Training with Military vs. Competition Shooters

This is a topic I have been thinking about for a long time, yet upon which I have not really spoken to anyone except for a few close friends.

I have heard (and read) back and forth discussions about whether it is better to pay for training from a former military or law enforcement shooter – say, someone who spent a long time in a special operations unit of some kind – or from a shooter who has won multiple national titles in something like NRA Action Pistol/Steel Challenge/USPSA/IDPA/IPSC etc. Of course, I can only offer my opinion, and the truth may lie elsewhere – but here goes.

When you pay to take a shooting course, you are primarily paying for someone to teach you how to shoot a pistol (rifle, shotgun, slingshot, whatever), and not much more than that. Some of the most important skills that relate to surviving armed confrontations are not sexy and most people would never actually pay to learn them. They’re gained through experience and are much harder to learn in a two day course…but I digress.

The best competition shooters – like Rob Leatham and Dave Sevigny - are highly sought after by military special operations units, the personnel of which want to learn how the best and fastest shooters in the world do what they do. They aren’t asking Dave Sevigny to teach them how to locate and close with the bad guys – they need to get better at the part where they destroy the enemy. And so the military values very highly the time of these men.

People attend shooting courses for different reasons - but what they are primarily there to learn is how to improve their shooting skills - and not much more than that.

Some folks have told me that they will only ever train with instructors that have been in combat or have “seen the elephant” – I’m pretty sure that Rob Leatham has been to the zoo at least once in his life. The problem with this “combat or nothing” mindset is that some people who have been in combat might not be a good enough instructor to teach you much of what they learned, or they might be interested in talking more about combat and gunfights than actually teaching you important things, or they might tangentially mention combat situations in order to impress you when they really haven’t been there and done that.

I was high pistol shooter in a class (In fact, I’m pretty sure that I outshot the instructor too) taught by a guy who spent a lot of time telling war stories and claimed to have been shot numerous times in multiple shootouts, including once in the face. My first thought was that if he kept getting shot in gunfights, like half a dozen times, he must not be very good at gunfighting, or maybe he was a slow learner. My second thought was that he hadn’t actually been shot in the face, as far as I could tell with my limited medical knowledge, which has involved looking at people who got shot in the face.

Although not in the same vein, I really don’t like what is said at 1:45ish of this video - I’m not going to a shooting class to hear about how to “step over my dead buddy’s body.” I’m there to learn how to be a better shooter, plain and simple. Whether that instructor has actually stepped over any dead buddies is almost irrelevant – it’s just not something a class full of civilians needs to hear about for any reason other than to impress them.

"Not sure about you, instructor dude, but I spent most of my time in Iraq sleeping or handing out candy to children."

Military units have turned out people – who have been in combat – capable of teaching other people how to shoot very well, and so has the pressure of competition shooting. You’re free to spend your money however you want, but don’t discard an instructor just because he or she hasn’t actually been in combat. Similarly, I wouldn’t ignore someone just because he spent his peak physical years jumping out of airplanes and strangling bad guys with their own intestines instead of winning trophies and sponsorships.

After writing this article, I asked Mike Pannone for his thoughts. Here is what he had to say:

As an instructor with some decent real world experience I am loath to talk about it in any detail because it usually does one of two things:

  • Makes you look like a braggart
  • Alienates those students with lesser experiences

The goal of an instructor is to either teach new skills or enhance existing ones. There is much to be learned from sport shooters about how to shoot fast and accurate but it stops there for them. The application of those skills in a combative environment is best taught by those instructors with the appropriate formal training, experience and temperament to articulate the application of the skills or the areas where they do not apply and why. Just because you’ve been in combat of one sort or another doesn’t mean you are a superhero and have all the answers and wisdom. Hell, it doesn’t even mean you were any good…it just means you were there.

Being a soldier or cop who was in bad or multiple shootouts and survived doesn’t make you a great soldier or cop. Conversely, just because you haven’t been in some sort of mortal combat doesn’t mean you are not prepared and capable more than most. I have seen many who have been in multiple engagements in Iraq who survived and were completely incompetent still. I have also seen and trained some that I would hate to be on the other side of a gun from yet they have never seen a shot fired in anger.

