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Basic handgun/firearm training in Vancouver WA

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by Botte Hork, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Botte Hork

    Botte Hork Camas WA Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for training and instructor recommendations for a new shooter. Basically I've never fired a firearm and I think I'm pretty accurate when I say I've never even touched one. Yet. :) The reason is that I'm from Europe, and from a country that has very limited legal private gun ownership possibilities. Interestingly enough, more and more violent crime there involves firearms, but the general consensus appears to be that rules should be even more strict now. The "outlaw guns, so only outlaws will have guns" seems highly appropriate. :) But I digress. Having been in the US for a few years and having received my permanent residency status (the "green card"), the US is my new home and I am now allowed to own guns. Plus I signed up here, so I have a more than average interest. ;)

    Anyway, now that you know the background, this newbie needs some good recommendations! I'm mostly concerned with safety first, and then just learn the basics and some proper shooting techniques (as I'm highly capable of teaching myself the wrong ways :)). Any info, help or hints are welcome! Anywhere in the Vancouver, Camas or Washougal area would probably be easiest, as I live in Camas. Thanks in advance for all the help!
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  2. netcarrier

    netcarrier Portland, Oregon Active Member

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    Hi Botte Hork,
    Well nice that you are here to learn. First Safety, Know your Site Pic. and then do some shooting. If you have the time I would help you with
    that. If you need more infor. let me know. I have some weapons at my place and can shoot here.
    Hope this helps you,
    Tony Portland, Oregon Area.
  3. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum and welcome to being an American! :)

    Two fantastic choices I must say.

    There's a fantastic place for new gun enthusiasts to go called the English Pit shooting range.
    Clark County Gun Club, Inc. at English Pit

    They rent a huge variety of handguns and rifles. (Even AR15's and Tommy Guns!) So you can become familiar with many types without having to purchase one. (Clark County Gun Club - CCGC Gun & Accessory Rental Program)

    After that you can find some classes at Wholesale Sports (I have heard they have Hunter safety and Utah Concealed Weapon carry classes, but I can't find a class schedule online, you may have to call them.)
    Wholesale Sports

    A few tips for the uninitiated:
    1. ALWAYS keep a gun aimed in a safe direction.
    2. NEVER assume it's clear or unloaded.
    3. ALWAYS be aware of what you are aiming at, and what's behind it. (Some bullets can travel over a mile, and most will travel through a fence, car or house wall, sometimes much more.)
    4. Don't "Dry Fire" a weapon, meaning don't pull the trigger even if there are no rounds in it. This can damage many types of weapon.
    5. Any time you are handed a weapon, open the chamber and verify that there are no rounds loaded in it. Don't assume the owner knows this.
    6. Don't trust your gun's safety to mean "The Gun is safe to aim wherever".
    7. Stay curious and always ready to learn!

    Hope you are enjoying it here (In America and on the Forums) this is a great place to be!
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  4. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    We would be happy to help you with advice at my shop, but I also recommend the Place to Shoot- in Delta Park. Indoor handgun range They also rent a variety of handguns. Best to get some basic safety instruction first, if you don't have the basic familiarity.
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  5. drivepirate

    drivepirate willamette valley New Member

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    Don't forget youtube when looking for basic safety rules as well as tips for aiming and firing. I like to watch videos every once in awhile as a refresher before I go out shooting.
  6. LiaB

    LiaB Vancouver, WA Member

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    I highly suggest taking a NRA Basic Pistol Course ( I went to Cascade Firearms Training). You will learn the basics of pistols, be taken to a range where you can use a variety of guns, and have fantastic instructors. It was a bit of a drive from Vancouver, but it was well worth it. I recommend them to all my friends. Learning from experienced instructors will make your skills better from the start.

    Once you have that under your belt, I suggest The English Pit for target practice. They rent guns and sell ammo.

    In addition, the library and the NRA have various publications and videos that you can watch/read to learn more.

    Welcome to this fun hobby! Be prepared to be addicted!!
  7. Botte Hork

    Botte Hork Camas WA Well-Known Member

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    Let me start by offering my apologies for this very late response. I've been having trouble connecting to the forum (I'm on comcast/xfinity) and when I posted this topic was the only time I could reach it normally. I read somewhere there's been a server move and I can now only get here by using a webproxy.

    Thanks everybody who responded, both in this thread as well as through private messages!

    I agree with everybody stating that safety and good initial instruction are key, so that's why I asked here. :) I'll definitely check out the English Pit once I've got the basics down. I think I've spent quite a few hours looking at different youtube channels, quite informative and it gives different people's views on subjects.

    Thanks LiaB for the Cascade recommendation, I'll check them out. Another NRA certified instructor contacted me through messages as well, so there are multiple things I can look at.

    Thanks Jack for the warm welcome to the US as well, I consider it my home. Depending on what happens in the future I might go for naturalization. Only thing is that my country of origin has more strict rules on double nationalities, so I'd likely have to hand in my old passport. We'll see. :)

    I looked at the NRA site a few times, and I'm considering a membership. Even if shooting turns out to be "not for me", I do still support the 2nd amendment and support everyone's unobstructed right (within reason of course) to exercise it.

    Again, thanks everybody! I'll check out the links and will get in touch with the offline responders as well.
  8. Sodbuster

    Sodbuster Beaverton, OR Chief Cook/Bottle Washer

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    While not in the Vancouver area, you should consider the PSTC, Public Safety Training Center at the Clackamas Sherrif's office. Not all that far from Clackamas mall. They have a full day basic handgun course with the morning in training and the afternoon on the range being drilled and schooled in the use of a firearm. Website is: Public Safety Training Center & Indoor Shooting Range.

    Good all around course for a reasonable amount of money.

  9. Botte Hork

    Botte Hork Camas WA Well-Known Member

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    It took a while, but earlier today I went to visit a forum member who approached me through the private messages and I enjoyed his hospitality and expertise. As he approached me privately, I leave it up to him to chime in here.

    Anyway, I was introduced to the basic firearm safety and handling aspects and did my first shots ever.

    First shot:


    First group:


    Sorry for the fuzzy pics. Not too shabby (I keep telling myself :D), sitting, leaning on bench rest at about 15 feet I'd guesstimate with a Sig Mosquito.

    A later group was tighter and the joy of that killed my concentration I think. :)

    Again, thanks to the member who knows who he is for introducing me to shooting, the friendliness & hospitality and the great instruction. Also thank on behalf of my better half for opening up a new funds drain. :thumbup:


    Thebastidge and (deleted member) like this.