Getting Edumacated

Vaughn McMillan

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As many of you know, I've been active in a handgun shooting club for a few years. The club, Doubletap Shooters, was started by my friend Rick a number of years ago as a way to provide inexpensive additional training to his Concealed Carry students. (In most states, including the one I live in, you can get your CCW license with relatively little to no training. The shooting test here in NM is a joke. I've seen people pass the test who should not be allowed near firearms.) That said, we go to the range monthly (or at least we did pre-COVID) to get training from Rick (former Army Ranger and police officer) and run through a variety of practical defensive shooting drills. We're a pretty tight-knit group of friends who have fun and play safely. It's not a competitive thing, but more about personal improvement. Members range from college kids to doctors, current and former cops, bikers, musicians, and even a judge. Not all of the members of the club are former students of Rick's (including me...I got my training from someone else), and a few members have not yet gotten their CCW license. Over the last few years, several of us members have been more and more active in helping Rick, as either Range Safety Officers, Range Masters, or both. I'm quite often tasked with helping out the less-experienced members as a one-on-one coach and safety monitor.

Due to COVID, the club has been inactive since the first of March, and during this time off Rick has decided he'd like to step down as the leader of the club to be able to spend more time working on a book about his adventures in Vietnam and as a police officer. He turned 70 this year and the COVID shutdown allowed him to finally realize how relaxing retirement can be. (He's still teaching weekly karate lessons and running a worldwide karate society in his spare time, lol.) One of the requirements for the club to shoot at the public or private ranges here is that the club must be led by a state-licensed firearms instructor. Long story short, I stepped up to take over the club, and have started the process to get my state license to teach Concealed Carry and other firearms classes. Since it's for the club's benefit, my training has been paid for by the club, but I'll also be able to offer concealed carry classes on the side as a way to make a bit of supplemental income.

This weekend I spent two very info-packed days taking the USCCA Concealed Carry and Home Defense Instructor course. Rick is a certified NRA instructor, but he and I both like the curriculum and materials that the USCCA provides better than what the NRA offers. I did 12 hours of classroom learning, and spent 4 hours at the range doing live fire training and qualification shooting. As a prerequisite to the course, I also had to complete 8 hours of online training. I had a great instructor and even though I consider myself pretty experienced, I learned a lot of good stuff. I'm now certified by USCCA to teach Handgun Basics, Home Defense, or Concealed Carry classes. The next step is to get licensed by the State of New Mexico to teach those courses, but since the USCCA curriculum is already approved by the state, the licensing procedure is mostly an administrative process at this point. Within the next month or so, I should have my license in hand and be able to officially take over the club and also start teaching lessons.

All in all, this should be the start of a very interesting new chapter for me. ;)
 
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Dave Hoskins

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Good going, Vaughn! Sounds like you are gonna have some fun. When I retired from the Marines, I really have not done much in the way of shooting. I knew some local deputies who asked me to come out to their range one time and shoot with them. They wondered what was going on when I showed up without a weapon. I told them if I decided to shoot, if they didn't mind I'd just shoot one of theirs. Now admittedly I am an old wheel gun man. Die hard wheel gun man. After they did their practice shooting, I borrowed one of their S&W 686's. I think I got that right. The 586 is the blued version and the 686's is the nice bright shiny one. :rofl: Anyway, I loaded up the cylinder and out shot him with his own revolver. I did not get asked back to their range. Ever. Sore losers. hmmmmph.
 

Paul Douglass

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Good on you. I have had a conceal carry permit for years, although I rarely carry. Just do not feel the need where I live, but that could change... I live in Washington! In our state there is no requirement to get training to have a carry permit. I think there should be. I took a class even though it is not required and I have been around guns all my life. I think it is very important, because the class I attended also went deeply in to the legalities and consequences, should you, for any reason shoot someone. I think people need to know that and most don't. Right or wrong, it is going to involve lawyers and possible minimum jail time, at the least...until it is all sorted out. It is certainly something the cannot be taken lightly and I know many that do.
 

Ted Calver

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Good move, Vaughn. I have an ex military, ex LEO friend who started his own range/school. He's been making good money teaching CCW classes and giving private instruction.
 

Darren Wright

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Congratulations!

I've had my CCW for quite a few years now. At my class there were at least a half dozen that had never held a gun before. The instructors were all ex military and LEOs, but they took the time to work with each of them on some practice rounds prior to qualification. There was one that wasn't even hitting his own target, once they got him to shoot with his eyes open he did much better. :eek: :D

When the conversation comes up about CCW, I promote it, but always preach to practice, practice, practice, or just don't bother to get it.

I've been working with my wife every couple of weeks when we're down a the farm on her shooting. We had my daughter and her family down there this past week and all sat out in the yard practicing with some pellet pistols I brought along shooting some popper targets. I had thought it was going to be just me and the grandson, but the whole clan wanted to join in. :)
 

Chuck Ellis

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Haven't fired a hand gun since 1964.... was on deck on the ship out in the middle of the Pacific and talking with the second class gunner's mate mentioned that I had never shot a pistol... as a second class p.o. I was supposed to be qualified with both rifle and pistol.... my military records says I'm a qualified marksman with an M! carbine.... never had one in my hands.... was at a dental appoint ment the day my boot camp company went to the range, the chief just faked my records.... the gunner's mate brought out a .45 handed it to me and said shoot that weather balloon.... I may or may not have hit the balloon, you can shoot one down with a .45, it just moves.... I know I did hit the Pacific ocean...
 

