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instructor behavior

smartinasmartina New MemberPosts: 6 New Member
I just took my first shooting lesson from someone listed on the NRA site as a certified instructor. (Prior to this lesson, I have been watching videos from the "Gun Talk/TV" series and watching and listening to my husband, who is a very patient man.) So, this instrucotr did a couple of things that I am not sure about, with regard to appropriateness.

First, he asked if he could shoot my pistol (Colt, New Agent 1911 9mm, with fewer than 200 rounds shot through it) and proceeded to empty the magazine at the target, before I even had my ear protection on. He told me it was a nice gun and that there was nothing wrong with it. We then spent about 20-30 minutes on holding the pistol, stances, and he was accurate in determining that my tendency was to anticipate the recoil, and prior to squeezing the trigger, I was jerking the muzzle downward a little.

Then he brought out a revolver of his, asked me to shoot it. Then he brought out his own 9mm with a Crimson Trace sight, loaded it with my ammo, and shot it and asked me to try it. I did fire it, but thought it was more of a distraction than anything else.

Here are my questions: ought I have called for references? Is it normal for him to shoot my pistol? Is it normal for him to load my ammo in his gun? Is there any set of guidelines that a new student might read to assess the quality of the lesson? Are there guidelines that an instructor is required to follow? I brought 100 rounds and we shot all but five; he wanted me to bring some hollow points, but I told him they were a lot more expensive, and he disagreed with me.
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Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,111 Senior Member
    Welcome.....

    All "instructors" are not created equal....and the rating system goes from "great" to "awful". I have actually traveled across the country to attend training and found the highly touted instructor so bad, I packed my bags and left....
    Some are good at training guys but not so good at training females, because they have yet to learn that females, in general, learn differently than men and the need to leave their male egos at home.
    NRA provides a "lesson plan" for their instructors to follow, but all instructors have their own teaching styles...
    My best advice to you is to find a female instructor in your area...you may well do better in that environment...The range my wife used to work at featured a "ladies night" on Fridays, where the instructors and range officers were all female....very successful for all concerned...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,545 Senior Member
    Anyone have contact info for Oklahomashooter? She might be a good refrence for instruction form a womens perspective.

    Sako
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    http://oklahomapersonaldefense.com/WomensClassesBrochure.pdf

    I don't know where your located but I would check into something aimed at women.
    Seems like you got an NRA instructor that has the special shoes. The instructor you got is bad, look elsewhere.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    It really doesn't take much for someone to become a "certified handgun instructor". We have a member here that hasn't even been old enough to have a handgun for a full year and he's already a "certified handgun instructor". I would ask around and check references rather than pluck someone from the phonebook or a website.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Welcome to the Forum, smartina.

    Unfortunately NRA doesn't do any kind of test on whether or not an "instructor" has an unstable ego, which quite a few seem to have; this is a power trip for them.

    When I went thru the required class to obtain my carry permit back in the day, it was also one-on-one, and the NRA Certified Instructor told me so many things that were patently wrong, I just had to hold my tongue, finish the "class," and get my ticket punched. (I'd been shooting since before the clown was born!)

    I don't know where you're located, but check www.womensshootingacademy.com in Nevada.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,573 Senior Member
    I'd like to shoot your gun, just to see how it functions and where it hits. Thats just me, but I'd make sure you had hearing protection. Normal to shoot your ammo in his gun? Neither normal nor abnormal, maybe he's getting a feel of the ammo in his a known gun. It's not something I would do, especially with new ammo.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • BlkHawk73BlkHawk73 Member Posts: 149 Member
    "Certified" doesn't equate to "qualified" so it always pay to do your homework on the instructor beforehand. Many do so for the ego boost and little else. Other honest;y do it for the purpose of instructing. The better oens have a following and have been there, done that. The rest...well...
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    As an Instructor for quite a few years, also having experience in LE instruction, I found it was best to explain everything beforehand and proceed slowly, I always had My own stock of ammo.

    If there was a need to test a student firearm, this was explained, the reason why a test is needed, I had female students, in Law Enforcement it is not an issue, the need to maintain a Professional demeanor is an issue.

    My certification is through the NRA, but My Instructor was a Chief of the Department of Probation, and he taught Our small class much more than was was on the Official syllabus, Professionalism was stressed too.

    Sticking to a structured well put together lesson plan sans War stories and pithy advice is important, the States relevant penal code and the guidelines for justifiable use of force are more important.

