What to look for in a good firearm instructor

What to look for in a good firearm instructor

When you want to sign up for shooting lessons, you need to know what to look for in a good firearm instructor. It’s not enough knowing that your instructor is a good shot. In fact, that’s usually a given, so it’s the least of your concerns.

Problem is that unlike plumbers and handymen, there’s no review forum for firearm instructors. That’s why you need to do your homework.

A firearm instructor needs a particular skill set and we’ll set these out for you.

Word of mouth

If someone has rated a firearm instructor highly, this is usually a good starting point. Personal recommendations aren’t an exact science, but they’re way better than internet forum gossip.

However, there are other criteria to consider. Is your instructor an amateur or a professional? What are his/her credentials? Is the range an established enterprise with training courses? And does the instructor or instructors provide a bio listing their credentials, training and qualifications?


Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a given. Be aware and ask questions about the range’s safety protocols. Visit the range’s website too to check out what their protocols are. Also look for an instructor who always keeps his/her guns pointed in a safe direction, especially during demonstrations. Unless they’re about to fire, good instructors also keep their fingers off the trigger.


This makes all the difference. There’s nothing quite like an engaging instructor. But at the same time, it’s good if this person is courteous at all times.

Good instructors are flexible. In other words, they usually have several ways of teaching their courses, adapting the content and presentation to the learner(s). And be aware that a good instructor is not a braggart.

Band Of Expertise

Now, expertise is extremely important. Check the credentials and experience of your firearm instructor. Someone with practical experience and years of practising his shooting skills is imperative. Find yourself a specialist that has excelled in precisely what you want to do and you won’t look back.

So now that you know what to look for in a good firearm instructor, set about the task of finding your ideal instructor.


To shoot well, step out of your comfort zone

To shoot well, step out of your comfort zone

If you’ve already attained that ‘comfort’ level in your shooting abilities, our advice is: to shoot well, step out of your comfort zone.

But why, you may ask? Apart from enhancing performance, there are many other benefits of leaving your comfort zone, according to medical psychologist Dr Oliver Page.

Other benefits

Self-actualisation is a powerful incentive to leave the comfort zone. This allows for personal growth and fulfillment. Next up is developing a growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset, third is that you develop resilience which will equip you to handle change and ambiguity. And finally, you’ll have more self-efficacy in reaching your shooting goals.

According to chief ranger Geoffrey Coetzee, stepping out of your comfort zone benefits your shooting skills immensely. He said, “With consistent training, you’ll reach the sweet spot of understanding the shooting process, followed by testing and trusting the process. Once you can instinctively discern right from wrong in making an accurate shot, you’ll be in the comfort zone. In most situations when the stress is pumping, you’ll automatically default to your personal comfort zone.”

Pushing the envelope

Confidence is critical to move away from shooting at lower skill levels and moving towards higher and higher skill levels. Needless to say, to reach this stage you have to be 100% familiar with shooting processes. And the best place for familiarisation is right here on the range!”

Take small steps and then ever larger steps to leave your comfort zone – without throwing caution to the wind. Yes, it certainly won’t happen overnight, but it’ll be so worth it in the end.

“With motivation, discipline and commitment, you can do it!” Geoffrey said. “Move the boundary marker a bit further every time, and in so doing, you’ll step out of your comfort zone. Someone once said about shooting, ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable’.”

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