Trap Shooting Tournament in Montana

Finding Good Instruction: Shooting Lessons with Colonel Smoothbore
By Matt Schauer

Posted: August 5, 2012

With Summer wrapping up and the Fall hunting season quickly approaching, you may be asking yourself,

“I wanna learn how to shoot, but I don’t know where to start.”

I’ve heard those or similar words quite often and there are many ways and places to “start.”

First, do your research and then put that research into action. There are many fine and informative organizations devoted to firearms and the shooting sports. As an NRA trainer, I suggest you go to as your first stop. When your there, check out the NRA programs page. It will show you dozens of opportunities relating to firearms and firearms training.  You will also find lots of links to other shooting and firearms organizations.

Next, a trip to will provide you with links to just about everything and every place related to firearms.

Both of these sites will guide you to qualified instructors, coaches and lead you to shooting ranges and clubs in your area.

After you’ve finished your research, it’s time to choose which discipline (shotgun, rifle, or handgun) interests you the most. I strongly recommend you find a certified instructor or coach and contact them to see what courses are available. These are well trained, dedicated, and caring people, who have a great interest in helping you learn how to shoot. Taking a basic firearms course is the safest, fastest, and most efficient path to enjoying the shooting sports. Not only will you be schooled in the fundamentals of shooting, but you will also learn about the responsibilities of being a firearms owner and user.

Now, the fun part, it’s time to go to the range. Meet with your instructor or coach and ask about their training programs. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is it a program for beginners and novices?
  • Are firearms available for students?
  • Besides shooting instruction, what other firearms subjects are covered?
  • How large are the classes?

If you are comfortable with the trainer, sign up and enjoy the learning process, after all, shooting is really fun.

In next week’s post, I’ll cover: “I need a gun…” If you have a question, go to and send it to me via the contacts page.

Be safe and good shooting,

Colonel Smoothbore

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