    Generally, you can get an idea what type of Instructor you have by the first class, and then decide if you may need another better qualified Instructor.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • smartinasmartina New Member Posts: 6 New Member
    Gosh, thanks so much for all your input. I had no idea I would generate this much interest. Luckily, I am only about five hours from a link someone sent for the Women's Academy in Reno. Since both my husband and i are going to Thunder Ranch next fall, I at least want to know how to un-jam the pistol and better still, learn how to shoot it with a strong wrist and grip.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,111 Senior Member
    You will like Clint and Heidi...can't think of a better place for you to learn...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,534 Senior Member
    You know, I have found in the army that teaching females how to shoot is so much better than teaching males...1) as someone said, there is no ego and Johnson measuring....2) they haven't learned bad habits from action movies and whatever. And, in the end they usually end up out shooting the males...the best CQB shooters I have taught have been females from the division band..they understand "rest pause" and smooth steps, and again there is no bad habits...
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Very very true, females are superior shooters, many of My female students went on the competitive shooting, most were Law Enforcement of some type.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,122 Senior Member
    smartina:
    Welcome aboard
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Welcome to the zoo! For the most part, your fellow participants here are friendly, knowledgeable, and probably more helpful than the "instructor" you just experienced. He sounds like someone who is on an ego trip. I am not a "certified firearms instructor", but I have been in the technical teaching business for approximately 40 years, teaching auto mechanics, auto body, welding, and industrial maintenance. I've also taught my children and grandchildren to shoot and hunt, and do some basic gunsmithing. No matter what the subject at hand, an instructor needs to evaluate the capability of his/her student, and provide a systematic process of sharing his knowledge in such a way that the student makes steady progress toward the intended goal. In the process, the student should feel comfortable with the instructor/student relationship, neither bored nor intimidated. A good instructor should be able to provide a safe, informative learning environment and leave the student eager to learn more at the next opportunity. I'll hazard a guess you're not likely to spend any more time or money with the individual we're discussing.

    Your instructor should have spent a considerable amount of time off-range with you, explaining what he expected you to learn, before either one of you ever fired a round. Firing your gun before you had proper ear protection was a gross breach of range etiquette, no matter what his reasons for doing so might be. Shooting up all your ammo, and insisting that you buy more expensive stuff- - - - -wrong again! Any instructor worthy of the name will probably take an entirely different approach- - - - -if not, you need to keep looking. It's your time and money you're investing, so don't be reluctant to expect better. Ask questions, explain what you'd like to learn, and be sure the person providing the training has a good understanding of what you expect to gain from the instruction. If that's not what they intend to provide, keep shopping around!
    Jerry
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    smartina wrote: »
    Gosh, thanks so much for all your input. I had no idea I would generate this much interest. Luckily, I am only about five hours from a link someone sent for the Women's Academy in Reno. Since both my husband and i are going to Thunder Ranch next fall, I at least want to know how to un-jam the pistol and better still, learn how to shoot it with a strong wrist and grip.

    You're going to Thunder Ranch? I am green with envy. And welcome from a fellow Oregonian(actually a transplanted Hawaii boy).
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • smartinasmartina New Member Posts: 6 New Member
    Teach, you are so right. Although I usually wear my "crap" detector in plain sight, I let it slip for this guy. He got to the range before me and was all prepared, and that might have been my first clue that he did not have my current ability in mind. You gentlemen have been so helpful - went out to practice today with my husband, and dipped the damned thing every time but about once. But I had only one malfuntion early in the practice, and none for the rest of the day.

    My plan is to join the pistol club that is available 24/7, albeit about 45 minutes from home. The cost is only $50./year and it's indoor.

    On a more upbeat note, I learned today that GREAT ear protection is essential to me; I hate the loud sound of the pistol. So today I wore "in-lobe" plugs PLUS muffs and was completely happy, even when husband was shooting the 45s. Thanks again.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    You're picking up more knowledge than you think you are. The point you made about the noise is something few shooters recognize so quickly. One suggestion about what's causing you to dip the muzzle while firing- - - - -You're anticipating the recoil and squeezing your whole hand as you squeeze the trigger. The ergonomics of the grip cause the muzzle to dip as your fingers tighten their grasp. It's a common mistake, and pretty predictable. One way to develop a good trigger squeeze is to step back to a .22 rimfire handgun to minimize your reaction to the recoil. The ammo is a LOT less expensive, also. More rounds downrange usually makes you a better shooter, UNLESS you're developing a problem like a flinch. That's where a good instructor starts earning his paycheck- - - -he can spot the mistakes and coach you through them. Have fun!
    Jerry
  • grumpycompuprofgrumpycompuprof New Member Posts: 14 New Member
    This is sad behavior. I had a great instructor for my CHL course in Sherman, TX. Can't get any better than lots of LE experience and head of the college's police academy.