Don Baer

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Haven't fired a hand gun since 1964.... was on deck on the ship out in the middle of the Pacific and talking with the second class gunner's mate mentioned that I had never shot a pistol... as a second class p.o. I was supposed to be qualified with both rifle and pistol.... my military records says I'm a qualified marksman with an M! carbine.... never had one in my hands.... was at a dental appoint ment the day my boot camp company went to the range, the chief just faked my records.... the gunner's mate brought out a .45 handed it to me and said shoot that weather balloon.... I may or may not have hit the balloon, you can shoot one down with a .45, it just moves.... I know I did hit the Pacific ocean...
we didn't have much of a chance to fire any weapons on the submarine...But we did fire a great big one once for practice.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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ABQ NM
Good on you. I have had a conceal carry permit for years, although I rarely carry. Just do not feel the need where I live, but that could change... I live in Washington! In our state there is no requirement to get training to have a carry permit. I think there should be. I took a class even though it is not required and I have been around guns all my life. I think it is very important, because the class I attended also went deeply in to the legalities and consequences, should you, for any reason shoot someone. I think people need to know that and most don't. Right or wrong, it is going to involve lawyers and possible minimum jail time, at the least...until it is all sorted out. It is certainly something the cannot be taken lightly and I know many that do.
Good on you, Paul. Being aware of the consequences (legal, moral, emotional, and financial) of shooting someone is a very important aspect. Most CCW courses do concentrate a lot on that part, but don't spend much time on the actual gun handling and shooting parts. That's why we have the club. Going to the range once or twice a year to stand still and slowly shoot holes in a paper target doesn't help someone out if they need to use a handgun in self-defense.

...I've had my CCW for quite a few years now. At my class there were at least a half dozen that had never held a gun before. The instructors were all ex military and LEOs, but they took the time to work with each of them on some practice rounds prior to qualification. There was one that wasn't even hitting his own target, once they got him to shoot with his eyes open he did much better. :eek: :D...
Sounds like you had good instructors. With a bit of coaching and practice, someone should be able to hit a person-sized target at defensive distances (3 to 7 yards) with or without the sights, and even with their eyes closed.

My wife isn't fond of shooting, but she knows she needs to practice so we do go out shooting from time to time. The last time we went, she was nervous and shaky (anticipating the bang), and having trouble hitting anywhere near where she was aiming. She was also spending a lot of time and effort to get the sights lined up and aimed at the center of the target. I got her to relax a bit, and instead of aiming I had her point shooting without the sights. Once she started just slowly bringing the gun up from a low ready position and firing as soon as it was pointed at the target, her groups improved a lot.
 
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Good job Vaughn! So, got a concealed pocket in the back of a guitar for a quick draw holster? I have the lifetime carry permit in Indiana. When I was on the Sheriff's Posse, shot twice a year for qualifications. Got in on the beginnings of virtual shoot situations. Carried a SW 686 on duty. We don't shoot as much anymore as my sutures aren't supposed to take the concussion from a gun. Terrible gun handling by so many, glad you are one of the good guys promoting the sport and decision to not be a victim.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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...So, got a concealed pocket in the back of a guitar for a quick draw holster?
The other guitarist in my band is also one of my shooting buddies, and he also carries concealed. At work he often carries a little .380 in a pocket holster. One Friday night we were playing a gig at a local pup and partway through the first set he came over to me between songs with an embarrassed grin and whispered "I just realized I'm committing a Class 4 felony" as he pointed to his pocket. He'd come to the gig straight from work and had forgotten to leave the .380 locked in the car. :rolleyes: :D
 

Chuck Ellis

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Tellico Plains, Tennessee
we didn't have much of a chance to fire any weapons on the submarine...But we did fire a great big one once for practice.
Yeah, don't think you would want to discharge one inside, might spring a leak... same with air planes.

On the ship I was on, a DER, we had two 5" guns mounted fore and aft... we did some practice shooting one day off San Clemente... the guns were refitted to be fire controlled electronically.... I think we hit the island once in about 30 shots and that was after the 2nd class begged the captain to let him fire manually.
In another exercise we did some anti-aircraft gunnery practice shooting at drones being towed.... didn't hit the drone, but cut the cable about 6 feet behind the tow plane... they wouldn't tow for us after that?:oops::eek:
 

Chuck Ellis

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:rofl: Anyway, I loaded up the cylinder and out shot him with his own revolver. I did not get asked back to their range. Ever. Sore losers. hmmmmph.
My younger sister back in her youth and when she was married to her first husband, the two of them belonged to a fast draw club in Tulsa.... turned out that my sister could out draw and out shoot her husband... he didn't want to belong to the club after that.
 

Don Baer

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Yeah, don't think you would want to discharge one inside, might spring a leak... same with air planes.

On the ship I was on, a DER, we had two 5" guns mounted fore and aft... we did some practice shooting one day off San Clemente... the guns were refitted to be fire controlled electronically.... I think we hit the island once in about 30 shots and that was after the 2nd class begged the captain to let him fire manually.
In another exercise we did some anti-aircraft gunnery practice shooting at drones being towed.... didn't hit the drone, but cut the cable about 6 feet behind the tow plane... they wouldn't tow for us after that?:oops::eek:
well if we would have hit ab island it would have been close enough....1595948811448.png
 
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