Why You Should Take Shooting Classes

There is some debate among gun owners regarding whether it’s worth the investment of time and money to take one or more shooting class. Are you really better off watching YouTube videos and shooting by yourself at the range? Will you truly benefit from taking an organized class or classes? The answer seems obvious to us, but there’s no harm explaining why. Especially for the folks who need to be convinced. In this video, Hilton Yam from 10-8 Performance Lab discusses why you need to take shooting classes and how to get the most out of them.

Hilton Yam, 10-8 Performance, talking about the reasons why people should take shooting classes.
Hilton Yam of 10-8 Performance Lab shares his wisdom on why you should take shooting classes and a few of the things you might need for it to be a success. (Photo Credit: 10-8)

Hilton dives right in explaining his personal thoughts on the realities of training, saying “If you are serious about using a firearm…just owning one doesn’t make you a gunfighter or able to defend yourself or a tactical ninja. If that is your pursuit then you’ve got to get out and train with it. There are so many quality trainers out there right now you owe it to yourself to get out and make yourself better.”

What You Need to Do

one is none, two is one
Yes, he said it, although he was referring to taking a backup gun to class with you. (Photo Credit: 10-8)

Before Class

Before you choose a class, vet the instructor. Make sure their resume includes more than only a background in the military or law enforcement — they should have legitimate training credentials — and get some student testimonies. Spend some time on Google and social media to find out what kind of reputation they really have. Basically, do your homework. Make sure it’s going to be worth the time and money that you’re putting into it. Also, make sure the class you’re choosing suits your specific needs.

Once you’re signed up, get your gear in order:

  • •Do the proper maintenance on equipment
  • •Make sure your optics are zeroed
  • •Witness-mark the screws on your optics 

Get some time in working with your gear before the class. (Hilton says it’s a good idea to “train up” before class so you get the most out of it you can.)

red dot sight with mark on screw, in preparation for shooting classes
Putting witness marks on your optic prior to a class saves time and a headache. (Photo Credit: 10-8)

Check out the video to hear Hilton Yam’s thoughts based on his personal experience taking shooting classes:


Things to Take with You

You’ll have to check the required gear list for the class you signed up for to find out what specific items you’ll want on hand but some things are universal. Among the things Hilton suggests you have are the following:

  • •Backup gun (two guns that are similar or nearly identical, if possible)
  • •Ammunition
  • •Magazines, and lots of them (Hilton says take at least 6)
  • •Magazine loading tools (like MagLula)
  • •Ear protection (electronic is best)
  • •Belt rig (holster, gun belt, mag holsters)
  • •Notepad and pen
  • •Boots capable of handling rain, mud, and slippery grass
Gun belt and holster
A sturdy gun belt and quality holster are must-have items for your next shooting skills class. (Photo Credit: 10-8)

Other things to take along are items such as eye protection, bottles of water, lube for your gun, and a good tourniquet. Always be prepared to give first aid to another shooter or to save your own life with the tourniquet we hope is hooked onto your belt.

What’s your favorite shooting skills class, and why?


Now check out GunMag Training.


Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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