    Just from a professional stand, smartina, I do think that some behavior was quite questionable. Let's hope you have more luck and enjoyment on your upcoming adventure. As for jamming and issues, the right pistol does help as well. I started out with the 380 version of James Bond's Walther PPK/S, but having at least two jams each clip, I changed to a Glock 17. After over 500 rounds - nothing. Not a single hitch whatsoever. My wish would now be for Glock to manufacture a single stack, concealable pistol with the same reliability and quality. That would be awesome. Anyways, good luck and welcome from a to Texas transplanted Sacramentan from Germany.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,122 Senior Member
    g+14:
    Welcome aboard
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Welcome to the zoo! For the most part, your fellow participants here are friendly, knowledgeable, and probably more helpful than the "instructor" you just experienced. He sounds like someone who is on an ego trip. I am not a "certified firearms instructor", but I have been in the technical teaching business for approximately 40 years, teaching auto mechanics, auto body, welding, and industrial maintenance. I've also taught my children and grandchildren to shoot and hunt, and do some basic gunsmithing. No matter what the subject at hand, an instructor needs to evaluate the capability of his/her student, and provide a systematic process of sharing his knowledge in such a way that the student makes steady progress toward the intended goal. In the process, the student should feel comfortable with the instructor/student relationship, neither bored nor intimidated. A good instructor should be able to provide a safe, informative learning environment and leave the student eager to learn more at the next opportunity. I'll hazard a guess you're not likely to spend any more time or money with the individual we're discussing.

    Your instructor should have spent a considerable amount of time off-range with you, explaining what he expected you to learn, before either one of you ever fired a round. Firing your gun before you had proper ear protection was a gross breach of range etiquette, no matter what his reasons for doing so might be. Shooting up all your ammo, and insisting that you buy more expensive stuff- - - - -wrong again! Any instructor worthy of the name will probably take an entirely different approach- - - - -if not, you need to keep looking. It's your time and money you're investing, so don't be reluctant to expect better. Ask questions, explain what you'd like to learn, and be sure the person providing the training has a good understanding of what you expect to gain from the instruction. If that's not what they intend to provide, keep shopping around!
    Jerry

    Teach; I agree with ya 100% and more... And welcome to the forum smartina you got a question, this is the place for an answer when it comes to guns and ammo.
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • Chris_DChris_D New Member Posts: 9 New Member
    Without being there and seeing exactly what was going on, it is hard to judge if this was a good or bad situation. Shooting other people's guns (by asking first) is pretty common. If I am training someone, I want to know if the sights are set correctly, I want to know how the gun feels. There is no point in shooting at a target if your sights are so far off, no matter what you do, you still miss.

    Most shooters that shoot a lot, treat ammo like pennies. I shoot 400 - 500 rounds a week and don't give much thought to the cost. I am a competitive shooter and I am constantly trying to improve. So, he too may not see the "value" of that ammo from your perspective. It was rude though not to ask first.

    Shooting different guns can provide indicators as to what is being done wrong during the shot process. This is a tool we all use, mostly on ourselves, to figure things out. It is not really a bad thing to shoot someone else' gun. It is an opportunity to learn more.

    As with any teacher or instructor, you have to have full confidence and respect for the person otherwise you are wasting your time and money. Find another instructor who you feel more comfortable with.

    Chris
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    Looks like we need an "ANGIE'S LIST" for instructiors...The best part is that someone, Male or Female is wanting to learn the proper techniqes to shooting. Maybe the instructor, with permission, shooting the students weapon is realy not a bad idea to check the function and sights of the weapon . When taking our CCW class the instructor would watch the indivuals as they fired to see if they were limpwristing or sights off. Also everyone had to field strip and clean their weapon which I thought was good...
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    Smartina

    He sounds a little odd. Perhaps he knows his stuff, but he shouldn't have used up "your" ammo. It was your ammo for your practice. I would have used the cheapest practice ammo possible for familiarization and told you that if you intend to use defensive ammo, you can do it on your own time, but not to carry defensive ammo in the gun until you've put 100 to 200 rounds of it through your gun without a hitch. I'd rather you be hitting the target with ball first. Defensive ammo can come after you've mastered your weapon.

    As for shooting your pistol, I would also want to shoot your pistol to make sure you had a weapon that was sighted in properly, but I would not have used your ammo. I would have determined what you were going to bring and I would have brought the appropriate ammo along if I intended to fire your weapon.

    Dan
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,581 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    A certification doesn't make a person a good instructor. Especially not a basic instructor course like the NRA one. That pretty much means diddly and squat. Skill, experience, knowledge, and the ability to communicate are what make a good instructor. Research is needed to find the good ones.

    +1, seems that to get the NRA "instructor" certification all it takes is to pay your money, attend and go through the motions, never taken the course myself as for what I see from those that are "certified" is a very tall flag coming up that is not worth the time, money or expense, I surely expected a lot more from the NRA.