Guidance for SOF type instructors:

  • Stop trying to sell “who you were in another life” that’s for the bio page on your website and the bar at Chili’s, not the range.  
  • Experience doesn’t remove the requirement of being able to articulate and demonstrate shooting techniques at a high level of proficiency.  
  • Use your experience to show how it applies to a combative environment with minimal “no shit, there I was” stories

Guidance for sport type instructors:

  • Stop trying to wow students with circus trick show demonstrations…everybody came there because you are an accomplished shooter.
  • All the shooting competitions in the world are not the same as dedicated training for combat and combat experience so don’t talk it as though “you were there”
  • Don’t teach a class with a $3k sport gun to a bunch of people with Bushmaster or DPMS stock guns with stock triggers or box stock pistols. It gives the student an easy out and makes you look like you’re “cheating” i.e. “if I had a $2500 JP gun or custom Wilson 1911 I’d be able to do that too.” Shoot a weapon as comparable to theirs as you can. Emphasize what can be done with their gun not what you can do with yours.

Mike Pannone shooting a BCM 14.5" M4.

Final thought; the fortitude and personal courage necessary to face the dangers of life and combat are no different. They come from within and all the “pep-talks” in the world won’t be of use unless you have sat down and thought it through. Decisions of consequence are rarely made correctly on the spot. They are the culmination of training and decisions made long ago.

NO instructor can teach you that. You have to go to scary places in your mind’s eye and find it yourself. Everyone should stay away from the “touch the magic, I’m going to turn you into a killer-commando in 2 days” crap and just stick to shooting. 

My mantra: “Good luck is for novices, bad luck is for everyone. Bank on skill, at least you control it.”

 

50 comments

  • Very appropriate article, especially adding Panone’s testimony to it like that. I say it’s appropriate in light of the frothing fanboi madness that is the Haley-Costa-Yeager fan club. Sport shooting’s fan base has been raped by the UFC/MMA fan base mentality.

    One of the quickest ways to turn me off these days is to bring up your resume to earn respect and adoration. And as far as basic pistol marksmanship, I’m nothing special..but I did smoke two marines (one a firearms instructor), and a 28 year LAPD vet (12 of which was on SWAT) in the very remedial pistol qualifying segment which lets me know that yes, my youtube video studying and magpul video study, and almost weekly range trips has taught me to outshoot people with impressive resumes who should completely outshoot me.

  • Great article, Andrew. Wifey and I attended an intro hangun course taught by the gentlemen at Tigerswan and it was fantastic. No bravado, attitude, chips on shoulders, etc. Just great instruction from some humble, albeit, very capable dudes. I was no slouch in the Corps (best 392 / 400) but none of the instruction ever came close to what I received with these guys (granted, I was a POG in the airwing and MLG). Highly recommended and relatively affordable (especially compared to places like Frontsite).

  • Having been a POG in the Army, I don’t personally look for any sort of LE or Mil credentials in an instructor either.

    To the furthest extent possible, the Army uses antiquated or “old-school” techniques. Pure marksmanship is focused on far more than speed and efficiency. I don’t know that I ever did a live fire shoot in the Army that involved dumping a mag and reloading from my gear. It wouldn’t have worked well anyway, because the gear we had wasn’t designed what is generally referred to as a “speed” or “combat” reload. Now, keep in mind this is from the POG point of view. Combat units – and I have several close personal friends from various ones – do more weapons training, but the techniques still tend to be pretty old-school. I’ve heard that Army SF likes to call in civilian instructors in order to get the best training possible, and I don’t doubt it. The civilians are probably much better at putting their ego aside.

    Before we got the CCW law changed in Iowa in 2010, I was forced to choose from a limited set of instructors to get the training necessary to apply for a permit. It was a set of two: my local Deputy Sheriffs and an Iowa Law Enforcement Academy certified instructor. I chose the ILEA certified instructor and it was a big let-down. At the range, the instructor promised us that the students with no pistol experience would be shooting better than those of us that thought we knew how to shoot already. At the end of the day my buddy and I (both still in the Army at that point) shot neat cloverleafs at the 7 yard line faster than the rest of the group managed to punch a grapefruit or beachball sized group. That was by far the second worst marksmanship instruction I had ever seen. The worst was an Army instructor who insisted that mechanical zero on our M16A2′s was the “perfect” zero and didn’t change from weapon to weapon – and that any adjustments we had to make were due to our own failings.

    What I look for now in an instructor is not simply an ability that I admire and which to acquire, but the ability to teach. There are too many “instructors” out there who lack that ability.

