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Posted: 6/6/2012 1:09:42 PM EDT
I have been looking through these discussions and they seem to be geared for younger shooters. As a senior (63) I have trouble running and getting up and down. My shooting it fine, perhaps a bit slow but still very good. The military taught me pretty well, but things you learned back then either fade away are become physically no longer possible.Some things stick with us like the fact it only takes 8 pounds of pressure to rip an ear off, or ducking a swing grabbing the passing arm, stretching it taunt and slamming your elbow into the arm pit to dislocate the shoulder. There are hundreds of books and videos and magazine articles that give information on all things tacktical but this baby boomer population is not generally prepared for any kind of violent activity. So my question is does anyone offer courses on the best tactics for seniors?

I have a few thoughts on the matter.
1. Seniors are the most vunerable sometimes more so that children. We sometimes know what to expect if we shoot, a child might not.
2. Criminals view us as 'easier' targets. We have had several home invasions, and older folks taken hostage.
3. We can generally afford quality firearms, but many have no idea what would work for them. ie: my wife can't handle the little Hi-Point c-9 at the range, but shoots very well with the 1911. She doesn't like the Taurus 24/7 either. By the way this is the first time she has ever shot a weapon, ever. Right now she would not get
her CHL but give her some time and she will take my favorite guns away from me.
4. We are generally not as phsically active as most shooters. Sure you see us taking fast walks in the local mall, but that does not mean we are in shape.
5. Tactical training is not the best training for us unless you call it tactical training for seniors and gear it as suchl. (You will rarely find us in web belts and inside the belt holsters. I for one already have trouble keeping my pants up, the extra weight won't help.)
6. I am sure there are other things but memory loss prevents me from remembering what I need to ask.

So does anyone have ideas, in all seriousness, about what seniors can do to protect themselves.
Link Posted: 6/6/2012 1:36:04 PM EDT
Unfortunately I can't answer your question very well. But welcome to the stie!
I would try asking the same question in the TX hometown forum and see if anyone knows of something in your area that might suit you.
Link Posted: 6/7/2012 11:19:09 AM EDT
Thanks but I was really asking that in general. All I see everywhere is tactical this and tactical that and for the most part tactical is a young persons game, and by young I mean someone in shape. I know my limitations and as what speed I can operate safely. Going down to one knee to cover a room in the dark is going to make a lot of noise with my knees. Getting back up to move will make even more noise and take even more time. I was installing a new radio is my wife's car. She asked if I knew how to do that. I said, "Yes but it takes three people. Just me to get under the dash to get the old radio out and two more to help me get out from under the dash after I am done."

Mostly this was just to get people thinking some. There are womens courses, childrens courses, and mens tactical courses, but nothing for the older group. I guess trainers are concerned we would get too cranky.
Link Posted: 6/7/2012 11:50:20 AM EDT
I'm in the southeast Texas area (Beaumont, Port Arthur, Port Neches) and would be happy to help you out with anything you needed. What part of Texas are you in?
Link Posted: 6/7/2012 12:59:52 PM EDT
Austin area.
Link Posted: 6/7/2012 1:36:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By larrymac1:
Austin area.

I have no idea what you have done for training in the past, but have you considered the NRA Personal Protection series? The NRA classes are a good foundation, have good information, and the instructors are all trained to deal (and used to dealing with) older folks and even disabled shooters. From a quick search on NRAInstructors.org Personal Protection Inside the Home (PPITH) is being taught this month in Austin and Personal Protection Outside the Home (PPOTH) is being taught next months in Gatesville.
They are both pretty reasonable from a shooting standpoint. The curriculum does include a small amount of kneeling, but that can be skipped if you have a hard time kneeling down and you can still pass the course. The movement that is required is slow and deliberate and the distance to the target is never over 21 feet...for many of the exercises it is even closer than that. No jumping over barriers while doing back flips and shooting a moving target at 75 yards.

You can search for and sign up for many NRA courses online here: http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx

Link Posted: 6/8/2012 4:58:14 AM EDT
I am a Vietnam combat vet so we can stop worrying about my training. My point here is that seniors are buying guns and may have never handled a gun before, but they are serious about protecting what they have earned and won. I am training my wife on safe gun techniques. After we get that down pat and she can load and arm her weapon of choice safely, then we will concentrate on shooting technique and other training.

