How to Find a Good Firearms Instructor

August 25, 2020

What is a firearms instructor?

A firearms instructor teaches new firearms owners how to shoot, care for, and maintain a weapon. 

Why do you need one?

With that new handgun, you want to learn good habits. You want to start out on the right foot. Find a good instructor and you will learn the fundamentals of your handgun. You will learn firearm safety. You will find out how to care for your weapon and how to store it safely. 

It’s not just about how to shoot. It’s also the fundamentals of responsible gun ownership.

What are the qualities of a good instructor?

A good firearms instructor isn’t just a good marksman. He/she needs a lot of other qualities too.

1. Background experience

What in this person’s background experiences make him/her a good instructor. For example is there military or police training?

If your instructor has this background he/she’ll be able to share real life experiences about self-defense.

2. Training

Those with military or law enforcement training have graduated from some of the best facilities in the world. They have received lots of firearms training in real-life situations. 

3. NRA certification

If your instructor has graduated from the NRA instructor class, he/she has learned good instruction and safety skills.

4. Friendly, flexible, and down-to-earth

I’m sure you’ve seen those nightmare movies where the instructor is a drill sergeant. You want someone who is approachable, even tempered, and ready to share information. 

You do not want an instructor bent on intimidating you or reducing you to tears.

5. Safety instruction

A firearms instructor makes safe handling of a firearm his/her number one priority both in modeling and in direct instruction. 

The four safety rules of safe firearms handling is one of the first things taught in the course. Moreover these rules are reinforced throughout the course.

6. Practical, real-life scenarios

You do not want an instructor who uses scare tactics. You want to come out of this course able to defend yourself and confident enough to know how to go about it.

7. Empathetic and responsive

Your instructor should actually listen to why you bought a gun and be committed to helping you learn how to use it.

Find an instructor that understands your hopes, your fears, and your needs.

8. Role model

Does your instructor believe what he/she teaches? Does your instructor everyday concealed carry?

You want to learn from someone who walks the talk. You want to be able to emulate your instructor’s behavior as well as learning from the skills and  techniques taught.

9. Instructional skills

Your ideal instructor should excel at teaching as well as be a great marksman. He/she needs to be able to teach good self-defense skills.

Being a good firearms instructor means having patience, excellent teaching skills and a love of the job. It means  being a good communicator and providing valuable role model experiences.

What is the guarantee on this training?

If your instructor has solid belief in what he/she is teaching, then that instruction should come with a money back guarantee. 


Don’t have your permit to carry yet? Find out the qualifications for your state here.