There aren’t any guarantees in life, but there are good signs…
So, you’re looking for someone to either introduce you to safe gun handling, or to improve your game. We’ve already talked about how to spot a gun guru who might be full of it…so how do you find someone who’s legit? With the caveat that there are no guarantees in life–you may decide you don’t like a person’s teaching style, for example–there are some characteristics that the best instructors share.
1) You’re Not Yelping
Good instructors tend to have fairly devoted followings. Former students will return to them for further instruction, refer their friends, and are happy to give references…and not on services for which a vendor can pay to have negative reviews removed or hidden (cough Yelp cough). One or two negative reviews may not mean anything–it’s not possible to please 100% of the people 100% of the time–but it’s definitely something to be alert to.
2) It’s No Mystery
An instructor worthy of their salt will set clear and realistic expectations, both for their students, and for themselves. They will let you know what you need to bring with you, and what you can expect to learn. If you have questions about the course, they’re available to answer them in a reasonable time frame. No psychedelic van or suspiciously altered-state Great Danes necessary.
3) Function Over Form
Good instructors care more about the final results–whether you emerge from their training with more knowledge and safe, solid shooting habits–than looking cool. They emphasize safety above all else, and insist that everyone in the group do the same. They ensure their students’ comfort by allowing them to use the gear that works best for them, even if it’s not the “latest and greatest,” as long as that gear is safe to use.
What do you look for in a gun instructor? Tell us in the comments!
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