My thought about seniors needing tactical training was not about me, but about all seniors who feel safer being armed but who would appreciate a training class on safety, security and shooting technique. I am nto sure anyone who does training has an interest in doing this. Maybe they feel there is no money to be made. I am just contending that the need is certainly there and it is not something they are going to pick up at the local senior centers. I grew up in a small town that men from 6 to 100 knew how to handle guns properly, but still lived by 'shoot first ask questions later'. We know what kind of problems that can create. I never saw any women (girls, young ladies etc) at a turkey shoot unless it was to serve coffee. Today I see lots of young ladies at the range shooting to their hearts content, but it is still a very rare incidence of an older lady being out there, but you can bet they have guns. This is Texas, almost everyone has a gun but many older folks have had no formal training and they probably carry concealed without a license.

I would hope that you trainers out there on a nationwide basis, not jsut in Texas, would consider special classes for seniors. .

By the way I am not a professional trainer but my wife wants my help first before going for her CHL.
Link Posted: 6/9/2012 7:54:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By larrymac1:
I am a Vietnam combat vet so we can stop worrying about my training.

Thank you for your service. Now, what is it about your military service in the 60s and 70s that means you never need any more training? Serious question.

My thought about seniors needing tactical training was not about me, but about all seniors who feel safer being armed but who would appreciate a training class on safety, security and shooting technique.

As mentioned before, there a lot's of NRA trainers out there teaching Basic Pistol, Personal Protection in the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home classes. These are very basic classes that anyone can get through, senior citizens, young people, anyone.

I would hope that you trainers out there on a nationwide basis, not jsut in Texas, would consider special classes for seniors.

What would differentiate a class for seniors from a regular self defense class? I taken classes with other students that were in their 70s many times. No instructor worth a damn would push a student beyond their physical abilities, be they old, disabled or whatever.

Sure, the cool wiz bang Magpul and Kyle Lamb videos show guys running and gunning, flopping down prone and doing fancy crap. 90% of that will never be used in a personal self defense situation.

In the Central Texas area there are lots of great opportunities for training, look up KR Training and talk to Karl. He can tell you what classes require physical activity and at what level.

For legal and self defense info, take a CHL class.

If you can stand the heat, come shoot some IDPA with Texas Tactical. In my 10 years as a Safety Officer I have never forced anyone to kneel on a stage if they weren't comfortable with it. I may give a small penalty if the stage called for kneeling but I'm happy to help anyone that comes out and shoots with us.

As a trainer myself, I can't see anyone developing and marketing a "seniors only" firearms class. The skills needed and material taught would be the same as any basic or intermediate class, with allowances for physical limitations.

Staying on your feet and defending yourself while getting mugged requires the same techniques for a 30 year old as it is for a 60 year old. Staying alert and maneuvering tactically while in public is likewise the same.

I'm not that many years away from 60. There aren't any special old fat arthritic guy ninja skills that are gonna keep me safe as I get older. I just have to be smarter and more careful.

Link Posted: 6/21/2012 5:02:02 AM EDT
I am a "senior", one with grinding knees so I can relate to the OP. I am also an NRA Instructor who teaches NRA Personal Protection series classes in MA.

I am teaching PPIH this Sunday and PPOH 5 weeks from now.

I can tell you that PPIH is perfect for seniors as well as younger folks, it is not a "run and gun" class and as described above each student does it at their own pace. Hits count not speed. Most of the class is about situational awareness, how to deal with the aftermath (legal issues, what to say and when to say it - with your attorney present, etc.). The shooting exercises are good but most of the class is not specifically about shooting.

PPOH is a follow-on course with more range exercises and more discussion about the legal ramifications. Again, no "run and gun".

I have had seniors in these classes and they do well.

Be aware that NRA dictates that you take PPIH prior to taking PPOH. [Their "work around" (for those that hadn't taken PPIH before) pretty much ensures that will do this as you must take the exam and do some pre-class shooting exercises and without benefit of the course.]
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