    • James,

      At some point since you went through basic, the Army introduced Advanced Rifle Marksmenship (ARM). Taught at Basic now after BRM is completed, it includes speed, efficiency, reloading from gear, mag dumps, etc.
      And yes, SOCOM does bring in competition instructors from time to time. Techniques deemed usefull are added to the “toolbox”, and others are ignored. Usually.

  • Great article, Andrew (and Mike). When I look for a shooting class to take, I’m less interested in a competition or combat resume, and more interested in a teaching resume. Experience is great, and the guy has to be able to shoot, but I want to know what kind of instructor he is. I actually think you can learn a lot from the “AAR” class-reviews that are frequently posted on forums. Occasionally they seem to devolve into hero worship, but the comments about some of the less well known instructors can be very helpful. You can often get a sense of whether an instructor is dogmatic or open minded, a dictator or a coach, etc.

    Picking up on your digression at the beginning as well as Mike’s final thoughts, I would really like to see more of the “other stuff” taught in the training community. You’re right that those skills are “not sexy”, but I hear repeatedly from respected instructors that more is required to survive an encounter than raw marksmanship and gun handling. So how do we become more prepared? Read a bunch of books? Introduce a stress element into training (maybe via competition)? Force on force training? And if FoF classes are part of the answer, how do we know we’re not just paying $500 to play airsoft for a weekend?

    I like the direction that these conversations about training are going, but for me, they have produced a lot of additional questions.

  • Nice blog post Andrew! Thanks for your thoughts, Mike!

    The only thing I can add is that the only reason I can think of to seek out an instructor who has been in a dangerous situation for your training is because they may have ideas as to what skills, reactions, gear, etc. could be most useful if they had to do it again. As a hypothetical, “Gee, I wish I had a red dot on my rifle when the Taliban ambushed us. I would have been more effective.” If I wanted to learn trauma medicine, it behooves me to find someone with real-world experience in practicing trauma medicine.

    As you said the downside of seeking those with real-world experience is the facade of competence it tends to foster. That’s why I don’t put much faith in someone who seems to start every conversation with “I was in Special Forces in Panama,” or some variation thereof. It tends to be a mask for a lack of modern and efficient technique. I’m also not paying to watch a demonstration. Many Big Name classes tend to have a bit too much of the students watching the instructor and not enough of the other way around.

    Anyhow, thanks for your time and for sharing your opinions with us!

  • Excellent article. Some things just need to be said out loud, and this is absolutely one of them. It’s this kind of content that keeps me come back here. BRAVO!

    Partially reposted and linked back on FB and at –> http://arizonagunowners.com/index.php/topic,744.0.html

  • In response to this comment “Whether that instructor has actually stepped over any dead buddies is almost irrelevant.” There’s also the marketing angle to consider. This is just a guess but I’d think these sort of classes rely on word of mouth advertising as much so as ones’ own local plumber or HVAC guy. While I wholly agree the war stories are irrelevant in terms of teaching the course, asking rhetorical questions such as “can you step over your buddy’s body” create a one-two punch in that it forces the participant to contemplate a traumatic, albeit hypothetical, event but also passes on that “street cred” that is all too common in the gun community.

    It plays off the “Hey, my uncle is a navy seal who sniped a guy in [insert war] at [insert big distance] and also has over 100 guns including a [insert extraordinarily rare gun]” thing. This sort of indirect exclusivity spreads like wildfire and in many cases plays out like a game of telephone in that the truth gives way to exaggeration. Training courses are no different in that the “war stories” they offer great word of mouth advertisement that only reinforce the credibility of the instructor because to both current and future attendees if he sniped a bunch of tangos then clearly he’d be good at teaching a gun course.

    I have to think this kind of stuff goes in many other hobbies, such as different types of martial arts, or even racing.

  • I really liked this article. A great writeup, as usual.

    A lot of the things you’ve pointed out are some of the things I’ve noticed in the past year and or so, during which time I’ve sought out some training myself.
    I can only imagine the disappointment in paying a lot of money, traveling any great distance at all, maybe even taking time off from work, only to show up at a class being “taught” by some guy who’s full of bull, or thinks he’s a drill instructor, etc. I’ve even heard stories of “instructors” who only demonstrate the techniques they’re trying to teach by shooting into the berm, not the target. “It would only demoralize and distract the students, who can’t shoot that well themselves.” Yeah, right.
    I’ve been extremely fortunate to have trained with guys who are not full of themselves, and who aren’t showoffs, but know how to demonstrate what they are teaching. And, most importantly, they have the actual ability to teach.
    I know that it’s made me a better shooter, even if I’m not a full-on, Tactical Zombie-killing Operator. And thankfully, never will be!

