Firearms training is a hot topic these days, and very much a booming industry. Training schools are popping up all over the place and becoming more and more popular as more people carry guns and want to be prepared.
So, how do you choose a school? Training is expensive, so you surely don’t want to waste any money. A simple Google search can display hundreds of schools, each offering their own brand of tactical training. For a new shooter, it can be difficult to sort through these courses to make sure they are finding a quality organization.
First off, look for credentials. It’s important to know I am a military veteran before I say this: Be highly skeptical of military credentials. Why? Without the combat arms or special tab to go along with it, it doesn’t mean much. Even with infantry credentials (I’m infantry, by the way), it doesn’t make for a good instructor for concealed carry. If you wanted to know about combined arms, squad tactics, etc., then military experience is a must, but for tactical handgun courses, not so much. The same for former LEOs (law enforcement officers). Most LEOs qualify once or twice a year with less than a few hundred rounds.
Special Forces credentials mean a bit more, but be cautious that someone isn’t a liar. If someone says they are a Navy Seal, find their class number; most are proud to pass it out and tell a few tales of how hard their class had it. Also, a top-flight Special Forces operator can be a great gun fighter, but it doesn’t mean he can teach. Look for instructor credentials — for example, a LEO instructor, a Marine Corps shooting coach, or BUDS (SEAL) instructor.
Credentials shouldn’t end there, though. A real instructor should always be learning and involving. Many will list classes they’ve attended, especially from nationally known schools. A short list of known and valued schools are:
- Thunder Ranch
- Sig Sauer academy
- Roger’s Shooting School
There are others, and don’t be afraid to ask where your instructor has trained. Most will be proud to tell you about the schools. Research the training they’ve gone through; a quick scan from Google searches should tell you quite a bit.