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Posted: 1/11/2015 5:48:28 PM EDT
Can anyone give me some insight on the NRA courses, are they worth the $110? I have a general knowledge of handguns and rifles, I've been reloading for about 3 years now. So, I have a good concept, I was think more of the defensive courses. Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you
Link Posted: 1/11/2015 5:58:40 PM EDT
NRA basic? If so, it is....basic, and doesn't have a lot of range time for real use instruction.
Link Posted: 1/12/2015 10:16:33 AM EDT
The NRA basic rifle/pistol/shotgun is just that, the absolute basics for someone who has never fired or likely even held a firearm before. The idea is to get someone safe, familiar with the three (NRA 3 instead of 4) rules of firearms safety, and on paper with an understanding of how to operate their firearm, clean it, etc. It is a great class for absolute beginners or people who have issues teaching their relatives, which happens a lot in my experience. For something above the absolute basics the NRA offers Personal Protection Outside the Home and PP Inside the Home. I would say if you can follow the safety rules, not muzzle everyone in the class, and be somewhere on the target at 25m then you might want to go a step higher than basic. Conversely, a good instructor will teach you something you didn't know or were vague about even in a basic course.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 10:56:42 PM EDT
The basic course is great for building your "foundation." I have had folks from teens to retirees come through it, and all have shown marked improvement. Things that some folks were taught long ago are second nature to them, while others have never heard of them IE; trigger control. $110 may be the going rate for that area. I recently taught a marine who's home state is Connecticut, he said he found the class up there for $200. If I listed it for that price around my area, no one would sign up for the class.
Link Posted: 1/28/2015 10:00:08 AM EDT
It's not the course, it's the instructor. Find someone who is going to teach the solid fundamentals of
shooting a hand gun. An accomplished shooter at 3 gun, IDPA or USPSA will be able to recognize
your bad habits...which we all have. Then it is up to you to reinforce the "new" habits. That is what will
make you a better shooter.
Link Posted: 2/6/2015 11:49:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/6/2015 11:49:55 PM EDT by rdblan2]
Basic pistol class was good for the GF and her mom. I took it so they would do so. You'll learn about stuff like "this is what a casing is, and primer, etc". You'll also get a lot of safety stuff.

Personal protection in the home was pretty good and I enjoyed it.

Edit, and yes, find a good instructor.
Link Posted: 2/8/2015 1:26:55 PM EDT
As said before, basic pistol is the basics of handgun safety and operation.
I also use the range time to help correct any problems that come from TV and previously poor instructions the person may have received.

I've also found it quite helpful to throw in a short bit on any local/state specific firearms laws, to eliminate misnomers and to create a foundation should the person want to continue and take a Personal Protection in the Home course and pursue their state's concealed pistol license.
Link Posted: 4/26/2015 11:53:45 PM EDT
It is true that these classes really are meant to teach the fundamentals and how to safely handle the gun and shoot it right. Keep in mind there are many long time shooter out there with bad habits so it is useful for them as well. Just look around your local gun show on how folks hold the guns they are trying to sell. Lots of fingers on triggers etc. These classes help teach it right to new shooters from the get go to hopefully never allow bad habits from happening.

Link Posted: 4/26/2015 11:54:21 PM EDT
Also ask your instructor what you are getting for the $110. For example when I run my basics classes students need to bring nothing at all because the assumption is that they have no experience with handguns and probably don't own one nor any of the other equipment. If they happen to already have a gun then I encourage them to bring it so they can shoot with that gun as well. Other than that I provide everything, guns, targets, handouts, ammo etc. etc.
My students get to shoot about 50-70 rounds of .22, a box of 9mm, about 18 rounds of .38 and 18 rounds of .357 magnum (so they get the feel for the difference in recoil etc.). At today's ammo prices you are at $40 to $50 just in ammo, add room rental and range rental to the mix, 4-5 hours of my time so breaking even will make me happy. Also these classes are usually smaller, 4-5 shooter max because I want to be 1:1 with the student on the range when they shoot and you don't want the non-shooting students to have to wait for hours until it is their turn. Most of the time the non-shooting students watch as one student shoots and they take turns shooting a caliber and then we switch calibers so everyone shoot, rests, shoots, rests etc.

The nice thing for the student is that if there are the only one or two students attending the class I can adjust what I teach to what their situation is. The idea is to give all students a really great experience and have them back to the CCW and advances classes etc.

Hopefully this helps.
Link Posted: 5/6/2015 10:57:04 PM EDT
In my opinion, if you have been shooting a while and are reloading for the last 3 years, you probably have a very good handle on everything that would be presented in the first steps or basic pistol.I would move up to the Personal Protection Outside the Home class. It really gives a good knowledge about carrying outside of the home, being aware of your surroundings, how to carry, holster selection, firearm selection for best concealment, how to handle the aftermath of a defensive shooting, etc. We bring in a LT from the local sheriff's office to spend about an hour going over the specific laws regarding concealed carry, Castle Law, etc. The range is very structured at first, drilling on presenting your firearm from under a cover garment,choosing cover vs. concealment, moving, different shooting positions, shooting around and over barricades, etc. You need to be able to be pretty consistent on accuracy and how to manage your firearm but we have had men and women of various skill levels go through the class and have seen some great improvements. It's a good 1/2 day in the classroom and a good 1 and 1/2 day on the range. We generally go from Basic straight to PPOH and bypass PPIH as a lot of the skills learned in PPIH can be incorporated into PPOH.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 8:28:53 AM EDT
I'll disagree with most of the other posters. An NRA Basic class does give a basic understanding of multiple styles of firearms, it goes over correct grip and the correct firing sequence. I had years of shooting experience and was self taught. I did the NRA Basic pistol to help out a friend who was just certified as an instructor and wanted to get some experience teaching the class. He was able to identify a couple bad habbits I had developed and help me correct them, taking me from an OK shooter to a good shooter. I have since become an instructor and have been able to do the same with new and experienced shooters. I have helped a lot of self taught shooters improve their scores. The NRA Basic class is laid out for the instructor, what to teach, what order, the important points to cover. Range time is up to the instructor and dependant on conditions. I have customized classes for people more familiar with firearms to be less classroom time and much more range time. Reach out to an instructor they may be able to do the same for you. The price is set by the instructor and varies drastically, it really depends on overhead. Personally I charge $75, which covers class materials and ammunition. I teach in my dining room and "Guest" my students into my club which keeps overhead minimal, but ammo gets pricy. My students start with 22 and move up to 9, 40, 45, 38 and 357.
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