    Keep up the good work, Andrew.

  • As a firearms instructor and I completive shoot as well, I will share some aspects of my combat time. There is a mental element that has to be discussed, not only during the encounter, but the dealing with the after affects. A lot of military shooters, once they leave the military will get into competitive shooting, so you get the best of both worlds. A good instructor will ask why your there, if your there to become a better competitive shooter, he will gear his training toward that vein. If your there to learn to be a better self-defense shooter, the training should be geared toward that vein. You will never hear me tell you I once stood knee deep in hand grenade pins, but I do relate the emotionalism, and the after affects of a shooting incident. I also lecture extensively on PTSD and the affects of taking another life, let’s face it, it’s not a natural act, even for the most highly trained soldier, police officer, or even civilian. If you can find an instructor who is willing to share his experiences, in a tactful way, and they can help you, even if you’ve already had to defend yourself in a life and death shooting, he may have resources he can share to get you the help you need.

  • Great article as always. I have all the respect in the world both law enforcement and members of our military, and I certainly respect the skill and dedication of competition shooters .

    You get your big talkers in all walks of life. Some of these trainers forget that just because you chose a different career path (I sell commercial insurance) does not mean you are incapable of handling a firearm.

    I find the competition shooters to be better at explaining the finer details of shooting and the combat guys are better at teaching situations and “tactics”. Just my 2 cents.

  • anyone who has truely been in combat and been in firefights doesnt need to “impress” anyone. For you too think that they are telling you this to “impress” you is idiotic, its to get you desensitizied to the thought of closing the distance with someone who is trying to kill you and may have already killed a buddy or even a family member. Civilian instructors are taught differently than Military instructors…..unless you have been to combat you have no room to say that somebody is lieing about what they’ve done, seen or been through. Some civilian writers need to learn to stay in their lane and keep their OPINIONS to themselves.

    • I’m not quite sure who you’re directing this comment towards – did you read my “about” page?

      • Haha I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this; some “combat vets” get it into their heads that that they are magically unique and just assume that everyone else on the galactic interwebz are just newbs. It’s some kind of self deification for having come through a rough patch, I guess. Nobody else can understand what they have seen, and if you disagree with them you must be a filthy civvie.

      • Well played sir, polite humble pie.

      • *sigh* You should get a big jar and put a dollar in every time you get a post like this and use the savings to buy something nice.

  • Mike Pannone’s comments were just spot on (and immanently quotable.) This was an excellent collaboration and a worthwhile topic. Kudos.

  • Another well thought out article that airs out dirty laundry, Andrew.

    Something most people forget about military firearms training and combat experience is the context of working as part of a unit, be it a squad, platoon, company, etc. The majority of us will not have a a battle buddy to back us up for covering / suppressive fire when we need to use our guns.

    Hence, a great point by both you and Mike P. to focus on the fundamentals of shooting.

    I feel advanced classes should teach the nuances of defensive shooting taking place outdoors, indoors of a home, and from inside of an automobile that take into account important factors of round penetration, ricochet, cover vs. concealment, and post-firefight medical skills.

  • I’ve thought about this, too, since I have friends who are civilian instructors with no service experience and have other friends who swear it’s a waste of money to take a class from someone that hasn’t been in a firefight.

    I think what needs to be done is to separate mindset and tactics from technique to some degree. What the latter group of friends don’t realize is that the mindset in competition shooting isn’t the same; it’s not entirely a fighting mindset (I say “entirely” because we’re still out there to win). The tactics are completely different, since you’re generally gaming a course of fire for the most hits and best time. But the techniques they develop for accuracy at speed are well worth learning, even if they’ve only ever been used on paper and steel.

    On the other hand, me as a civilian shooter doesn’t have a whole lot to gain from learning tactics and mindset in an “operator” class. My home defense or CHL tactics are going to necessarily differ from the team tactics used by military or LE, and you can learn mindset without ever setting foot on a range.

  • TL;DR: You may not have noticed, but “teacher” is a different job than “sport shooter” or “warrior.”

