training. But at your age and lack of "real world experience", I would try to temper your expectations just so that you don't get discouraged. Take your time, build your resume, and see what happens. I have shot with a few trainers who do not have any military or LE training, and I would still say that they were quality trainer/ instructors in their area of expertise.

    I will add this advice... If you're not an expert in a topic, don't claim to be one to your students. It seems that you're above that kind of stuff already, but that's the type crap that will get an instructor blackballed quick, fast, and in a hurry. For example, at the agency where I work we put on our own LE marksman/ observer school. The very first disclaimer that we make on day one (after a PT smokefest) is that we (the instructors) are not formally trained or educated "experts" in the fields that we instruct on. We have simply done them in training and real operations enough that we can pretty effectively convey that training and experience to other LE snipers.

    Best of luck on your venture!

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    Slow and steady wins the race. I don't plan to start big or even full blown at all. Just gonna start teaching what I know, and add classes and courses as I get trained in them.

    Here is a projected list of courses that will be available off the bat:


    Traditional Knife and Tomahawk

    Tactical Tomahawk

    Knife Making Workshop

    Bow Making Workshop (does not cover Arrow Making)

    Holster Making Workshop

    Basic Survival

    Basic Firearms Safety

    Personal Coaching

    I'll add the NRA courses when I get certified in them.

    Still looking into Tax code trying to figure out if I have to apply for a tax permit… Will be discussing my ideas with some friends in the business field.
  18. iGlock

    iGlock Lead Farmer

    You guys ever shoot at table top mesa? Located just after new river. Public land and its free. Sounds like a war out there sometimes. Thats where i shoot and im in phx.

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    I've been out there a couple times.