    The not checking if you had ear protection on while he shoot YOUR gun is a big no-no flag on my book, even shooting your gun would make me wonder about an instructor unless if by chance it was some very rare gun and he had politely made a point of asking if he could try it as he had never seen one.

    When you get your permit here in Puerto Rico and every 5 years when you renew your permit you must take a course on the law and gun safety that includes a shooting section, one local instructor when he finishes tells the entire class to put their guns on the bench and to leave 5 round of ammo for him, he then proceeds to shoot every gun so he can SHOW OFF how good a shot he is.

    Saw another guy one give a "defense" class to what where clearly beginners and he had them unholster and shoot from the hip at an indoor range with divisions on both sides, he had the students stand a few feet from the divisions and he did not even bother to make it an even line, some where feet behind the shooter next to him while unholstering and double tapping, FROM THE HIP, trying to hit a target downrange!
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • Medicine HatMedicine Hat Member Posts: 106 Member
    smartina, first, welcome to the forum.
    You might try this link.
    http://www.nrahq.org/women/isc/index.asp
    There are shoots all over the country to teach women. Not sure about southern OR, but a club in NE OR did 2 different shoots last summer, and had overflow classes on both dates.
    I'm sure there is something near you also. I lived in Pendleton, OR for a number of years, but I'm not really familiar with southern OR, except to go throuh in hwy 97 or I-5 going to/from CA.
    The instructor you mentioned was, at best, inappropriate. There are lots of better ones out there.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    One more thing to consider, certified doesn't mean experienced. You gotta start somewhere. Sometimes when an instructor is new and learning he may do some dumb stuff at first. He'll be certified or he won't have the credentials to even have a class. Within the NRA and various states hunter education classes, there should be a mentoring process for new instructors. I would have gladly had a mentor when I first started out. It would have made things go much smoother than they did. I think I did ok, but I made a few mistakes.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • smartinasmartina New Member Posts: 6 New Member
    I want to thank everyone for their input - I have learned a lot from simply asking the questions. I've decided to acutally take the advice offered from "Teach" and go back to the .22 for a while. I want to take the Colt 1911 to Thunder Ranch, but I have over seven months to get more comfy with it. Plus we have already ordered the frangible ammo from Rim Rock, to comply with Clint's "no lead" policy. It was helpful to learn that my instincts were on target, as I alluded to before. Plus I feel fortunate to be 64 yrs old and still willing to learn new tricks!
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    smartina wrote: »
    I want to thank everyone for their input - I have learned a lot from simply asking the questions. I've decided to acutally take the advice offered from "Teach" and go back to the .22 for a while. I want to take the Colt 1911 to Thunder Ranch, but I have over seven months to get more comfy with it. Plus we have already ordered the frangible ammo from Rim Rock, to comply with Clint's "no lead" policy. It was helpful to learn that my instincts were on target, as I alluded to before. Plus I feel fortunate to be 64 yrs old and still willing to learn new tricks!

    Smartina, Remember, we're 64 years YOUNG!!! Not old. It gets better because we are getting more experienced at life. I may be 64, but I try to act 50, or younger if I can get away with it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,970 Senior Member
    It is VERY easy to get the NRA credentials provided you know where and have the motivation. For example, I became certified as an Apprentice Pistol and Rifle Instructor at age 14 (Apprentice is anyone under 21), as well as a USA Shooting Rifle Coach at age 16. I then put all of those certifications to good use under the guidance of my father and my JROTC Rifle Coach. Granted, I took to guns early and quickly.

    I think your best bet is some background research and references instead of jumping at the first certified instructor you find. The certification is a guarantee that they have undergone some block of instruction and have been tested, but what they do after the course is more or less on them.

    I can't comment as to if your guy wears special shoes or not. I personally would not shoot the instructee's gun and use their ammo without explicit permission, but I would not consider it outside the realm of possibility to do so either at the very start or very end of the lesson.

    As a side note, I concur with those who said that teaching women is easier. Every woman I've taught has listened intently, followed instructions, and done very well. Seems like every guy I've taught who's seen a Bruce Willis movie will go "But I think this is better" or "My ex Delta Special Park Ranger buddy taught me this." Well, if that's the case, why the hell did you ask me, and why can't you hit anything?
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • PlinkingSamPlinkingSam New Member Posts: 14 New Member
    A few years ago, I became an NRA certified pistol instructor. I took the class mainly to learn more anout shooting. It is not that difficult to get it. It was a while back and I let it lapse since then. I've recently taken the course with an excellent and experienced instructor. It really depends on the individual, their interest and motivation.
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