  • Some of the guys I know who’ve seen the most combat (see: Phantom Fury) are far from any of these crazy high-speed shooters, and probably could be bested by a lot of internet warriors at the range. Fortunately for America, grunts ability to run shooting drills would maybe demonstrate 1% of their capability to fight wars. It seems like web forums and the range for that matter are becoming more and more overrun with people who take all these courses from “the real deal” to “protect their families” or so they will somehow be successful in some sort of “I am legend” fantasy. I’d take some grunt who hasn’t touched a gun since Vietnam over some world class shooter who had better things to do than go to War given the ample opportunity these past 11 years to watch my back any day.

    I watch these “tactical” videos because I get a kick out of them. I don’t really see how any of it applies unless you are walking through an open field shooting at unarmed people who don’t move by yourself.

    Mike

  • I’ve been lucky enough to know and train with a wide variety of professional and non-professional shooters, from that old-timer at the range to military, police and competition. For me, it’s not so much someone’s background, but how they’re able to articulate their experiences and share them in ways that are useful to you. From my experience as a student, each trainer you meet can offer you a slightly different perspective on something you think you might already know (especially those old-timers at the range). I’m not a great shooter, but I think my biggest improvements always came after shooting with someone who was kind enough to make clever observation about my skill or was willing to share something I didn’t know.

  • While this article makes a valid point that shooting and tactical training can be separately taught, this article also wreaks of envy for people who have tactical experience, to the extent it comes across with a heavily biased feel. The comments about Combat veterans who are incompetent and “who you were in another life” point in that direction. The argument that shooting and tactical training can be seperated is easily established, while the argument that shooting skill with no tactical experience is more valuable than lower level shooting skill with solid tactical experience is a hard sell.

    • You might want to click on Mike Pannone’s name in the article, and then decide if he is “envious” of anyone’s “tactical experience.”

      Similarly, my bio is available at the “About” link near the header image.

      • Curious… do these posters keep coming back after they’ve been called out? Perhaps a hall-of-shame section could be a humorous addition to this site…

  • Christ on a push bike this is fun!

    It’s your money spend it on something or someone worth while.
    Learn some good weapons handling skills. Learn to be safe, accurate and quick.
    Think about the fall-out of shooting someone and the 2nd/3rd/4th order effects on you and your family.
    Balance that against some lame-ass flat range training that you see on the web with some dynamic fluid training.
    If you don’t do the research on who to train with, shame on you. You deserve to lose your money.
    Personally, I think the military marksmanship community learned from the competition world & vice versa.
    MET

  • Thanks for another well written article from a practical and realistic approach. Choose the skill you want to learn and find the teacher that will help you achieve your goals.

    This subject reminds me of people electing a politician based on his stance on an issue he will never influence. Choose your teacher based on RELEVANT experience.

  • Great article.

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  • Great article and great insight by Mr. Pannone. I always enjoy when he is at ACTS.

  • I’m glad that you and Mike wrote this as it expresses opinions similar to my own. I’ve been a competitive shooter for 11 years, and taken a number of tactical firearms classes, but I was never in the military and have not been in combat. Thus to many my opinions on shooting techniques, firearms, or equipment are invalid.

    Most tactical firearms classes are really just teaching people how to operate and use firearms. Anyone with a solid shooting background and good teaching skills can do this. I’ve been disappointed at some classes that I took in the past that instructors set the bar for speed or marksmanship so low. The best classes I have taken have been from people with combat experience who also compete (or at least used to) so a reasonable emphasis is put on speed and accuracy along with tactics. There are more instructors now that meet this criteria; Mike Pannone being one of them.

    Someone with proficient combat shooting skills should also place reasonably well in competition, or at least demonstrate proficiency at gun handling and marksmanship.

  • Plain and simple – one can suck at shooting, but if one is good at the other tasks required in ground combat that individual is still valuable to his squad, and can still tick the check box for combat veteran. Better marksmanship can save lives in the long run, but is by no means a requirement to pet the oversized hyrax relative. Just one of the odd observations being a POG attached to grunts and being the best marksman I’ve picked up, but shooting proficiency and useful practice at the range was easier for me to get in at a language school than it is for somebody in a grunt Bn.

  • My wife and I are both vets but not active shooters. What we look for in instructors (Courses) are the ability to teach with empathy, patience, and a focus on constructive improvement.

    If we want to read a biography we’ll learn it ahead of time. We’re not here to be browbeat by how awesome (hard) you are. The best teachers are not necessarily the best “doers”.

