DON’T BE “THAT GUY”
MAXIMIZE TRAINING WITHOUT RUINING IT FOR OTHERS
Maximize training without ruining it for others.
You just signed up for a training class. Maybe it’s your first or your 101st. Regardless, there are a few rules of etiquette that should be followed in today’s tactical training world. They’re something everyone can all learn from, and they will help you get more out of your education from the course – or at least keep you from being labeled as “that guy” for a weekend (or longer).
You may know how to safely handle a firearm at all times and have decent marksmanship, but there are probably a few things you may not know or have taken for granted.
Read the Course Description
In our years of attending private tactical training courses, we have found this to be the number one problem area for students that have difficulties.
Course prerequisites seem to rub a lot of students the wrong way. Some see it as a “cash grab” from the school that’s teaching the course, trying to get you to take more courses.
But consider this: Do you want to be in a class that involves running around in the dark with a weapon-mounted light in a shoot-house with someone whose shooting resume includes nothing but a four-hour CCW lecture? This goes back to learning to crawl before learning to walk. All effective training should be based on a strong foundation of fundamentals.
There may be some exceptions, such as students who have military or LEO experience or have attended a similar course from another instructor.
If you’re considering a class that has prerequisites, talk this over with the instructor beforehand to see if you are good to go.
Bring the Right Equipment
Many tactical courses are held in remote locations with limited facilities. Food and water is not always provided and, in a few cases, the closest place to grab lunch may be 100 miles away. A 10-hour course will tire you out. Always check food and water availability to keep you nourished.
Some gear may fail during training, either because it is old and worn out or new and unproven. We always advise bringing a spare sling and holster as well as extra magazines.
If the course is a carbine course and you are running a long gun with an optic, make sure it is zeroed before you show up. These courses are not cheap. The other participants have paid their fees, and waiting for you to sight in is rude to the instructor and your fellow students.
In a similar vein, bring the right kind of firearms for the course. Most carbine courses are intended for an intermediate rifle caliber; leave the .458 Winmag or the .338 Lapua Magnum at home.
Plan Your Ammo
The best way to avoid being “that guy” is by not begging for ammunition from your classmates because you failed to plan correctly. Read the syllabus, especially regarding ammunition, and prepare accordingly. Rather than buying ammo at the training venue, which can be pricey, look at the course requirements and bring your own ammo.
See if you can have your ammunition shipped to the event and held for you beforehand. If you have a great distrust of the delivery services, most airlines will allow you to fly with up to 11 pounds of ammunition in your checked luggage.
Behave in Class
Just like those class clowns in high school, humor can lighten the mood with regard to learning. The problem is that some people do not know when enough is enough, so if you are not the instructor then stop with the jokes and comments.
Very few people are forced into attending a tactical training course. If you find yourself not wanting to be there, then go home and do not ruin the experience for your fellow students because you have a crappy attitude.
Most courses are broken up by the lesson plan into different segments, and you may be given a 10 or 15 minute break to absorb what you learned while the instructors set up for the next session. If you are told to take 15 minutes, come back in 12. Fellow students are paying good money to be there, and when the class resumes, nobody wants to wait for “that guy” who is still smoking, eating a burrito, on the phone with his wife or taking a leisurely bio-break.
Keep an Open Mind
Perhaps the best piece of advice we can give is to always attend a training course with an open mind. Tactical training can and may save your life one day. The best way to ensure that is to be a good student with a willingness to learn. TW
Having enough ammo per the course description will keep you from buying more expensive ammo at the range or being “that guy” who’s mooching ammo from other students