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David Hines [userpic]

at long last

February 27th, 2009 (08:16 pm)

If I seem haggard this weekend, it's because I'm in the middle of a training course to become a certified pistol instructor. Technically, it's "Basic Pistol" and "Firearm Safety," but this course is a prerequisite for certification to teach other pistol courses. This has been a long time coming: I wanted to do this for a year, but first work intervened, then there were other issues. So today, our training counselor had about twelve people ready to learn. Interesting bunch. Demographics were not out of the ordinary for firearms-enthusiast gatherings: all men (the one woman registered couldn't make it), mostly white (one Hispanic instructor, one black student)

There was some talk about politics -- Attorney General Holder's admission that yes, the administration wants to reinstate the "assault weapons ban" (which, really, should be termed the "scary-looking normal-capacity rifles ban") has everybody really annoyed -- but mostly we focused on the business at hand. I was pretty pleased with myself at first -- in my group, I was shooting second-best in our two-handed pre-evaluation exam, and I shot the best one-handed (did better one-handed than two-hande, which surprised the hell out of me, as I rarely shoot one-handed, bullseye style). So I was pretty pleased with myself, as my crazy schedule means I haven't been able to go shooting much, and then the guy who shot in international competition stepped up. And, yeah. Long way to go, me.


Posted by: Dan Orkwis (dorkwis)
Posted at: February 28th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)

So, if you don't mind, I have a couple of questions. I've been intending for some time to seek pistol training. What should I look for in course? Without being able to purchase a weapon at the moment, what's my best option for practice? As for what I can expect, I have terrible vision but fairly good natural hand-eye coordination; how will those affect my shooting?

Finally, when I can think about purchasing in a year or two, what would you recommend for a first gun? I've rented at ranges before, and I tend to dislike the feel of polymer grips, but that's a complete newbie's opinion.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)

Depends on what you're looking to train for. The NRA's Basic Pistol course is a pretty good place to start; they'll give you some useful stuff on the foundations of good shooting, and odds are it'll give you a chance to meet people in the local shooting community.

Options for practice: basically, rental or -- if you can swing it -- air gun. Air gun is probably cheaper, and depending on what you get you can do it indoors.

How your vision will affect your shooting depends on a few things. The two most important aspects of shooting are sight alignment and trigger squeeze; good hands will help you on the latter, but on the former the most important thing is being able to focus on the front sight. It's okay if the target is blurry -- in fact, that's sort of the idea, so if you're nearsighted and have correctable vision it may actually work out well for you.

As for a first gun: depends. What's the primary intended purpose? Target, protection?

Posted by: __marcelo (__marcelo)
Posted at: February 28th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)

Cool. Congrats!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)


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