  • Great article. To be fair, your video of instructor dude was teaching to LEO/MIL and getting their mindset in the game of team dynamics. He wasn’t the editor of the video when it came to him explaining his company and cut scenes being added.

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  • Dave in Houston

    “Some of the most important skills that relate to surviving armed confrontations are not sexy and most people would never actually pay to learn them.”

    So true! Avoidance of a confrontation, robbery or an assault is not nearly as much of a Walter Mitty fantasy as grabbing the AR and confronting the bad guy, but is more likely to increase your odds of survival. While shooting skills are important, your situational awareness is much more important. Recognizing that you are being targeted as a victim before the bad guy acts is so much more important than the holster you are using or the gun in that holster. But who wants to pay for that?

  • I would say that implementing mindset into a shooting class is a sensitive idea for sure and requires a lot of thought. I also suppose we need to know what we’re signing up for.

  • I have not visited this site much in the past but I enjoyed the article.

    It seems the author has taken 2 extremes to make a comparison:

    - highly experienced combat vet who is a braggart and a poor teacher

    VS

    - highly experienced comp shooter who is humble and a great teacher

    What if you compared an experienced vet who is a humble, great teacher with the comp shooter who is also humble and a skilled instructor? Would that change the equation for any of you guys?

    • Here’s a response to your comment “It seems the author has taken 2 extremes to make a comparisno”

      I picked extremes to make a point since it was a blog post not an article. All things being relatively the same (level of skills overall:teaching and shooting), teaching a combative shooting course will in my opinion always be better approached by someone with combative experience (police or military). The perspective I teach from is one taken from years of carrying arms with consequence, sport shooting and the study of body mechanics. I integrate the use of them into the use of individual armor for survivability and overall application of them in a dynamic environment. There are a small number that do all the above with substantial validity but there are literally thousands of “tactical instructors/trainers”. You draw your own conclusion from there.

      • By “author” I meant Andrew T., not Mike P.; sorry for not being more specific.

        I have studied with instructors from both worlds and these days I work more with the field experienced ones.

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  • That was good! I agree with it.

  • Andrew, I think your argument is sound and completely agree the doctrines and mindset you and Mike proposed. But I think you couldn’t have picked a worse example with the Costa video. I know there’s a lot of magpul fan boyism out there complicating the point I’m trying to make, but in that DVD course, which I watched and found many useful information, the part where he says “dead buddy” isn’t really in the category of bragging at all. In another word I think he’s quoted out of context.
    The DVD couldn’t have been further from being about the instructors themselves. In fact, I think that after watching the whole course, I found one of the major purposes of it was to infuse a mentality and realistic readiness to students of many different backgrounds. It even went so far as to invent individual scenarios based on the personal backgrounds of the students and trained in them separately. So not only did the instructors do a good job teaching shooting-which at least to me was very informative, they went extra miles to help the students to understand the psychological effects during a gun fight. Those information, while seems tedious to you who had combat experiences, when given courteously and methodically to new shooters or shooters with limited experiences, will be tremendously helpful. And unless you personally know otherwise, the two instructors in the DVD were precisely both courteous and methodical(and as anyone who watched Magpul videos, approachable and funny). The yelling was just because they’re in a firing session.

  • I think different instructors are required for different levels of shooters. I myself am a LEO firearms instructor and I do a great job teaching beginners and novices to regularly shoot at a basic LE qualification level. However when it comes to bullseye shooting or competition level shooting I’m not much of a help.

    A fellow Officer asked me to help him get ready for a local pistol shooting tournament and I agreed. Long story short he finished in the top 25 out of 150 or so shooters which isnt bad but not great. I feel that if he had better instruction would have definately finished top 10.

  • I am a combat veteran, was a military marksmanship trainer, and have been a competition shooter since 1997. I Shoot Cowboy Action, IDPA, Multigun, Steel Challenge, trap, and others local competitions. I have also taken professional shooting courses. While in the Army I thought that I was a good shooter, but with great instruction and years of competition I realize that I am a much better shooter now. Your article was on the money. Pick the course(s) that meet your learning style and shooting needs.

  • Great article. I’m thinking about beginning a few weapons courses carbine/pistol. I have the bushy/dpms type and box style sidearm. I’m hoping for the insturctor Steve mentions. Lots of great experience and skill, but more interested in helping me become a better shooter with what I have to work with rather than braggart and war stories.

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